This last weekend was one in which we had some free time so we decided to get away to Hobart for a quiet weekend.
Our flight arrived early on Friday morning so we headed straight down to to the historic town of Richmond to see some of its old buildings and the famous convict built bridge. There is a wonderful bakery in the side street near the old jail that has good coffee and a delicious vanilla (custard) slice. It was only late morning when we were ready to leave so we travelled up to another old town, Oatlands, in the centre of the island for lunch. The old pub there had a bakery (of sorts) so lunch consisted of a very healthy pie and chips. There were a lot more historic buildings along the main road as well as an old mill in this little town that for many years marked the point that separated northern Tasmania from the South.
At night, we had a reservation for dinner at Mure’s Fish Restaurant down on harbour front in Hobart. The food was as good as always but finding a car park was a bit of a problem, especially because all the streets in that area are one-way roads and it is easy to get lost. We found three available spots in different places but could never find our way back to them, even trying to count the number of blocks that we had travelled and then aiming to turn the correct number of corners to get back to them. I did spend a few minutes after dinner taking some photos of the old Customs House in front of Constitution Dock.
On Saturday, we met up with Leon Routley and his wife Trish. Leon and I served in the same unit in Vietnam and Trish also has a keen interest in photography. We spent a good day in Hobart, some time at Salamanca Market and then we went down to the Huon Valley to find some picturesque places. It was a most enjoyable day!
On Sunday, we spent some time in the Botanical Gardens. Just as we got there, it started to rain so we belted back to our hotel for our umbrellas and by the time that we were back at the entrance to the gardens, the train had stopped. It didn’t rain again for the entire day. Jill wanted to see the vegetable patch where Peter Cundall (of ABC’s Gardening Australia TV Show) had maintained a garden. It is now a well established food garden and it has inspired me to get some of more of my own vegetable garden going again in spring. The Royal Hobart Botanical Gardens are only a few years younger than those in Sydney and have some excellent displays. The conservatory with all its orchids and the sub-antarctic garden are particularly impressive.
We decided to drive to the top of Mt Wellington for the view as it was a very clear day. Wouldn’t you know it; just as we reached the peak the cloud blew over and obscured everything. I had a number of attempts to take some panoramas of the city view and by my fourth attempt, the cloud had cleared and we had a reasonable photo. Lunch was at the little tavern in Fern Tree and then we drove down towards Kingston to see some more of Hobart’s coastal area.
Monday morning found us on a flight home and back to the normal routine of shopping, cleaning, grandchildren and ordinary life.