It’s become a bit of a tradition for us to go away in the middle of January for a few days. Last year we went to Bruny Island, and this year we decided to take a trip to the north of the state. Our destination on the first day was Sheffield, the “Town of Murals”.
But we had a couple of essential stops on the way.
We had lunch at Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm Cafe. It was cold and a bit windy, and the restaurant was packed, so we said we’d sit outside on the deck. It was way better than inside. It was quiet outside, and Juniordwarf could run around and play in the playhouse. After lunch we got some raspberries to take away.
Our next stop was Seven Sheds Breweryin Railton, which was great. We tasted their ales and, because they didn’t have the Black Inca available in bottles to take away, I insisted that I have a glass while we were there so we could plan what we were going to do next, and which beers we should buy.
Trip planning is very important.
We left with a small stash.
Railton is dubbed the Town of Topiary, with a trail of topiaries through the town, including the Cradle Mountain National Paddock, which has a farming scene of Railton. This includes the name RAILTON and this sheep gate, which Juniordwarf wanted to climb on. I would have taken more photos but it had started to rain and my camera was getting wet.
We went to the Fibre Optic Magic store, which was (as the name suggests) full of fibre optic gizmos and gadgets. It was a nice stopover in a town that has one of the widest main streets I’ve ever crossed.
Then it was time to head to our final destination for the day, Sheffield. Sheffield is the Town of Murals, an idea that was first formed in 1985, when the town sought to turn around a state of economic decline. They looked at an idea that had worked in Canada facing a similar downturn, and developed the idea of ‘an outdoor gallery of heroic proportions, depicting the pioneering history of the district and its people’.
There are now over 60 murals in the town that depict the history of the early European settlers in the area. The Mural Park, behind the visitors centre, is especially interesting, as these murals are replaced very year as part of Mural Fest. Muralfest runs from Easter Sunday to the following Saturday, where the 9 finalists paint their murals using a poem that has been selected as the theme for that year’s festival. In 2014 the poem was “Island Life” by Rees Campbell.
I was particularly drawn to the one of Abel Tasman arriving in Adventure Bay on Bruny Island – where we were staying this time last year.
We spent some time exploring the town and the murals.
Dinner was at T’s Chinese Restaurant in Sheffield. The Zhao family runs the restaurant, and the majority of the meat comes from the lamb, pigs and beef grown on their farm. There was a great story on the family in The Mercury last year.
We’d heard of the restaurant through Two Metre Tall, who had got some of their pigs from the farm. We loved the idea of a restaurant growing its own meat, so we had to check it out. It was worth the trip. The food was divine and we had a lovely night.
One thing I really liked was that they brought each dish out individually, not all the dishes together like most Chinese restaurants do. This way we could really appreciate each dish before trying the next one. A serve of steamed dumplings and two main dishes with rice was plenty for the three of us (and one of us is a growing boy and eats a lot).
After dinner I cracked open a bottle of Pooley 2010 Pinot Grigio that I’d had in my wine cellar* for years. It was absolutely divine. Really thick and syrupy, but not sweet.
Despite the weather, it was a great start to our weekend away.