RDP: River

The Wild River

We have a lot of rivers in Tasmania, so many that much of our power comes from hydro-electric power plants.

Tungatinah Power Station

It was the proposed damming of a river, the Franklin, in the southwest of the state that led to the blockade of the river in the summer of 1982-83. It is quite an involved story starting further back when the Hydro-Electric Commission (HEC)  built a dam which caused the flooding of  Lake Pedder, a renowned beauty spot, in 1972.

When the state government of the day proposed to dam the Franklin River the newly formed Tasmanian Wilderness Society began their campaign to save it. It’s a long story that has more to do with politics than with rivers but it is interesting reading so I’ll include a link to an article by Professor Clive Hamilton who tells the story much better than I can.

Below is Peter Dombrovskis famous photo taken on the Franklin and used by the Tasmanian Wilderness Society to publicise the issue.

Rock island bend.jpg
By National Library of Australia nla.pic-an6631500-v, Fair use, Link

image canoe
Peter Dombrovskis’ Canoe-TMAG, Hobart

I do remember the blockade. We were still living in South Australia and every night the news would have stories sent from this tiny place, Strahan, that we had never heard of before then. Many celebrities, Australian and international including Sir Yehudi Menuhin, ­Barry Humphries, Eartha Kitt, Dick Smith, and ­David Bellamy took part in the blockade beside ordinary people from every state in Australia. David and I watched the news and cheered for the blockaders many of whom were arrested and when they refused to keep away from the river as part of their bail conditions were removed to jail in Hobart.

In the end, a Federal Labor government was elected in early 1983 and one of their first acts was to stop the dam from being built.

An old HEC logo in the visitor centre in Strahan

When we first visited Strahan many years later I learned at the visitor centre how the whole issue had divided families. To this day there are still people who believe that dam should have been built but the Franklin is still a wild river. I’ve never seen it but I’m happy knowing it is there. I have cruised on the Gordon River which flows into it. The point where the two rivers join was one of the proposed sites for the dam.

Gordon River, Tasmania

Further Reading:






Weekly Photo Challenge: Liquid

Near The Water

I’ve always been drawn to places where there is water and I take a lot of photographs of bodies of water wherever I go.

I’ve always loved to be by the sea. As a child a trip to the seaside was an annual treat but even then it wasn’t just about amusements, paddling,  ice cream or donkeys on the beach. I liked to look at the sea. At the beach you can see the power of the waves  breaking against the shore.

We spent a month on a ship sailing to Australia from England and it fascinated me to watch the waves  and see the wake the ship left behind us. Fast forward fifty years and I find sitting in a deck chair looking at the water one of the best parts of a cruise holiday.

The ocean and the sky.

I live in Tasmania, it is a state that is blessed with many rivers and lakes. Occasionally nature plays tricks and there are floods or droughts but mostly they are a source of pleasure.  I feel calm when I’m by the water and I’m never bored because it is always different.  Some days the water could be as smooth as glass and you can see the reflections as clearly as in a mirror. Other days there are little ripples that make it sparkle and then there are the grey, wintry days when it looks cold and forbidding.

Huon River, first day of winter . 1 Jun 2008

Jeremiah Ryan at Port Huon
image Huon River at Huonville
The Huon River from the bridge at Huonville

I like the sight and the sound of fountains too. I find them very relaxing .

The fountain in Salamanca Square, Hobart
image fountain
The El Alamein Fountain in Kings Cross, Sydney
fountain, Botanical Gardens, Hobart
Close up of the French  Memorial fountain,  Botanical Gardens Hobart

Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge

Which Way Adelaide Parklands

It has been some time since I have participated in Cee’s Which Way Challenge. It has been quite frustrating because it is one of my favourite photo challenges.This past winter I’ve so rarely been able to be out and about with the camera that I’ve had little opportunity to take new photos. These which ways were taken on my recent visit to Adelaide. I grew up in this city although it has been nearly fifteen years since I moved away from there. As I arrived in Adelaide the the flight path was over the city and I could see the Railway Station, Festival Centre and the surrounding parklands. I used to spend a lot of time around there so I thought it was about time that I visited again. There have been a lot of changes, the main one being this bridge across the  River Torrens . The new walkway allows you to walk out of the  railway station, convention centre or the adjacent Hyatt Hotel and across the bridge to Adelaide Oval to attend sporting events or concerts at Adelaide Oval or Memorial Drive Tennis Centre. I quite like this idea now that I have seen it.

