Weekend Away in Tasmania

Back in January we decided to take a weekend away in Tasmania. The main purpose was to go to an interstate AFL (Australian Football League) game that our team, Melbourne Demons, would be playing in. As it turned out they would be playing North Melbourne Kangaroos who our friends, Denise and Wayne, follow so we now had a mini tour group of four.

Rising at just past 5:00am we drove up to Melbourne airport on the last Saturday in July. By 8:45 our plane was in the air.

Within forty five minutes we had crossed the Bass Strait and were flying into Hobart.

Taking carry on luggage only meant we were quickly in the queue to pick up our rental car. Wayne drove us into North Hobart where we were fortunate enough to have an early check in at Hobart Lodge Apartments. Some of the local buildings were quite eye catching. This is the North Hobart Post Office.

This row of matching red brick terrace houses looked good too. Roof colour being the most noticeable difference.

After checking in and dropping off our luggage we headed off to Sandy Bay to the Wrest Point Casino.

Denise had booked us onto the free footy ferry across the Derwent River to Bellerive. Joining many others as we reached the other side we walked up to the Blundstone Arena. As we were queueing to buy our tickets a lady spotted us wearing our Melbourne scarves and kindly offered us two free tickets. She had been given them but wanted three tickets in one of the grandstands. These were general admission tickets, just what we needed. The day had started well. Once inside we walked around to the Hill area and found a spot to lay out our rugs to sit on. There was a good mix of Melbourne and North Melbourne fans. Sadly when the coin was tossed before the game North won and decided to kick to our left with the advantage of a strong wind behind them. At quarter time North were leading. By half time Melbourne had regained the ascendancy and led by two goals. The breeze certainly helped.

In the third quarter North Melbourne hit back and by the final change had a one goal advantage. In the last quarter Melbourne drew level but in the last five minutes North played better and even though Melbourne had their chances a narrow four points win to North was the final result. It was an exciting finish but sadly we’d lost. Well at least two people in our group were happy as we boarded the ferry back to the casino. Once there we went in for drinks as the light faded. After a relax and a chat we drove back to our apartment where we rested for a while before changing for dinner. North Hobart’s Elizabeth Street has plenty of good options for a great meal out. We walked along checking out menus before deciding to eat at a seafood restaurant named Fish 349. Excellent seafood, good service, followed by delicious ice creams to finish made it an enjoyable dinner. Wandering back to our apartment we passed a chocolate shop so in we went to stock upon on delicious chocolates to share as we chatted back at the apartment.

Up late the next day. Checked out and ate a late breakfast at Room For a Pony, also in Elizabeth Street. It was very popular spot but the staff soon had our cooked breakfasts ready. As we walked back to the car we noticed plaques in the footpath, indicating the history of many of the buildings. Some still used for the same purpose and some not. This is the former Clock Tower. You can still see the clock part is in use.

From there we headed down to the dock area. Wayne and Denise dropped us off for a walk while they went to visit Wayne’s sister who lives in the northern suburbs of Hobart. Karen and I walked down to Constitution Dock first.

Next we passed a wharf where a very bright orange ship, the Aurora Australis, was moored. Turns out it is one of the ships that heads down to Antarctic each summer. It was resting in Hobart for the winter.

Further along we came to a garden area with a statue honouring Dutch explorer Abel Tasman who discovered what is now Tasmania back in 1642. Models of the exploratory expedition’s two ships can be seen too.

From there we walked towards the centre of the city passing many old churches

and other well preserved historic buildings.

Again plaques detailing their history could be found in the pavement.

About this time we experienced a quick shower of rain so we quickly headed into the famous Cat and Fiddle Arcade. This gave Karen a chance to engage in some retail therapy at the Hobart Myer store – lovely blue jacket the purchase of choice. After a quick look at the Sunday farmer’s market we were picked up by Wayne and Denise and drove off up to the historic town of Richmond for lunch at their famous bakery cafe. Sadly rain showers limited our walking around the town. Next we drove north into the countryside for a ‘memory lane tour’ for Wayne and Denise through the farming areas where they had lived in their younger days.

Some early lambs evident in the paddocks.

Then came the town of Oatlands where they had lived when they first married so we had a quick tour around the town. The many small old houses, once shunned, are now very trendy due to interior renovations. The exteriors would be National Trust protected you would imagine.

The Callington windmill also stands out.

Our drive back south towards the airport took us through a number of small hamlets with quite a few deserted houses.

We reached the airport on dusk and after stringent security checks were soon on our flight back to Melbourne after a thoroughly enjoyable mini break in Tasmania.

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