Thursday, March 5, 2020

Tasmania Travels - Hobart, Cascade Female Factory, MONA

We had a list of things to do in Hobart that was a mile long. Having our own car with us made the roadtrip so much easier. We were able to bring all our creature comforts from home, like extra items to keep the kids busy, plenty of clothes to suit the changeable weather, our own pillows  and our beloved coffee machine. 
Fuelled by a good breakfast in our apartment and a couple of espressos, we set off for our busy day exploring.

The Cascade Female Factory was our first stop. We explored the former convict facility, where more than 5000 women and children were imprisoned in the 1800s. Girls as young as 11 were sent here from England. As a mum of a girl the same age, I can’t begin to imagine how traumatic that must have been for those poor kids and young women. 

Cascade Female Factory Hobart
The self guided tour took us around what remains of the original site. From walled exercise yards to open spaces where buildings once stood, iron sculptures added to the vision in my mind of what it used to look like. 

Cascade Female Factory Hobart

Cascade Female Factory Hobart


My kids were fascinated by 3 nuns who were also wandering around with us.  I’m not sure they had seen nuns up close and had only heard stories of my Catholic school upbringing to make a connection with. Luckily, these sisters were lovely to chat to and seemed much nicer than the ruler wielding tyrants I recall. 
The kids completed an activity book and collected a stamp for their history lesson of the day. 

Tiger Track Stamp

Next up, MONA. As much as it would have been fun to ride on the sheep seat ferry, we had a car, so we drove there.
The carpark had some wacky parking going on…

MONA Hobart Tasmania


...and the parking attendants weren’t really doing a great job. It’s so hard to find good help these days.

MONA Hobart Tasmania







Inside, we spent a couple of hours wandering around. Some works were a little …um…adult themed “cover your eyes, kidlets”, but we managed to manoeuvre around and see as much as we could of the kid friendly art. Every now and then we would take turns to sneak off, one at a time, to see the rest of the works.
MONA Hobart Tasmania 
Putter’s Adventure  Golf was next on the agenda, with two sets of 18 holes at Moonah’s Mini Golf course. Indoor and outdoor courses, with waterfalls, waterwheels and a lovely garden setting.

A random couple gave the kids a deck of cards and an emoji toy they had won in the arcade games, but didn’t
want. Kids were suitable thrilled with their gifts. We played with that deck of cards many times during our holiday. Thanks!
Putter's Mini Golf Moonah Hobart Tasmania
Putter's Mini Golf



















Having worked up an appetite, we went looking for dinner, which turned out to be a delicious seafood chowder at Constitution Dock.  

Constitution Dock Hobart Tasmania





































A day well spent in Hobart town.

P.S we saved a few $ by using the Entertainment Book at Female Factory and Putter's.
P.P.S. I may have spent said savings on a glass of Sauvignon Blanc to go with my chowder. 😆

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Tasmania travels - Queenstown to Lake St Clair

Leaving Strahan after an action packed couple of days, we headed along the winding highway through the forest towards Queenstown. The historic mining town, once the world’s richest, was still sleeping as we drove through the main street and began the climb into the hills beyond.

Queenstown, Tasmania


The dense green forest soon gave way to a more barren landscape, comprising bare brown land and grey rocky cliffs. 

Iron Blow Lookout Tasmania

















Iron Blow Lookout was our next stop. The cantilevered lookout stretched out into the air above a former open cut mine, once buzzing with workers and machinery, now a deep green lake. 
All around, the earth was sliced open and scarred, but there was small sections of green regrowth amongst the rubble. 

Iron Blow Lookout Tasmania

Iron Blow Lookout Tasmania

















We moved on to more natural surroundings, by stopping at Nelson Falls. The 20  minute walk is one of the 60 Great Short Walks in Tasmania and we took great delight in ticking off quite a few of these walks on our roadtrip.

Nelson Falls Tasmania Great Short Walks


















Further along, we drove through beautiful countryside, where kangaroos are tough enough to lift tourist cars with their bare hands. 😆

The Rivers Run Touring Route Tasmania



Lake St Clair was our lunch stop, where we took a (Great Short)walk around the lake, imagined hiking the Overland track and crossed paths with a tiger snake. 

Lake St Clair Great Short Walk Tasmania

Lake St Clair Great Short Walk Tasmania Overland


Lake St Clair Great Short Walk Tasmania



Tarraleah was our next stop on the highway. Once a thriving town, built to accommodate the workers of the Hydro Electric plant, it’s now a fascinating little village of quirky,  pastel coloured Art Deco cottages, reminiscent of the 1930’s. Privately owned, it is accessible by booking accommodation there. 

