Monday 5 January 2009 – From the visitor's centre there were a few short walks, 'The Enchanted Walk', Pencil Pine Falls and Knyvet Falls, and the 'Rainforest Walk' – while all of these were interesting, they would be really exciting to someone new to the area, after our other walks they did not live up to our expectations. A slow leak in one of our back tyres necessitated a trip to Devonport for a repair. This also gave us an opportunity to stock up on groceries. Our search for a park, in the city to have lunch, yielded a strange one with houses backing onto it, no toilets or water facilities, apart from a stagnant pond, and the howling wind meant that we ate as quickly as possible then headed back to the warmth of the car.
Heading south to
, we found Devil's Gate Dam – a very interesting construction curved horizontally and vertically as well. Darryl then took me to Lake Barrington Paradise, which didn't take long, but the district is quite scenic with rich red farming soils, and beautiful mountain backdrops. Back when we were in , I had received an email from one of my cousins, Donna (on the Smith side), to tell me that she and her husband, Michael, had shifted from Hobart Ipswich in Qld to . They wanted to catch up and we headed for their new home near Mole Creek. Tasmania
This is in the
and is a really beautiful location. They have a few acres with a historic homestead, are surrounded by beautiful mountains, and have a lovely creek with brown trout and platypus. We had a very pleasant evening, catching up on family news, admiring all the work they have done in the few weeks they have been there (only since the end of November), and hearing their plans for the future. Meander Valley
Heading south to
This is in the
We the drove up to more that 1100m to Devil's Gullet which afforded spectacular views across to Cradle Mountain, and many others, and had wonderful dolerite columns, and a steel lookout perched on top of a sheer cliff up which the wind blew and howled. Next destination was past
It took me ¾ of an hour to get to the ‘Trappers Hut’ so I continued up onto the plateau. I came to a fork in the road, and knowing that Darryl had gone the other way, left a note telling him that I had taken the
South of Deloraine is
As the weather was so good, and we had the time, we then decided to go to Ben Lomond National Park (although this is in the North-East, on our way down, it had been cold and raining) – we could not have had a better day for it.
The road up is famous for a section called 'Jacob's Ladder' which was truly scary – very narrow, steep, and windy. Luckily, we did not meet any other cars on the way. In the winter, this is a ski resort, and has chalets and chair-lifts, but was currently pretty-much abandoned.
We found the walking track and made it to the highest peak 'Legges Tor' 1536m high. At last I can say I have made it to the top of one of the highest mountains in Tassie! We camped that night in the National Park, and although there were a few spits of rain, it was dry, but at 995m quite cold (although Darryl's fire certainly helped).
First port of call was Ashgrove Cheese Factory. This as in a lovely rural location just north of Elizabeth Town. We were able to try all their varieties, and we then bought some Double Gloucester and another lovely variety. I wanted to try and see the platypus at Latrobe so we went further north. As we were driving down the road to the reserve, Darryl said “that person is riding their bike just like Helen – oh – it IS Helen!” As we drove past I yelled at her for Queenslanders to get off the road, and we stopped and had a chat. Although we knew she was also in Tassie, her schedule and ours did not coincide, and I didn't think we would see her, but unfortunately her other was suddenly taken ill and she was heading back to