Discovering tassie, Part 4 - Devonport to Strahan, Australia

Through the Tasmanian Wild West


Devil's Gullet
The dramatic view across the deep valley of Devil's Gullet.
End of trip
Kayak comes to a shore of Lake Sinclair.
Tasmanian High Cradle
The serrated summit of Cradle Mountain in the Tasmania Highlands.
sea ​​vs dunes
Icy sea and dunes on the wild coast of West Tasmania.
Main Street
Queenstown Main-Street at the foot of a steep slope.
Rack-&-Pinion
Passerby enters Queenstown's Rack & Pinion station.
Hunter's Hotel,
The Victorian facade of Queenstown's Hunters Hotel.
Queenstown-Tasmania Railroad-Station Visitor
Visiting Queenstown Rack & Pinion station, contrasts with the props.
sand but little
Rocky sandy beach north of Strahan on the west coast of Tasmania.
historic corner
Decorating a restaurant in Queenstown, Tasmania, Australia
The Empire Hotel
The Victorian facade of the Empire Hotel in Queenstown.
from steam time
Locomotive at Queenstown's Rack & Pinion Railway Station.
If the almost antipode tazzie is already a australian world apart, what about its inhospitable western region. Between Devonport and Strahan, dense forests, elusive rivers and a rugged coastline beaten by an almost Antarctic Indian ocean generate enigma and respect.

Once and for all disillusioned with the overly industrial profile of the north coast of Tasmania, we cut our way south.

In a few kilometers, we return to remote rural areas of the island, made of patches of plantations interspersed with pockets of old forest.

We drive along a narrow, winding dirt road, subsumed under vegetation and crossed by kangaroos, wallabies and wombats.

Gradually, always along roads with natural names – Mersey Forest Road; Lake Mackenzie Road and the like – we ascend from the countryside in the heart of the island to its heights.

Passing through a village so immaculate and bucolic that the residents dared to call it “Paradise”.

We climb higher and higher.

This last road ends in a dead end stop.

There is a wooden walkway and signs that warn of the risk of falling.

We parked, inspected them. We followed the trail, curious as to where they would take us.

View of Devil's Gullet, Tasmania, Australia

The dramatic view across the deep valley of Devil's Gullet.

Devil's Gullet – a Diabolic-Magnificent Tasmania

Three hundred meters and a few steps later, the walkway deviates and reveals one of the most magnificent scenery we have found in Tasmania.

Between vision and dizziness, the huge cliffs and glacial valleys of the Devils Gullet towered ahead, with a deep apex in the bed of the Fisher's River.

Only and only when we venture to the threshold of the platform, the Roaring Forties, icy winds that circle the Earth at this latitude and blow furiously there, almost making us take off. They give reason to be the warnings of danger and require us to have firm hands on the railing rail.

At our feet, hundreds of meters below, with an almost biblical dimension and immensity, stretched the capricious geological domains of the Walls of Jerusalem, so-called allegedly because several of its rocky outcroppings reminded us of the walls of the city of God.

From there, only after going back a few miles on the map, would we get somewhere. We cross again the enigmatic forest of Mersey and then the River Forth. Around Mount Roland Regional Reserve, we turn west.

What we were looking for in the west of this extreme territory was Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park.

The park borders one of Tasmania's beloved wilderness areas, decreed UNESCO World Heritage Site especially because it constitutes one of the last expanses of temperate forest on the face of the Earth, in an area of ​​gorges and gorges that resulted from a long and severe glaciation.

Cradle Mountain - Lake Sinclair National Park, Tasmania, Australia

The serrated summit of Cradle Mountain in the Tasmania Highlands.

PN Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair: The Geological Heart of Tasmania

It is proven that Man already inhabited this region for at least 20.000 years.

Even at a time of obvious global warming, Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park is one of the regions of Tasmania (and of course all of Australia) that receives the most snow as winter takes over the island.

It also hosts the popular Overland Track.

Extending 80.5 km, this walking route that connects Cradle Valley to Cynthia Bay attracts thousands of adventurers from the closest Australian states of Victoria and New South Wales, but increasingly from the four corners of the world.

For five or six days, hikers who face him wind through the region's inhospitable mountains and lakes.

