Sunday, May 4, 2008


Burnie, Tasmnia at Sunset

Someone's Palm tree with the hills in the background

They even have a KFC in Tasmania, the Mcdonalds is a few blocks away!

Tara wanted me to write something about my recent business trip to Tasmania.

The purpose of my trip was to visit a Caterpillar business unit that manufactures Underground mining equipment and visit an underground copper mine. Luckily my visit also co-incided with a public Holiday in Australia - ANZAC day - which commemerates the sacrifices of their armed forces. This long weekend afforded me some time to go site seeing and get to know some of the people that live and work there a little better.

I was hoping to see all kinds of different animals while I was there, unfortunatly most of what I saw was dead on the side of the road. Most of the marsupials are nocturnal so you dont tend to see them out during the day time. At night I managed to see a lot of Wallaby's. Tasmania is home to the famour Tasmanian Devils, but sadly their population is shrinking due to a mysterious disease spreading across the island. I could have visited some devil sanctuaries but most of the activities are in the evening so I didnt end up making the trip. I did discover though that the prolific wallaby has very tasty meat, and no it didnt taste like chicken - more like rabbit.

So I worked most of the time in Burnie on the North coast of Tasmania, but I did visit the mining town of Queenstown near the west coast. Queenstown is very small - about the size of Senoia, and is dominated by the Mt Lyell Copper mine. I was lucky enough to catch the project manager of the mine and take a tour with him, which involved driving down into the mine to depth of about 1500ft below sea level into the hard rock. The mining operations are very interesting, as they use explosives to break up the rock and then use Caterpillar equipment to shovel and truck the ore out of the mine.

Im glad I got to visit Tasmania, and some of the very nice hospitable people who live there. Its a beautiful Island, with awesome scenery and some very large expanses of uninhabited land.

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