Monday, August 2, 2010

Huon Valley Day 1

Today has been a long day. We left Graham Court at about 8.30 am and didn't get back until 5.15 pm and we only saw 3 things.
The first place we went to was the Tahune Airwalk. It was the furtherest away and once there we could work our way back to Hobart. It is a platform that is raised an average of 20 metres above the forest floor and is around 950 metres long. It takes about 30 minutes to cover the distance because there are so many things to see. The trees are fantastic and they go straight up. On average they are 45 metres high with some going up to 60 metres.

The area has a yearly average of 70 inches of rain which causes the trees to grow really well. The floor of the forest is always wet so any leaves etc. that fall to the ground will break down and give back back the nutrients to the plants there. The walk back from the end of the Airwalk to the visitors centre has been cut through the trees and in places there are trees that have fallen over the track. Sections have to be cut out of the tree so that the track can go through and some of these fallen trees are over 1 metre thick.

On the way back to the town of Geeveston which is where you turn off to the Airwalk we went down a road that had a sign Big Tree lookout. It was about 1 km off the main road but it was surfaced. When we got there there was a walkway leading off into the scrub. We followed this and we came to a big tree. GINORMOUS!!!! I reckon the butt was about 3 metres across and it was over 70 metres high. It would have to be the largest tree I have ever seen. Even the trees that I saw in WA were not as big as this tree. I reckon that you could get enough timber out of the tree for at least 2 houses that are covered in weatherboard.

In the town of Geeveston there are a number of wooden sculptures around the town of prominent townspeople. The people depicted are people from the past, recent past and present. I took a photo that I am including in the blog of the local policeman that was the towns policeman from the mid 1940's to the 1970's. He is depicted with his children. There was quite a write up about him,but the main thing that I got out of it was that if he found a kid doing something wrong he would deliver them to their parents.

Our second visit was to the Wooden Boat Company at Franklin. The company was formed to train people in the skills needed to build wooden boats. There is a quote in the visitors area by one of the boat builders that says something like, I like building boats in wood, God didn't create a fibreglass tree.

There were two boats being built there, one was being built by the boats owner who had done all the work by himself. It is a really nice little sailing boat that he will be able to sail single handed. The other boat is being built for a Japanese chef. The company has been commissioned to build the boat which is a pleasure cruiser which will be used as accommodation when the chef is in Tasmania.

We were able to go through the workshop and have a look at the work as it was progressing. The people doing the work were more than willing to talk to us and tell us what was being done and the progress of the boats. We all found it very interesting.

Visit number 3 was to a glass blower. Deb found the information about Richard Clements on the Internet. It gave a phone number because sometimes he is home and other times he is not. We gave him a ring and he was home and we spent over an hour watching him make perfume bottles out of glass. It might sound simple but the way he made them was very complicated, Starting off with a piece plain glass tube and ending up with a square gold/orange spotted perfume bottle about 75 mm high and 30 mm square. I didn't buy anyone a sample because they were a little expensive, although they were quite nice to look at.

If you want to see some examples of his work go to We watched him complete a perfume bottle which was shaped like a square pyramid an make from scratch a perfume bottle that was 75 mm high and 30 mm square. We couldn't see what the final colours were going to be like because it was still red rot and had to be put into a furnace to complete the process.

I think I have made up for the short blog yesterday.

Today we went down the west of the Huon Valley and tomorrow we are of east.


PS. The standards of some members of the touring part are dropping. Pat actually went out today in un-ironed trousers.

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