Dayna's Blog

Holidays, walks and who knows what


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Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries Series 3 Costume Exhibition at Rippon Lea Estate

It’s the post (some of) you have been waiting for! (Please don’t get freaked out by the word count; it’s largely from the photo captions.)

This one’s for all the people who like looking at my photos from my previous Miss Fisher’s costume exhibition post. (And for any lady looking for gorgeous, fashionable, and sassy costume ideas for a 1920’s party and who doesn’t just want to go as a flapper.)

For the rest of my patient followers, I’m sorry if this one bores you to tears. I hope you’re Miss Fisher fans, too?

I bought our tickets prior to the exhibition opening in May, and have only just gotten around to going! Shame on me. Luckily it turned out to be a lovely day to visit. The driveway up to the Rippon Lea mansion was bursting with colour and looked more attractive than ever!

I love the driveway at Rippon Lea Estate

I love the driveway at Rippon Lea Estate

Good thing we had prepaid tickets – even though there wasn’t (at this point) a queue out the door, the staff were telling other visitor arriving behind us that they had to wait before being admitted if they hadn’t purchased their tickets online. But there was a cafe set up in the old stables around the corner, so I guess waiting there was nicer than standing around out the front.

The ticket booth was out the front of the mansion this year, if you hadn't prepaid

The ticket booth was out the front of the mansion this year, if you hadn’t prepaid

After we heard the usual “Don’t touch the costumes. No flash photography.” speech, we were let loose to wander and sigh over Marion Boyce’s creations to our hearts content. And there was a lot of ooh-ing and aah-ing going on.

I started in the conservatory, where the tennis outfits from Episode 7 “Game, Set & Murder” were displayed.

Phryne's tennis outfits

Phryne’s tennis outfits

Your blogger, hard at work in the conservatory, trying to photograph every detail - photo by @s_powell

Your blogger, hard at work in the conservatory, trying to photograph every detail – photo by @s_powell

Phryne’s Tennis Coat & Tennis Outfit, Episode 7 “Game, Set & Murder”

Detective Inspector Jack Robinson’s Tennis Outfit, also from Episode 7 “Game, Set & Murder”

The American tennis player, Angela’s, St Tropez inspired outfit from Episode 7 “Game, Set & Murder”

Angela’s Tennis Soiree Dress from Episode 7 “Game, Set & Murder”

Blue Sequin Teal Sheer Dress, worn by ‘Pearl’ (aka the victim) in episode 1 “Death Defying Feats”

Dr Elizabeth MacMillan’s Tuxedo, worn in Episode 8 “Death do us Part”

Phryne’s “Smokey” Dress worn in Episode 4 “Blood and Money”

Phryne’s dress “The Italian” worn in Episode 3 “Murder & Mozzarella”

Phryne’s Liquid Flame Dress from Episode 7, “Game, Set & Murder”

Pharynx’s Gold Beaded Dress worn in Episode 8 “Death do us Part”

Aunt Prudence’s Grand Hotel Dress, worn in Episode 6 “Death at the Grand”

Cec ‘n’ Bert and spoils of war (i.e. props)

Bert’s Outfit

Cec’s Outfit

Jack’s Suit

Phryne’s Detective Outfit

There were Dot, Phryne and Aunt P’s costumes in the next room, which was set up to look like Phryne’s living room…

Dot’s Peach Theatre Dress, worn in Episode 1 “Death Defying Feats”

Phryne’s Italian Blouse, worn in Episode 3 “Murder & Mozzarella”

Phryne’s Pebble Coat, worn in Episode 6 “Death at the Grand”

Phryne’s Coral Dream Coat, worn in Episode 2 “Murder & the Maiden”

Phryne’s Maroon Spot Fill Coat, worn in Episode 5 “Death & Hysteria”

Phyrne’s Chinoise Coat, worn in Episode 2 “Murder & the Maiden”

Aunt Prudence’s Floral Dress, worn in Episode 5 “Death & Hysteria”

The next room was devoted to Phryne’s costumes worn in Episode 1 “Death Defying Feats”

