On Friday morning, March 25th, the boat tied up at 8 o’clock and we were soon ashore and in the car making for Moonah. What a welcome we all received! For two days we talked and laughed and laughed and talked. We saw our relations and friends. We drove around the city and to Kingston in the Austin. We went further south to Billy’s week-end cottage in the Graham and visited Margate Beach and Blackman’s Bay on the return journey.
But the trip which was most impressive was that taken on the morning of our second day to the top of Mt. Wellington. From the time the Austin left the city with Brightie at the wheel we started to climb. At one time the road to the Fern Tree Bower was considered wonderful. Then the road to the Springs was constructed and it was said to be a marvellous piece of engineering. For many years that road was as far as the tourist could go. A few years ago the Government decided to utilise the power of the unemployed and instead of simply paying them a dole they put them to work on the side of the mountain. During the winter work was discontinued as it was impossible to do anything in the snow.
After going through many trials and tribulations and overcoming tremendous engineering difficulties the road was finished. Through the kindness of a member of the City Council who had taken a very active part in the construction of the road I was taken to the pinnacle with him, together with my sister Brightie and my mother the last time I was in Tasmania. We were the first people to actually drive to the pinnacle. The last part of the drive was the roughest piece of motoring I had ever done, but our friend was determined to be the first to drive right up.
To-day I took the same drive on the finished road and it was just as safe and as smooth as going over Paekakariki Hill. We ascended 5,000 feet in about an hour and the drive became more wonderful as we got higher. On the top is a parking area where there were previously several acres of huge boulders similar to those in the photographs. From the pinnacle and the special lookout all the city, suburbs and country for many miles was clearly visible. How I enjoyed finding all the spots with my field glasses! The boat stood out well and many others from here were also enjoying the view. Then some mountain mist came over and we all shivered.
My teeth were actually chattering as I took the photographs. I thought the rain was coming, but the dampness in the atmosphere entirely disappeared when the clouds had passed over and the sun came out once more. Places 40, 50 and even a greater number of miles away could be picked out. Of course, the mountains in the distance were perhaps 90 or 100 miles away. It was a majestic sight and I have not yet found anything of its kind to equal it.
I could have spent the whole day there, but there was a goose and a turkey and a Christmas plum pudding waiting for us at Moonah and so we eventually had to drive back. On the road down we quite enjoyed the view as we went down an easy grade on the mountain side. It was a splendid idea to go to the mountain on this occasion, for it gave us all a most unusual appetite for a very special dinner. That dinner will be remembered for many years in the future. Twenty minutes before the boat was timed to sail we arrived back from The Snug in the Graham. There was a hurried leavetaking and punctually at six o’clock she was ready to leave the Ocean Pier. Although we had left Hobart we still had a part of it with us, for Brightie had arranged to come as far as Adelaide with us, for which we were all very pleased. Yes, the call at Hobart was short, but it was certainly sweet.