Australia Day 37 – Heading to Tasmania’s West Coast

There’s not much in the way of people, towns or roads on Tasmania’s West Coast.  Often skipped for more popular places, such as Hobart or the Cradle Mountain, many people will miss out on its beauty.

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We left New Norfolk (north of Hobart) and started to drive.  Our destination was Queenstown, an old copper mining town that was mentioned to us by some fellow travelers.

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Along the way, we are treated to various mountains, rivers, lakes and farmland.  The towns we find are small and friendly.

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We always try to schedule extra time into our drive to accommodate A) having children who need things and B) detours and scenic places to stop.  We found a lot of the latter today.

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Detour 1″  Scenic Bridge over The River Derwent

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Framed on either side by mirrored glass water, this was a view not to be missed.

Detour 2:  Tarraleha Power Station – A Hydroelectric Dam

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As we continued our voyage into the vast mountains of the west side we noticed some peculiar concrete trenches.  Shortly after we noticed these LARGE pipes.  Being the clueless people we were it took a little longer than it should have to put the two together.  Naturally, we decided to follow the pipes that were accompanied by a Scenic Lookout sign.

 

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Did you see the pipes running down the other side?

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Looking up from the bottom.

 

 

Detour 3: Lake Binny

Intrigued by a Hellocopter landing sign we decided to go for a drive down this road.

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It lead to this road-

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And this road leads to this lake, where we actually found a surprisingly large number of people were living.

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Detour 4: Monument to the Early Surveyors who explored and mapped Tasmania.  Interestingly located very close to the middle of the state.

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Detour 5:  Lake St. Clair National Park

I had seen signs and it was lunch time with 4 people who all wanted to stretch their legs.  We took the detour and headed for the lake.

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This is the deepens freshwater lake in Australia.  It goes down as far as 160m or 525 feet!

You could hear nothing but the birds – until the helicopter came.  We’re still not sure what it was carrying but it was picking up or dropping off VERY close by.  It actually made three trips while we were here.  It was mostly obscured by the trees but it had a very long line to carry whatever it was.

We made sure to stop in at the hotel and have some lunch and coffee before heading off.

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Scarlet is trying so hard to crawl.  She just needs to figure out the hands and she will be on her way!

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We take any opportunity to get her on the floor, even when it is the carpet of the restaurant.  She rolls and wiggles herself around quite a bit so we still need to keep a close eye on her.  We even managed to rig up a blockade for the bed in the motorhome so she can move around on that every day.

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There is, of course, an information center at the park.  Roland had a blast looking at all the creatures and running around while I chased after him, with Scarlet attached to me (not my favourite activity!)

Detour 6: Suprise Canyon

No, I’m not making up the name.  We saw the signs and made the stop.  This is what we saw…

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Even without the detours, we saw a lot of incredible things.

 

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Clearcutting

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Road Maintenance (In the Mountains 100 km form anywhere)

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Makes me feel like home

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Dead Forests covering several mountains

 

 

With all our detours the day was getting late and we still had a lot of ground to cover.

The moon was near full tonight and made for some AMAZING sights I will never forget.  Iphone and driving did not make for good pictures but this will suffice.

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That is the moon, not the sun.

 

 

Coming down a mountain into Queenstown it was already dark and was one heck of a hill!!!  Too dark for pictures.

I did snap one of this building.

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Some 244 km later we are checked in and eating odds and ends for supper.

Tomorrow we have a boat to catch and we must not be late.  I am hoping the view from the top of the mountain we just drove down will be as good as everyone tells me it is. It was one heck of a ride to get down.  Oh, and there is a guy here who rode his bike.  Yeah, his bicycle.  Human powered up and down these “hills”.  That is some dedication!!

 

 

 

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