Back Home, Back Then

My slow chronological march through old scanned negatives got held up last year by my not being in the right frame of mind to write about them, meaning that there’s been a backlog for months of several galleries at Detail awaiting their announcement here. Time to break the impasse by tackling them out of chronological order, starting with some updates and additions to my galleries of 1990s Tasmania.

After our trip around the word in 1997–98, J. and I ended up in Tassie for a few months, staying with my folks while we started looking for new jobs. It was a pretty subdued time, signing on to the dole in my old home town, and it took a while to get anywhere, but eventually we did. In the meantime, I tried Theatresports at a new comedy club in Hobart, and even did a bit of stand-up there; I might have kept going if we’d stayed in Tassie. But life took us in a different direction.


While we were there, we went along to the Bream Creek Show, a classic rural show reminiscent of the Huon ones I went to as a kid, complete with wood-chopping, pie-eating competitions, farm animals and vehicle parades. It’s captured in Showtime, along with some photos of cars from that year’s TARGA Tasmania that stopped down the road from us.


South is now two-thirds new, with photos of visits to the Hartz Mountains, Tahune and South Cape Bay in May 1998, plus a few from a trip home to the Huon at Christmas in 1999. It’s now a much better reflection of the part of the state where I grew up. I’ve also added a few photos from 1998, 1999, 2003 and 2005 to Hobart.

Tasman '98

Also in May 1998, we visited the Tasman Peninsula with my father-in-law to do a day-long walk to Cape Hauy—now part of the Three Capes Track, but then a more rugged prospect. We were knackered by the end of it, but it was worth it. I took the kids there years later.

Northwest 1999

Back in Tasmania over Christmas 1999, we travelled with my parents up to the northwest of the state, staying in Stanley on Christmas Day itself, and then driving down through the Tarkine to Zeehan and Strahan on the West Coast, stopping at Henty Dunes and Ocean Beach on the way—more places I later visited with the kids. In Strahan, J. and I took a boat trip up the Gordon River, taking in its mirror-black waters and wilderness surrounds, and passing the notorious Sarah Island of the 1830s Macquarie Harbour Penal Station. Northwest ’99 features this trip, along with half a dozen photos of the Midlands from mid-1998, including my drive up to the ferry in Devonport to take my car back to the mainland. More from that side of the Bass Strait soon.

30 April 2023 · Memory