Tassie beckons……

2 04 2012

I’ve mentioned my desire on this blog to move to Tasmania, and also been asked why I would want to make such a dramatic move.  So tonight I will attempt to explain what brought me to this conclusion.

I first visited Tasmania at the age of twenty, a whole lifetime away it now seems.  It was love at first sight.  A rock climbing friend and I trained it to Melbourne, flying to Devonport, and we travelled all over the island, the highlight being the Cradle Mountain to Lake St Clair overland walk, some 80km….  As I said on the night of my 60th birthday, the one thing I can clearly remember is being young once!

I’ve since returned five more times.  In 1985, Glenda and I took a two week holiday, even investigating the possibility of buying a photographic studio in Wynyard.  So the idea of living in Tassie is not new.  We didn’t make the move then, only because Glenda didn’t want to live that far away from her aging parents, whom we actually brought with us for another visit two years later…  I also went back on my own once to attend an Australian Institute of Professional Photography National Conference in Hobart, when I was the Qld President of said AIPP, and a judge at the National Print Awards….  I had a glorious opportunity to share some lens space with Doug and Ruby Spowart, both Master Photographers, as we travelled around the place doing nothing better than to create mind blowing photography.  Tassie’s like that, an opportunity around every bend it seems.

We went together again just twelve months ago…… and our daughter Claire came along too.  Glenda attended a wood firing ceramics convention in Deloraine while I showed Claire the sights….  I never tire of Tassie, I just feel like I belong there.  And Claire loved it as well.

I don’t know if it’s me getting older, or climate change starting to get under my skin, but over the past few years I have become really intolerant of the Queensland heat and humidity.  It doesn’t allow me to work as much as I need to in the yard, just when everything goes ballistic there and more work is what’s actually required!  Now Easter is in sight, the weather is becoming far more to my liking, and I’ve started again to spend more time there cutting back all the summer growth.  I thrive in the cold…….

So last year, Glenda and I decided it was time to plan the big move, before it’s all too late, and TSHTF not allowing us to do it.  At least I’m philosophical enough to realise that in the event we can’t sell, or it all gets too hard because of Peak Oil, we are well prepared no matter what here in Sunny Qld.  I do worry we are fast running out of time…..

There are other incentives too.  Real Estate in Tassie is half the price, acre for acre, of what it is here.  I also know several people who have made such a move, and none have ever regretted it.  In fact most agree it’s the best thing they ever did, they tell me the sense of community in Tasmania is far more present than almost anywhere on the mainland.

The Huon Valley

Huon Valley Reflections

Having done a lot of research, we have settled on the Huon Valley.  The Secretary of Permaculture Tasmania has told me she moved from northern Tassie to the Huon because the climate’s better…!  And perhaps we were lucky, but last time we were in the Apple Isle, we got most of the inclement weather around Deloraine and Launceston, while the weather in the Huon was just picture perfect… just like in the photo!  Twice.  No I’m not being a romantic fool, I’m sure the Huon gets foul weather just like anywhere else…

I also like the feel of the place, the way one is never ever very far from anywhere, the way the countryside is still not overpopulated, the lush green hills, and the apple trees on the side of the road…. not to mention the wineries.  And Cygnet has an established Transition Initiative I don’t have to start myself, there are Permies everywhere to make friends with….. and I already communicate with quite a few.

It’s as far away from the madding crowd as one can get without going to New Zealand.  And now we have a total dickhead for a Premier, leaving Queensland becomes ever more appealing.

And you can grow garlic there, piece of cake…!

I’ve been daydreaming on the internet seeking suitable land, and there is no shortage of it.  Were we ready to move now, I have a short list of three pretty well ideal sites picked out, and a house plan already mapped out on a sheet of graph paper!  EVERYTHING I have learned here will go towards the new plan, and this time there will be no compromises.  I actually believe we can do a whole lot better in Tassie, on the right block.  I know how to design a cold climate house that needs no heating, and in any case, so successful is our AGA that I would get another, a refurbished one from the Midlands Cookers people who sold me the parts I needed to fix the current one…  I’ve already sourced manufacturers of stainless steel water tanks, and concrete blocks that look just like the ones we used here!  All I need to do is sell Mon Abri, not something I would have thought I would ever say even five years ago, but such is life…….

How can you resist…….