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
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
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
Your blogger, hard at work in the conservatory, trying to photograph every detail – photo by @s_powell
Phryne’s Tennis Coat – 1920’s buttercup silk velvet jacket (courtesy of Adrienne O’Brien), with winter white silk faile tunic and pant.
1920’s Bakelite carved buckle (yellow flower and leaf pattern with black highlighting and jewelled metal clasp)
Phryne’s tennis hats
Phryne’s white fine straw hat with yellow feather trim
Phryne’s fine straw hat with petersham and 1920’s rosette
Phryne’s white silk embossed bias cut dress with white velvet burnout coat with godets
Sleeve of Phryne’s white velvet burnout coat
Phryne’s tennis shoes
Story behind Phryne’s lemon velvet burnout coat
Marion Boyce on choosing tennis outfits
Detective Inspector Jack Robinson’s Tennis Outfit, also from Episode 7 “Game, Set & Murder”
Jack’s tennis outfit – silk shirt with wollen vest, grey wool flannel trouser (& blazer?) with grey knit tie (& staw panama?)
Detail of DI Jack Robinson’s wiollen vest and tie
The American tennis player, Angela’s, St Tropez inspired outfit from Episode 7 “Game, Set & Murder”
St Tropez inspired leisure wear patterned silk chiffon dress, black silk satin short, black straw hat w matching scarf, 1920’s bakelite sunglasses & ivory bangle & necklace – worn by American tennis player ‘Angela’
Detail of ivory necklace, button and St Tropez inspired dress
Marion Boyce on the St Tropez outfit
Angela’s Tennis Soiree Dress from Episode 7 “Game, Set & Murder”
Tennis Soiree Dress worn by ‘Angela’ – red devore dress and cape with mango silk slip, and 1920’s silk velvet handbag with Lucite clasp
Tennis Soiree Dress worn by ‘Angela’
Comments on Angela’s Tennis Soiree Dress
Blue Sequin Teal Sheer Dress, worn by ‘Pearl’ (aka the victim) in episode 1 “Death Defying Feats”
Blue Sequin Teal Sheer Dress, worn by ‘Pearl’
Detail of pearlescent sequins mounted on silk chiffon
Bloodied pearl headpiece worn by ‘Pearl
Comments on Pearl’s Blue Sequin Teal Sheer Dress
Dr Elizabeth MacMillan’s Tuxedo, worn in Episode 8 “Death do us Part”
Dr Mac’s Tuxedo – waistcoat of embroidered silk crepe, raw silk blouse, wool tuxedo with silk lapels
Detail of Dr Mac’s waistcoat
Comments on Dr Elizabeth MacMillan’s Tuxedo
Phryne’s “Smokey” Dress worn in Episode 4 “Blood and Money”
Phyrne’s “Smokey” dress – silk chiffon with bugle beads and luminescent discs. Crystal beaded straps and smokey mauve silk under slip. 1920’s French diamante necklace – front view
Details of Phyrne’s “Smokey” dress – silk chiffon with bugle beads and luminescent discs. Crystal beaded straps and smokey mauve silk under slip. 1920’s French diamante necklace
Phyrne’s “Smokey” dress – silk chiffon with bugle beads and luminescent discs. Crystal beaded straps and smokey mauve silk under slip. 1920’s French diamante necklace, back view
Comments on Phryne’s dress ‘Smokey’
Phryne’s dress “The Italian” worn in Episode 3 “Murder & Mozzarella”
Phyrne’s dress “The Italian” – black beaded Chantilly lace dress, purple silk under slip, with 1920’s gold and crystal pendant
Detail of Phyrne’s “The Italian” bodice and pendant – black beaded Chantilly lace dress, purple silk under slip, with 1920’s gold and crystal pendant
Comments on Phryne’s dress ‘The Italian’
Phryne’s Liquid Flame Dress from Episode 7, “Game, Set & Murder”
Phryne’s “Liquid Flame Dress” – Cotton net with bugle beads. Black stretch net petticoat, Crimson sequined shawl with black silk chiffon backing. 1920’s diamante drop necklace
Comments on Phryne’s Liquid Flame Dress
Pharynx’s Gold Beaded Dress worn in Episode 8 “Death do us Part”
Phryne’s Gold Beaded Dress – Cotton and metallic with bugle beads, and gold tulle petticoat, metallic net scarf and gold & crystal headpiece – front view
Phryne’s Gold Beaded Dress – Cotton and metallic with bugle beads, and gold tulle petticoat, metallic net scarf and gold & crystal headpiece – side view
Details of Phryne’s gold and crystal headpiece
Comments on Phryne’s Gold Beaded Dress