On the other side of the Bass Strait, in the great mainland Australia. the mere sound of their names makes you shiver. "Cradle Mountain? Overland Track?” They're freaking awesome, mate!” comment, without hesitation, Ian and Kate, two brothers we met in Melbourne.

To our frustration, we don't have time to get involved in such wanderings.

Instead, we took a peek at its iconic places, highlighted by the edge of Lake St Clair overlooking the Cradle Mountain.

At the precise moment when we admire and photograph it, perched on a granite pebble, a kayak that used to roam the lake emerges from its meander.

End the afternoon tour on the fine gravel beach next door.

Kayaking on Lake Sinclair, Cradle Mountain - Lake Sinclair National Park, Tasmania, Australia

Kayak comes to a shore of Lake Sinclair.

We didn't take too long either. We left the lake behind. And then the national park.

In Search of the Strahan Dodge, in the Far East of Tasmania

We head to the sandy and windy coast of western Tasmania.

We traverse it from north to south through an immensity of mystical forest alternated or merged with stray sands and imposing dunes projected from them.

West Coast, Strahan, Tasmania, Australia

Icy sea and dunes on the wild coast of West Tasmania.

On the verge of the great Macquarie Estuary, the forest gives way to a drenched plain and, for the most part, the sands appear covered with shallow vegetation.

Strahan, the secluded coastal village we were looking for, turns out to be shy at last under the protection of the small port of Macquarie. We found it surrounded by an immensity of woods and its allied bogs.

There, we still see fishermen entering and leaving the village's dock.

Those who live full-time in the village and fish on board trawlers.

And the more affluent that arrive with summer from other parts of Australia and set sail on million-dollar speedboats for moments of recreational fishing or contemplating the seals and resident sea lions.

We return to Lyell Highway pointing inland. Forty kilometers of this A10 road later, in the middle of an unexpected and zigzag descent, everything changes from day to night.

Instead of the sometimes bucolic and sometimes lush immensity we were used to, we were faced with a semi-lunar panorama made up of mountains and valleys devoid of vegetation, more than sculpted by erosion, excavated by man.

We see them in a rich palette of tones: ocher, magenta, greenish and others with brightness that fluctuates as the sun shines.

Main Street, Queenstown, Tasmania, Australia

Queenstown Main-Street at the foot of a steep slope.

Queenstown's Lifelong Mining City

The route ends in Queenstown, a town of appearance and atmosphere western that traded an era of lucrative but erosive mining for tourism.

Around 1870, prospectors discovered alluvial gold in the vicinity of Mount Lyell. In such quantity that, in 1881, the finding justified the creation of a Mount Lyell Gold Mining Company. As if that wasn't enough, after eleven years, the company detected silver.

People flocked to the area from all parts of Australia and beyond. This population influx gave rise to Queenstown, a village that has been equipped with foundries, sawmills, brick kilns, among several other infrastructures.

For more than a century, Queenstown has remained the operational and logistical center of the Mount Lyell Mining and Railway Company.

Queenstown Restaurant, Tasmania, Australia

Decorating a restaurant in Queenstown, Tasmania, Australia

The city's ascendancy and decline – including that of its population – unfolded according to the performance and fortune of this company.

At the turn of the XNUMXth century, the city and the surrounding valley were still heavily forested.

The intense cutting of trunks needed for mining, smelting and kilns, for the construction of homes, hotels, post offices, churches, schools, shops and many other essential undertakings for the life of its more than ten thousand souls led to a dramatic desertification.

Empire Hotel, Queenstown, Tasmania, Australia

The Victorian facade of the Empire Hotel in Queenstown.

As we descend to those towards the historic center, under a blue sky only possible in the height of the Tasmanian summer, we are surprised by the somewhat alien scenarios.

Finally, the meanders of the asphalt end. We complete the final slope on a Bowes St.

We entered straight onto Orr St., the city's open central street.

From the Victorian-Mineiro Past to Today's Mostly Touristic Days

Until the 90s, Orr Street preserved functioning banks, hotels, offices and other lucrative businesses, built in the same Victorian architectural style that survives there on two very different levels: the shelter of the arcades on both sides of the bitumen. And the elevation of the colored facades above them.

