Time to break camp and head into the Tasmanian Wilderness. I brought that vest yesterday with Tasmanian Wilderness emblazon no the front so I guess I’d better head to the West Coast and the town of Strahan. The first part of the trip takes you through the rich fertile river flats of the North West Coast and the rolling hills but soon you are in the forests. There are quite a few plantations to be seen before it gets really ruggered. Then it down into the Hellyer Gorge this is very windy and luckily not much traffic. It’s a long climb out the other side but the bush is beautiful. As we travelled towards a lunch stop at Tullah we had to slow down to allow an Echidna to cross the road. Lunch at Tullah Lakeside Lodge wasn’t great but the scenery made up for it.
In Strahan we booked into the only caravan park. This was very ordinary, The toilet block was being hosed out when we arrived and just left to puddle, bits of paper were left as they were but now wet, the ladies shower didn’t have any shower curtains and the drains backed up and just ran out the door.
In town we booked for a cruise the next day then looked for a coffee. There was no one around town we had a coffee and still one around town, we asked at the cruise shop where to get a good fish meal as the fish restaurant had closed. She recommended the local fish and chippy but we wanted something a little more attuned to dinning so found one of the pub that had some diners in it and proceed to order some of the local fish dishes. “Sorry haven’t got any of that, nor that in fact we haven’t got any fish.”
“We had the Mayor’s funeral at the weekend and sold out of fish, the truck doesn’t come till Tuesday”.
This is a fishing town.
Tuesday and the weather looks a bit ominous but the sea is calm. The cruise is on a big catamaran and we head up Macquarie Harbour which is twice as big as Sydney Harbour. The opening to the harbour is via Hells Gates a 50 metre wide channel. In 1900 there was a training wall constructed on the seaward side of the opening to allow a channel to be dredged through the opening and the natural flow keeps it clear.
The cruise takes you to the fish farms setup in the harbour. These farm Atlantic salmon and Ocean Trout. A major attraction of the cruise is an hour spent on Sarah Island, a convict settlement around 1830. Then it was lunch on board while cruising the Gordon River up to Heritage Land to walk in the temperate rain forest and see growing Houn Pines.
The cruise finishes back in Strahan at the local saw mill where you watch them saw a log with a reciprocating saw. What started out a bit iffy weather wise ended up sunny and “a lovely day was had by all”.
Wednesday and we had had enough of Strahan, the Wilderness Railway was under going maintenance, so it’s off to Queenstown.
Guess what its raining here. Hobart tomorrow.