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Tasmania, Australia Blog and Daily Journal.
Travel Writing, Travelogue
(Nov 13, 2006 - Jan 4 2007)
||Melbourne - Devonport, Tasmania. We packed like
mad the whole day. Tim tried to post the new video about David's Cyclist
Home Stay and the connection kept dropping off. So he went down to
the local pub that had wifi and tried to post it again. Again, the
connection kept dropping off. So the video was ready but we
couldn't put it on our server. We ran out of time and had to ride
to the ferry for Tasmania. We had heard that the ten hour
crossing to Tasmania was rough and I was worried that Tim would be
miserable for the entire trip. So I brought ginger pills and
Dramamine, I wasn't sure which would work so I gave him both. Just
as we left Jon's house he said, "I don't know what you are so worried
about, the last time I went to Tasmania I slept the entire time."
Little did I know that he was 100% right. The crossing was uneventful
for the first 2 hours but when we got out to open water it was quite
rough. But by that time Tim was sound asleep on the floor. I on
the other had could not sleep much, our neighbor was snoring and it was
all I could do not to go over and wake him up. So when morning came I
was bit groggy. Not Tim he was wide awake and ready to go.
||Devonport - Gowrie Park. We were the first deck
to be called to get our vehicle, our bikes. We happen to be at the
front of the boat and to my joy we were the first people off the boat,
before the trucks and everyone else. There were two other cyclists on
the boat and they could not find their bikes, I wondered where those two
Swiss girls ended up. The only thing that was open was McDonalds so we
had a bottomless cup of coffee, ah one of the perks at McDonalds.
We set off early and the first thing we did was look for an internet
cafe, we still had to post the video to our server. As were were
reading the street signs we rode up the left lane to the stop light.
There were a line of cars in the right lane, all stopped and waiting for
the light to change. A guy from a stopped car yelled a bunch of
obscenities at us and something like, Get off the road you are going to
get killed. This was quite a shocker to us. Tim proceeded to
get off his bike and push it over to the drivers side of the car.
I heard him ask the driver, "Are you actually cowardly enough to yell at
me from inside your car?" the driver was surprised that Tim did this and
rolled up his window and drove off. Our first encounter in
Tasmania has not been so pleasant. We continued down the street looking
for an internet cafe and found a computer store instead. I went
inside and asked the owner if he knew where an internet cafe was where
we could connect our laptop computer. He was in the process of packing
his office because he was moving the shop and said, Come on in, you can
use my connection. Over an hour later our video about David Home
Stay for Cyclists in Malaysia (45 mb)
was posted. The owner refused payment. We tried to
send an email out to our mail server but we could not send email.
Well half the job was done.
The ride - rolling hills through farm country, traffic was light, we
rode toward Sheffield and then from there to Gowrie Park. We are using
two bike books. One Lonely Planet, Cycling Australia and the other
Bicycling Australia by Ian Duckworth, an older but well done book. We
followed Ian's path first. We arrived in Sheffield before the rain
hit. It looked like we would be stuck in Sheffield with no caravan
park or budget accommodations. The cheapest room was $65 a night.
The weather cleared and we pushed on to Gowrie Park. Near Gowrie
Park there was a free place to camp but I really needed a shower so we
stayed at the old Hydropower station bunk house. It was a good thing
too, it rained and was very cold that night. The evening forecast was for
snow down to 400 meters. We planned to stay another night,
depending on the weather.
||Gowrie Park - Cradle Mountain. We woke to a
beautiful clear day, I assumed and assumed wrong that the strong storm
that was suppose to arrive had blown thorough during the night. In
reality it had not arrived yet. We set off for Cradle Mountain and
had some climbing to do, something like 800 meters, the day was clear
and the scenery pleasant. We reached Moina, the top of the first
climb around mid day and had lunch. The sky was clear during lunch
but the clouds rolled in fast. Suddenly we had snow flurries, we
stopped put on our jackets, started riding again, and then the sun came
out. We still had 25 km to go and thought that it would go pretty
quick. Well the wind came up and it was in our face, the weather had
turned and now our odometers were not working. We had no idea how far we
had to go. We pushed on, there was nothing else to do, as we climbed
higher it got winder, colder and the snow flurries continued.