Aunt Prudence’s Grand Hotel Dress, worn in Episode 6 “Death at the Grand”
“The Grand Hotel Dress” worn by ‘Aunt Prudence’ – original 1920’s dress converted into a tabard. Black Chantilly lace middle layer slip, silver Lurex pattern
Detail of Aunt Prudence’s Grand Hotel dress collar
Detail of Aunt Prudence’s Grand Hotel dress sleeve
Detail of Aunt Prudence’s Grand Hotel dress sleeve cuff
Detail of Aunt Prudence’s Grand Hotel dress waist and skirt
Comments on Aunt Prudence’s Grand Hotel Dress
Cec ‘n’ Bert and spoils of war (i.e. props)
Phryne, Cec and Jack
Some of Mr Buttler’s props
Looks like someone’s robbed a bank
Some more props – can’t forget that microphone (or skull)
A jewelled hair clip with a Police Evidence Tag
Carpet travel bag and money, stolen from the Grand Hotel
Half a face and some daggers
Tins of tomato paste
Comments on sourcing materials and props – Robert Perkins, Production Designer
Bert’s costume – Cotton twill dust-coat, cotton shirt with wool vest, heavy work wear linen pants
Detail of Bert’s shirt, vest and dust-coat
Cec’s costume – Woollen flatcap, Cotton twill dust-coat, cotton short and vest, original cotton drill work wear pants
Details of Cec’s vest and shirt collars
Detail of Cec’s vest, belt, coat and pants
Detail of Cec’s flat cap
Jack’s Suit – Navy blue woollen three-piece suit with cream silk shirt, maroon and cream knit woollen tie. Taupe with silk shot lining overcoat and brown felt fedora
Detail of Jack’s tie and shirt
Phryne’s Detective Outfit
Phryne’s Detective outfit – Black and white circle print silk blouse with scarf, black faille camisole and trousers, cream linen coat and cream detective hat, cream crotched and leather driving gloves
Detail of Phryne’s cream detective hat
Detail of Phryne’s driving gloves
There were Dot, Phryne and Aunt P’s costumes in the next room, which was set up to look like Phryne’s living room…
Detail of Dot’s Peach Theatre Dress waist band and skirt
Detail of Dot’s Peach Theatre Dress’ skirt (left side view)
Detail of Dot’s Peach Theatre Dress sleeve and cuff
Phryne’s Italian Blouse, worn in Episode 3 “Murder & Mozzarella”
Phryne’s “Italian Blouse” Silk Chiffon check louse with black faille camisole and trouser. Deep pile felt hate with feathers
Detail of Phryne’s silk chiffon check “Italian Blouse” and black faille camisole
Phryne’s Deep pile felt hat with feathers by Rose Hudson, worn with “Italian Blouse”
Phryne’s Pebble Coat, worn in Episode 6 “Death at the Grand”
Phryne’s “Pebble Coat” – patterned silk chiffon coat with side godets. Mushroom silk faille tunic and pant. Red straw hat with patterned silk chiffon trim by Rose Hudson
Side view of Phryne’s “Pebble Coat” showing side godets
Detail of front of Phryne’s “Pebble Coat”
Detail of Phryne’s cuff on “Pebble Coat”
Detail of Phryne’s red straw hat matched with “Pebble Coat”
Comments on Phryne’s ‘Pebble Coat’
Phryne’s Coral Dream Coat, worn in Episode 2 “Murder & the Maiden”
Phryne’s “Coral Dream-coat” – silk shot velvet coat, grey faille tunic and trousers, 1920’s straw beret with feather embellishment by Rose Hudson
Godet detail in Phryne’s “Coral Dream-coat”
Bead detail on hem of Phryne’s “Coral Dream-coat”
Cuff detail on Phryne’s “Coral Dream-coat”
Detail of Phryne’s 1920’s straw beret with feather embellishment by Rose Hudson, matched with “Coral Dream-coat”
Rear detail of Phryne’s 1920’s straw beret with feather embellishment by Rose Hudson, matched with “Coral Dream Coat”
Side detail of Phryne’s 1920’s straw beret with feather embellishment by Rose Hudson, matched with “Coral Dream Coat”
Phryne’s Maroon Spot Fill Coat, worn in Episode 5 “Death & Hysteria”
Phryne’s “Maroon Spot Frill Coat” with mushroom silk lining, sand silk faille tunic and pant, and 1920’s fine straw hat with feathers and hand-dyed silk organza petals by Mandy Murphy
Front of Phryne’s Maroon Spot Frill Coat
Collar detail of Phryne’s Maroon Spot Frill Coat
Cuff detail on Phryne’s Maroon Spot Frill Coat
Detail of Phryne’s 1920’s fine straw hat with feathers and hand-dyed silk organza petals, matched with Maroon Spot Frill Coat
Phyrne’s Chinoise Coat, worn in Episode 2 “Murder & the Maiden”
