The Snail Trail

Travelling with my home on my back and in no hurry to get anywhere

Utes in the Paddock, Ootha


2 Comments

Utes in the Paddock

Every now and then someone comes up with a crazy idea that captures the imagination and becomes a reality. Utes in the Paddock at Ootha, New South Wales, is a typical example of this. Ootha is situated about 430 west of Sydney and boasts a population of 94!

Ootha

They are all Holden Utes – what could be more Australian than that – and several artists have displayed their own interpretation of the iconic ute! Unfortunately the paint work has deteriorated on several of them and they are fading away but I hope you can get an idea of this crazy initiative in the middle of nowhere.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

You’ve gotta love the Aussie sense of humour ūüôā Thanks Ootha for keeping it alive!

 

Advertisements


1 Comment

A Tourist in Tasmania – Chocolate, Cheese and Raspberries

When you arrive in Devonport¬†on the Spirit of Tasmania it’s only a short drive to three of the most iconic tourist destinations, Anvers Chocolates, Ashgrove Cheese and the Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm. They offer you a trio of tastes – and even some free camping at Christmas Hills.

House of Anvers

The first taste sensation you’ll discover is the delicious Anvers House of Chocolate. As their website says¬†Belgian Chocolate Skills & Tasmania’s fresh clean climate combine to create the supreme chocolate experience. Now if you’ve done an overnighter on the Spirit it might be a tad early for a chocolate fix, so plan to do it on the way home. My thinking, though, is that it’s never too early for chocolate! They open for breakfast at 7am so that’s a good reason to pop in. As their welcome sign says “Give me Chocolate Now!”

There is also a chocolate museum you can explore¬†that gives you the history of chocolate since the Aztecs, with moulds of old easter eggs and specialty chocolates. If you’re in luck you can see the chocolate being made. And I dare you to resist the wonderful display of chocolates to buy.

Before you settle down to breakfast here, though, read on for the other tasty delights ahead!

Ashgrove Cheese

A little further down the Bass Highway you’ll find Ashgrove Cheese, another well known breakfast stop and a place to stock up on treats for Happy Hour. Colourful cows welcome you to the shop, but glance across the road for the real thing.

The shop stocks all the varieties of cheeses made at Ashgrove plus a wonderful selection of other Tasmanian products such as sauces, jams, cider and relishes. It’s interesting to see the cheeses all stacked for aging. And yes, they are open for breakfast if you’re hungry by now.

But wait, there’s more!

Keep driving along the Bass Highway and you’ll arrive at one of my favourite destinations…

The Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm

The Raspberry Farm at Christmas Hills is more than just a cafe. There’s a lovely lake you can walk around, pretty gardens to enjoy a coffee in, views of the huge greenhouses that grow the raspberries, and best of all you can stay overnight in their big rig carpark! It’s truly an indulgence to wake up in the morning and wander in for raspberry pancakes (for me) or more traditional breakfast food if that’s what takes your fancy.

Now come for a walk with me around the grounds ….

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

You don’t have to go very far when you arrive in Tasmania to enjoy the wonderful fresh food that Tassie is famous for. This is my Trio of Tastes, chocolate, cheese and raspberries, to tempt you to explore even more.

Meander River, Deloraine Tas


Leave a comment

A Tourist in Tasmania – Delightful Deloraine

I loved Deloraine the last time I visited in 2014 and this time around I think I love it even more.

deloraine-map

It has a real arty vibe to it with Galleries, Art Shops,  Coffee Shops and Op Shops lining the steep main road that curls around bends on its way uphill from the Meander River as you approach from the East.

Cross the river, cross the railway line and wend your way through the town. So many quirky little shops invite you to explore …..

Here’s one of my favourites. It’s called Elf on the Shelf. I’m pretty sure I know how to speak Zombie – give me a couple of drinks and I can demonstrate it for you, but if you want to study it yourself you can buy the book here.

