Trip Start Aug 24, 2008
Trip End Jul 07, 2009

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Flag of Australia  , Tasmania,
Sunday, May 17, 2009

After breakfast we went to Devonport to pick up supplies for our night in the wilderness, and I ate the yummiest chocolate and orange muffin ever. From here we drove for two hours through hills with spectacular snow-capped mountains in the distance. In Tasmania you can walk or drive for miles and see nobody, it's so quiet and peaceful. We climbed higher and higher into the mountains until we reached snow! Actual snow! We haven't seen snow for months. There were lovely views of the mountains when we reached our accommodation and had pies for lunch. We even saw a wallaby hopping about in the snow. We headed out to explore Cradle Mountain. By this time it was snowing and the temperature had plummeted so we were freezing. We are not used to the cold! We stopped at Dove Lake to look at Cradle Mountain but it was very misty so all we could see was white and snow. Instead we headed to Waldheim, an Austrian-style chalet that used to be the home of Gustave Weindorfer, the Austrian that was so inspired by the mountains that he campaigned to have it made into a National Park. It was like being back in Switzerland. The chalet was made of wood, surrounded by snow-covered forest and a trickling stream. It was very pretty. We listened to a short biography of Weindorfer and then went to Ronny Creek, which was so flooded that the water reached the car park. We went for a walk in search of wombats, but they were obviously far too sensible to come out of their burrows in the snow and wind, so we saw none. We gave up and went to the visitor centre to watch a video about the park. We were all cold and wet so we went into the very posh Mountain Lodge for hot chocolate by the log fire. Now I really felt like I was in Switzerland! Afterwards we returned to our cabins and lit the fire. We cooked lasagne for dinner and David saw a possum.

The next morning we awoke to find that the snow had melted so we returned to Dove Lake, which now had lovely views of Cradle Mountain, although the top was still covered with wisps of cloud. We wrapped up against the icy wind and set off on a three hour circumnavigation of the lake. The lake was absolutely stunning. It is surrounded by mountains which were sprinkled with snow and had all sorts of jagged rocks and waterfalls. The wind made the lake quite choppy, but it died down as we entered the forest. Blue sky appeared and we kept getting glimpses of the summit. We even saw some wedge tail eagles circling above. We were about to leave the park when we spotted a wombat nibbling the grass, so we stopped for photos. Wombats are so cute!

We left the park and drove through the stunning countryside past little wooden cottages,  to the Henty Sand Dunes. We climbed a 30m high sand dune which was right next to the forest. We then ran down it again, getting sand all over ourselves. David did some kind of forward roll down it and was still producing sand 3 days later. The sand was freezing and made our toes numb - such a contrast to the hot sands of Lovina a few weeks ago. We next went to pretty Ocean Beach to watch the sun set from on top of a sand dune. The sea was wild and rough, but the beach was clean and sandy. Our driver drove through a huge puddle that was deeper than he thought and dented the bus. We then drove to Strahan, our stop for the night. David and I had some of the best fish and chips ever for dinner, and David put his foot in a river with a platypus (which we didn't see) in it, and got chased by a dog in order to get them!
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Greg on

you make a lot of complaints about (cheap) prices in Asia but it seems that (expensive) prices in Australia don't bother you, how weird...

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