When I lived in Adelaide I often used to take the path beside the river to walk from the station to my  job in North Adelaide. I enjoyed it in the early morning when there would often be rowing crews practicing on the river. The path goes past Adelaide University where at that time I knew my sister would be working at her early morning cleaning job in one of the buildings and then past the zoo where I would hear the lions roaring as I went past.  If  I walked back that way after work I would see the “Popeye” boats taking people to and from the zoo and families out in the colourful paddle boats you can see in the foreground of thephoto of the river.


Birkenhead Bridge – Port Adelaide

Bridge over the Port River, Port Adelaide , SA
Birkenhead Bridge over the Port River, Port Adelaide , SA

I took a number of pictures of the Birkenhead Bridge in Port Adelaide and decided to experiment with this one turning it black and white and adding a feature called “film grain” in my Picasa editing software.

Cee’s Compose Yourself Photo Challenge – Week #14 – Symmetry

Composing Myself – Symmetry

This week Cee has asked us to show examples of symmetry in our photos. I didn’t know the word when I was a child but I understood what it was. I think that my mother found symmetry very attractive. She always liked to have two of each type of ornament she displayed so we had pairs of brass vases, black plaster statuettes, candlestick holders and so on. The mantel over the fireplace was where many of these things were displayed and mum was very careful about putting them back in order after dusting. There would be the clock in the middle and one of each type of ornament on each side. “I like it to be balanced.” she used to say. Once when she bought a little boat made from seashells on holidays she was not really happy until she was able to find another one the same so that her mantel would once again be perfectly balanced. A glance at my mantelpiece today would soon show you that I am my mother’s daughter as my ornaments and pictures are also “balanced”.

I love reflections and one of the delightful things about living near the Huon River is the days when it is calm and reflects like a mirror. The photos I have used for this challenge are probably ones you have seen before as they are photos I especially like.

The first one was taken on a cruise on the Gordon River on the west coast of Tasmania. It was a dark day and rained at times but the water was like glass. I think the trees lining both banks add to the symmetry. The next one was taken one day when I had some time to kill in Huonville and was taking some photos by the river. I think the reflection of the blue sky and clouds is what I liked most about this shot. It would have been rather ordinary without them. The next two were taken at Port Huon when the Cartela was there briefly before going to Franklin to await restoration. I had gone to take pictures of the old ferry specifically but I think these pictures were my favourite of those I took that day because of the marvellous reflections.


Gordon River, Tasmania
Gordon River, Tasmania
image Huon River at Huonville
The Huon River from the bridge at Huonville
A beautiful winter day at Port Huon
A beautiful winter day at Port Huon
MV Cartela-Port Huon Wharf- July 2014
MV Cartela-Port Huon Wharf- July 2014

One last one, taken on the same Gordon River Cruise. I was standing out on the very windy open area in the bows and I turned around to photograph the upper deck and bridge. There is even two people up there. Mum would have liked that.

Gordon River cruise boat.
Gordon River cruise boat.


I think that Cee is right about the love of symmetry being hard-wired in most of us and I think that I probably take pictures that express it quite unconciously at times.  I also think that is why I like certain types of architecture such as art deco and dislike more modern abstract  designs. All the lines going everywhere don’t sit well with my brain.


Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge -2015 -Week #2

About this time last year I spent a couple of days in Launceston where I treated myself to a river cruise.

Criuising on the Tamar River, Launceston
cruising on the Tamar River, Launceston
Tamar River, Launceston Tasmania
Tamar River, Launceston Tasmania
Cruising on the Tamar
Cruising on the Tamar