Knit wit…

knitting3

Ready to start knitting…

A few weeks ago I was in Tasmania with Rahul on our wonderful holiday. While tripping around the gorgeous boutiques in Hobart I discovered the knitting paradise of The Stash Cupboard. It is stuffed full of the most lovely wools, needles and yarns you could ever imagine.

After feasting my eyes on every woollen delight I settled on this softest Australian wool to knit a scarf for Rahul’s birthday. He was delighted as he loves bright colours and it will keep his neck snuggly warm when the cold weather gets here. So all around Tasmania I knitted like a lady possessed…and I must say I am very happy with the finished result.

I adorned the scarf with an old vintage laundry pin that we bought at the cute Lionhart boutique in Battery Point, Hobart. Rahul looks extremely dashing and individual in his bright scarf and he is looking forward to the cooler weather to try it out.

The finished scarf...

The finished scarf…

What I love about Tasmania…

Tasmania is a wonderful place to explore. Here are the reasons I think it should be on your list of places to visit:

  • The people are so friendly and helpful and genuinely want you to have a fantastic stay.
  • The individual, old-fashioned feel which pervades all Tasmania.
  • The divine farm stalls with home-grown and homemade produce.
  • Picking blackberries in the wild.
  • The tiny bays and inlets with bobbing boats tied to the jetty.
  • Wonderful boutiques, quirky shopping and stylish finds.
  • Tasty food ~ especially the fresh oysters and scallop pies.
  • Historic architecture.
  • The amazing not-to-miss Mona.
  • The buzzing cafes and restaurants.
  • Lovely hotels and guesthouses.
  • Picturesque bush walks and sights.

So pack your bags and go, go, go to the apple isle ~ Tasmania…you’ll love it!

The amazing scarecrows of Middleton…

The Middleton Fair holds a fantastic scarecrow competition in early February each year. As we drove along between the towns of Woodbridge and Middleton we were delighted by all types of amazing scarecrows. Of course I had to stop and photograph each one!

I’m not sure which scarecrow won the competition but as you can see they all deserve a prize…

Fun at the fair…

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Posing at the fair…

One of the touching things about Tasmania is it’s old-fashioned feel especially in the country areas. Yesterday we were treated to a wonderful country fair.

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Some alpacas watching people pass by…

The fair had some charismatic animals, tasty homemade scallop and salmon pies and lots of lovely wool weavers.

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Weaving at the fair…

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Some knitted alpacas…

One of the entertaining acts of the show was the Veteran’s Brass Band. I know from being in a brass band myself that clapping can often be on the light side…so Rahul and I made sure we showed our appreciation. Actually after us initially being the only ones clapping we started an avalanche of clapping for the band which they were very pleased about.

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Of course a country fair would not be complete without vintage cars and old stationary motors.

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Ida Bay Railway ~ I’d a been sad if I missed it…

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Ida Bay…

If you are travelling to Ida Bay, south of Hobart in Tasmania, make sure you don’t miss the wonderful Ida Bay historical railway. It is the last operating bush tramway in Tasmania and it is also the most southerly railway in Australia.

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The train…

However the most wonderful part of this train journey is that you can combine the train trip with a fantastic bush walk.

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The train travels the 7kms out to Ida Bay four times a day ($28 return trip). We travelled out at 9.30am. We then started on the three hour round trip walk to Southport Bluff beach. It is an easy walk with a sensational reward as the halfway point is the wild beach which we had all to ourselves.

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Rahul had a swim and I collected shells. We then prepared the picnic lunch.

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The track to the beach is very overgrown but push through as it is worth it.

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The overgrown track…

We then walked back and caught the train at 3.30pm to return back to the station. It was such a sensational day.

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Some of the native animals we saw along the way…

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After the walk we drove to Woodbridge where we stayed at the cute Fox Hole self contained studio.

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This charming studio is brand new and just lovely in every way. It is only a five minute walk to the divine Peppermint Bay restaurant so you have all bases covered staying here.

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The view from Peppermint Bay restaurant…

The people of Tasmania are so friendly ~ Day 3…

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Pollen Tea Room garden…

Yesterday we farewelled the Islington Hotel and set off to explore Hobart’s surrounds. But before we left there were still a few shops that we could not miss!
We had a sensational breakfast at the Pollen Tea Room (again) of baked eggs with feta and tomato and smashed avocado and lemon on sourdough..mmm. The organic hot chocolate and coffee were to die for…

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Petit Marche…

After breakfast we headed to Petit Marche at 150 Elizabeth Street, Hobart. Here Beth has an amazing shop packed full of divine vintage all-sorts, French antiques and local made cuties. I shopped up a storm here buying antique buttons, divine antique French religious cards (50c), books and retro postcards.

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Petit Marche…

Our next stop was the heavenly Oyster and Pearl. Lou has created the most special boutique space upstairs at 147 Liverpool Street, Hobart.

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Oyster and Pearl stocks lovely linen and fabbo print clothing, funky jewellery and arty wire works by Melissa from the Sunshine Coast. We loved chatting to Lou ~ she was a wealth of knowledge on all things about Hobart.

