Saturday, December 14, 2013

December 1 - TASMANIA

I only had a few days to soak up Tasmania and I was on a plane back to Mackay for the breakup  dinner for the year 12 boarders.
A couple of nights we free camped and if this was an example of free camping in Tasmania, we have a great time ahead of us.


When I got back from Mackay we attempted to split Tassie into sections and attack it that way so we will be doing the area around Launceston and west to Stanley.
Sitting round the campfire one night and glanced over my shoulder and saw this tree silhouetted against the skyline.

These little guys must have bred like rabbits, there were so many of them.
At Sheffield nearly every business had a mural on the wall of their establishment.  Most told a story about the business.

We drove around until we had been to every little area shown on this sign post

At Cataract Gorge there were lots of these peacocks all vying for the heart of a peahen

We took the chairlift up and walked back down - or was it the other way round
Right up in the north above Launceston is the town of Beauty Point.  They have a seahorse farm where they export these little creatures to pet shops and aquariums all over the world.  We saw them from 1 day old to full grown.

The most unusual of all was the sea dragon with all its little appendages looking like a piece of seaweed.
Even an octopus up in one corner
Across the road was a platypus and echidna place.  The platypus grow to nearly twice the size of the mainland cousins and are really in abundance down here.  The echidna just waddled around our feet after they had finished their lunch for the day.  Much bigger than we see in the wild also but maybe that is because they feed them every tour which is about 4-5 times a day.
We have been fortune to have the type of weather where we could have an open fire most nights and my hunter gatherer had to put his axeman skills to the test again.

On one of our walks through the rainforest I came across these tree formations and root systems which I found very interesting.

One of the many waterfalls we encountered.
One of our camps were at a place called Boat Harbour which showed proof that the area was a very active volcano area thousands of years ago.  A lot of coast looked like this with volcanic rock all along the beach.
Yep that's us tucked into a little corner for privacy and a lovely spot to pull up the chairs and get out the wine.

We went on a little walk through the rainforest near that last camp which was on the banks of the
river.  Gee it was nice.

We called into the little town of Warratah which started out as a tin mining town and the stamper was run by a waterwheel at the top of these falls which are in the middle of the main street.

Tasmania certainly knows how to grow tall trees and some of them are really huge.
Stanley is situated at the top of the state on the western side of the north coast and has this huge rock formation for which it is famous.
We stayed at the caravan park and the wind blew and the rain was almost horizontal at times and on one of the clear days we decided to take the chairlift up to the top of the "Nut" but the wind blew so hard and cold I refused to walk around the top and left it to Stuart while I sheltered in the hut at the top of the chair lift.  The trip down was the coldest I have felt in a long while (even Europe).

The township of Stanley from the top of the Nut

We travelled further west towards the coast as we were headed towards Arthur River and stayed at a free camp called Green Point where there was a very dirty dog there to greet all travellers.  I hope he is owned by one of the farmers in the area and I hope they bath him soon.

At Arthur River we took a cruise up the river where we fed White Sea Eagles and pulled into the bank and were fed a most luxurious lunch of gourmet sandwiches, fruit, cheeses, antipasto, wine, tea and coffee and juice.
Watching the sea eagle swoop in to get the fish thrown into the water was something else.

For three nights we stayed at the Narawntapu National Park  and had plenty of wildlife to entertain us every day.  It was great to see all the wombats just wandering around eating.

We have just about seen what we want to see of the North West of the state but reserve the right to backtrack if necessary.

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