After a period of uncertainty and anguish after the Mount Lyell Gold Mining Company having sunk, the most resilient inhabitants readapted.

The extraction of silver remains in the hands of an Indian group, now without the financial significance of the city's prosperous era. Queenstown took another path.

O tree Tasmanian tourist and the historical, architectural asset and its eccentricity made life easier.

Visitors like us, with time to discover the great Tazzie, include it in their itineraries. Peek out the secular post office, the Empire Hotel and the theater art deco paragon.

When the heat and fatigue get tight, they cool off in the pubs with an old and peculiar atmosphere that serve Orr Street, like the parallel and perpendicular ones.

Rack-&-Pinion-Steam-Railway. Queenstown, Tasmania, Australia

Passerby enters Queenstown's Rack & Pinion station.

Another attraction that we are keen to take a look at is the old train station.

It has been preserved under the Rack & Pinion Steam Railway museum, part of the much wider West Coast Wilderness Railway that crosses Tasmania from Cradle Mountain to the Strahan coast via Queenstown.

And through centuries of history, a journey of 151 km, even if by steam, completed in just over two hours.

The Wilderness of South Queenstown

The day and hours we explore Queenstown do not coincide with the train's passage.

Accordingly, we limit ourselves to admiring the local station and the patience with which some of its older visitors, possibly still from the culmination of the steam era, study and photograph it in the smallest detail.

Guest Photographs Rack & Pinion Station in Queenstown, Tasmania, Australia

Visiting Queenstown Rack & Pinion station, contrasts with the props.

The map confirms that for a good few hundred kilometers south of Strahan and Queenstown, Tasmania is so untamed that it remains devoid of real roads.

O Franklin and the Gordon there stand out among several other furtive rivers. They plow through almost impenetrable forests and submit to deep gorges that make their streams riotous.

If there was a top for the intrepid people of the world, the ozzies would emerge, always first.

Despite the harshness of the region, every year, hundreds of them give in to the challenge and adopt it as a kind of amusement park where they are dedicated to the trekking and Rafting ultraradical days on end.

Passionate about the drama of the scenarios, dependent on adrenaline, they return again and again.

Adventure as you like in these island confines of your beloved Australia: no rules or limits.

Discovering Tassie, Part 2 - Hobart to Port Arthur, Australia

An Island Doomed to Crime

The prison complex at Port Arthur has always frightened the British outcasts. 90 years after its closure, a heinous crime committed there forced Tasmania to return to its darkest times.
Discovering tassie, Part 1 - Hobart, Australia

Australia's Backdoor

Hobart, the capital of Tasmania and the southernmost of Australia, was colonized by thousands of convicts from England. Unsurprisingly, its population maintains a strong admiration for marginal ways of life.
Discovering tassie, Part 3, Tasmania, Australia

Tasmania from Top to Bottom

The favorite victim of Australian anecdotes has long been the Tasmania never lost the pride in the way aussie ruder to be. Tassie remains shrouded in mystery and mysticism in a kind of hindquarters of the antipodes. In this article, we narrate the peculiar route from Hobart, the capital located in the unlikely south of the island to the north coast, the turn to the Australian continent.
Alice Springs to Darwin, Australia

Stuart Road, on its way to Australia's Top End

Do Red Center to the tropical Top End, the Stuart Highway road travels more than 1.500km lonely through Australia. Along this route, the Northern Territory radically changes its look but remains faithful to its rugged soul.
Perth to Albany, Australia

Across the Far West of Australia

Few people worship evasion like the aussies. With southern summer in full swing and the weekend just around the corner, Perthians are taking refuge from the urban routine in the nation's southwest corner. For our part, without compromise, we explore endless Western Australia to its southern limit.
Sydney, Australia

From the Exile of Criminals to an Exemplary City

The first of the Australian colonies was built by exiled inmates. Today, Sydney's Aussies boast former convicts of their family tree and pride themselves on the cosmopolitan prosperity of the megalopolis they inhabit.
Busselton, Australia

