old derelict buildings

Last taste of Tasmania before we flew home

We are home now but I must take you back to Tasmania for a look along the east coast.

The last few days in Tasmania we hired a car for a final tour along the east coast to a sleepy little town called Bicheno and then down a peninsular to the Freycinet National Park.

Rain had fallen all the previous week, but the day we left we woke to a misty morning but by mid-morning the skies cleared and the sun came out, perfect touring weather.

Being winter most of the tourist attractions closed. No wineries with cellar doors to visit, oyster and seafood farms shut for the season. But the magic views of nature never close. The ancient and rugged, pink granite rock formations of the Hazard Range still tower above the ocean. The waves crash and spray through the blow-hole at Bicheno. Heritage buildings still stand in silent tribute to the past and the convicts and pioneers that built them.

Best of all we had this world to ourselves.

The mist hung around the valleys

The mist hung around the valleys

Suddenly a glorious burst of sunlight pierced the mist

Suddenly a glorious burst of sunlight pierced the mist

What stories does this derelict building hold

What stories does this derelict building hold

Now a home to the sheep

Now a home to the sheep

We pass over the "Spikey Bridge" built by convicts.

We pass over the “Spikey Bridge” built by convicts.

The spikey stones are to stop sheep jumping over the side

The spikey stones are to stop sheep jumping over the side

Most of the way the road winds along the side of the ocean

Most of the way the road winds along the side of the ocean. The range of mountains are part of the Freycinet Peninsular.

Precious wetlands as the sunsets

Precious wetlands as the sunsets, lighting the pink granite of the Hazard mountain range.

hobart to Bicheno pc 064_4000x3000

hobart to Bicheno

Wintersun Gardens Motel

Wintersun Gardens Motel

End of day one and we find this delightful motel to stay in. $90 included a full English breakfast. Good night, sweet dreams….. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ


Day 2 dawns wet, rainy and cold but well fortified with bacon and eggs we head for Freycinet National Park. First stop is to check out the blow-hole. Amazingly as we pull into the parking area the rain stops. The sky is still grey but we stay dry as we wait for natures floor show. There she blows….

Jack catches the shot as I catch him catching the shot!

Jack catches the shot as I catch him catching the shot!

The pink granite is stunning , all the folds and formations are a delight to photograph

The pink granite is stunning , all the folds and formations are a delight to photograph

Tourville lighthouse

Tourville lighthouse

From the top we get a tantalising view of Wine Glass Bay in the distance

From the top we get a tantalising view of Wine Glass Bay in the distance

Wine Glass Bay is in the top 10 best beaches in the WORLD. You can only get there either by boat, or a 3 hour walk up and over 300+ steps. I had seen photos of the beach and was keen to see it. Unfortunately being winter the boat tours had finished for the season and the ranger informed us that, due to the rain, the track had been washed away in parts and was very slippery.

So the closest I could get was to zoom in as far as I could to get the glimpse in the photo above

I like to try and get a 3d effect and these rock formations are quite amazing

I like to try and get a 3d effect and these rock formations are quite amazing

We spend the day absorbed with the beauty of nature and so pleased that governments in the past have seen the need to preserve these special places

We spend the day absorbed with the beauty of nature and so pleased that governments in the past have seen the need to preserve these special places

Back down again and the mist is starting to settle in

Back down again and the mist is starting to settle in

Passing boats in the mist

Passing boats in the mist

This is an area I certainly would like to visit again. Next time in the summer when the boats are going to Wine Glass Bay.

Categories: Australia, Freycinet NP, old derelict buildings, photos, Tasmania | Tags: , , | 20 Comments

The outback goes on forever

Barkly Highway, the outback way

As we drive along this Outback way I look out across the plains that stretch to the horizon. I look ahead at the bitumen strip and look in the rear vision mirror as the road unfurls behind us. For many of the miles we are on our own. Mile after mile with no other vehicle in sight. Then a small dot appears on the horizon. It seems to float as though it is a mirage till it flashes passed then disappears in a heat haze behind us. A quick wave of acknowledgement then gone.

I think about the explorers, those brave and driven men, that had a passion to find out what was in the centre of this huge and forbidding land. No track to follow, not knowing what lay ahead, where the next water-hole was. They blazed a trail, then went back to tell of the vast grassland plains they had seen.

I think of the pioneers, full of hope and ambition to carve a living from this alien land. The struggle to bring their stock and possessions into this wilderness of unknown plants and animals and indigenous people who lived such a different lifestyle. How brave they were.

Information boards put up at rest areas tell the stories of the pioneers struggle to survive. We are following the drovers way and do a detour into Newcastle Waters. This was a major meeting point of 3 main droving routes during this period of Australian history. The sweet waters of this place never dried up and a bustling settlement developed.

The large watering hole at Newcastle Waters

The drovers could relax for a day, visit the pubs, meet up with buddies, before moving on with the stock, well watered and ready for the next stage of the perilous journey..

