East Coast Tasmania – Some Pictorial Highlights from those last days of Freedom

Currently Reading: Donna Tartt – The Goldfinch | Victor Steffensen – Fire Country

We are now four weeks into lockdown here in Tassie – a similar timeline to that being experienced by people all over the world. The curve appears to be flattening in Australia, so we’re feeling cautiously optimistic that there may be the possibility of a wander through a National Park soon.

My ma and I have been in quarantine thus far for 30 days. Mum has had the virus and has come out the other side with a (thankfully) very mild case. Although I tested negative for the virus, I have had to remain in quarantine for a further 14 days beyond Mum’s medical clearance in order to ensure that there has been no ongoing transmission. Just as I opted to stay with Mum when she had to self-isolate upon return from her holiday in New Zealand, she has chosen to stay with me until my quarantine period is up.

[PSA: Mild rant to come, followed by some soothing pictures of the ocean from the time before Corona – feel free to skip the rant and move straight to the soothing pictures]

People (including myself) are going a little stir crazy about having to spend so much time in their homes. For me, the main frustration has been the inconsistent dissemination of information and a distinct lack of communication, both internally, within the Public Health department, and in their dealings with those directly affected by the quarantine orders here in Tas. I’ve had a few minor meltdowns, particularly through the period when I didn’t know when my quarantine would be over. 48 hours before my proposed end date, for example, Public Health advised me that my strict lockdown period had been extended by a further two days, making it their third alteration within the space of a week. In addition, they’ve addressed me by the wrong name, they’ve confused my case with that of a 9 year old child, they’ve mistaken me for the one in the household with symptoms, they took an additional week beyond Mum’s all-clear from her GP to write her clearance letter, thereby inadvertently extending her own period of quarantine for a further week, and they have thus far been unable to provide me with a letter, in writing, advising that Thursday really will be the last day before I can leave my house for the sake of exercise.

I think Australia, as a nation, is doing very well, and I am only too happy to do my bit to help control the spread, but on a personal level, in terms of the phone calls Public Health make every day to check on those in quarantine, the lack of adequate training, the absence of empathy and the general sense of ineptitude has been demoralising. Speaking to people with compassion, thereby treating them with dignity and respect, should be absolutely essential skills before they put people on the phone. End rant.

Putting things in perspective, I have so much respect and appreciation for the work that health workers are doing all over the world to combat this thing. I am also grateful that I have my health and that there is an end in sight. Needless to say, my situation is non life-threatening and there are literally millions of people going through far worse.

Aside from my growing sense of disdain for the team of people phoning me each day, we’ve coped pretty well. Mum’s had her knitting and I’ve been drawing. And we’ve kept up with exercise within the limits of the house and yard.

We are stupidly excited about the possibility of getting to go for a walk that takes us beyond our daily regimen of 50 laps of the house. We now have 3 days remaining until we can go for said walk.

This time last month I was swimming in the ocean on Maria Island and at Falmouth on Tasmania’s east coast, where I spent a week climbing mountains, meditating on the waves and walking free. Here are some more pics from that week:


Milton Vineyard – Restaurant and Cellar Door


Milton Vineyard – view from the deck


Devil’s Corner Vineyard – Cellar Door and viewing tower


Map of the East Coast wine region


View across to the Hazards and Schouten Island in Freycinet National Park – so looking forward to being able to return to this park and walk the Hazards Circuit


Kate’s Berry Farm – just out of Swansea


The delicious berries in their natural habitat


Spiky Bridge


Built by convict labour in 1843


Mayfield Bay Conservation Area


Wild blackberries in Bicheno


Bicheno – Waub’s Bay


The turquoise waters of Tassie’s east coast


The backyard of the place I stayed in Falmouth


Frank telling me all his secrets


John was on the job, so I stayed with them for the week, walking and cuddling Frank, and reading Anna Burns’s Milkman aloud while John painted


Falmouth foreshore walk


Frank in his element


A few shells on the beach


Lying on giant granite slabs with the sun beating down – what a life


Can you spot Frank?


Sun-drenched puppy-dog


This way Lou


Giant house with uninhibited ocean views – rarely inhabited – what a waste


View back towards the house and shack (the owner, Liz, lives in the shack out the front and ordinarily rents out the house on AirBNB)


Coastal scrub


Look at that bundle of fluff


John and Frank walking along the beach between Falmouth and Scamander


We had a dip here – even Frank came in – but he was much happier watching his Dad from the comfort and safety of the sand


Velvety seaweed


Look at that freshly painted abode! Shaping up nicely


Beautiful clouds over Falmouth’s high point


Four Mile Beach


Low light makes for moody blues


Frank the explorer


View back to the mountains from Four Mile Beach


Driftwood sculptures


The sunrises at Falmouth were among the best I’ve ever seen


It was the best week – more of the same please


The day I drove back from Falmouth, I picked Mum up from the airport and this strange state of affairs has been the status quo ever since …

Looking forward to a future in which I can resume van life, explore wilderness, serve beer & pick fruit for a living and hug the people I love.

Books Completed: Alice Bishop – A Constant Hum

4 thoughts on “East Coast Tasmania – Some Pictorial Highlights from those last days of Freedom

    • Haha indeed! Well said! Walked the orchard this morning. Doing a bit of admin at the bank etc today. Feeling almost normal! (New normal – what is new normal?) Hope all is well with you and Marian. (Just saw your email – glad you found your ring!! I will write a proper reply soon.)


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