Friday 24 November - Smithton to
removed the map for today. We amended our route
because for one thing we had to go back to Stanley to
get a birthday gift we promised daughter
We continued onward to Wynyard and then turned right
down the major highway to Strahan.
Our room and our view late afternoon.
It was "make it
ourself" breakfast at the "Sheer Pleasure" bed and
Breaky with a view. A nice way to start the
The B & B was at the top of Apex Lookout.
On our route
back to Stanley we saw a sign to Table Cape
Lighthouse. A spontaneous diversion that was
really very enjoyable. The driving through the
rolling agricultural area was very pleasant and at
the end of it there was the light house.
We went on the tour. A must do if you have the
chance. Michael (our guide) was very
entertaining and the facts about the light house
were very interesting. Views from to top were
Other views from the top of the lighthouse.
Thanks Michael for the entertaining tour. BTW,
we were the only ones on the tour. That made it
even more special.
Onward bound down the highway to Wynyard and then
turned right (south) and headed down to the rugged
West Coast. Pictured below a rather depressing view of
what used to be forest.
Break time and gosh ... lunch time already. Time
flies fast when you're having fun. The town is
called Tullah. Be careful. Blink and you
will miss it . We ate at this charming little
coffee shop. The owners were very chatty - both
originally from Sydney they wanted a life style change
and boy from Sydney to this is certainly with no doubt
at all a lifestyle change. We stopped and
chatted for a while. They had a pet lama called
During our chat we spoke about our thoughts about
seeing the Montezuma Falls. They told us that
once you got to the car park there that it was a 90
minute walk each way #$%@#%!#$@^$. We
really didn't have three hours and driving time to
devote to this deviation and ...well...*cough* we
didn't have the stamina either I don't think.
The plan was now to drive to the Macintosh Dam
instead. Beware of the Tasmanian Black Tiger
snakes slithering across the road!
Now seeing we had a bit more time up our sleeve Den
could not resist visiting Lyn's Teddy Bears House as
we came back through Tullah. And yes, it was a
safe bet the think that she would buy out the contents
of the shop! David was right again.
Another Teddy to add to Den's collection. :-)
Nearly there as we pass through Zeehan to fill up the
tank. Another 'blink and you miss it' town with
nothing much of real note accept for this lovely old
building that is the local pub.
It was a long day of driving. Made it to good
old Strahan. Gee it has changed since
1978. It grew about 10 times over - with homes
all along the hills on the other side of the Strahan
harbour and a huge monstrosity of an accommodation at
the end of the Strahan harbour. We had chosen
something a little more conservative and in theme with
Strahan- Franklin Manor (Pictured below).
Another mansion that has a huge history behind
it. A very notable building connected to Strahan
and not only that .... not that we realised .... it
was right next door to that fateful waterfall walk
where we were attacked by leaches on our
... our room....
Strahan doesn't have many places open for
dinner. After careful consideration we decided
on an early dinner - it is the pub/grill in the
picture below of the main street of Strahan.
After dinner we went for our usual after dinner walk
and took a few more happy snaps around the main
This one was quite amusing. The new police
station is behind it.
And here is 'Peoples Park' and next door to our
B&B - home of the famous walk to Hogarth Falls,
the falls we didn't get to see in 1978. We could
not resist. We had to overcome our nemesis.
It was to the day 39 years and we did the walk!!!!!!
When we did this 39 years ago, it had been raining, in
fact it had probably been raining for a week and the
path was wet and sloppy with mud. We attempted
the walk to the falls anyway. About two-thirds
to the falls, Den noticed something like a black slug
on her ... three of them !!!!!! AHHHHHH -
Leeches! Hmmmmm. David was young and we
shall say inexperienced at such matters. Denise
screamed the forest down. And out of nowhere a
kind gentleman appeared out of the remoteness and
assisted in removing the visible leeches as we
literally ran back to car - no waterfall walk today
thank you - it was pretty private around this area in
those days so without hesitation Den stripped down to
get David to check for any other leeches. All
was well and we left and went back to the hotel. It
had become our nemesis for 39 years.
We now had the opportunity to right the wrong.
So up the path we went at fast pace.... 100m...
