The Gorge

We recently crossed another item off the bucket list with a wonderful lunch at The Gorge Restaurant in Launceston. Located in the Cliff Grounds at Cataract Gorge, the building was constructed in 1896 as a tearooms, replacing the white refreshments tent that previously served picnickers.

1.The Gorge Restaurant

In the early 1970s, the Gorge Restaurant opened, being the first licensed alfresco dining area in Australia.

2.The Gorge Restaurant

The Victorian style gardens were showing signs of spring.

2a.Cherry blossom

We opted to dine inside, the relaxing ambience was most welcoming.

3.The Gorge Restaurant4.The Gorge Restaurant

Our window seat afforded lovely views over the garden and tree tops.

5.the view6.rhododendrons7.the view

We settled in with a refreshing Clover Hill sparkling rosé from the Tamar Valley

8.Clover Hill Non Vintage Rosè

while nature provided the entertainment.

9.sparrow

The extensive wine list was narrowed down to a Frogmore Creek 2016 Riesling, sustainably grown in the Coal River Valley. It proved to be the perfect choice.

The friendly waiter was very patient while we decided on our meals, there was so much to choose from. We were very happy with the Crispy Spiced Quail, red cabbage & gin slaw, cauliflower puree and maple bacon,

12.Crispy Spiced Quail

Braised Beef Cheek, Paris mash, thyme roasted baby carrots & lager jus

13.Braised Beef Cheek

and Tasmanian Bush Pepper Calamari, chilli & lime rice vermicelli, coriander & rocket.

14.Tasmanian Bush Pepper Calamari

We savoured the wine while the chairlift glided past the window, sometimes with a passenger, sometimes uninhabited, before ordering dessert.

15.chairlift

My Deconstructed Pumpkin Pie, candied pecans, ginger crumb & spiced cream had to be seen to be believed.

We shared tastings of the Warm Chocolate & Hazelnut Brownie, white chocolate parfait & raspberry coulis

19.Warm Chocolate & Hazelnut Brownie

and the Coconut Lime Tart with rhubarb & blue curacao sauce.

20.Coconut Lime Tart

We walked off some of our decadence returning to the car park, pausing on the suspension bridge to take in the stunning landscape.

21.Cataract Gorge upstream22.Cataract Gorge lower basin

It was difficult to focus on this magnificent cormorant enjoying the sunshine, the bridge was swaying not me.

23.cormorant

Hobart

Hobart is Australia’s second oldest capital city, after Sydney. It is an intriguing mix of old and new and the waterfront precinct is captivating. The Georgian sandstone warehouses lining the dock were built in the 1830s. The IXL Jam Factory is now the Henry Jones Art Hotel and others have been converted into businesses, galleries and restaurants.

1.Waterfront

There are many fabulous restaurants to choose from, with seafood the specialty. The Drunken Admiral is very popular,

2.Drunken Admiral

unfortunately we missed out without a reservation.

Looking across Victoria Dock,

5.Victoria Dock

Mures Lower Deck offers casual dining while the Upper Deck is a unique experience with fresh seafood caught, prepared and served by this local family owned business.

6.Victoria Dock

Strolling along Franklin Wharf, we encountered a series of bronze sculptures, a tribute to the Antarctic Expedition of 1899. Louis Bernacchi was raised in Tasmania and is immortalised in this, “Self Portrait, Louis and Joe”.

7.Bernacchi

Nearby are other sculptures depicting the penguins and seals of Antarctica

as well as some of the supplies and other animals present on the expedition.

Sullivans Cove, on the Derwent River, was the original landing point in 1804 of Hobart’s founder, Lieutenant Governor David Collins and the site of initial European settlement in the area.

13.Sullivan's Cove

Further along the wharf is Constitution Dock, the finishing line for the Sydney to Hobart yacht race. We were very excited to be there for the celebrations.

14.Sydney-Hobart

Wild Oats XI had claimed its third consecutive line honours. Even for someone who doesn’t know a thing about yachts, I think she is a magnificent vessel.

17.Wild Oats

The dock was bustling

but this gull had seen it all before.

22.seagull

This heritage travelling steam crane, built in 1899, sits proudly on the wharf since retirement in 1969.

23.steam crane

Elizabeth Street Pier underwent a transformation in 1997

24.Elizabeth St pier

and now comprises an apartment style hotel, conference centre and eateries.

Moored at the pier is a full size replica of the Lady Nelson, one of the vessels arriving in 1804 with the first free settlers. She now spends her days sailing the River Derwent with passengers who wish to enjoy a tall ship sailing experience.

27.Lady Nelson

A short walk across the lawns of Parliament Square is Salamanca Place. Each Saturday there is a very busy market

28.market

offering a great variety of wares, mostly from local artisans.

29.market

Even the world famous can be seen busking in Salamanca.

34.market

Behind the market stalls are rows of sandstone buildings built in the 1830s to house grain, wool, whale oil and imported goods. They have since been converted into restaurants, galleries, craft shops and offices.

35.Salamanca

There are many laneways and squares to discover around Salamanca

and the new is starting to encroach on the old.

38.Salamanca

When a break is needed from the shopping and exploring, Irish Murphy’s is the perfect spot

39.Irish Murphy's

for a light refreshment

40.Irish Murphy's

to give you the strength to carry on.