Monday, 15 April 2013

My man in Tasmania




Thanks for another wonderful journey.

Maydena, MONA and Hobart

Maydena is in the wilderness. 
Beyond lovely autumnal valleys and beyond Field National Park (the first National park in Australia).
A warm welcome and a delicious dinner from our host Anthea's kitchen.  
We had a lovely breakfast and set off to Strath Gordon and Australia's highest hydro dam.



Ooops some trees across the road blocked our way.
It is early Sunday morning so the chances of it being cleared soon seem slim.


We turn round and ride to Westaway and stop for coffee alongside the Derwent River.



We ride through lovely countryside. 

As we approach the outskirts of Hobart...
the signpost says MONA... we are lured to this amazing gallery.
Museum of old and new art.
This is a private gallery. 

The art works are provocative.
Some are stunning.  Some are stunningly unsettling.
You can take a peek at their website Mona  

Some are eye-catching - this water fall spelled out words. 

This library contains white books.
A cement truck.

We wander back through the vineyards to the bike...
which has been watched over by feeding guineafowl.

We ride into Hobart and drop off the bike to Ian at Motoadventure.
The bike was perfect for our journey.
Ian's itinerary took us through spectacular countryside.
The accommodation was spot on.

We headed off to the Shipwrights Arms hotel for the night.






Sunday, 14 April 2013

Strahan to Maydena

A chilly, wet ride today. Our first rain in 9 days.
Not many Photographs today.

We rode through Queenstown into the Franklin Gordon World Wilderness site.
Misty views of forested hills and mountains.
Lunch at Derwent Bridge Pub.

The temperatures ranged from 8.5degC to 14degC so the heated jacket and cloves were put to good use.






All Aboard.... Wilderness train ride


We rode the West Coast Wilderness Railway train journey along the king River and through the rain forest to Queenstown.
A journey on a restored railroad and trains that began their lives servicing the copper mines at Queenstown.

Andrew the guard does a grand job.
He keeps us amused with his commentary during the journey.

 All aboard...


The first part of the  train journey follows the King River. Tannins make it dark brown. Efforts are being made to remediate the river after decades of mine waste have rendered it lifeless.






During the lunch stop the steam engine was readied to take us to Queenstown.

We went for a walk in the rainforest. The mosses and ferns made us feel as if we were on a walking track on the west coast  of New Zealand.


Alan, the engine driver... and a motorcyclist.
We loved his big wave and extra Toot, toot... when we rode through Queenstown the next morning.

The byproducts of the mining process have reduced the  Queen River  pH to 2.5. No fish live here.
Nowadays the copper ore is exported to India to be refined.

We returned to Strahan by bus and had a lovely evening with my sister Yvonne and Ken who just happened to be in Strahan for the evening.

Stanley to Strahan - Going South West

Stanley, on the North West coast has lots of restored old houses and shops on the main street. 
Like all the towns we have passed through Stabley boast a Tidy Town sign. 
The townships in Tasmania really are tidy.

The green and red roofs are typical of many we have seen throughout Tasmania. When I asked someone what the roof colours were he said if I wanted a green roof I should ask for "Roof Green",  and if I wanted a red roof then ask for  "Roof Red".
The cream walls and either red or green roofs reminded me of house colours in the New Zealand Countryside when I was young.

We had an early breakfast and enjoyed the company of a couple of Perth bikers. Woody and Dave. Woody is an expat Kiwi. 
Motorcycles cause conversations...



We rode through lush farmland along the NW coast and headed inland...
to mining country.
First stop, tin mining - Waratah. We stopped for lunch and were impressed with the local history displays. The mine has closed. The school has closed.

Forests of Eucalypts line the road.
Some are plantations with signs that they are pulp and paper suppliers.

We stopped at Zeehan where silver and other metals are mined.
The sign above the counter made me smile.

All the roads have been winding roads - great for motorcycle riding.


We arrive at Risby Cove, Strahan and settle in for a couple of nights.
This is a tranquil place.





In the early evening we went to a local production "The Ship that Never Was" which tells the story of some convicts on Sarah Island.
Clever production, good acting - including from members of the audience. I got to be the ship's cat and Dick an overseer.


Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Mole Creek to Stanley, Tasmania

Morning has broken...



 Last night when we rode (slowly) up the drive in the dark we spied opposums, rabbits and a wallaby.  Kirk said that the opposums get to the walnuts on the tree a week before they are ready to harvest. Only one half-eaten walnut remains.
The mist has begun to lift as we set off.  




 JW - a man who made me laugh today.
He took us in the shuttle up to Dove Lake.
and  Cradle mountain. Today we discovered that there is an annual pass to the Tasmanian parks.

The Tasmanian National Parks service need to know that Hayley in their Cradle Mountain headquarters is the one of the best national parks employee we have encountered on this trip.

 A wallaby looking for a cuddle. He spent quite a while cleaning up in preparation. A video will follow soon.
We had lunch at Wilmot at the original Coles grocery store.

We rode 341km today. The temperature ranged from 11.5degC to 18degC.
The roads were wonderfully winding.
A warm welcome at Stanley and some fresh fish on a plate awaits.