Tamar River, Lavender and carvings

Trip Start Nov 12, 2012
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Trip End Apr 01, 2013


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Flag of Australia  , Tasmania,
Monday, February 25, 2013

On Sunday we set off to check out both sides of the Tamar River, which starts at Launceston and opens up to Bass Strait. We headed into Launceston the second largest city in Tassie for the first time to find it is more like a country town.

We travelled up the eastern side of the Tamar River to our first stop, George Town. We visited the George Town Watch House (gaol), which was first built in 1816 and modified in 1855. They have a model display of how George Town looked during the early 1800's. Also the cells have been set up to show how they would have been back then.
 
Next stop was the Pilot Station and lighthouse at Low Head. Low Head is the eastern headland of the Tamar River mouth. The lighthouse was constructed in 1833 and before that the only signalling device was a flagpole with signalling flags. Many ships were wrecked on the Hebe Reef, which is situated just out from the mouth of the river, and the ships needed a means of navigating around the reef.
 
After a quick stop at the top of Mt George lookout we headed back down the Eastern Tamar Hwy and used the Batman Bridge to cross over the Tamar to the western side, and visited Beaconsfield and Beauty Point for a look. It was fairly late in the afternoon so we were unable to enter the Beaconsfield Mine and Heritage Centre so we will have to return tomorrow.
 
Today (Monday) we get an earlier start and head straight to Beaconsfield for the mine and heritage centre. The centre is right next-door to the current working mine and includes the old mine ruins. A big part of the display relates to the mine collapse in 2006 involving Brant Webb and Tod Russell. They have a mock-up of the cavity that Todd and Brant spent two weeks in; I took a pic of Louise in the cavity. There was heaps of old stuff from mine equipment to fruit handling equipment and it took us a good two hours to see everything, it is worth a visit.
 
Next we head back over the Batman Bridge and east towards Scottsdale and Legerwood. Just out of Scottsdale is Bridestowe Estate, which is a 260 acre lavender farm, we had a lovely Devonshire tea with lavender scones and Louise brought some lavender products. Then we set off we again to continue our journey east.

Next stop was Legerwood.  Legerwood is the home to the amazing avenue of memorial tree carvings. The families and friends of the tiny community’s fallen soldiers planted the trees in 1918. When the trees were declared a safety risk in 1999 a skilled chainsaw carver, Eddie Freeman, brought the soldiers back to life in sculpture. The drive was well worth it.
  

On our journey we have driven through some lovely countryside with rolling green hills and lush rainforests lining little county roads.
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