The Information Centre is at the top of the hill and it’s a MUST SEE visit if you are in Deloraine. In the forecourt is the statue of a famous race horse, Malua, who won Adelaide Cup (1884),Newmarket Handicap (1884), Melbourne Stakes (1884) Oakleigh Plate (1884), Melbourne Cup (1884), Australian Cup (1886) and then went on to win the Grand National Hurdle (1889). What a champion!

But it’s when you step inside that you will discover the amazing Art in Silk exhibition, with a movie that tells you how it was developed as a community initiative and the stunning panels they created. It truly is spectacular. It does cost to view it but it is something you won’t want to miss! These photos were taken when I last visited. It’s a wonder they are not worn out I have shown them to so many people ūüôā

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Drive around the back streets and you’ll discover lovely old homes like The Manse, with outstanding views over the surrounding countryside.

Happy Campers: There is a Free Camp for self contained vehicles as you travel into Deloraine from the East. Turn right at the Police Station and follow the road around. The camp is well signed. It’s only a short walk into town.

Deloraine is a short detour off the Bass Highway that links Devonport to Launceston. It’s about 55 kms from Devonport and only 50 kms to Launceston. If you are looking for somewhere to stop when you get off the ferry (or you’re on the way there) this little town is well worth a visit!

 

Ross Bridge, Ross, Tasmania


1 Comment

A Tourist in Tasmania – Historic Ross

I wondered about using ‘historic’to describe Ross as so many places in Tasmania could easily have this descriptor, but Ross somehow fits it so well.

You detour off the Midland Highway to discover this pretty village which has done its best to preserve many of the old houses and landmarks that Ross is now famous for. Ross is about a 1-hr drive (78 km) south from Launceston and a 1 hr 30-min drive (121 km) north from Hobart.

Ross, Tasmania

Ross was first surveyed in 1807 and when Governor Macquarie visited in 1811 he named the river after himself – how’s that for an ego! Ross was proclaimed a town in 1821 and has built its reputation on the superfine merino wool that is produced in the surrounding area.

At the crossroads in Ross the intersection is known as The Four Corners of Ross, each corner named to reflect the character of the building located on that corner. There is Temptation (the pub), Salvation (the Catholic Church), Damnation (the town gaol) and Recreation (the Town Hall). Easy to see where my interest lies as I only took a photo of Temptation and luckily managed to capture Recreation in the background! The Man O’ Ross hotel was well patronised this Saturday afternoon.

IMG_6762Ross

The information centre has a wonderful display of luxurious merino garments and also¬†houses the Tasmanian Wool Centre, celebrating the importance of wool in Tasmania. This centre receives over 70,000 visitors annually …. not bad for a town with a population of around 270 people!

Only a few metres up the hill from the Information Centre is the Uniting Church, opened in 1885. Not by any means one of Ross’s oldest buildings but it is impressive sitting on the hill.

The Ross Bridge is arguably one of Australia’s finest historical monuments and really quite beautiful. After much delay, its construction was placed in the hands of two stone mason convicts who were promised a pardon if¬†the bridge was successfully completed. They finished the bridge and received their pardon in 1836 after working on it for 15 months. Its unique feature is the 186 carved arch stones depicting Celtic symbols, animals and ‘notable personalities of the day’.

This first photo was taken a couple of weeks ago, on a dark, grey day I visited Ross. Yesterday, however, was sunny and clear and shows a totally different mood.

Ross Bridge, Ross, Tasmania

The southern side of the bridge

Ross Bridge, Ross, Tasmania

Northern aspect of Ross Bridge

Ross Bridge, Ross, Tasmania

Archways showing carved arch stones

Ross Bridge, Ross, Tasmania

Detail of the carved arch stones

Ross Bridge, Ross, Tasmania

View to the south from Ross Bridge

Ross Bridge, Ross, Tasmania

Can you decipher the date from the Roman numerals?

