Saturday, January 29, 2011

Tasmania- Mt. Wellington and Puddleduck

This day we decided to go up Mt. Wellington, which overlooks Hobart from the west. The elevation at its peak is about 1000 meters or so. It's high enough to have its own seperate climate, and on average it's about ten degrees celcius cooler than Hobart. One of the bed and breakfasts we stayed at told us that two days before a group of South Africans were at the peak and it was snowing! Keep in mind, it's our summer. The size of it also protects Hobart from a lot of rain and windstorms. Good job mountain.

We weren't sure how much actual hiking and mountain climbing it would take to get to the top of the mountain, but we were determined. Turns out- not much. You can drive right to the top. We are accomplished "mountain climbers" now.

This sign was posted, and it kind of concerned us. If the radio tower on top of the mountain is throwing off enough interference to potentially disable your car (ours was fine) what other kind of radiation is it putting off? It's possible Greg is now sterile.

This photo overlooks Hobart from the mountaintop. The bridge was built in the sixties to finally replace the ferry system used to connect the two sides of the city on either side of the river. All was well until a barge ran into it in the 80's. It was rebuilt slightly downstream.

It was a fairly cloudy day for us, which was too bad, because on clear days you can see halfway across the Island. Gorgeous scenery regardless, though.

Greg conquers Mt. Wellington by climbing to the highest point. This would have been more impressive had he started at the bottom of the mountain, rather than the car park about 30 meters away. Regardless, he strikes a manly, impressive figure against the horizon.

Since we weren't spending the whole day mountaineering we decided to persue another great outdoor adventure by sampling some of Tasmania's finest wineries in the Coal valley, northeast of Hobart. What we learned is that Tasmania makes very good white wines, which makes sense for a cooler climate. A lot of sauvignon blanc, and chardonay, although Australians do not like to age their chardonay in oak barrels. Not a huge fan of that, personally. Tasmania also claims that they make the best Pinot Noir outside of France. This is false. Maybe in 10-15 years it wil be true, but as of now, not so much. We went to a couple wineries before ending up at a place called Puddleduck Winery.  They may have had good wine, we don't really remember, becuase what they did have were Corgie puppies!

Are those not the cutest little guys ever? Their longtime winery dog, Polly, had just given birth to a litter of seven puppies, and their Great Uncle Bazil was also on hand to keep an eye on them. The two guys above were especially fond of playing a game of "I got your tail!" Laurel was, of course, powerless to resist. The only reason the cats don't have a new friend is that all of the puppies had already been bought.

After awhile Polly got up from her nap, which to all of the puppies meant only one thing- lunch time! Mom looks less than thrilled.


  1. Yay for an update!! I was feeling very neglected ;)

    I can't imagine what those landscapes were like in person. I would get so frustrated in Australia with my camera for not being able to capture the pure amazingness of what my eye could see. Y'all certainly have memories for a lifetime. Miss you and love you so much!!

  2. Dad's a little concerned about all that radio wave activity and Greg's fertility status. Maybe you should do some up close and personal research to be sure all systems are go... and skip those Corgi puppies - the stumpy legs look too much like your mother's, Laurel.