Monday, 31 January 2011

Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary

Bonorong Park (pronounced “Bon-a-rong” - Aboriginal meaning “Native Companion”) was established in 1981 as a sanctuary for injured and orphaned wildlife. Bonorong isn't a zoo, but rather a sanctuary specialising in giving up-close and personal experience with the wildlife. Above are a couple of Tawny Frogmouth.
All the classic Australian animals were here. Loved these sleepy koalas.

And how cute is this kangaroo with her joey?!
The animals were super friendly.
A great place for taking the kids, or for introducing your boyfriend to the crazy animals we have down under! There were also Wombats, Tassie Devils, Cockatoos, Emus and more.
Bonorong Wildlife Park, 593 Briggs Road, Brighton, Phone: (03) 6268 1184. Cost - Adult $19.00

Friday, 28 January 2011

Escher in the Palace

M.C. Escher. Everyone knows of him and his artwork. What I didn't know before arriving in The Netherlands was that he was Dutch. And another thing I didn't know was there is a permanent exhibition of his work in a palace in The Hague. You can read more about Escher and the works on offer here.
There is some furniture scattered about the Palace still, and some photos to show you the rooms in their former glory. You can read more about The Lange Voorhout Palace here.
Other than the incredible works by Escher, and the luxurious setting of the palace there's another surprise. Each room has an incredible chandelier by Rotterdam artist Hans van Bentem.
It's quite hard to capture a man's life work. And especially when the work is all about incredible precision and detail. So I just have a few photo here to whet your appetite.
The exhibition also has some commercial work by Escher and sketches for Dutch bank notes he designed and entered in a completion, but his entry was unsuccessful.
This was my favourite piece. And by that I mean it's the one I'd hang on my wall. I just really love the forms and the grey tones.
Two more details from pieces that also stuck out for me. The The bottom snake one was his last work. There are two video presentations in the exhibition, they're short, informative and well worth watching.
Here's the palace from the outside, and info: Escher in het Paleis, Lange Voorhout 74, The Hague. Entry €8. Museum card not valid.

After the museum we went to the left of the museum (if you're facing the museum) to a really surprisingly great restaurant. A little exy, but the quality was amazing. Club sandwiches were big, as was the omelet, but our mains of beef and steamed fish were quite modest. We had a starter of tuna and cockles and it was wonderful. Well worth a visit to: the Oker Restaurant, Denneweg 71, Den Haag. Tel: 070 3645453.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Up up and away

What a view! This was one of the highlights of my trip to Tassie. My parents, Mr E and I hopped in a ten-seater tinsy mosquito of an aircraft and took off from Cambridge airport and showed my my home town like I'd never seen it before.
It was really quite spectacular, and these photos hardly do it any justice. They only show a tiny proportion of your actual view from the plane, to start.
The more south we went we quickly saw the landscape get wilder and wilder, the weather turn darker, and waters get rougher and rougher.
The official trip description according to the tour operators: "Departing Cambridge Airport, our aircraft will fly you into this remote area via the South West Coast. Departing Cambridge airport, we will make our way down the D'Entrecasteaux Channel, past the mouth of the Huon River and on to Recherche bay. We enter the South West World Heritage Area at South East Cape, Tasmania's most southern point, and make our way west, on to Melaleuca. After landing at Melaleuca, you'll board one of our boats, for a boat trip on Melaleuca Inlet and into Bathurst Harbour, from where you will be able to witness the wilderness from a viewpoint that you are unable to appreciate by air or by foot. Returning to Melaleuca, we'll take the opportunity to visit the Denny King Bird Hide, and try and catch a glimpse of the endangered Orange-Bellied Parrot over refreshments. We will then reboard our aircraft, and return to Cambridge Airport, via the spectacular Eastern Arthurs and Federation Peak, down the Huon Valley and over Hobart City. Tour is approx 4 hours in duration and is all inclusive. Departs daily, weather dependent."
Here we are, once landed. Wonderful isolated wilderness.
We didn't see the Orange-Bellied Parrot, but we did see this rather pretty little Fire-tail Finch.
Dark waters dyed by the plants around it.
Here's the runway. Made me feel like I was in an episode of Flying Doctors landing on this little strip.
But a flight's just half the fun, once you've arrived and after a bit of a wander around the landscape you then hop on a boat to jet around the harbour.
Which is stunning.
And then after your fill of nature we were off again. That's us. in the bottom right corner. Usually you head back to Hobart via the Huon Valley, but the weather was too rough for our little craft so we went back up the way we came along the coast.
Slowly we ventured from our dark and stormy isolation to more protected territory.
It was a wonderful trip and I highly recommend it to both locals and visitor to the state. You can find out more info here: Par-Avion Wilderness Tour.