The ‘dark’side of Ross is its convict history and particularly the Ross Female Factory, one of five established across Tasmania. It operated for 7 years from 1848 to 1855 and in that time accommodated between 60 and 120 women at any one time. The women were typically unmarried and in their mid twenties but it was still necessary to have a nursery wing which catered for about 40 infants. There is only the overseer’s cottage left on site so it is hard to imagine the hive of activity this green grassy area would have been in the 1850’s.

 

Inside the cottage are story panels that provide some detail of the life at the time.

You don’t have to venture too far from the main street to discover the lovely old flat fronted homes so typically English. Here are just a few of the many that line the streets of Ross.

And no visit to an historic town would be complete without a visit to the local cemetry where gravestones mark the passage of time and tell the stories of local families.

If you are travelling between Hobart and Launceston along the Heritage Highway take the 2km detour into Ross for all sorts of reasons – to discover its convict¬†history, indulge yourself with a fine merino garment, buy¬†a scallop pie from Bakery 31, eat one of the best vanilla slices you’ll ever have from the Ross Village Bakery¬†, explore the antique shops and¬†admire the well preserved old buildings. Your 2km detour will take you back in time as well as off the beaten track!


Leave a comment

Day 7 Photo Blog – Let’s go BIG

My instruction are Today, let’s go big. Photograph something of massive size, inside or outside.

Well, Australia is known for it’s BIG THINGS, like the BIG Pineapple, the BIG Prawn, the BIG Merino and the BIG Banana to name just a few. Travelling through South Australia I came across this BIG old tree near Orroroo. It’s a giant red gum thought to be over 500 years old. It measures nearly 11 metres around the trunk.

And then I thought about the BIG Boab Tree near Derby in the Kimberley’s of Western Australia

So on my drive into Campbell Town, Tasmania yesterday I stopped and photographed this tree. No, it’s not particularly BIG, but it does have a prominent position in this photo that makes it appear bigger than it is.

IMG_6693Campbell Town

At Harvey Dickson’s Country Music Centre near Boyup Brook in Western Australia there’s a BIG guitar –

Harvey Dickson's, Boyup Brook, WA

Harvey Dickson’s Country Music Centre

 

and in Mataranka in the Northern Territory there’s a very BIG ant hill –

Mataranka

Termite mound at Mataranka

These dainty little orchids I photographed at Lake Indoon in Western Australia look so much bigger than they are as I discovered the Macro setting on my camera that allowed me to get up close and personal –

Spider Orchids Lake Indoon

Spider Orchids

Orchids Lake Indoon

Cowslip Orchid

It’s a BIG effort to keep up to date with these photo blogging challenges ……


2 Comments

Day 6 Photo Blogging – Solitude

My photo challenge for today:

Today, let’s capture solitude: the state of being alone, or a lonely and uninhabited place. What does this word look like to you?

Solitude for me is not loneliness but more¬†√°loneness’. These photos depict it for me. The other part of today’s challenge is to understand The Rule of Thirds in photography. I think I’ve got it right in this selection, too.

Walker Flat Boat Ramp Reserve, South Australia

A lone pelican.

IMG_5022Eighty Mile Beach

At 80 Mile Beach, Western Australia

IMG_4916Happy Hour Town Beach

Sunset at Broome, Western Australia

IMG_4894Willie Creek

Fisherman at Willie Creek, Western Australia

IMG_5648Wrights Bridge

Enjoying the solitude at Wrights Bridge, Western Australia

 

As a solo traveller I enjoy my solitude – rarely lonely but often alone.


Leave a comment

Day 5 Photo Blogging – Connect

Connecting roads ……

Connecting roads

Connecting Mt Isa and Boulia, Queensland

 

Connecting bridges ……

 

Connecting to the sea ….

Connecting tree tops ……

Connecting people ……

 

Connecting generations¬†……

Connecting generations

Great Grandmother, Great Grand-daughter

Connecting images…..

Life is about making connections.