The Atrium Tea Room, Hadley’s Orient Hotel, Hobart.
Roald Amundsen wasn’t happy in Hobart in 1912. Apart from being besieged by media wanting the scoop story of his epic trek to the South Pole, we’re told he recorded in his diary that his room in Hadley’s Orient Hotel was ‘miserable’.
Really? The man had just spent months sharing a tent with four smelly Norwegian mates and some huskies and he found a warm hotel room a bit squeezy?
It’s hard to imagine he’d have much to complain about in Hadley’s these days, especially if he stayed in the spacious suite that now bears his name. Continue reading
Hobart’s Theatre Royal – once destined for destruction, but now saved and flourishing.
I hope I never get over the excitement of seeing a play in an iconic venue, particularly when I’ve written the play myself.
While The 26-Storey Treehouse was playing in the Sydney Opera House in January, I loved strolling smugly past the tourists taking their selfies outside, flashing my backstage pass at the Stage Door and walking through to chat with the cast and crew, then heading out into the foyer to mingle with the audience. It was my theatre for the month.
Now the play is on tour, this week in the oldest theatre in Australia, and arguably the most beautiful. Continue reading
Visitors are encouraged to be convicts for a minute or two. Unbolt the door to the tiny cell, shut the door and experience the pitch darkness of solitary confinement.
I didn’t think up the witty headline of this post. It’s the title of our historian friend David Young’s Ph.D. thesis, which examines how Tasmania turned its grim convict past into tourist dollars.
The village of Richmond, a short drive out of Hobart, is a prime example of this enterprise. Continue reading
19th century interest in Russell Falls started it all.
Australia’s oldest national park is the Royal National Park south of Sydney. Mt Field wasn’t far behind.
It was declared a nature reserve in 1885 and became a national park in 1916. It also has a dubious distinction as the place the last known Tasmanian tiger, or thylacine, was captured in 1933; they’ve changed the rules about taking nearly extinct species out of national parks since then.
Now it is one of Tasmania’s most popular parks, partly because it is only 64km from Hobart, and partly because it contains some of the most beautiful and varied terrain in the state, the country or indeed on the planet. We were happy to join the day-trippers on a short walk to the gorgeous Russell Falls – carrying the camera of course. Continue reading
It’s called Platypus Bay, though we’re unlikely to spot any in the middle of a clear day, Dusk and dawn are platypus times.
The weather is changeable and we’re not well equipped for a serious hike.
Fortunately there are short walks from the Lake St Clair Visitor Centre that suit us perfectly.
As more intrepid adventurers stride in, drop their packs and order pizzas, having completed their 7-day trek along the famous Overland Track, we set out for a stroll along the lakeside to Watersmeet, carrying nothing but a camera. Continue reading
Landing strip below! Is there a better destination anywhere in the world? We’ll be staying at Pumphouse Point. Yes, in that little building at the end of the causeway.
It was our first trip by seaplane. We hope it won’t be our last.
We were very lucky indeed to be invited to fly up to lovely Lake St Clair in Tasmania’s famous world heritage national park. While there we’ll be staying in the newly-opened Pumphouse Point wilderness retreat.
But getting there was half the fun. Continue reading