Naomi & Wazza on the road to Evandale

Hello all, I thought I would start a new series of blogs for Our Other Blog as an “On The Road” series. I love going for drives in my Ford Falcon affectionately known as Wazza. Wazza is old and weather-beaten but he gets around just fine. Wazza get’s his name from the letters in his original number plate. I’m sure some people would say “Why Wazza?” I do get asked sometimes.

Well Sunday is market day so I decided to head to Evandale as they hold one of Tasmania’s best markets. I finally had a Sunday off from work and it was also a nice day so I got up early and off we went. Evandale is just over a 100km from Oatlands where I live and it takes about an hour and a half to drive there. Evandale to Launceston is only 18km so it’s also possible to visit the South Esk Market in the same day if wanted. South Esk is held every Sunday at the Launceston Show Grounds. It’s a good Market but not as big as Evandale also held each Sunday.

The market always has a lot of stalls but there were not as many as usual because it’s now winter. The stalls are in a large hall and spread over the lawn areas. People with stalls outside don’t have any shelter and their wares will get wet or blown over in the winds. Sunday was nice but cold. I noticed that most of the items on tables were covered in dew. I went inside the hall first because it gets crowded in there by 11am and you can’t get near anything to look properly. Inside the hall I found a lot of very interesting vintage items and I picked up a couple of old English and Welsh souvenirs. I was pleased to find they were only $5.00 each and there was a whole box full of lovely china ornaments. I’ll show you some pictures of them later. There is also a very good café inside the hall. I had a hearty bowl of minestrone soup, a slice of lemon cheesecake and a pot of English Breakfast tea for under $20.00. They were good sized servings and I enjoyed them very much. The people working in the café were very friendly. The floor must have been a bit rickety because every time the waiters and waitresses walked past to bring food or collect dishes my table rocked and there was a tsunami in my tea cup. I was glad my soup was thick and chunky so it did not make waves. I have to say the soup was some of the best I’ve ever had and so filling.

I walked around outside to look at the stalls on the lawn area again and picked up a lovely coloured glass rabbit dish. I also got some nice baked biscuits for my two boys. They were both most put out about being left at home. Unfortunately you are not allowed to take dogs to the markets. Some of the stalls I saw sold fruit and vegetables, plants, books, scarves, socks and shawls, hats and bags, collectables, cosmetics, tools, pots, toys and homemade cakes.

After leaving the market I headed for the main street hoping to find some antique shops but I struck out there because everything was rather up market and most of the shop’s goods were out of my price range. I did find a shop with some nice home décor items and I picked up a nice poster for the kitchen depicting old fashioned food such as cakes and puddings. There was also a beautiful house made by an artist out of shells which I was allowed to photograph. The Evandale Bakery is another nice place to eat and they also sell a nice range of gifts and souvenirs. I have often eaten there and it’s always nice although usually crowded being so popular. There is also a nice old hotel where they have a nice outdoor area where you can sit and enjoy a nice lunch. I took some photos of some of the buildings in the High Street and then walked to the water tower and through the park back to where I had parked Wazza. After entrusting Wazza with my parcels I headed to the model railway.

On Sundays weather permitting the Evandale Light Railway and Steam Society run real working models of steam and diesel locomotives. You can have a ride for $3.00 or $10.00 for a family. They have about 600 metres of track and there are many vantage points where you can get nice photos of the trains as they pass by. I was just walking around the perimeter of the societies ‘grounds taking my photos when one of the volunteers invited me in so I could get some better ones. I must say I messed up quite a few as I wasn’t very good at timing my shots when the trains were running. It was much harder than I thought to get a good action shot. I even got invited to look at the signal box where they had miniature levers to change the tracks. If you like steam engines or trains in general you would probably enjoy a visit here.

My Market Finds

My Market Finds


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More about Evandale


My Visit to the Tip Shop Glenorchy


Recently I visited the Tip Shop run by the Glenorchy Council. Glenorchy is a suburb of Hobart that I often visit for shopping and errands. The Tip Shop is actually a shop on the premises of the local rubbish dump where you can buy secondhand goods, vintage items, collectables, furniture, bikes, toys, electrical goods etc. The idea is to recycle rather than have all that waste end up as land fill. Tip shops are very popular with everyone. I often find it hard to get a park for Wazza my Ford Falcon. I’ve had some very good finds at good prices although you have to weigh up the prices in your head a bit. Would I be better off buying this item somewhere else? Would I be better off buying this item new? It all depends on what you are buying of course. Quite a lot of people buy things with the plan of fixing them up. There is a big board there with people’s finished projects posted on it. People have made things out of things they have bought or restored something like a piece of furniture. I found Pedigree Penny there. She was very dirty and had lost most of her hair. She was working ok and I got her for only $10.00. Vanda soon had her nice and clean and later we are going to choose a new wig for her. I found a beautiful old typewriter there from the 1950’s that had been marked down to almost half price so I got that for myself. I’ve picked up a few nice little bits and pieces too such as tins, ornaments, pots, vintage toys and books. Here are some of my Tip Shop finds.


