It has been almost 6 months since the last blog and a lot has happened. So where do we start?
Hobart & ECHO Festival
Sydney friends Carol and Greg came to visit for a week. The blog will feel like it was longer than a week but we do seem to pack a lot in. Ostensibly, the visit was to join us at the East Coast Harvest Odyssey ECHO festival but then also bookended by some excellent Tassie experiences in Hobart and Southport.
On Wednesday soon after they arrived we checked into our favourite Hobart hotel, right on the harbour.
We had two nights in Hobart before driving to Swansea for the ECHO festival.
As fate would have it on the night after after Carol and Greg arrived (Thursday) Maddy, Steve and Dave’s band, Free Live Sports, were playing a big gig in Altar nightclub in Hobart which, of course, we were going to however this left us free on Wednesday.
And so on Wed night, after much excellent research by Jenni, we booked into Dana Eating House for dinner.
This magnificent restaurant exists below the populist radar and outside tourist recommendation posts and seems to cater for informed locals only. It is a hidden gem for sure. We all agreed afterwards it was one of the best dining experiences we have had for a while. This trip started as it meant to go on, as an enjoyable gastronomic experience. As excellent as the food was the service was event better.
On Thursday day we worked a bit and shopped a bit and then it was time for the Free Live Sports gig. Altar was a short walk from the hotel.
The venue, Altar, is dark, moody and perfect. As this was the early session there were no heaving crowds.
They came on at 8:30.
Free Live Sports we’re pretty amazing and the place was jumping. I’m glad it was so popular they had to put on an extra early show which was just for us old people.
You can preview their music and get some Free Live Sports limited edition cassettes here.
Oh, and the Rolling Blackouts were playing there too. They were pretty good also.
And so, as we all headed off to bed, the bands had to do it all over again.
Suddenly it was Friday and in the evening ECHO festival began. We left Hobart happy and full and drove to Swansea on the east coast where a weekend of glamping and eating and drinking awaits.
East Coast Harvest Odyssey
What is ECHO? From their web site – “The East Coast Harvest Odyssey, known as ECHO Festival, has become known for weaving together immersive sensory experiences around the traditions of harvest, old and new. This boutique festival guides guests on a journey of exploration that encompasses all the senses – taste, smell, sight, sound and touch.“
Jenni and I attended ECHO for the first time last year and vowed to return this year. Along with Carol and Greg we were joined by Sandee and Brian (again) whom we met same place same time last year.
And so, the following day the festivities proper began. There was wine, gin and whiskey tasting.
From ECHO we moved to Southport, Tasmania’s, and therefore Australia’s, most southerly settlement. Southport is quite remote but it does have a rugged and interesting coastline walk which, of course, we did.
From Aussie Towns website. “Southport is known as Australia’s southernmost settlement. It is now little more than a quiet holiday retreat and, looking at the shacks and small shops, it is hard to imagine that in the early 1800’s it was Tasmania’s second largest town and it was proposed as the capital of the colony. It was a bustling and dynamic convict station, whaling station, timber town and international port exporting timber to Europe. The modern appeal of the town lies in its away-from-it-all sleepiness. It is known for its excellent recreational fishing and the journey to Roaring Beach and Lady Bay rewards the traveller with beautiful white sand beaches and bull kelp near the rocky headlands.”
We had a few hours between checkout from Southport and check in at Snug, next place.
Wille Smith’s Cider House
We had had such a great time during Carol and Greg’s visit it was with some reluctance we left our place in Snug to drive them to the airport. But, as we had some time before their plane left, we got one more short walk in. Snug Falls.
It was time for our visitors to go back to the North Island and for us to return to our cosy home.
Our next blog will be from our trip to the UK and Ireland.