Exploring A Ferny Paradise…

When we walk slowly, the world can fully appear. Not only are the creatures not frightened away by our haste or aggression, but the fine detail of fern and flower, or devastation and disruption, becomes visible. Many of us hurry along because we do not want to see what is really going on in and around us. We are afraid to let our senses touch the body of suffering or the body of beauty

Joan Halifax

As you might be aware, our family is currently roaming around Tasmania, where my husband was not only born and bred but has family ties going back as far as 1828. Indeed, all branches of his family go back to early settlement and it’s probably just as well that he married a “mainlander”.

I don’t know what your approach is to exploring a new place. However, to really get a feel for the place, I always like to get out on foot and explore as well as asking the locals about secret nooks and crannies.

This is how I found out about Ferndene.

While we were onboard the Spirit of Tasmania (the ferry running between Mebourne on the Australian mainland and Devonport, Tasmania), I asked Tasmanian staff onboard for their recommendations.

This is what saw us driving up and down Ironcliffe Road, Penguin searching for a spot where it’s only a 20 second walk from the car, to see giant tree ferns.

The only trouble was that it took us a lot longer than 30 seconds to actually locate Ferndene, which I guess can be quite a problem with these sights off the beaten track…a complication of the “road less travelled”.

While the tourist office told us this park was called Ferndene, we had some trouble finding it and had to make further inquiries and return the next day.

These tree ferns, by the way, are so big the Tasmanians call them “man ferns”. Indeed, they are the size of a man.


I was quite keen to chase after these tree ferns when I heard about them because and Geoff always associates them with “home”. He also tells me that Tasmanian tree ferns are a different species to those on the mainland, which aren’t quite the same (or is that a nothing like the original??)


Anyway, we finally found Ferndene and opted to go on what was sign posted as a 30 minute walk, although that doesn’t take into account numerous photo stops or jaw dropping gasps staring up through the fronds into the sun drenched sky.


The track which does have some ups and downs and requires some level of fitness, takes you through towering fern and eucalypt canopies, past a tea-tree stained creek and onto an abandoned iron mine.


Along the way, we also encountered an unidentified species of local dragon, which could well be a more extroverted relative of the “Nessy’s” (the famed Loch Ness Monster). Friendly, its apparently featuring in an amateur film.

Anyway, I’m going to keep this trip short and sweet and please forgive the rush. We’re now in Hobart about a week down the track. It’s been very difficult to get any writing time and Internet connections have been very slow.

Take care & best wishes,



9 thoughts on “Exploring A Ferny Paradise…

  1. Pingback: Tasmanian Weekend Coffee Share. | beyondtheflow

  2. Rowena Post author

    It’s been interesting coming back here this time with Geoff. It’s the longest that we’ve ever spent in Tassie and we’re usually staying in Launceston or Bridport near Scottsdale where he grew up. This trip we’ve been based in Devonport in the North and have seen much more of where his father and grandmother are from and have caught up with more family and gained quite a sense of home, family and belonging which has been wonderful.
    What has been a bit tricky at times has been him trying to take us to HIS Tasmania while we’re coming at it through our own eyes and we can only approach it with what we see now.
    It’s always interesting going back.
    xx Ro

  3. Rowena Post author

    That’s what they call them in Tasmania, which I must say has it’s own lingo. So many places have their own pronunciation. It takes quite a bit of effort to pass as a local around here.
    xx Ro

  4. New Journey

    I keep asking my husband to take me to his Germany, Hamburg….but he says it has changed so much he doesn’t even want to ever go back….he was there 2014 for a month in the summer….he said it was to long and hes done with Germany…. 😦

  5. Rowena Post author

    Those UK accents also migrated out here. It’s less obvious on the mainland, but more evident in Tassie especially 50 years ago.

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