The Snail Trail

Travelling with my home on my back and in no hurry to get anywhere

Pyengana, Tasmania


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A Tourist in Tasmania – Pyengana

Pyengana is on the road between Scottsdale and St Helens in the North-East of Tasmania. There is a wonderful cheese factory there that is well worth a visit.

I was lucky to arrive there just as a tasting and explanation was starting and got to sample some lovely tasty cheeses. They are mainly aged cloth wrapped cheddars but some are also packaged with chilli, peppercorns and the like.

Needless to say the countryside around Pyengana was full of dairy cattle and there were even some waiting to be milked at the back of the cheese factory! Now that’s fresh!

Keep driving past the Holy Cow cafe and cheese factory and you will discover a famous Tassie icon, the Pub in the Paddock. First licensed around 1880 it is one of the oldest pubs in the state. And if you relax over a few beers you can stay overnight out the back in the paddock! Love these RV Friendly Destinations!

Pyengana is also an RV Friendly town, with camping available at the Recreation Ground for a donation. Now that’s a sign I love to see!

The drive from Scottsdale to St Helens is pretty, through lush pastures, tall timbers and tree ferns, but the road is narrow and winding with a couple of hair-pin bends to negotiate. Brutus the Beast just hates these hills, and we crawl up them in 2nd and 3rd gear using copious quantities of petrol along the way.

There are signs of spring everywhere with little white lambs, black angus calves and bright yellow wattle and daffodils lining the road.

You travel along the edge of The Blue Tier which has some wonderful walks available. I was going to do the Halls Falls walk (only 90 minutes) but the weather was threatening so it’s on the list for the next time I’m up this way.

Detour into Pyengana  when you visit Tasmania and you’ll enjoy what this little stopover has to offer.

Bullock Team, Oatlands, Tasmania


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A Tourist in Tasmania – Oatlands & Oxen

Oatlands has just held its annual Heritage Fair, and one of our neighbours mentioned there would be a bullock team there. I thought that was too good an opportunity to miss. How many bullock teams have you had the chance of seeing lately?

Oatlands

Heritage HighwayOatlands is on the Heritage Highway, which travels between Launceston and Hobart, and follows the route of the first ‘main road’in Tasmania. You might recognise a couple of the towns that I have already written about in previous blogs – Ross and Campbell Town.

 

The Heritage Highway traces much of the original route between Launceston and Hobart, built by convict road gangs in the early 1800s. Drive through rolling farmlands, explore charming Georgian villages, stay on historic pastoral properties and savour the rich and colourful history of the place and its people. 

I took the opportunity to join Karen and her delightful 2 year old son, Joe, who was really keen to see the bullocks, too, although I think at the end of the day it was the roadwork machinery that excited him more. He’s such a boy! A running commentary from the back seat told us about graders, diggers, dump trucks and steamrollers – it certainly made a change from exploring with only my own company.

Callington Mill was the place to start. It’s an old flour mill that continues to produce flour, mainly for tourists these days. The tourist information is centred there and you can buy flour for your home baking. Not being a baker, I found some nice locally produced Dijon mustard instead.

Callington Mill, Oatlands, Tasmania

One of the local chaps urged us to the main street where the bullock team would be travelling on its way up to the mill. I found this great article from the ABC about Brian Fish, the bullocky, and what his plans for the day were. He’s a great character and loaded with information. I love coming across people with such passion. Here’s Brian with his 12 span team hauling the dray loaded with bales of wool – and a few more photos of the team.

Bullock Team, Oatlands, Tasmania

Brian Fish and his bullock team

Bullock Team, Oatlands, Tasmania

Look at the size of these bullocks

Bullock Team, Oatlands, Tasmania

Each bale of wool weighs about 400kg

Bullock Team, Oatlands, Tasmania

This is how it was done in the old days!

The last time I saw a bullock team was at the Yarram Easter Parade in Gippsland, Victoria in 1993. From memory it was a 6 span and back then I thought I might never see one again, so how lucky am I to see a 12 span in 2016! You’ve got to love the people that keep these traditions alive.

