Here in Tasmania we’ve just ended Daylight Saving and in spite of some warm autumn days it won’t be long before summer is just a memory.
I’m not a really big fan of hot weather. In fact it was the hot Adelaide summers that were a major factor in Hubby and I deciding to leave. In recent years there have been more heatwaves where the temperature has been over 40 degrees Celsius for days on end. I am sure that we didn’t have those when I was a child which is why I believe climate change is real, unlike our Prime Minister. However this post is not meant to be a rant about our political leaders.
Summer in Tasmania, while it has hot days, is much pleasanter as it is rarely so hot that you can’t sleep at night and there are outdoor events to be enjoyed.
It is certainly more enjoyable to watch the Hobart Christmas Parade in early December under sunny skies than freezing wind and rain although we sometimes get that too.
Apart from Christmas the events I enjoy the most in the summer are the arrival of the Sydney Hobart Race yachts and watching cricket.
Boxing day is the beginning of all this and watching the first day of the Boxing Day Test Match on television has become a bit of a ritual for me. During the lunch break we change channels to watch the yachts sail out of Sydney Harbour. The next few days we track the progress of the yachts online and try to watch at least some of the Test Match each day. Once the first yachts have arrived, usually around the 28th or 29th, we plan a day in Hobart to see as many of them as we can. If the arrival times work we may even choose a spot in the Derwent Estuary to watch them sail by.
Usually by this time The Taste of Tasmania has opened and while in Hobart I try to fit in a visit to No. 1 Shed, Princes Wharf to try some different foods and drinks. It’s nice to sit outside watching the activity on the waterfront but even though it’s not as hot as Adelaide the sun here has a bite to it. Sunscreen is a must. On the lawns outside Parliament House there are more food stalls and a big screen is set up for patrons to watch the cricket while kids play mini cricket on the grass.
There is more cricket across the Derwent at Blundstone Arena. The Big Bash League matches are played in December and January while most people are on holidays and I enjoy going to them with my friends. If we are lucky there will be an international cricket match as well and we may see Australia play India, Sri Lanka, West Indies or even England. Now that the ground has lights the matches are sometimes played as day/night events starting in the afternoon and going on until after 10pm. It’s very pleasant to sit in the grandstand on a summer evening especially if your team is winning. Hobart weather can be unpredictable though so more often than not I have a jacket and a cloth to dry my seat if it rains and I’ve gone to seek shelter for a while. In fact this summer the weeks after Christmas were very wet and some events were cancelled or delayed because of it. One BBL match I attended was abandoned another was played with a reduced number of overs and I had to take my yacht pictures in the rain, but that’s Hobart for you.
My biggest treat this summer was to go to Launceston to see the Ricky Ponting Tribute cricket match. I really enjoyed the solo trip and as well as seeing the game I had time to go for a cruise on the Tamar River and revisit one of my favourite places, the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery at Inveresk. It was very hot in Launceston, well it was around 30 degrees I think but it felt hotter. I chose the boat cruise the morning after the cricket match because I knew it would be too hot for me to walk about taking photos as I’d originally planned to do. I’d learned the previous summer in Sydney that walking in the heat doesn’t agree with me any more. The boat trip was lovely though, we cruised into Cataract Gorge and then up the Tamar past vineyards, old churches and farm houses and had a complimentary wine tasting as well as morning tea. It was very relaxing sitting outside and enjoying a cool breeze and chatting to the other passengers. All the other people on the tour were tourists from the mainland, some were caravanners. I quite enjoyed being the only Tasmanian resident apart from the crew. I picked the QVMAG for my afternoon visit because apart from the fact that I’d promised myself I would visit the Planetarium next time I was there it had another important attraction – air conditioning!
I enjoyed our annual trip down the Channel Highway to see the Scarecrow competition entries for the Middleton fair.
I’ve also enjoyed some picnics with friends, a group of us get together at a favourite picnic spot by the Huon River every few weeks. It’s usually the only time we meet and there always seems to be something interesting to talk about.
All in all it was a good summer for me but now it’s autumn which is a season that I also enjoy, soon we’ll have winter and I’ll be once again hoping for bit of snow to fall on Geeveston and then spring when I’ll look forward to seeing the spring bulbs in bloom and maybe getting up to Wynyard to see the tulip festival again. Before I know it the time for Christmas, cricket and yachts will come around again.