Day three and Liffey Falls State Reserve VKFF-1143

Following our park activation at Don Heads, Marija and I headed south out of Devonport on the Bass Highway and into the town of Latrobe.

We had visited Latrobe briefly on our first day in Tasmania, but we had missed the lolly shop so we headed back into the little town about 11 km south of Devonport. The first European settler in the Latrobe area was Edward Curr, who had a property in 1826. In 1828 Captain B.B. Thomas took over Curr’s land when he moved to Cicular Head, knoown today as Stanley. In 1861 the settlement of Latrobe was named in honour of Charles Joseph La Trobe, the administrator of the colony of Tasmania.

Above:- Charles La Trobe. Image c/o Wikipedia

We paid a visit to the Edward ‘Teddy’ Sheean memorial. Sheean was born in 1923 in Lower Barrington and served with the Royal Australian Navy during the Second World War. In December 1942 he was aboard the HMAS Armidale when it was attacked by Japanese aircraft. It was struck by two torpedoes and a bomb and commenced to sink. Sheehan helped to free a life raft and was wounded by two bullets. He made his way to an anti aircraft gun and commenced firing upon the attacking Japanese aircraft to protect those already in the water. He successfully shot down a Japanese bomber, but sadly was killed when the Armidale sunk.

Sheean was credited by many of his colleagues as saving their lives and he was posthumously mentioned in despatches. In 1999 the submarine HMAS Sheean was named in his honour. Consideration was also given to awarding him with the Victoria Cross (VC). A 2013 enquiry recommended that he not be awarded the VC. However in 2019 another inquiry recommended that he should be awarded the VC, however this was rejected by the Government. It was not until 2020 that another inquiry recommended he be awarded the VC, that the Government accepted the proposal. On the 12th day of August 2020, the Queen approved the award for Sheean.

Above:- Teddy Sheean. Image c/o Wikipedia.

We had a little bit more fun in Latrobe.

And then visited the ‘You Deserve it’ lolly shop in Labtrobe and left with a bucket of lollies. Just what we needed for our waistlines!

We continued south on the Bass Highway and called in to Ashgrove Cheese for some lunch. Ashgrove Cheese is located just northof Elizabeth Town and produces a range of quality cheese, milk, butter and cream. Ashgrove Cheese commenced as Eddington Farm in 1908. In 1983, Michael and John Bennett formed the Ashgrove Farm partnership. In 1994 the farm gate cheese shop opened. In 2021 the Ashgrove dairy door and visitor centre opened.

Marija and I enjoyed a beautiful cheese plate while sitting outside and soaking up the sunshine.

As if we didn’t have enough for lunch at Ashgrove, we then stopped off at Van Diemans Land Creamery for an ice cream, and the Christmas Hills Rasberry Farm.

We then headed to Deloraine, stopping once to enjoy the beautiful views of the surrounding countryside.

Our next stop was at the town of Deloraine. We viewed the Malua racehorse Memorial. The memorial includes a life sized bronze statue of the horse known as ‘Australia’s Most Versatile Champion’. Malua was bred at the Calstock stud property at Deloraine in 1879. In 1884 Malua won the Melbourne Cup, the Newmarket Handicap, the Oakleigh Plate, and the Adelaide Cup. Malua was subsequently retired, but in 1886 Malua was brought back to the track where Malua won the Australian Cup. In 1888 Malua was once again brought out of retirement and won the Australian Grand National Hurdle.

Adjacent to the Malua memorial is the Deloraine and Districts Folk Museum and the Visitor Centre. The museum incorporates the Family and Commercial Inn which was built in 1863.

We spent a number of hours here viewing the museum’s extensive collection of local memorabillia. There is also a pioneer village consisting of heritage buildings.

Within the museum there is the four quilted, soft sculpture silk panels depicting the Latrobe area. The four panels each measure 4 metres wide and 3 metres long. They were worked on by more than 300 local artists over a 10,000 hour period. 

There is a great view of the Great Western Tiers mountain range from the museum. The Tiers are a collection of World Heritage listed mountain bluffs.

We then went for a drive around Latrobe to view the many historic buildings in the town. There is a ‘Historical Deloraine’ brochure which can be downloaded from the internet which guides you on a 45 minute walk around the town.

We then headed out of Deloraine and stopped briefly to have a look at Bowerbank Mill which was built in 1853 for the Horne Family. The mill was originally powered by a water wheel. In 1870 the boiler room and a chimney stack were added for conversion to steam.

Our next stop was the historic little town of Westbury, about 34 km west of Launceston. The site of Westbury was first surveyed in 1823, with the town laid out in 1823 by the Van Dieman’s Land Company. The town takes its name from Westbury in Wiltshire, England.

Numerous historic Victorian and Georgian buildings can be found in the town. This includes St Andrews Church which was built between 1836 and 1890.

Marija and I decided to head out to do a park activation at Liffey Falls State Reserve VKFF-1143, about 34 km by road south of Westbury. It was a little bit out of our way and out intended destination of Launceston, but we decided to venture out there anyway.