Phryne’s Imperial Blue Embroidered Kimono, worn in Episode 1 “Death Defying Feats”

Phryne’s Mermaid Coat, worn in Episode 1 “Death Defying Feats”

Phryne’s Mermaid Costume, worn in Episode 1 “Death Defying Feats”

Phryne’s Black and Gold Lace Dress, worn in Episode 1 “Death Defying Feats”

Phryne’s Lace Tabard, worn in Episode 1 “Death Defying Feats”

Leaving Episode 1 and moving upstairs…

Phryne’s Twilight Ruffle Dress (one of my favourite ensembles!), worn in Episode 5, “Death & Hysteria”

Phryne’s Antique Olive Dinner Frock, worn in Episode 6 “Death at the Grand”

It wasn’t just room after room of costumes… In one of the back corner rooms upstairs, visitors were invited to draw their own costume designs for Phryne…

A chance to design your own costume for Miss Phryne Fisher

A chance to design your own costume for Miss Phryne Fisher

…and in the next room we discovered a mock-up of the sewing/designing workroom, and some of the stories behind what goes into making these fabulous creations.

Phryne’s Chinoise Coat, worn in Episode 1 “Death Defying Feats”

Pharynx’s House Coat, worn in Episode 7 “Game, Set & Murder”

Phryne’s Mint Tabard Dress, worn in Episode 1 “Death Defying Feats”

Phryne’s Lace Bolero (Not yet worn in series!)

Phryne's Lace Bolero - Turquoise silk needle lace with vintage silk ribbon (not worn yet)

Phryne’s Lace Bolero – Turquoise silk needle lace with vintage silk ribbon (not worn yet)

Phryne’s Funeral Coat, worn in Episode 3 “Murder & Mozzarella”

Phryne’s Morning “Muppet” Set, worn in Episode 7 “Game, Set & Murder” and dressing table

Phryne’s Silk Kimono, worn in Episode 7, “Game, Set & Murder” and bathroom items

Medicinal supplies from the 1920’s, on display in the hallway

Medicinal supplies of the 1920's - #MFMM Miss Fishers Murder Mysteries Series 3 Costume Exhibition

Phryne’s Day Ensemble, worn in Episode 8 “Death do us Part”

Constable Hugh Collins Police Uniform, courtesy of the Victorian Police Museum

And there, in the final room for the day, was a display of a selection of Phryne’s accessories, from the private collection of Marion Boyce.

Items in the first display case:

Items in the second display case:

Somewhat mind-blowing to think this was just a selection of Phryne’s accessories. Imagine how much more there is!

If you are a fan of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries (#MFMM) and have a chance to see the costume exhibition – hopefully they take it on tour, like last time – I think it’s well worth it, and our tickets were not expensive at $20 each. If it doesn’t tour to your part of the world, I hope my post has brought you some satisfaction.

If you haven’t seen my other posts on the previous MFMM costume exhibition or Rippon Lea Estate, why not take a moment to check them out now? I’ve also posted about the (rather smaller) Doctor Blake costume exhibition that was on display in Ballarat last June (2014).

: )

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Something To Write Home About

As I wrote in my Drive-by Photography post, taking a good photo from a moving car can be a challenge. It’s a good feeling when you’re reviewing photos and find a few have turned out just as you’d hoped.

This was of those photos, even though at first glance it might seem to be of nothing much:

"The road hugs the Orford River"

“The road hugs the Orford River”

Of course, I had no idea that it would end up here:

Spirit of Tasmania ad from The Age newspaper

Spirit of Tasmania ad from The Age newspaper

Let me explain…

I love Tasmania. The island captured my heart on my first trip there.

To express this love, just over a year ago I created a series of pages on my blog that you will find if you look up at the top right of the screen and click on Tasmania – A Treasure Island (or hover over for the drop-down list of related pages). I’d already written what Stephen called ‘Dayna’s Lonely Planet Guide to Tasmania’ for a friend, and I’d subsequently passed it on to a couple more people who wanted tips on where to go and what to see in Tassie – by putting my email online, I was mainly adding photos and making it viewable by everyone.

