Sunday, December 24, 2017
Brindabella Hills Birthday Bash
Mum's birthday is just 3 days before Christmas. She considers that to be a mean trick because (before I started organizing things) people would always combine her birthday and Christmas celebrations. So yesterday I took her out to our favourite winery, Brindabella Hills, for a special lunch. Bros Trent and Nathan came too. If you compare these photos with earlier ones you can see that there is a lot of work being done to the vineyard and the restaurant by the new owners. The thing I like best is the way they are clearing some of the scrub so that you get a great view of the river valley. What's the wine like? Well, it is better than any of the other local brands and most of the other Aussie ones. How old is Mum? I'm not allowed to tell you, but she is older than she looks.
Labels: Canberra, family
Sunday, December 17, 2017
Sailing Back Into Sydney
No matter where we travel and how much fun the trip has been it is always good to be back in Australia. The prettiest homecoming is sailing into Sydney harbour at the end of a cruise. The ships usually enter the Heads just before Sunrise and the view is one of the few things that will get the Oldies out of bed early. The first things that you see are the blinking lighthouses at Hornby and Macquarie (search earlier posts for photos of them). The first photo is South Head and if you look carefully you can see the light from Hornby. Near the city the first ferries are starting out past the Opera House. The ship passes Fort Dennison just as its small lighthouse turns off. Smaller ships like Sun Princess pass under the Harbour Bridge to White Island Terminal, and by the time disembarkation begins the Sun is risen. A great way to return to Aus.
Labels: boats, cruising, Sydney
Monday, December 04, 2017
A Most Spectacular Lighthouse Site
Ships leaving Hobart and heading east around the south coast of Tasmania pass the most spectacular cliffs that I have ever seen. They are made of massive vertical basalt columns that look like drainpipes. At the place where ships can head east around the end of the Tasman Peninsula is Tasman Island. This is a small island, just over a square Kilometer in area, but it is up to 300 metres high. The keepers of the lighthouse there were some of the most isolated people in Australia. The lighthouse was made from cast iron in England. It came to Tasmania as a prefabricated kit and the bits had to be hauled up those steep cliffs in rare periods of calm weather and reassembled. It is the highest (above sea level) active lighthouse in Australia. Keepers lived on the island from 1906 to 1977 when the light was fully automated. Today the keepers' cottages are falling into disrepair. The old supply gear of flying fox and tramway is in ruin, although you can still see the tracks on Google Earth. The only access is by helicopter. The best view of the site is from a cruise ship or one of the boat tours from Hobart or Port Arthur.
Labels: cruising, lighthouse, Tasmania