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.
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

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Discovering tassie, Part 3, Tasmania, Australia

Tasmania from Top to Bottom

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Alice Springs to Darwin, Australia

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

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Perth to Albany, Australia

Across the Far West of Australia

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Sydney, Australia

From the Exile of Criminals to an Exemplary City

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Busselton, Australia

2000 meters in Aussie Style

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Great Ocean Road, Australia

Ocean Out, along the Great Australian South

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Perth, Australia

the lonely city

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Perth, Australia

The Oceania Cowboys

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Perth, Australia

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

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Wycliffe Wells, Australia

Wycliffe Wells' Unsecret Files

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savuti, botswana, elephant-eating lions
Savuti, Botswana

Savuti's Elephant-Eating Lions

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Thorong La, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal, photo for posterity
Annapurna (circuit)
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At the height of the Annapurnas Circuit

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Architecture & Design
napier, New Zealand

Back to the 30s – Old-Fashioned Car Tour

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Era Susi towed by dog, Oulanka, Finland
PN Oulanka, Finland

A Slightly Lonesome Wolf

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MassKara Festival, Bacolod City, Philippines
Ceremonies and Festivities
Bacolod, Philippines

A Festival to Laugh at Tragedy

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Kolmanskop, Namib Desert, Namibia
Kolmanskop, Namíbia

Generated by the Diamonds of Namibe, Abandoned to its Sands

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Singapore Asian Capital Food, Basmati Bismi

The Asian Food Capital

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Garranos gallop across the plateau above Castro Laboreiro, PN Peneda-Gerês, Portugal
Castro Laboreiro, Portugal  

From Castro de Laboreiro to the Rim of the Peneda – Gerês Range

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Spectator, Melbourne Cricket Ground-Rules footbal, Melbourne, Australia
Melbourne, Australia

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Creel, Chihuahua, Carlos Venzor, collector, museum
Chihuahua a Creel, Chihuahua, Mexico

On Creel's Way

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Aswan, Egypt, Nile River meets Black Africa, Elephantine Island
Aswan, Egypt

Where the Nile Welcomes the Black Africa

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Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

life outside

Cobá, trip to the Mayan Ruins, Pac Chen, Mayans of now
Cobá to Pac Chen, Mexico

From the Ruins to the Mayan Homes

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Balinese Hinduism, Lombok, Indonesia, Batu Bolong temple, Agung volcano in background
Lombok, Indonesia

Lombok: Balinese Hinduism on an Island of Islam

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Correspondence verification
Winter White
Rovaniemi, Finland

From the Finnish Lapland to the Arctic. A Visit to the Land of Santa

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On the Crime and Punishment trail, St. Petersburg, Russia, Vladimirskaya
Saint Petersburg, Russia

On the Trail of "Crime and Punishment"

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Geothermal, Iceland Heat, Ice Land, Geothermal, Blue Lagoon

The Geothermal Coziness of the Ice Island

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Mother Armenia Statue, Yerevan, Armenia
Yerevan, Armenia

A Capital between East and West

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Hell's Bend of Fish River Canyon, Namibia
Natural Parks
Fish River Canyon, Namíbia

The Namibian Guts of Africa

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Robben Island Island, Apartheid, South Africa, Portico
UNESCO World Heritage
Robben Island, South Africa

The Island off the Apartheid

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female and cub, grizzly footsteps, katmai national park, alaska
PN Katmai, Alaska

In the Footsteps of the Grizzly Man

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La Digue, Seychelles, Anse d'Argent
La Digue, Seychelles

Monumental Tropical Granite

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Aurora lights up the Pisang Valley, Nepal.
Annapurna Circuit: 3rd- Upper Banana, Nepal

An Unexpected Snowy Aurora

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End of the World Train, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina
On Rails
Ushuaia, Argentina

Last Station: End of the World

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Executives sleep subway seat, sleep, sleep, subway, train, Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo's Hypno-Passengers

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Busy intersection of Tokyo, Japan
Daily life
Tokyo, Japan

The Endless Night of the Rising Sun Capital

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Cape cross seal colony, cape cross seals, Namibia
Cape Cross, Namíbia

The Most Turbulent of the African Colonies

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Passengers, scenic flights-Southern Alps, New Zealand
Scenic Flights
Aoraki / Mount Cook, New Zealand

The Aeronautical Conquest of the Southern Alps

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