We left Ratho Farm in Bothwell yesterday morning to travel to Hobart, the capital of Tasmania. It was a nice day but the weather forecast was for variable weather with perhaps some rain. We planned to vist Russell Falls in the Mount Field National Park on then way.

We first took a back road to Ouse and were surpised firstly that it was an unmade road and secondly that it was so interesting. It was mostly only one car wide. We were glad that we pretty much had the road to ourselves until we came to the brow of a hill and found ourselves face-to-face with a mob of sheep. It took a litle while for the farmer to work with his dogs to get them around us so we could continue on our way.

It was clearly sheep grazing counry. The topography was that of a  typical looking highlands sub-alpine area although it became less so with open grazing country as we approached Ouse.

There we many farms (or perhaps I should call them sheep stations) each with a cluster of buildings around the house. 

We found the road to our target stop at Russell Falls after we had reached Ouse. When we arrived, we found that the car park was completely full and we had to park in the overflow parking area a few hundred metres away. From there it was almost 1 1/2 kilometres walk to the falls but it was well worth it. I have been there once before finding there was hardly a trickle over the falls. Today, the falls were flowing just as I had seen in the tourist photos.

On arriving in Hobart, our first priority was to get the car washed. It was covered in dust from our driving on back roads on the west coast. Once it was (reasonably) clean we continued into Hobart and decided to drive to the top of Mount Wellington while the weather remained fine. There were a few drops of rain but it still looked as if the view could be clear. It was a long 8 kilometres up the windy road to the top 1,230 metres above sea level . Strangely enough, the temperature at the top of the mountain was about the same as the bottom – about 19C.  However, it was very windy at the top and the wind chill factor made it feel much cooler.

Today (Wednesday) we had a very nice catch-up over coffee with a long standing friend, Marcus Luciani. I first met Marcus at a reunion of 85 Transport Platoon in Albury. He was a Captain then and OC of 85 Transport Troop, as it was then called. He is now a Lt Colonel and is the Military Liason Officer for the Australian Antarctic Service. It was good to catch and hear all his news. Concidentally, Marcus went to school with my niece, Erin.

He kindly offerd me a quick visit to the Antractic Administration.Centre and its operations room. It contained one of the best pieces of Lego that I have seen – a model of the new ship that services our Antractic Bases.

In the afternoon, we visited the Hobart Botanic Gardens where again, the car park was chock-a-block. We asked one of the guides if something special was happening to attract so many people and his answer was ‘It’s a sunny day.” Perhaps that was the answer as to why  so many people were also at Russell Falls yesterday.

This incredibly beautiful patch of land was established back in 1818 and is just a short stroll from Hobart CBD. We were greeted by a visitor centre which offers up a restaurant, shop and gallery. 

One of the things that set this Royal Botanical Gardens apart from the others is its Sub Antarctic Plant House. As I mentioned, Hobart is home base to the exploration of the seventh continent, making these botanical gardens the perfect setting for this one-of-a-kind facility. There’s literally nothing else like it on Earth. The interior of this modern building is made to mimic the environments of sub Antarctic Islands in the high southern latitudes. It is very cool and misty. Once you enter, yoiu find a wall of cold fog and you can see the endemic plants such as the Macquarie Island Cabbage through the mist. It brought back memories of my recent trip to the sub-antarcic islands. The plants were the same as Ithe ones that I had seen theere.

These botanical gardens have been in place for more than a century and you can still see some of Hobart’s early innovations. The Arthur Wall was a boundary wall and is actually hollow.  The interior of the wall was heated  by a series of fires and was used to allow for the growth of warm climate plants in the garden’s early days.


Overall, the Royal Hobart Botanic Gardens are a very pleasant spot and well worth a few hours to visit if you are in Hobart.

I have just found that I have no idea about how to Laundry Technology. We are glad  that our hotel room comes with a washing machine because we have now been on the road for a week and a half. It is meant be a washer / dryer but somehow,  I could never get it to operate the drying cycle I have managed to wash the clothes three times but they are still damp. They are now hanging in every available space in the bathroom. I assume that they will dry before tomorrow morning.

3 thoughts on “Hobart

  1. I certainly hope your next day itinerary was not disturbed by non dried clothes.
    I would love to visit the gardens. We’re you able to explore them too Jill?

  2. Bruce, what a great trip you are having. Fantastic photography and commentary.
    Thank you, Tony and Marg

  3. The Falls look stunning. Thanks for sharing, no instructions for machine, house keeping no help?

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