We enjoyed a lovely stay at The Elms bed and breakfast in North Hobart which was within walking distance of my daughter Teddy's place and also the trendy restaurant strip. We by-passed the main street and slipped into a very old pub one block down on Argyle St. It is called the Wagon and Horses and the publican, Ken, is a super guy and will show you a good time. Among his many "charity" projects, he also helps raise funds for the local youth suicide group to support those left behind...he's a hero in my books.
We travelled up the Lyell Hwy along the river Derwent shrouded in mist, through the pasture lands of the Derwent Valley. I was looking forward to stopping in historic Hamilton and visiting the famous Glen Clyde House but unfortunately they had a sign out saying "closed for the winter and not re-opening till September" and the public toilet block was also closed for building works so we headed on further through Ouse and climbing the range into Hydro-country where Tasmania's electricity is generated by water in the highlands.
We stopped at pretty Tarraleah, once a whole town housing the electricity workers in a self contained village, now it is tourist accommodation.
Travelling on we climbed through rain forests and came out on the lakes plateau of central Tasmania. Our next eagerly anticipated destination was the "Wall In The Wilderness"
The Wall is literally a giant wall of Huon Pine carved with the story from the past and present of the Central Highlands. Each panel is 1m wide by 3m high and will eventually make up 100 metres length in total. The wall has been under construction for about 10 years so far and is just past the halfway mark. The exhibit is breathtaking and for me very emotional. The centre itself is very tastefully presented and is a warm inviting haven of log fires and soft music and dim lights. It's an experience! No photography is allowed and there is an admission fee.
The trip through the central highlands takes you through rugged grassed plains de-stocked now for winter and the snow that will any day cover the landscape. The sign posts at the sides of the road are also marked with black so that they are visible in the snow season. The terrain is mountainous and wet and misty the further one travels towards the west coast. The saying here is that it rains for 360 days of the year and drips off the trees the rest. Closer towards Queenstown the mountainsides are lunar landscaped from the copper mining that is done in the area. Much of the bush is starting to regenerate but it has been many decades.
Flight enthusiast Craig also insisted I stop for a shot of the airport at Queenstown....
Very striking with the lowlands sun-kissed in the foreground and towering mountains behind. Very like the scenery used for the Lord of the Rings movie that was shot in New Zealand.
Finally after many, many kilometres of winding roads (I'm thinking of you Claire) we have arrived at Strahan on the West Coast of Tasmania.