Wooden Boat Festival a big success
Australia’s rich maritime culture was celebrated at the seventh Australian Wooden Boat Festival in Hobart recently. Since 1994, the biennial event in and around Hobart’s docks has celebrated the unique character and appeal of craft constructed from timber, the world’s traditional and time-honoured boat-building material. With its superb native specialty timbers such as Huon and King Billy pine, Tasmania is the ideal location to showcase the craft and art of wooden boat design and construction. This festival showcased a record number of vessels with more than 500 boats ranging from dinghies to tall ships. End-to-end they would form a 4.5km flotilla!
The Spud Wars
Potatoes were among the first vegetables planted in Risdon Cove in 1803 and helped the infant colony through its first precarious years. By 1827, Tasmania was exporting them in bulk to hungry Sydney, establishing a tradition that would last into the 1970s. But, life was never easy for the pioneering spud cockies, writes Fred Baker. More here
In a moment of geological high drama that may have lasted less than a million years, Tasmania received a huge share of accessible dolerite, the rock that threatened, intrigued and misled our early explorers and visitors. An extract from a fascinating book by David Leaman starts here
RURAL INSPIRATION | Photographer Maria Fletcher says her creative inspiration comes from looking out daily “at a rural landscape which has been shaped over the past 150 years by a small number of farming families. Alongside the cleared paddocks and tree lined boundaries, the land still retains a sense of its ancient human history”. Enjoy her portfolio here.
The Pipeline Track
A popular walk winding through the foothills of Mount Wellington, the Pipeline Track has historical significance as well as great scenic beauty. For more than a century it played a major part in the supply of water to Hobart. Nick Osborne walks the Track with camera and pen here.
Sculptor Peter Adams has written an evocative essay on three stones he found near Roaring Beach that had obviously been taken to the site by a people long ago. He tries to imagine the lives of the people involved, and the consequences of later actions by today’s inhabitants. Read more here.
The shape of Tasmania
The whimsical, wonderful and weird ways in which Tasmania’s distinctive triangular shape has been used by illustrators, cartoonists and graphic designers are featured in an online exhibition created by the State Library of Tasmania. More is revealed here.
The new Port Arthur museum reeks of atmosphere — dark, oppressive, gloomy, some say Gothic. Located in a former dormitory of the Lunatic Asylum, it loudly proclaims itself a new museum while whispering of its past use says Julia Clark. More here.
In 1837 in an ill-starred attempt to spread the message of Independence, a Patriot army launched an invasion of Canada, hoping to provoke a general uprising. It failed to light the fires of rebellion and the British captured 92 mostly American citizens, members of the American Patriot Army fighting with Canadian republicans for independence from Britain. Military courts smartly and highly illegally banished them in 1839 to Britain’s remote and wild new island colony of Van Diemen’s Land. Find out more here.
Jessie Luckman: wilderness pioneer
Geoff Law talks to Jessie Luckman AO, who joined the Hobart Walking Club in 1936 and, when he spoke to her in her 90s, was still a member. Jessie fought to protect the wonderful untrod wilderness she helped explore.
Some causes were lost but others, like the fight to save the Franklin, were won. Read more here.
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