200m.... 1km.....1.2km..... 1.4km....
... and we arrived at the falls - nemesis
beaten!! Pictured above ... ghosts of the
past return to Hogarth Falls.
Denise, for one, was ecstatic.
I think we can safely say this is one of our main highlights
of the whole trip.
It had been very hot for Tassy over the last week and
of course not many places in Tassy have air
conditioners. We were on the second floor of
Franklin House and we had to make do with a fan and a
window that you could only open four
centimeters. How would we ever sleep? We
had a 6am call to prepare for the Gordon River Cruise
Saturday 25 November - Gordon
River Cruise and Strahan to Bronte Park
Gordon River Cruise
- Captain's Premier Upper Deck
all morning and lunch
Drive to Bronte Park
- via Queenstown and Nelson Falls
A quick unspectacular breakfast
before we left. Just a very basic continental
breakfast included this morning.
Booking all in order we are on the
boat. We got to sit a row behind the captain
on the window. It's the star ship Enterprise
Pictured below. Traveling in
style ... David and Denise
Den was happy too. Not
everyday you get to do the first class thing.
Off into Macquarie Harbour.
This harbour is 6 times bigger than Sydney Harbour.
Scenery along the way.
Out through 'Hells Gate' ( the
heads ) and out in to the Southern Ocean for a
little way. Then an about turn and back into the harbour.
Spectacular scenery everywhere you
look. It was supposed to be raining all day
and quite miserable. We had booked the tour
months ago so you do take some chances with that.
However the weather was kind to us and it stayed
sunny and warm all day. The small peak just
left of centre is called Nelson's Peak (800 meters)
so you can imagine how big the other peak to the
right is. Over 1000 meters for sure. It
dominates the landscape for miles around.
And now ... back into time.....
way way back..... much of what we will now see is
what it was like during the Jurassic period.
This was the mouth of the Gordon River and we were
heading up stream 11 kilometers. The Gordon River is
world heritage listed.
The river is know for its
reflections.... look at these snaps below. I'm
also imagining dinosaurs drinking from the river.
Looking back as the wilderness
closes behind us as we journey deeper into this
mysteriously quiet and untouched ecosystem of the
around another bend...
The famous reflective river..... beautiful.
Further down the river ahead a
small jetty will reveal itself. This will be
where we will all get off for an 400 meter walk into
the dense ancient forest.
And here we are at the heritage
listed rainforest walk. The experience
enhanced by a commentary from the guide.
of species of plants here and a heck of a lot of Huon
Pine. I now understand why the Huon Pine bowl
at the Scamander market was so expensive. Huon
Pine takes decades and decades and decades to
mature. There was a very special picture taken
on a Huon Pine tree that had fallen over and it was
1000 years old and still growing. It was also
host to a number of different species of trees and
bushes that were growing out of it. Huon Pine
has long been the preferred timber for building
Very satisfied and elated by our
experience it would appear David is first back at
Sarah Island ahead. A convict
settlement that pre-dates Port Arthur. An 800
meter walk around the island looking at points of
interest with a guide giving some very entertaining
commentary about the history of the island.
There was also a bit of audience participation too.
This was pretty much the end of
the formal part of the Gordon River Cruise.
Strahan now in sight again.
It had been a spectacular 6 hour
Pictured are David and Denise as
the boat approaches Strahan harbour.
Would you believe we still had
160km of mountainous windy roads and 3.4 hours of driving
ahead after this.
We soon pass through
The picture below has been taken
at a lookout as we say goodbye to Queenstown the once
thriving mining town.
The driving was starting to get to
us. All those windy roads. Our rather pleasant
stop at 'Nelson Falls' provided refreshing
respite. An easy 20 minute return walk.
(700 meters). Very pretty and a must do if you
happen to be driving this way.
Then finally we sneak into 'Bronte
Park' via 'Derwent Bridge' another one shop stop so
to speak. Bronte Park was a small place too
but it had a pub we could get dinner at.
O.M.G...... O.M.G..... that is where we
We were in for a surprise. How
do we describe our accommodation...... ahhh .......
rustic....mmmm... very rustic!
The staff were marvelous and the
food was great but most of all the bed was