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.
A log happy to be in the forrest
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.
Sunday looked like it would be a fair sort of day so we set out for Sheffield and on to Cradle Mountain. Motoring down the road we came across a signpost pointing to Nowhere Else 2 Km, didn’t think much of it but after several more kilometres was another signpost Nowhere Else 3 Km, well its time to go check it out so a sharp right turn and up a country lane. It felt like some of the lanes we went down in England. On we went not aware of how far we had travelled when we came to a T junction with a sign pointing back the way we had come. Nowhere Else 2 Km had we blinked? So Nowhere Else is in Tassie if you find it let me know.
Turned right bewildered, and continued on to Sheffield. Sheffield is known for its murals. It seems that every vertical surface has a painting on it. Some depict the business that is conducted in the building, others historical events in the area.
World of Marbles
Also in the town is a marble shop, The World of Marbles, you know the game you once played at school. Not only are there marbles but glass bowl and jewellery. The most intriguing part is the marble towers that have marbles drop from the top and follow various paths to the bottom where they are lifted back to the top. There were several different models and unfortunately I wasn’t allowed to take a photo so you will just have to come and see yourself.
Sheffield also has and old style clothing store, Slaters Est 1899. We were tempted inside by some half priced items displayed on the footpath. Pam bought some lovely knee high boots and I brought a outdoor vest. The store had an old timber counter and a small set of steps for children to use to see over the counter. Great shop and great prices.
Mount Roland dominates the western skyline in Sheffield and you skirt around its base as you continue on to Cradle Mountain. Not far pass Mount Roland we took a turnoff to a lookout and on the way we caught up to a maroon Nissan Navaro with Qld plates. I said to Pam I think that may be from the van parked next to us in Davenport and when we stopped at the lookout it was the people next door and they had seen us in Stanley the day before. We caught up again at Dove Lake at Cradle Mountain.
On the way to the lake Pam and I saw our first ever live wombat in the wild but as the track is narrow you are unable to stop for photos. We took some photos at Robby Creek and was about to continue on to Dove lake when we noticed another wombat but this time we were able to “shoot” him.
Cradle Mountain and some of the surrounding peaks still had snow on them. The sun was out but the wind was very chilly so we elected not to go for a paddle in Dove Lake.
Cradle Mountain & Dove Lave
At the turnoff to the main road sat another wombat debating wether to cross or not. He made a wise decision and turned tail and headed back into the bush. Road kill is a big problem all over Tasmania with possums, devils, potoroos, wallabies and wombats every where along the roadsides and is even deterring some visitors from coming to the Apple Isle
Yesterday was a long drive from Streaky Bay to Adelaide. Fairly easy drive to Port Augusta except for one caravaner that liked to use up both sides of the road. After Port Augusta the road is fairly flat and runs along side the Flinders Ranges. It took a bit of effort not turn left and cross the ranges and head for Broken Hill.
Once I sorted out my homesickness for Central NSW it was on to Adelaide. The road turns into a dual carriageway and there are cars. The carriageway becomes an express way and more cars and trucks. Then its all traffic lights and turning lanes and cars and trucks and buses. The express way ends and the lanes narrow, I’m watching cars and trucks and buses and the fence running down the median strip. The van takes up the whole lane as does the bus beside me. Help I’ve just come off the Nullarbor, I should have a triumphant entry into the city with streets cleared of cars and trucks and buses, just people cheering from the footpath. We made it to the caravan park just south of Glenelg. Last couple of sites left, the manger took me down to a site and said back it in there. No problem just get the van to miss the overhanging limb on a tree next to the site while missing the fence in front of the car. Could have done it if I approached from the other direction but that meant going up a lane way the wrong way. The manager then said just stick it the bay next door. that was much easier. Up till now it was “just find a spot out there, there all drive through”. You could park semi-trailers in most blind folded.
Today was rest day. late breakfast, then a little drive to Glenelg a stroll around and coffee next to the Tram Terminus. Then it was a Blackies tour of Adelaide and up to Mount Lofty.
Adelaide Sunset (Beneaththelandslide at English Wikipedia)
Tomorrow it is off to Mount Gambier and Blue Lake.