Phryne’s Chinoise Coat – Black and midnight blue and purple Chinoise with purple silk trims. Original 1920’s silk embroidered motifs. Navy faille camisole and trousers. Blue silk organza floral brooch (courtesy of Lyn Smith) and Purple felt cloche with 1920’s embroidered motif by Rose Hudson
Detail of Phryne’s Chinoise Coat – purple cuffs and trims
Collar detail of Phryne’s Chinoise Coat
Detail of Phryne’s Chinoise Cost
Detail of Phryne’s purple felt cloche hat with 1920’s embroidered motif by Rose Hudson, matched with Chinoise Coat
Aunt Prudence’s Floral Dress – patterned textured floral silk chiffon dress Original early 1920’s cream handmade needle late collar. Cream silk slip. Diamante brooch reproduction of a Raj
Bodice detail of Aunt Prudence’s Floral Dress
Lace detail of Aunt Prudence’s Floral Dress and reproduction Raj brooch
Brown felt hat on Aunt Prudence model with brown ribbon and flower on decoration. (No formal descripton provided)
Comments on Aunt P’s Floral Dress
The next room was devoted to Phryne’s costumes worn in Episode 1 “Death Defying Feats”
Cage that Phryne has to escape from in
Phryne’s costumes from Episode 1 “Death Defying Feats”
Phryne’s Imperial Blue Embroidered Kimono, worn in Episode 1 “Death Defying Feats”
Phryne’s Imperial Blue Embroidered Kimono – 1920’s embossed and embroidered silk, courtesty of Katrina Pickering
Detail of Phryne’s Imperial Blue Embroidered Kimono – front sash
Detail of Phryne’s Imperial Blue Embroidered Kimono – left side
Phryne’s Mermaid Coat, worn in Episode 1 “Death Defying Feats”
Phryne’s Mermaid Coat – Whisper green tinted silk chiffon with turquoise and green embroidery. Sea green and silver net lining. Shot blue silk organza scarf and bind. Fine straw hat with 1920’s pompom organza and feather by Rose Hudson
Detail of Phryne’s Mermaid Coat – embroidery on bodice
Detail of Phryne’s Mermaid Coat – sleeve embroidery and cuff
Detail of Phryne’s Mermaid Coat – embroidery detail and net lining
Phryne’s fine straw hat with 1920’s blue pompom organza and feather, by Rose Hudson, matched with Mermaid Coat
Phryne’s Mermaid Costume, worn in Episode 1 “Death Defying Feats”
Phryne’s Mermaid Costume from front – antique luminescent sequins and gold Lurex. Shot sea green metalic thread fabrication with antique gold metalic threat bind tail. Gold turban with green crystal beads
Detail of scales on Phryne’s Mermaid Costume from front
Phryne’s Mermaid Costume from behind – antique luminescent sequins and gold Lurex. Shot sea green metalic thread fabrication with antique gold metalic threat bind tail. Gold turban with green crystal beads
Detail of Phryne’s Mermaid Costume from behind
Detail of Phryne’s gold turban worn with Mermaid Costume
Phryne’s Black and Gold Lace Dress, worn in Episode 1 “Death Defying Feats”
Phryne’s Black and Gold Lace Dress – Black net with burnished gold floral embroidered design and edging with burnished gold lace border. Black silk slip. 1920’s clasp gold with floral pearl details. Antique tulle wrap with burnished gold lace border
Detail of Phryne’s Black and Gold Lace Dress – front to waist
Detail of Phryne’s 1920’s gold clasp with floral pearl details on Black and Gold Lace Dress
Detail of wide burnished gold lace border on Phryne’s Black and Gold Lace Dress
Phryne’s Lace Tabard, worn in Episode 1 “Death Defying Feats”
Phryne’s Lace Tabard – left side profile – French navy lace and beaded tabard with bias cut midnight blue slip with diamond tabs
Detail of diamond tabs on Phryne’s Lace Tabard
Phryne’s Lace Tabard – extra lace forms a cape attached to a bangle
Phryne’s Lace Tabard – front profile – French navy lace and beaded tabard with bias cut midnight blue slip with diamond tabs
Leaving Episode 1 and moving upstairs…
Phryne’s Twilight Ruffle Dress (one of my favourite ensembles!), worn in Episode 5, “Death & Hysteria”
Phryne’s Twilight Ruffle Dress – 1920’s twilight blue embossed silk bias cut with blue lace capelet. Navy lace handbag. Green fine straw hat with green feather trim, by Gareth Blaha. Hand painted and lacquered parasol
Phryne’s Twlight Ruffle Dress & Blue Lace Capelet & matching handbag from front
Detail of Phryne’s Twilight Ruffle Dress and Capelet