Above:- Map of Tasmania showing the location of the Liffey Falls State Reserve. Map c/o Google maps

As we drove to Liffey Falls State Reserve we were rewarded with some beautiful views of the surrounding countryside.

We then followed Liffey Road which runs alongside the Liffey River.

Due to the recent heavy rain in Tasmania, there was considerable damage to Liffey Road. Fortunately the roads had been cleaned up and cleared and we were able to get through. A few weeks earlier this would not have been possible.

As we drove along Liffey Road we enjoyed some magnificent views of Drys Bluff in the Great Western Tiers. Drys Bluff, known as Taytitikitheeker in the local aboriginal language, is 1,340 metres above sea level. The walk to Drys Bluff commences in Oura Oura Reserve, the birthplace of Bush Heritage Australia. The walk to the top of the summit is classed as difficult with a very steep 1,000 metre ascent over 3 km.

Unfortunately we reached a ‘road closed’ sign at Riversdale Road which leads down to Liffey Falls upper carpark area. Option two was to double back and head to the Liffey Falls lower carpark and camping area

The State Reserve takes its name from the town and rural locality of Liffey which was named by Captain William Moriaty (b. 1792. d. 1850) from Dingle, County Kerry, Ireland. In 1829, whilst enroute to Van Diemans Land with his wife and two children, Moriaty’s ship the Letitia was wrecked at the Cape Verde Islands. They were rescued by an American ship and taken to Rio de Janeiro and then sailed to Hobart Town in the Anne, reaching Van Diemans Land in June 1829

Liffey Falls State Reserve consists of dense rainforest and is part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. It was included within the World Heritage Area in 1989 due to the globally significant values of the environment in the region.

Native mammals found in the Reserve include Tasmanian Devils, quolls, bandicoots and wallabies. Various bird species can be found in the Reserve including Pink Robins, Green Rosellas and Superb Fairy Wrens.

The Liffey Falls are the major attraction of the State Reserve. Unfortunately we could not get to the falls, but the video below shows the walk and what we missed out on.

We operated on the side of the road for this activation, using the Yaesu FT857, 40 watts output, and the 20/40/80m linked dipole.

Together Marija and I made a total of 56 QSOs on 40m and 20m SSB into VK2, VK3, VK4, VK5, VK7, New Zealand, England, Hawaii, USA, Denmark, Curacao, Finland, Germany, France, and Spain.

Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK2CDB
  2. VK2SK
  3. VK2EXA
  4. VK3PT
  5. VK3GJG
  6. VK3BBB
  7. VK2CCP
  8. VK3PF/m
  9. VK3VIN
  10. VK4NH
  11. VK4DXA

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3ATA
  2. VK2CDB
  3. VK2SK
  4. VK2EXA
  5. VK3PT
  6. VK3GJG
  7. VK3BBB
  8. VK2CCP
  9. VK3PF/m
  10. VK3VIN
  11. VK4NH
  12. VK4DXA
  13. VK3APJ
  14. ZL3MR
  15. VK2IO
  16. VK3MTT
  17. VK3EJ
  18. VK5DW
  19. VK4SMA
  20. VK5KVA
  21. VK5AYL
  22. VK5HS
  23. VK3GRX
  24. VK2SLB
  25. VK5BJE
  26. VK5FANA
  27. VK5AJQ
  28. VK3UAO
  29. VK7CIA
  30. M6T
  31. KH7M

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. WX3B
  2. OG3B
  3. PJ2T
  4. VK4MGL
  5. KH6J
  6. PQ5B
  7. K3LR
  8. OH1MM
  9. VK4SMA
  10. VK4TJ
  11. DL2ND
  12. F1BLL
  13. EE1G
  14. DH1TT

After an hour in the park Marija and I packed up and headed in to Launceston, and our accomodation at the Hotel Launceston.

References.

  1. Ashgrove Cheese, 2022, <https://www.ashgrovecheese.com.au/>, viewed 11th December 2022.
  2. Australian Dictionary of Biography, 2022, <https://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/moriarty-william-2481>, viewed 11th December 2022.
  3. Drys Bluff walking brochure, 2022, Great Western Tiers Visitor Centre
  4. Great Australian Secret, 2022, <https://greataustraliansecret.com/tasmania/north-west-tasmania/latrobe/>, viewed 11th December 2022.
  5. Monument Australia, 2022, <https://monumentaustralia.org.au/themes/culture/animals/display/94384-malua-memorial>, viewed 11th December 2022.
  6. Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife, 2022, <https://parks.tas.gov.au/explore-our-parks/liffey-falls-state-reserve>, viewed 11th December 2022.
  7. Wikipedia, 2022, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_La_Trobe>, viewed 11th December 2022.
  8. Wikipedia, 2022, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latrobe,_Tasmania>, viewed 11th December 2022.
  9. Wikipedia, 2022, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teddy_Sheean>, viewed 11th December 2022.
  10. Wikipedia, 2022, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liffey,_Tasmania>, viewed 11th December 2022.
  11. Wikipedia, 2022, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westbury,_Tasmania>, viewed 1th December 2022.

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