Friday, July 30, 2010

Queenstown to Hobart

We're in Hobart!

Last night we stayed in Queenstown and this morning we headed off towards Hobart with no plans to get there today, we would if we could.

We headed off to the first stop at Derwent Bridge where there is a Wilderness Wall. The wilderness Wall is going to be 100 metres long and it appears to be about 2 metres high. The sculptor who is doing the work has given himself 10 years to complete the project and he reached the half way mark in March this year. The work is absolutely fabulous and the detail in is fantastic. He has figures of miners and timber getters where you can see the veins in their hands and arms. I don't think I would have anywhere near the patience to do any of it. As you go into the building that has been built for the wall there are some examples of his work. There are leather gloves that he has carved out of a piece of wood that look so real. Will have to go back in 5 years time to see the finished work.

From Derwent Bridge where there is a bridge over the Derwent River we headed towards a town called Hamilton. There was some impressive scenery along the way. There were some areas where there was thick scrub right up to the road, some where it was wide open and very marshy and some with a mixture of everything. About 20 minutes after Derwent Bridge we stopped in the centre of Tasmania for morning tea. There was a shelter with tables where we stopped and Phill went for a walk to stretch his legs and found a cairn set up by the surveyors of Tasmania which in the geographical centre of Tasmania. I suppose I am stretching the truth to say we had morning tea there, actually we were about 10 metres away.

After morning tea we headed towards Hamilton. Where we went was through a lot of country that is being used for hydroelectricity, either for water storage or power stations.

It was interesting to see some of the water storage. We went across one of the storage dams that was made of rock fill with a clay core. It was called Binney Dam that held 26 million cubic metres of water. This was only one of a number (not sure how many) storage dams that were in the central highlands. There are large canals the deliver water to the pipes that take the water to the turbines. So much water everywhere. Looked a bit cold to swim in though.
There were quite a few old churches on the way. In the village of Ouse there were 2 beautiful churches, one Roman Catholic and the other Anglican. The Anglican Church was built in 1842 and 43. There is so much old architecture down in this state that it is hard not to see any. We had lunch at the hotel in Hamilton. It was built from 1826 to 1838, first as a shop and residence and in 1838 it was licensed. Very thick walls. In some places when you went through a door it felt like going through a tunnel. The walls were about 400 mm thick.

The trip from Hamilton to Hobart passed next to the Derwent River a lot of the way. We also came across another really old church which was built in 1848. Unfortunately the ravages of time are taking their toll. It has some steel frames reinforcing either end of the building to keep the walls upright. There was also a cemetery at the church with some of the graves dating back to the middle of the 1800's. Interesting reading some of the inscriptions on the headstones.

We are staying at the Graham Apartments in New Town. They are quite nice and we have a ground floor apartment which means no climbing of stairs. It has all we should need for the 5 days we are booked. It has a full sized stove and microwave so will be able to do some cooking for ourselves. Tomorrow we will be heading for the Salamanca Markets which open at 8.30.

It's so cold down here in Tasmania, even the fence posts are wearing beanies.

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