Detail of Phryne’s blue lace capelet, won with Twilight Ruffle Dress
Detail of Phryne’s navy lace handbag – same fabric as capelet of Twilight Ruffle Dress
Detail of Phryne’s Twlight Ruffle Dress – ruffles in the skirt
Detail of Phryne’s Green fine straw hat with green feather trim by Gareth Blaha
Comments on Phryne’s Twilight Ruffle Dress and matching the hat
Phryne’s Antique Olive Dinner Frock, worn in Episode 6 “Death at the Grand”
Phryne’s Antique Olive Dinner Frock – from front – 1920’s olive embossed silk boas cut silk chiffon inserts. Antique brass buckle with antique gold chain and beads, tabard back and godet sides. Olive feather stole
Phryne’s Antique Olive Dinner Frock – left side view – 1920’s embossed silk bias cut silk chiffon inserts. Antique brass buckle with antique gold chain and beads, tabard back and godet sides, olive feather stole
Detail of Phryne’s Antique Olive Dinner Frock – tabard join at left hip and beading across pelvis
Detail of neckline on Phryne’s Antique Olive Dinner Frock – 1920’s olive embossed silk, antique gold chain
Phryne’s Antique Olive Dinner Frock from behind – showing tabard back, antique gold chain and antique brass buckle
Detail of Phryne’s Antique Olive Dinner Frock – Antique brass buckle, godet, and antique gold chain
Comments on Phryne’s Antique Olive Dinner Frock
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
…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.
In the sewing room (mock-up)
Shawls and wraps, the one on the ironing board is being worked on
In the costume designers workroom
Feathers and beads – all fascinating!
Test patches for the embroidery on Phryne’s Funeral Coat, marks of the Bottletop Gang, and scales for Mermaid costumes
Sequin ‘scales’ in a goblet, ready to be sewn with gold thread
Phryne’s Chinoise Coat, worn in Episode 1 “Death Defying Feats”
Phryne’s Chinoise Coat – Eggshell blue chinoise with silver silk trim, grey silk scarf with embroidery
Detail of Phryne’s Chinoise Coat – buttons and pocket
Detail on Phryne’s Chinoise Coat – embroidery, sleeve cuff and pocket
Pharynx’s House Coat, worn in Episode 7 “Game, Set & Murder”
Phryne’s House Coat – 1920’s silk organza with silk embroidered butterflies and remounted cotton and metallic embellishments
Detail of Phryne’s House Coat – collar and fastenings
Detail of Phryne’s House Coat – embroidered butterflies
Detail of Phryne’s House Coat – fastenings and front embroidery
Phryne’s Mint Tabard Dress, worn in Episode 1 “Death Defying Feats”
Phryne’s Mint Tabard Dress – 1920’s green silk net with luminescent sequins and bugle beads
Large green beads being attached to Phryne’s Mint Tabard Dress
Gold bracelet (didn’t photograph well) and red bead bangle
Grey pearl, green gem and gold leaf necklace. Amethyst and antique gold or brass necklace
Grey woven clasp handbag
Jade bracelets with gold features
Jade necklaces, blue flower hairclip, green brooch
Olive green sequin and beaded clasp clutch handbag
Red Chinese brooch, orange bangle, diamonte bracelet, red beaded bracelet, necklace
Rose-silver sequined and gold clasp, black beaded clasp and a red chinese brooch
Items in the second display case:
Brooch (I think)
Bow and leaf design brooches
Diamond bracelet and necklace
Gold arm bangle, brooches, yellow leather bag with fine gold lines and a beaded clasp
Gold beaded handbag with clasp, gold necklace with amber pendant, gold link bracelet, jewelled brooches
Gold fine chain purse with jewelled clasp, brooches
Gold sequined claps handbag and antique gold leaf and flower hair slide
Head piece I think – I’m not sure what this is
Jewelled antique gold hair slide with leaf pattern
Jewelled flower brooch with large gems
Jewelled hair slides
Jewelled hair slides and brooch
Jewelled necklaces and brooch
Jewelled necklaces and brooches
Jewelled star burst brooch with twisted arms
Jewelled starburst brooch
Necklace – string of 7 diamonds
Ornate jewelled hair slide
Pearl brooch and jewelled flower-shaped brooch
Phryne’s gold and pearl-handled revolver, pistol, Smith & Wesson
Yellow floral brooch, possibly made of bakelite
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.
