Oct 9 Launceston, our next base in Tassie, is the second largest city and lies at the base of the Tamar Valley, famous for its wineries and 19th Century architecture. The Tamar Valley is the sparkling wine capital of Australia.
Oct 10 Beaconsfield, 50kms north west of Launceston is the site of a working gold mine. It was recently in the news when 3 miners were trapped in a roof fall in the mine. Unfortunately, one was lost but the other 2 survived and were rescued after 14 days. The event is documented at the Mine and Heritage Centre in the town.
Close to Beaconsfield is Beauty Point, the site of Seahorse World, the world’s first seahorse farm. The fish bred here are sent to zoos and aquariums throughout the world. Did you know that it is the male seahorse who becomes pregnant and gives birth to the babies. Next to Seahorse World is Platypus House, where there is a tour of 4 platypus ponds to see the shy creatures feeding and playing. At the same site there is an Echidna exhibit with a walk through a bush garden to get a close up of the Australian hedgehog like creature.
Platypuses and Echidnas are the world’s only egg laying mammals. When their eggs hatch both (unrelated animals) share the same name for their young – puggles !!