One of the things I enjoy about The Tip Shop are all the sculptures made out of scrap metal. Some of you might have seen my “Cee’s Oddball Challenge” photo of  the scrap metal man. There are a lot of these sculptures around the grounds and I took a lot of photos of them while I was there last time. I have put them together in a slide show for you to see. If you have something like the Tip Shop in your town keep an eye on it as you never know what you might find there. Remember one man’s trash is another man’s treasure or should I say person’s treasure! What ever you can find some really interesting stuff there.

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A Photo a Week Challenge: Boats and Ships

Boats and Ships

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I really love boats and ships especially cruise liners. Here are a few of my photos of them. They are taken in Hobart, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and New Zealand. Explorer of the Seas will always remain close to my heart because of our wonderful holiday in 2016 so she has the proud honour of being my featured photo for this post.

A Photo A Week Challenge: Boats and Ships

Boats and Ships

How could I resist this challenge when ships and boats are some of my favourite photography subjects. Here are some I took on the Hobart Waterfront and at Franklin on the Huon River.

Antarctic vessel Aurora Australis berthed in Hobart, Tasmania

Princess Cruises Dawn Princess in Hobart 2016

Dooen - Hobart 2016

Dooen – Hobart 2014

Durham - On the Huon River at Franklin July 2014

Durham – On the Huon River at Franklin July 2014

Emmalisa, , Hobart waterfront 2015

Messing about in boats – Franklin, Tasmania

Dark Mofo : The Crossing

Tonight I went to an arty event called “The Crossing” Churches from Launceston to Hobart were lit up for the event while inside organ music was played. Now this was no ordinary music. people expecting to hear Onward Christian Soldiers were in for a shock as one or two elderly residents were. There were no brightly coloured lights to illuminate the church either. Instead there were blueish lights which made the church look rather eerie. Red shone through the lovely stained glassed windows. The music on the organ which was some sort of keyboard was high-pitched or deep sounding. It was a bit Pink Floyd meets Science Fiction. Some elderly residents left early. For myself I got bored after a while and went outside and had some free soup and damper the minister had made. I found the music shrill and high pitched and it hurt my ears. A kid next to me said it was creepy and you couldn’t dance to it and he or she did not want to dance. I joked that it was nothing like The Bee Gees and didn’t blame them. At the end the artists did get a big round of applause for their efforts. I think most people liked it a lot. I have to say I found it monotonous and no way did I have any peaceful thoughts while I was in there. I have no way of introducing you to the sounds I heard but here are a few photos I took. There is a link for those wishing to know more about Dark Mofo and The Crossing.

Dark Mofo The Crossing


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Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge

Which Way Photo Challenge

I went for another long walk around Lake Dulverton and these are a few photos taken along the way. Stayed tuned for the rest of my photos of my walk to Hawthorn Bay and back.


Lake Dulverton Walk 2


Lake Dulverton Walk 2


Lake Dulverton Walk 2


Lake Dulverton Walk 2

Climax Locomotive on Puffing Billy Railway

All Aboard for Puffing Billy

As you know I was in Melbourne last week visiting my friend Gillian and her husband Bruce. It was Gillian’s 60th birthday and as we live in different states and don’t see each other often we try to get together for the milestone birthdays and do something special. Five years ago they came to Tasmania and we all went to the West Coast to visit the West Coast Wilderness Railway and the do the Gordon River Cruise. This time it was my turn to travel and we decided on a visit to the Puffing Billy Railway in Belgrave in the Dandenong Ranges about 40 kms east of Melbourne.

Puffing Billy is one of Australia’s oldest and most well known preserved railways. I’ve visited there at least  three times in the past with David, with Naomi and once with Mum when I took her to Melbourne for a weekend. Gillian thought that she might have been there when she was younger but Bruce who is a born and bred  Victorian said that he could not remember ever having been there at all.  We certainly had to fix that!

As it was a special occasion Gillian booked us on to “The Commissioners Train”. This train is run once or twice a year and allows passengers access to the railway’s museum and workshops which the normal excursion passengers don’t get to see. It also included morning tea and lunch.

The three of us, plus Gillian’s assistance dog Dusty, arrived at Belgrave at around 8 am on Saturday morning and the station was already humming with activity as the consists for the days trains were marshalled onto the platform and several locomotives were being prepared for the day. As well as our train there were three other scheduled departures.

Belgrave Station Puffing Billy

Outside Belgrave Station

Gillian with Dusty who is a Lions Hearing Dog.

Bruce went up to look at the workshop, I wandered around on the platform taking photos of the buildings and carriages. I came across a set of old carriages with familiar names and went to ask the volunteer platform staff

“Are these Tasmanian carriages?”

They were, they came from what is now the West Coast Wilderness Railway, acquired by Puffing Billy years ago after the railway had closed for normal traffic and decades before it became a tourist attraction itself.

“And no, you can’t have them back.” they told me.

Dubbil Barril

Dubbil Barril, ex Tasmanian carriage.


I will include a link at the end of this post to the Puffing Billy website but for those of you not familiar with this little narrow gauge railways here is a bit of background.