Finally we saw the turn off to Cradle Mountain and stopped to look at
the map. The weather did not look good, the sky was white, like a
white out, the snow flakes were getting bigger. Ut oh, the storm
blew in and we were standing in a Blizzard with 3 kilometers to
go. Yikes. We do have experience with mountains, altitude and
snow. We have ridden through the Andes, ridden through the
Himalayas but never in a Blizzard, and if you would of told me that I
would ride through a Blizzard in Australia I would have laughed.
So much for my expectation that it was always hot in Australia. I
didn't panic, we only had 3 kilometers to ride. The snow was
coming at us sideways and I had to cover my face with my hand because
the snow was stinging my face. I had Tim to follow little did I
know that Tim could not see anything, he tried to follow the white line
and almost wrecked when we came up to one of these traffic calming
devices. It seemed like forever to get to the campground. Finally
we arrived with over an inch of snow on our bags and the sun came out.
See no need to panic. The ground was wet, there was snow on the
ground and were were wet and cold. We opted for an Alpine Hut.
An Alpine hut is basically a wooden tent, perfect out of the snow and
off the ground. We tumbled into our new humble abode and ate.
To my delight there were pademelons, in the marsupial family, smaller
than a kangaroo and wallabies. Momma was out feeding at dusk and to
my shear delight a baby popped out of her pouch to have a look around.
A wombat also wandered by, I love this place.
|Nov 16 - 17
||Cradle Mountain. The next two days we spent
hiking in Cradle Mountain National Park. What a beautiful place
the day walks are clearly marked and we had two pleasant sunny days.
What a change from the day before. We heard that the storm moved
from east to west and Sydney had it lowest temperature in over 100
years. Victoria also got snow too. I hope this helps their water
shortage but I know it is only a drop in a very dry bucket. We met
all kinds of hikers and campers from Australia, the States, and Europe.
Cradle Mountain is the beginning of a 7 day or 80 km hike to Lake St.
Clair. It is so popular that they have to limit the number of
walkers and charge Au $100 ($75) plus park fees.
||Cradle Mountain - Tullah. The weather was still
holding so it was nice and sunny when we left Cradle Mountain. Dave from Yorkshire showed us
where the free camp sites were on this leg of our trip so we planned to
camp at the boat ramp near Tullah. We picked up dinner at the store in
Tullah and rode to our campsite. The lake was down but it was
still a nice spot. As we were making dinner a truck rolled up and
a guy pulled a small kayak from the roof and went for a paddle. It
turns out he was a mining engineer working for the local mine.
When I told him I was a geologist he immediately asked me if I had a
work visa. I said, No I have a tourist visa. He said, that
is too bad if you had a work visa we could have hired you for a
fortnight (that two weeks) to log some core. Well an opportunity
missed but in reality, I would rather ride my bike around Tasmania. Fun
to think about though. It has been an awful long time since I
looked at core and logged it. So it would have been a tough task.
The ride - Flat at first but then a few steep climbs, we rode over
the highest point in Tasmania (I think), at 926 m. Then it was a nice
coast down to Tullah.
||Tullah - Strahan. We added 10 km on the day
because we wanted to free camp and not stop in Roseberry. Of those 10 km
5 of them were up hill. So our cycling books said it was an easy
day but we were quite worn out when we arrived in Strahan. It took
us 6 hours to get to Strahan with a stop in Zeehan.
||Strahan. It was a rest/work day. We had a
ton of laundry to do and the weather was perfect for drying clothes.
We were in luck, Strahan gets about 20 sunny days a year and we were
there for one of them. We met a Canadian couple, Mal and Mary
Anne, who began there trip in the south of France. They were bike
touring also. Then they planned to fly to Sydney via Dubai on
United Arab Emirates. When they were boarding the plane they were
told that their bikes would cost 1800 Canadian dollars to Dubai and
another 1800 Canadian dollars to Sydney. They had to make some
decisions to make and they decided to send their bikes home. What
a very sad story, it broke my heart to hear that they had to send their
bikes home. The price was way too high, we probably would have
done the same thing. They made the best of it and now were touring
Tasmania and off to New Zealand soon.
||Strahan - Queenstown. The ride was hilly but not
too hilly. We are following the Lonely Planet book and they made
it sound like a tough day. Since we had fresh legs it was not too
bad. The temperature for the day was around 25 C (75 F).