Bullock team at Yarram, Victoria

Bullock team at Yarram Easter Parade 1993

There was also a display of colourful old drays and wagons, some restored but many in their now dilapidated condition waiting for an enthusiast to shower them with love – and a bit of paint.

 

In keeping with the Heritage theme there was a lovely old car and a horse drawn carriage that paraded down the main street, too.

When the bullocks arrived at the mill they were unhitched but still yolked together. Apparently they form quite a bond with their partner and learn to accommodate what the other one wants and how they want to move.

Heritage Fair, Oatlands, Tasmania

I’m very brave standing near these huge beasts!

Heritage Fair, Oatlands, Tasmania

Now this is a tractor!

In keeping with the Heritage theme there was also an extensive array of arts and crafts happening but unfortunately we weren’t given a program until too late to see many of these events. We just missed the sheep shearing but did manage to see the quilt display and spinners at work. I love the name of their group – Sippers and SewHers.

Heritage Fair, Oatlands, Tasmania

I couldn’t leave Oatlands without capturing some of the lovely old stone buildings.

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Happy Campers: Here’s a sign we love to see!

Heritage Fair, Oatlands, Tasmania

Free Camping for 3 nights, right on the lake

And this is what you would wake up to.

Heritage Fair, Oatlands, Tasmania

Topiary at Lake Dulverton, Oatlands, Tasmania

Can’t resist using this photo to declare this is THE END of today’s blog!

Heritage Fair, Oatlands, Tasmania

THE END!

 

 

 


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A Tourist in Tasmania: Campbell Town

While I’m staying with my sister, Marion, Campbell Town is my ‘local’ town. It’s 35kms down the road and the closest place to buy a loaf of a bread or a newspaper. It also has some great little coffee shops that are worth a visit- and an interesting history.

Campbell Town Map

The Red Bridge, which crosses the Elizabeth River, was built by convicts in 1838.

………. the famous Red Bridge. Built by convicts in the 1830s, it’s said to contain one million bricks and these days carries more than two million vehicles each year.

It’s not what you expect an old bridge in Tasmania to look like, being made of red bricks rather than the beautiful stone of say Ross or Richmond.

Adjoining the Red Bridge is Blackburn Park, which features some fabulous chain saw sculptures.

Blackburn Park is right on the edge of town and also offers a 48 hour free camp stopover just over the foot bridge.

Campbell Town is also known for its Convict Brick Trail, where families with a convict ancestor sponsored a brick to remember their history. Here’s our brick for Mary Lettice, an ancestor on my mother’s side of the family, who was transported on the Mary Anne in 1841. Her crime and punishment? Larceny – 7 years!

Convict Brick Trail, Campbell Town, Tasmania

Our ancestor, Mary Lettice

If you think Mary did it tough, what about some of these that I discovered…

Convict Brick Trail, Campbell Town, TasmaniaConvict Brick Trail, Campbell Town, TasmaniaConvict Brick Trail, Campbell Town, Tasmania

I’ve fallen asleep at the post so often I would have got life!

Being such an historic settlement there are also many lovely old buildings in Campbell Town. The Anglican Church, built in 1835, is quite magnificent, but it’s the little school house in the church grounds that I loved.

This church, which is now a private property, welcomes you to Campbell Town when travelling from Launceston.

IMG_6704Campbell Town

And here’s another couple of historic buildings in the main street.

Campbell Town, Tasmania

The Foxhunters Return

Campbell Town, Tasmania

One of the many old cottages to discover

Campbell Town has historically been a stop over on the journey from Hobart to Launceston but with a 48 hour free camp on the edge of town and a 24 hour free camp in King Street there’s no reason why you can’t stop a little longer and enjoy what this pretty little Northern Midlands town has to offer.

Free Camps, Campbell Town, Tasmania

Free Camps, Campbell Town, Tasmania


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Day 7 Photo Blog – Let’s go BIG

My instruction are Today, let’s go big. Photograph something of massive size, inside or outside.

Well, Australia is known for it’s BIG THINGS, like the BIG Pineapple, the BIG Prawn, the BIG Merino and the BIG Banana to name just a few. Travelling through South Australia I came across this BIG old tree near Orroroo. It’s a giant red gum thought to be over 500 years old. It measures nearly 11 metres around the trunk.

