Sisters Beach: First Impressions

Naomi and I are just back from our trip to Sisters Beach. We left Oatlands early on Thursday morning. It is a long drive but despite wet weather and roadworks we made good time and had time for lunch at the local shop and a quick drive around the neighbourhood before going to the house.

We were hoping to show you some photos of the house but due to some miscommunication between the owner and our real estate agent, we arrived to find that the tenants were in the process of moving out. We were able to have a look around but didn’t take any photos inside we will have to keep you in suspense for a couple more weeks.

We did manage to take some nice photos of the beach between showers though. It’s just as beautiful as we thought it would be. Here are a few of my photos and below Naomi’s photos and impressions of the day. I have read that it is possible to see whales and dolphins from the shore at this time of year and I am looking forward to that. Once we get settled we’re going to research the history of the area a little more and we’ll share what we find here.

Sisters Beach Tasmania
Fishing Jetty
Sisters Creek

Well, the big day finally arrived on Thursday, November 7th after much anticipation. I got up early and made some breakfast for each of us and then after settling the dogs we piled coats and cameras into Wazza and set off. November has been very cold. In fact, it has not been much of a Spring at all. We have been having temperatures of eight and nine in Oatlands and the weather all the way to Sisters Beach did not look promising. It was rather a gloomy day with wind and rain but we left in high spirits to the sound of some of our favourite 70s and 80s artists. With stopping for fuel along the way I think we did the trip in three and a half hours.

Sisters Beach, of course, is on the north coast near Burnie and Wynyard. Burnie is a city while Wynyard is a very large town. So if you are thinking of looking it up on a map that is where you will find it, 12 kilometres west of Wynyard. We got there a little early as I had suggested leaving early to allow for the seven-year Midland Highway upgrades and other problems that might occur throughout our journey. As it was raining we had taken it a little easy. Despite this, we had plenty of time for lunch and a little drive around the neighbourhood. I was pleased to see that there were still quite a few of the original little timber houses still standing. 
An original Sisters Beach home

Around by the beach, we found a nice park. There was a playground for the children and a lovely lawn area. There were clean toilets and a large car park. We found a few paths leading to different parts of the beach. It was raining so we only had a quick walk on the beach. I decided to take my photos later if the weather cleared up a bit. We went to the one and only General Store which is the heart of the community. They have meetings there for the town as well as selling take away food, the paper and other odds and sods. We got some hot chips and a hot drink each and stayed there until it was time to go to the house. To pass the time while we waited for our food we checked out the notice board and watched to see if any locals and holidaymakers would enter the store. I was all ready to suss them out. Well, the big moment finally arrived and we drove over to Buz Street. Our home faces Lagoon Street. Buz Street is just an alley to connect Lagoon to Honeysuckle so I had to park on Lagoon. I found I could not park at our house as there were numerous vehicles including the tenants moving van.  I found a spot behind the agent’s car across the road. The scene looked pretty chaotic with people packing up, cats and huge barking dogs that were not thrilled to have visitors. Still, we ventured inside and had a bit of a look around since we had come all that way. The house was in an uproar and the agent was, of course, curious about us and asked us about ourselves and our plans. We happily chatted as we explored the house trying to picture our furniture in the various rooms. The idea had been to measure the spaces and match them up with what we had written down in our notes but I found the presence of the agent and the tenant who had stayed back rather distracting. This is our house.

Our new home (not my car)

I was thrilled with the house as it had big rooms, two kitchens and multiple bathrooms giving us choices. We’ll explain about the rooms later. The fancy red carpet is just right to go with my dark timber furniture. Outside there is a good-sized laundry, a double garage, gazebo and covered walkway to get to them. We also have a lovely big balcony where we can sit and enjoy the fresh air. We will take photos as soon as we can get back there so watch out for those at a later date. So after looking around at the gardens and chatting with the tenant, we thought we ought to leave so we went back to the beach and had another drive around. Here are a few pictures I took while at the seafront.GE DIGITAL CAMERASisters Creek meeting the sea.

I found the beach lovely and clean.
Big waves came rolling in.
Rocky Cape 
I don’t know that the little island is called yet.
Sisters Beach from the beach.


Whole Town Garage Sale 2019

My Garage Sale Finds

Well today was one of my favourite days of the year. Whole Town Garage Sale Day. I love it and hate it when I have to work that particular Sunday. In fact nothing pisses me off more than missing out on this day. Today there were 16 sales listed on the town map that you can purchase at the Bargain Centre for a dollar. It’s very handy as you can plan your route out a bit. I did all the side streets first and then the main street as there seem to be less stuff on the High Street this year, Some people were only taking the opportunity to move on their children’s outgrown toys and clothes while others had a lot of plants. I was lucky to find a lot of people with used household goods and retro items. I always go for the retro items. I try to get out early enough as I have to try to beat the local antique dealer to the best items. He goes around in the morning and opens his shop up just before lunch time. As for myself I did quite well. I emptied my wallet but ended up loading Wazza up. So here is what I bought today.