What a difference a couple of days make. A blizzard a couple of
days ago and now summer. I prefer summer.
||Queenstown. A rainy day off. I finally had a
chance to catch up on my journal, it was a rainy wet all day. We
met an Australian family, mom dad and 5 yes 5 kids. They are
taking a year off and traveling around Australia. Now that is an
adventure. The kids range in age from 2,3,6,9, and 12. Great kids.
Honestly, Mom and Dad did not look that old to have 5 kids. They
were off looking a whale bones and saw a seal too. The kids are getting
a great education. It seems that we are meeting more and more families
that are taking a year off and exploring their own country or some where
||Queenstown to Collingswood Camp site. The ride to
Lake St. Clair in both the Lonely Planet book and the Cycling Australia
book was done in one day. We decided to break it into two days,
especially because of the weather and internet. Internet is
expensive and at dial up speeds, we are a long way from civilization it
seems. So we decided to post our photos when we could and then
leave town. That was at 1 pm and the weather did not look good but we
thought that Queenstown is not a place to wait for good weather.
We left between rainy weather. We were told over and over again
that this was a dangerous road to ride a bike on. Honestly, it was not
any different then any other road we have ridden on, sure it was windy
but traffic was light and there was enough room on the road for
everyone. I really hope that other cyclists did not change their
plans to ride this road based on what car drivers have to say. We
also had a very strong, a bit too strong at times, tailwind. I
could not imagine what these gale force winds would be like as a head
wind. We stopped at the camp site on the east side of the
Collingswood River. It was easy to miss because there were not signs
saying camping. Only a sign that said it was a fee area. So we
pulled in found a nice place to camp, it was quiet, wet like you would
expect a rain forest to be like and there was a toilet near by.
What more could you ask for. We were making dinner and Tim lifted
up his hand and said, "Look, what is this on my finger?" I looked
over and realized that he had a leach on his finger and said, "Git rid
of that thing, hurry". Tim yanked it off his finger and said,
"Why". I said, "Haven't you seen a blood sucking leach before?. He
said, That was a leach, hmm that is bigger than the ones in Indiana.
||Collingswood Camp site - Lake St. Clair. We had a warm
but rainless night and in the morning the sun was out so we could dry
out our damp clothes before we set out. There was a pretty nice
size climb of about 500 meters and when we reached the top the weather
was changing so we rushed on over in the rain/snow flurry to Derment
Bridge. The weather again cleared and we started for Lake St.
Clair, this is when we saw a pair of cyclists coming from the other
direction. We waited for them at the turn and it was a Dutch couple
coming from the other direction. That was nice because we
exchanged information about the road ahead. We
camped in the campground near the visitor center Camping was
$12 ($9US). One of the cheaper places to camp, it also had a nice camp
kitchen with a gas heater to warm up the place. As we wandered
around camp we saw a family feeding a wallaby and later we saw someone
else petting the wallaby. This one was pretty tame. Well
tame animals like people food and in the middle of the night I heard
something, got up and turned on my flash light (a torch to you Brits)
and to my huge surprise there was a wallaby, probably the one that every
one feeds, sitting between our tent fly and the tent. He was
trying to get to our food bag through the tent wall. I yelled at
Tim to help and he put his light on to scare it. Nope that did not
work, he had to physically push it away from the tent.
|Nov 25 - 26
||Lake St. Clair. We did a short hike in the
morning and looked at Platypus Bay to see where the platypus hang out. We
decided to come back in the evening to see if we could spot one.
They had a stuffed one in the visitor center (poor thing) and now I know
what to look for, they are smaller than I thought. We went back to
Platypus Bay about 7 pm and sat for about 10 minutes before I spotted
the little fella in my binoculars. He had popped up to the surface,
dove down and came back up again, it seemed to me that he was doing the
back stroke. Then he was gone never to be seen again for the rest of the
evening. Oh happy day, I saw the strange creature in it's own habitat.