What about the photo then?

As is our habit, Stephen does the driving while I keep my camera handy and entertain the driver (quizzes, I-spy, etc) as and when required. Although, when we’re driving around Tassie, there’s more opportunity for photography than call for keeping Stephen alert behind the wheel.

You may have noticed that my posts are generally long – yes, I freely admit it. But I like detail. Which is why I included my above photo on my Freycinet & The East Coast page.

Had I not, it wouldn’t have been seen by the Spirit of Tasmania’s media agent, and someone else’s photo would have been used in this ad.

So the moral of the post is – keep posting! You never know who’s looking at your blog.

Oh, and visit Tasmania! Drive there if you can. You may fall in love in love with it, too.

: )


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Wilsons Promontory Lighthouse – 11-13 March 2014 (Part 2)

Rest day at the Lightstation

Thanks to stretching adequately after the walk last night, climbing down from the top bunk wasn’t painful this morning, although an extra rung at the bottom of the ladder would have been helpful…

Another bottom rung wouldn't have gone astray. It was a bit of a big step down in the morning.

Another bottom rung wouldn’t have gone astray. It was a bit of a long step down in the morning.

Sunrise was beautiful. I might have been the only one out taking full advantage of it – I’m not 100% sure as I didn’t turn around to check, but I didn’t hear anyone else up and about.

Yesterday we had arranged a lightstation tour for 10am today with Renata. Our tour started in the museum at the base of the lighthouse and heard how the lightstation used to also be a radar station during WWII. RAAF personnel were stationed on the point also; there are a number of photos from this time and physical remnants left on the point. The museum is open to the public.

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After that we were allowed into the lighthouse! The lighthouse is still owned, operated and maintained by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) and public access is available only to groups under the supervision of a Park Ranger. At a height of only 19m (I think that’s to the beacon – the balcony is a couple of metres below) it’s not a big climb. Because the lighthouse sits atop granite cliffs the elevation above sea level is 117m, giving the beacon’s range 18 nautical miles (33km). Given the number of rocks and islands in this part of Bass Strait, the channel is reasonably narrow, and thus the lighthouse remains a very important visual navigation aid to sea-going vessels. There are also a couple of off-shore lights and lighthouses to help ships navigate Bass Strait.

Four lighthouse keepers and their families lived here, although the only original buildings left from that time are the cottage that we stayed in (Cottage #2) and the lighthouse itself. There was no road to the lightstation, so if anyone had to leave (e.g. for serious medical care) it was a long, hard journey back to civilisation – probably all the way back to Foster or Fish Creek. The township at Tidal River wasn’t constructed until 1946, and even the earlier camp at Darby River wasn’t established until the early 1900’s (when The Prom was given National Park status).

Read more about the details and history of the lighthouse here.

Renata also offered (and we accepted) a look in the other accommodation cottages available, as no one was in them at the time. Here’s a marked-up photo to help set the scene:

Buildings at Wilsons Promontory Lightstation

Note: the drinking tap I’ve highlighted on the centre path is provided primarily for day visitors. Overnight guests have the same fresh, filtered water from the convenience of taps in the cottages.

Parks Victoria Rangers Cottage (cottage #3) where you check in – if you’re not met at the top of the path like we were, after dragging yourself up the hill!

Parks Victoria Rangers Cottage & site of Victorian State School No 227 for 6 months in 1880

Parks Victoria Rangers Cottage & site of Victorian State School No 2278 for 6 months in 1880

The newly renovated Couples Cottage (Cottage #4) is amazing! Such a view to the west! And there’s a window facing east in the bedroom. How can they make you leave after just two nights? The additional charge to stay here also includes a queen size bed and linen – that’ll make the pack a bit lighter! Definitely choosing this option next time.

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Cottage no 5 at the end of the row is another multi-share cottage. Colin was busy painting inside when we visited, so we didn’t go through every room. Less spacious than the old lighthouse keepers cottage that we were staying in, but comfortable and probably the coziest in winter.

