Friday, November 21, 2008


We're going to Tasmania. Launceston. My Livejournal friend Tracey lives there, and we're going to visit her and her lovely family. Hopefully we won't drive her family completely insane. Hopefully, she'll still be my friend after we leave. I am a bit worried about this. I am kind of getting this awful picture of them shutting the door after we finally leave and sighing with relief. Ah, finally....they're gone! Although I say that about pretty much ALL our guests--even the ones I love. I'm so relieved for them to be gone, and then a few hours later I miss them and want them to come back. Well, SOME of least.

Anyway, I decided I should write about her town. I'm not going to write a lot about the tourist stuff because I am leaving it up to Tracey to figure out what she wants to do with us. I'm personally happy with anything. It's Australia. I'll be thrilled. She could take me to a parking lot, and I'd sit there saying, Cool! Australian cars! Australian pavement!

And we all know my REAL purpose of going there. Jack's future wife might live in Launceston. These people whom we share Vegemite on toast with....they just might be our future in-laws. Tracey has very beautiful daughters. I think the younger one would be a perfect match for Jack.

Okay, enough. I need to stop before I start picturing wedding dresses and all that.

Let's get on to Launceston.

Launceston is on the north Eastern part of Tasmania. It's not way east though--more towards the center.

Now I'm going to talk to Lord Wiki. He says the kids should elope. Weddings are a waste of money. Lord Wiki! Really! Is that any of your business?! I just want to know about the town. Let's stick to THAT subject.

Lord Wiki says Launceston is the second largest city in Tasmania. The city that beats it in that contest is Hobart....the capital.

Lord Wiki says Launceston was the first city to be lit by hydroelectricity. My eyes are a bit tired this morning and I accidentally read it as HIT by hydroelectricity. I was thinking....yikes. Sounds dangerous. I hope it doesn't happen while we're there.

Launceston was settled fairly early. 1806. At least Lord Wiki calls it early. I really don't know enough about Tasmanian history to know what's early and what's late. Well, the first fleet came in 1788. 1806 is eighteen years later. I suppose you could call that early.

Launceston was originally called Patersonia. I like that name. I like Launceston too though. The Patersonia name comes from one of the first men to settle in the area. William Paterson. He was an explorer and a Botanist. He was also governor of New South Wales for a year, but then later lost that job to Macquarie. Oh! And also, before that he was governor of Tasmania. Although it wasn't Tasmania yet. It was Van Dieman's Land.

All this name changing gets confusing.

I guess William Paterson decided he didn't want his town to be named after himself any longer, so he changed the name to honor the birthplace of another New South Wales governor.   Philip Gidley King had been born in a town in England called.....

Can you guess?

(it's Launceston if you can't)

Lord Wiki says Launceston is known for apples, wool, and wine. I like apples. Wool is too itchy/scratchy for me. I don't drink wine, but I like the IDEA of it. There's something very romantic about vineyards. I know. I'm probably just saying that because of Keanu Reeves and that A Walk in the Clouds movie.

Launceston has no high rise buildings. At least that's what I'm reading.....

Lord Wiki says Launceston is swampy. I like swampy. That sounds romantic to me too. Messy, but romantic. I don't know why. I guess it makes me think of an Anne Rice novel...probably more the witch books than the vampire ones.

Launceston has a sister city in America. Napa. I have no idea what sister city means. Do any of you have a clue?

Anyway, when I hear about Napa, it always reminds me of that line in Sex and the City. If you're tired of New York City, you take a napa. You don't move to Napa!" I miss that show sometimes. I still haven't seen the movie. I need to do that.

I'm now looking at other websites about Launceston. You just can't rely completely on Lord Wiki. Sometimes, he's really smart. Other times, he acts like a drunk uncle.

This website says the Launceston area was founded in 1805 rather than 1806. That makes more sense. Lord Wiki was a bit confusing about that. He talked about Paterson and his gang approaching the area near Launceston in 1804 and said then they came to Launceston a year later. That would BE 1805, right? But Lord Wiki says it was 1806. Although I guess if they came at the end of 1804, a year later would be around 1806.

I guess the exact year doesn't matter all that much. I shouldn't be so picky.

This website says Launceston is the third oldest city in Australia. I knew what the first oldest city was, and now I know what the third oldest city is. What's the second? Maybe Parramatta?

Lord Wiki tried to tell me that Launceston had yet another original name, but I ignored him. I'm telling you....I'm very tired this morning. But I caught the info on the website mentioned above. After I saw it there, I went to complain to Lord Wiki for withholding information for me. But I saw he had talked about it. Oops.

Anyway, the original original name was from explorers led by Bass and Flinders. They found the area in 1798 and called it Port Dalrymple.

There are a few Dalrymples in Queensland. I was wondering where the name came from. I did a little digging and it seems the name comes from a village in Scottland.

In 1929, Launceston and other parts of Northern Tasmania had a huge flood. There was a lot of destruction. Yikes.

Well, I will end now because I'm tired.


  1. tasmania is so beautiful! you will love it.

  2. lol..I'm so nervous that you'll be thinking "Ohh my god why did we come here, this family is nuts and it is extremely stressful being here"!! Which is can be sometimes with the amount of bickering that goes on.

    I should add thing to this post..hmmm.

    Things about Launceston.

    1. We have no shopping malls. The closest we have is a large supermarket that has some a mini mall if you like. All the shopping is 'street style' shopping and there are some very unique buildings and little old fashioned quadrants dotted throughout the city. It makes for a nice shopping experience - even if we don't have a huge variety.

