February 9, 2019

And so to the final leg of our journey - from Strahan on the west coast, through Queenstown to Pumphouse Point, then on to Hobart to fly home.

It was a wrench to leave Lettes Bay.

There's something very magical about that timeless little inlet that will stay with me forever. By the way don't you love the weather-protective improvised post caps? 

Each morning when we woke, John would say, I'll just go and check the ducks. The day...

January 29, 2019

After spending a lifetime of summers in sticky muggy Queensland, it's hard to imagine a better destination at this time of year than Strahan.

While the rest of Australia has sweltered, we've been here for two weeks delighting in the bracing air and chilly breezes of the early mornings. Most days I've started with a jumper, and temperatures in the middle of the day have hovered in the balmy low to early twenties. 

It's is a slee...

January 28, 2019

The very name Cradle Mountain has its own magic cachet. Because of excellent marketing? As significant as we'd been led to believe? We planned to find out.

Like everywhere else in Tassie, it's quite close to civilisation. A bit over an hour from Burnie, 2 hours from Launceston Airport if you want to fly in. It's part of the vast Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area which covers one-fifth of Tasmania.

view from Vale of Belvoi...

January 27, 2019

We drove to Stanley along the pretty undulating coastal hills which at first drop precipitously to the sea. 

In flatter country, we happened upon this horrendous looking Dickensian building right on the beach at Port Latta, looking for all the world as if it would blacken and devour child workers whole and make wraiths of their wasting fathers.

A very long jetty reaches way out into the ocean with not the remotest sign of pollut...

January 26, 2019

Since we left you last at Launceston, we've covered the north-west of Tassie - easy to do in a short time because the distances are so small. We stayed for two nights at the most delightful AirBNB in Burnie, two at a boutique hotel in Stanley and two at Cradle Mountain Lodge.

The drive from Launceston to Deloraine is a delight - irrigated crops, fat cattle, and big round bales of hay, always with the backdrop of those beautiful...

January 19, 2019

Booking an AirBNB somewhere in an unfamiliar city is always a bit of a gamble isn't it? Will the park next door be a drug dealers' paradise? Will the back garden be mozzie heaven?

We won the lottery in Launceston. River Edge Cottage at 5 Park Street is practically on the Tamar River, ten minutes walk from the CBD and Cataract Gorge.

These are the tiles in the porch. It's a cute basic 3-bedroom 2-bathroom solid little c...

January 7, 2019

After a very happy week at Falmouth we were excited to be on our way. I have three rules for a happy road trip: make sure there's a cricket test match on the radio, don't comment on John's driving style, and take a valium.

Our route from Falmouth to Launceston last Thursday had all the signs of a perfect dawdle. This charming route winds and meanders over mountains, down into valleys, through dense temperate rainforests and tal...

January 1, 2019

We anticipated a long day at Wineglass Bay, so we set the alarm for 5am.

We drove there, climbed to the Lookout and back, called in on Freycinet Lodge, visited Cape Tournelle lighthouse, nodded at Sleepy Beach, had an ice cream at Coles Bay, did our grocery shopping at Bicheno, stopped at an art gallery on the way home and were back here by 1pm! 

But let's back up and I'll tell you a little more about it.

It's a delight to open t...

December 30, 2018

Here we are in Falmouth, population 102 according to the 2016 census. It could just be the most liveable town in Australia!

If there were a main street here, and I don't think there is, you could shoot a cannon and not hit a soul. Especially not a shopkeeper, because there aren't any shops. This is a tree-lined street in town, dirt surface with neatly mown verges and no gutter.

​A street corner in town. It's the most deli...

December 29, 2018

When I first booked Saltcotes for Christmas, I gave no thought to its position relative to the Derwent River, or to the date of the Sydney to Hobart yacht race. 

Frances the owner did mention though that in 2017 there had been a race to the finish line between two boats in front of the house on the day after Boxing Day.

That's our house in red, and the yachts sail up the river past it (red track). But the water is 5 kilome...

December 29, 2018

We agreed that if we spent Christmas in Tassie this year we wouldn't do gifts at all. No tree, no bonbons, no gifts, no pre-cooking. A low-key Christmas without all the material hoo-hah and none of the pressure.

Steely resolution turned to marshmallow once we arrived. A tinge of sadness. No pressies??? 

A brainwave - a secret Santa draw, with the gifts being only objects found or made by the giver at Opossum Bay....

December 23, 2018

O'Possum Bay is a sleepy village forty minutes drive from Hobart, yet it's light years away. Fifties weatherboard cottages snuggle low into the slope above the narrow beach, the peeling boat houses and old concrete ramps. Corrugated rainwater tanks balance on rickety wooden tank stands and cantilevered street-level car ports own some of the best views in town.

Bonnie Doon just mightn't cut it any longer -...

December 19, 2018


In the south-east of Tasmania on a 200-acre peninsula surrounded by the chilly waters of Esperance Bay and the d'Entrecasteaux Channel, there's an isolated water-front cottage called the Boat House.

It looks across the bay at the sleepy little fishing village of Dover.

It has all we need. And more.

A delightfully Tassie welcome pack: flowers, a bottle of Frenchman's Cap Pinot Noir Chardonnay bubbles, sparkling apple juice, or...

December 16, 2018

Hobart is really buzzing. There's a sophistication born of knowing who you are and what you're good at. A quiet confidence that Tassie can hold its own with the best in the world. Excellence, professionalism.

Plus an honesty and a down-to-earth realism too about a port town with all the industry associated with ships and the sea.

The city feels small and intimate, a wonderful mix of the past and the future. I love the sandstone,...

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"I never travel without my diary.  

One should always have something

sensational to read on the train."  

                                - OSCAR WILDE

shelley dark 

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