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Finally, Cottage No 2 – the original Lighthouse Keepers Cottage – our home away from home for the two nights we were lucky to be there.

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And separately, the kitchen! Let there be no more surprises here – there is a refrigerator, microwave, microwavable containers in the cupboards, gas oven and stovetop, plenty of pots, pans, dishes, plates, utensils, chopping boards, glasses, mugs – and a spare food draw!

Soon the first day visitors had arrived. Without packs, not wearing what I’d call hiking gear, and carrying only disposable (thin plastic) drink bottles. We were somewhat surprised by their attire. It’s as though they weren’t miles from anywhere, but at a local park.

Renata said they average 30-40 day visitors per day (a significant flaw in an otherwise perfect location – the presence of other people). Sure, the lighthouse may only be an interesting side trip for most people walking between Waterloo Bay and Roaring Meg camp sites, but surely that only explains the lack of backpacks?

Day visitors to the lighthouse - people hike like this?

Day visitors to the lighthouse – people hike like this?

If one of these young blokes (or girls, but the majority were young blokes) dropped their plastic water bottle and it broke, he’d better hope he could reply on a friend to share water with him until the next stop. They mightn’t be walking 25km in one go like we were, but if it was a hot day like yesterday, being one bottle down (assuming they had more than one) was a serious blow all the same. The owners of Black Cockatoo Cottages told us they hadn’t had rain this year, and the park at the end of summer was definitely looking dry. We were carrying water purification tablets, but I doubt these kids were, or had anything similar, and it’s not safe to drink the water straight from the creeks.

Don’t get me started on their shoes!

When the lightstation was first built back in the 1850’s, equipment and supplies were brought in by boat every six months. A flying fox was set up from a site just below the hill known as the ‘eastern landing’ to the top of the point, because even just lugging yourself up the hill in those days must have been much more of a challenge – there wasn’t a nice concrete path back then! There was a western landing used at one time too, but the eastern side proved better (probably more sheltered from the prevailing winds). Offloading cargo from either side was tricky business at the best of times.

After lunch we decided to brave the steep path once again to see the eastern landing.

Walking down the hill is easier than walking up was yesterday (hmmm, no surprise there), but I was very glad that we weren’t wearing back packs today.

There’s no beach or convenient looking place for a swim – something that used to torment the early lighthouse keepers during hot summer days. I think Renata said seals are sometimes seen on the rocks. The deep, clear water and healthy kelp attached to the rocks looks like great seal habitat.

The oranged rocks are so reminiscent of the north and eastern coast of Tasmania – which is not very far away, so it’s hardly a surprise.

We discovered that walking up the hill isn’t half as bad when you’re refreshed and not carrying a heavy pack. Still very steep though.

The rest of the afternoon was passed lounging around drinking wine (trying to finish it so we didn’t have to carry it out), eating cheese (trying to finish it so we didn’t have to carry it out), then taking a stroll around the place to walk off the wine and cheese before dinner.

I saw a juvenile White-bellied Sea-eagle too, but without significantly more zoom than what currently I’ve got I can’t show you a decent photo, so you’re just going to have to take my word for it. I was pretty chuffed when I realised what I had seen.

Other hikers planning to stay had arrived and that night not only was our cottage full (sleeping 10 in 4 rooms) but people had arrived to stay at the couple’s cottage next to the rangers cottage. I bet they wished they had come for more than one night! (Neal and Elle reported that you can’t book accommodation at the lightstation for a Thursday night).

Sunset was in a gorgeous purple theme…

Unlike the previous night when it (actually!) rained, tonight was clear and had the bonus of a more-than-half-full waxing moon. After dinner we grabbed torches and cameras and went out.

The wombat and baby had already been spotted earlier (in the back garden) but heading to the top of the path we again disturbed the pair of swamp wallabies as we took photos of the moonlight on the eastern bay.

Stephen noticed he didn’t really need his torch to find wombats – he could hear them chewing as he was positioning his camera to photograph something else! They’re noisy enough when they’re only about a metre away. I guess you should carry a torch to make sure you don’t trip over one?!

