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Tasmania – Day 6 – In Transit

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Categories: In Transit, Trip 2020, Tags: , , ,

In transit once again

Today we packed our bags and prepared for a return journey north. 

Before we would begin though, we weren’t quite done with the Hobart region.


Parting is such sweet sorrow


Removing kids from a functioning TV is no less challenging now that it was 30 years ago, but we had to check out at some point.  We spent a little bit more time in the resort pool as a way of saying our farewells.

We bid adieu to the cosy and somewhat fancy little bungalow at the resort, but not before snapping a picture of what looked a bit like a tiny Kangaroo which had been canvassing the area.

It’s actually a Tasmanian pademelon, and they are quite populous on the island.


Native animals not withstanding, we packed the car and drove west towards Hobart.

We wove through the state capital and then upwards.. and upwards through tight bends and deathly inclines to scrape the sky at the top of Mount Wellington, which is a cool 1271m about sea level, not far below.  For some context, the continental height peak is Mount Kosciuszko, supported by the mammoth Great Dividing Range at 2,228m.

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To the destination / Looking back to our origin

On the way up, we noticed a lot of residential objections to a potential cable car construction which, frankly, would save many people from the dangers of the road twisting up into the skies.


The view from the top is simply stunning, as you may expect.  At the very top of the mountain is a carpark, a walking track and an observation centre with an additional platform which extends out to an edge facing Hobart.

Some of this was familiar to me, having visited in 1990, but the uncovered viewing platform seems new.


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We started at the enclosed observation deck before heading out onto the exposed platform.  It was still quite cold despite being late January.

Another tourist offered to take a family photo of us all.


Or next stop was with the actual top of the mountain which contains lots of tourists and a trig point.


The climb was not exactly easy, but we all made it onto what is really a small concrete area about the size of an oversized pallet.

The view wasn’t that impressive, but it was nice knowing we were standing on the highest point.  We carefully made our way back down and along the established walking track to look northerly.

Before long it was time for a dreaded return down the scary road.


We drove back via the Sandy Bay area of Hobart, and found a seafood/pizza restaurant to dine in for lunch.  A nice locally owned and managed restaurant, we had a nice meal but were mindful of time and to get back on the road, north bound.


Once out of the shadow of Hobart, the freeway opened up into exactly the sort of countryside you’d expect.  Very little traffic and punctuated by farms, hills and livestock as you pass through the state.


The town of Oatlands

As we journeyed north, we decided to stop somewhere new.  We chose the town of Oatlands, a little bit south of Ross, which we visited on the way south.

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Oatlands is a lot larger than quaint Ross, and has a whole lot of heritage buildings.  The big attraction here is the mill, which really is quite fetching.

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We looked in an op shop before parking near the mill and letting the kids play at a playground nearby.  Toni and I walked up and inspected the mill and surrounds. One thing inland Tasmania does not lack is colonial character! With the kids restlessness sufficiently mollified, we continued on our way.


Our destination was the Rosevears Hotel in Rosevears, about 20 mins north of Launceston.  Don’t let the photo fool you – they built modern accommodations on the hill behind the old hotel.

Once settled ,we drove into Launceston for dinner & supplies.

We had dinner in Launceston at a sports bar/restaurant called “Sporties”, which suited the kids.


Afterwards, we hit up a Coles for food and then drove the kids back to Riverbend Park.



As the sunlight started to dwindle, we headed back to the hotel for a well deserved rest and to be ready for a new day.


Tasmania – Day 5 – Hobart

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Categories: Trip 2020, Tags: , , , ,

Starting the day off

..as we always seem to do – with an in-room breakfast.  It really saves big $$$.


Itinerary – Hobart

Because we happened to be staying near Hobart on a Saturday (not a coincidence), I knew I’d be able to take everyone to visit the famous Salamanca Place markets.  You’d miss a lot in with COVID these days, but back in January personal space was a myth in Hobart.


So after breakfast we bundled into the hire car and set west for the state’s capital.  We found a multi-storey carpark and left the car.  It was a few blocks away from the markets, and we went on foot – once we got our bearings.  I can’t say that I remember downtown Hobart that much from when I  last visited in 1990, but I have to assume it’s changed somewhat.

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As you can see from the photo, a lot of sandstone coloured heritage buildings, similar to the financial district in the Sydney CBD.  A mix, really, with late 20th century buildings blended in.  A confusing contrast at times, but memorable! The sidewalks nice and wide, and the area easily walkable.  The weather was simply superb, as you can see.  The city centre is nicely situated, and everything is within a reasonable distance, although more spread out that you might expect.  No, this isn’t the Melbourne, Sydney or Brisbane CBD but it has its own charm.


Salamanca Place is not hard to find.  Especially it would seem, on a weekend.  The market is massive, it has overgrown the plaza and runs up to the west.  When we arrived it was a wall of people as far as the eye could see – which obscured the stalls themselves and made life tough for our kids.  We took it slowly and calmly, trying to get a decent look at what was on hand.  It is an impressive city market, drawing stall holders from the greater Tasmania and beyond.  We did a complete “loop”, stopping where we could.

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Some fresh raspberries were procured for the kids (and gone in an instant).  There were some hopeful vinyl sellers, but their prices were.. as steep as Mount Wellington!  I later doubled back later on as there was a reasonably priced copy of King Crimson’s “Islands” (early 70s AU copy) which I picked up for about $40.  Toni bought some candles made from wax granules selected by all four of us (scented, of course).  We walked back into town to hunt for lunch, ending up at a place called Abel Land – a Taiwanese café of all things.  It hit the spot.