2000 meters in Aussie Style

In 1853, Busselton was equipped with one of the longest pontoons in the world. World. When the structure collapsed, the residents decided to turn the problem around. Since 1996 they have been doing it every year. Swimming.
Great Ocean Road, Australia

Ocean Out, along the Great Australian South

One of the favorite escapes of the Australian state of Victoria, via B100 unveils a sublime coastline that the ocean has shaped. We only needed a few kilometers to understand why it was named The Great Ocean Road.
Perth, Australia

the lonely city

More 2000km away from a worthy counterpart, Perth is considered the most remote city on the face of the Earth. Despite being isolated between the Indian Ocean and the vast Outback, few people complain.
Perth, Australia

The Oceania Cowboys

Texas is on the other side of the world, but there is no shortage of cowboys in the country of koalas and kangaroos. Outback rodeos recreate the original version and 8 seconds lasts no less in the Australian Western.
Perth, Australia

Australia Day: In Honor of the Foundation, Mourning for Invasion

26/1 is a controversial date in Australia. While British settlers celebrate it with barbecues and lots of beer, Aborigines celebrate the fact that they haven't been completely wiped out.
Wycliffe Wells, Australia

Wycliffe Wells' Unsecret Files

Locals, UFO experts and visitors have been witnessing sightings around Wycliffe Wells for decades. Here, Roswell has never been an example and every new phenomenon is communicated to the world.
Atherton Tableland, Australia

Miles Away from Christmas (part XNUMX)

On December 25th, we explored the high, bucolic yet tropical interior of North Queensland. We ignore the whereabouts of most of the inhabitants and find the absolute absence of the Christmas season strange.
Melbourne, Australia

An "Asienated" Australia

Cultural capital aussie, Melbourne is also frequently voted the best quality of life city in the world. Nearly a million eastern emigrants took advantage of this immaculate welcome.
Cairns to Cape Tribulation, Australia

Tropical Queensland: An Australia Too Wild

Cyclones and floods are just the meteorological expression of Queensland's tropical harshness. When it's not the weather, it's the deadly fauna of the region that keeps its inhabitants on their toes.
Red Center, Australia

Australia's Broken Heart

The Red Center is home to some of Australia's must-see natural landmarks. We are impressed by the grandeur of the scenarios but also by the renewed incompatibility of its two civilizations.
Cairns-Kuranda, Australia

Train to the Middle of the Jungle

Built out of Cairns to save miners isolated in the rainforest from starvation by flooding, the Kuranda Railway eventually became the livelihood of hundreds of alternative Aussies.
Melbourne, Australia

The Football the Australians Rule

Although played since 1841, Australian Football has only conquered part of the big island. Internationalization has never gone beyond paper, held back by competition from rugby and classical football.
Michaelmas Cay, Australia

Miles from Christmas (Part XNUMX)

In Australia, we live the most uncharacteristic of the 24th of December. We set sail for the Coral Sea and disembark on an idyllic islet that we share with orange-billed terns and other birds.
Wadjemup, Rottnest Island, Australia

Among Quokkas and other Aboriginal Spirits

In the XNUMXth century, a Dutch captain nicknamed this island surrounded by a turquoise Indian Ocean, “Rottnest, a rat's nest”. The quokkas that eluded him were, however, marsupials, considered sacred by the Whadjuk Noongar aborigines of Western Australia. Like the Edenic island on which the British colonists martyred them.
savuti, botswana, elephant-eating lions
Safari
Savuti, Botswana

Savuti's Elephant-Eating Lions

A patch of the Kalahari Desert dries up or is irrigated depending on the region's tectonic whims. In Savuti, lions have become used to depending on themselves and prey on the largest animals in the savannah.
Thorong La, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal, photo for posterity
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 13th - High camp a Thorong La to Muktinath, Nepal

At the height of the Annapurnas Circuit

At 5416m of altitude, the Thorong La Gorge is the great challenge and the main cause of anxiety on the itinerary. After having killed 2014 climbers in October 29, crossing it safely generates a relief worthy of double celebration.
The Little-Big Senglea II
Architecture & Design
Senglea, Malta

An Overcrowded Malta

At the turn of the 8.000th century, Senglea housed 0.2 inhabitants in 2 km3.000, a European record, today, it has “only” XNUMX neighborhood Christians. It is the smallest, most overcrowded and genuine of the Maltese cities.
Adventure
Volcanoes