And then I thought about the BIG Boab Tree near Derby in the Kimberley’s of Western Australia

So on my drive into Campbell Town, Tasmania yesterday I stopped and photographed this tree. No, it’s not particularly BIG, but it does have a prominent position in this photo that makes it appear bigger than it is.

IMG_6693Campbell Town

At Harvey Dickson’s Country Music Centre near Boyup Brook in Western Australia there’s a BIG guitar –

Harvey Dickson's, Boyup Brook, WA

Harvey Dickson’s Country Music Centre

 

and in Mataranka in the Northern Territory there’s a very BIG ant hill –

Mataranka

Termite mound at Mataranka

These dainty little orchids I photographed at Lake Indoon in Western Australia look so much bigger than they are as I discovered the Macro setting on my camera that allowed me to get up close and personal –

Spider Orchids Lake Indoon

Spider Orchids

Orchids Lake Indoon

Cowslip Orchid

It’s a BIG effort to keep up to date with these photo blogging challenges ……


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Day 6 Photo Blogging – Solitude

My photo challenge for today:

Today, let’s capture solitude: the state of being alone, or a lonely and uninhabited place. What does this word look like to you?

Solitude for me is not loneliness but more áloneness’. These photos depict it for me. The other part of today’s challenge is to understand The Rule of Thirds in photography. I think I’ve got it right in this selection, too.

Walker Flat Boat Ramp Reserve, South Australia

A lone pelican.

IMG_5022Eighty Mile Beach

At 80 Mile Beach, Western Australia

IMG_4916Happy Hour Town Beach

Sunset at Broome, Western Australia

IMG_4894Willie Creek

Fisherman at Willie Creek, Western Australia

IMG_5648Wrights Bridge

Enjoying the solitude at Wrights Bridge, Western Australia

 

As a solo traveller I enjoy my solitude – rarely lonely but often alone.

Ellendale Lake, Western Australia


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Day 4 Photo blogging – Bliss

This has been such a hard topic for me – not because I am never blissful, but I don’t know if I’ve ever captured it on film! So I’ve stretched my mind and come up with the following…..Are they blissful? I’m not sure, but they did make me feel very happy.

In 2015 I finally visited some of Australia’s iconic landmarks.

Uluru, Northern Territory, was once known as Ayers Rock.

Uluru, Northern Territory, was once known as Ayers Rock.

Kata Tjuta, formerly known as The Olgas, is a short distance from Uluru.

Kata Tjuta, formerly known as The Olgas, is a short distance from Uluru.

And then heading north from Alice Springs are the famous Devils’s Marbles.

Bliss? Sitting around a campfire with fellow travellers at the end of the day.

Cape Keraudren Western Australia

Jose was our resident fire lighter!

And being visited by the locals at some wonderful camp sites –

 

Lake Brockman, Western Australia

Wild birds? Sitting on my knee? Gotta love it!

My idea of absolute bliss? Lying on a pristine beach, feeling the sun warm you to the bones and drifting off – not to sleep, but to that blissful state of being aware of what’s around you but not being part of it at all. Now that’s hard to capture with words, let alone a photograph!

 


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Photo blogging Day 3 – Water

All my life I have been drawn to the beach. You’ll have heard me saying it’s good for my soul, opens my mind and removes any stress ….

Lucky Bay

Pristine beach and clear water at Lucky Bay, Western Australia

14 Mile Beach

14 Mile Beach, Western Australia

Then I travelled inland and discovered the cool serenity of lush pools like here at Millstream Chichester National Park in Western Australia.

Millstream Lily Pond

Millstream Lily Pond, Western Australia

Millstream Chichester National Park, Western Australia

Millstream Lily Pond

And the famous water trough at Derby

Derby, Western Australia

Myall’s Cattle Trough, Derby, Western Australia

And the devastation when the water dries up …..

Dry river bed, Broken Hill, New South Wales

Dry river bed, Broken Hill, New South Wales

Drought at McKinley, Queensland

Drought at McKinley, Queensland

Water, not only necessary for the soul …..necessary for life.