512. Sunday 2nd October 2016. Opera in the Park and Tasmania reminiscing…

It was the usual quiet week for us.

Lawn bowls, table tennis, art workshop, Tai Chi and of course line dancing.

Oh and a little time was spent planning our upcoming road trip.

Frank did the tax on- line which means we do not have to keep our appointment in Airlie Beach with the tax agent and spend hundreds of dollars for them to do the tax for us. Instead we will use the day as an opportunity to visit friends.

But, I am getting ahead of ourselves. We will not leave home until Wednesday.

Saturday 1st October

After a lazy morning then bowls in the afternoon we went to see Opera in the Park   http://www.moregoldcoast.com.au/opera-in-the-park/    with friends Glenda and Dee. We packed dinner and a couple of drinks and our camp chairs and enjoyed our sushi with a glass of wine while surrounded by about five thousand other people doing much the same as us. I did feel a twinge of jealousy when the Russian family beside us brought paper cones filled with hot chips and crumbed Calamari Rings. Although the park has signs saying it is an alcohol free zone there were many people enjoying a wine although I saw no signs of beer. Still it was a risk and the organiser told us there were inspectors authorised to fine people bringing booze to the event. It was a nice night with an appreciative well behaved audience, it was, after all, a family event. Despite the day being hot, the evening cooled quickly with light breeze making a jacket a luxury. This was our second visit to the event. The evening finished with a Pacaotti recording synchred to fireworks. The fireworks finished on the final note. Very impressive.

During the week I went looking for all my photos of the last 20 years, planning to put a copy of each on a separate hard drive. I found photos from our trip to Tasmania and viewed them for nostalgia sake. I am going to share some which never appeared in our blog in 2009.

While on the west coast we visited the town of Strahan which is the jumping off point for boat cruises to the Gordon River and MacQuarie Harbour and Seaplane flights over significant sites.

strahan
Several years later I realised, that Vancouver Island, Canada, just like Tasmania (also an island) has a large fleet of seaplanes ferrying locals and tourists to remote locations.

Between Strahan and the town of Zeehan to the north are the Henty Sand Dunes.

henty1jpg
Henty Sand Dunes.

They are up to 30 metres high and are slowing moving each year.

henty
Sand dunes on the move.

The scary thing about the dunes is there are no marked trails and it is easy to get lost. Henty River forms a boundary on one side. By coincidence Donnis would be working at the Henty Hospital in NSW two years later.

boat
Old timber boat and anchor a located in an alley beside the famous Constitution Docks and Franklin Wharf. at Hobart.

We took a car ferry from Kettering, south of Hobart to Bruny Island where we bush camped near a beach.

bruny
We had bought a Tasmanian Parks pass on board the ferry from Melbourne to Tasmania. It gave us free access to all the National Parks and on Bruny Island free camping as well. Our coverted Coaster bus was beginning to show signs of some of the muddy roads we travelled.

Bruny is actually two islands  (North and South ) which are connected by a long narrow sandy isthmus . The northern island is mainly given over to sheep farming while the southern part has all the wild coastline.

rocks
Large pinnacle of rock on wild southern shore of Bruny island only accessible by sea.

While on the island we took a boat trip with Explore the Edge Cruises.

explore
This is the open rigid hull inflatable which took us on a ride along the wild Bruny Island coastline.

Passengers are fitted with wonderful spray coats which are great for keeping the salt spray off bodies. They have no warm lining and are useless for keeping you warm.

cold
Even with this huge spray jacket and a singlet, shirt and a thick hoodie jacket underneath I was still chilled to the bone. It took several hours and lots of hot soup before I stopped shivering.

Regardless it was a great trip exploring the southern extremities of the island.

fishing
Fishing trawlers did not have to go far offshore from Bruny Island. That said, the waters here are unpredictable and can change to wild frightening washing machine waves within a few hours. Not to mention how cold it is. The rocks in the distance is home to a colony of fur seals. They need the fur to stay warm.

Next week expect to hear of our road trip to north Queensland.

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