Mountains of Fire

More or less prominent ruptures in the earth's crust, volcanoes can prove to be as exuberant as they are capricious. Some of its eruptions are gentle, others prove annihilating.
Burning prayers, Ohitaki Festival, fushimi temple, kyoto, japan
Ceremonies and Festivities
Kyoto, Japan

A Combustible Faith

During the Shinto celebration of Ohitaki, prayers inscribed on tablets by the Japanese faithful are gathered at the Fushimi temple. There, while being consumed by huge bonfires, her belief is renewed.
Jerusalem God, Israel, Golden City
Cities
Jerusalem, Israel

Closer to God

Three thousand years of history as mystical as it is troubled come to life in Jerusalem. Worshiped by Christians, Jews and Muslims, this city radiates controversy but attracts believers from all over the world.
Meal
Markets

A Market Economy

The law of supply and demand dictates their proliferation. Generic or specific, covered or open air, these spaces dedicated to buying, selling and exchanging are expressions of life and financial health.
Obese resident of Tupola Tapaau, a small island in Western Samoa.
Culture
Tonga, Western Samoa, Polynesia

XXL Pacific

For centuries, the natives of the Polynesian islands subsisted on land and sea. Until the intrusion of colonial powers and the subsequent introduction of fatty pieces of meat, fast food and sugary drinks have spawned a plague of diabetes and obesity. Today, while much of Tonga's national GDP, Western Samoa and neighbors is wasted on these “western poisons”, fishermen barely manage to sell their fish.
Sport
Competitions

Man: an Ever Tested Species

It's in our genes. For the pleasure of participating, for titles, honor or money, competitions give meaning to the world. Some are more eccentric than others.
Navimag Cruise, Puerto Montt to Puerto-natales, Chile
Traveling
Puerto Natales-Puerto Montt, Chile

Cruise on board a Freighter

After a long begging of backpackers, the Chilean company NAVIMAG decided to admit them on board. Since then, many travelers have explored the Patagonian canals, side by side with containers and livestock.
Ethnic
Shows

The World on Stage

All over the world, each nation, region or town and even neighborhood has its own culture. When traveling, nothing is more rewarding than admiring, live and in loco, which makes them unique.
ice tunnel, black gold route, Valdez, Alaska, USA
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

Sensations vs Impressions

Guardian, Stalin Museum, Gori, Georgia
History
Upplistsikhe e Gori, Georgia

From the Cradle of Georgia to Stalin's Childhood

In the discovery of the Caucasus, we explore Uplistsikhe, a troglodyte city that preceded Georgia. And just 10km away, in Gori, we find the place of the troubled childhood of Joseb Jughashvili, who would become the most famous and tyrant of Soviet leaders.
Terra Nostra Park, Furnas, São Miguel, Azores, Portugal
Islands
Vale das Furnas, São Miguel (Azores)

The Azorean Heat of Vale das Furnas

We were surprised, on the biggest island of the Azores, with a caldera cut by small farms, massive and deep to the point of sheltering two volcanoes, a huge lagoon and almost two thousand people from São Miguel. Few places in the archipelago are, at the same time, as grand and welcoming as the green and steaming Vale das Furnas.
Reindeer Racing, Kings Cup, Inari, Finland
Winter White
Inari, Finland

The Wackiest Race on the Top of the World

Finland's Lapps have been competing in the tow of their reindeer for centuries. In the final of the Kings Cup - Porokuninkuusajot - , they face each other at great speed, well above the Arctic Circle and well below zero.
José Saramago in Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain, Glorieta de Saramago
Literature
Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain (España)

José Saramago's Basalt Raft

In 1993, frustrated by the Portuguese government's disregard for his work “The Gospel According to Jesus Christ”, Saramago moved with his wife Pilar del Río to Lanzarote. Back on this somewhat extraterrestrial Canary Island, we visited his home. And the refuge from the portuguese censorship that haunted the writer.
Whale Hunting with Bubbles, Juneau the Little Capital of Great Alaska
Nature
Juneau, Alaska

