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Monday, November 1, 2010

The Shot Tower

Craig and I headed South at the weekend for a visit with the girls and some adventures....
Just 11 km from Hobart in the suburb of Taroona is a familiar landmark to most Tasmanians. The shot tower was completed in 1870 from dressed sandstone blocks and is a 48 metre tapering structure built to manufacture the balls of shot for muskets etc. There is a spiral staircase of about 300 steps with a central shaft. The ingots of mixed metal were hauled to the top, re-melted in a furnace and then poured into a colander above the shaft. As the molten metal dripped through the holes, it formed into spherical shots as it plummeted to the vat of water below where it was shovelled out and sorted for size and quality.

It remained the tallest structure in Tasmania for over 100 years and was in use till 1905.
This climb is not for the faint hearted or those with a fear of heights (or spiders). About 95% of the stair treads flexed significantly and maybe I've watched too much TV but I could imagine only too well my foot going through one and hanging in mid air. Halfway up Tegan started having flashbacks to the time she really did fall down a stairwell and experienced mild panic and hyper-ventilation. Emma was only concerned that she was going to encounter a spider from the supremely ancient cobwebs ( really, that's taking preservation too far!)
The views from the top were stunning but it was blowing a gale and I really really needed a nervous pee so I couldn't enjoy it anyway.
When we got to the bottom, all three of us were trembling from our fingers to our toes. Craig, who knew his limitations with heights needed no more proof than the looks on our faces to validate his decision not to pay for the privilege of fright.


  1. I'd have been with Craig at the bottom waiting for you two to come down and give me an instant replay not being overly fond of heights.

  2. ewww - that picture down the tower makes me have vertigo !
    we could have almost passed each other on th weekend :)

  3. see you tonite !
    but in the meantime, i've nominated you :)


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