Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Tasmanian Devils – and more about Tassie

Well, in my last post I did promise to tell you a little about this beautiful part of Australia that my husband and I have “retired” to. I use retired like that because I’m still not quite sure what this “retired” means – for us at least. Although he is now an officially retired minister, Ray is still preaching wherever he has an opportunity to share truths from the scriptures. For both of us our days are filled with reading, writing, family and our local church and friends. So, while we have now lived here for over six years, there is far too much of this island state that we have not explored.Tasmania is the large island across Bass Strait south of Melbourne. It became a penal settlement in 1803 and although such a beautiful place the history of early European settlement is not pleasant reading. It has been said that Tasmania's history is the most colourful but tragic of all the six Australian states. If you would like more information this is a good website: Discover Tasmania

We live on the estuary of the Tamar River north of the second largest city, Launceston and take nearly three hours to drive south to our capital, Hobart. This is the view from a hill near us looking to the mouth of the river and Bass Strait.

The population of Tasmania has almost reached 500,000 and has its own state government. As well as attracting many from overseas, it is a favourite holiday and tourist destination for the “mainlanders” - as Ray and I are learning to call anyone from the rest of Australia. The photos below are of a couple of well known places.


A friend from England is rugged up when viewing Cradle Mountain and Dove Lake. This a favourite place - especially for those who like to go for long hikes. There is one that will take a few days in this beautiful wilderness area. And no, I haven't done that one!


But we do have the famous Tasmanian devil you may have heard about in the news. Scientists are trying very hard to discover why they are developing facial tumours that are threatening their existence. Although it is officially extinct, the Tasmanian Tiger is still claimed by some to be hiding out in some wilderness areas. We would all hate to see another creature only found in Tasmania disappear.



Mt Wellington looms over Hobart. These photos were taken when there was no snow as there often is during our winter- and spring and autumn sometimes!I only discovered a few months ago that the koala, one of our Australian animal icons, does not live here. Perhaps because we are so close to Antarctica it doesn’t like our cooler climate?


The devils are fascinating little creatures. I haven’t discovered yet just why they were given this name but they are carnivorous with a set of very strong, dangerous looking teeth and like to fight!





I also did manage to get acquainted with a fund-raising “devil” one day visiting our part of Tasmania! Of course, the question I am asked is “will you be writing a book set in Tasmania?” And that is something I’ve been giving some thought to. Ideas keep pelting their thoughts at me so I know I need to keep on jotting them down for when I can start seriously considering this. However, right now I am trying to get Book Three, Justice at Baragula, written and it is set back in the Hunter Valley in New South Wales.

In fact, that is just what I should be doing right now – writing more of that manuscript!

However, I’d love to show you more of Tasmania and will send a calendar with photos of this beautiful island to a winner from those who leave a comment before 15th December.

18 comments:

  1. Oh, I love Tasmania. I've had the privilege of being a "mainland" visitor twice and really would love to come back several more times. The history is fascinating and scenery fantastic. So different from the rest of Australia. My first taste was when I was only 10 years old and we foolish Queenslanders came down in July. We were shocked at how chilly it was. Since then I've lived in permanent snow in the north of Japan, so I doubt it would shock me so much these days. Thanks for posting Mary.

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  2. Mary, thanks for posting about Tasmania. The scenery is beautiful and obviously a source of inspiration! I'm especially grateful to find your "blogspot", and I'm eager to look for your latest book! It's nice to know what you've been doing since we last met.

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  3. Tasmania looks like a fascinating setting for some historical fiction. Thanks for sharing about it.

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  4. Mary, the photos are beautiful :-) Tassie is on my list of future holiday destinations. Thanks for sharing your part of the world with us :-)

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  5. Mary, thanks for sharing about Tasmania. It is on our list of places to visit when we take our round Australia trip we're planning for 2012. Tasmania would be a great setting for one of your books. I hope you continue to have ideas coming at you and they insist on being put into a manuscript.

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  6. I would love to see Tasmania. It looks beautiful.

    seriousreader at live dot com

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  7. Hi Mary,
    Tassie is high on my to-visit list. My parents honeymooned there almost 45 years ago. I would live to visit when its really cold, and I'm with your friends who keep asking.... I think you should set a story in Tasmania:)

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  8. Good to hear from you all and thank you for your comments. Those who would like to visit here just make sure it is in those warmer months, especially between December and March! How lovely to be in touch again, Jessica. I read another of your great M&B medical romances a few weeks ago and glad to see you are still writing. After having to force myself to stop doing research on my previous four historical novels I'm not sure about one set here. I loved reading the history books far too much!

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  9. I love this post, Mary, and I'd really like to win the Tasmanian calendar.

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  10. Reading all these posts about retirement and Tasmania and Japan has reminded me of the story (true, apparently) of the Japanese warlord who planned to "retire" to Tasmania and who had brought up land there for the purpose. I only discovered it through reading one of Kieran Meehan's children's books which was set in Japan.

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  11. Onya Mary,
    Good to still hear from you now and then!

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  12. I agree with Dorothy. Would love to read a series from you set in Tassie. Would be a great excuse to visit there again!

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  13. Mary, thanks for a look at your beautiful country. I'd love to see more of it, especially spread over a year.

    Re the retired ministry couple remark . . . I'm with you! We're as busy as ever, and also still trying to figure out the meaning of the word "retirement".

    From a fellow minister's wife living in South Africa

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  14. I love that little devil. Thanks for sharing Tasmania, Mary.

    Ann

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  15. Thank you so much for all your comments. The draw for the calendar goes to Fred Bassett. do let me have your address, Fred so I can post off to you ASAP!

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  16. Sorry, Fred Bassett, you have not sent me your postal address! If you do not do so in the next twenty-four hours I will have to do another draw for the calendar!

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  17. Just in case you missed this on another blog post: after another draw, a book is now on the way to Lena Nelson Dooley. Hope it arrives safely, Lena!
    Thank you so much everyone for your interest and comments.

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  18. This is a very interesting blog and so i like to visit your blog again and again. Keep it up.

    Alan

    http://holidaydestinationinindia.blogspot.com

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