Chicken Karma

Chicken Karma

Monday, 23 May 2016


A Short Holiday in Tasmania

Well, I've just returned from a couple of weeks away from the drawing board. 

I love travelling and visiting places I've not seen before and, so, I was very pleased to set off for my first visit to Tasmania, one of the few parts of Australia that I have not previously been to. I have often heard about this island state's natural beauty and I was looking forward to having plenty of opportunity to exercise one of my other creative passions, photography.

Firstly, though, it was a short stopover in Melbourne to visit with a couple of our kids who live down that way. It was great to catch up with them and share some good times together. Part of the stopover was then spent tripping along the Great Ocean Road in Victoria.
The iconic Twelve Apostles is a unique part of the ruggedly beautiful coastline and, consequently, a very popular spot for tourists and photographers alike. 
I always love the challenge of trying to get a shot that is a bit different to the one everyone else is taking and, thanks to a little bird that landed on a branch right in front of me at just the right time (late afternoon sunlight), I think I managed to!
Well, I think it's a pretty good shot, at least!

From Melbourne, Robyn and I flew down to Launceston. 
Unfortunately for us (but thankfully for the unusually drought-stricken island) it was raining. 
Not just a little bit, but a lot. 
And not just for a short period, but constantly. 
And the forecast projected rain for the next week, as well!
So much for seeing the natural beauty of Tasmania in good weather!

The plan was to pick up a car in Launceston and drive throughout the state, visiting many of the most scenic natural wonders as well as following along some of the historical trails and landmarks associated with the convict history of Tasmania.
The plan was a good one....but the wet weather seriously impeded the enjoyment and photographic exploits for the first few days.

As if to prove the point, when we arrived in the Cradle Mountain National Park we were met by sleet!
And that night, the first snow of the winter season fell.
It was bitterly cold with gale force winds blowing....but in my opinion snow is far more preferable to rain for photography so that was some considerable compensation.

Throughout the first half of the trip it was a case of trying to take photos that creatively showed the subject matter in an appealing way, even if that was not how we were actually experiencing it. A creative challenge to be sure! 

The second half of the trip picked up weather-wise and we actually had some good days when the sun broke through to see many of the significant parts of the state that harked back to the dark days of the convict settlements.

A highlight for us, as it is for many people, was the Port Arthur convict settlement. Sadly, this already sombre place of history has a more recent connection with tragedy. In 1996, it was the scene of Australia's worst mass-shooting when a lone killer (Martin Bryant) shot dead 36 people and left another 20+ injured.
This, then, became the catalyst for the government to introduce strict gun control legislation that has prevented similar such massacres in the 20 years since.
The memorial for those lost is a poignant reminder of the tragedy.

The coastline from Port Arthur down to Tasman Island is one of rugged beauty and extreme weather conditions. Beyond Tasman Island lies the Great Southern Ocean and Antarctica, and the wind was blowing directly from that direction, too! 

But, even though it was bitingly cold out on the water off this incredible coastline, the frosty temperature was nothing compared to the freezing and furious winds that we later met up on top of Mount Wellington, the peak that rises majestically behind Hobart, the state's
capital. The wind was one of the strongest I have experienced anywhere. And the coldest! But the views from the peak were well worth the frostbite!

All in all, it was a great trip in spite of the weather with many wonderful sights and experiences.
I will look forward to returning to Tassie sometime (in better weather, hopefully).

Here are a few more of the shots taken over the past couple of weeks.

However, whilst the trip is over, it did give me opportunity to think about a number of ideas that I am looking forward to introducing into the BUSHY TALES strip. 

In fact, next Sunday's strip, in particular, breaks some new ground for BUSHY stay tuned!!!

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