Archive for the 'Tasmania' Category

by Squage
on Feb 14th, 2007

Tasmania Week!

Hello STOP
Tasmanian blog complete STOP
Lots of photos STOP
Hope not too rambling STOP
Here it starts STOP
No, starts STOP
-HA! Got you!

(I think the heat back here in Melbourne is getting to him… – Pat)

Hello! Here be a summary of the week Pat, Jersey and myself spent in lovely Tasmania.

It’s been a week that’s been good and bad. Starting with the bad (hey, it means we end on a high note!):

The big thing for Pat that sucked in Tasmania was that he didn’t get to see LOADS of things he’d’ve liked to. This was due to a number of reasons:

  • Illness – Probably out of weather-changing-shock, or possibly due to the hectic road trip week catching up on him, Pat came down with a mild (i.e. not fatal) case of Man Flu early in the week, meaning that certain plans had to get pushed back / cancelled (such as a big ol’ walk to the top of Mount Wellington).
  • Budget – Not so much on Pat’s side, but Jersey’s pretty tight on cash due to living it To The Max™ in New Zealand, which meant that hiring a car for the week was a no-no. This meant relying on coach tours etc to get around and see the sights. Alas, as Pat and Jersey found a little too late, these don’t run daily… meaning that a number of things either a) clashed, b) ran from towns at the other side of the country or c) weren’t running for the rest of the week. Pat would love to blame illness, budget and coach companies alone. However, I think the next point really outweighs the previous ones:
  • Poor Planning – Unfortunately due to a lack of forward planning (i.e. having anything properly researched and even a vague plan made) before arriving at Tasmania, lots of the things that Pat and Jersey could’ve done just weren’t possible or feasible by the time they’d finally got round to working out what to do. It’s something Pat was worried about prior to coming out to Tasmania but, well, didn’t really do anything about until it was too late. If you know Pat well, you’ll know this is VERY unusual behaviour for him. *COUGH*

That said, the week was far from crap – or eventless:

Firstly, Pat still managed to see lots of cool stuff:

  • Hobart Town: The southern city of Tasmania’s really nice – quite big, with lots of places to eat / drink and see, but with a really laid back country town feel to it. Pat and Jersey enjoyed many hours just wandering around the streets of the town, checking out some of the fine restaurants (and, er, a kebab house) and particularly enjoying some of the quality signage in the town:

    MEAT This Isn't Funny
    This Isn't Funny Either Quality Punnage

  • Salamanca Market: Every Saturday in Hobart, this is a HUGE market full of all sorts of interesting things to buy:

    Lots Of Ducks! Salamanca Market

    Ever heard of Fruit Leather? No, Pat hadn’t either – he bought some though:

    Mmm, Fruit

    There were all sorts of other things to get – from panpipes to wooden ducks, crazy metal sculptures to fresh raspberries, colourfull tops to massive lumps of fudge. All sorts, really. And for damned good prices. Pat wished he’d brought a second suitcase.

  • Hobart Heritage Museum: A quainte olde house-e transformed into a Heritage Museum in the 50s to prevent it getting knocked down for a petrol station, this has lots of nice olde things:
    Hat's Entertainment Room!

    …and FREAKY DOLLS:
    Scary Doll

  • Cadbury Factory: Near Hobart, it’s a rather bittersweet place: sweet because of all the chocolates whizzing past you as you go on the tour and bitter because you’re not allowed to nick any. You’re not allowed cameras inside (or any jewelry, open shoes, mobiles, money… and due to “government regulations” you aren’t allowed choccy samples on your way around anymore…) so we had to make do with some (silly) outdoor shots:
    Total Innocence Pat, Squage and Freddo
    Oh and one of the shelves in the Evil Palace Of Temptation (click on the picture to view the prices…):

  • Port Arthur Historic Site: Now a big tourist spot, this was a convict-built penal settlement that came into being in the early 19th century, with ship building, shoemaking, smithing, timber and brick making facilities. It’s worth a look around to hear about convict life and to see some of the olde prisone buildingse:
    Penitentiary The Port Arthur Mental Asylum
    Prison Gates Pat And Squage Attend A Sermon...
    The Penitentiary.  Again. Prison Cells: Small

    On the way we got to see The Devil’s Kitchen (which went from a humble cave to a great gulch) and surrounding sights:
    The Devil's Kitchen Pat Wonders If Jersey's Noticed His New Friend
    Can You See The Distant Hills? Lil' Cliff

    And surrounding houses (in a street named “Boo Street”):
    Bootiful house names

    And… er… surrounding signs:
    Nothing funny about that. No.

