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Canyon Outlook

Had a lazy morning as the park owners were just lovely and said not to rush packing up so it was nice and relaxed, that’s what we like. So easy we took it, everything clean and dry. I think without even discussing it we were both on the same wavelength … time for a warm cabin and no worrying about a wet pack up tonight in Devonport, so Thomas got extra cleaned and dry πŸ™‚

Having finished packing up we headed towards Devonport and back to the park we stayed at the first night and got ourselves a nice cosy cabin πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

We then hit the road hoping to see the Gunns plains cave a little north of Devonport. When we arrived the next tour was about an hour away so we decided to come back tomorrow and head off to leven canyon, where the river runs through 300-metre (980Β ft) limestone cliffs carved through the Loongana Range, down to Bass Strait.

Leven canyon is pretty cool, a massive canyon winding its way around the base of mountain, with two decent overlooks. The water must really roar through here during floods. I think its safe to say that our legs have hit the ‘enough’ stage of so many ‘ups’ on our little walking jaunts! So it was time to head back and enjoy a nice warm room for the night. I think we may have almost cooked ourselves with the lovely gas fire heater that was in the room πŸ™‚

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Devil of a time

This Wombat Hwymorning we felt like a Mac truck may have breezed over us during the night, stiff body parts pretty much everywhere! However we pushed on and headed back up to the mountain for a few more walks but in a lot smaller and easier scale today.Crater Falls

We walked the crater falls and crater lake tracks before scooting back to check that cradle mountain hadn’t disappeared overnight πŸ™‚ before heading off to check out the Devils@Cradle facility, a privately owned and run Tasmanian Devil breeding facility fully regulated and approved by the government for devil breeding in Australia. The facilities are monitored and all animals are chipped and breed lines all detailed in a national register to try and make sure they maintain as many different breed lines as possible until – hopefully – a cure or treatment can be found for the devastating facial tumors that has seen their numbers decline by approximately 120,000 in the past 10 years and now sees them in the critically endangered list πŸ™

They are plucky little things screeching and biting at each other as a show of strength but not actually intended to fight or harm. They have dog like features and actions yet at times look like baby bears, particularly when they climb, yet mind you they suk at this and it is quite humerus to watch this obviously non climbing animal try to climb trees. We spent quite a bit of time here and joined the ranger tour which was very informativeDevile and we even got to oat little Aussie, a hand reared devil, they are much softer than you expect and kinda cure in a ferocious harmless kind of way
After the devils we decided to head back to the boat shed to see what sunset might eventuate. It was much cooler andΒ  breezier by the lake today and as such the reflections were nowhere to be seen. There was also a big black cloud closing in and out of the too if the mountain, so yesterdays shits will certainly be the pick of the bunch I think.

Quoll

When the sunset was done we had a quick look along the wombat hwy – the start of the Overland track is prime wombat territory. With the light quickly diminishing we managed to spot one little fellow a

nd then several more along the road on the drive out, we also saw a little eastern quill which was pretty special as these guys are also considered pretty endangered and due to their size can be very difficult to spot.

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Cradle Mountain

WOW what a day! we started the day off with another fry up to give us some food in our bellies for the walking we were pretty sure we would be doing.

we arrived at the Cradle and Dove Lakemountain only to find out that in our somewhat disarrayed morning for whatever reason we had managed to leave the backpack back in the tent – Uh Oh !!!! for whatever reason rather then everything going in the pack as usual i had taken our food, clothing and gear to the car in bits and bobs so luckily for us we still had everything we needed, well everything but a backpack. so the trusty camera bag was unpacked and re stuffed with clothes, food drinks and finally my camera gear along with the trusty new york satchel then we were off.

It was almost a perfect day – sunshine, no rain, with a little bit ofΒ  cloud and a big fire burning somewhere down the valley. Our first view of the mountain and dove lake was almost perfectTashs friend

we started the day off with a nice leisurely stroll around dove lake along some lovely platforms and formed paths with plenty of different views of the cradle. Tash even found a friend at one of the rest stop areas.

then we decided to do Marions Lookout and go down via the ridge to Wombat pool and back to the car park. at the turn off we were greeted with steep rocky terrain – oh great! and true to form it was steep and rocky but little did we know this was just the beginning! after the vertical rocky climb we were greeted with this Steps but again this was not the worst of it .. next trick please – oh goody chains, several of them weaving their way up a steeper incline.

Chains

Then as we thought that we had reached the peak we realised there was still more to go. this piece of track was a piece of cake compared to the rest and certainly worth the effort. we sat and rested for a little while and had some munchies, but the cool air sweeping across the top got us up and moving again quite quickly, but it was certainly some view to stop and take it all in at.

Of course, what goes up must come down …..

the view upthe view down

We then made our way along the ridge with crater lake to our left and dove lake to our right, a massive fire in front and a few more ups and downs before we reached the boatshed. if you have seen a picture of cradle mountain then it is likely that you have seen this boatshed, i would say it could be the most photographed boatshed in the country possibly the world. we were lucky enough to have arrived before the sun had dipped behind the mountain to capture a few lovely pictures of the old boatshed with cradle in the background.

