Phillip and I were on the road to Launceston on Saturday. We stopped in at Penny Royal which is an adventure playground/museum. They had a theme of early convict life, pirates and rock climbing. I didn’t quite get the use of spider webs and lit pumpkins. Very Halloween but little to do with convicts in Tasmania. I’ll post a couple more photos later but I was pleased with this shot of the waterfall coming down the cliff. You can see the rope bridge high up above Penny Royal in the photo.
As I mentioned in a previous post Allyson, Matt and I attended a charity cricket match in Launceston during our trip to the north of Tasmania. The match was to benefit The Ponting Foundation set up by former Australian Cricket Captain Ricky Ponting and his wife Rihanna. The foundation raises money to help children with cancer in Tasmania, Ricky is from Tasmania and still likes to support his home state even though he no longer lives here. Launceston is his home town so the stadium there, currently known as University of Tasmania (UTAS for short) Stadium, was the venue for the game. Most major men’s cricket matches are played in Hobart but when Ricky retired from cricket a few years ago a tribute match was played here featuring many well known cricketers and former cricketers and a few footballers as well. It was a huge success and also a lot of fun. I should know as I was there.
This particular cricket match had a football flavour to it as it was the North Melbourne AFL club who play some matches in Hobart versus the Hawthorn AFL club who play some matches in Launceston. Ricky, a North Melbourne supporter, captained that team while former cricketer and Hawthorn supporter Damien Fleming captained the other. There were a few retired footballers and Peter Siddle who has played cricket for Australia included in the teams.
Allyson, Matt and I arrived early for the match after a three hour drive from Hobart through what seemed like endless road works. We were happy to buy some food and relax in our seats which gave us an excellent view. There was another cricket match on when we arrived so we had a chance to set up our cameras ready for when the main match began.
Later on the two teams came out to warm up and we took quite a lot of photos. I am not in the least bit interested in AFL and especially not in football teams from Melbourne so I did not take that many of them but concentrated on the three cricketers which soon became five cricketers when two of our favourite Hurricanes players, George Bailey and Tim Paine, arrived. We wondered why they had come in their uniforms and why they were having Go Pro cameras strapped to their heads. It turned out that they were to be the umpires.
I won’t describe the match in detail but let’s say there was some very entertaining cricket played, not all of it good and some very close, some might say dubious umpiring decisions at times. However, the umpires word is law so if the batting team is four runs short and the umpire says that the last ball of the match is a no ball and must be bowled again who are we to argue? I really could not tell from where I was sitting if it was or not but as it resulted in a win for Ricky’s team I am not complaining.
It was not the easiest photography to do because of the long shadows the stadium threw across the ground at the evening went on. This proved quite a problem to me as I had not used my 100-300 zoom lens at twilight before. Allyson’s lens seemed to cope with it better. I have used some of Allyson’s photos here as credited.
After the presentation of the trophy the players all stayed around signing autographs and having their photos taken with the fans. When we left more than half an hour after the match ended Ricky and one or two of the footballers were still patiently signing for the few fans that were still there.
This weekend my friends Allyson, Matt and I went on a road trip to northern Tasmania. We had two goals for our trip. One was to attend a charity cricket match in Launceston, the other to visit the Little Blue Lake in the far north-east of the state.
This post is about the touring part of the trip. The photos were taken by Allyson, Matt and myself as credited.
The Little Blue Lake is in the north-eastern part of the state. To reach it you travel out of Launceston on the Tasman Highway. It is not a highway in the sense that roads in the USA and Europe are highways. It is the major route through the north-east and the east coast to Hobart but it is narrow and only one lane in each direction. There are many bends, some of them quite sharp as you climb through mountainous countryside. Like the Huon Valley the main industries in this area were agriculture, mainly dairy cattle I think and forestry but this part of Tasmania was also the site of tin mining at the turn of the last century.
We travelled through areas of old growth forest and there were some spectacular views. About an hour into our journey we reached a lookout where we stopped to take a break and some photos of course. Allyson has just bought a new Canon DSLR so she was keen to see what it could do. Here are two of her photos and two of mine. Allyson’s are the unedited versions, my two have been cropped and I used a blue gradient filter from my photo editing program on the sky in my first one.
Here are a couple more, one from Allyson and one from Matt.
We continued through to Scottsdale and Derby where we asked directions to the lake. Allyson’s parents had been there a long time ago and she thought it was near the town but it turned out to be several kilometres further down the road, half way to the next town, Gladstone Tasmania’s most north-easterly township (population 46).
There is a small viewing area at the lake which is a beautiful shade of blue. This is a naturally occurring effect. The lake was an old mine hole and when it filled with water the chemicals mixed with the white clay exposed by the mining operation reflects the colour of the sky. Sadly it is not as nice as it looks as the chemical content of the water makes it unsafe for swimming or drinking. The lake is fenced off as apart from that it would be a nasty fall.
After viewing the lake we continued on to Gladstone for a late lunch and discussed our route home. We considered staying on the Tasman Highway and going down the east coast to Hobart but the staff at the pub where we ate said that it would be faster to return the way we came. Looking at a map of Tasmania in the dining room I realised we were much further north than I had thought we were. As we were driving all the way back to my place and wanted to reach it before dark we decided to take their advice and set off on the return journey at about three in the afternoon. We did make a few stops, for petrol, dinner and calls of nature but still made it home by about eight thirty in the evening while it was still light. Quite a journey, especially considering that Allyson is the only one of the three of us that can drive.
I would like to have stayed longer to take photos in Derby which looked an interesting town an is popular with mountain bikers who ride the local trails and learn a bit about the tin mining at the Tin Dragon Interpretation Centre so perhaps another visit will be in order one day.
I’ll finish up with a few of Allyson’s nature photos.
About this time last year I spent a couple of days in Launceston where I treated myself to a river cruise.
This week I heard that Ford plans to pull out of V8 Supercar racing in Australia. For many Aussie motor sport fans the V8’s are about just one thing. Ford versus Holden.
I especially can’t imagine the Bathurst 1,000 km race without this famous rivalry from the two major manufacturers. I suppose there will still be Fords being raced in the future but not a factory team so it won’t be quite the same.