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Journeys : Dec Jan 2010
After living in Hobart for 26 years I decided, much to some people's bemusement, to retur n to live in Launceston. The urge had just been there and the challenges were new. Where I now live is not far from where I lived as a child and the view from the house Ros and I bought in Nor wood looks over the North Esk across to St Leonards with its semi-rural appeal, then up to Mt Barrow and along to the magnificent Ben Lomond. I find the North Esk to be a magic river -- this may stem from swimming it as a child or simply because it features in a classic image as the label for Boags Premium. I also nearly drow ned in the river right below our house when, as children, we were able to wander freely and play wildly. One of the challenges in moving back to Launceston was to set up another bookshop and bring the name Fullers Bookshop to Launceston. I had started my bookselling career at Mary Fisher's Bookshop when I was 19 and having ow ned Fullers for 20 years I felt it had something to offer in the north. Well, this has been mostly correct and I love being in St John Street in a very nice old-fashioned building full of character, that all its life may well have been a bookshop (in fact it was a pub before it was renovated by the TAB in 1980). If I leave home and travel by bicycle, which I sometimes do, my route invariably is down Queechy Hill, very fast, up past Scotch College, dare I say a much better institution today than it was when I attended, then dow n into Newstead. I tur n right along Hobblers Bridge Road to get to the bike and walking track that follows the North Esk into town. This is a very peaceful and well-used area, much improved by the recent removal of the willow trees that once grew there. Ducks and swan inhabit the river and blue w rens and other birds the bush beside it. This pathway follows along near the cricket ground, soon crosses Black Bridge where the recreated industrial sound of the railway workshop is broadcast from the QVMAG and the towers of Aurora Stadium dominate the skyline over the UTAS Inveresk Campus at the beginning of Inver may. I usually continue to follow the North Esk past the Boags Brewery to the grand Customs House building (customs must have been the game once) and then up to the shop. Some days however I cycle this way to join in an Active Launceston program, which extends the ride through the curiously named Launceston Seaport around into Royal Park. It is possible to walk from there up to the most beautiful natural feature Launceston has and enjoy the pleasures of The Gorge. The big rock faces, the dashing South Esk and the gardens full of exotic trees, peacocks calling and the suspension bridge make it a very enticing place to be. On the walk back to the city from there you also get to view Launceston, which maintains much of its wonderful architecture -- church spires still dominate My slice of the island Clive Tilsley Kings Bridge at the mouth of Cataract Gorge Launceston GPO Tourism Tasmania and Adrian Hardman Tourism Tasmania and Ron Brown Photography In Tasmania today December 09 / January 10 44
October November 2009
Feb March 2010