Watch out for those DEADLY snakes....
Trip Start Jun 17, 2010
41Trip End Jun 12, 2011
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I had not planned to explore Taz (I left all my walking gear in Sydney) and also having my cuz "Tasmania" in the room, who said that it is not worth the bother, its boring, I had decided against it. But alot of travelers I was speaking to were going, so I decided to have a look in the lonely planet, to see if it's something that I want to spend money on right now. I took one look at a pic of Wineglass bay - and decided I was going! I then promptly told Tasmania off for telling me there is not much there! People say if you like NZ then you will like Tasmania! - ha ha I have been longing to go back to NZ since I got here! Woooo!
After being driven to the airport by Francessco, tizano, and shark-cessco with lots of hugs and my wise words for the young Italian to behave himself, I jet set off to a new adventure in Tasmania
As usual I had done my routine thing of getting the cheapest price possible for my car hire, and settled on one company, I did try and find others to travel with, but didn't in the end, its a shame Francessco and Alice could not come this week, (they are going next week) we would have such fun together, but I may see them as our dates cross over. Anyway I think its high time for another adventure on my own - to seek solitude - to explore the little bits maybe no one else has - to stop drinking so much!
Again, I find that my only plan in the 7 days is to see Wine glass bay and cradle mountain - so I drive straight to the Launceston I site, and pic up a tree's worth of leaflets. I find Coles and a K-Mart where I find a gas stove for $15 - bargain - why do I need a gas stove? Well, I'm camping out in my car!! its bigger than I thought it was, so I should be ok.... for the next week I will be eating vegemite sandwiches for breakfast and lunch, and pasta with cheap tomato sauce for dinner - its a backpackers life!
I head to Cataract Gorge which is right in the CBD, I'm pleased with myself when I avoid paying the car park and park up the road for free
First attempt to cook on my state of the art stove - uh, the automatic lighter doesn't seem to be working - crap, why didn't I have matches with me, just in case?! So vegemite sandwiches it is again....! I go back to the lighthouse to watch the sunset, have seen quite a few of these now! and wait for a penguin tour to begin at 20.45 - seeing as it didn't happen on Phillip Island. And it was cheaper! It was sooo cold that night, and I didn't have any jumpers, or jackets with me (all in Sydney again) so I put a little cardie on and then used my shawl, I put socks on and thankfully had my linen trousers, so I was about halfway dressed for the weather! I paid my $16 and waited, there was about 20 people in the group. We got taken down to the beach by 2 guides and were told the penguins could come when they like - sometimes in 2 hours
The alarm goes off at 9 - and I set off to the North Eastern region of Tas - again, not really sure where I'm going, just to the coast! I stop along the way, and buy some matches! I stop at St Columba falls - at 90m high. I take the short rainforest walk to them, they were nice enough, but thought the falls in Litchfield NP were much more breathtaking
" Tiger snakes possess a potentt neurotoxin (notexin), coagulants, haemolysins and myotoxins, and rank amongst the deadliest snakes in the world[ based on tests done on mice]. Symptoms of a bite include localized pain in the foot and neck region, tingling, numbness, and sweating, followed by a fairly rapid onset of breathing difficulties and paralysis. While antivenom is effective, mortality rate for this species is over 60% if not treated."
I maybe would have ran now knowing this.... anyway I get a good picture, and continue to tell everybody going to the falls on my return where he is! I drive a bit more and see a turn off for Halls Falls - so I swoop in, I do like my waterfalls. The bush walk is only 1000m or so, I walk along mind out for the one thing I don't want to see, and see another Tiger snake, about 2m in front of me! aghhh - much longer than the other one, and on my level! I turn to walk away, but I see him slither off into the bush, heart is beating a bit faster, but I continue to the falls stamping my feet as I go, as a lady up on the West coast told me to do
I finally reach the East coast - nothing in KM's compared to the West coast on the mainland! I stop at view points and gaze over bushy mountains and stunning coastal lines with white sands... this is what I came for. I go to the Bay of Fires where I walk on pure white sands and watch the pure blue water crashing onto the shore, the sun is shining, but the wind is cold, otherwise I would have stayed and sunbathed. I know there is better to come as I head down the coast. I cant wait!
I stayed at Lagoons beach campsite, right on the beach, had good facilities, and was a free site. I managed to find another way to sleep in my car, the seats recline fully, so I slept in the front. Was an ok night, I didn't really like my feet dangling down on the floor, but I cant complain I'm saving around $27 a night on a hostel.
