TASMANIA



Tasmania is one of Australia's pure gem states. Detached from the mainland by some 429 kilometres south of Melbourne across Bass Strait, it has unspoilt beauty which all travellers acknowledge.
Very few cars, country hospitality and laid-back lifestyle -- who could ask for more?


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"The Spirit of Tasmania" Ferry
One of two luxury catamarans with dining rooms, cabins with private facilities, bars and gaming facilities. They leave Melbourne and Devonport each evening at 9.00pm, crossing mid-strait to arrive in port the next morning at 7.00am. If you are boarding by car, forget being early as you will drive on much later than the foot passengers. I suggest you eat ashore as the dining rooms are always packed out, and join the queue to board at say 8.15-8.30pm. Then shout youself a drink at the bar and retire as you will have an early get up the next morning.
In 2004 the service was extended to operate from Sydney and sails three times a week.

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Batman Bridge
A relatively new bridge crossing the Tamar River in the Launceston area. The road alongside the river meanders through many vineyards and boutique wineries.

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Letterbox and woodcarving
There's a village in the hills north of Launceston called Grindelwald which has been modelled on a Swiss village. Many of these chalet style houses have ornate carved figures such as this in their gardens.

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Unusual rose at Swansea in the Bicheno area which is famous for its crayfish. Tasmania generally has magnificient seafood.

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Freycinet
Part of the National Park at Freycinet. Centre of the picture on the opposite shore is a magnificient hotel -- and in the middle of a national park!

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Convict built bridge at Ross
There are convict constructions all over Tasmania as the state was used as a penal state in the early history of the colony. Sadly, in some instances the treatment of prisoners was extremely brutal but they have left their "rade marks" by many beautiful sandstone buildings and bridges. Ross is a very good example of this.

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Looking upstream from the top of the bridge at Ross.
Many areas bear a strong resemblance to that of English scenery and here is an example.

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The end of the road - 100m above the ground - Tahune Forest Airwalk.
A walk in the tops of the trees of this magnificient national park. This is the furthermost point of the walk and is cantilevered out over the park. Not really recommended for those who don't care for heights but it is perfectly safe. Well, so far!

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Roadway to nowhere.
Standing out on the extremity of the cantilevered section and looking back along the walk.

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The cantilevered section - it sways a bit!

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View of the river from the walk

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Russell Falls.
Lovely cascades in the national park out of Hobart (capital of Tasmania). Lakes Fenton and Dobson lie within this park.

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Road into Strathgordon where we stayed two nights on the shores of Lake Pedder which is a World Hetitage Area. Distinctly untamed and freezing cold in their severe winters.

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Lake Pedder.
A beautiful lake which forms part of the Gordon River system. The picture is taken from the Strathgordon Chalet which used to house the executives working in connection with the dam. The town did have a population of some thousands but is now virtually uninhabited.

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More of Lake Pedder (World Heritage Area)

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Ned's Beach - Lake Pedder.
A naturally formed beach on the lake. The brown colour of the water is not pollution but the result of rain water passing through button grass which is prolific in the area. The water is near enough to 100% pure.

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Gordon River Dam.
A massive contruction containing millions and millions litres of water.

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Dam wall from a lookout higher up the mountain.

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Serpentine Dam wall.
A peripheral dam forming part of the whole complex.

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Water level control station - Serpentine Reach

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Headed out of Strathgordon.

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Old oast house

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Hydro Electric Station at Tarraleah

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Road into Queenstown - copper mining and smelting.
All vegetation disappeared with smelting operations, giving the place an appearance similar to that of the mooon. Smelting has now ceased, the vegetation is growing back and the locals are not pleased as they are fast losing their main tourist drawcard - desolation!

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Road into Queenstown - copper mining and smelting.

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Road down into Queenstown

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Remains of part of a detention block - Sarah Island.
The prisoners were forced to build boats which they mostly had to do standing waist deep in freezing water. It was quite a large business for the colony.

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Our tourist catamaran moored at Sarah Island.

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Fishing Harbour - Strahan
Dockside with fishermen unloading and mending equipment

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A little old Police Station - Strahan Macquarie Harbour.

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Looking out over Strahan Village and Macquarie Harbour

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Rail Bridge - Strahan to Queenstown.
This cog railway was built to bring copper to Strahan for shipment to the mainland. Parts of the track are quite steep necessitating rack and cogs. It is undergoing rebuilding for the tourist trade.

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Strahan Railway Station - Strahan to Queenstown

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"Waldheim" - Cradle Mountain.
"Waldheim" is German for Forest Home and the place was built for tourists almost 100 years ago. Being way out on the way to Cradle Mountain, it was a real adventure in those days. Can get very cold and you can see a very light snow fall. This is almost mid summer!

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The river at Cradle Mountain Lodge.
A great place to stay with a central lodge and cabins scattered in close proximity. The cabins are very well fitted out -- each one with its own fire and firewood for the chilly weather.

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The cars in the morning.

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Gives you an idea of how summer can be at Cradle Mountain Lodge! On our way to breakfast - Cradle Mountain Lodge

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The North Coast near Boat Harbour - Sisters Beach.
Again the brown coloured water caused by button grass not pollution.

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The North Coast - Sisters Beach Headland.

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The North Coast - Penguin.
The town of Penguin with its logo dressed for Christmas.

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Old Don River Train at Devonport.

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Old Don River Train - Devonport.
My wife, Vivienne - the only customer.


Map of the route followed


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