A while back I did a couple of short stories, about Orion, Ogre and Sapphire.

I’m having a go at combining those stories and adding to them and making it into a novelette.

Funny term, novelette… had an interesting discussion about it the other day…

Anyway, I digress.

I have tentatively titled the novelette ‘Knighthawks’. I even did up some cover art.



I’m a long way from finished with the story, but I like how the cover came out.

Thanks for reading.




Museum of Old and New Art (MONA)


I have a confession to make.


I live about 5km from MONA, and have never been there. Last time I was there, it was a small boutique winery called Moorilla, and they’d only just started making Moo Brew there. I think they still do the wine thing.

MONA is the best thing to happen to Hobart since we invented sliced bread*; and I’d not been to see it.

So, I went today for a look.

How do you get there?

Thanks to our good friends at Google Maps, here’s the way to travel…

Map to Mona

You can also catch the ferry up the lovely Derwent River. Or, if you’re like me, you can just pop down from home.

The MONA website will tell you a lot more than me.

How was it? It was quite interesting.

As a Tasmanian, I pay no entry fee. I just had to show the scar where my second head was removed. For the rest of you; you will have to pay to get in.

When you enter, you get this little iPhone thingy. You press a button and it tells you all about the artworks that are nearby. Sadly, mine had a flat battery, so I wandered about looking at stuff, and thinking… ‘that’s nice’, or ‘that’s weird’. I eventually found somewhere where I could swap my flat iPhone for a new one.

I’m not an art critic… I’m a heavy metal fan who works as a public servant and writes fantasy adventure books in my spare time.

So, a lot of it was over my head.


But it was good fun.


The pictures tell the story (as usual).

20170303_145857_resized_1 20170303_144622_resized_1 20170303_144059_resized_1 20170303_143306_resized_1 20170303_142657_resized_1 20170303_141757_resized_1 20170303_141832_resized_1 20170303_141926_resized_1 20170303_142102_resized_1 20170303_142218_resized_1 20170303_142239_resized_1 20170303_142243_resized_1 20170303_142352_resized_1 20170303_141607_resized_1 20170303_141526_resized_1 20170303_141342_resized_1 20170303_140856_resized_1 20170303_140507_resized_120170303_143751_resized_120170303_144214_resized_1

Thanks for reading!




* It’s possible that this is a made up fact.

Bush Walking/ Hiking (and sightseeing again) – Hastings Caves and Duckhole Lake

Today I drove to Hastings Caves to have a look, and then took a short stroll to Duckhole Lake.

How do you get there? Well, thanks to Google Maps, I can show you:




There is also this excellent Parks & Wildlife Map that will show you in a little more detail:


Hastings Caves Road is unsealed, but it’s pretty good for a dirt road.

I went to Hastings Caves first, then drove up Chestermans Road/ Coal Hill Road to Duckhole Lake. The signpost to Chestermans Road is a little overgrown, but look for it just before the only bridge and sealed section of the Hastings Caves Road. A word of warning: Chestermans Road is not really suited to a normal two-wheel drive car, so if you decide to visit Duckhole Lake, the unsealed road marked ‘Old Hastings Road/ Darcy Link Road’ may be your best bet.

Another word of warning: The only sign on the Huon Highway showing the location of this road is here:

Old Hastings Road/ Darcy Link Road
But it’s on the northern side, and not really that visible if you’re heading south…


But anyway, I digress.


Where did I digress to…?


Oh yeah, Hastings Caves.


There’s lots to do at the Visitor Centre. A couple of short walks and a thermal pool are key attractions.

Visiting the caves does cost – I paid $24 as an adult. I tried to convince them I was not, but they didn’t fall for it.

Parks Tasmania describe it way better than I can.

Once you pay, you drive along Hastings Caves Road until the end of the road and park your transport here:

Park Short walk from the car park

Make sure if you leave your coffee cup on the back of your car, that you remember to grab it off again.

The tours are run by friendly Parks & Wildlife Guides and take 45 minutes. It’s cool inside, 9 degrees Celsius all year round. There are stairs. Quite a few stairs. If you cannot manage stairs, then this may not be the place for you to visit. The tours are catered for the slowest moving members of the party. I attended today with 29 other people.

Once inside, you follow the guide, and can’t possibly get lost. The cave known as Hastings Caves is called Newdegate Cave, and is amazing:

Newdegate Cave Descent into the depths of the Earth Stalactites Looking up at stalactites more stalactites stalactites revisited stalagmite stalagmite pretend glow worms more... oh. you'll figure it out... cool bits & pieces stalagmite fairy cave

Of course, people familiar with the underdark and drow elves will expect to see a few of these here:


Duckhole Lake is one of the 60 great walks, according to the sign.

