As we trip around the state we came across many fields of Poppy's growing everywhere. They are very controlled and sell the crop to pharmaceutical companies for the manufacture of medicinal products.
We also found acres and acres of cultivated plants with small creamy white flowers which we had no idea about and then found that they were pyrethrum plants which must be a huge industry in many parts of the state.
For the people interested in anything army we went to a small town called Legerwood, where an avenue of trees were planted in 1918 to commemorate the soldiers that died in the Great War. In the 70's the trees had to be cut down but were turned into a memorial by a talented chainsaw artist.
Drove up into the mountains to the east of us and wanted to see Ralphs Falls but as the track continually led down hill I pulled out and went back to the car and Stuart continued alone because in this case, what goes down must come up and my knees were protesting already. Then when we got to the St. Columba Falls I did the trip. It was worth it, they were lovely. It was very eerie walking along the path to Ralphs Falls as the trees created a thick canopy and with the fallen trees and the moss everywhere you almost expected to see a dinosaur come through the forest.
On the way to St. Columba Falls I noticed the giant tree ferns everywhere and how beautiful they looked just as they unfurled.
|On one of our exploring trips we found a little café overlooking Binalong Bay|
We had 3 days with friends from the mainland Maree and Peter Cotrell at a beautiful free camp in the sand dunes at Bay of Fires.
A few wines around the fire each night was just what the doctor ordered.
|I loved the character in this tree|
We said goodbye to Peter and Maree and made our way south towards Hobart and spent the night just north of Bichino where we had an early tea and went on a tour to view the penguins.
|The babies were so cute and fluffy|
This was an amazing experience. Each night they made their way in the thousands up onto the shore to the rookeries where they have been breeding for hundreds of years. The area is protected and patrolled to keep out wild cats etc from decimating the numbers.
We saw them waddle up from the water, stop under trees to re-oil their little blue feathers and then with full stomachs make their way to their rookeries to feed their young which are hatched like all birds after about 35 days.
The babies with their Downey fur like feathers look as big as their parents.
We got away reasonably early heading south after a wet night with our chairs dripping with water and everything pretty damp inside and out. When we got to our site near Coles Bay we were a bit concerned with a group of about 5 young men camped a bit away from us and hoped they didn't get too loud. By dusk the music started and they started drinking so our concerns heightened. Then one of them came over to us and asked if their music was too loud and after we said no (it was really nice music) they turned it down anyway and their drinks were either water or soft drink and they had a great time together. Thanks guys
|Soldier Crabs by the thousands along the shore reminded me of the thousands we used to see on Far Beach (now Illawong) when I was a kid and cycled to the beach on weekends.|
Still heading to Hobart and we made our first stop at a huge craft shop in Triabunna. It was a converted house called Suri's Craft and Christmas shop. She had half the shop so filled with Christmas stuff it was hard to walk around and the other with patchwork and quilt fabrics. So girls - if you are in the area - Triabunna on the south east coast of Tasmania close to the Freycinet Coast.
We had a night at the show grounds in Hobart and then on to the caravan park. Not a big park and only 3 caravan spots, the rest were cabins. The first time I have seen the concept because of the very low number of sites where they had an ensuite for each caravan housed in the same building. Very clean and neat and newly painted. It is the Hobart Cabins and Cottages.
Today we ran the gauntlet of shopping before Christmas and got the last of our grocery items and some prawns which, strangely enough had to be imported form the mainland as Tasmania does not have them.
Tomorrow we are going to the Wrest Point Casino for lunch and on Saturday we are going in to watch the first boats come in in the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race.
To all who have been following us on our travels over the years Stuart and I would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a safe New Year and hope 2014 will make some of your wishes come true.