Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Go West! part 3

Continuing the series on the West Coast weekend, some three weeks later (I blame a combination of a very heavy workload and illness - why the two always seem to coincide I'll never know - and a sick child), here are some photos from our morning in Zeehan.

Zeehan is about 40 km from Strahan.  It’s a very good road, and there’s a nice lookout along the way where you can see the coastline with that view to South America on one side, and the spectacular mountainscape of Mt Heemskirk, Mt Agnew and Mt Zeehan on the other. 

Zeehan is in one of Tasmania’s early mining areas, dating back to the 1880s when deposits of silver and lead were discovered, and got its name from one of Abel Tasman’s ships, the Zeehaen, which, if you are familiar with the Dutch language, means ‘sea hen’.  (That’s something I didn’t know before.)

It’s also the birthplace of my grandmother (daughter of my great-great grandfather of the Dunalley Hotel fame), and her father worked at the Post Office in Zeehan in the 1890s and 1900s.

We went to the West Coast Pioneers Museum, which I thought was going to be focused mainly on mining – which is true – but there was so much more to see in there. The West Coast Heritage Centre incorporates several old buildings on the Main Street, including the restored Gaiety Theatre, the police station and court house, and the Freemasons Lodge, all of which are open to museum visitors.  The Freemasons Lodge is set up to give visitors a glimpse of how the Lodge operated, which was particularly interesting.

The museum also includes a display of classic cars, some wonderful old trains and a replica underground mine. It was well worth the cost of admission and was one of the highlights of our trip.

Part of the underground mining display

Zeehan Court House with Magistrate Juniordwarf & defendant Slabs

Zeehan Police Station

Another one that required some explanation for Juniordwarf

Old school desk

Mt Lyell map camera (I would love a setup like this to take photos of my layouts...)

Steering wheel of an old Plymouth

Byer-Peacock train 1902 (these ran in Tasmania 1884-1961)

Zeehan Post Office

Zeehan Main Street with the Gaiety Theatre in the foreground

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Go West! part 2

Following on from our journey to the West Coast, today's post is some pictures from in and around Strahan, where we stayed for three nights.

We didn't do any of the cruises, or the train trip or the seaplane flights that Strahan has in abundance. Instead we pottered around the town, went to the edge of Tasmania, walked through a beautiful forest to Hogarth Falls, and saw a play.  (The play (The Ship That Never Was) was great - it has been running in Strahan for 20 years.)

Here's some of what we did and saw.

My take on the postcard shot of Strahan
Strahan wharf

Strahan wharf

Strahan wharf - I loved how the shimmering water was reflected on the boat
Strahan from across the bay

Strahan from across the bay
Entrance to the harbour, from the Strahan cemetery
The very funny play "The Ship That Never Was"

Some of the interesting old buildings near the waterfront
Ocean Beach. Next stop: South America

Arty boaty shot

Ocean Beach. Wild West

Near Hogarth Falls in Strahan

Cool rainbow in Hogarth Falls

Monday, April 1, 2013

Go West! part 1

This weekend we headed off on an adventure to Tasmania's West Coast. We stayed three nights in Strahan, which is a small town near Macquarie Harbour, with a history of fishing, timber, convicts and mining.

The West Coast is a fascinating area less than 300 km away, but getting there takes pretty much all day (taking into account your relatively late start, the winding road through the mountains, and the various stops you need to make along the way).

The thing that captured my attention on our journey was the ever-changing scenery - from the burnt out areas and sheep grazing of the Central Highlands, to the massive pipes of the hydro-electric scheme, the sclerophyll forests, the rainforests of the Franklin river, the massive mountains of the south-west and then the bare hills coming into Queenstown. It's times like this trip that I wish I could remember what sclerophyll vegetation actually is and how those mountains came to be formed.

I've got too many photos for one post, so I'm aiming to spread them out over the next few posts.

Tonight, some things you might see on your way to the West Coast.

Some of the bushfire affected land near Hamilton

From Tarraleah

Tungatinah Power Station near Tarraleah

Franklin River

Nelson Falls, Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park

Near Nelson Falls

Near Nelson Falls

On the road to Queenstown

I really wanted to stop and take a better picture of this mountain - it was overwhelming
Iron Blow lookout near Queenstown

Iron Blow lookout near Queenstown
Coming into Queenstown

Coming into Queenstown

Coming into Queenstown