Well, it might have taken me awhile, but we’ve finally come to the final chapter of our 2019 Tasmanian trip – a short visit to Hobart. On this visit, we stayed in the historic inner city suburb of Battery Point. It is on a hill and so affords a good view of the Derwent River.
While wandering around the local park, hubby was happy to find out that it had had a famous scientific visitor in the past.
Wandering around Battery Point and its neighbouring suburb, Sandy Bay, we were happy to see a lot of colonial era houses still in good condition. Probably not surprising since they’re two of the most expensive suburbs of Hobart.
That’s all from Tasmania. But I’ve done some travelling since then, so I’ll be back with more adventures soon!
Some more moody coastal scenery from Pancake Rocks and the West Coast of NZ before we head back east.
For those who want to find out more of what it was like on the West Coast in the ‘bad old days’ then having a read of Booker Prize novel, The Luminaries or watching Jane Campion’s classic film, The Piano, would probably give you an idea.
One day trip we did on the West Coast is to drive an hour south of Westport to the village of Punakaiki. The drive down required a lot of concentration as the west coast road was very windy (aren’t they all?) but despite the bleak weather, I think it was worth the drive to see Pancake Rocks.
The rocks were quite unique in that the do look like pancakes. There’s of course a scientific explanation to all of this, and like most things geological it’s not the work of an instant.
I have taken a few courses with ACP, the last being Camera Craft 3. This course involved exploring different photographic genres – the first being still life.
Still life is a very old genre that was first perfected by the Dutch Masters in the 17th Century, but can also be utilised by photographers. Both the choice and placement of objects, as well as its lighting is critical, as you can see in this series.
A 15 minute walk took us to the other side of the CBD. There was the understated war memorial.
The Art Gallery of South Australia’s interior looks very like its Sydney counterpart.
But I was hanging out for the South Australian Museum.
We saw a really good exhibition called ‘Yidaki’ – about the didgeridoo, its Yolngu origins in North-East Arnhem Land, and its modern context. No photos, but here is an essay about it.
The other thing I was looking forward to seeing were the museum’s fossil collection. South Australia being the home of the Ediacaran fossils (one of the first known complex multicellular organisms), it was wonderful to see that there was a whole gallery full of fossils.
And here they are – with quite pretty patterns. Scientists have yet to agree whether they are plants or animals!
There were even preserved water ripples from 600 million years ago (that’s 6 times older than dinosaurs).
These fossils are so important in the biological history of the world that Sir David Attenborough visited the site where these fossils were found as part of his First Life series.
And so folks, that ends our epic trek across Australia from north to south. I’ll explore things closer to home next time.
The walls of the Gorge towered above us as we cruised up-stream. You can see the layers of sandstone really clearly.
There were also many interesting rock formations, particularly along the cliff-tops – the product of some major weathering. Well, it does rain an average of 1,040mm per year here – much of it between January and March!
A visitor to our house will very soon notice that there are geological items everywhere. Many are Hubby’s, but quite a few are also mine. As you might guess, I am quite interested in paleontology and fossils, so here are two specimens from my collection.
Ammonites are fascinating and beautiful marine creatures. Their fossils can be found all over the world in various sizes from thumbnail to a few feet. This fossil is from South Africa, and is quite big at about 15cm in size. It’s from the Late Cretaceous period, so it was living at the time of the dinosaurs, shortly before the great extinction event that wiped them, and also the ammonites, out.
An older but no less fascinating prehistoric animal is the trilobite. They were marine creatures that lived in the oceans long before fish, and certainly long before animals colonised land. Today, they look a lot like the Balmain Bug, though they’re distantly related. Their fossils can be found all over the world, in 2D and 3D. I love the 3D fossils, which have been painstakingly extracted using dental drills. Most 3D trilobites come from Morocco, but this specimen comes from St Petersburgh, Russia, and is about 460 million years old, from the Middle Ordovician period.