Currently Reading: Trent Dalton – Boy Swallows Universe | Alice Bishop – A Constant Hum | Victor Steffensen – Fire Country | Ian McEwan – Sweet Tooth
My primary reason for return to Tas this time round was to join a small group of family and close friends for a journey up the Gordon River to scatter Dad’s ashes in his favourite fishing spot, a place he had been returning to each year for over thirty years. Ten of us set out from various locations in the north-east of the state and drove west, stopping in Sheffield for coffee and again in Rosebery for lunch.
View of Mt Roland from just outside of Sheffield
Steve (bro), John (cuz) and I stopped at the Henty Dunes on the way into town to relive memories of childhood. We used to spend hours as kids climbing these dunes in order to run or roll down them as fast as we could, only to climb them all over again. Rinse and repeat…
John and I went straight up the steepest section while Steve, due to his gout, took the gentler path that curved around behind the dune. We eventually resorted to clambering on all fours, because it turns out it gets considerably more difficult to ascend to such great heights through soft sand once one passes the age of about 15
A glimpse of the edge of the main drop we remembered from those younger days. We decided not to jump from here on this occasion as they appear to be quarrying the sand, making it a dangerous precipice which would likely trigger a sand avalanche – Steve did try to encourage me to run and jump off the edge blind, because he’s that kind of brother, but fortunately for me I know better than to trust him…
Check out these two style meisters…
And what about this classy broad?
Definitely one of my finer moments. I’ve watched this clip so many times now – it cracks me up every time. Filmed by bro. Sadly the image quality isn’t great – samsung file sharing leaves a bit to be desired…
Beautiful Tasmania – this raised relief map was in the hotel foyer in Strahan
Our group occupied this entire row of hotel rooms – our own little enclave
Heading out for my daily walk
The ‘Sophia’ at front right of this shot was the sweet little boat we chartered to take Dad up the river
Strahan foreshore walk
Love these cray pots
A fisherman’s paradise
One of the larger tourist boats that travel up the Gordon on a daily basis
It’s pretty wild country – only accessible by boat.
We were lucky enough to get to visit boom camp, where Dad would fish during the first week of September each year. Steve had been on a few of Dad’s fishing trips over the years, but for Mum and I, this was a first. It was a beautiful rainforest fairyland.
This is the flag marker that campers use to let others know they are using the toilet (which is up several small flights of stairs)
Referred to as the stairway to heaven …
… onwards and upwards …
… to this platform with the best view of wilderness
The landing pontoon
Dad’s bunk (apparently he used to occupy a top bunk until his later years)
View of the landing from the boat – look at all those lush, magnificent trees!
We also stopped by Heritage Landing, part of the Unesco World Heritage area in the Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park:
Can you see the boot?
It was a fantastic day on the water, with Macquarie Harbour (which can be very rough, and which you have to cross to get to the mouth of the Gordon River) remaining calm and clear for the duration.
Left to right: Aunty Trish McColl, Me, Deidre Merrick and Mum (Photo Credit @John Chaplin)
Back in Strahan, Steve, Mum, John and I went for a walk along Ocean Beach:
Antlered patterns in the sand
There was a golden glow over everything that day
That evening we dined at the restaurant overlooking the village:
Late light on the water
A spectacular spot from which to view the sunset
The Village of Strahan from above
The next morning, before leaving town, while Steve consumed a hangover brekky, John and I went for a wander to Hogarth Falls:
John has discovered the pano feature on his phone
What paradise is this?
A place of rare beauty
Some of the ferns in our rugged west coast Tasmanian forest predate human existence – let’s keep it that way
Driving home, we visited Queenstown, where Steve and I spent about 8 years of our childhood:
A scenic overlook somewhere between Strahan and Queenstown on a rare west coast blue sky day
Some of the buildings in Queenstown have been lovingly restored
This, the Empire Hotel, has a hundred+ year old blackwood staircase which we heard advertised on the radio on our way into town
Beautiful staircase (pity about the carpet haha)
Van life goals
Who says van life means you can’t have a garden?!
Books Completed: Anna Burns – Milkman