Wombat munching away

Wombat munching away

I was watching two in the garden outside the rangers cottage when something startled one. There was a rustle, then in a split second they were both gone! It’s amazing how fast they can move! They must have both been not much further than a metre or two from a burrow entrance.

Previously:

Preparing for Wilsons Promontory Lightstation hike (hiking food, tips on what you will/won’t need to pack)
Wilsons Promontory Lighthouse Part 1 (walking to the lightstation from Tidal River via Oberon Bay Walking Track and Telegraph Track 

Next

Wilsons Promontory Lighthouse Part 3 (Return to Tidal River via South East Walking Track / Waterloo Bay)

: )

 


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Wilsons Promontory Lighthouse – 11-13 March 2014 (Part 1)

Last August we left Wilsons Promontory Nation Park (aka “The Prom”) with a sense of frustration that we couldn’t explore very much of the park in one-day-return walks. This had to be amended.

There are two multi-day circuits you can walk in the park – northern and southern – that have campsites spaced at reasonable distances along the way. I’ve read that the southern circuit is the more popular, easier and better defined of the two. The southern circuit also includes optional side walks to mainland Australia’s most south-eastern point and most southerly point; both of which we hoped to bag on this trip.

With the added lure of being able to stay at the lightstation at the south-eastern corner, a mere 20km (roughly) from Tidal River, plans were made to return. It would mean at least two days of long walks to get there and back, but if that’s what it was going to take, then so be it. As mentioned in my previous post we aren’t equipped for camping which is why this would be an all-or-nothing dash between Tidal River and the Lightstation (and back again). If we were also camping we’d probably do it as a 4 or 5 night walk, and travel only half the distance each day that we did.

Our Destination - Wilsons Promontory Lightstation

Our Destination – Wilsons Promontory Lightstation

In preparing for the walk we found there to be a lack of detailed information about both the walk and the accommodation at the lightstation from Parks Victoria – or maybe the information provided is of usual standard and we were just nervous first-timers. I’m not sure.

In any case, we already had an SV Map from our previous visit (see August 2013 Part 1 & Part 2) which, while not quite pocket size, actually gives you the type of information that is of greatest benefit when preparing for walks; trivial details like contour lines, distances between points, landmarks etc – the kind of details you don’t get on Parks Victoria’s maps. Perusing photos shared on Google Maps will convince you that taking your camera along is a good idea (if you weren’t already planning to do so), but likewise doesn’t greatly assist in giving you much of an idea of what to expect along the way.

For the accommodation side of things, the greatest insight (and a large part of the inspiration) was provided by Greg of Hiking Fiasco fame who visited the lighthouse back in 2009. (Note: his photos are from Cottage 5 which currently sleeps about 10 people.) It was this post of Greg’s that lead me to embark on creating our own menu of hiking food – see previous post.

Therefore, our goals for this expedition were twofold:
1. to make it to the lighthouse & return again safely
2. to take enough photos to support a detailed blog post to help anyone else planning to walk to the lighthouse for the first time get a better idea of what to expect

Day 1: Tidal River to Wilsons Promontory Lighthouse (South East Lightstation)
via Oberon Bay Walking Track then Telegraph Track

Wilsons Promontory Lighthouse Hike

Our route to Wilsons Promontory Lighthouse

Having driven down from Melbourne the day before, Black Cockatoo’s studio cottage (just oust side the park in Yanakie) was ‘base camp’, allowing us to enjoy a good night’s sleep before rising early and excited, ready for our first big day of walking.

You can’t pass up the opportunity to take a few photos of the sunrise when it presents itself like this, though.

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We’d weighed our packs before leaving home. Despite last minute culling of one or two more items that morning, with the addition of our water bottles mine would have weighed 16.5kg or so and Stephen’s was about 18kg. Ooof!

It was a quiet drive down to Tidal River; not too many people on the road, and no wildlife either. There’s no point being too early, as the Visitor Centre doesn’t open until 8:30am. We arrived at about 8:45am, presented ourselves with booking confirmation at the main desk and were given a sticker to display inside the car’s windscreen. Despite the Parks Victoria website suggesting that we’d need to collect a permit (each?):

Parks Victoria quote

…nothing was given or mentioned. We were asked to check in again on our way out – and then we were free to go! I asked if there were any track issues we should be aware of, but apparently there are none at present.