The boat shed

we stayed to watch some of the last light hitting the mountain before heading back to the car and down the mountain for some much needed food and rest but not before we managed to see this little man by the side of the road.

Wombat

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Dirt Road Highways

Time to move on from Launceston and head towards Cradle Mountain – yay πŸ™‚ we had called ahead to see what sites were available up on the mountain and unfortunately no powered sites were left πŸ™ given its our first trip in the trailer although we have power we just aren’t sure what our usage is and what our battery power supply is and with the cold we weren’t going to risk it for 3.5 days, so we opted to stay down the mountain a little at the foot of Mt Roland at a lovely little place called Gowrie Park, but i am getting ahead of myself here.

after packing up in Launceston we hit the roads and had decided to visit the well known and photographed Liffey Falls, only a small diversion from our route to Gowrie Park. given that we were towing i had Googled the falls and Parks TAS advise caravan access to the lower falls car park – sweet no dramas with Thomas then. so then it was time to plug in the destination to the GPS – named Jessica for her voice that actually isn’t Jessica but for whatever reason thats what she gets called. a number of options came up we and opted to go for the middle ground route. Now i should point out that Jessica has a few issues distinguishing between actual roads and well 4wd gravel forestry or back country roads, today was one of those days! things were going fine then we hit the gravel and the estimated distance left was still about 40 kms .. hmmm okay so far so good the road was wide pretty well kept no dramas. then we hit the sign caution steep, slippery climb – oh joys and its wet even better. so poor ole Charlie pulled his little heart up this vertical slippery muddy climb keeping Thomas nice and steady on the road only to be greeted not to far down the road with the park sign – light vehicles only narrow windy road. oh well good im glad what we had been on wasn’t designated light vehicle only and narrow and windy. so we hesitantly kept moving forward until we saw what appeared to be a disused forestry road with a wide entry, we pulled over reversed Thomas back and unhitched, secured him up and hoped like hell that he would still be there when we got back. thankfully we did because the road really was suitable for towing. So by now i am cursing Parks TAS and wondering just what the hell they were thinking saying caravan accessLiffey Falls

We arrived at the carpark and headed off to the falls on yet another what goes down must come UP :’-) the falls are pretty spectacular and well worth the walk, however along the way we did discover a sign that stated – lower falls car park 40 mins – pointing in a direction away from where we had come. Hmmm that might explain a few things – doh.

we got back to Thomas who was in one piece re-hitched and headed off, keeping an eye out for the signs to lower falls car park – yep not one, good work Parks TAS!!!

so with that adventure out of the way we arrived at Gowrie Park a little i want to say ‘jet lagged’ which clearly we weren’t, so after what seemed like an eternity we finally got the camper up and sorted and decided to just sit and enjoy the last few rays of sunshine and do absolutely nothing.

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Mines and Cataracts

another dry nite and to celebrate, well no not really just more a hankering for something other than coco pops for breaky, we cooked up a nice big fry up for breaky – bacon, eggs, sausages and little pancakes, even made our own version of Canadian breakfast stack using that yummy bridestowe lavender flower honey we bought – yum yum yum

with full bellies, we headedBeaconsfield Mine north to Beaconsfield to the mine. the display, memorial and tribute to both Brent and Todd and obviously Larry too but all those involved in the tragic and amazing rescue in 2006 is really quite fascinating. (In April 2006 a minor earthquake shook the mine and caused a collapse, three men were trapped underground, one died and two Brent and Todd were freed about two weeks later, miraculously with fairly minor injuries).

from the mine we headed back towards town but not before visiting what can only be said as a tourist hype – the Batman Bridge! located on the Batman hwy named after someone with last name batman not for any other reason, but i bet everyone that drives near there is like “oh we have to go see the batman bridge”.

Batman Bridge

from batman we hit Cataract Gorge, a premier attraction in the city of Launceston. it is a river gorge at the lower end of the South Esk river and features a lovely suspension bridge, chair lift, walking trails, picnic area and even a swimming pool. its been around since approximately the 1890’s. we had lunch here and then walked some of the trails before heading upstream to what is known as Duck Reach, due to the Duck Reach Power Station that was located up there. it was the first publicly owned hydro-power plant in the southern hCataract Gorge Bridgeemisphere and was built around 1895. massive floods in 1929 washed away the majority of the plant buildings and it was rebuilt only to be decommissioned around 1955. the gorge area is just beautiful and to be so close to the city its just amazing. apparently they can even white water kayak in it at times!

Duck Reach Bridge

we left the gorge and went for a stroll/drive around the city, being late sunday afternoon very little was open but we were still able to see many of the restored and well looked after Victorian and Georgian era buildings that are dotted throughout the city centre. we even found the brewery – up here in the north its Boags!!! word has it back a few years if you were to mention or dare ask for Cascade beer up here in the north, you may have been in need of dentist, now it appears there is some harmony between the two brewers with both sold openly in some establishments. Did you know that launceston is home to several firsts? such as – the first use of anaesthetic in the Southern Hemisphere, the first Australian city to have underground sewers and the first Australian city to be lit by hydroelectricity.

Launceston Buildings

with our fill of beautiful buildings and the sun dipping behind the mountains it was time to head back to camp for the night.