Saturday, April 2, 2016

Sepia Saturday: Hotel holidays

Just before the second world war, in 1938, the Phelan family (grandparents Roy and Annie, and Roy's siblings Gib and Ina) went on holiday to the island state of Tasmania across Bass Strait from Victoria. This involved hauling their car on board a ship, a much more tricky process than the drive-on ferries today. But it must have been worth it because they then had a vehicle to drive around the state.

Loading the car on to the 'Taroona' at Beauty Point after the holiday.

Several of the photos taken on the holiday are of the hotels they stayed in.

The Rainbow Chalet is in a most beautiful part of Tasmania, high up on a plateau, right beside a very big lake called Great Lake. It is an area that wasn't settled by European farmers because of the harsh climate and inaccessibility but it's been a popular fishing spot, especially since trout were introduced to the lake. It is still a sparsely populated area but there are a few fishing shacks along the edge of the lake and tourists find their way there as well. I was there about ten years ago and remember it as being very beautiful and the plants were fascinating as well. Unfortunately the Rainbow Chalet, apart from a few outbuildings, no longer exists because it was destroyed by fire at some stage. The yellow star on the map below marks the position of the chalet at Breona.

Gib Phelan beside the car, Rainbow Chalet, Breona, Tasmania
Great Lake, Tasmania
Advertisement in Advocate (Burnie) 17 March 1934
Postcard exaggerating the appeal of the Rainbow Chalet.
Source: Tasmanian Philatelic Society forum.
Advertisement in The Mercury (Hobart) 15 Jan 1938.
Another hotel the family stayed in was at St Helens on the east coast of Tasmania. It was called the Bay View Hotel and, as the name suggests, is right beside the bay. The hotel was refurbished in about 1977 and renamed the Bayside Inn and it still exists.

Loading the car, Bay View Hotel, St Helens.
Advertisement in the Examiner (Launceston) 18 Oct 1938
Bayside Inn as it is today.
This post has been in response to the theme suggested by Sepia Saturday. It's of a small inn in Cornwall, England. I suggest you follow this link to see what others may blogging about in response.


  1. These are vacations I'd like to take. :)
    I love the photo of the car being hauled up. You don't see that too often, huh?

  2. I wonder how many fisherman over the years have sat beside that big fish at the Rainbow Chalet? The old Bayview Hotel had charm, but I rather like the freshness of the current one's design. It just looks like it should be beside a bay.

  3. Nice selection of photos. It would scare me to see my car hoisted like that. I wonder how long it took to load all the cars. It looks like a relaxing vacation.

  4. That first photograph is amazing. Clearly tourism was alive and well back in 1930s Tasmania.

  5. ‘Bracing’ is how Skegness ( a holiday resort I visited as a child) was always described on the holiday travel posters. These days I would go very far to actually avoid anywhere described as bracing but I can see the appeal of the Rainbow Chalet.

  6. Quite fascinating. Tourism Tasmania should give you a job in their PR department.

  7. Such a wonderful area; If I would have to choose an other area to live, it would be Tasmania. Beautiful, early holiday resorts!

  8. Well the modern hotel just doesn't cut it, does it? There's no romance or charm.


I love to read your comments. Thankyou for your interest.



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