Nearly worn out map of the roads (at least the ones on the map) we’ve driven in our ‘3 corners’ slow exploration of lutruwita (Tasmania). Lots of time in the car but even more on walking tracks. We both grew up here, have lived back here briefly and have visited countless times but we’ve seen extraordinary places for the first time on this excursion. This land is truly a national treasure. We acknowledge the creativity and wisdom of the Palawa people for whom this has been home for 40,000 years. It’s been unforgettable. Can’t wait to come back. #discovertasmania
The Arthur River is the last wild river in Tasmania; of the seven, the only one to have escaped a damn and/or logging. Because it was not formed by glacial movement there is no rock canyon in which to build a damn and being too far north for Huon Pine it has survived untouched. Today we ventured deep into the forest and soaked in its (today) quiet charisma. At its mouth is a headland aptly named ‘The Edge of the World’. There are logs, big logs, piled up like matchsticks and strewn along the coastline. In the winter floods the Arthur (and The Pieman to the south) spew out forest debris and the 15 - 20 metre swells (yes metres not feet) apparently fling these logs around like playthings. Otherworldly.
Long before I had any interest in riding waves, a couple of my mates would drive the early morning weekend kilometres for 2+ hours from Ulverstone to Marrawah to go surfing. The north coast of Tassie doesn’t get much surfable swell, but the west coast, that’s a different story. The longest stretch of unbroken water on the planet dishes up regular waves of consequence. Today we set out to explore the far north west, and miles from anywhere, a decent crew had gathered to try their luck on some chunky swell near Marrawah, presumably one of the spots my mates set their radars on decades ago. We took a selfie on the western most point of Tassie then attempted to drive to the end of the road at Cape Grim in the far corner, only to be foiled a few kilometres from the end. But along the way we drove into some incredible coast line, including this amazing stretch of beach north of Mount Cameron on aboriginal land. (Preminghana) Topped off the day with a quick bodysurf to ensure I’d experienced the ocean on this wild side.
Big beautiful trees, natural sinkholes filled with still water, very weird shaped rocks, middens trampled by 4WD tracks, aboriginal rock carvings, button grass plains and forest. And more forest. Endless forest. The Tarkine.
Flames Trees moments today. (Or if you don’t like Cold Chisel, then think Since I’ve Been Around, The Waifs) In the mist of nostalgia we did find a good cafe, so some things do inevitably change. My dad was the municipal engineer here for a few decades. After the moon landing in 1969 I guess it was unsurprising that he was inspired to install a space ship and rocket in a riverside playground. They are still there, and the kids are still enjoying them.
The end of the road: so this is the end of the southern most road in Australia. From here we did the day hike out to South Cape Bay where the untamed southern ocean roared its welcome.
Got in a couple of quick swims today. Morning frolic at Surveyors Bay in crystal clear beachies while Maria wandered along the sand (sshhhh! - yet another isolated idyllic Tassie village) and afternoon walk into the magical Duckhole Lake where the sun had warmed the surface water to bath temperature but the feet were cold. Jumping in water is one of the simple joys in life.
Extreme heat was a world away in the freezing wind on Hartz Peak yesterday. Thanks @rachduth for another wonderful day exploring.