Tag Archives: Tasmania

Foodie blog

Click on the bike to check out a little something I’ve been working on.
With summer fast approaching with long sunny days, I can see there will be many more posts coming your way.

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Das Auto… VW rocks!

Tasmania is blessed with Australia’s best roads – a grab bag of twisty tarmac, mountain passes and sweeping bends…

For those that don’t know I drive a VW. A small SUV of kinds, the Tiguan. A hot little car that is superb on the juice, which is good for the wallet.
I often get people asking me about the car, this week alone two people have wanted to chat. My response? “Get yourself out there and buy one”. Well, not quite, but I am definitely a convert and have nothing but praise for this car.
Since we bought the car off the showroom floor we get numerous extras. Like the Das Auto magazine that arrived this morning.
I finally get to open it and there inside is an article on road tripping Tassie (in a Golf mind you, but whatever) so I read on and like what it has to say.

The Pacific is vast and still at my left shoulder, ….directing me south.

….Tasmania, on the other hand, has almost the same shock of the uninhabited, but it’s better. Rolling hills separated from stunning bays….

To the finale..

…Tasmania is a driving opportunity seized. The scenery is magnificent. The roads are perfect. Drive it in a (Golf gti) and you’ll have the time of your life….but here on the Apple Isle it’s mission accomplished.

Love Tassie, love our scenery and where the road takes you.
If you ever get a chance, you have come and experience it.
Jen.

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Just a short day trip, to the edge of the wilderness.

Not many people know this about me, but I love power stations and dams. I have no idea what it is, but they fascinate me in ways I can’t fathom. Back in the days before kids, and probably before marriage, hubby and I took a camping trip and visited a whole slew of them around Tasmania.
There is something about the size, how they’re constructed,and the look of them that just amazes me.  
There are lots of links today, as there is so much to include, and I could post them til the cows come home. If you are interested (take a few hours and) by all means look further.

Yesterday we went for a ride to check out one of my favourites. The Gordon River Dam, at Strathgordon or Lake Pedder. See here.<

Route: Middleton to Strathgordon.

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And a look at where we were, and a map of the lake area. More links.

Weather: typical late summer weather. forecast to be hot, 29C. Cool, cloudy, humid, some showers.

Distance and Time: 200 km and 3.5 hours. Each way. Left home 8 am, arrived 11.30.  Arrive home at 4.30 pm.

Stops: Petrol at New Norfolk both ways. Gordon Dam, snack, drink, walk the wall. Return to Maydena for lunch.

Leaving early the clouds were out, looking ominous, and I had the waterproof pants on just in case. By the time we stopped at New Norfolk, 40 mins out of Hobart, the weather had cleared and I was feeling the heat. Neck warmers came off and we continued on our way.
The drive from here on in is really nice, winding roads, beautiful scenery – rolling hills and animals, beautiful old buildings.
Just near New Norfolk are the hop farms. What are Hops? They are the parts that make beer, Beer. along with yeast and other things of course. They grow like a vine. Here’s a link to the Google images page so you can see for yourself.

From here you head past Mt Field to a place called Maydena. The last township before the long road ahead. Eighty to one hundred kilometres of road with not much to see until the last 30 or so k’s.  That’s when the mountain ranges come into view and they are spectacular. You enter a whole other world out there.  As I’ve said on other posts, when you are on the bike your senses are heightened. You feel, see and smell so much more than being encased in a car.  There are of course the vehicle fumes and dead animal smells, but the flowers, wet ground post rain, rain forest and … was that Huon Pine I smelled? Hubby seemed to think so as well. Now that is something to enjoy. Riding through the rain forest and smelling that sweet sweet Huon Pine fragrance. Just perfect.  Ten k’s out from the Lake Pedder lodge and information centre we had to stop. I know it’s time to stop when hubby stands on the pegs to stretch his legs, so while we were had that break I got rid of the water proof pants, which resulted in my jeans feeling damp from the not-breathing sweaty material.
Back on the way and we headed straight to the Dam. The tourist centre and accommodation is pretty bland and simple, a base for workers or bush walkers.  Maybe even those travellers who want to really rest and get away from it all.
There is something about this place that gets me all excited. At the first corner where I could see the dam and how low the water level was I had this silly grin on my face. Again, I have no idea why, but it’s just amazing. The landscape is beautiful, even in its destruction.  The absolute desolation of the area, the mountains that just go on and on, the ravines. The construction of something that divided the community like nothing else since, and the sheer size of the construction and the intrinsic beauty just floors me. Every time.

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Back in 1972 when they first started talking about this there were protests everywhere, this was the most popular place in the state. Flooding a lake to make a dam for Hydro Electricity in one of the most pristine wildernesses in the world was sacreledge.    link to Lake Pedder and here and here and a brief history of Lake Pedder.
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We have come to this place numerous times over the yeas, the last one was 15 years ago when our eldest was about 2. It was at that time my fear of heights and vertigo kicked in. I was frozen at the top of the stairs and could not go down. I think it was before this, or maybe at the same time, we were able to do a tour through the workings of the power station. A little buggy took us underground where we checked out the turbines and how it all worked. Like I said before. Fascinating stuff.
I’m not sure if you can still do this. Probably not due to ridiculous OH&S laws.

Even yesterday, when I went down, I could feel my heart rate rising the further down I got, but it settled as I walked the dam wall (keeping the solid side close by initially).
Taking plenty of pictures, which really don’t do it justice, we climbed the stairs back to the car park.
Hubby’s picture looking over the edge…

Don't look down! - all 140 m of it.