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”
Of course, I had no idea that it would end up here:
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.
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 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.
Dawn’s glow on the clouds behind the Lighthouse
Glowing clouds in the east
The sun’s almost peaking through
Good morning Starshine!
Bright light along the veranda heralds a fabulous day
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.
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.
The way is open – entering the lighthouse
The top platform beneath the lantern, which is as far as the public is allowed
Looking up to the light
How blue is the ocean!? I could gaze at it all day!
The top of the lighthouse from the platform
The buildings of Wilsons Promontory Lightstation from the top of the lighthouse
The bay to the west
Stephen & me
AMSA certificate for 150 years of service (lit 15 July 1859) & previous methods of illumination
Going down – the granite here is marvellous
Window in the lighthouse
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:
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 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.
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.
Finally, Cottage No 2 – the original Lighthouse Keepers Cottage – our home away from home for the two nights we were lucky to be there.
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!
Kitchen cupboards, refrigerator, microwave, toaster, etc – and Stephen doing the dishes
Gas oven & stovetop
Pots, pans & baking trays
Kitchen draws – cutlery & utensils
Kitchen draws – Knives (not the sharpest), peelers & more utensils
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?
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.
There used to be a flying fox to haul supplies up the hill from the dock at east landing
The remnants of the flying fox and the east bay where the supplies were brought in
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.
The path down the hill from the lightstation. It is every bit as steep as it looks and possibly more.
We continue straight on to the East Landing, instead of turning off to the path on the left we came in on
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.
Nice big hazard warning signs, but you couldn’t wish for better conditions than what we enjoyed
These granite slabs are huge and beautiful
It’s so similar to northern and eastern Tasmania – we are so close here, so it’s not that surprising
I did’t even see the steps until after… to busy having fun climbing around the rocks!
The blue, blue sea. I wasn’t thinking of a swim… more along the lines of seals and sharks?
A deep circular pool full of life that scuttled into the depths when I approached
There were quite a few crabs in crevices. “Don’t look!” one might be saying to the other
Some of the marine life in the circular rock pool
A silver gull
Looking back up the hill at the lightstation
The platform where the crane to help unload the boats would have been bolted
A blue-tongue lizard sunning itself on the path
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.
Enjoying wine and cheese on the veranda
Information on the Bureau of Meterology’s weather station at the lightstation
White-bellied Sea-eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster)
Swamp Wallaby (Wallabia bicolor)
The swamp wallabies and wombats do well at keeping down the grass
Swampies camouflage very well
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…
Dusk at Wilsons Promontory Lightstation
Sunset colours the clouds at Wilsons Promontory Lightstation
It’s too beautiful an evening to be inside
Wilsons Prom Lighthouse and Rodondo Island
Sunset from the corner garden
Purple hued sunset
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.
The moon shines brightly on a calm ocean
Torches not required with a moon this bright
Approaching it’s 155th anniversary, the lighthouse shines on
The lightstation at night
You can just make out the mother wombat & young near the light in the garden
A glowing beacon in the velvety night
The lighthouse and cottages at Wilsons Promontory National Park Lightstation
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
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.