Tarraleah Tasmania


I loved it. I want to live there. With this guy in my front yard. 

Tarraleah Tasmania


The long and winding road continued to Hobart, where we were greeted with a lovely welcome pack at the Graham Apartments. The perfect start to our Hobart stay. 
Highly reccommended!

What: Tasmanian Touring Routes
Where: Lake St Clair
Why: walks,  history, scenery
When: daily 
How much: discounted Parks Tas pass through  RACV

Monday, March 2, 2020

Tasmania Travels - West Coast Wilderness Railway, Strahan

Our day started with a lovely sleep-in, leisurely breakfast in our cabin and a walk around town in Strahan. We headed over to the People's Park at the end of town and did the Hogarth Falls walk. 

The tea coloured waters of the river and lush green foliage made the scenery a visual treat.
Strahan Tasmania



















Strahan Tasmania


Strahan Tasmania

Strahan Tasmania

Next, we drove around to Lettes Bay, to see the original miners shacks and get a glimpse of Strahan from across the water.
Strahan Tasmania

Strahan Tasmania
We climbed aboard this grand old train for the afternoon, on West Coast Wilderness Railway River and Rainforest journey. 

Strahan Tasmania
Strahan TasmaniaThe four hour trip took us over rivers and through rainforests, to the turntable at Dubbil Barril. A couple of passengers took the shortcut home via a helicopter flight back to town. 

The commentary was very informative and the service on board was great. 
A stop along the way allowed us to taste and purchase some local honey. A cheeky glass of bubbly was a lovely afternoon treat.

Strahan Tasmania
What: West Coast Wilderness Railway
Where: Strahan
Why: rail journey, history, scenery
When: daily 
How much: discounted tickets through RACV 

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Tasmania Travels. Gordon River Cruises, Strahan

Our first morning in Strahan, we woke early...but not early enough. 
I read the times wrong for our boat cruise departure and we were half an hour "behind schedule". We made it down to the jetty in the nick of time to board the Gordon River Cruises brand new catamaran, Spirit of the Wild. We were shown to our seats, a comfy booth style 4 seat couch at the bow of the boat. By the time we had departed, the booth next to us was still vacant, so we were able to spread out over the 2 seats and tables. We motored out of Macquarie Harbour, past Hells Gates to Bass Strait, then back in and up the Gordon River.
Gordon River Cruises Strahan
Gordon River Cruises Strahan

Gordon River Cruises Strahan
Gordon River Cruises StrahanThe water was the colour of black tea and we were in awe at the size of the 


Unfortunately, a  breeze kept the reflections away that day, but it was still a wonderful cruise.
Gordon River Cruises Strahan

We stopped at Heritage Landing for a short walk along the wooden boardwalk, to see the plants and trees. 
Gordon River Cruises Strahan
Gordon River Cruises StrahanWe purchased snacks for morning tea and then lunch was a delicious buffet style feast served during the cruise. A selection of books were a great addition to the cruise, as we could read more about the history of the area. 
Gordon River Cruises Strahan

Even the loo had a good view!

Gordon River Cruises Strahan
We arrived at the former penal colony, Sarah Island, where we split into 2 large groups and were led around the island by a wonderful guide, who told us the history of the place with a funny and theatrical delivery. 
Gordon River Cruises Strahan

Gordon River Cruises Strahan

Gordon River Cruises Strahan
Gordon River Cruises Strahan



We enjoyed every minute of the cruise, reflections or not, and think it was one of the best outings on our Tassie trip.
Strahan TasmaniaWe arrived back into Strahan mid afternoon and went to the Visitor Centre, where we visited a small exhibition out the back. Displays focused on mining, logging, and the Franklin Gordon Dam controversy in the '80's. 

We even played a Gordon River version of Snakes'n'Ladders...
Strahan Tasmania

 ...and learned how to tie a knot.
Strahan Tasmania
We bought tickets for the long running local theatre production, The Ship That Never Was, (Entertainment Book discount) and enjoyed a funny, informative show about the last convicts of Sarah Island and their final voyage out of the harbour.
The cast of 2 actors, accompanied by an ensemble from the audience, had us laughing hysterically as they trod the boards of the good ship 'Frederick'. 
Bravo!

The Ship That Never Was Strahan Tasmania

I bought a couple of booklets from the theatre, as well as a novel by Adam Courtenay for some holiday reading at home. 
The Ship That Never Was Strahan Tasmania

























What: Gordon River Cruise

Where: Strahan

Why: cruise, history, theatre

When: Daily 

How much: varies