Greetings and Happy New Year to you and yours. Here is my favourite article from 2018.       Cheers.  Patricia.


Bird male wren


Patricia Newell-Dunkley Photographs Reginald J.Dunkley


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Greetings from down-under where rumour has it that everyone wants to move to Tasmania. This is a natural island, a land of dramatic coastlines, rugged mountains, tall forests and a sparkling highland lake. A third of the state is reserved for National Parks and Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage area. It is a refuge and habitat for rare plants and animals.

Separated from Mainland Australia by Bass Straight, Tasmania is a land apart, a place of wild and beautiful landscapes, friendly, welcoming people, a pleasant, temperate climate, wonderful wine and food, and a relaxed island lifestyle renowned for its clean air and pure water. Little wonder it is a desirable place to live or enjoy a holiday.

Bay of Fires is one of the most popular reserves famous for its crystal-clear waters, white sandy beaches, and orange lichen-covered granite boulders. Its beautiful stretch of white sand and clear water is ideal for swimming, surfing, and snorkelling or simply relaxing.

There is a wealth of wildlife, including birds. It is renowned for its game fishing, and offshore reefs with marine life. The coastal town of St.Helen’s is a perfect place to stay with ample accommodation and all facilities.

For diversity Tasmania has it all. Tasmania does wineries, walks and wilderness very well with three premium vineyards. Ghost Rock Vineyard, just out of Devonport, Lake Barrington and Barringwood Estate. All of these vineyards offering more than a cellar door experience with cafes, restaurants and entertainment.

Tasmania is a natural haven for Australian Wildlife. Wallabies, seals, penguins and wedge-tailed eagles can be found without venturing too far from the State’s capital city, Hobart.  Tasmanian Devil, wombat, pademelon, dolphin, little penguin, whales, platypus, are all readily located in various areas.

Penguin was settled in 1861 as a timber town, it sits on the Bass Straight coast between Ulverstone and Burnie. It was named after the tiny sea birds that gather on rookeries all the way along Tasmania’s north-west coast – but especially at the little beach Penguin Point.  The beach waddling happens after dark during breeding season from September to March.

Tasmania’s largest undercover market has more than 100 stalls and takes place every Sunday and it features everything from vintage to textiles, woodwork, leather, pottery and local produce.

For railway buffs the world’s steepest steam-operated railway Tasmania West Coast Wilderness Railway, and its 28 tonnes of special.  Originally built to move copper ore for Mount Lyell Mining, and completed in 1896, one of the greatest engineering feats of the day. Restored as a Heritage Tourist attraction in 2002, today’s passengers are offered comfortable year-round trips from a new terminus, cafe and museum in the West Coast’s major centre Queenstown. Every passenger is greeted by one of the line’s original workhorses, a 28 tonne steam locomotive ready to roll.

For those of a romantic nature stargazing is for you. On a clear night you can walk through the streets of Hobart, and look up and see more stars than you would see anywhere in the world. This comes about by the limited ambient light, paired with some of the cleanest air in the world, and makes Tasmania the perfect spot to gaze up at a brilliant night sky.  The artist Vincent Van Gogh would have loved it.

There is any amount of holiday packages to be had from 7 days to 14 days. Gastronomic – Photography – Luxury Getaway – Winter Indulgence – Wine Your Way – Whisky Trail – The Wild Side – Wicked Weekend – History & Heritage – Budget Beater – Family. There is something for everyone, so enjoy.

Here at Shelly Beach it has been an exciting time for whale spotting, with many whales putting on a tail show, and coming close to the beach for all to see and wonder at their beauty. In the garden the birds are a carpet of colour, with lorikeets, yellow wattle birds, green- backed honey eaters, blue-backed wrens, white-backed magpie, and with visits from more white cockatoos, which is unusual for this time of year. Princess Pixie the Pomeranian is on the lookout for a water dragon which popped up during the week.

On the art scene I now have my “Happy Designs” on Mugs.  I started them on hand-painted plates in 1972 and now with technology they are done in a day.

My book The Complete Guide to Painting and Decorating Porcelain, is available direct from Crowood Publishers. or by number at any book shop ISBN 9780709086499 only a few left.

“Letters of a Travelling Lady, Wallis the Woman I Love,” can be sourced from Amazon or Xlibris.

Cheers. Patricia.