Wednesday, 8 January 2014

New Year in Tasmania

As this is supposed to be a textile blog, I will try and limit my references to cheese and wine consumed on this trip, but make no guarantees that the odd reference won't slip in... Our first afternoon was spent at Port Arthur, where aged beams with lichen caught my eye, as it also did on the brickwork of the buildings.
From here it was back to Hobart, stopping off at the famed Tessellated Pavement at Eaglehawk Neck on the way.

This was a most enjoyable experience, with many photos taken of the amazing sea flora growing on these geometric rock formations. Also of great interest was the kelp wash up - and these suckers weigh quite a bit!!
 In Hobart we greatly enjoyed our stay at Hadleys Hotel, which had a number of these amazing chandeliers in the foyer and bar. The TASTE festival was on, which provided a lovely sense of atmosphere and constant tapas bar for us! One of our first day trips was out to Grandvewe where we enjoyed a cheese platter for breakfast, with some seriously good Manchego style cheese and pinot paste as a superior quince paste alternative - made from wine-making waste! We found conversing with the lambs quite hilarious - I think some may have been going through puberty as their voices were breaking! Baaa-aaaaaaaa!

Whilst in Hobart we of course had to go to MONA, the Museum of Old and New Art. It was an impressive building, reaching into the depths of the earth. Perhaps not the best environment for someone with claustrophobia issues... Not a fan of most modern art at the best of times, combine this with compressed spaces, dim lighting, lots of people and the sensory assault of many screens, audio tracks etc,  - I nearly had a panic attack! Really, does modern art have to be this nasty?!!
Leaving Hobart, we went through picturesque Richmond (main objective - cheese!) Success! Another cheese platter breakfast at Wicked Cheese! Om nom nom!! This is the life!! ( Apologies, gratuitous cheese reference!) After an enjoyable walk through the town in fabulous weather, we headed out towards the East Coast, towards Bicheno. Here we found a fabulous rocky coastline in freezing cold winds (people, it's January - why am I wearing two coats and earwarmers?!!) Loved the grasses - very New Zealand - and was captivated by the kelp beds once again.
We ended up in St Helens for the night, and drove out to Skeleton Point at the Bay of Fires. More rocks, more fabulous kelp! Lying on the coastline, moving softly and slightly creepily in the tidal wash, they looked like a magnificent bed of Triffids! The colours were amazing, and photographed really well with the kelp being glisteningly wet.

 We found a lovely spot to stay in St Helens, and I enjoyed a late evening walk along the mudflats, gathering windfall leaves to use in eco-dyeing/printing. It reminded me of being on biology field trips with father, tramping through mud and revelling in the glory of nature. Wish you were here, Dad. Here is my haul - I can't wait to try them out!
On our way from St Helens to Launceston, we stopped off at St Columba Falls, where we really enjoyed the magical forest walk to the falls. We also stopped off at - surprise! A cheddar cheesery! Pyengana cheesery. Grilled cheese on toast this time, finished off with a honey ice-cream in delicious waffle cone. Oh yeh.
We ended our journey in Launceston before wending our way home. I think I will remember Tasmania as a place of cheese and kelp, which looks like New Zealand. It was an action-packed week, and I have left a lot of it out here - but that's called editing.
Returning to real life, it's back to working on my  2014 entries for the World of WearableArt in 40 degrees Celcius plus! Yahooo!! I'm already quite excited, and well on the way with two outfits for sure - hoping for more. We'll see what my study schedule allows this year....
All the best for 2014 Folks!

1 comment:

  1. Fantastic travel notes! I love lambs, and cheese and those amazing seaweed plant forms! Imagine the solar dyeing you could do! Agree re Modern can be nasty! Haven't been to MONA, but have heard similar. That photo of you holding up the giant kelp is the bomb. You look STRONG! Xx