I had a dream!
It was 2025, and a dear friend of mine, Bob, and his family had come from Canada with their daughter, who was doing a post-doctoral fellowship and was presenting a paper at an international conference in Hobart.
Bob was a power engineer by vocation and had worked on the big hydro schemes in British Columbia. They had flown into Melbourne, hired an electric vehicle, and caught the new Spirit of Tasmania ferry across the Bass Strait.
After a couple of days wandering the North West Coast and inspecting windfarms, the hydrogen plant at Burnie and the new hydro developments for the Battery of the Nation project, had driven down the four-lane highway from Devonport to Hobart.
When I heard they were coming, I tried to book them into the new MONA hotel, but it was fully booked for the MONA winter festival. Fortunately, the hotel at the DEC had just opened, and I was able to make a booking for them there. I planned a weekend of activity for them in Hobart, around their daughter’s presentation at the new Macquarie Point conference centre.
After meeting them at the Hobart light rail station, we slipped over to Salamanca for a meal, and then caught the ferry to Bellerive to watch the Tasmanian AFL team play Collingwood. Bob had not seen an AFL game before and was impressed by the energy of the game. By the way, Tassie won! We then caught separate ferries back over the river, them to Wilkinson’s Point and I to Kingston.
The following day, Bob caught the light rail into town to witness the presentation by his daughter before an international assembly of people well-versed in the topic of MRNA vaccines. Apparently, UTAS had become a leader in vaccine research at its Hobart city campus. The place was packed and the setting, beside the reconciliation park, was superb.
After the presentation, we took the cable car up to the top of Mt Wellington which was capped with white powder enjoyed a hot drink to warm the soul before coming back into Hobart and taking the ferry up to the MONA wharf, where we spent the late afternoon listening to the concert on the lawn and wandering through this amazing museum of old and new art.
That evening, we went to the new basketball stadium at Wilkinson’s Point to watch the Jack Jumpers play the Sydney Kings in the new DEC – Bob is a huge basketball fan. And then we retired to a bar where we reminisced about old times before I took an Uber back home.
On Sunday, Bob drove into town and picked me up before we headed down the Channel along the newly completed Southern Outlet to the farmers market at Huonville, and then further to see the high-tech fish farm activity off the coast. We enjoyed a lunch at one of the fabulous wineries dotted along the route. I marvelled at the growth in the area, and the optimism of the people we met.
And finally, that night, another meal in the new sprawling night club area of Moonah, where we enjoyed more local fare. I returned on the light rail, passing through a corridor of new developments that were springing up along this new transit corridor, and was impressed with the high level of construction activity that it had generated.
On their last full day here, we did the obligatory East Coast day-trip, driving up to Orford on the newly formed Wielangta Road and spending the day around Swansea and marvelling at the Hazards across the bay, returning for a home barbeque and some more reminiscing.
That night we said our goodbyes. Bob and his family were to fly out early the next day, leaving the car at the expanded international airport and flying back home to Canada, via New Zealand. What a fantastic time it was. Bob was totally impressed. So was his family. And so was I. Yes indeed, it was good to be alive.
And then I woke up!
Could it really be like that?
Well, yes, it could indeed be. After all, it has all been promised!