Thursday, September 9, 2010

Hobart Town

Tuesday and the 2010 Australian Mental Health Nurses Conference was in full swing.

My main interest for the day was listening to psychiatrist and Australian of the Year, Prof John McGorry's dissertation and I was far from disappointed at his call for a better, bigger slice of the health budget for mental health services, especially for mental health problems in children and adolescents. He was simply 'compelling listening'. There was not much else in the morning program for me, so I headed off to see the town.

After his speech I had a free morning and decided to go out on foot and explore Hobart Town. So I set out from the hotel and headed over to the docks to begin with.

First, down to the iconic Mure's seafood reataurant and cafe - they have the most splendiferous range of delectable ice creams!

While in there I had the opportunity to observe some of the fish motiffs/mobiles they had suspended from the ceiling inclusive of this wonderful carving of a wooden fish!

Then, ice cream in hand, I headed to the end of the docks to get some pictures of some of the marine vessels in harbour.

Then it was back up and across Davey Street to Macquarie Street. I walked through a car park towards the City Hall and took a photograph of this wonderful building. I was disappointed when someone told me the car park was once a green space and thought how impressive the view of the harbour from City Hall would have been if seen across a green park area instead of a car filled bitumen paddock.

I then walked up Macquarie Street to the 1807 built Alexandra Hotel. I had read in a local paper that there was a somewhat contentious Development Application in with council to redevelop the area behind this old hotel into a multi-story building and incorporate the hotel into the lower front facade/foyer area of the building.

From there it was across the road to the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery. For days I had heard the delightful chimes of a clock tower and had wondered where they came from. Today I found out - it was the Hobart Post Office clock tower.

Entry to the museum was free of charge and this grand old building soon assumed the semblence of several inter-linked buildings. The exhibits were absolutely stunning and too many to show all, so here are a few samples.

A large prehistoric reptile skeleton dominated the entrance area.

From this point I headed into the exhibit area where a magnificant example of an indigenous bark canoe met you straight off.

Immediately behind this was a marvelous reconstruction of a bark shelter. I noted from my university Prehistory undergraduate days that this shelter was more an enclosed structure than the commonly seen open shelters on the Australian mainland and thought that this reflected, probably, Tasmania's more inclement weather. An exhibit of stone and bone tools were in a case in front of the shelter.

I meandered through the exhibit rooms, mixing with a junior school group who were busilly drawing pictures of snakes and lizards until eventually I exited through a cafe into a courtyard.  This was part of the original Commissariat building for the Colony.

I exited the courtyard and walked around to Davey Street where I could view the impressive front of this historic building.

I walked up Davey Street to Argyle Street and to the Maritime Museum where I visited the Museum shop and purchased a cap and a Polo top as a souveneir. From there I continued back to Macquarie Street and walked up to the park off Elizabeth Street adjacent to the magnificent Town Hall Building.

From there it was back to the Conference for the afternoon session. The next day was a free day for myself and I had use of the car so I planned a trip to Richmond, which I had been assured was one of the prettiest towns near Hobart and, perhaps if time permitted, further north up the coast - perhaps Orford or even Triabunna.


Gill - That British Woman said...

John, thanks for the info on the Oil of Cloves, someone else mentioned that.

That town has a lot of history to it doesn't it? Great photos.

Gill in Canada

Brent Blackburn said...

Great to see you enjoyed the visit to our Museum.

John said...

Yes I did, thank you! I take it you refer to Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery? Did you pick that up from this blog , or, from another site?