The Little Capital of Greater Alaska

From June to August, Juneau disappears behind cruise ships that dock at its dockside. Even so, it is in this small capital that the fate of the 49th American state is decided.
Sheki, Autumn in the Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Autumn Homes
Autumn
Sheki, Azerbaijan

autumn in the caucasus

Lost among the snowy mountains that separate Europe from Asia, Sheki is one of Azerbaijan's most iconic towns. Its largely silky history includes periods of great harshness. When we visited it, autumn pastels added color to a peculiar post-Soviet and Muslim life.
Matukituki River, New Zealand
Natural Parks
Wanaka, New Zealand

The Antipodes Great Outdoors

If New Zealand is known for its tranquility and intimacy with Nature, Wanaka exceeds any imagination. Located in an idyllic setting between the homonymous lake and the mystic Mount Aspiring, it became a place of worship. Many kiwis aspire to change their lives there.
Semeru (far) and Bromo volcanoes in Java, Indonesia
UNESCO World Heritage
Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park Indonesia

The Volcanic Sea of ​​Java

The gigantic Tengger caldera rises 2000m in the heart of a sandy expanse of east Java. From it project the highest mountain of this Indonesian island, the Semeru, and several other volcanoes. From the fertility and clemency of this sublime as well as Dantesque setting, one of the few Hindu communities that resisted the Muslim predominance around, thrives.
View from the top of Mount Vaea and the tomb, Vailima village, Robert Louis Stevenson, Upolu, Samoa
Characters
Upolu, Samoa

Stevenson's Treasure Island

At age 30, the Scottish writer began looking for a place to save him from his cursed body. In Upolu and the Samoans, he found a welcoming refuge to which he gave his heart and soul.
Soufrière and Pitons, Saint Luci
Beaches
Soufriere, Saint Lucia

The Great Pyramids of the Antilles

Perched above a lush coastline, the twin peaks Pitons are the hallmark of Saint Lucia. They have become so iconic that they have a place in the highest notes of East Caribbean Dollars. Right next door, residents of the former capital Soufrière know how precious their sight is.
Ulugh Beg, Astronomer, Samarkand, Uzbekistan, A Space Marriage
Religion
Samarkand, Uzbekistan

The Astronomer Sultan

The grandson of one of the great conquerors of Central Asia, Ulugh Beg, preferred the sciences. In 1428, he built a space observatory in Samarkand. His studies of the stars led him to name a crater on the Moon.
Flam Railway composition below a waterfall, Norway.
On Rails
Nesbyen to Flam, Norway

Flam Railway: Sublime Norway from the First to the Last Station

By road and aboard the Flam Railway, on one of the steepest railway routes in the world, we reach Flam and the entrance to the Sognefjord, the largest, deepest and most revered of the Scandinavian fjords. From the starting point to the last station, this monumental Norway that we have unveiled is confirmed.
young saleswoman, nation, bread, uzbekistan
Society
Fergana Valley, Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan, The Nation That Does Not Lack Bread

Few countries employ cereals like Uzbekistan. In this republic of Central Asia, bread plays a vital and social role. The Uzbeks produce it and consume it with devotion and in abundance.
Busy intersection of Tokyo, Japan
Daily life
Tokyo, Japan

The Endless Night of the Rising Sun Capital

Say that Tokyo do not sleep is an understatement. In one of the largest and most sophisticated cities on the face of the Earth, twilight marks only the renewal of the frenetic daily life. And there are millions of souls that either find no place in the sun, or make more sense in the “dark” and obscure turns that follow.
Howler Monkey, PN Tortuguero, Costa Rica
Wildlife
Tortuguero NP, Costa Rica

Tortuguero: From the Flooded Jungle to the Caribbean Sea

After two days of impasse due to torrential rain, we set out to discover the Tortuguero National Park. Channel after channel, we marvel at the natural richness and exuberance of this Costa Rican fluvial marine ecosystem.
Bungee jumping, Queenstown, New Zealand
Scenic Flights
Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown, the Queen of Extreme Sports

In the century. XVIII, the Kiwi government proclaimed a mining village on the South Island "fit for a queen".Today's extreme scenery and activities reinforce the majestic status of ever-challenging Queenstown.