Trip Start Oct 05, 2009
Trip End Oct 31, 2013

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Flag of Australia  , Tasmania,
Thursday, March 4, 2010



Journey: Lake St. Clair, Derwent Bridge, Lake Burbury

Mileage: 12237 kms

Weather: 12 degrees at 8.30am; reached 25+ later

We had heard so much about this wall that we felt we had to check it out a kilometre back from our exit at the national park.

The wall is a giant 3 metre high wooden masterpiece, made up of individual carved panels telling the story of local rural life. Greg Duncan started the project 5 years ago and is now half way through; to commemorate this point he invited visitors to the exhibition during the first week of March to carve their names into the panel that will be worked on next.

Kath was struggling to carve "kathandsheila" into the soft Huon pine when the artist came by to offer assistance; we were extremely happy when he completed the task neatly. So we are etched into history in “The Wall in the Wilderness” which will be displayed as a historical art work in this small town. This piece and many other of Greg's works are beautifully housed in a specifically built structure on his 600 acre piece of wilderness. Greg is a charming and humble man with a mission and we really enjoyed talking to him about his life and work.

No photos were allowed of the art works.

The drive from here to Lake Burbury was filled with frequent stops along the Lyell Highway through the Franklin –Gordon Wild Rivers National Park. This is where the Franklin, Gordon and Olga rivers have there catchments and where the battle to save the the lower Gordon and Franklin centred in the 1980s; the "Franklin Blockade" gained world attention and became a Federal election issue in 1983, with Bob Hawke's Labour party winning with a "No Dams" policy.

Our first stop, “Franklin River Nature Trail” was a 20 minute walk through tall eucalypt trees that follows the famous Franklin River for about 10 minutes. It was green and enchanting and very special to touch the clear cold water.

Next  stop was Donaghys Hill Lookout; this was a very special 40 minute return walk through thick rainforest before reaching the top of an open low ridge. Then it was up to the lookout and the most magnificent views of the Wild Rivers National Park. Especially magical is the sight of the upper reaches of the Franklin River, like a silver ribbon winding down through the thick forest. Frenchman’s Cap with its white quartz peak looks like it is frosted with snow, which it is in winter. On this clear fine day the scenery over this wilderness was breathtaking and we shared our enthusiasm with the 4 other travellers at the lookout.

We pass the Collinwood River which is a starting point for many who are tackling the rafting of the Franklin River. We are not so we move on!

We stop at the car park for where the Frenchman’s Cap walk begins and stride the track for 15 minutes touching the Franklin River again and strutting the swinging bridge over the river. This 5 day walk is one of Tasmania’s toughest and famous for the horrific 6km mud stretch known as Sodden Loddens. We did notice some hardy souls had signed the Walkers Registration Book yesterday!!!

Nelson Falls was another pretty stop just after the bridge that crosses the Nelson River. The 40- metre falls cascade over dark rocks and splash into a large pool at bottom. It is green, quiet and cool and we linger a while to appreciate the ferns, trees and water. There is a “wishing waterfall” collection box here for coins to support the care of injured wildlife.

This 56 kilometre road journey through the Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park was easy walking and really spectacular and the mountain ranges all around added to the spectacle!!

Our next stop was Lake Burbury, just outside the national park, a basic $5 pn camping field. It was flooded as part of a hydro-electric scheme but is very scenic and the mountain ranges that surround the lake are just beautiful!

The day had warmed to hot and we searched for shade to cool down before the sun set.

We had had a happy day and relaxed with a good wine, a hearty dinner and some chit chat with fellow campers. It is always fun sharing  information about travelling and good camping with each other!
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