Tuesday, 25 January 2011
Our journey down the north west coast took us along the Western Explorer - a gravel road only put through in 1995 which took us through remote wilderness scenery south of Arthur River and provided a chance to walk up Mt Donaldson for excellent views.
Corinna provided a relaxed base to enjoy a couple of walks and an afternoon kayaking on the Pieman River. The sunny pub verandah was the perfect spot to end the day.
Zeehan seemed a bit lost despite its excellent museum and the strangely moving Gaiety Theatre alongside which seemed to echo with the memories of more prosperous times. Strahan was more upbeat with its Gordon River cruises and the spectacular expanse of Ocean Beach. We had walked in the vast dune system north of there prior to camping nearby.
Queenstown bears the scars of its long mining history but was the gateway to the Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers NP that protects a huge swathe of west central Tasmania. Lake King William provided a couple of nights of idyllic bush camping before we headed round to Mt Field NP.
This is the oldest in Tasmania and gave us the chance to walk high up in alpine scenery once more. A long and tiring walk took us above the tarns and round to K Col before a descent to other picturesque lakes and a fascinating old ski hut at Lake Twilight that contained relics from the early days of skiing in the area around the 1920's and 30's.
We are now in the Mt Field campsite on the eve of Australia Day so of course there is quite a buzz.
Dashboard lights blink occasionally but otherwise all is well at a practical level - the fresher conditions are very welcome and we have heard recently from a couple of people we have met during the course of our travels and kept up to date with their news.