DM and MM's Tasmania Trip Diary

Day 9 - Strahan to Bronte Park

Monday, 3 April, 2000

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Woke up at 6:30 again and had a shower and packed the car before the supplied brekky at 7:30 - cereal and toast. Then we drove by the historic Strahan Post Office to mail some postcards and take a photo of the old building. Drove up to the scenic lookout overlooking Strahan for another picture. On the way out of Strahan we stopped for petrol and saw a cool wooden kangaroo sculpture across the road.

Strahan Post Office
Strahan Post Office

We headed to Queenstown, which is built right next to a huge copper mine. The town is surrounded by strip mined mountainsides - kind of eerie with no trees on them.

Go ahead, shoot into the light
Between Strahan and Queenstown

On the way into the town we stopped at the Queenstown chairlift and took the ride to the top of the hill. The view was not as interesting as from The Nut at Stanley. We stayed only a few minutes then got on the chairlift to go back down. Just off the platform at the top, the chairlift stopped moving. The man at the top attendant box came out to shout to us that the electricity had gone off but they would get the backup generator going if it didn't come back on soon. We just hung around and waited. Five minutes later the chairlift started moving again - powered by the diesel generator - which they stopped as soon as we got to the bottom. Apparently we had stopped right over the highest point on the whole ride.

Finally we drove on into Queenstown proper, where the power was still off. We went into a supermarket for some rolls and milk and fruit. They had to remember the prices and add it all up manually! Queenstown was pretty dull really. We bought one apple and they had to get the old manual scale to weigh it and figure out the price.

Nelson Falls, Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park

From Queenstown it was a scenic drive east through the Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park. We stopped at a short walk to see Nelson Falls, which was pretty good. Certainly better than Montezuma Falls which we never saw - and much more impressive than the tiny Montana Falls. Then we stopped at the Donaghy's Hill lookout, which was a 20 minute walk from the car park, but worth it for the 360 degree views of mountains and valleys - if only the weather had been sunny instead of the grey and drizzle we had. Had lunch there.

Wild river
One of the wild rivers

Next was a stop with a 20 minute round loop walk along the Franklin and Surprise Rivers. Very nice rainforest and river scenery.

Tasmanian Wilderness
Forest scene, Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park

Finally we made it to Derwent Bridge and took the turnoff to Lake St Clair. At the lake we stopped for a coffee for Michelle then went for a loop walk to Platypus Bay on the lake. The walk started nicely and the lake and bay were good. We started back along the loop of the Wilderness Nature walk and it started raining. We got our umbrellas out. The scenery was nice, but it started raining steadily and we were keen to get back to the visitor centre. It took a bit longer than we hoped, but we finally made it back. Shared a Cascade fizzy apple.

Platypus Bay
Platypus Bay, Lake St Clair

Then we drove to Bronte Park for our accommodation for the night. Tuns out Bronte Park is basically just an accommodation place and a tiny general store in the middle of nowhere. Trout fishing territory apparently - because the main lodge has trout paintings and drawings and fishing flies all over the place. I reckon we're the only people ever to stay here and not go trout fishing. Had dinner in the lodge restaurant - vege noodle stir fry for Michelle and wallaby fillet with tomato and pepper sauce for me - was very nice.

Watched Friends in the lodge TV room and came back to our cabin for the night.

Mixed Business of the Day: Queenstown Florist and Jeans Shop.

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