Monday, June 17, 2019


"So what are you up to on the weekend?" my work colleague asked me on Friday afternoon.

"Well, on Sunday afternoon we're going to drive about an hour south of us to Hastings Caves, where we'll get on a bus to take us deep into the southern forests at dusk, to listen to the sound of ravens coming in to roost for the night, then get back on the bus and come home again."

I realise how odd that sounds, unless you've been to anything that's part of the Dark Mofo festival before perhaps. This particular event is called Hrafn: Conversations with Odin, a sound installation by renowned sound artist Chris Watson whose works have been heard around the world and who has previously worked with Sir David Attenborough.

The installation is part of the $2 million Project X, designed to bring visitors to the Huon Valley to aid in recovery after the devastating bushfires early this year. The fires damaged much of the Tahune Airwalk, one of the region's main tourist attractions, and it's not expected to reopen until late 2019. The project has copped criticism, as it was always going to. But good things always do, and same old, same old isn't going to bring people here, when everyone loves the new and different. Hrafn is on from Thursday to Sunday next week as well, read more and get your tickets here.

Dinner at one of the Huon Valley's restaurants and cafes is part of the Hrafn experience. Last night we enjoyed a delicious meal of beef curry (David) and seafood chowder (me) sitting by the wood fire at The Bears Went Over The Mountain (or The Bears for short). We actually hadn't been in there since a stop for Devonshire tea during a holiday in Tasmania more than 10 years ago. It's been renovated to a larger, light and bright space with yummy scones and plenty more on offer. The Bears is licensed with a nice range of Tasmanian ciders, wines and soft drinks. Now we know, we'll go back for sure.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Franklin History Walk

A couple of months back, beautiful timber plinths started appearing along the main street of Franklin. Then slowly, plaques outlining the history of each building were attached to them all, as well as to the walls of street-fronting buildings like our own new home, the former Commercial Bank of Australia building.

Today, the Franklin History Walk was officially opened, with a launch at Abbey on Main (former Methodist church, now accommodation) and a display of snippets of Franklin history. The walk is a project of the Franklin Progress Association, funded by a Tasmanian Government community infrastructure grant, and clearly took a lot of work from the Franklin History Group and others in the local community. It's a fantastic addition to the village and hopefully will encourage people to walk the full length of the main street as well as along the river banks, where a series of waterside panels explain more about life on the water.

A lovely booklet outlining the town's history and including a map listing all the points of interest along the walk is available for only $2. In addition to the white settler history, the booklet pays respect to the traditional and original owners of this land, the melukerdee people, as well as today's Tasmanian Aboriginal community who are the custodians of this land. I picked up one copy today, but think I'd better keep a few more handy for visitors. Come on down sometime for a stroll. It takes about 1.5 hours to walk the whole thing, depending on how fast you walk and read I guess!

Monday, June 3, 2019

Paint the town red

Each year, businesses in the south of Tasmania are encouraged to light up in red in support of the Dark Mofo festival, the annual winter art and music festival run by the team at MONA. Whether it's red lighting, red coloured food and drinks or limited edition red packaging, many businesses get into the spirit of this fantastic festival that brings many visitors to the state. The idea is to create a great experience for tourists and local festival-goers as they travel around the Hobart area. As we now live on the main road and David runs his technology help business from here, we decided to light up the Franklin Old Bank in red too. Spooky huh! I love this time of year.