Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Tassie Snaps!

The holiday was awesome! I have good memories of that southern cold state we call Tasmania.
So I have some happy snaps for you! And unfortunately, some sad ones too about the destruction human beings have caused.

So, straight off the boat and into country, I was enthralled at the scenery. We drove for a little while to get to our first destination, and probably my favourite out of the whole trip, Cradle Mountain. And snow! We got to see snow, which I haven't seen in years. Jimmy was happy to see snow also, but in a typical boy kinda way he just wanted to throw snowballs at me and.. ahem.. write his name in the snow if you know what I mean. Males.
Anyway, I was literally crying with laughter at the sight of some dead snowmen on the side of the road. Jimmy decided to do some medical work on one and brought him back to life... crisis averted!!

Well done, doctor Jim.

This is another guy we came across. Ha ha ha! He's looking a bit sad... maybe coz he's so cold?

So this is me here at our cabin when we got to Cradle Mountain. Baby bump alert! This is me at 25 weeks.

This little guy, who apparently is called a Pandemelon was hanging out just outside our cabin. Very cute. We got to see a bit of wildlife, though we did see a lot of roadkill which is sad. Drive slower people! And avoid driving between dusk and dawn if you can!

So here is a pic of "The Enchanted Walk" which was right near our cabin. The scenery was magical, really. If we had our daughter with us already I would have been telling her that fairies definitely live here!

This is Dove Lake at Cradle Mountain. Such a beautiful area. We decided to go on walk that was described as "An easy walk around the lake suitable for all ages"...

...Except that is, for when it's snowing. But they don't tell you that, do they??? The boardwalk was covered in ice and snow and was extreeeeemely slippery!!! We had to walk at a snails pace shuffling along with extra precaution than normal due to me being pregnant and therefore having extra reason for not wanting to fall over. I was absolutely exhausted by the end and could hardly walk. I was tired and all emotional that I was exerting myself too much in my fragile state. God it was hard. "An easy walk around the lake suitable for all ages." Yeah... right!!! Are you picking up my sarcasm here!!?? My legs were sore for the next three days, even though I consider myself to be a relatively fit person. So, for the next three days, I swear to you, I was walking around like I had wooden legs.

But we still enjoyed parts of the walk! (This was before I absolutely fell apart!)

So then we left Cradle Mountain, and made the long journey down to Maydena (West of Hobart) seeing some sights along the way. This was a gorgeous lake we happened to find when Jimmy found a little dirt track and decided to drive down it.

This next shot is of Queenstown. Unfortunately, old mining practices devastated this area which was once filled with forests. The hills surrounding the town are completely dead and bare which is morbidly fascinating to see, and so sad at the same time to see what destruction humans are actually capable of doing. I read in a brochure that the locals like their "freak show" hills as a tourist attraction and want to stop the "greenies" from protecting the regenerative growth. I say that it is devastating enough to see the destruction done so far and am completely bewildered that people actually want to stop mother nature from doing her thing and letting it regenerate. I'm sure it would take hundreds of years to do so, but surely, wouldn't you want to let it start to regrow?? I say, if you want to see scenery like this, take a trip to Mongolia and let nature try to start fixing up what humans have ruined through stupidity.

Here's another beautiful view we saw along the way:

So I've ended one rant (about Queenstown) and now I begin another. We entered Maydena late one day which is a very small town on the edge of The Styx Valley of the Giants. (This was a cute photo opportunity that I took advantage of in the town.)

The next day we had a look around at some old growth forests.
Tourism and Forestry Tasmania don't publicize this area of Tassie, as they are logging it at the rate of approx 15,000 hectares per year. You can find info about this at The Wilderness Society along with some maps and guides. We managed to pick up a more current guide at one of the local shops in Maydena. The place has not been commercialised for tourism, so some of the tracks are hard to find and awkward to navigate, but that is because the good people at The Wilderness Society are the only ones who are seeking out the beautiful areas to see. (And pro-loggers keep removing their markers to help you find the tracks.) There is however a good walking track at "The Big Tree" which you can see Jimmy standing against in the next pic. The tree was so big at the base I found it hard to fit into the frame. I highly recommend visiting The Styx to see again an example what we humans are doing to some extraordinary natural wonders. Some of the trees are just massive, and the scenery, including huge tree ferns, luscious mosses and many other plants and animals makes this a fascinating and memorable place to visit.
Here's a direct link to some more info on Tassie's forests.

And here's evidence of what they're doing. We had to walk past a locked gate to get to this area. You can see some of the scope of what is happening (with little Jimmy standing there) but it's hard to capture on film and what we saw was just a snippet of what's going on all over the place in this area.

I've got so many more photos and stories of our trip, but I think that'll do it, I think I've already gone overboard! We just crammed so much into a week and I really loved it. I'll finish off with a daggy photo of me being granny-like on the balcony of a cabin we stayed in.

Hope you enjoyed my holiday snaps and stories. Now I'm going to go and read on The Wilderness Society's website if there's anything I can do to help stop the forest destruction. Feel free to join me & enjoy the rest of your week... :)


Georgie Love said...

The pics are glorious! I was greedy and wanted more, not less!

Frank and Sue said...

Great post and pictures, looks like you had a wonderful trip.

You may be interested in reading a book, The River Runs Free by Geoff Law. It is about the campaign to save the Franklin. There is a post on Our Hiking Blog about it.

Great to hear you have been moved to some action about the logging in Tassie, it is an abomination - join the Wildreness Cociety or the Greens - help em stop it!
p.s. good luck with the new baby

Gis said...

Everything looks wonderful :D I was myself on a trip for a month last month, and ey, there's nothing like holidays!!!

LINDSAY said...

Wow, the scenery there is amazing! the Pandemelon is quite the cute fellow!

tiel said...

Hi Julie,

your holiday looks good..cold but good.

I just popped in to the Aussie Illo. Forum. I'd forgotten all about it and something jogged my memory. It is a good spot to go to for info. I need to participate a bit more I think.

Hope your pregnancy is going well.

Anna Lloyd said...

Wow, it's so beautiful there! And so sad they are logging all that old growth forest.Thanks for posting all the photos.

You are glowing. :)