Happy Snaps

13 Sep 2007


We are home from our short holiday in the far south east of the island. We spent 4 days on the Tasman Peninsula, a place of magnificent beauty and sad brutal history.


I've spoken before about Tasmania's convict history. Through no fault of its own apart from being an isolated place and a colony of the British empire in the 18th and 19th centuries Tasmania was made the site of harsh penal colonies to deal with the worst of the convicts sent to New South Wales from merry old England.


There was no essential brutal aspect to the Tasmanian population or landscape. Indeed there was no white settlement here before the establishment in the south of this new penal colony. Those of us who live in the north of the state are less aware and rarely have day to day contact with our convict past but in the south and especially on the Tasman Peninsula it is everywhere.


We stayed at Nubeena , a small fishing village and civic centre for the peninsula. It's a quiet close knit community, not a very historic looking place but surrounded by the rugged beauty that is everywhere in the region. The peninsula is a rugged hilly place with miles of coastal heathlands and forests of tall trees which seem to be subjected to regular bush fires.


There are many quiet inlets and bays where small fishing boats find safe harbour.


There are pockets of temperate rainforest and many , so many birds singing so happily you can almost forget the sad history of the place.


We explored, walked, the boys played golf and tennis and pingpong and pool. The children swam in the indoor pool and lots of card games were played. We had clear bright spring weather and misty soft rains.


We explored the old convict coal mines, a peaceful and beautiful place where we were serenaded by the beautiful fairy wrens.




We looked into the convict cells like this one for solitary confinement, completely absent of light. We could only see its interior by taking a photo with a flash and then looking at the photo.


The weather at the mine was perfect,the setting so peaceful and thankfully the spirit of the land seemed to be at rest.


The coastline is truly spectacular and demands that you keep still and feel the wonder of nature. As the waves crash the small birds dart and float on the updraughts and you have time to notice the spring flush of tiny flowers on the coastal heathlands



I think this fairy floss trapped in the bush is a spider's nest, I didn't poke my finger in to find out.


Such a tranquil sleepy place. A self reliant community. I have never seen so many rain water tanks and dams, the community's only water supply. Everywhere it was green and beautiful, even the grey greens of the bush forests looked almost lush.


The four hour drive made us feel as though we had driven to the end of the world, imagine how those people who made the journey two centuries ago felt when they really were travelling as far away from their homeland as they could go.


Tasmania is a beautiful place, Tasmanians love their island. Some times it is hard to come face to face with our history, the unpleasant parts, but the beauty of this place and its people always gives comfort, the natural splendour all around us is always uplifting. I wouldn't live anywhere else.

21 Responses to “Happy Snaps”

  1. Beautiful photos! I love the fern most. I enjoy trips like this with a bit of history mixed in.

    Well, the spider nest, though interesting, made me shudder.

  2. Oh, what beautiful pictures- thanks so much for sharing them with us, Jenny! When we traveled to Australia and New Zealand, indeed, the almost primitive beauty of these places overwhelmed us... but these pictures are impressive! And the history that goes along with the landscape- as you said, through no fault of its own except to being so isolated...
    Just beautiful...

  3. Beautiful pictures! Except the solitary confinement.. I can't even imagine....

  4. The combination of beauty and man's inhumanity to man is so - odd. To think of those poor men [and women?] at the ends of the earth, hearing birds sing, is very moving. When I lived in Scotland, the place where once "witches" and "heretics" had been burned to death had a beautiful view of the cool, blue sea and that juxtaposition also seemed very moving and very cruel.

  5. Thanks for the photos and this post. I learned a lot the last month when I saw a film about the history about tasmania.

  6. Hi Jenny :) I am a new reader and am enjoying getting to know you here very much. May God bless you as you continue! With love in Christ, Q

  7. Welcome back Jenny! What beautiful pictures...such amazing, lush beauty! Thanks for sharing and sharing a bit of that history.

    Lots of love,

  8. Beautiful post & photos - looks like you had a great time.

  9. Hi Marie, the fern is actually a man fern and I was standing on a bridge to look down into it. I agree about the spiders nest, can you imagine curious little fingers going in there.

    Hi Regina, I'm glad you enjoyed visiting down under. I agree the beauty can be almost overwhelming.

    Hi Amethyst and welcome, I actually felt very scared looking into the darkness of that cell.Your eyes just never get used to the complete absence of light.

    Hi Mrs Pea, yes women and children were transported as well. You have summed up the feeling of these kinds of places well.

    Hi Bettina, you are most welcome.

    Hi Angelika, our history is very interesting isn't it.

    Hi Quinne and welcome, I'll come visit when I can.

    Hi Sommer, you are welcome, I loved sharing such a beautiful place.

    Hi Kez,We had a great time. The place we stayed was under renovation so the tarrif was low and some of the facilities needed work such as the rough golf course but I think we enjoyed it more because it wasn't so slick and polished.It was clean, comfortable and quiet and in a beautiful setting - perfect.

  10. Jenny, thanks for sharing your wonderful holiday.

    I love Tasmania. It has so many memories for me. I have never lived there but I met my husband in Hobart 24 years ago. We went back for a 4 week honeymoon, and we have been back quite a lot since, as my brother and his family live there.

    It is a very special place.

    Also, some of my ancestors were transported to Van Diemans Land.

  11. Your photos are so beautiful, Jenny. I am hoping that next January we might be able to bring the car over on the boat and visit Tassie. B and I haven't been there since before the children were born.

    I will never forget Port Arthur with its 'model' prison where the prisoners were kept silent and solitary by barriers even when they were all together. Truly terrible.

  12. Lovely photos, as usual, Jenny. H and I were last down there 10 years ago and your photos make me want to return.

    Welcome back.

    I tried to visit Natalie today and her blog has been taken over by something else. Try visiting and see what you find. I hope we haven't lost her blog.

  13. I've been wondering about Natalie too. The Homespun Revolutionary is gone too.

  14. Rhonda and Kate, I have no idea where Natalie is? She did delete her blog once before so perhaps she has done it again. I will email her and find out.

  15. Lovely pics Jenny! I have yet to visit the apple isle, although I have seen most of mainland australia. Your pictures inspire me to visit one day!

  16. Thank you so much for sharing ! It's such a beautiful place. I really enjoyed seeing the pictures.

  17. Absolutely amazing photos!! The picture of the coastline was just beautiful!


  18. Hi Cathy and welcome, I'm glad you have so many happy Tasmanian memories.

    Hi Kate, yes there is some horrible history associated with Port Arthur.

    Hi Lisa, you should definitely visit Tassie, you won't regret it.

    Hi Shelley, you are welcome.

    Hi Paula, thank you.

  19. Hello Jenny:)

    I was looking at the pics without reading the text and thought, 'how amazing that different parts of the world can look SO Australian' ROFLOL!!!Hhahahaha!!!

    You have a lovely blog thankyou for sharing a part of your life with us:)

    Peace to you


  20. Oh boy, now I want to visit Tasmania even more. I'm saving up!


Thanks so much for taking the time to chat. I don't always have time to reply but I do read every message you leave.