By the time we left Platypus Bay it was dark and we saw all kinds of
animals on the way back. We saw plenty of pademelons (we call them
kangaroo juniors), a possum (we were wondering if they are native to
Tasmania or not) and a feral cat, we know they are not native. It
was cold and nice to get back to a warm building. We went to bed
and I woke up in the middle of the night freezing cold. It was a clear
and cold night. The second day at Lake St. Clair we did a short
hike in the morning and we went back to Platypus Bay in the evening to
see if we could spot another platypus. We went to the bay area
first and within 10 minutes we saw a platypus swim along the entire
length of the bay. Around 7:30 we started back up the trail and when we
got near the blind we saw two more platypus and a little while later two
more. They were all fishing and two of them swam together and either
were fighting or mating, I can not tell the difference. Whatever they
were doing it was fascinating to watch. On the way back we stopped in
the cafe and had dinner. An international crowd works at the cafe, we
met people from France, Korea, and Japan and a few Aussies too.
What a great way to spend a year on a working holiday. I
originally thought that only people from the commonwealth were allowed
to work in Australia but it seems that they take youth ages 18-30 from
all over the world.
||Lake St. Clair - Tarralleah. We had a beautiful day
for riding and planned to stop in Tarralleah to see if they had internet
like the caravan park brochure announced. Instead of taking the
highway the entire way we turned 25 kilometers from the park onto a dirt
road C601. It was mostly flat to downhill with a few minor climbs.
It also shortened the distance to Tarralleah by 5 km. It was slower
than the pavement but still nice. We got into the caravan park and the
first thing we did was check to see if they had internet. Well they did
but it was not working. We were getting ready to leave when Tim
picked up a wireless signal. He took the laptop into the building
and walla it was working. One of the girls was happy to see the internet
going again the other was quite annoyed we were there. It seems
were were bogging down there system, so we downloaded our email and
left, once again we could not send email. This has been getting
troublesome because we have email we want to send and can't. So
anyone who is waiting to hear from us, well it will probably be another
week before we can send email. We disconnected our laptop and
left. The women who was annoyed with us, not sure why, asked us to
schedule time for the internet when they were not trying to use the
system. Ok sounds fair to me. So when we were finished with
our showers and dinner, it was now after 5 pm, I went over to the office
and asked if we could connect to the internet. I got a resounding now
with a couple of reasons, one we do not have it set up so you can pay,
two we pay for the amount of download, and three we do not know what you
are downloading. So I replied, Oh we would be happy to pay for the
internet and we are downloading email and asked if they paid for
uploading to the internet. She said, no and that we still could not use
the internet. Well great that was the whole reason we stopped at this
little town. She was very suspicious of what we would be doing on
the internet. This is not the first time I have come across
someone paranoid about the internet. Fear of the unknown takes on
may forms in this world. Honestly, it reminded me of the Chinese
||Tarralleah - Mt. Field National Park. We rode to
Ouse which had a nice downhill and some rolling terrain, then we took a side road to Mount Field National Park. I thought it
would be an easy ride and for the most part it was but we hit a few
steep hills after Ouse. We are now riding through farmland and past
nice English style cottages. At Mt. Field the campground is pretty
basic with just a BBQ and no camp kitchen so bring your own stove and
utensils if you come this way.
|Nov 29 - 30
||Mt. Field National Park. The first day we did a
tour of Russell Falls a magical place with gully ferns, clear running
stream and the falls itself. The falls are not running up to par,
the drought in Australia is evident here as well. Rumor has it
that there are platypuses in the stream but I did not see one but plenty
of people did. Then we strolled along the Tall trees walk where
some of the trees are as wide as a small car. The second day we
rode up to the ski area 15 kilometers away and over a 1000 meters (3280
feet) climb. It was much easier unloaded. Near the top is a
cluster of older bunkhouse accommodations with a nice picnic table area
where we had lunch. Turns out that you can rent the bunks for
AU$11 (US$8.25), now that would be a nice place to stay. The
wildlife in the evening would be stunning.
||Mt Field NP - Hobart. The ride from Mt. Field to
Hobart was fast, we followed the lonely planet guide but stayed on A9
until it ended near the Bridgewater Bridge, then we crossed the highway
to the old road into Hobart, traffic was light and we followed the
railroad tracks in. In Claremont, Home of Cadbury Chocolate, we
picked up the city bike path and rode that all the way to the harbor
downtown. It was a pleasant ride in although the about of road
kill on the road was ghastly, poor things.
