How many people get to live their dreams? I am..........!

This is my story from the time when Capt'n John and I first decided to sail around the big block, to circumnavigate this great land of ours, AUSTRALIA.

Monday, 17 March 2014

Spent Time in Hobart

Spent Time in Hobart
13th – 22nd Feb 2014
sunset across the Prince of Wales Bay, Hobart
under the bridge

After motor sailing up the Derwent River into Hobart and under the Tasman Bridge, which was an exciting moment to be looking up at the bridge as we passed under, MrJ and I headed AR into the Prince of Wales Bay to take a berth in the Prince of Wales (POW) Marina.
We spent 10 nights in this marina, taking time to sight see and catch up with dear friend Frank and June again who were there to greet us in.
Prince of Wales Bay & the marina
Mt Wellington in the background

The POW Marina is some distance from the city of Hobart but it was only a short walk down to the main road to be able to catch a bus to town. The marina itself has not long gone through a major upgrade with all new fingers and a demountable amenities hut in place with future upgrades planned for a complete new amenities block to be rebuilt alongside the office/cafe building. Yes, there is a cafe onsite; open for breakfast through lunchtime. The cafe was also used by the nearby industry workers. Great coffee too!

the marina is surrounded by industry
seagulls at sunrise in the industry steam

While staying in Hobart Frank was there to run us where ever we needed to go; also taking us to other places of interest. On the Sunday Frank and June took us out to Richmond to see the Highland Piped Bands. These were their championships and we were fortunate to see the Police Piped Band. strut their stuff. Frank used to be a drummer in this band. It had been raining a lot in the midlands making the band parade area very soggy under foot.

From Richmond Frank took us back into Hobart to the Italian Food Festival where we mingled from one stall to another deciding on what to have for lunch. I was drooling with the sight and smell of all the wonderful Italian cuisine then finally settled for a bowl of creamy mushroom pasta. Yummo!

During our stay at the POW Marina I would take the walk up the hill to Derwent Park Rd and then down the hill to the main road. In Derwent Park Rd I was to pass some very old buildings. I was to later find out that these two building were originally the old barns for the Derwent Park Homestead.

Derwent Park Homestead
the homestead building
The original Derwent Park homestead was built by Thomas Wells in the early 1820s. A single storey stone and stucco Colonial Georgian house built on a fine site commanding extensive views of the Derwent River. It was the home of Mr Joseph Tice Gellibrand who was the colony's first Attorney General. The house is complemented by two fine stone barns. The current Derwent Park homestead was built in the mid-1860s, to replace the original building that had been destroyed by fire.
Thomas Wells had been convicted of embezzlement in England in April 1816 and was sentenced to transportation for fourteen years.  Educated people were in great demand in the early colonial administration and Wells served as Sorell's clerk throughout his governorship.  Wells is best known as the author of a pamphlet 'Michael Howe, the Last and Worst of the Bushrangers' which was published in 1818 and was the first work of general literature published in Van Diemen's Land.
Wells advertised the lease of Derwent Park in the Hobart Town Gazette and Van Diemen's Land Advertiser in June 1823.  The advert described it as a 'most beautiful picturesque and highly improved farm' on the edge of the River Derwent and stated that the 'farmstead is a neatly finished residence.'  The notice also explained that there was a reserved road linking with the centre of New Town which gave the property 'the advantage of communication by land with Hobart within an hour.'
Joseph Tice Gellibrand acquired Derwent Park in the mid-1820s.  Gellibrand was a lawyer in England prior to being appointed attorney-general of Van Diemen's Land. Gellibrand arrived in Hobart in March 1824 but he did not get on with Lieutenant-Governor Arthur.  Gellibrand was suspended by Arthur in February 1826 for 'conduct not befitting his high office'.  In 1835 Gellibrand helped form the Port Phillip Association which supported John Batman's expedition to establish grazing properties in today's Victoria.  Gellibrand prepared legal deeds for the transfer of the land from the aborigines, while the finance was arranged by Charles Swanston.  Swanston was one of Gellibrand's neighbours, living about 2 kilometres away at New Town Park (now known as Swanston House).  Gellibrand disappeared on an expedition to explore the hinterland of Port Phillip in 1837.
Derwent Park was purchased by John Dobson in August 1840 and he rented it out for a number of years before advertising it for sale in The Courier newspaper in March 1848. The advert described the 'delightful estate of Derwent Park' and 'the Mansion, erected on a scale adapted for the residence of a family of the highest respectability, commands, without exception, the finest prospect in this hemisphere.'
Derwent Park was purchased by John Curwen Walker for ₤1,345.  Walker was the accountant at the Derwent Bank and had been renting Derwent Park before it was put up for sale.
The fire that destroyed the original Derwent Park homestead was reported in The Mercury newspaper in December 1864.  The article stated that the 'valuable house containing 12 rooms known as Derwent Park was burnt to the ground … The origin of the fire is unknown, it seemed to have commenced in the back part of the premises, which being of wood were speedily destroyed.'  A new homestead was subsequently built, but in the architectural style of an earlier period. 
Derwent Park was purchased by Henry Hopkins junior for ₤2,250 in 1866 and he leased out the property. Hopkins died in June 1875 and Derwent Park was bequeathed to Thomas William Massey and his wife Emma.  Charles Raymond Staples purchased Derwent Park from the Masseys for ₤5,500 in July 1888.
Henry Benjafield purchased Derwent Park for ₤4,600 in November 1891 and almost immediately sold it to the Tasmanian Government for ₤5,200.  This caused some controversy in Parliament when it was suggested that Benjafield had been secretly acting on the Government's behalf but there was no evidence to support this and it was generally accepted that the Government had got the property at a good price.
The Government had acquired the property as the site for a proposed new gaol but this did not eventuate.  Derwent Park was used as a Government Farm and the homestead was occupied by the ploughman in charge of cultivating the farm.
The Hobart City Council acquired 22 acres from the Government and constructed a large abattoir which opened in February 1908.  The Electrolytic Zinc Company was established on the waterfront in 1916 and has gradually expanded over the intervening years to occupy most of the site. They currently own the building and it is operated by organizations that use the building to hold art classes for people with disabilities.
(Information Source: Australian Heritage Database)
the two barns

