My name is Elizabeth Foster and I have uploaded this story with photos on behalf of my Dad Jim Clarke – I hope you enjoy his Tasmania story through his eyes …
My wife, Mary, and I have just returned from another wonderful holiday, our 5th in Tasmania. Might I be so bold as to say that a Spring/Summer visit to the apple isle would please just about anyone, especially our senior’s Brigade. If bungee-jumping, abseiling, sky-diving, etc. are happy memories, take the plunge and plan a holiday in the apple of Australia’s eye, Tasmania.
On previous visits we arrived and departed from Hobart. This time we flew to Launceston, toured the North West, visiting delightful Deloraine, heading far East to beautiful Bicheno then South to our final stopover, Hobart.
That was a paragraph of simplicity but really and truly our whole holiday took in two glorious weeks of January.
The Old Bakery Inn, where we stopped in Launceston was very central to various attractions so we were able to visit Penny Royal World, enjoy the many shops and arcades of the city centre and cruise the mighty Cataract Gorge. Using our hired car we left Launceston and headed through the Tamar Valley on our way to our second stopover, Ulverstone. Wending our way and rarely loosing sight of the mighty Tamar River, we spent a relaxing, enjoyable afternoon at the beautiful not-to-be-missed Swiss-style Village … Grindelwald.
This picturesque, authentic Village was the brainchild of the late Roelf Vos, a Dutch immigrant who sold a successful chain of supermarkets in Tassie to make his dream village come true.
With Ulverstone as a base for the next few days, we visited the lovely coastal towns of Devonport, Penguin and Burnie. Devonport, a bustling, busy port receives punters from the mainland on the Spirit of Tasmania ferry. Penguin, a quiet wee place boasts a massive and interesting Sunday Market spread throughout an old school’s rooms … Brilliant! Burnie no boasts. Just a lovely place to visit.
We spent a spectacular day (I’m running out of superlatives!) at Stanley, Tassie’s Tidiest Town. Stanley is a quaint old historic fishing village, (how do I say not-to-be-missed without repeating myself?) Bugger, it’s not to be missed!
Most of the town’s old buildings have been restored and are used as boarding houses, restaurants, shops and hotels. The proud fact that Tasmanian’s only Australian Prime Minister, Joe Lyons, was born here is proclaimed on a large sign outside his restored cottage. The spectacular part of my day was to ride to the top of the famous Nut, a 150 metre high flat-top hill, accessible by comfortable chairlifts (or fit climbers), there to marvel at the panoramic view of the village and surrounding landscape.
Having been there before, we avoided the West … It was too wild! We did, however, go to Sheffield mainly to get photographs of the galaxy of splendid murals that adorn many gable walls. A credit to the various artists’ talents.
Brickendon’s Heritage Estate and Gardens, near Perth, which we stumbled on by accident, was a delightful diversion. With its original farm barns, a pillar granary, a smokehouse, a cookhouse, a blacksmith’s shop and a sheering shed still in use. The main house was a stately well kept residence. The gardens, alive with a sea of flowers, all full of wonder with unpronounceable names. William Archer created Brickendon’s 1100 acre estate on the Macquarie River in 1824 and named it after his birthplace in England. Young William (14 years old) is a member of the 7th generation still living there. We didn’t get to meet him!
We rode the vintage Don Railway on the banks of the Don River and enjoyed our stay in Ross, another classic old world vintage village. I found the Tasmanian Wool Centre exhibition, tracing the history of wool, very interesting and educational (even for an oul eejit like me). Among many of the wondrous sights in Ross is the famous convict-built Ross Bridge. I read aloud from the plaque in front of the bridge that the convicts, Daniel Herbert and James Colbeck, had been emancipated for their great work on the bridge. My angel Mary, in all innocence, asked me. “Does that mean they had their heads cut off?”
Mary and I were pleasurably confined in the old Gaol, now luxury self-contained cottages, at Bicheno.
Our last memorable days in Hobart flew. We ate lunch and enjoyed our cruise on the Harbour. Had a ball at the unique Salamanca Markets, where you can get everything from a needle to an anchor! Admired the breath-taking view from the top of Mount Wellington and paid a visit to the brilliant Botanical Gardens. We dined and done our dough in the Casino. Got stuffed at Cadbury’s and prayed at Australia’s oldest Catholic Church in lovely old Richmond.
A pleasant run to Huonville, a picnic on the Huon River then down, down through the mighty State Forest to the newest tourist attraction, the Tahune Forest Air Walk. For a few dollars one gets the thrill of a lifetime or the s… frightened out of one!! A must see – and experience!
And there you have it. A holiday to remember where you’re every dollar is worth a dollar. Where there are great roads, little traffic, lovely people and scenery to die for. Not 40 shades of green, but, would you believe, 39???