Day 603 – 609 4/1 – 10/1 Orford/Maria Island

We headed 100km north of Hobart to chill out at the sleepy little town of Orford.

View from Caravan Park out to Maria Island
View from Caravan Park back to Prosser River entrance.

On the way we stopped in at Buckland. This is St John the Baptist Church. It was built by convict labour in 1846, the church was constructed as a replica of the church at Cookham Dean in Sussex and is famous for its 14th Century stained glass window. This stunning window is thought to have been originally designed for the Battle Abbey in England and was brought to Buckland by the Reverend F. H. Cox, Rector of the church from 1846-48.img_8996img_8997img_8995

The pub is even older & was the first overnight stop for the stage coaches from Hobart servicing the East Coast.img_8999

Orford Bird Sanctuary is across the road. Lots of birds.

Point Home Lighthouse is at the entrance to Port Triabunna. It was built in 1971 to allow woodchip ships to enter the harbour. Unfortunately for Triabunna woodchip exports finished in 2012. The large photo is from Three Thumbs lookout & shows the Salmon pens in the background.

One of the few fishing boats left at Triabunna. It is a squid boat. The lights are to attract the squid at night.img_9361

Just over the bridge at Orford is an Old Convict Road. It was built in the 1840’s & ran all the way to Hobart. It is built of stone rubble & is in remarkably good condition.

Rhebans Beach & the view on a very hazy day out to Maria Island. Lots of smoke around from bush fires.

Spent the day girting Maria Island on the Spirit of Maria. The island was discovered by Abel Tasman in 1642 & he named it in honour of his bosses wife Maria Van Diemen. img_9142

The island has an interesting history. Darlington was set up as a convict settlement in 1825. This lasted until 1832 when all prisoners were sent to Port Arthur. In 1842 it was set up as a probation station until it was closed in 1850.

In 1884 an Italian Diego Bernacchi took out a lease on the island. He plan was to produce silk & wine. He built, hotels, coffee houses, workers cottages & even had plans to build a golf course. As the island was mostly limestone a small cement works was built in 1888 but went into liquidation in 1892. Following WW1 he returned to Maria Island & together with the National Portland Cement Company he built a substantial cement works (see below). It opened in 1924 but closed in 1930 due to production costs & the great depression.

His grand hotel built in 1884 (photo taken in the 1930’s just before it was demolished) & the ruins as of today. ns479-1-92img_9343

How it looked when the cement works was there & how it looks now. You can see the silos & clinker storage in original photo. Not much left. The convict commissariat store is the building on the right.ns479-1-94img_9312

The East Coast has some spectacular geology & rock formations. One of the few places in the world where you will see limestone flows & stalictites external to caves.



The Painted Cliffs on the West Coast.img_9352_edited-1

A little bit of wildlife.

Quote of the Day

“I suggest that the best geologist is he who has seen most rocks.”

Herbert Harold Read



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