Feast, famine and flood

Time since accident: 5 weeks | Anticipated return to trail: 3 weeks

Van Diemen’s Land – annexed and so named by Abel Jans Tasman on December 3, 1642

With almost half of Tasmania preserved as national park, world heritage listed area or reserve, there are some who believe that the extinct Tasmanian Tiger still dwells in Tassie’s wild places

My time in Tassie with my family is flying by. It’s now been almost five weeks since the fall, a little over three of which have been spent in a cast. I’ll see the doc again on the 15th, at which point I’ll hopefully be able to have the plaster removed. Then I’ll head to NSW for a couple of weeks before hitting the trail in early July.

The calendar has been jam-packed and the next week looks set to continue in much the same vein. I’ve been doing my best to catch up with folk, but there remain a few friends down here that I’m yet to see.

Hanging out with my cousin Leith Laws (nee McColl) and Alison Alessio (Fang from my year of boarding at Scotch Oakburn College in 1989)

Megan with Shaddy and Mini Morris

Sue Westlake, Mum and Aunty Trish McColl in Deidre’s lounge for ‘CRAFT’ day (acronym for Champagne, Rolling laughter And Food for Thought) – what you see here is the most craft that went on all day. Soon after this shot, the bubbly was brought out, then a delicious lunch, the knitting was placed back in bags and that was the end of any pretense of work ๐Ÿ˜‹

Since returning from the shack, Mum and I have done some lovely Launceston walks, one of which was a 15km ramble from the Tailrace in Riverside to Hoblers Bridge Reserve in Newstead. We met Mum’s sister Trish for coffee at the Inveresk Uni campus about an hour into the walk, then again for lunch at Glebe Gardens.

Coffee at Blue Cafe

Gaston girls modelling Trish A’s gift of card and U.S. dosh

The university has built swanky student studio accommodation beside the river which looks fantastic.

Tas Uni’s swanky student accoms

For maps and other information about this and some of the other great walks that you can do in the Launceston area, check out the ‘Your Voice Your Launceston’ Trail Guide pdf. The guide has been compiled by the Launceston City Council and be downloaded for free.

The walk we did, which pieced together a series of shorter walks, followed the course of the Tamar River to the point where the North and South Esk Rivers converge and flow into it, then travelled upstream along the North Esk for a couple of kms. The trail continues here for several kms beyond Hoblers Bridge, but we made that our end point for the day.

Tamar basin

Boags Brewery

The walk included a stretch atop the newly upgraded system of levee banks, which has been built up in recent years as Launceston is prone to pretty serious flooding.

The Launceston Flood Authority project, which only saw completion in late 2015, would be seriously tested within two days of our walk, when Tasmania experienced statewide flooding. Much of where we’d walked ended up underwater but the levees held, protecting thousands of homes against rising rivers and tide. There is now talk of extending the network of levees to Newstead on Launceston’s eastern side, where 50 homes were impacted by the flood.

North Esk in flood

St Leonards Bridge (I feel as though there should be a possessive apostrophe here but this is how it’s spelt)


View of North Esk in flood from Stone’s Throw Cafe at Old Macdonald’s Farm

When I did one of my favourite walks at the Cataract Gorge last Friday it looked like this:

Zigzag track at Cataract Gorge

Suspension Bridge, First Basin, Cararact Gorge

Causeway, First Basin

The Lady Launceston – Tamar River Cruises

By Monday, with the South Esk spilling over the Trevallyn Dam, it looked more like this:

First Basin in flood

Mum, Dad and I watched the water rise from our vantage point at the fish & chip shop at the seaport as the tide came in on Tuesday:

Ma & Pa on the levee

Four seaport restaurants situated outside the levee-protected area had succumbed to flooding by the time the rivers reached their peak on Tuesday afternoon, and though the levels were receding by Wednesday afternoon, the cleanup was yet to begin:

Stillwater Restaurant

Hallam’s Seafood Restaurant

Tamar Basin in flood

I’m currently in Hobart and about to jump on a ferry so will label the pics from this post & put up some pics from the south of Tas at a later date.

One thought on “Feast, famine and flood

  1. Pingback: House sitting – meet the animals ๐Ÿพ | Booknboot

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