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
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. 
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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.

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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.

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

 

Road Trip to the North

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.

Birds on a sign, photo by Ally Clark
Birds on a sign, photo by Ally Clark

Allyson and I. I think I had the sun in my eyes as I always forget to bring sunglasses.
Allyson and me. I think I had the sun in my eyes as I always forget to bring sunglasses.

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.

Further Reading

http://www.wilmapaustralia.com.au/tas/tour_areas/northeast.html

http://www.aussietowns.com.au/town/gladstone-tas

https://www.northeasttasmania.com.au/little-blue-lake

http://www.discovertasmania.com.au/about/regions-of-tasmania/launceston-and-north/derby

http://www.discovertasmania.com.au/attraction/tindragoninterpretationcentreandcafe

Map of Tasmania, Look for Launcestson, Scottsdale, Derby and Gladstone in the north east.
Map of Tasmania, Look for Launcestson, Scottsdale and Gladstone in the north east. Geeveston is south of Hobart.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Good Times

David at Port Huon 2014
David at Port Huon 2014

One of the things that David and I enjoyed was going for a drive together. Sometimes we had a plan, where we would go and what we would do, other times we just picked a direction. David always carried a camera in the car, he was old school and still using film cameras long after I’d switched to a digital camera.

After I started this blog I would sometimes ask him if we could go for a drive so I could take photos of something or other. Every year for about five years we would go for a drive along the Channel Highway when the scarecrow competition was being held and David would stop the car every time I spotted one I wanted to photograph. When I said that I wanted to photograph the apple blossoms he happily drove me around the orchards till I got the pictures I wanted.

On our last couple of visits to Adelaide we drove around the back roads of Port Adelaide photographing the old wool stores and other buildings we feared would be demolished or “yuppified”.

Another former wool store in Port Adelaide
Another former wool store in Port Adelaide

He liked to take back roads and over the years he explored a lot of places in the Huon Valley on his own. If he found a spot he thought I would like he would take me there later. I’m a little nervous about going up and down steep hills in a car but the views were always worth it.

The photos in this post were taken on some of those outings.

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