Day off in Launceston

Jan 25

Barry and I enjoyed a day off from the cycles today but were quite busy anyway. We started off with a hike up the beautiful gorge on the Tamar River. It is the most widely known attraction in this clean pleasant little city. There is a chair lift you can ride but we chose to walk the trail adjacent to the gorge. It wound its way up, down and around the bends while moving through the deep chasm with its rugged rocky sides. It is a dry time of year so the trees growing through opportunities in the rock were largely brown and blended into the surrounds. There were several park areas we hiked through. In one of these greener areas I saw my first live wallaby. A second one came over to check us out as well. Photo time.

At the head of the river was a small lake (the river was dry above this) and a small covered bandstand was tucked into a cluster of large shade trees. A beautiful spot. I walked in and discovered that it had been built in 1896 with funds donated by a local women’s group for Sunday concerts. All other activities were halted during these concerts including chaining up the children’s swings and “no playing games.” We were surprised to find peacocks wandering through the gardens. I took a photo of one of these gaudy birds on top of the roof. They were brought in when the gardens and bandstand were built and still reside here.

We wandered through the marina area as we worked our way back to our current home then spotting the National Automobile Museum of Tasmania. They had a 1953 Holden Station Wagon displayed outside and the promise of much more inside. It was a stunningly beautifully restored machine. So Barry and I reached into our pockets for the $12 entry fee. What a hoot it was to see all the old classic cars built all over the world. My favorite was the 1936 Jaguar roadster – two toned black and a deep violet. I didn’t even want to ask how much it would sell for. I had asked about the Holden and they said about $30K. The Jag would be out of sight. Aston Martins, Rolls Royces, old race cars, and so much more. Probably around 50 cars all refinished perfectly, they are all privately owned and are rotated regularly to make room for others. The oldest was an 1899 Locomobile built in the US. We enjoyed our time in this great collection.

We headed on up a block for a tour of the James Boag Brewery. Cascade in Hobart and this brewery here are the largest and most popular breweries in Tasmania. It was fun to hear about the process and the ingredients. We had a little sampling of beer and cheese then headed on back to actually have a little rest.

Tomorrow we head up into the mountains of the Northeast then on to the beaches of the Eastern coast.

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