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Wire sculptor Melissa was helping out at her sister’s shop next door and luckily we met – she is now going to make me a wire peacock! Fantastic…
Melissa’s sister is Carmen and her cute shop is called Red Hand Design. Here she sells vintage clothing and jewellery re-worked by Carmen to have a new life.

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If traveling to Hobart please don’t miss any of these shops or you’ll be sad, sad sad!
We then travelled south of Hobart towards the Huon Region. Along the way we stopped at quaint farm stalls and bought some home-made raspberry jam and purple garlic.

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Look out for these farm stalls on the side of the road all around Southern Tasmania – they have some wonderful produce which you purchase on an honesty basis. You leave the money in the box provided.
Another delight from the side of the road, in late summer, is the blackberry. Rahul and I have been gorging ourselves on hand picked, wild blackberries each day.

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Blackberries growing on the side of the road…

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Chooks at our guesthouse…

Last night we stayed at the Huonville Guesthouse. We chatted to the chooks right near our room as we had our breakfast this morning. Our cereal was topped with lovely fresh apricots picked from the trees growing in the garden of the guesthouse.

Mad about Hobart ~ Day 2…

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Interesting architecture in Hobart…

Day two of our wonderful trip to Tasmania started with a lovely toasted sourdough at the Retro Cafe at Salamanca Wharf. This cute cafe was filled lots of interesting knick knacks and had fantastic coffee.

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The fast ferry bound for Mona…

Today we visited Mona (Museum of Old and New Art). The best way to travel to Mona is by the Mona Fast Ferry. It is only $20 return and takes 25 minutes. You get some great views along the way of the Hobart Zinc factory, Government House and the Cadbury Chocolate factory.

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View of Mona from the ferry…

Mona is an amazing experience…one that will challenge you, shock you and amaze you all at the same time.

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The inside of Mona…

Mona is an amazing feat in itself. Only the top floor of four levels is above ground. The other three levels have been drilled out of sandstone rock. The sandstone combined with the metal stairs and railings gives a dramatic effect.
The museum is free to all Tasmanians and for the rest of us it is only a $20 entry fee. Upon entering they issue you with an iPod on a lanyan to go around your neck. You can listen through speakers to artist interviews and information. They do this so they don’t have to label the art works with long tedious explanations. I really liked the interactive element in experiencing the art there.
Some areas of the gallery have a content warning and are not suitable for children. There is a museum shop and three cafes and bars.

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My delicious lunch…

We had our lunch at the rooftop cafe – sitting on bean bags on the lawn overlooking the Derwent River…heavenly.
Here are a few shots of some of the art at Mona:

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Mona is so worth the visit. Although some works may shock and surprise you it is a Tasmanian must-do. Rahul and I still haven’t stopped talking about it.

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Looking out from Mona…

Hip and happening Hobart…

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Battery Point ~ Hobart

Well Rahul is cooing like a puffed out pigeon and he has every right to as his mystery destination is everything he hoped for and more…
The destination is… Tasmania, Australia and the Apple Isle is definitely living up to its reputation!
We arrived into Hobart through a thick bank of cloud to a lovely mild day. After picking up our hire car we headed the 20kms into Hobart city to our divine hotel ~ The Islington .

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Our room

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The divine morning tea at The Islington
After checking in and having a lovely morning tea in the conservatory we headed off to explore Hobart. We headed straight to Salamanca Wharf right on the Derwent River. Here you look over the moored boats and yachts to the hills beyond.

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Jack Greene Tavern

We had a very tasty lunch at the atmospheric Jack Greene Tavern. Make sure you sit upstairs amongst the books and memorabilia. It has a great relaxed feel and our waiter was so helpful about Tasmanian places of interest.

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Our lunch at Jack Greene

Located at the Salamanca Wharf are lots of quirky and cute shops showcasing unique Tasmanian fine art and design. Look out for The Maker and Spacebar Gallery.
We then headed just around the corner to Battery Point.

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Battery Point quaint houses…

Battery point is a darling pocket of Hobart with cute houses, handkerchief size divine public gardens and sweet little shops.

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We had a divine milky chai at the Pollen Tea Room. The great guy there grinds his own chai paste and it was individual and memorable.

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We then popped in next door to the gorgeous Lionhart boutique.

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This extremely tasteful little shop sells quirky jewellery, vintage clothing pins, Tasmanian knick knacks and pillowcases. The delightful girl there also recommended some other shops to discover…yippee.
After all that retail therapy and eating we decided to visit Mt. Wellington. It is only a short, but very windy, drive from the centre of Hobart.

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The view down over Hobart from Mt. Wellington

Mt. Wellington is 1270 metres above sea level and the temperature is much cooler once you are up there. They have a wonderful lookout which gives you a superb view over Hobart and its surrounds.
After a fantastic day exploring Hobart we had a tasty dinner back at The Islington of seafood chowder and wild mushroom risotto…mmm…a great way to end a perfect day!