After a Tarkine Forest Adventure visit headed to Marrawah, one of Tasmania’s most isolated settlements, and then to the Green Point Beach and then to the West Point. Further along the road we went to Tarkine Drive to make a stop at Sumac Lookout and then have a walk at Lake Chisholm.
Tarkine Forest Adventure (Dismal Swamp) is a massive Blackwood Forest in a draining sink hole. So once down the bottom there is boardwalk paths meandering their way around the sinkhole floor, it is currently dry on the swamp floor but could be boggy – hence the boardwalk. Dotted around the floor were many sculptures, along with the beautiful forest habitats.
We wake up early in the morning near Stanley. It was sunny and warm, and the day was going to be perfect!
In the morning we had a plan to climb 'The Nut' - 143 metre high massif, rising from Bass Strait, that towers above the picturesque town of Stanley. 'The Nut's top can be reached by either walking track or chairlift.
Can you guess how we got there?
On our way from west coast to the north-coast, we stopped to walk an easy 3h walk to Montezuma Falls, which at 103m are Tasmania's highest. The 3.5km walk, through pleasant park-like rainforest including leatherwood, myrtle, sassafras and giant tree ferns is well worth the time. It is a flat, easy walk, following a track that was the route of the North East Dundas Tramway from Williamsford to Zeehan from 1889-1925.
Personally, I really enjoyed this easy walk. Do not forget to wear solid shoes as lots of water and mud on track from little falls and creek below - it's a rainforest after all!
Zeehan is a town with a big past! Silver and lead were discovered in 1882, which led to the town becoming home to 10 000 people, 27 pubs and its own stock exchange. The Gaiety Theatre, once Australia's largest concert hall was built in 1899, with a seating capacity of 1000! Boom times lasted up until the First World War. Mining continues to play a role in the life of the town, with the Renison Bell Mine nearby, whose fortune waxes and wanes depending on the world price for tin.
We spent more than 3 hours in the West Coast Pioneers Memorial Museum - one of the best regional museums in Australia. It showcases the history of the West Coast, with displays and information about mining and minerals, rail and shipping.
The Henty Dunes are a series of giant, 30 m high dunes about 14 km from Strahan on the Zeehan Road. You will reach a point where pine plantations are growing on both sides of the road. You can hire some toboggans from Strahan Holiday Park, but make sure that the sand is dry, so you can slide down easily.
We stumbled upon them driving from Strahan to Zeehan and decided to check them out.
Many visitors are surprised that Strahan (pronounced “Strawn”) is a top resort and not a lonely fishing village on the shore of Macquarie Harbour. When the Franklin River campaign set up its headquarters here in 1982, it catapulted a town that was dying for want of a port into the big league of state resorts. By the early 1990s it was already a beacon of ecotourism that was receiving ninety thousand tourists a year.
Wish we could stay at Cradle Mountain area a bit longer, but snow had melted, all winter beauty had disappeared and it was time to go further.
Our next destination point was Strahan were we booked the Gordon River cruise for the next day. As we had heaps of time, we went a little bit further, to Queenstown and then to the Nelson Falls, and back to Strahan on the same day.
After a Marakoopa cave tour it was time to go further, to Cradle Mountain National Park, where we booked a cabin for two days. We spent half an hour to figure out how to get from the Mole Creek area to Cradle Mountain and finally we've got the directions, thanks to GPS in one car and navigation application on a tablet in the other. The road itself wasn’t bad, I was more worried about weather. It became dark, then very dark and it started snowing.
Snow? In Australia? In spring? Yes, it is possible.