  1. Vintage Potty Chair for Vanda’s dolls
  2. Ideal baby doll and pushchair for Vanda
  3. Vintage General Electric hair dryer for my appliance collection
  4. Nest of tables for our new house
  5. Brass “Toilet” & “Bathroom” door plates for new house
  6. Vintage teddy bear for me
  7. Two vintage bottles for bottle collection
  8. Small cabinet for new house

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    I had such a good day today. I got some good bargains. I had gone out setting myself a limit on what I could spend and I stayed well under it. The nest of tables will probably get painted in a nicer colour. I’ll discuss that with Vanda later. The potty chair will probably get restored and possibly get some pretty baby type transfers put on. It should be painted in bright cheery colours since it is for a tot. Vanda will clean and tidy the doll. It has an issue with its eyes. I think someone has coloured over them. It looks rather surprised. Anyway that is up to her. It has an old vintage outfit on which is rather nice. I had a nice chat with several friends I met enroute around the town. I was surprised to see a couple of people since I didn’t think they went to garage sales. Others were just out for the fun of going around for a look and others were hitting the trail trying to find certain things. I met a few friends who were of course having their own sales and I was happy to be able to buy something from most of them.. The only disappointment was not getting a nice cake from the market. Even though I got there about fifteen minutes after they started I missed out on the best cakes. There was only ginger or pineapple bars left and I wasn’t too keen on them. There was a sausage sizzle outside so got one with sauce. Come lunch time it was time to head home and get lunch and walk the puppy dogs. 


Trees in Spring

I chose to have deciduous trees in my garden because although they are bare in winter they are so pretty in autumn and it is always a treat to see the first new leaves in spring. I especially appreciate it after last summer when it was so hot and dry. I was quite worried about my garden while I was evacuated for two weeks. I mean I was worried that my house might burn down but I was also worried that my plants would die from lack of water but they all made it.

Apple tree 2019

The apple tree has a nice lot of blossoms. I thought I would lose the lot before I could really enjoy them as it is windy here in spring but I didn’t. The tree looks untidy because it wasn’t pruned when it should have been.

My Japanese Maple acquired a bit of a lean in its first year and still looks a bit tipsy but the leaves are nice. I think that it must be different from what is known as a Japanese Maple in the USA because this one has red leaves all the time. This was planted in 2015. The lovely, light green Gleditsia has also had its issues. After the first year the leaves at top of the tree stopped growing so when last winter came I decided to snip the top of the tree off. I hope that it will encourage it to grow better. This was also planted in 2015.

When I came back home after the fires this Japanese Weeping Maple did not look good, leaves were dropping and the remaining ones had turned rather dark. I wasn’t sure if it was because autumn was approaching or it was struggling in the dry weather. Anyway, it’s back. Not very tall but a lovely shape and colour. It’s 3 years old now.

I did look up the name of this plant once but I have forgotten it. When we moved in it was a small and rather straggly tree. A branch broke off and David had our neighbour chainsaw it almost to extinction but it is a stubborn plant and came back. It is more shrub-like now and the former garden guys used to prune it into a more attractive shape. Most of the time it is not very pretty but for a few weeks in spring, it gets these wonderful flowers.

Life of a Hedge 2019

Every year since it was planted in September 2014 I have taken a photo of the photinia hedge in my front garden.

Cindy investigates the new plants
Photinia Hedge 2018

Five years have passed since then and now the hedge is looking magnificent. It is always at its best in spring when there is a growth spurt and it is covered in new red leaves. It has got so big now that when I am coming home on the bus I can tell the driver, “Drop me off near the house with the red hedge.”

It has survived the early attacks of possums or wallabies who chewed the leaves. It survived the neighbours who like to drive their quad bikes in front of my house and the postie who pulls up beside the hedge to get to the mailbox. It has survived dry summers when I didn’t like to water it too often in case it seemed wasteful, especially last summer when we had the bushfires and we were afraid the local supply might not be enough for the firefighters.

Taken from the same spot I took photos in previous years.

Now it is a home for small birds who hide in it. I see them popping in and out from between the leaves in the morning when I am waiting for my ride to the shop.

Finally, I’d like to show you the backup tree. When I ordered the original plants the garden guys suggested that I buy an extra one in case any died. That way we could replace it and there would not be a gap in the hedge. I took their advice and bought one which I planted myself at the bottom of the back garden near the compost bin. As it happened I did lose a couple of trees but not in the first year and the others had grown sufficiently that the gap would be covered. Just as well too because the backup tree grew like crazy and after a year or so was much bigger than its front yard relations. Looking at it today it is hard to believe they are the same age.

Photinias are sometimes grown as trees and this one flowers regularly. This article rather unkindly states that they are rather unattractive flowers and smell bad. Granted they are not the most attractive flowering plants in the world but people mostly grow them for the leaves. I never expected my little plant at the bottom of the garden to turn into a big, leafy tree but it does a good job of blocking part of the view of “Ugly House” behind me.

House Moving Day

I thought that one of the neighbours at the back of my house must be getting some work done recently, there have been diggers there and one day, a cement mixer. Then last Friday I noticed a huge crane had arrived. It appears I am getting a new neighbour. The crane was lifting a house into place.

The houses directly at the back of me are all transportable homes and were put in about ten years ago now I think. The former owner of the land built this small subdivision consisting of six or eight house blocks behind us, built an access road, and we watched as fences went up and the houses arrived. Up until that time we had an old post and rail fence separating us from the empty paddocks. The developer discovered that part of our land belonged to him, there are a lot of dodgy property lines in Tasmania. We had to lose a couple of metres but he did not ask us to pay half the cost of the new fence so it didn’t work out too badly for us. I was happy to have a more secure fence and happy it was high enough that I could not see much of the ugly houses when they arrived. Honestly, the one directly at the back of me has to be one of the ugliest transportable houses I have ever seen.

The Scene in 2009

October 2019

I looked into the back yard soon after the crane arrived and realised that they were getting ready to lift the new house of the truck it had arrived on. I had plenty of time to get the camera.

I watched as the crane operators attached cables to the house and lifted it high to swing it into position.

I know it was the angle I was viewing from but it honestly looked as if the swinging house was going to hit the one next door to it.

Finally, the house was lowered into what seemed to be an odd position, slightly at an angle to its neighbours. Now it just has to be connected to services and the owners can move in.