Saturday, January 21, 2012

Back from the Far North-West

Green Point Beach, Marrawah, on the west coast of Tasmania 
(280 km from Launceston).
When at full scale, the windfarms to the north are just visible.

Two days ago, I was at Marrawah and Arthur River – the westernmost settlements in mainland Tasmania, locales I'd never previously visited – and yester-day, at Cape Grim and Woolnorth Point (northernmost tip of Tasmania), as part of a tour of Woolnorth itself.

Woolnorth – the property encompassing the extreme north-west of Tasmania – is a huge and prosperous dairy- and beef-cattle and sheep farm of 55,000 acres (!), the remaining one-seventh of the land-grant made to the Van Diemen's Land Company, the oldest company in Australia and the last still governed according to the terms of its Royal Charter (issued by George IV in 1825).  I rather liked the idea of that; its Governor and Court of Directors still administer the agribusiness – though now they answer, not to the founding investors, rich London merchants, but to a New Zealand district council that holds a majority of the shares; and there is no longer a Chief Agent sent out from the old country...

The view across Suicide Bay 
(site, 'tis said, of the murder of tribesmen by shepherds in 1828) 
to Cape Grim, northwestern tip of Tasmania.

Woolnorth Point, northernmost tip of the island of Tasmania 
(40° 38′ 33″), 
with Bass Strait on the right and the Southern Ocean on the left.

This morning, departing Smithton, which has been my base, after visiting a pleasant property at Edith Creek, it was good to motor back the scenic way through Nubeena and Forest, before turning to the highway again and striking out for home, via Boat Harbour Beach (a delightful nook) and a late lunch at Burnie, where my coffee came emblazoned with the name of the restaurant:

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