Tassie, like South Australia has had a really wet winter this year, and there was water everywhere. I didn't get any photo's of the flooded paddocks flying in to Launceston, but one of our first stops after I landed was to Cataract Gorge. There was so much water coming down from hills, that the swimming pool had disappeared.
This is what it normally looks like.
The weather was predicted to be awful for most of the weekend I was there, and my friend and I debated about going to Cradle Mountain for a night. My friends live a couple hours away from the Mountain, so we figured we could easily drive home the same day if the weather was too dodgy.
We managed to experience just about all seasons in one day on our way there as we drove through Devonport and Sheffield. Unfortunately it was raining in both towns so I didn't take my camera out to get any photo's of Sheffield's murals.
The drive upto Cradle Mountain is very winding, and takes you over a number of peaks and valleys - all beautiful country. But it didn't compare to the actual park when we got up there. The weather cleared, and the sun was even out - a little bit. We managed to get some photo's before the clouds came over.
As we headed back away from Dove Lake we stopped at a spot that has a number of walks/hikes starting from it. As it was getting late in the day, we only stopped for a little bit, and we planned to come back the next day to have a proper look around.
Overnight the weather came in again, and we were hoping for some snow the next day. Unfortunately it just rained - a lot. Fortunately though, it had stopped enough by the time we left our cabin at about 9.30 the next morning and whilst it meant doing any of the longer walks was not really an option, we were able to do a couple of the shorter walks that took us to some falls and past fast flowing creeks.
These photo's are of the Pencil Pine Falls
These ones are of the Enchanted Walk
On the Monday, we headed out to Liffey Falls which is on the northern ridge of the Great Western Tiers. It was a beautiful morning, with the sun out as we headed towards the snow capped mountains of the Tiers.
Again, the water was flowing extremely fast over the falls, as the photo's show. I've been told that in the summer months, you can walk across the ledges of the falls. There was no way we were attempting that today!
This is some of the rainforest we walked through to get to the falls.
The Big Tree. A 50m tall Stringybark with an original name.
While we were at the Falls, we ran into a Forestry Ranger who suggested we go for a drive up to the Pine Lake for something else to have a look at. He suggested that the road might be closed due to snowfall, but noticed we were in a 4WD, so we should be right. If only we had known! What started as a fun drive up the hill with a bit of snow on the side of the road, and a smattering in the trees, turned into a fully covered road that we didn't really want to continue on with. Unfortunately we couldn't turn around anywhere, and after having a car come up behind us, we continued on in 4WD (following advice by the driver in the car).
Once my friend got the hang of driving in the snow, and I had relaxed after thinking the only way we were getting out was by driving all the way to Strahan, we actually enjoyed it and made the most of it before finding somewhere to turn around and come back down. Luckily, snow ploughs were working their way up and down the road, so in some places, the road was completely cleared for us.
Out there in the middle of the photo is Pine Lake. Not much to see in this weather!
This is the Great Lake - known for it's fishing. Along the road, we passed numerous groups of shacks used in the warmer months presumably by fishermen.
Finally we made it home just in time for my friend to pick her kids up from school. This was the view that greeted us that afternoon from her balcony.
I headed back to Adelaide the next morning after a fantastic few days away. I'm already planning the next trip over, hopefully with friends for a couple weeks in the first half of the year. I'm looking forward to seeing the contrast in the seasons.