Tasmania again

I have belatedly added photos from the Tasman Peninsula to my collection of Tasmanian excursions, back-dated to keep them with the other posts.

I haven’t been altogether idle in the three weeks since my last post here. In fact, I have spent more time than usual working on my site – but the Words & Images blog and the  Music section rather than Green Path.

Tasman Peninsula

  • 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.

Tasman peninsula view
Looking South from the Waterfall Bay lookout to Cape Hauy

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.

Tasman peninsula view
Looking back towards the mainland
Tasman peninsula view
Waterfall Bay
Tasman peninsula view
Fortescue Bay
Cape Hauy, Tasman Peninsula
Cape Hauy from the Three Capes walking track

Introduction and index to Tasmanian blog posts 2020-21.

Tasmanian wildlife

As my regular readers may have expected, I made a point of photographing all the wildlife (large and small) I came across in my few weeks in Tasmania in November and I have been uploading those photos to iNaturalist in between blog posts. There are a couple of samples here but this link should take you to all of them on a single page on iNaturalist.

Currawong begging for food beside Dove Lake

Now that I have finished, an overview is possible.

I ended up with 100 photos, not many in comparison to what I would have seen and photographed in a similar amount of time in the bush in tropical Queensland.

I could have taken lots more photos of the common birds (silver gulls, black ducks, currawongs, sparrows, etc) and marsupials (Bennett’s Wallaby, Pademelon), of course, but that would only highlight the (relative) lack of diversity in another way.

I saw but didn’t photograph a few echidnas and one platypus but no wombats or devils and none of the smaller macropods. I likewise saw birds I was unable to photograph, but not enough to change my views about numbers or variety.

crane fly
A large crane-fly on the beach near Freycinet

More than three quarters of of my species were invertebrates, i.e., insects and spiders. Their relative numbers were not what I would have seen up here in Townsville, as I saw far fewer butterflies and far more beetles, proportionally, down there.

I did photograph quite a lot of tiny moths, flies and midges but I suspect that was partly my urge to record every possible bug in the unfamiliar environment. I might not try quite so hard here, knowing that I’m likely to see them again soon.

Dove Lake and Cradle Mountain National Park

Resuming our tour of Tasmania’s wild and beautiful places after a break, here’s our walk around Dove Lake, under the ramparts of Cradle Mountain (map).

Tasmania is not very big, especially to Queenslanders like us, but Cradle Mountain is as hard to get to as Strahan, and for similar reasons: it’s at the end of several hours’ drive into wild country whether you start from Hobart or Launceston. Launceston is the closer of the two but the trip still takes a couple of hours – down the highway towards Burnie, then through Sheffield, past Mt Roland and up into the northern edge of the highlands. It’s worth the effort.

The entry-point to the park is a big new visitor centre with a carpark to match. Free shuttle buses run from it all day to Dove Lake, the end of their run, with stops at accommodation, walking tracks and the ranger centre.

We fitted the Dove Lake walk and two shorter walks (Enchanted and Waldheim) into the two long half-days we had there. Another day would have been nice, but I’ve already said that about several other places we saw, so I guess we really needed a longer holiday.

Dove Lake

The Dove Lake circuit is deservedly popular, being long enough to count as a ‘real’ walk but short enough to do in a day and without specialised gear. Continue reading “Dove Lake and Cradle Mountain National Park”

Zeehan and Queenstown

We stopped in Zeehan on our way from Cradle Mountain to Strahan, and passed through Queenstown on our way from Strahan back to Hobart.

The two towns have similar histories, having prospered – boomed, in fact – because of mining in the late nineteenth century but dwindled during the twentieth. In this they resemble Charters Towers and Ravenswood in the Townsville hinterland, and all four towns have public buildings out of all proportion to their current population.

Zeehan PO and Grand Hotel
Zeehan Post Office (foreground) and Grand Hotel and Theatre

Continue reading “Zeehan and Queenstown”