Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Rest of the West

of Tas that is.

My tour of Tas - complete!

Last time I blogged I was off to the Hastings Caves which did not disappoint. Stalactites and stalagmites galore and even a few glow worms. There were tons of other intricate cave formations within it. It is one of the few dolomite caves, most in the region are limestone, and it was discovered by timber workers in 1917. After a quick dip in the thermal pools I headed north to line myself up for Mt Field. Got an early rise and decided to head out on the tarn circuit hike. It was beautiful! Chock full of pandani's, alpine likes, and alpine tarns. All the grey-white eucalyptus snags reminded me of Torres del Paine and the pandani groves look like a page out of a Dr. Seuss book, just green instead of pink or blue.

Stalactites in the Newdgate Cave

Twilight Tarn in Mt. Field National Park

I attempted to line myself up for another day of hiking on the other side of the Overland track trail, but it was pricey to camp and you had to ferry out to the good spots so I opted to roll along. I stayed at Burbury lake and met 2 older couples travelling that wanted to feed me and make sure I was warm for the night. They were really sweet. Morning saw me cruising early through the barren hills of Queenstown. A stellar example of what strip mining can do to a place, but it's been gussied up a bit and seemed like a pleasant enough town. Next was beautiful Strahan were I considered a cruise up the Gordon River and passed it up to keep moving along and do some more hiking. The next stop was just outside of Zeehan for a hike along an old mining tramway to Montezuma Falls. The falls were tall and best viewed from a huge suspension bridge across the ravine.

Montezuma Falls

I spent the rest of my time in the Northwest region which is full of picturesque farmlands, shorelines, and forests. The evening of the drive out I got treated to an amazing sunset full of colors. There were lots of little stops along the way here. The lighthouse at Table Cape, Rocky Point National Park, and a hike to the top of the Stanley Nut. I really wanted to slide into the Tarkine Wilderness Dismal Swamp (a 360ft slide into the forest), but rain that day kept the slide closed so I pushed on into more beautiful farm lands to the rugged west coast and walked the beach at Green Point as surfers braved the cold waters.

The lighthouse on Table Cape

The Stanley Nut

Time flew by and before I knew it I was Launceston bound once again to drop off my little rental car, have a shower, and wash up some clothes so I didn't commit any aromatic offenses on the flight back to the mainland.
Green Point