    2. Launceston is very very hilly. I would say 70% of houses have some type of a view and a lot have views over the Tamar River. I'll digress for a moment. The Tamar River runs from Bass Straight and all the way into Launceston. It is a lovely lovely meandering river with some very pretty towns dotted throughout.
    Here's a pic to tantalise you..
    Most of the wineries are along here. Beauty Point at the mouth of the river is home to Seahorse World
    and I think there is a platypus place too.
    Further along at Beaconsfield is the site of the mine where those two miners were trapped for what seemed like forever. Ohh I went off on lots of tangents here with old number two.
    3. Cataract Gorge.
    It's so pretty in spring and summer. A very very popular place for locals and tourist alike. Just around the corner from my place. We can walk there but the walk back would be very testing. As I's very very hilly here. We'll do this on your first day I think. Might have a picnic dinner there if the weather is fine :-)
    4. The thing for me about Launceston, is that it is a 'gateway' if you like to explore other beautiful spots in Tassie with relative ease. Favourite spots for us are:
    Liffey Falls
    Greens Beach
    Mole Creek Caves
    There's also a Tassie Devil place nearby and it is a very pretty drive. for the kids as it has lots of mazes. So I guess you need to like that sort of thing.

    5. I have no idea what we are going to do!!!! I'm scared of choosing the wrong thing. Help me Dina help me here!!!!!!!!!

  3. I thought I was going to run out of space there so I stopped. Lol. :-D

    I can't wait for you to be here. I want it to be perfect so I want you to love what we do and love being in my home. I'm worried you'll take one look at our simple/poorish lifestyle and want to run a mile!


  4. Louise: I think I'll love it too! Thanks.

    Tracey: lol. I think your comment is longer than my whole post!!!

    I think it's cool you have no shopping malls. I'm not a big fan of them. I did like them when I was a kid. I'm not big on shopping, but if I'm going to go shopping, I much prefer the street styling thing.

    I think I like hills.

    I love the idea of a picnic dinner.

    I'm not sure what to do either. I'll go look at all the links.....

  5. Sorry. I thought blogger made my links automatic. Didn't realise I had to do a proper html code.

    I like to shop in big shopping precints occassionally and really enjoy it when I do. It's not something I do for the sake of it here at home though. It's more something I do when I go to Melbourne or the like.

  6. Tracey,

    Okay. I'm looking at all the links.

    The Cataract Gorge sounds really nice. Do we have to go on the chair lift thing though? Because those things SCARE me!!!!

    The photo is beautiful!!!! I'm going to have to make you come to Fort Worth so you can compare it to Tasmania. Well, I guess we have some beauty here. It's just not so obvious and you have to be very open-minded.

    The seahorse thing sounds interesting, but do you have to do a guided tour?

    I think everything looks beautiful, so it's hard for me to choose.

    I don't usually do well on guided tours so maybe we can avoid that.

    I think it will be fun going to pretty places where we can chat and the kids can run around. Launceston seems to have a lot of those places. I think we'll be fine!!!!!

  7. Tracey,

    No worries about the link. I just cut and paste. I don't know why blogger does that. I never bother to do html code. That's too much exercise for my brain.

    I used to like shopping--to a point. But now I seem to have an almost aversion to it. I'm not sure why. I think maybe I lost some of my attention span. Even with bookstores (which I love) I can't usually go for more than an hour.

    I'm weird.

    What kind of shopping do you like??

  8. yeah, Launceston is nice, my dad and i were there in january. You will love it. It is so more real than Sydney in my opinion.

  9. Yeah the Seahorse World is a guided only tour. It annoyed me at the time greatly and I remember drifting off into la la land. I didn't mind the guided tour aspect of the Mole Creek Caves though. It was very interesting.

    Ohh I thought of something else. I've not been here but it's nearby to my place.. Launceston Wildlife Park

  10. I can't go into a bookshop with anyone else. I get to bothered that I can't just absorb myself into the books and look at what I want. I take Tara in from time to time but never look for myself these days.

    Shopping...hmmm. It depends. Nothing in particular or it can be something. If I'm feeling good about myself then clothes or shoes. Otherwise I like buying gifts for people :-)

  11. Tribog: Oh no! You're sounding like Sarah Palin. When we come to Sydney, I'm bringing along an Exorcist.

    Tracey: The Wildlife park sounds fun. I love those.

  12. Did you notice I got savvy and used my html skills :-D

    I forgot the most important thing.


    Important for anyone who lives in a town that constantly gets mispronounced.

    It's pronounced LON-CEST-TON
    (also known as inceston but that's a whole nother story..well not really. It's just a little joke because everyone seems to be related to everyone here. Spookily true)

  13. Tracey,

    Crap! I meant to mention your awesome html skills!!! I really meant to do that. I am VERY impressed.

    Thanks for the pronunciation guide. Does the Cest part sound like sest or Kest.

    See how lost I am!!!

    Oh no. Now I get it!!! I totally missed the incest thing. My brain is slow.

    So, it's like sest not kest.

    I've heard that about Tasmania. We have the same reputation for some of our states.

    Very interesting......

    See, it's good I know you're not originally from there. Otherwise, I'd be trying discreetly get that info out of you and Tyrone.

    "So where did you guys meet? School? Uni? Work? Uh, family reunion? Your childhood home?"

    I'm joking, of course.

  14. yes Tasmania is definitely known for apples and one of it's nicknames is the apple isle.

    I'm sure you'll have a great time with your friend :)

  15. I've been to Launceston a couple of times, but not recently. I remember it as a lovely city and I think you will like it. The Tamar Valley is very beautiful.

    Launceston had a casino before Victoria did and people used to cross Bass Strait just for the gambling ... not me though, I don't like casinos.

  16. Mistress B: Thank you! I think we'll have a great time there.

    Michael: Thanks. I think we will like it. It looks beautiful--from the pictures I've seen.