The Puffing Billy railway was one of four low-cost 2’6″ (762mm) gauge lines constructed in Victoria in the early 1900’s to open up remote areas.

The present line between Belgrave and Gembrook, through the forests, fern gullies and farmlands of the magnificent Dandenong Ranges, is the major part of the line which opened on 18 December 1900 and operated over 18.2 miles (29km) between Upper Ferntree Gully and Gembrook until 1953. In 1953, a landslide blocked the track and, because of operating losses, the line was closed the following year.

Public interest resulted in the formation of the Puffing Billy Preservation Society, whose volunteers, with the blessings of the Victorian State Government and the assistance of the Citizens’ Military Forces, by-passed the landslide and reopened the line to Menzies Creek in 1962, Emerald in 1965, Lakeside in 1975 and finally to Gembrook in October 1998.

The last time I traveled on the railway was prior the reopening of the Lakeside to Gembrook section so I was very excited to finally get to go to the end of the line. The whole trip is very scenic and I’d never get tired of it.

Many, if not all of the people who work on the railway are volunteers. They are drivers, firemen, guards, station masters and platform staff and many others who work to keep the trains running behind the scenes. Puffing Billy maintains a timetable of four trains a day, seven days a week plus various special trains like ours. They have themed trains that run in the evening where you can dine and be entertained with jazz or R&B at one of the stations and even a Murder Mystery evening.

Volunteer driver


It was a chilly morning so rather than ride in the open carriages we opted for a vintage carriage where we were able to have a compartment to ourselves. It was Dusty’s first time on a steam train although he’s travelled with Gillian on Melbourne’s electric trains several times since she got him a couple of months ago. He was not too sure what was going on at first but soon decided that it was fine and settled down on his mat on the floor. Bruce decided to be brave and ride in one of the open carriages for a while so he could take some photographs and he also elected to jump off for the photo run later on. As I did not get off for the run past myself he has kindly agreed that I can use some of his photos of that portion of the journey.

Open carriages Puffing Billy Railway

Open carriages Puffing Billy Railway

Another treat for the Commissioner’s Train passengers was our first engine of the day, the wood burning, Climax locomotive. The Climax is a “foreigner” to the line having been built for the Victorian Forests Commission and used on the now defunct Tyers Valley Tramway. I had never seen this locomotive before as apparently it is only used for special trains as it runs on what I heard the volunteers jokingly call “Climax Time”. It looks like something out of the American west although it was built in 1928.

Climax locomotive at Belgrave.

Climax locomotive at Belgrave.

Climax Locomotive on Puffing Billy Railway

Climax Locomotive on Puffing Billy Railway

The day reminded me a lot of the old times when we used to go on steam train trips in Adelaide. The special train had attracted a lot of the die-hard rail fans who like to record steam sounds and will follow the train for the entire journey by car to get photos or film. The ones travelling on the train rode in the open carriages and especially enjoyed the photo run.

Rail fans form a photo line by the track.

Climax photo run by Bruce Laughton

Climax photo run by Bruce Laughton

Climax photo run by Bruce Laughton

Climax photo run by Bruce Laughton

Behind the Climax. Photo by Bruce Laughton

Behind the Climax, What railfans do. Photo by Bruce Laughton.

We enjoyed morning tea prepared by the volunteers at Menzies Creek  and later another treat when one of PBR’s fleet of NA class locomotives coupled on to our train. The NA class were used on the railway when it was in service and PBR still have several of them. We were to have a double-header!

NA 6A at Menzies Creek


NA 6A on Puffing Billy Railway

The Climax and NA are coupled for a double header

The Climax and NA are coupled for a double-header

We travelled on to Emerald  where we had another break to look at the carriage workshop while the Climax was uncoupled from our train. The two locomotives posed for a photo-op and we waited for the scheduled train to Lakeside to pass us before going on to Lakeside ourselves. This was a great opportunity to photograph three locomotives together.

Climax and NA 6A

Climax and NA 6A pose for a picture.

Waiting for the scheduled train hauled by another NA class

Waiting for the scheduled train hauled by another NA class NA 7A I think.

After a brief stop at Lakeside we went on to Gembrook for lunch in the old station building. There were trips to another workshop for those that wanted to go but I preferred to stay around the station area and take more photos. Another locomotive arrived. NA 8A was to join our train so we had double-headed locomotives for the whole return journey.

One last picture I’d like to share is to show you the traditional way of riding in the open carriages.I first saw this many years ago and I had thought that OH&S might have put a stop to the practice. Passengers in the open cars may sit on the window sill with their legs dangling down outside the carriage. As it was getting on for four thirty by the time we reached Belgrave it must have been a chilly ride.

How to ride Puffing Billy.

I hope you have enjoyed this much longer than usual post about a great little railway. I know I will be back there again someday.


Further Information:

This is a great old film made in 1967 and shows what a long way they have come since then. When it was shown at the Australian Railway Historical Society meetings we used to attend everyone laughed at the man with the screwed up tape in his machine no doubt because many of them had experienced that same feeling with a tape recorder or movie camera.