By the late 20th century this lovely historic home was vacant for many years and had fallen into disrepair. Nyrstar in partnership with The Parkside Foundation restored the building and have breathed new life into it. Today you can take a tour of what is now called Derwent House (I didn’t do this), learn the history, see the art and craft work of the foundation’s clients and learn more about The Parkside Foundation.

Other things I saw on my walks:

an old shed
wildflowers in the fence
a snail crossing the path
Friday we went into Hobart and caught the fast cat MR1 (Mona Roma 1) and went to the Mona Gallery. Catching the ferry there is a great way to get there. It's a lovely cruise and there is a cafe and bar onboard as well.

enjoying the view - Ferry ride up the Derwent River (Ithink I have been here before)
'are we there yet' - some of the seating on then MR1
Ferry ride
MONA, the Museum of Old and New Art, opened in Hobart in January 2011. It is Australia's largest private museum and displays a diverse collection that ranges from ancient Egyptian mummies to some of the worlds most infamous and thought-provoking contemporary art. Some of the exhibits are changed every six months.  This is a private collection, owned by one man David Walsh who made his fortune as a professional gambler. It is believed that Mona is Hobart’s biggest tourist attraction as far as the number of people that visit. Some people fly from all over the world just to drop in see the gallery and then leave without going anywhere else in Tasmania. They really don’t know what they are missing out on!

a new version on Little Red Ridding Hood

the Poo Room - these represent the digestive system, they get fed twice a day and if you are lucky enough to be there they do a poo at 1400 hours
I had been told by so many people that it was an amazing experience. And it is.
The building is below ground level; the entrance is on top of a hillside on the waterfront and when you get off the MR1 that takes you there are 92 steps to reach the top. MrJ and I spent nearly four hour at Mona and I’m sure we didn’t see everything. I personally could have spent days in there.
Mona is an immersive experience. If you go expecting a traditional art gallery where you walk down corridors and look at pictures on the wall or sculptures on plinths, then you will be very disappointed. This is not what MONA is about.
Berlin Buddha by Zhang Huan 
8 tonnes of incense ash pressed into a Buddha mold, now crumbling away.

Mona is an installation. The building is amazing and wandering through the different areas is an experience in itself. There are little surprises everywhere and the strange ambient noises help set the tone. This is such a unique museum and always changing. Some art is provocative but the displays are always imaginative and get you thinking well outside the square!
The image above is a concrete mixer truck made from cut steel by Wim Delvoye. It was sitting outside in the elements and I thought it was just stunning.
MrJ found some of the exhibits a little confronting; he is more into the tradition style of art but was not put off by what he did see except for the Pooh Room. The smell nearly made him sick.
Excellent exhibition - truly is World Class

Back in Hobart MrJ and I caught up with an old friend Elena and her family from his Alice Springs days before heading over to Constitutional Dock to meet up with Steve and Kerrin off Rhapsody. This was the boat that we sailed down the west coast of Tasmania and into the Gordon River.

Saturday afternoon we had a farewell BBQ at Frank and June’s. Irreplaceable friends!  Since retirement Frank has dabbled in wood-work, he had made us a platter set with cheese and pate knives and a fabulous folding table which will be there to always remind us of their friendship.

MrJ and I sailed out of Hobart Town early on the Sunday morning. Our next anchorage would be in historic Port Arthur. 

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