Now it is almost a ghost town. The pub, Junction Hotel, is an empty, dusty barn of a place, but something is happening here. There are signs of work going on around it. The power is on. A fridge is standing in a corner, in the kitchen remnants of a meal lie around. Last time we came through in 2010, it was derelict. No signs of life. We look around to find some one we can question about the changes. But no one is here, just tents behind in the dusty back yard. We can only speculate. Are they changing it into a camp-ground? Are they going to “do-up” the hotel? We wander over to Jones’ Store. It is a museum but not your pristine state of the art place, this has been left as it was. Dust has settled every where, saddle bags with the stuffing hanging out are placed around the walls, and old wood burning stove has rusty saucepans sitting on it. Old, disintegrating lace curtains flutter at the open windows. It has character and a sadness about it. Information boards are around the walls telling the history of the building and stories of the people who owned and operated it. It is heritage listed. Amazingly it seemed exactly the same as 2 years ago. Although it is open and no one lives around it all the old artifacts still seem to be there and no destruction or graffiti apart from the ravages of time.

Jones store now a museum

Living area back of Jones Store

Jones store

Old saddle bags

It is lunchtime and across from the small school-house (that seems to be in use, there is a working cattle station along the road so we assume they will be the children from those workers and managers of the station) is a grassed area with an eight foot tall bronze sculpture of a horse-tailer. We were told at the Drovers shed in Camooweal that he is depicted with the saddle bags that are to be put on a pack-horse and they must be both even weight with 50 pound in each and that is an essential part of the drovers life to take care of the horses.

So we make a sandwich, have a cuppa from the thermos and travel on, with my head full of stories from the droving days…

8 foot tall sculpture, monument to the drovers



Categories: australian travel, droving, Ghost town, old derelict buildings, out back, outback, photos, travel | Tags: , , , , | 5 Comments

More stories of old,derelict buildings in Australia.

Finally, after two very high stress days when I could not get the computer to connect to the internet I am back on line again. It was a real wake up call to realise how much I use, and look forward to using, the computer. I never thought it would become such an integral part of my life, almost like my cup of coffee. I ask myself is it a drug?

Well now back to my blog….

As we went round Australia we came across a number of derelict houses, and the lifestyle of the people can only be imagined in the inhospitable climate that is hot and humid in summer and can drop to freezing in many parts of the country in winter. Here are a few more photos of places we saw.

Some characters become part of the history of the area and an effort is made to preserve the history of their lives.

This one really bit the dust. Who knows what happened? Maybe a fire, maybe every thing just became too much and they walked away and wind, rain, storms, bushfires, tornadoes did the rest. That toilet could come in handy when you are travelling miles from any where…

We also saw a lot of these old wrecks, especially in the aboriginal land areas..

Categories: old derelict buildings, photos, travel, Western Australia | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Stories of Australian derelict buildings 1

Jack Carins called this home

Australians are renowned for their eccentric, larrikin, devil-may-care attitude to life. The history of Australia is full of these interesting characters. One of the most famous is Ned Kelly, but there are many others. Is it because the genetic pool came from the prisoners Mother England sent here. Or the Italians, Greeks,Chinese and many other nationalities came here to make their fortunes in the gold fields….

As we travelled around Australia in 2010 we would come across the remnants of some of these solitary people. One such person was Jack Carins. He was born in 1890 and from 1940 he lived in this corrugated iron shack. It is in central Western Australia approx 15 kilometres from Coolgardie in the middle of the richest gold strike in the world (gold is still being mined in this area) He made his living fossicking for gold and once a week would ride his bicycle into town for supplies. It was in 1971 on one of those trips to town that he fell off his bike and broke a leg and a hip. He was taken to hospital but when discharged he went back to his shack and committed suicide.

I find it very hard to imagine how a person could live in those conditions. That part of Australia has scorching hot summers and very cold winters. That shack would be very drafty and cold in the winter and unbearably hot, like an oven, in the summer. Maybe it was the thought that he would not be able to care for himself after the fall and couldn’t face leaving his life of solitude to move into the town that pushed this very independent man to take his life. I admire the strength of character it would take to lead that sort of life.

The area and the shack are now preserved as a monument to Jack Carins

A rough hewn collection of tin and timber

A two room shack

I wonder if there are any modern-day hermits quietly living their lives in some unforgotten corner of the land. Australia is certainly big and empty enough to hide away in. Some how I think in this day and age any one trying to live that way would be found by the authorities and rounded up into some sort of an institution…


Categories: australian travel, gold, old derelict buildings, photos, travel, Western Australia | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Highlights of trips gone by : 1. New Zealands old buildings…


Derellict miners cottage, Reefton West Coast NZ

We cannot resist these derelict old buildings. They compel us to stop. What great photo opportunities.

We have an artist friend and a  favourite subject is these old places, she loves drawing and painting them. So we also record them for her and in her honour we call these buildings “old Junes”. With a call of “there’s an “old June”” we will stop and spend time capturing images of these old places.

What stories and memories, treasured moments from the past did they shelter. Where are the families that once called these old buildings home, what history lies in their crumbling heart? Now they depict despair, sadness and neglect.Why were they abandoned? So many unanswerable questions.

They are now slowly sinking into decay, the sagging walls, collapsed roof, leaning open door and the vacant, empty sockets of the windows. It is a challenge to capture their personalities, so we spend time find the best angle and now it will live forever as a digital memory.

old abandoned cottage in a ghost town, West Coast NZ

An abandoned farm cottage

Abandoned 1956 when the gold ran out

Well not too old, maybe can be renovated???

Location, location

OK now do I have any offers?????

Categories: gold mining, New Zealand, old derelict buildings, photos, travel | Tags: , , , , | 10 Comments

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