Monday, October 17, 2016

Franklin House

After visiting the gorge and having some lunch, we needed to fill in some time during the afternoon before heading to the airport for our flight back to Sydney that evening. Our navigator Robin suggested that we visit Franklin House in Youngtown which is on the southern outskirts of Launceston.

The parking lot is at the rear of the building so to get to the entrance we had to pass a couple of large trees. For our final day in Tasmania, the sun shone and the weather was lovely.

The more we drove around Tasmania, the more it reminded me of the UK. Yes, the vegetation, birds and animals are quite different, but the green of the grass and the profusion of flowers  was impressive compared to the mainland of Australia.

This was obviously a garden that people cared about.

The entrance to the house which was built in 1838 by a former convict who reformed and did well.

Distance to Launceston.

Navigator. Mobile phones are magic for finding you way in strange places.

Old church across the highway that was built to exactly face the front door of the house.

The entrance hall way.

The house is reputed to have a ghost, but this hand does not belong to it. Instead it belongs to our volunteer tour guide who was showing us around.

Dining room.

Robin listening to our guide.

Most of the furniture is not original to the house but is typical of the period.

I can imagine this drawing room was well used in its day.

We proceeded up the stairs. As expected, a bedroom.

It is a pity that the doll was never played with, but that is how it survived.

Not original to the house but a donation. It's amazing what finds its way to Australia.

This long room upstairs could be divided into three sections. No doubt it was the scene of many social occasions and dances.

Paintings of the women in the house.

Back down to the entrance hall.

The garden at the back of the house.

Kitchen building, separated from the house in case of fire.

The building operated as a school between 1842 and 1866.


A team of volunteer gardeners were beavering away weeding and pruning. I think if you lived in Tasmania you would have to develop a green thumb.

Vegetable garden. It was a pleasant old house to visit. Not all that grand but I suspect quite enjoyable to live in.

Robin wanted to buy some Tasmanian honey as gifts so a few miles south in Perth, we came across a honey shop. I sampled some of them and they were delicious, particularly the Christmas Bush variety.

About 4 pm, I had done enough driving and I found a shady tree on a side street and had a nap.

We visited Tasmania about a dozen years ago and I was less impressed with it then than this trip. Back then there had been a dry spell and everything was brown. Not this time where everything was green and lush. I really liked Launceston and the North West coast and maybe we will try to do a house exchange there sometime.

Unlike the other capitol cities in Australia, the people of Hobart and Launceston are almost all white Caucasian. Oddly enough, I think half the passengers on our plane that night were Asian tourists.

So despite the disappointment of not completing the Overland Trail walk, Robin and I really enjoyed our time together driving around the island. I hope in 50 years time she looks back on this trip with fond memories.