It is a short scenic drive inland from Strahan to Queenstown, through some rugged mountainous countryside.
Queenstown is a rough and tumble mining town with lots of character, surrounded by a landscape that looks a bit like a cratered moonscape.
I was in low gear most of the time, for the drive from Queenstown to Lake Peddar.
At a little town called Ouse you turn off to the Mount Field National Park.
The scenery is incedible, a vast area here is World Heritage listed, its true wilderness. There are a number of other lakes also: Lake King William, Lake St Clare, Lake Oberon and others.
Lurking by the lake – Lake Gordon
Along the way at Derwent Bridge, I stopped at a place called “The Wall”. An artist by the name of Greg Duncan is carving an inspirational tale commemorating those who helped shape the past and present of the Tasmanian Central Highlands. It is a work in progress, the scale is breathtaking. Carved on huge laminated panels (about 16 feet high and 12 feet wide) of Huon Pine lining the internal circumference of the building. When it is finished it will be 100 meters long.
The carving comes out of the panels, its not carved into the panels, sort of 3 dimesional. The artist said ” Life has been a great adventure and the wall is the next step along the trail, I wanted to share it with those who enjoy something a bit different”. I spent about 4 hours there just taking it all in, so grateful to be able to share and enjoy his work. You can find out more about The Wall at www.thewalltasmania.com
I really wanted to see the start of the Gordon River in the southern highlands. The scenery all the way was stunning, really windy roads, not a car in sight. I passed a bit of wild life along the way.
Finally someone travelling at a slower pace than the rocket.
I drove to the end of the road at Strathgordon and had a good look at the start of The Gordon River, the end of Lake Pedder and the Dam which brought international attention to Lake Pedder back in 1972. You can even absail down the face of the dam if you want. There wasn’t a breath of wind, it was breathtaking.
There are lots of fresh water trout in all these lakes which attracts a lot of fishermen from all around the world.
I stayed the night at one of the fishing lodges…..how big did you say the fish was?
From here it was a quick trip into Hobart, where the Wooden Boat Festival was on. As you will see from the following photos there were lots of boats…….Big boats, small boats, old boats, new boats, timber boats, Navy boats as well as woodworking tools, hand made ukuleles, gosh I was tempted and handmade oars.
The Navy was in town to keep an eye on things.
Hobart was alive with a carnival atmosphere, there was live entertainment, great food, paddling races for the kids, demonstrations and displays, the place was buzzing and basically booked out. I was lucky enough to get some accommodation at the famous Customs House right on the wharf and caught up with some great friends from Church Point – Hebbo and his dad, Ian, Dave, Toby and John Mills to name a few.
Buskers lined the waterfront – I wonder when these guys will grow up big and strong!
The Wooden Boat Festival is held every two years and run by volunteers. It is an exciting celebration of our nation’s rich maritime culture. Really worth a visit.
Everyone was so passionate about what they were doing, they were generous with their time and it was so good to see so many traditional skills in use keeping the legacy alive.
A few Salty Dogs hanging around the wharf.
I was lucky enough to meet up with Rob Pennicott who operates Pennicott Wilderness Journeys from his base on Bruny Island south of Hobart. A really interesting, genuine bloke who employs over 100 people and has contributed a lot to tourism in Tasmania. I helped him fuel up a couple of his boats and we shared some stories, he circumnavigated Australia by boat a few years ago and raised money for polio. Another person passionate about life and making a contribution. I’m going to make sure I go to Bruny Island and go on one of his tours and catch up again.
Until next time -Let your passion be the reason for your existence and your successes the product of your persistence.