Day 5 - Gordon River Cruise

Trip Start May 07, 2009
Trip End May 17, 2009

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Where I stayed
Lake St. Clair Resort

Flag of Australia  , Tasmania,
Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Today is the day where we went on the Gordon River Cruise (with World Heritage Cruises).  We woke up around 7am, had breakfast and we were on our way...  The weather was overcast for most of the day with only light drizzle on the return leg of the cruise (this is apparently considered quite lucky in this part of Tasmania as it rains a lot).
We arrived to the departure point - Macquarie Harbour, Strahan.  The cruise started at about 9am and we firstly went to the entrance to the harbour - called the Hell's Gates. We saw a purpose built wall made to control the tide and numerous wildlife (e.g. Sea Eagles).
We also passed near a large trout farm where we saw how they feed the fish and how they harvest them.
The first stop was on Sarah Island where convicts were taken to do heavy labour among which included ship building.  The guide talked us through the islands history which was very interesting.  When we got on the boat, buffet lunch was served.
The cruise then continued up the Gordon River where the boat had to reduce the speed to 8 knots due to environmental effects "boat waves" could have on the river banks.   This part of the cruise was absolutely awesome... the mirror reflections in the water were perfect.
The next stop was a rainforest walk just off the Gordon River.  Here we saw the highly sought after Huon Pine (timber that was used for ship building).  It apparently grows only up to 1mm per year in diameter.  A lot of it was logged but some still remain.  This part of Tasmania looked like it was never touched by humans - it was that pristine.
Anyway, all good things come to an end and we arrive back to Strahan at around 3pm.
Soon after arriving - we were on our way to Lake St Claire National Park.  We wanted to get there before dark which we just kind of managed.
We drove through windiest road so far (up to Queenstown).  Queenstown looked pretty weird... which is understandable with it being a copper mining town.  The hills surrounding it looked so bare and without vegetation.
As soon as we left Queenstown area we were again in beautiful Tasmanian forests and natural wonders.  We passed next to numerous lakes, lagoons and National Parks.
We arrived to our next stop - Lake St Claire National Park.  We came after reception closed so we were lucky to find our keys to the cabin. Everything was so dark and we even managed to spot a Tasmanian Devil here.
The cabin was looking and feeling very homely and luckily enough there was a good heater in there to warm us up. :)
After getting settled we went to a place for dinner (only one place in the vicinity of the national park).  The place was expensive but the portions were massive (lucky for Vlad :)).
On the way back to our cabin we saw 3 Frenchmen requiring a ride to their accommodation (they were about 4kms from the backpacker place).  Due to the baby seat we could only take 2 people.  They didn't want to part so they continued walking.  As we got to our cabin we felt bad so Roxy and Mattias stayed behind while Vlad went to pick the guys up.  They were thankful and Vlad had a good quick discussion about how France beat Croatia in 1998 World Cup. :)
We all got to bed early and we were sound asleep within seconds...
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