You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Tasmania’ tag.

The Bedfords call this Home

The Bedfords call this Home

I know there is an absolute abundance of vivid, descriptive words that could be used to attempt an accurate portrayal of the Bedford’s property in Loongana, Tasmania. Now I just need to figure out where to start?  Wondrous, natural, fantastic?  All good, but not painting the entire picture.  I’m not sure I can do it justice, but this 70 acres of land is beautiful and worth the journey.  It’s less than an hour’s drive from Ulverstone which lies on the North shore of Tasmania, West of Launceston.    

Matt, my American-Aussie travel companion, had found the Bedford’s on Couchsurfing.org. After some correspondence with Peter, the man of the house, we had been invited to stay a couple of nights.  As we got comfortable, we knew that we would end up staying the remainder of our trip in and about the area.  What a welcoming, comfortable piece of paradise.

Matt and our host Peter looking down on Leven Canyon

Matt and our host Peter looking down on Leven Canyon

The property is more or less self-contained and self-sufficient.  The Bedfords have spent years building the property from the ground up.  A great descriptive word for this family: industrious!  A gorgeous (secret) waterfall and small river supply hydro power.  There are gardens, chickens, some miniature horses, a small lake with trout, a tree fort, and my personal favourite: the outdoor, fire heated bathtub. 

This is a real treat – you actually light a fire below the tub and must be careful to add cold water on a frequent basis in order not to be slowly simmered!  Can it get any better?  It’s cold enough for frost in the mornings, so a hot bath outside is a virtual heaven.  Even better?  Our last night there, as the hand-picked hazelnuts roasted on the bonfire, I sipped homemade honey mead in the tub, and the others stood around chatting and throwing vegetables in to make the stock perfect (mmmhhh, Jill soup? – yeah, I might not remember the night with complete accuracy, the honey mead packed a powerful punch). 

They sure are friendly in Penguin!

They sure are friendly in Penguin!

Although the entire first day was spent on the property, by the second day it was time to explore a bit further out.  A trip into Ulverstone was highlighted by a coffee at Smiley’s.  The scones and jam, and friendly atmosphere made allowance for the atrocious attempt at a Canadian accent (although I was flattered Smiley tried, and it came across in a lovely Irish lilt with ‘eh’ planted at the end of each sentence).  

Fresh fish for sushi

Fresh fish for sushi

We took the van West to a small town called Penguin on the quest for fresh fish.  Penguin is charming (sort of like Qualicum for you Vancouver Islanders) but contrary to popular belief (and logic) contains no penguins.  Oh, and no fresh fish….sigh (one might bring the other, no?).  We continued on to Burnie and our fresh-fish-success meant sushi night at the Bedfords. Yum!

The river running through the Canyon

The river running through the Canyon

Hiking through Leven Canyon, biking, late-night wildlife excursions in the Ute, eating way too much, drinking, sharing stories, just a lot of hanging out…this was the bulk of how I spent my time in Tasmania.  This is how everyone should spend their time in Tasmania! 

It’s always so nice to get off the beaten track a bit.  It feels real and wholesome and valuable.  Tasmania is a lot like home, more so than any place I’ve been so far in Australia.  I think the vague familiarity and the vast differences are intriguing and were a little unexpected.  I felt very at ease in this little state (yes, it’s approximately the size of Ireland, but it’s all relative, isn’t it?).  The landscape was inspiring, and the company was pretty great – no two-headed people to be seen… although, you know, we never did make it right around the island…

        …                                                                                              

Theme Songs of the Day:

Brainy – The National, form the album Boxer

Messages – Xavier Rudd, from the album

Gone Away From Me – Ray LaMontagne, from the album Till the Sun Turns Black

Sunset in Tasmania

Advertisements
Beautiful AND close to the Cadbury factory!

Beautiful AND close to the Cadbury factory!

Mainland Aussies have one of two answers when you ask them if they’ve been to Tasmania…..”Oh, yes, it’s absolutely BEAUTIFUL!!” or, alternatively: “What, why would you want to go there?”…  Let’s just say, there is a bit of a stigma associated with the state.  It’s ‘common knowledge’ that Tassies are inbred and tend to spout two heads.  Now, I’m no expert, but the Tasmanians that I met were perfectly lovely and very friendly, no extra appendages to be seen – and the state itself WAS absolutely beautiful.

We arrived in Hobart and after picking up our deluxe camper van, and made our way into the city for some food.  Research (reading the in-flight magazine on the way over) had lead us to seek out Chodra, a beautiful little tea house owned by the former basest of the Violent Femmes.  What a beautiful introduction to the least-visited-state in Australia (only 2% of visitors to the country make it over). 

We found a beautiful spot to camp and the next day the only thing that inspired us to get up was the fact that we were mere minutes from the Cadbury chocolate factory!  YUM!!  We drank hot chocolate, watched a movie and then spent $50 on chocolate….but only paid $20!!!  Wow, I LOVE Tasmania!

Cliffs at Devil's Kitchen

Cliffs at Devil's Kitchen

They look smarter when they're stuffed!

They look smarter when they're stuffed!

Although our eventual destination was the far north of the island, we decided to head south and check out Port Arthur.  The drive was awe-inspiring with valleys, and hills dotted with sheep and the odd cow (the cows weren’t all that odd, just their frequency, but, again, I’m no expert).  Port Arthur looked very interesting, but we saw it only from the parking lot.  It was cold and wet and late in the day…and a little pricy to boot.  Instead we went to check out the infamous Tassie devils.  If you haven’t had the pleasure of seeing these funny little creatures, I would seriously suggest checking them out (Youtube has a couple of good clips).  They run around in a happy daze and it’s as though they forget what they’re doing every minute or so…”oh, sh!t, what was I gonna do…mmmhhh?  Maybe I’ll go this way – yeah, that’s good – oh wait…er where was I going?”  I didn’t get to see them eat, supposedly quite the site: they start spinning and get exceedingly aggressive, but I like my first impression of them:  funny and dumb; the big toothy grins complete the picture.

The next day we made the trek north.  The gently sloping hills through the heart of rural Tasmania are reminiscent of Ireland, although due to a fairly dry season they weren’t quite as emerald green.  Launceston, the second biggest city in the state, was charming and offered free internet at the library (the city takes a two-star jump when one can find access to the web…it’s a gift).  A long-time friend from Scotland was in town and we had a nice catch-up over a quick lunch.  The sun shone brightly as we continued North West and the light from the sunset gave off that flattering orange glow that makes everything clear as day but better.  We would be driving through the bush in the dark.

The colour palette of the trip: green and blue

The colour palette of the trip: green and blue

After a little detour 16km past the house, on a dirt road, we finally made it to our destination.  Luckily those extra kilometers had allowed us the chance to see possums, wombats, Tasmanian devils and a great, stoic bird called the tawny frogmouth.  Did I mention: I love Tasmania? 

Anyway, we eventually made our way to our host’s and he greeted us with a glass of wine and a smile.  We stayed up until 5am getting to know each other.  What a fascinating man – we were in for an unbelievable next few days! …

 

Theme Songs of the Day:

Putting on the Ritz – Taco, from the album After Eight

True Affection – The Blow, from the album Paper Television

Top Posts

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 10 other followers

Flickr Photos

Recent Comments

benzin vertikutierer… on Road Trip!
jazz on About Today
Lonnie L. on Time in Bright Acrylics
Darby on About Today
About Today «… on Not Drowning But Waving

October 2017
M T W T F S S
« Dec    
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031