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The Wooden Boat Trust, Franklin

 Just under an hour outside of Hobart - a lovely drive down roads lined with apple, nectarine, pear and plum trees - you’ll find The Bowmont, overlooking the Huon River in the village of Franklin. 

Across the road, wooden sheds nestle over the river.

 

 

One houses the local boatbuilder, The Wooden Boat Centre https://www.woodenboatcentre.com/ where you can not only get a tour, but also enrol in shipwright courses long and short. Its neighbour contains a treasure of a community organisation, the Living Boat Trust https://livingboattrust.org.au/. Michelle is an LBT volunteer and tells us all about the flotilla of clinkers, scout boats, whalers and more that are cared for here by an armada of volunteers every Monday. 

 

 

 

There are small piers with all sizes and types of wooden sailing and rowing boats to admire and even a one-hundred year old ferry named the Nancy - all steeped in history, magic and nostalgia. You can donate to the trust or do a carving class on Wednesday - or cruise on the Nancy, which is available for charter. If, like me, you have ever owned or dreamt of a clinker, it most likely was built, repaired or restored at some point in its history in Franklin.
If you’re thinking of visiting Franklin, here are Michelle’s insider tips on what to see, do and enjoy. 

 

 

 

What do you love about this place?

The weather, cool winters, warm summers, distinctly four seasons.  The apples, the best I’ve ever tasted. The landscape, ancient, misty and green.  

 

 

 

 

Best places to explore?

The ever-changing river, the heritage wooden boats, and the village atmosphere. There’s a strong sense of community here, filled with eccentric characters in holey jumpers with scruffy dogs.
From the river you can see the Egg Island Reserve, a thriving sanctuary for threatened plant and animal species. You can take a grebe, or kayak, and row through the oldest still-operating manmade canal in Australia that cuts through the middle of the island. Grasses line the banks and tall trees arch across the canal. Listening to the bird song as you drift along, it’s like a quiet refuge from the noise of the world–so magical.  Visit the roadside stalls to get delicious fresh produce right from the grower’s hands.

 

 

 

When to come & what to bring

We have four such distinctive seasons, and each of them has their own special qualities, but I love autumn the most, all the bounty, new season apples, the colour of the leaves, the wood smoke in the air, and wearing my favourite woollen cardigan. 
If visiting in the cooler months bring your merino thermals, and at any time don’t forget a good sun hat and some cash for visiting those roadside produce stalls.

 

 

 

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