Tuesday, 6 January 2015

More POMs in Tasmania

Following the Derwent River from Hobart we came to the town of New Norfolk. We passed glittering rapids, salmon ponds, tall rows of hop frames and vines, historic Oast houses and boarders of populars.

We arrived in Fentonbury and met up with Charly (who came to visit us in Borneo last Easter) and her boyfriend Eric. They were staying in a pretty little hoilday cottage next to Eric's parents' house which they own and manage. It was very beautiful up there, lush green forests and mountain springs. The air was so clean it was almost like being in a dream. We stayed two nights and went on three walks. The weather was great. 

We went for a walk up in the Mount Field National Park among extensive stands of ancient plants of Gondwanan origins. A winter ski resort has been established on the highest peaks. Gnarled pines twisted their trunks through splinted rocks. Peaty heathland and alpine plants covered the higher mountain saddles. Lower down the lake shores were teeming with Pandani groves - a spiky palm.

Admiring the views over Lake Dobson in Mount Field National Park

Pandani groves surround the lower lakes

A Bennets Wallaby waits for us above the car park

Pademelon in full flight - the smallest wallaby species in Tasmania

Charly and Eric treated us to a delicious BBQ on the front porch in the settling sun. There were many kookaburras in the garden, and pet lamas in the neighbouring field. 

Home sweet home

The following day we took a stroll around Lake St Claire. It is apparently the deepest lake in Australia. It was carved out by several glaciations over the last two million years. Lake St Claire is the headwaters of the Derwent River and it was ringed by dramatic peaks and dense forest. We scanned the lake edges for signs of a platypus but didn't see any. 

One of many hydroelectric systems in central Tasmania, dating back to the 1920s and 30s, some of the earliest in the world

Lake St Clair in the sunshine

Silver wattle - named after the silvery hairs covering the foliage

Sarah contemplating Tasmania's natural beauty

A flame robin

The clear water's of Lake St Clair are teeming with fish and tree debris brought down by the rivers that feed it

The humid forests are teeming with fungi even during late spring

Spink bask in sun on fallen trees...

.....or on the soft moss which covers the foliage and forest floor

On our last day we spotted five echidna deep in secluded forests. They are SO cute!!!! 

Road Trip heading home