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120 Art & Tasmania and the Tassie Devils


My son Kai and his lovely girlfriend Samantha has just left on a week’s holiday to Tasmania, which is an Island approximately 240 km from the mainland separated by Bass Strait.  They will visit Hobart, Launceston and Cradle Mountain among others, and that reminds me of a family holiday that we took a few years ago there as a family.  This acrylic painting called “Life wasn’t meant to be Breezy”  (which sold in Japan) depicts a tiny bit of the “weather” that we came across on our travels.

naive painting depicting a very windy day with autumn leaves blowing down the street and people and umbrellas

Life wasn't meant to be breezy

We as usual had the most marvelous time, spent much of it laughing and the other making ourselves sick on Devon-shire tea and scones which is something they sold in quaint little cafes at what seemed to be around every corner of the Tasmanian forest.  That “one” had to go on a diet when we got home was a given!


In Hobart where we visited the former women’s prison called the “Female Factory” which had been turned into a fudge factory, go figure!  In the 1800s there had been some 12,000 women and children imprisoned there, it later became a “House for imperial lunatics” and a hospital for contagious diseases and a boys reformatory.  With such a history it seems strange that it now produces yummy tasting fudge and truffles and the like.


We also visited Port Arthur which was the prison that the hardest of the British and Irish criminals were sent to during the 1800s.  It is situated some 60 km along the coast from Hobart and is Tasmania’s top tourist attraction.  What makes this an even eerier experience is that it is also the place of Australia’s worst mass murder in 1996, when Martin Bryant went berserk and killed 35 women, children and men and wounded another 21 people.   A very tragic and fascinating story that had the whole country holding it’s collective breath for a couple of days.  If you would like to read more about that here is the link on Wikipedia


We had a hire car and visited Bicheno where they run nightly Fairy Penguin tours and you can see the little creatures returning from a day out at sea and coming back to their nest at night, so very cute waddling up their burrows.  Another interesting bit was the spectacular iridescent light that was moving and flickering all around in the water, which was some sort of sea lice from what I remember.

On our travels we also went to a brilliant maze made for adults where we ran around and had so much fun and of course there were some Devonshire tea and scones involved as well, lol.  We also visited a seahorse farm which fascinated me, but the rest of the family remembers that as a bit ho hum!  Well you cannot please all the people all the time.


One adventure we all rate as first class was the days spent at Cradle Mountain where we stayed in a cabin and whilst hubby made the dinner, the kids and I were playing detectives in the dark searching by torch light for the Tasmanian Devils which we thought we saw around every bush but never actually found in the wild.  Cradle Mountain is found in the St Clair National park, a mountain of 1,545 meters above the sea level and has a beautiful ruggered terrain and Australia’s deepest lake.  Dove Lake has a boardwalk right around it which makes it an easy 2.45 hour walk that we cut our teeth on, so to speak.

Then we decided to do the Cradle Mountain Summit Bush Walk which is a 5 and a half hours return, why not, this bush walking business is easy isn’t it?  We were warned that the weather could all of a sudden become inclement and snow, but we thought they were going overboard with their warnings as it was a summers day warm with the temperature in the 20’s.  So hubby made us all sandwiches and other delights and we reluctantly took a jacket each and set off on the adventure.


We were cursing the jacket advice as it was boiling hot climbing up huge dolerite boulders like a mountain goats and contemplating leaving them somewhere to pick up later.  Anyway we persevered and finally got to Marions Lookout with a magnificent view over much of northern Tasmania, where we decided to eat our picnic.  We were thoroughly enjoying the scenery and watching some other hikers along the path when suddenly without a warning the weather turned treacherous and an icy cold wind came from nowhere and it started to rain and hail.  What the?  How could this be, we scrambled to take shelter among the rocks and the only thing we could put on our heads were 4 plastic sandwich bags, lol.  All the while the other hikers pulled out very fancy professional hiker’s ultra light pants and jackets from their backpacks, goggles, hats and gloves – whilst we sat shivering behind some rocks like idiots with bread bags on our heads!  My husband even had a little pile of crumbs on his head when he took the bag off!

The temperature must have gotten below zero and we were seriously considering our options when just as suddenly the bad weather past by and turned to spring.  This time we took more notice of all the signs and marked cabins should we need to seek shelter again, and thanked our lucky stars at least we had taken the jackets with us.  All’s well that ends well.

Here is a quote by Patrick Young which fits in here:

“The trouble with weather forecasting is that it’s right too often for us to ignore it and wrong too often for us to rely on it.”

Till next time happy painting and sculpting to you all or maybe mountain climbing,

Love Marie xxx   (c)

If you enjoyed this travel and Art blog you may also enjoy this one; 155 The Art of Packing Light

Why not come and have a look at Marie Jonsson-Harrison’s PAINTINGS FOR SALEGICLEE PRINTS FOR SALE and SCULPTURES for sale or WALLBASED SCULPTURES.  Enjoy an original artwork on your walls or perhaps one on your bed ARTnBED.

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