Don’t look down! – all 140 m of it.

Back on the bike and we hustled back to Maydena where we stopped for lunch and a cold drink. The weather by this stage was getting close to its forecast, and we were feeling the humidity under jackets and helmets.

We watched as rain clouds came over mountains and dropped their loads, had a sprinkle while we rested, and then donned our gear again to start the trip home.
Sunny days like this are perfect for being out on the bike, feeling the wind but you can’t really dress for the weather, needing to over dress, which almost defeats the purpose. Riding through the cooler shadowed parts were a welcome relief from the sun and heat, and the rain shower we got caught in closer to home was more than welcomed also.
There is nothing like going away, but coming home is so much nicer. Seeing that familiar Mountain (Mt Wellington) in the distance and you know you’re nearly there. And the further from civilisation the more you feel it, especially when there is only one road in and one road out.

Now, if you’re not already bored from tiresome links everywhere here are some of my photos.

Lake Pedder from near the ‘township’

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And last but certainly not least, one of my all time favourite shots of the dam.

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And unless the weather is unseasonably warm next time round, this will be the last bike trip til around October.
Jennifer 🙂

Travel Tuesday, only just.

It’s half past ten, I’ve been home for half an hour from the meeting that is usually 2 hrs only (it was super productive!!!), I’ve been busy all week and weekend, and nearly toddled off to bed without getting these pictures up and published.
Is been a while since we’ve received any, if you haven’t, or even if you have, please send more!! We Kelly love seeing them in the post.
On our way to the airport this morning hubby and I stopped in and got Kelly’s new batch of postcards on the wall. Which is interesting as most of these are from her herself, that she posted from her long weekend away. And it gives me a chance to snow some of you more of our beautiful state of Tasmania.
I may be quiet for a few days as I have my market meeting this week, at least one, a market to attend, a craft room to clean after the storm that went through, and all the usual family requirements. I do still read your blogs, I am just a few days, a week late, but I will get a round to it (and doing lots of ‘liking’ to share my love :-D)

Stanley.

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Smithton, where one of my sisters used to live.

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Burnie. A very industrial town.

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Table Cape.

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Campbell Town (which I have shown you before.

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Cow Art at Ashgrove chessery.

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A really nice one of Sydney from another friend.

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And the best, as its Halloween, one from Transylvania.

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bike road trip – day 1

Route: (Middleton) Hobart to Dairy Plains via the East Coast (Swansea, Bicheno, St Helens) Derby and Launceston.

Weather: typical Tasmanian Spring. Sunshine, wind, drizzle.

Distance and time: 531 km, 9+ hrs -leaving home 7am, arrive 4.30 pm.

Stops: Kingston, 15mins; Sorell, 30mins breakfast; Triabunna, 15mins; Swansea, 15mins; St Helens,1 hour lunch; Derby, 15mins; Scottsdale, 10mins petrol; Launceston, 15mins; Dairy PLains.

The day started well, out the door by 7, right on time, as I drove the loan car back to the body works and dressed for bike riding there. We were early enough to not be caught in the full onslaught of peak hour traffic and stopped for breakfast at Sorell, a good half hour out of Hobart. It was drizzling by this stage but as we headed further north and east the sun came out and was fresh but nice when we stopped another hour on at Triabunna. 20130928-134736.jpg The east coast of Tassie is beautiful. Rolling hills of bushland and lush paddocks full of sheep and froliking lambs on one side with the Tasman Sea, Maria Island and Frecynet Peninsula on the other. A perfect bike riding road in between. I was prepared to take lots of pictures, and hubby was happy to stop anytime I wanted but with the wind and hazy weather there was nothing that really stood out for me. Plus I was enjoying the ride and the feeling that comes with being out in the open air. There is nothing quite like it. Stopping briefly at Swansea to ease the sore bums, stretch legs and have a drink I snapped off a picture of what the weather was doing, and from then on it become really windy. 20130928-134841.jpg I was ok with it mostly, but its really hard to not overcompensate when taking a corner and having the wind wanting to blow you the other way. I do what i do on a normal corner but needing to push against the wind you don’t want to upset the bike and rider too much. Arriving around 12ish in St Helens we were ready for lunch and decided an easy fish and chips meal was just the thing. As most towns on the water who serve food, there is always a punt/converted fishing boat somewhere close by. I took the scallops while hubby had prawns and we shared a huge fillet of fish (flake for those in the know). 20130928-134947.jpg 20130928-134956.jpg 20130928-135106.jpg The next leg was heading inland towards Derby, an old mining town with a rich Chinese history. (If you take the bridge pictures, and signs along the way as any indication, we chose not to go through the museum this time) The wind did not let up and with road works along the way made the trip interesting but at least it was still sunny. Stopping by the river for a leg break and take a few pictures 20130928-135227.jpg 20130928-135234.jpg we were soon on our way again to Scottsdale for a petrol stop. From Scottsdale there was a range to climb up and over to get into Launceston and that’s where the fun started. We had agreed that maybe the rain would be better than the wind. Well, it pays to be careful what you wish for. It didn’t just rain, it hailed. Oh fun joy. A quick stop for rest rooms and to check the exact location of my sister’s place and we were on our way. Highway riding is pretty boring and in the rain, even more so. A hot coffee to warm the hands, clean socks and hogging the heater helped to thaw us out. And that was day 1.

Update. I forgot the maps.
Hobart to St Helens.

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St Helens to Derby.

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Derby to Dairy Plains via Launceston

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