While we were in Mount
Field we contacted John who is on the Warm Showers list. This is
the first time we have used
www.warmshowers.org Warm Showers is maintained by roger and is a
collection of touring cyclists who invite other touring cyclists to
visit their hometown. It is an interesting concept and we thought
we would try it. We called John and it turned out that he was cycling in
Melbourne but his wife Alison said we were welcome to stay. We
rode into Hobart and up to their house. We met Clio who is 6 at
the gate along with the family dogs Bella and Lufa. We were
welcomed with open arms and we made ourselves at home. We had a
great BBQ in the evening up near the reservoir.
|Dec 2 - 3
||Hobart. We stayed two days and three nights in
Hobart. We were lucky to be in town for the annual tour of the
parliament. This is when tours of the Parliament building was
given by none other than the Speaker of the House, President and other
workers. The tour lasted close to two hours and we loved it.
The building is old, built by convict labor (parts of it) and richly
decorated with Tasmanian wood and in the house of Lords, a very large
painting of Queen Victoria. On Sunday we went to the Tasmanian
Museum, it was free and well worth it, lots of good exhibits. They have
some film footage from the early 1900 exploration of Antarctica that was
fascinating. While in Hobart we decided that we would housesit in
Melbourne so we need to get back before Jan. 1. We originally were
planning to go down to Bruny Island and have decided to go over to Port
Arthur instead, then up the east coast and back over to Devonport to
catch the boat back. This is a tentative plan and always subject
||Hobart to Eaglehawk Neck. It was a beautiful
morning and everyone was off to school and work so we were back on the
road again. We had a wonderful stay with Alison and Clio, and we even
watched a movie, King Solomon Mines, with Clio.
The Ride - We went back down
to the center of town and road along the highway towards the Tasman
Bridge. We had to poke around to find the bike path that took us
to the separate pedestrian sidewalk. We found it and rode over on the
very narrow barely wide enough to ride walkway, maybe the road would
have been better. At the end the walkway on the other side of the
bridge we were dumped onto nothing, no way to get back to the road.
We had to go over a curb to get back on the road. The highway had
light traffic so it wasn't too bad. We followed the signs to Sorrell and
stopped there for lunch. We met Mathew a cyclist from Melbourne in
Sorrell and we rode together to Eaglehawk Neck. A9 the highway was
a bit busy and narrow so we turned onto C334, a dirt road and took that
way over to Dunally. It was about 30 km of dirt and 10 more
kilometers than the the main road.
Stayed at the Eaglehawk Neck Backpackers, it was ok, I think the owners
have been in the tourist business too long, they need a break, they were
grumpy and repeated rules over and over.
||Eaglehawk Neck - Port Arthur Went to the Blow
hole, Tasman Arch and Devils kitchen went through Doo Town. Doo
Town is where all the house names have a Doo in it like, Doo drop in,
Doo nothing, Doo all, This will doo, we thought of some names ourselves
like Doo da, Doo whap, Doo ee, and my favorite Dog Doo. It was a
short but hilly ride in and out of the Doo town and then a rolling ride
to Port Arthur. In Port Arthur we stayed at the Caravan Park, it
was huge and had a great camp kitchen. There were over a hundred
kids there from the Launceston Grammar School, they were on their grade
10 camp out. Activities were planned for each day and included,
sailing, surfing, sea kayaking, kayak surfing, biking, bush walking, and
history which included a trip to Port Arthur. Wow what a school.