I get up again at about 8.00, eat a vegemite sandwich and set off. I head to Douglas-Aspley National Park and took a short walk to see a waterfall. I carry on my journey down to Freycinet National Park, where I will find yet another paradise beach
I realize a tough bit was coming up, lots of steps with no flat walking areas, just as I started the ascent, the music appropriately crescendos to when the fellowship were hiking over the snowy mountains (you will know the bit I mean if your a fan!) I laughed to myself and carried on. Before I knew it I was at the top, not bad at all. I drive to a couple of other lookout points and look out at views over the ocean and rugged coastline, now reminding me of Ireland.
I decided that I needed a hostel for this night, my camera battery was almost dead, I needed a shower, and it would be nice to lay down fully flat! I find a bed at a dive center in Eaglehawk Neck on the Tasman Peninsula who lets out theirs beds if they don't have many divers staying there. I take full advantage of the en-suite.
I get up early again, and decided not to head to Port Arthur due to time - there was only a museum there, and one of the lads in the hostel said there was a huge massacre there back in 2001/2002 where a load of backpackers were shot! - well that has settled that one, on I go! I do visit the Tessellated pavements which is where the salt water has cracked open the ground to for a pavement like formation, I went to see the Tasman blowhole, which didn't blow at all and I saw the Tasman Arch which was pretty cool, a big arch in the ocean basically, I have seen a few of them now, but you could get quite close to this one
It was my daddy's 60th birthday today - Happy birthday dad! I was really annoyed as where I was staying was out of signal, like most of Tasmania, so I drove to a town where I knew I could get signal and managed to wish him a happy birthday at 23.00 - it still counts! I think actually going to the Tasman Peninsula was a waste of time, I should have left it out.
The weather today is shit. I done alot of driving today - I went through Hobart, and went down to another National Park called the Hartz Mountains. It took me ages to get there, and the I had to go up an unsealed dirt road to the top of the mountain, with pot holes and mud everywhere (my car is white!) I just ignored the the thoughts in my head telling me that my insurance would not cover me here! As I got higher and higher, so much so my ears were popping several times the weather closed in, very cloudy, raining and basically shit. Sounds like another time I tried to walk on a mountain in NZ. I would have done the walks, but firstly I would not have seen anything - in the lonely planet this area has been described as "God's country" and secondly, I had no coat, or proper walking boots, or anything warm at all - its all in Sydney. So me and my filthy car trundle back down the mountain thinking what a waste of 200km that was...
I get back to Hobart, I was going to go to a museum someone in the hostel told me about where this guy put all his money into this place and it has the most random things, for example, a machine that he feeds food every day at 17.00 - then at 15.00 the next day it shits
The sleeping in the car thing is getting quite boring now - I don't like it! - it was soooo cold last night, I kept switching from the back seat to the front seat to the back - my feet were freezing! I get up at 8.00 again, and head to Mount Field National Park - with the heating full whack - it was not until 15.00 that I actually warmed up! I really liked Mt Field, there was alot to see and the walk was really nice. I was walking through a proper rainforest, it was beautiful, I saw 3 waterfalls which were equally as nice, Russell falls, Lady Barron Falls and Horse shoe falls, it took about an hour and half round trip, I saw black cockatoos making alot of racket, and no snakes this time
I sluggishly set off around the winding Queenstown mountains, It is very tempting to imagine your on a Rally driving track, but its raining, and I don't want to go off the side of any mountain
Weather had cleared up nicely! bonus! - So off I set in shoes that I had brought to do my nursing in, some water and a sun hat (not for the sun, to keep my head warm!!!) and a couple of cardigans that I have been sleeping in
I have another lay in because I wanted to, but its a lovely day - typical, I didn't really have anything planned, just heading back to Launceston to fly out tomorrow morning. But I do Find Paradise! I drive through "Paradise" - they could have at least used the name for somewhere that is actually like Paradise - not some random village! I drive to Mole Creek, and try and find something outdoors to do - I have now had enough of walking! So I find a garden maze! - I have always wanted to do one of those! It was fun, I done it in about 20 minutes, I found the middle, and the way out again! I drive on to Launceston and have a look about the town, not alot happening
1 week for Tas is not enough - I could have spent at least a month having a look around, walking in all the national parks - but I had a good look around - and think I may come back when there is snowfall! I will be prepared next time - thank god I don't have to sleep in my car anymore.....