Sunday, December 19, 2010

A/NZ - Burnie, Tasmania - Day 19

This is going to be a hell of a post because it was a hell of a good and busy day. We toured for eight hours and covered a lot of ground while on Tasmania. This post has everything.....scenic beauty, flowers, animals, chocolate, and and a little photo plagiarism.

Tasmania is an island state of Australia with a population of about 500,000. Burnie is the fourth largest city on Tasmania and a good place to stop since it is close to a number of really interesting places to visit. Burnie is a very nice small town that is just getting involved with tourism in the last few years. Tourism is replacing revenue lost from the few industrial plants that once operated in the town.

Our first stop of the day was at the House of Anvers where we got a tour of their chocolate factory and museum. The factory is located in Latrobe, Tasmania and is a family operation that traces it's roots back to Belgium. In the photo below, we get the family history, the history of chocolate, and an overview of the factory operations from the current head of of the Anvers.

Moulds used in making chocolate items.

More antique molds.

Just off the line Christmas chocolates.

It isn't a big factory but the quality is top notch. All the candy is hand made.

One of the viewing windows into the factory. They can't let visitors into the actual production area due to the obvious need for cleanliness.

A chance to sample and purchase.

The factory is surrounded by flower gardens with varieties from all over the world. You know that this blogger can't pass up an opportunity to take photos of flowers. Don't forget that is is late spring in Australia in November.

It is hard work walking around the flower beds, crouching down to the flower's level, holding your body as absolutely still as you can to take a photo of a flower without a tripod. A little breeze adds excitement to the challenge. You can really work up an appetite. That is why we took a break and had morning tea with some other good stuff. The apple tart below was fabulous and the first bite had to come before the photo.

We were joined by others from the ship. Of course, Sigrid had to have chocolate.

Back to the flowers with renewed energy.

We drove quite a few miles through the Tasmanian countryside and it is beautiful. Tasmania always sounded wild to me but the lush rolling hills and green pastures paint a different picture. They even have mountains to complete the beauty.

Our next stop was in Sheffield. This town's claim to fame are the murals that have been painted on the sides of just about all the buildings in town by very talented artists. The town hosts an international mural fest each year and is a big tourist draw. The town itself looks almost like something from the old American west.....a little like Leadville, Colorado.

Enlarging the photos will allow you to fully appreciate the quality of the art.

Sigrid befriends a guy with an Alpacka and we are allowed to take a photo for a small donation.

Our next stop was at the Trowunna Wildlife park where we had lunch. It was lamb burgers on the barbie (grilled).....very tasty.

A couple of wombats. They spend most of their lives, sleeping, eating, and digging holes. They are shy but cuddly creatures.

The face paint was part of the ritual aborriginie welcome ceremony. The wombat was excused from the painting.

The pride and joy of Australia.....the Koala Bear. They may be cuddly like the wombat, but they are boring as all get out to watch. They move unbelievably slow if they move at all. They eat for four hours a day and sleep the rest of the time.

A dingo.....the Australian wild dog. This photo was inserted solely for the enjoyment of fellow blogger, Hyperblogal.

This is the Tasmanian Devil. It got its name because of its somewhat bad attitude and the noises it makes while mating. Apparently, it screams like no other animal and frightened the heck out of the early settlers.

Note the firey red color as the sunlight shines through the Devil's ears. The red added to the reputation of this animal as being evil.

Tug of war with the Devil over the leg of some other poor animal who became a food source.

Sigrid wanted to see free roaming kangaroos and she wasn't disappointed.

As good as it gets for a Kangaroo experience.

The mama's joey went in head first for lunch.

Heads up now.

Finally, we finished off the tourning with a stop at a honey farm. They had some really tasty ice cream.

When we got back to the ship, we were greated by a bagpipe group. After all, Burnie has Scottish roots.

We were tired after such a long day, but it was one of the best stops so far on the cruise. We are now off to New Zealand.


  1. Uhhuh.... cribbed from some Wikipedia site.... I think it's your neighbors dog...

  2. You are so cynical after being snookered with the lava photo. I was just trying to feed your need for a Dingo. I can't help it if they don't roam the streets or have special spots in the animal parks.....after all, they are just wild dogs.