Tasmania Trip (5)
After the outing to Bruny Island we continued to wait in Hobart for the summer weather to return. All we got was showers and more showers marching like platoons of soldiers over the island. Numerous scheduled ferries from Tasmania to the mainland were cancelled because of bad weather. Finally we decided to move on even if we got wet and miserable. We booked our accommodation in advance and even a 4 X 4 day trip from Stanley in the North. On 9 January, 2002, we sallied forth.
I am not religious but, if there is a god, I am sure he created Germans specifically to design and build beemers so Australians can ride them around Tasmanian roads. They twist and turn and rise and fall seducing the very best out of the contented beemer. The roads are generally in good condition although gravel on the tighter bends can be a problem. We were also warned about logging trucks but we did not encounter many. The major downside of our mode of travel was that there are numerous exquisite walks to beauty spots which would have been splendid without the full protective motor cycle gear. They were still well worth the effort but I did not enjoy being cooked in the process.
Tasmania is split into East and West by a ridge which runs down the centre of the island. The two halves are quite different. To quote one of the informative signs at Nelson Falls, "The journey west is like entering a different country. Here, the drier, undulating country of the East gives way to densely forested, rugged mountains." King William Saddle is the portal to the West.
The first picture is a picture of the sign in the second.
The pictures on the right were snaps of the scenery West of King William Saddle and East of Nelson Falls.
At Nelson Falls a short picturesque walk through the forest is well rewarded. The picture on the left was taken on the way and the one at right is the falls themselves
Our destination for the day was Queenstown but we had time to dawdle and look around on the way. We took several short walks. One was Nelson Falls (above) and another was the Franklin River. The Franklin River is the one of the last pristine river in the wild river system of South West Tasmania. It was the focus of one of Australia's most famous constitutional cases in 1975 known as the Tasmanian Dam case.
There was a short circuitous walk at the Franklin River.
The third picture is not David Bellamy, it's me! The picture at right is fungi growing on a tree. It was quite a common sight. Although it looks spongy it is in fact quite hard.
Lake St Claire and Cradle Mountain National Park is simply overwhelming.
That is Melon in front of the Lake with Cradle Mountain in the far distance.
The approach to Queenstown is a magnificent ride. The road twists and turn through multiple hairpin bends while descending rapidly. Coming up the road would be even better since it is easier and more fun negotiating a tightly winding road under throttle rather than under brakes.
Queenstown is a ramshackle mining and logging town (well it was anyway) nestled in the mountains with magnificent scenery. The hotel we stayed at was average to say the least with above average costs - for Tasmania that is. I have to say that we were generally spoiled in Tasmania with accommodation being cheap and meals being very reasonable. It is nice to holiday without getting that ripped-off tourist feeling.
The left hand picture was a typical street in Queenstown. Note the construction and style of the buildings. The picture on the right is Melon doing his tough kid impersonation.
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