By the time we put our boots on, packed up the car and made a last comfort stop it was 9:15am. Well and truly time to head off.

Note: The shortest path to the lighthouse is to drive to the top of Telegraph Saddle (Oberon) Carpark, leave your car there (only Parks Victoria vehicles are allowed further), and follow Telegraph Track the whole way down. The shortest possible route (per our SV Map) indicated that to be 17.9km. We did not chose this option because:

(1) Stephen had read comments suggesting that it is less safe to leave your car up at the saddle carpark (and we like the Mini just as it is) so parking it right outside the Visitor Centre & police station (though we’ve never seen signs of police actually there – possibly it’s a peak season thing) seemed like the safest choice; and

(2) We’d read that the Telegraph Saddle Track is a bit boring, so walking the whole length in one go was not too appealing. The original plan was to return on Day 3 from the lighthouse via the South East Walking Track, taking the Waterloo Bay Walking Track back to Telegraph Junction, return to Tidal River over the Telegraph Saddle and see what we’d missed out on (but with lighter packs by then).

By choosing to leave the car at Tidal River, we then had the options of two routes to get to Telegraph Junction:
– either by taking the undulating and varied Oberon Bay Walking Track around the west coast to Oberon Bay
– or heading inland and walking up and over Telegraph Saddle  to follow Telegraph track the whole way.

The Oberon Bay Walking track option is 1.4km longer, but on the other hand you avoid a climb of approx 200m (with full and heavy packs) at the outset. We chose Oberon Bay Walking Track.

Note that there is a shuttle bus service up to Telegraph Saddle but it doesn’t operate during the week, only during peak periods when the Telegraph Saddle (Oberon) carpark is otherwise closed to private cars (see more about the shuttle bus service here).

Thus, this was the elevation profile for our walk to the lightstation:

Elevation profile to Wilsons Prmontory Lighthouse

Elevation profile to Wilsons Prmontory Lighthouse

Oberon Bay Walking Track (very glamorously) starts behind the toilet block between the Visitor Centre and the General Store at Tidal River. This path is well formed and well travelled, and provides lovely beach views as it climbs up to Norman Point and around to Little Oberon Bay.

(I have added in a couple of track photos from August – just convince you that it’s not all calm conditions and sunshine there!)

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There’s a short stretch of beach to cross at Little Oberon Bay. (What a beautiful place this is!)

Just after you cross the line of rocks bisecting the beach, look for a mass of footprints that leads up to the shelf above the beach. There’s a yellow sign indicating where the track continues on.

Wilsons Promontory NP - Little Oberon Bay sign

And that’s not the trickiest one in the park by a long shot. Here’s a closer photo so you know what you’re looking for, not just roughly where.

Sign at Little Oberon Bay

This is a very well beaten path, still being within pretty easy walking distance of Tidal River, but if the weather has wiped out the dozens of footprints usually there to follow, look for the line of rocks indicating the path.

The track around the next headland is very similar to the one around Norman Point. It was along here that I was intrigued to see, and count myself lucky to have got the chance to photograph, a white-lipped snake.

White-lipped snake on path to Oberon Bay

White-lipped snake on path to Oberon Bay

Close up of head of white-lipped snake

Close up of the head of the white-lipped snake

My copy of “Australian Reptiles and Amphibians” (Leonard Cronin, 2001) advises that the White-lipped Snake (Drysdalia coronoides) is venomous but not dangerous. Although they may grow to 50cm long, this one was only about 20cm, I’d say. And if you’re wondering what they eat…

…skinks, skink eggs, frogs and even small mammals are all potential prey.

By now Oberon Beach was in sight. We’d checked ahead and knew the tide would be pretty low when we got to Growler Creek, meaning getting wet feet was highly unlikely. Keep in mind too, that there hasn’t been any rain (or meaningful rain) for the last couple of months.