The kids also made their own meals in groups of three. A great way
to learn to cook. The whole thing was very well organized, it was
obvious that the staff had done these outings before. Where was
that school when I was a kid.
|Dec 6 - 7
||The 2 day ticket to Port Arthur is $Au 25 ($US 19.25)
per person, it includes a 45 minute guided tour and a boat ride around
the Isle of Dead, the cemetery. Well worth it. Port Arthur
was a penal colony and more. It was settled by ship builders but
also had over 300 soldiers and a large civilian population. The
prisoners were housed in the Penitentiary, an old granary turned prison.
Also on site were other cottages that housed political prisoners, the
asylum (mental hospital), and the separate prison. The separate
prison was the eeriest, the prisoners were not allowed to speak, they
wore a hood that hid their identity, and had a badge with a number and
that is what they were called. They also had solitary confinement
in the solitary cell, when I went in there the hair on the back of my
neck stood up, it was creepy. A chapel was attached to the prison
and each prisoner was separated from the others by wooden doors.
Strange. They could only see the minister when they were in their
separate areas. Some of the things that stand out for me is how
separate the civilians and soldiers were from the prisoners, they had
huge gardens that separated them. So in one small area there were many
different societies and they did not mix, a type of class system.
The convicts did not sit around in their cells, they were put to work
felling trees, ship building, road building. Essentially, Tasmania was
tamed by convict labor. Port Arthur is also where the largest mass
murder in history (not 100 percent sure) occurred. It happened in
April 1996, a lone gunman shot 35 people dead. Before I arrived in
Port Arthur I was not sure where this massacre happened, I thought it
was in town some where but no it happen at the historic site of Port
Arthur. When we first arrived at the historic site of Port Arthur
we were wandering around and came across the memorial and reflection
pool erected in the memory of the people who died there. It was a
very touching memorial and heartbreaking as well. The old cafe
stands as a gutted building, the owner could not rebuild it. I
really do not know much about the people who were killed except that
they were locals and tourists. The gunman was caught and taken
into custody not far from the site. He pleaded guilty at his
hearing so there was no trail and he had been in maximum security every
since, he is kept separate from the other prisoners. I know there
are more facts but I do not know them and did not want to ask anyone in
the area. The information here was related to me by some locals we
met in a caravan park. A sad, sad event, my heart goes out to the
families impacted that day.
||Port Arthur - Sorrell. Some days are plans are
changed for us and this was one of those days. We originally planned to
ride north of Dunally past Breem Creek and over to Orford. As we
rode closer to Dunally we saw smoke from a bush fire. Ut oh not a
good sign. At Dunally we stopped at the local store and picked up
supplies. We asked about the bush fire and if C337 was closed, the
women I asked about yelled at me that we could not go that way. So there
ya have it, no way of going that way, the road was closed and I could
not think of a worse thing than to ride into a bush fire. So we
were detoured back to Sorrell. The wind was from the northeast so
we were basically pushed west all the way to Sorrell, the smoke from the
fire was also pushed west as well and it was so thick it burned our eyes
and throat. So we camped the night at a local park, there are no
caravan parks in Sorrel, it was tempting to go back to Hobart but we
||Sorrell - Tribunna. We loaded up on more food and
set off for Tribunna. The wind was in our face and the hills kept
getting bigger. All and all not a bad ride. At one point near
Buckland we had Bush fires on both sides of us. Yikes. They
were not close but the one to the south near Breem Creek looked real
bad, so I am glad we went around. We were hoping to stop in Orford
but the campground at the beach was closed, it seems that a few
endangered birds are nesting in the area. What a pretty spot too.
So we rode to Tribunna and stayed at the caravan park near the highway.
We met a couple (3) local motorcyclists they had some nice bikes too.
