This post comes nearly a year after the visit it records. It will be stuck to the top of the blog for the first few days after publication before reverting to its proper place with other posts from that period.
The Tasman Peninsula, South-east of Hobart, is famous for its convict history (Eaglehawk Neck, Port Arthur, etc) but it is also a place of great natural beauty. This older post shows some of it (Eaglehawk Neck, Pirates Bay and the Tessellated Pavement) while this one features Fortescue Bay and some of the wildlife of the Tasman National Park.
Both are from our 2013 visit but we were lucky enough to return in November-December 2020 and the photos below complement those older posts by showing the coast South of the Arch and Blowhole, and then South of Fortescue Bay.
The distances are not great and in fact this shot shows a large part of the East coast of the peninsula. A walking track follows the coast between Waterfall Bay and Fortescue Bay and it’s only 16 km long. Fortescue, in turn, is one end of the Three Capes Track, and Cape Hauy is an easy walk from it.
Ambling along the MAMU skywalk I was surprised to see a Monstera growing wild. It had to be a Monstera – nothing else has a flower, or fruit, or leaves, quite like that – but it wasn’t the Monstera deliciosa I grew and wrote about a few years ago, so what was it?
The Wet season has arrived, with thunderstorms and brief downpours of 20 – 50 mm or more, and the natural world is responding to the combination of heat and moisture as it always does. Fungi, in particular, are emerging in numbers and varieties we haven’t seen since … well, our visit to the Daintree, actually, but we haven’t seen them here since last Wet season.
Some fungi are weirder than others, and some names are more risible than others. This one wins on both counts.
“The Daintree” is semi-mythical to most Australians, signifying tropical wilderness, rainforest, relentless heat and humidity, crocodiles, torrential rain, swamps, leeches and feral hippies.
In reality, the Daintree is a river but “The Daintree” refers to a stretch of coast between the ferry and Cape Tribulation, a distance of some 35 km, somewhere north of Cairns. It’s a narrow strip of scattered settlements between the mountains and the sea, and it is an essential destination for overseas and southern visitors looking for the real Wet Tropics experience.
Chillagoe is a hauntingly beautiful, intriguingly odd place which we liked twenty years ago but hadn’t revisited since then because it’s a bit out of the way even by outback Queensland standards (more on its location later).
The town has a population of only a few hundred people these days but it was an important mining centre a century ago and has significant remnants to show for it. It also has improbable limestone bluffs riddled with caves, and our camping ground featured the best dawn chorus of our two-week northern journey, easily beating Cape Trib and Cooktown. Continue reading “Chillagoe”
The Atherton Tablelands are a small area of North Queensland which is so rich that every visit can be different. In July we stopped at Ravenshoe, Yungaburra, Malanda and Mt Hypipamee; in October we visited Henrietta Creek, Mungalli Creek, MAMU skywalk, Halloran’s Hill in Atherton, and Abattoir Swamp.