Then we split up, as I wanted to check out a record store nearby.  So I went up to Music Without Frontiers on Liverpool street and wade through a number of crates of second hand records, coming away with a few.

Music Without Frontiers

I catch up to the family at an underground EB Games, and then drag them up and over to another store – Tommy Gun Records.  A few extra LPs added from their back room of second hand vinyl (plenty of new stuff at the front).  The final stop   – for me at least, was the Soldas Music Shop, which had troves of second hand stuff.  Scored a VG copy of Cream’s Disraeli Gears – AU mono for $15.


We hit Target on the way back to the car, as the kids were getting a bit grumbly about all the record stores…. and so in due course we returned to the road, and east bound back to Seven Mile Beach.  Here the kids and I laid waste to the resort’s pool as we rode the afternoon into the early evening.  We made dinner in-room (save money) and thought that would probably do us for the day – but the caveat emptor struck, and we decided not to be lazy, and take in a bit more of Hobart.  Back to the car.

We’re not done yet

We drove to the Rosny Hill lookout, to get a better view of Hobart from across the Derwent.


With the sun already well into decent, we were battling the clock as we navigated the local area.  We went further south, keeping to the shore, to a place called Kangaroo Bluff reserve.  Here there is an excellent example of a publicly accessible fort from a bygone era.

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The boys played the daredevil role, scaling the tops of the mounds within the old fortress, to Toni’s chagrin.  We walked the length of the facility, inspecting old artillery and exploring the passageways.  I did stop and ponder how much my father would have enjoyed this, being a former Artillery officer and enthusiast of things that go BANG.  At any rate, we returned to the car to continue the adventuring through the area.  We went to Tranmere to find a playground for the kids, but it was a bit underwhelming.

We’d passed a slick looking playground near a football stadium at Bellerive (near the water), so we backtracked and gave the kids 20 mins of play time while Toni and I had a look at the beach.



‘We really started to lose the light now, so with the objections of two kids ringing in our ears, we bundled back into the car and drove east back to Seven Mile Beach.

Once back, it was time to straighten up and get prepared for the next day – and to explore the sheer height of Mount Wellington.


Day 9 – Wanaka


Categories: New Zealand, South Pacific, Trip 2014, Tags: , , , ,

Trip Index

Today was a bit of a slow day again, as we creep ever so closer to Christmas Day.  We started the day early, around 7am as Jake was up and Damian followed not long after.  I managed to keep the boys occupied a little while (until sometime after 8am) so Toni could get a bit of a sleep in.  After a lazy breakfast, we eventually got ready and headed out the door around 10am. 


Our first (and only) planned stop was near the Wanaka airport – a place called

The National Transport Toy Museum


It costs NZD $15/Adult in admission (kids under 5 free), and for this sum you gain access to a number of aviation hangers which are almost jam packed full of heritage/antique planes, cars and other things of a bygone era.  We start in the shop/museum which houses the majority of the toy part of the museum. 

Toy Museum


Papa Smurf greeted the boys at the entrance, and inside there were a collection of vintage cars surrounded by glass cases containing all manner of toys from the past five or six decades.  They were loosely grouped into categories, and there were three or four aisles before it broke out into a very large Star Wars/Toys of the 80s section.  I’ll let the photos do the talking.

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There were also Barbie and figurine displays as well as more and more cars, including this Ferrari, and this ‘furry’ number..

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In the next hangar was a massive collection of vintage cars but also heaps and heaps of old fire trucks, most from the 1970s or earlier.

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In the next hangar there was a distinctively military theme intermixed with heaps more classic jalopies.  The highlight was the massive plane which occupied a huge portion of the hangar area.

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In the final hangar, more planes and classic cars, but some woofers too, like a mid-80s Laser.  The highlights were some very early cars (1910s), an F.J Holden and a car which had attempted the world speed record!

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We finished off the visit in the playground outside the cafe/shop, where Jake and Damian engaged all their skills to navigate a hodge-podge of equipment.

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Once we’d finished, we had about an hour to kill, so we headed back into town, and veered slightly north to arrive just a bit above Beacon Point. 



Here we found a beautiful part of the lake with crystal clear water where Jake and I went into the lake up to our knees whilst Damian and Toni looked on.  We lingered a little while as I took a few photos before returning to the resort.


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Back to the resort

Back at the Wyndham, Jake was chomping at the bit to get back into the pool, so we got everyone into swimming gear and went promptly downstairs.  We spent about 15 minutes in the pool before our friends Toni and Matt arrived from Queenstown, and joined us in the pool.  We had a fun time going down the water slide and taking turns with Jake and Damian, helping them to swim (or launching them into the air).


Once we’d been in for about a half hour or more, we all got out and went up to the room and got changed.  We all went into town and parked opposite the lake.  We walked across the road to a cafe and had lunch there, which was quite nice – pulled beef burger with hoisin sauce!


Lakeside Photography

Toni (not wife Toni) and I spent some time practicing photography against the backdrop of Lake Wanaka whilst Matt, Wife Toni and the boys went to a nearby kid’s playground.  After a bit of moving around, we all ended up back in front of a large hand which graces the lakeside.

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While everyone caught a brief shady respite from the warm sun, I took Jake back to the park and watched him navigate a giant dinosaur slide.



We crossed the road again and obtained some delicious gelato to cool us as the day started to ease into late afternoon.


We eventually headed back to the resort for some more pool time and as it hit around 6pm ended up back in the room as Toni and Matt bid us farewell.  Once the boys were fed and ultimately put to bed, Toni and I enjoyed a Christmas Eve BBQ dinner on the balcony of the room as the sun slowly shrunk behind the mountains.


Map of our itinerary today



Check back for a Christmas Day edition tomorrow!

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