Saturday, October 12, 2019

Highland Coos

This local business is onto an absolute Instagram winner. Highland Getaway in Tasmania's beautiful Huon Valley has a 40-strong herd of extremely photogenic and fluffy highland cattle. Guests come to stay, take gorgeous photos and post them to Instagram, which is where I first learned about this local business.

This week I joined a networking evening with our local business enterprise centre and had a tour. Julie, with help from her parents who have relocated from Queensland, has created peaceful luxury accommodation surrounded by the rolling green hills of Ranelagh and Glen Huon. You can stay in the cinema suite or the spa suite, both beautifully appointed. Julie also runs farm tours and you can even brush the cows. You can get close to many of them and they are seriously cute! This would be a wonderful place to relax for a few days or spend a week as a base to explore the local area. And their future plans for the property will be worth keeping an eye on.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Oktoberfest in the shed

On the second last day of the actual Oktoberfest in Munich, David and I hosted our annual fest at home, celebrating with around 50 of our closest friends - at least they were by the end of the night! Bratwurst, weisswurst, pretzels, sauerkraut, Bavarian potato salad, cucumber salad, tomato salad, apricot streuselkuchen (with cream of course), gingerbread hearts and plenty of German beer. Our big shed was decorated with Bavarian flags, posters, long tables and banners. And it wasn't just us dressed up in a Dirndl (me) and Lederhosen (him). Quite a few others got into the spirit of things too.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Walking Wellers: Fern Tree to The Chalet

It didn't look like a great idea as I drove through Huonville towards kunanyi / Mount Wellington - or Wellers as we often call it at home. There was a large grey cloud sitting on the mountain and the windscreen wipers has been going since I left home. But I was determined to use Sunday morning for a training walk from Fern Tree (400m) up the mountain, feeling hopeful that I'll be fit enough to take on the Point to Pinnacle (walk, not run for me) in November. In typical Tassie weather, the sun came out not long after I parked the car. I reached The Springs (720m) much quicker than expected, so I stopped for a coffee at Lost Freight before continuing up Pinnacle Road. It started raining not long before I reached The Chalet (at about 1,000m) and then the rain turned into snowflakes. At the shelter, I put on my rain jacket and started heading back downhill. Ten minutes later the sun was out again! I intended to walk down the Middle Track from The Springs, but it was closed. So I got to enjoy a detour past Silver Falls on the way back to the car. Next time: The Pinnacle.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Project X part II

After listening to ravens roosting in the darkening southern forests with Hrafn: Conversations with Odin (season now extended into October), the next installment of Project X has arrived in the Huon Valley. The Aftermath Dislocation Principle is an artwork in the form of a 40-foot shipping container with eye holes cut into it, providing a glimpse of a town landscape in miniature. I won't describe it further, just get on down to Geeveston any time between now and November and peer inside. While you are there, why not take a look around the town and eat at one of the lovely establishments like the Old Bank of Geeveston, Baker & Co patisserie or The Bears Went Over the Mountain. Or stop in our wonderful village of Franklin on the way home, at Cinnamon and Cherry (now re-opened Friday to Sunday for the warmer months), Aqua Grill or Frank's Cider Bar and Cafe. Seriously, it's been a tougher winter period than usual this year for many local businesses since the bushfires in the region and you'll be made very welcome if you come down and stay!

Wednesday, August 28, 2019


Ten years ago in Sydney, we bought a single, 1.2 metre square raised garden bed made from recycled printer cartridges. It was sturdy and durable and looked great. But before we had much chance to use it, we bought a new home in Tasmania, and a few short weeks later we were heading to our new home. At our new place in the Huon Valley, I fancied using rustic apple crates to grow veggies in and we collected some from a local orchard. They looked beautiful, but after a few years filled with soil in the sun, rain and snow, they started to rot and fall apart. We replaced them with some fantastic dove tailed timber beds, but after a couple of years they settled, warped and also started to fall apart. Now in our main street home, we have a very small garden but enough room for a few raised beds to grow some basics. So I went online and found the same company still supplying a variety of kits and ordered some. On the weekend we part-filled the eWood garden beds with newspaper, compost, sheep manure and garden soil ready to plant in spring... which is just around the corner! I am sure they will serve us for years to come.


Monday, August 26, 2019


By moving into the village, we've swapped views of treetops and paddocks for views of rooftops from many of the windows. I love seeing the colourful corrugated roofs and brick chimneys on the old cottages and commercial buildings along the main street and those hidden behind. The bare trees are gradually being replaced with blossom and new green shoots. And from the front windows, we can see the Huon River flowing past. It's a pleasant outlook on all sides.

Saturday, August 3, 2019


After many - and I mean MANY - months of "thinking about it" (making excuses mostly) I finally completed my first parkrun this morning. Parkrun is a global movement and there are more than 350 of these events across Australia each week, bringing people together for better health and mental wellbeing, fun and a sense of community. Around 2,000 people run every week across Tasmania, as I found out watching this video of local MP David O'Byrne talking about the first anniversary of the Geeveston Parkrun in the Tasmanian Parliament last week.

The sun came out as I arrived in Geeveston and the friendly volunteers made me feel welcome. A tree had fallen across the usual track in last night's high winds and they'd set up a small diversion. Three laps of the course - for me part-running, part-walking - a stretch and that's exercise done for the day. Then it's off for coffee and well-deserved cake or onto whatever other activities the day holds. I can see why it's kind of addictive. Now let's see how my legs feel tomorrow!