Great walk

It’s a nice little walk: you follow the trail, get to the lake, turn around & come back. It’s nice. No ups & downs, very easy to follow. The trail does link up with a few others in the area, but I just wandered out to the lake today.

trail lake same lake stuff left behind on the trail

Here’s a link to my Endomondo Workout which shows the trail:

I walked about 5.5km in about an hour.

No random encounters with orcs, goblins or dragons.

Thanks Gandalf

Which, I have to admit, was a little disappointing.

Thanks for reading!




Bush Walking/ Hiking (kinda – more like sightseeing) Scotts Peak Road/ Creepy Crawly Nature Trail/ Twisted Sister

Today I went exploring to Scotts Peak Dam.

Where’s that?

Well… here’s a map…


Map (thanks, Google Maps)


It’s about 150km from sunny Hobart by road. The road isn’t the best in the world, but its not too bad.

Take a chance, if you can, to enjoy the scenery on the way out. It’s amazing.




Get yourself to the Gordon River Road, and turn left at the sign. The sign is supposed to be 30km past a small town called Maydena, but I think it’s about 27km past.

Oh, and unless you have a satellite phone, Maydena is the last spot you’ll get phone reception, too.



Turn left here

The road you turn off onto at the sign is called Scotts Peak Road. It’s actually quite a good road, for an unsealed one.

There are a couple of well-signed attractions along the way


Lake Edgar Dam

There are lots of attractions for the serious (and not-so serious) bushwalkers. Tracks to Mt Anne, Mt Eliza; you can even walk all the way to Melaleuca from here. Sadly, I did none of those today, as I’ve been having a few troubles with a knee problem since December. Rather stupidly, I thought I’d give jogging a go. And it all went well, I actually jogged a quite a few kilometres. But my left knee wasn’t too keen on the idea, and has been letting me know ever since. So, I’ve given up becoming a ‘jogger’ and my knee is recovering well.

Anyway, where was I?

Oh yes.

At the end of Scotts Peak Road is Scotts Peak Dam. There is a boat ramp where you can (presumably) launch a boat.


Scotts Peak Dam

Also at the end of the road is a wonderful lookout called Red Knoll Lookout. From the lookout, you can see 360 degrees, and the views are simply amazing.



Lake Pedder


Scenery (poorly cropped)


Mt Anne, and Mt Eliza and a few other mountains (names I cant remember… it will all be on the identification tool thingy, above).


The view south


View from Lake Edgar Dam looking south

Of course, anyone familiar with the Gnoll species will be surprised to find one here.


Red Gnoll

On the way back, I stopped to wander along the Creepy Crawly Nature Trail. I suspect this trail is a nice distraction for bored youngsters. It’s about 300 metres return, but would be a lot of fun to climb under and over a heap of tree trunks and branches. Its fully boarded the whole way.




Room to park


Creepy Crawly Trail

I suspect it wouldn’t be as fun if it had some real creepy crawlies there.

Like this, shown for illustration purposes.


Creepy Crawly


Once back on the main road, about 10km toward Maydena, I stopped at a sign that said Twisted Sister.


Twisted Sister


Turns out, this isn’t where the rock band has been residing…


Twisted Sister. Sadly, I didn’t see these guys…

It’s a cool little trail though the bush, about 700 metres in length. Again, I think a great distraction for bored youngsters.


Twisted Sister Start


The trail


This could be a fallen tree…


End of the line for twisted sister


Thanks for reading!


Bush Walking/ Hiking – Cape Raoul (again)


Today I re-did another favourite track… Cape Raoul.

Here is the write up of the first time.

I went alone again. Its a great walk.

Today it was a little slippery underfoot; there had been a fair bit of rain over the past few days.


Half hour into the walk, on the way in, the view to Cape Raoul Plateau


Cape Raoul from the south


Cape Raoul from the south and a bit to the left


Cape Raoul from the south and a bit to the left, but a bit closer to the edge


Cape Raoul with my feet in the way


Cape Raoul from the north


Cape Raoul from the north. You may barely see a woman standing up on the rocks


Cape Raoul


Thanks for reading!


Bush Walking/ Hiking – Cape Huay (again)


Yesterday I revisited Cape Huay, one of the most enjoyable trudges through the bush I’ve ever done.

For those that missed it, here is a link to the original post.

So I did it again, but this time with a group of 13; the extended family wanted to go on a hike, and I thought this one would be a great one to show off some awesome scenery.



Looking south-east toward Cape Pillar with brother-in-law in the foreground


Looking south-east toward Cape Pillar without brother-in-law in the foreground


Looking down at Cape Huay lookout with kayakers… kayaking.


Cape Huay with Hippolyte Rocks in the distance


Obligatory ‘hanging off a cliff’ shot

Thanks for reading!