Patricia Newell-Dunkley – Photographs Reginald J. Dunkley


Tuggerah Lake surfer

Tuggerah Lake surfer

Greetings from down under with glorious sunshine and summer fast approaching. Travel is rather tricky at the moment with each state or territory having their own requirements.  However, people are moving around more, and hopefully by Christmas most states will be open again.

Tasmania is definitely on the bucket list, and for those lucky people who live there, Bridestowe Lavender Estate is the place to visit. This premier tourist destination, is located just a fifty-minute drive from Launceston. Visitors are welcome all year round to view the ornamental gardens, manicured fields and magnificent native bush- land, all set against the striking backdrop of Mount Arthur.

There is a wonderful shop stocked with a range of fragrant lavender products, including dried flowers. You will also find the world famous ‘Robbie the Bear’.

The Woolcroft Café offers lavender inspired delicacies, including lavender ice cream! Honey, jam, jellies, and goodies galore. You will not be disappointed.

“The history of Bridestowe is fascinating and romantic. In 1919 Charles Denny, a noted London Perfumer, gathered seeds of wild Lavandula Angustifolia from the French Alps, inspired by his time working in Grasse, the perfume capital of the world.



Denny planned on establishing lavender fields of such excellent quality that the resulting essential oil would rival the famous lavender growers of Provence. He chose the distant island of Tasmania for its comparable climate and rich farming land, and in 1921 moved his family to the other side of the globe. Eventually settling in North East Tasmania.

He named his farm “Bridestowe Estate” in honour of his wife’s birthplace, who was born in the town of Bridestowe, in Devon, England.”

Bridestowe flowering season commences in December. There is a glorious pale purple haze hanging over the 125 acres of magnificent lavender fields, and the air is filled with the magic perfume of the lavender. Bridestowe is a wonderful place to visit, not only for the glorious lavender fields which are simply stunning. But also, for their mass flowering of daffodils and ornamental cherry trees. At this time of year everywhere is bursting with blooms. It is a photographer’s paradise.

Launceston is Tasmania’s second major city and a vibrant hub for food and wine, culture and nature. In fact, the whole region is packed with city and country charm, gorgeous old towns, excellent food and wine, and beautiful scenic highlights. It is one of Australia’s oldest cities. Launceston has one of the best-preserved early city-scapes in Australia.

There are many attractions and places to explore.

The City Park, with fantastic trees and a beautiful conservatory full of orchids, historic fountains, and is a joy to visit.

Cataract Gorge Reserve, where you can take a dip, or swim in the pool, ride the cable car, or use the suspension bridge.

James Boag Brewery experience, with plenty of tasting and delicious cheese and biscuits.

The Tamar Valley, famous for its cool climate wine, food and produce. The Wetlands, National Park, Bradley’s Lookout, and many more attractions.

Queen Victoria’s Museum and Art Gallery. Australia’s largest Regional Museum.

Tasmania is Australia’s most unique state, a jewel in the crown, waiting to be discovered and appreciated. Make sure you put it on your bucket list.

Here at Shelly Beach everything is fine in the garden. My hydrangeas are out in full glory, and a favourite of mine to paint. Calla lilies were beautiful and now finished. The old favourite nasturtiums with their bright yellow, and orange flowers, wander all over the garden and I love them. Charlie is having a lovely time chasing the butterflies.  The surfers are surfing and we are allowed out, distancing.  Everyone is being very careful, and in small numbers.

Not so with the birds, who are flocking in for their breakfast feeds. I have had masses of lorikeets, and any number of feathered friends.

My books “Letters of a Travelling Lady, Wallis the Woman I Love, The Complete Guide to Painting and Decorating Porcelain,” are available from Amazon, Xlibris, and Crowood Publishers.

Good luck to one and all.

Cheers. Patricia.

‘The History’ is under copyright 2020 to

Bridestowe Lavender Estate’.