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The wild wild wet west

Headed out of Bernie today going south westish destination Strahan. We were about 3 minutes from finishing packing up Thomas and the rain ever so slightly started and it really didn’t stop all day 🙁 it came in patches sometimes driving rain sometimes enough to be bl**day annoying. The road from Burnie to Strahan is winding, mountainous and outright beautiful. Unfortunately with the weather conditions we didn’t get to see its real beauty along the drive and add to it Easter weekend Zeehan and Rosebery were almost ghost like, meaning that we arrived in Strahan mid afternoon.

Strahan Harbour and Risby Cove form part of the north-east end of Long Bay on the northern end of Macquarie Harbour.  Originally developed as a port of access for the mining settlements in the area, Strahan was a vital location for the timber industry that existed around Macquarie Harbour.

There are two parks in Strahan and essentially two ‘free camps’ where you need to be self sufficient, which we almost are but not quite and being easter we figured they would be busy, so we booked into one of the parks and on arrival found that they may as well be the same park, managed from same place etc. Big do they know they have a monopoly or what out here! The sites are in pretty ordinary condition even taking into account the weather, the camp kitchen is smaller than our bathroom at hone and doesn’t have hot water, the bbqs in the park need coins and the amenities whilst reasonable are few and far between. We managed to squeeze onto our site, and we are big by any means, and dodged the mud pit and gravel – it was more like a camper van site than a tent/trailer site.

After getting poor Thomas sorted we headed into town to see what was happening regarding a cruise on the majestic Franklin Gordon rivers. We managed to get on a cruise no drama for Sunday morning – yay 🙂Ocean Beach

A bit to eat at the park with a lovely railroad depiction mural as our scenery and somewhat of a  windbreak for us. Then out on the gravel tracks to Ocean Beach – a long stretch of beach running north of Macquarie Heads and Hells Gates – where the wild wild west is really wild. Exposed to the ocean with no landmass at this longitude between it and South America, this beach can be exposed to extreme weather conditions. In serious weather it can have large extended lines of breakers, and a swell at the Cape Sorell Waverider Buoy at up to 20+ metres.

Today the wind was howling and the beach was crazy, the tide was coming in, crazy and wonderful and all filled into one. No driving on the beach with the tide on the way in, it was back onto the gravel and down to Macquarie Heads via the road. There are some serious campers down in this neck of the woods, but wow what a great spot, and the kids on the quads and fishing they were just loving it. then it was back to the tent for a lazy evening and maybe even some washing.

The temps started to fall, the winds increased and so did the rains, just before midnight I had to duck out and do some imaginative tent fixer uperers, as the wind was blowing about 50km/hr aMacquarie Headsaccording to the BOM and it felt like it too, but with the wind direction coming straight at the door, it had been pushing the tent in and causing a little flood through the zipper as the water pooled, so elastic ties, some rope and creative tie downs completed into bed I went hoping that it would not only hold but do the job. I must say that the rather crappy site we had been given did have something going for it, the corner we were in flanked by trees was making one hell of a wind break for us, so I sure am glad we weren’t coping the full force of it.


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