  • Mount Nelson: Our Mount Wellington bus tour guide took us up to the shorter-by-far Mount Nelson (overlooking Hobart), as it was deemed that the cloud cover on Mount Wellington would make the journey up there pointless:
    Hobart From Mount Noble

  • Mount Wellington: The people on the bus tour disagreed. We went up Mount Wellington too. The tour guide might’ve been right:
    Restaurant At The End Of The Universe At The Top!

    But on the way down, things started to clear…
    Clearing Cloud!

    …and Pat managed to grab a shot of the view as it was supposed to be:
    Hobart From Mount Wellington

  • Cataract Gorge: Once up in the north-eastern city of Launceston, Pat went for a walk around the awesome Cataract Gorge, realising yet again what an unfit sod he is (Hey, you’re the one that just sat in a bag throughout! – Pat). Hmm, true. Moving on – as Pat trekked around he managed to get some nice photos:
    Nice Light On This I Reckon View From The Gorge To Town
    Hydro Station Suspension Bridge High Up Scullion
    Reflections I Like This One

  • Launceston Festivale: An open air festival of food, drink and entertainment in one of Launceston’s big parks, Pat and Jersey just happened to be there for the first night and so sampled some of the food:


    And entertainment:
    To the left, a nutcase street performer (yes, he’s dislocated his shoulder). To the right, a (not very good) Fleetwood Mac cover band. The best thing about them is their name: Fleetwood To The Max. Awesome.

Inbetween checking out the sights, Pat managed to get a good deal of chilling out in, which was well recieved following the hectic road trip the week before. A lot of this was helped by having a good book (well, books – he’s ploughing through Asimov’s Foundation series) but mainly because he realised there really wasn’t much to be stressed out about. At long bloody last. Maybe he’ll stop being a stress cadet now! I doubt it, mind :-)

Evenings were mainly quiet affairs, with Pat and Jersey occasionally sinking a few glasses of cheap ($10 for 4.4L!), crap (…crap) wine, chomping on the odd bit of cheap chocolate whilst reading books / planning activities / watching whatever rubbish was on telly.

It's Everywhere...
(Yep, it’s here too. I wonder which country it started in…?)

He and Jersey also met some cool people whilst in Tasmania, from various parts of the world. Pat’s now got a contact in Perth, too, which is pretty handy!

So yeah, not a bad week. In fact, a really good week. Pat’s used it to motivate him to plan further in advance for the rest of his trip. He’s also looking on the lack of “Things He Wanted To Do” done as a good reason to come back out to Tassie in a few months’ time. As the security guard at Launceston Airport said: A week’s just not long enough.

Righty, that’s your lot for now. Keep checking out The Usual Place for photos, as Pat tends to upload them much quicker and more frequently than I get round to typing these out!



by Pat
on Feb 4th, 2007

Ta-Ta-Tasmania, I’m In Tasmania!


Yep, that’s correct, I’ve finally made it down to the land (ok, so it’s technically an Australian territory) of Tasmania!

Last week was a ROAD TRIP (featuring a whole load of driving about and viewing of some lovely coastal sights between Sydney and Melbourne – via a detour into the amazing Blue Mountains), which was great fun but blooming tiring for both of us (Jersey and I sharing the driving all the way down), so getting here in the laid back Tasmanian city of Hobart has been just the ticket.

It’s a really pretty city, with lots of colourful 19th century buildings, hilly streets, lovely cafes, lovely green parks and an excellent Saturday market. Perfect for winding down in, frankly.

Excitingly, one of the local radio stations (“Triple J”) not only plays quite a good selection of music, but it played a song with the words “F**k”, “S**t” and “M***er F***er” uncensored at 10:25am yesterday. Don’t worry though, they played a jingle saying “This song contains strong language” beforehand. If only I’d known! I would’ve played Kevin Bloody Wilson every hour on my previous radio shows…

Anyway, I’ve not done much in Taz yet – however we’re going to be scaling the rather (1270m) high Mount Wellington tomorrow, then over to such places as Port Arthur, Freycinet National Park and Launceston later in the week. So that should be good.

We’re still umming and ahhing regarding whether to hire a car or take coach journeys to our destinations, but I suspect we’ll opt for the latter as – with insurance and fuel considered – coaches are cheaper. We just need to compromise a bit around the timetables.

Anyways, the blog mentioned a while ago is still on its way, which will cover everything from Australia Day until the day it’s written. For ease I’m-I mean, er, Squage’s- going to split it into three blogs: Before The Road Trip, ROAD TRIP and Tasmania. It’s going to be rather bullet-pointy due to the detailed blog attempts – once viewed on screen – starting to look like aimless rambles.

A little like this. So I’ll stop.

Speak to you soon, take care and keep checking for photos in the usual place!



Starting to get a cold for the first time in Oz. Probably cos southern Tasmania’s about as hot as southern England on a summer’s day. Quite a temperature drop from Mel-38C-bourne…