To our good fortune we missed the Toys for tots rally in Hobart by over
7,000 motorcyclists. These guys watched to event unfold and then
rode north to get ahead of the group. T
||Tribunna - Swansea
||Swansea. Gale force winds ground us in Swansea, we hear
they are 100 km/hour. We did our laundry and it was dry in 15
||Swansea - Freycinet National Park.
|Dec 13 - 14
||Freycinet National Park. We walked the wineglass bay to
hazards beach and back. The view was nice but the smoke from the
fires to the north are starting to creep in. Thursday morning we
woke up to a combination of smoke and fog. We could barely see the
Hazards from Richardson's beach. The national park is closed for
the day due to a fire ban.
||Freycinet - Bicheno. We rode through an area
where a fire was recently put out. It turns out it was started by
a home owner who decided to light a bull ant hive on fire and it got
away from him. The winds were from the south and we were in
Bicheno in no time.
|Dec 16 - 26
||Bicheno. The fires to north near St. Mary are still
raging. The road along the coast to St. Helen through Four Mile
Creek and Scamander is open but it is still very smoky. We have
decided to wait here for a few days and see what happens. We can
see the smoke near Elephant pass and by the coast. I guess the
fire got out of control and went though the town of Four Mile Creek.
While we are here we decided to visit Nature World, an animal rescue
park located 7 kilometers north of Bicheno. It costs $15 per adult for
entry. It was a fascinating park and I even got to feed a
kangaroo. The highlight was the Tasmanian devils, wombats and
koalas. At feeding time, the little devils went crazy for the
Stopped to work on our book for a bit and decided to stay here for
Christmas and Boxing day.
||Bicheno - Scamander
||Scamander - Russell River
||Russell River - B
||B - Myrtle River
||Myrtle River - Lugana
|Jan 1 - 2
||Lugana - Asbestos National Park I apologize for my not
keeping up on my journal. I have had a stomach ailment and it has
kept me down. I really do need to rave about this park. I am sad
that we did not plan to stay longer. We stayed 1 night but I could have
stayed 3. The park is located 40 km from Devonport, the name has been
changed to an Aboriginal name, unfortunately my map and book still call
it Asbestos National Park. We camped at the powered site near the
visitor center to be near the animals. That is what is fantastic
about this park, the animals. We were camped next to some wombat
burrows and just about sunset I asked the kids next door, Patrick and
Jessica ages 4 and 6 if they wanted to see a wombat house. We
walked over to the bridge and as we looked down the dry creek. I said,
look at those holes, wombats live in there, and look there is one now!
Just as I pointed to the wombat burrow one came out. All three of
us squealed in delight. We were bonded, those kids followed me all
over looking for animals. Later their parent took them down
towards the bird blind, I was walking in with my flashlight and they
were walking out. As we were standing there we heard something
running through the bush, it made me jump. It came to a stand
still next to the trail, it was a huge wombat. Mom told me about
seeing an eastern spotted quoll up the trail. I had never seen one so I
was off hunting for this new creature. Eastern Spotted Quolls are
carnivorous marsupials, so are (Tasmania devils). They look like a
weasels with a brown coat and big white dots. I was in luck, as I
came around a corner I saw three of them scamper down the track. By now
it was getting very dark. I walked in a little further and then
turned around. Again, I saw a spotted eastern quoll, when I shinned my
flashlight on it I also attracted bugs to my light. To my
amazement the little guy came over to my light, grabbed an insect with
his two front paws, and proceeded to eat the bug, crunch crunch crunch.
He was not even afraid of me, he was so close to my foot I thought he
would sit on my foot. We played this game for 20 minutes or so, he
practically followed me back to camp. The only thing missing was
my camera, I will never leave home with out it. I went to sleep
that night listening to pademelons and wallabies hopping by our tent. I
am so lucky that Tim enjoys these safaris as well.
||Asbestos National Park- Devonport. We had a
little time before we had to leave so we did a short walk to the beach,
a beautiful place and no one on the beach for miles. The dunes
were high, vegetated and covered with animal tracks. I could have
spent a good day looking around. We decided to get back to camp and ride
as we climbed a dune a small wombat about the size of my hand came
flying over the top. He was all by himself, this time we were prepared,
Tim pulled out the camera and caught some footage of the little guy. He
was so small I wondered where his mom was. Before we came here I
asked a local about the park and he said, why would you want to go
there, there is nothing to see. He happened to be a tour guide
too. We decided to ignore his comments and go anyway. For
me, it was a delightful place, it all depends on what your in to, for
him the local wild life is boring, for me it is not.
9-15-06 to 9-15-07
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