Across the Apple Island through Lake Country into the Western Wilds

At St Helens we take a left turn and head inland up the winding roads into beautifully green rolling landscapes and lush forests. We walk through a mystic old rainforest to visit the 90 meter high Columbia Falls.

In tiny Branxholm (population 210) wecook lunch: Wallaby Sausage😋

In the late afternoon we get a first glimpse of Launceston in the distance.

At dusk, we arrive in “Lonnie” and park our car at magnificent Cataract Gorge to walk – or should I say hike across the rocky hill – into town. It’s a lovely evening in this historical township and we get to know a pub or two 🙂

The next day we head out towards Cradle Mountain, past Deloraine and Mole Creek where spring fever is in the air. It feels like Easter time in Austria when I see all the spring flowers blossom, observing the baby ducks shyly following their mum at the banks of quiet Meander River.

Getting closer to the National Park, we come across wombats and even an echidna!

We walk around Dove Lake and enjoy the picturesque panorama, Cradle Mountain in the background and the weather constantly changing. We experience all four seasons in the four hours we are there.

The Lake Country is also where we get the opportunity to observe the shy platypus, quite unique monotreme (egg-laying mammal). It’s otter-like with webbed feet and a bill similar to a ducks’. Platypuses are elusive, only seen at dawn and dusk in a quiet rivers and streams, super hard to spot.

Since it’s quite cold, with a forecast of temperatures below zero at night, we decide to move on and spend the night in Tullah by the lake and with a campfire 😊

Driving further west, we discover abundant mining towns. One can adumbrate the former glory of days long gone, by observing the old theatre and other fine architecture in these ghost towns. Chats with the locals who still stayed behind are particularly interesting here and reveal a different picture from the one somebody would get who just rushes through and doesn’t take the time to explore a bit and be curious.

Just before arriving in Strahan at the West Coast, we go wild at huge sand dunes, the Henty Dunes!

Strahan is a gem of a little town nestled between the harbour and rainforest. We dig into deliciously fresh gummy shark burgers and chips at The Bay Fish Co.

Our way back to Hobart through the Western Wilds we learn more about the copper mining history of the region and the economic, social and environmental challenges the developments have posed to the region, including some devastating catastrophes… makes me think, nature is fighting back as it’s been exploited so badly…

The forest of just dead trees we drive through for kilometres on end is just sad … unbelievable that deliberate destruction of the environment still continues to this day, while mankind is fully aware of the fact that there will be negative consequences. We feel them already and we will feel them more and more.

“A nation to destroys its soils destroys itself. For us at the lungs of Ireland, purifying the air and getting fresh drinks to our people.”

~Franklin D Roosevelt~

“The ultimate test of man’s conscience may be his willingness to sacrifice something today for future generations was words of things will not be heard.”

~G. Nelson, Founder of Earth Day~

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