Denise and David in Tasmania
Re-Living the Honeymoon of 1978
Friday 24 November - Saturday 25 November 2017
  Smithton to Bronte Park via Gordon River Cruise
last updated 26 November 2017
Back to Cradle Mountain to Smithton
Forward to Bronte Park to Southport

Friday 24 November - Smithton to Strahan

We have 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 dearest. 

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 breakfast.
Breaky with a view.  A nice way to start the day.

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 breathtaking.

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 Clarence.

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 honeymoon. 

... 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 street.

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 tomorrow.

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 ... almost.

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 world.

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.

Impenetrable!   Thousands 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 boats.

Very satisfied and elated by our experience it would appear David is first back at the boat.

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 cruise

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 Queenstown.  Desolate.

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 are staying! 

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 comfortable.

More tomorrow.

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