Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Tasmanian Wilderness Hiker - Day 1

This is the second week long hiking trip we have done with Auswalks. In January 2013 we did a walk in the Victorian Alpine country. One of our Guides was Marie Killeen.

This Jnauary we decided to head off to Tasmania and Marie was once again one of our guides.

We flew into Hobart a couple of day ahead of the start of our trip. We spent the time walking around Hobart, I also spent a day at the library/archives gathering information about some of my forebears who found themselves in Tasmania. Trevor and I took one of the hop on hop off buses and got off at the Womens Factory where we were entertained by a couple of actors who graphically showed us the life of the women who ended up in this place. After lunch we took a shuttle bus to the top of Mt Wellington which, at 1270m, dominates Hobart. While Trevor returned to Hobart on the shuttle bus I walked down the mountain and back to our hotel. I'll add detail about this walk later.

Tasmanian Wilderness Hiker

This trip commenced on Saturday 11 January and the participants were to meet at 9:30am at the Fountainside Hotel. Everyone was camped in the hotel foyer well ahead of the appointed time.

Day 1

After a briefing by the guides, there were actually 3 of them: Marie, Lisa and Monica, we loaded our bags into the bus trailer, hopped on the bus and headed out of Hobart.

Our first stop for the day was the Mt Fields National Park. After a quick cuppa at the Visitors Centre we headed off to see a number of waterfalls. The first one was Russell Falls, supposedly the most photographed falls in Tasmania. This is probably because it is the most accessable.

Russell Falls

After climbing above Russell Falls the track continued on to Horseshoe Falls.

Looking down on Russell Falls from above the falls

Horseshoe Falls
 By now we were getting used to seeing very tall trees and trees with huge bottoms. These were swamp gums ... in an area that defineitely was not swamp!

The tallest of the trees in this park was some 79m tall.

Trevor in front of the tall tree
Just to demonstrate how big the trees can be, here is Trevor standing inside the shell of a fallen tree.

We meandered through the forest, up and down and around, it seemed, finally arriving at Lady Barron Falls.

Back at the Visitors Centre we grabbed some lunch before heading off to see the Marriot Falls.

The hike into the falls was mostly alongside streams with rather rocky bottoms as the water cascaded over them and filled the air with the sound of running water.

We were walking through a forestry area and it was apparent that these falls do not get large visitor numbers as the track was full of obstacles. There were fallen trees across the track. Some we had to scrabble over while others we sneaked under.

And where is the track actually going?

Going under a fallen tree
Another fallen tree across the track

The track was marked with orange markers, some triangles other just orange tape tied to posts or branches. Being taller would have been helpful as there were times when the route was obscured by foliage taller than most in the group.

The effort was worth it as I thought that the Marriot Falls were the best of the four we visited.

Back on the bus we headed off to Strathgordon and the Lake Pedder chalet for a two night stay.

The Chalet sits right on the edge of Lake Pedder. The view from our window across the lake was very pleasant.

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