Hi, running late again. I’m home after my trip to Tasmania. It was epic. Loved the whole thing.
Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra
It was exciting to attend live music again. After watching TSO Daily Dose on YouTube it was very exciting to see the performers in the flesh. I went to three concerts.
- Music at the Movies – conducted by Guy Noble. It was a great evening. With music from all the big films and some very pretty music from some rarer films. Also it was the second performance of a piece from Red Dog. The second half was all John Williams for his 90th Birthday.
- Bruch Violin Concerto – Soloist Emma McGrath and conducted by Eivind Aadland. The first piece was world première of Hi-Vis by Holly Harrison, Composer in Residence with the orchestra. It was beautiful. Then the Bruch followed by Dvořák’s 8th Symphony. Another wonderful night.
- Weber Clarinet Concerto – Soloist Andrew Seymour and conducted by Eivind Aadland. It was a very pretty concert. It started with Felix Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Overture and Scherzo which I think is one of the most beautiful pieces ever written. Then the Weber Clarinet Concerto No. 1, I can’t say that I had even heard of Weber before. It was a great piece. The last piece was Mozart’s Symphony No. 40. It was a Mozart.
Waddamana Hydro Power Station and the highlands
Probably my favourite part of the trip. I went to the Highlands twice on my trip. The first time was on my drive from Launceston to Hobart. I visited Liffey Falls and Pine Lake. Both of them easy and very beautiful walks in very different environments. Then a big lunch at the Great Lake Hotel.
The next weekend I went to Waddamana Power Station by following the Highlands Power Trail. This was by far my most favourite thing on my trip hands down. It is an electrical nerd paradise. Beautiful drive to an amazing engineering marvel. The first hydro power station in Australia opening in 1916. Even if you aren’t a nerd the stories of the people are epic. I really could go on and on about this place. The website said allow 1 hour I spent 4. The caretaker got so worried that he came looking for me.
MONA and Jen & Mara’s visit
Of course a trip to Hobart wouldn’t be complete without a day at MONA. I waited until Jen and Mara came down for a long weekend. It is an amazing place. Very quirky and different to any other art gallery I’ve been to. Beyond the art, the thing I loved the most was it was a great place to hang out at. A stage with music, bean bags, food stalls and bars. Also, really swanky restaurants, we had swanky lunch at The Source.
While Jen and Mara were with me we also went to the Huon Food and Wine Festival, walked to the Hidden Waterfall which didn’t have any water boo hiss, drove through Snug, went to Richmond and looked at the bridge, Salamanca Markets, saw the southern lights through Mara’s phone, went to Mt Wellington, ate an amazing dinner at Lupin, ate amazing Guinness pie at Irish Murphy’s and finished off the long weekend with an amazing High Cheese at the Coal River Farm.
Lots and lots of tastings
- Bridge Road Brewers, Beechworth Victoria – 10 beers and pizza
- James Boag Brewery, Launceston Tasmania – 4 beers
- Saint John Craft Beer, Launceston Tasmania – 2 beers and Charcuterie board
- Hellfire Bluff Distillery, Boomer Bay Tasmania – 5 gins
- Pagan Cider, Cradoc Tasmania – 5 ciders
- Lark Distillery, Hobart Tasmania – 4 Whiskeys
- Frank’s Cider, Franklin Tasmania – 6 Ciders and Cider pork pie
- Touchwood goat dairy, Strathblane Tasmania – Goat milk gelato and Cajeta, goat milk caramel.
- McHenry Distillery, Port Arthur Tasmania – 3 Gins
- Frogmore Creek Winery, Cambridge Tasmania – 2 wines and a sparkling, yummy food and 2 desserts.
- Grandvewe, Birchs Bay Tasmania – 5 cheeses, sausage, 1 vodka, 4 gins and a whey liqueur.
- Seven Sheds Brewery, Railton Tasmania – 5 beers
Driving and national parks and other interesting places
There was a lot of driving, so so good after not going anywhere for a couple of years. I went the long way to get everywhere. Lots of dirt roads. I’m just listing where I went and sharing a link if you want to know more about the place.
- Tasman National Park – Visiting Tasman Arch, Devil’s Kitchen, Paterson’s Arch, Tasman Blowhole, Tessellated Pavement
- Cockle creek
- Tasmanian Devil Unzoo
- Remarkable Cave
- Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens
- Shot tower
- Ben Lomond
- Platypus House
- Don River Railway
- Mersey Bluff Lighthouse
Mount Pleasant radio telescope and The Grote Reber museum
So near Hobart there is a Radio Telescope at Mount Pleasant operated by University of Tasmania it was given to the university when NASA downsized the number of telescopes they needed. I saw it one day when I was out driving and thought that I would go and have a look. Apparently you are supposed to book but the lovely man let me in to the museum and told me a bit about the telescopes they have. The Grote Reber Museum is an absolute gem. It is all about Grote Reber known as the father of Radio Astronomy. He started his career by building the first radio telescope in his Mum’s backyard in Illinois. He was definitely a mad engineer and inventor. Just an amazing variety of things he was involved with.
There were a lot of books as you would expect. Lots of books for existing series that I have been reading. I started a new series through listening to an audiobook this is a bit outside my normal book range. The Rivers of London Series by Ben Aaronovitch. It is a brilliant take on a murder mystery with bonus supernatural. It follows P.C. Peter Grant who joins a special division of the police called “The Folly” and starts to train as a wizard while investigating murders. I laughed a lot out loud. The series is based in modern London.
Australian Woman’s World Cup win
I don’t need to say much more than it was a very very exciting tournament and Australia won beating the Poms in the final.
Countdown to Eurovision
On St Patrick’s day I made a big decision. I’m not going to renew my contract at Ausgrid. So at the end of May I am retiring again. I’m very excited. Not sure what I am going to do but I’m quite happy about that. Have fun. I’ll be back in a couple of weeks. If you have any questions about the trip don’t hesitate to reach out.