Friday, September 10, 2010

On to Orford (and beyond)

Orford is an attractive coastal hamlet situated on the east coast of Tasmania, some 73 kilometres northeast of Hobart. The village is centred around the mouth of the Prosser River, on the southern margin of a substantial coastal inlet called Prosser Bay. Beyond this bay are the waters of the Mercury Passage, with the strong relief of Maria Island providing a spectacular backdrop to the view.
Source: Wiki: Orford

So up the A3 Tasman Highway, through Runnymede and Buckland to Orford. The final part of the drive runs parallel to the Prosser River and the road is narrow with the river side of the road frequently protected by solid stone walls and a rock cliff face on the other side, so much so that when some of the timber jinkers came the other way one tended to 'suck-in-ones-breath' even though I knew it made us a no smaller target.

Orford, to me, had all the appearance of a Hobart suburb plucked up and planted in the bush beside the sea. I had this strong feeling that Hobart 'money' found its way up here in the form of glorious weekenders and even ended up as a retirement settlement.

The edges of the Prosser River were lined with private jetties, each protected by strong gates to deter any visitors

Some of the vessels made this reasoning apparent.

I was feeling peckish as the trip from Richmond had been tiring but I also felt like an 'outsider' in Orford. So, It was over the bridge, across the Prosser ....

and 'adieu to Orford .......

 ..... and on to Triabunna.

"Triabunna is the largest township on the east coast of Tasmania and is the civic and municipal heart of the Glamorgan Spring Bay Council, located 84 kilometres to the northeast of Hobart. It is a coastal town situated on the Tasman Highway, and is sheltered within Spring Bay at the mouth of MacCleans Creek and Vickerys Rivulet.

The nearby resort and residences of Louisville are considered a satellite community of Triabunna.

"Triabunna" is an Aboriginal Tasmanian word for the endemic Tasmanian native-hen. The town was founded in 1830 as a station of the 63rd regiment, and later the 51st regiment of Foot also called Triabunna home for a time."

The mature nature of Triabunna is frequently represented in its buildings, like this small catholic church.

Triabunna has a ferry that goes to the imposing Maria Island, sitting sullen in an approaching stormcloud across the bay.

"Maria Island National ParkMaria Island National Park covers an entire island just a short ferry ride from Tasmania’s east coast town of Triabunna yet a world away from the 21st century. From Aboriginal contact to whaling and sealing post, from penal settlement to Italianate rural utopia and health resort, Maria Island inspired both intense sorrow and huge dreams in its long history of human habitation. Today it is a wildlife refuge - home to the threatened Cape Barren goose, Forester kangaroo and Flinders Island wombat, which never lived here naturally but have been introduced from mainland Tasmania and thrive amongst the few remaining buildings."

I didn't get over there but as I ate my dozen freshly cooked scallops for $10 (AUS) and scoffed a bottle of Fanta at a small cafe the very animated and talkative staff told me of the "Painted Cliffs". I dug up this image from Wiki and after looking at it I regret not going over there and have placed Maria Island on the agenda for my next visit.

It was then 'Goodbye' from me and 'Goodbye' from them as I raced a torrential storm back to Hobart to return the borrowed car to my daughter.

Thursday was to be a 'Conferencing Day' and an important one for me as I was expecting to be invited to submit a paper for next year's conference - on "The Gold Coast"!

Friday, Rhonda and I would have the car again and we intended to drive to Eaglehawk Neck and the historic remains of the Port Arthur Penal Settlement along "The Convict Way"!


Steve Bennett said...

Is it my eyes John or does the roof of the church have a corrugation akin to sea shells?

John said...

Its your eyes, mate! LOL! They've just finished a restoration on that church which included a new corrugated iron roof and fresh paintwork throughout!