Tasmanian Holiday 2015

Waited for ages for my beloved wife’s bag then got that sinking feeling when the carousel stops turning. Everyone had gone and only a small purple bag with a pink ribbon remained. Went to the service counter and filled in all the forms for missing luggage. We flew the budget airline Jetstar, if the bag was not found within 24 hours, we’d get a total of $40 to cover expenses - wow. About to take off in the rental car when they called me and said they found the bag. Someone (presumably the owner of the purple bag), had mistakenly taken our black bag which was a totally different size and make. Anyway, things were looking better.

I had booked at hotel in Bronte Park which was a few hours drive. There was enough time to get there before dark. The GPS didn’t quite match my paper map (wouldn’t go without a backup), but we gave it the benefit of the doubt until we ended but in the same spot about an hour later.

At about 7pm, the sealed road turned into gravel just as it started raining. Slowed down to about 50 km/h (30 miles per hour) as I didn’t want to hit anything but as I rounded a corner a wombat ran out, I swerved to avoid it but clipped it with my front left hand side. Backed up to the wombat which was trying to crawl off the road with only its front feet working. I had no choice but to put it out of its misery. Damage was a cracked front bumper bar and two plastic protective pieces under the car. Lucky there was nothing except cosmetic damage to the car, it would have been a bad place to break down with no cell phone coverage and cars going by every 15 minutes or so.

We stayed they night at Bronte Park Village, which is primarily a fishing destination. I can’t think of any other reason why someone would go there. There are four main lakes in the vicinity, Bronte Lagoon, Bradys Lake, Lake Binney and Tungatinah Lagoon. It was a typical one shop village, with the central attraction being the general store and service station.

The next day was a fine day and we passed through some nice scenery between Bronte Park and Cradle Mountain.

We had lunch in the major town of Deloraine. The photo below shows the busiest part of the main street that day.

Deloraine is by the Meander River, a name which I find rather interesting.

We also stopped to pick up some strawberries at Sheffield Berry Gardens.

The drive ended up taking most of the day and we didn’t arrive until the late afternoon at the Cradle Mountain Wilderness Village. We would be roughing it for a couple of days.

Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair national park is part of the Tasmanian Wildnerness World Heritage Area which covers 20% of Tasmania and is 15,800 square kilometers in area.Cradle Mountain gets its distinctive shape from its Jurassic dolerite columns and is 1545m above sea level. The area below, including Dove Lake, was carved by glacial processes.

It is truly unspoilt and although Cradle Mountain is a premier tourist destination, it is well managed with shuttle services reducing traffic in the park, toilets, strict limits on how many vehicles can be inside the park at any time, and well maintained walking tracks. We walked the Dove Lake Circuit, about a 6 km walk around the lake.

We went back in the evening to take some photos at dusk.

We also met a couple of girls who were about to talk the Overland Track. This is a 6 day 65 km walk (although someone ran it in 7 hours 25 minutes) from Cradle Mountain to Lake St Clair.  There are huts along the way. You can normally tell the experience of a hiker by the condition of their packs. In the case of the girls, they were brand new so I hope they know what they are doing.

Our final days were in Hobart. We stayed at the Wrest Point Casino which doesn’t have a 13th floor.

Lots of mussels and oysters growing just outside the hotel.

They have lots of good food in Hobart, particularly seafood and steak.

Spent the rest of the time sightseeing, most interesting was the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery. Lots to see there including this 500 year old Huon Pine slice

and this Tasmanian native bark canoe.

Overall our 5 days in Tasmania, particularly Cradle Mountain was too short. We certainly intend to return.