Tasmania (Day 3) : From Cradle Mountain to Sheffield to Deloraine

Two nights stay in the dorm was over and our stuff were all packed back in our backpacks again. Last day of the trip came, a signal that our trip is almost over in few hours. Three days was not enough to see the whole island of Tasmania but I am already thankful I had a chance to see some part of it. I wished my holiday will be longer, but I was not in Australia for touring but for work so I cannot really extend my holiday plan. I am lucky enough for having a chance to see the island even for just few days. Though it was the last day tour of the group, I was looking forward on that day like it was first day. Main reason of my excitement was because of Cradle Mountain, as mountain always amaze me whether I see it from a distance or up-close. I was delighted when I learned that the group will do a bit of trekking and bush walking in one of the famous national park in the island and in Australia.

Cradle Mountain

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From Tullah (the place we stayed the two nights in Tasmania), we drove towards Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park and we stayed in the road for at least an hour. On our way, I watched the surroundings attentively in my window and before we reached the parking area, there was a part of the road that we passed where I saw a seemingly endless wilderness.  I felt I can’t get enough of what I am seeing at that time and I felt an overwhelming contentment in my heart for just being there at that moment. I cannot comprehend that I am actually seeing nature, vast space and remoteness of the place. My wandering thoughts stopped after the van parked near Dove Lake. We got off the vehicle from the parking and as we wait for the group to reassemble, we stopped near Dove Lake, a lake with amazing beautiful background of Cradle Mountain. After enjoying the lake up close, we started the trek and bush walk.

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Dove Lake with Cradle Mountain

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With Dove Lake Boatshed

We trekked Marions Lookout which is a great spot to see Cradle Mountain closer from the top. It is the same spot to see Dove Lake and Crater Lake which offers scenic views from the lookout and have 360 degree view of national park’s wilderness. The group had a great time not only for taking photos in the lookout but having fun in posing and jumping with beautiful scenery that surrounds everyone.

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Dove Lake

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Cradle Mountain

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Crater Lake

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Cradle Mountain-Lake St Claire National Park

When we had enough in enjoying the scenery of the national parks wilderness from the lookout, we trekked down and continued bush walking.  What great about the walk was we had a chance to see the beauty and remoteness of the place. The group followed the walking tracks in placed in the park and along the walks we spotted a wombat. Our walks continue as we reached the considered historical accommodation in Cradle Mountain which is Waldheim Chalet.

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Waldheim Chalet

Waldheim Chalet is a restored or replica of the rustic homes of couple whom discovered the Cradle Mountain – Gustav and Kate Weindorfer. The said accommodation is the nearest one in the national park.

Sheffield – Town of Murals

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After hiking in Cradle Mountain, we drove to Sheffield – a town of Murals where we took our lunch. After lunch, we walked around a bit and we found that its title of being Town of Murals is proven to be true and it stand on its title which made Sheffield an interesting place to visit.

Below are some of the murals that I was able to capture during the visit.

  • Stillness and Warmth

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First mural painted for town’s mural project which completed last 1986. The painting portrays Gustav Weindorfer who made effort to make Cradle Mountain/Lake St Clair  a National Park.

  • Masonic Lodge Symbols

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This mural (left) by John Lendis features some of the symbols found in a Freemason’s Lodge painted last 1992.

  • The Hardest Years

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Mural that depicts the typical rural life through a farmer and painted last year 2000 by Paul Wood and Mary Clancy.

  • No Boundaries (Left) and Still Free (Right)

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“No Boundaries” by Alicia Swiderski which inspired by children’s play.

Still Free” by Keith & Loretta Sommer and Winner of the Peoples’ Choice Award at Mural Fest 2013

  • Food Bowl

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Demonstration mural at Mural Fest 2012 by Julian Bale & Others.

  • “Hide and Seek”, “Poetic Stanza”, “Bonnie and Clyde”, & “Searching the Heart”

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From Mural Fest 2013 (left to right):

“Hide and Seek” which painted by Loren Wiffin with the concept of the imagination wild and free.

Poetic Stanza” created by Shannon Crees with thematic concerns of exotic surrealism and the boundless potential for beauty in utopian landscapes.

“Bonnie and Clyde” by John Eathorne and Leanne Tamas with the idea of Tasmanian convict woman breaks free, her cat awaits, both just a whisker away from the wild, both about to do a certain amount of unescourted roaming, while in their eyes, magic resides.

Searching the Heart” by Heather Sprott with concept of Nature itself is “freedom unrestrained”

  • Forth Falls

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The mural depicts the second and most spectacular of a series of seven falls which once cascaded down Forth Falls Creek and flowed into the Forth River. Painted by John Lendis in year 1990.

  • Tigers and Devils

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Painted by John Lendis last year 2000.

  • Christian Heritage

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The historical roots of each Christian denomination in Kentish along with approximately 140 people are depicted in this mural. Created by Cheyne Purdue last 1988.

Here are other of snapshots around Sheffield.

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Deloraine / Red Hills – 41 Degrees Salmon 

Our last stop before we ended the last day tour was a salmon farm called 41 Degrees Salmon where we had a chance to taste some of its salmon. After tasting experience, the group had some fun with the farm’s dog named George.

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Then, we headed to Launceston, where I stayed for the night before flying back to Melbourne the next morning, while some of the group ended their trip back to Hobart. Before I wrapped up my day, I had dinner in one of the diners in the city and had a bit of night walk just around my accommodation, it was a quiet night indeed in Launceston.

 

Arts and Craft : Sheffield Murals – “The Hardest Years”

Arts and Craft (Post#6) : Sheffield Murals – “The Hardest Years”

Sheffield is the town that we visited after Cradle Mountain. And because the town boast their art works such as murals, I had some snapshots of one of it which depicts the typical rural life through a farmer. This mural was painted last year 2000 by Paul Wood and Mary Clancy. The photo is part of Tasmania Adventure Photo Collection June 2013.

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Panoramic View : Mount Roland

Panoramic View  (Post#28) : Mount Roland

When we were on our way to visit Sheffield town, I got a chance to see the stunning scenery of Mount Roland inside the vehicle. The mountain is a conservation area in the north-west coast of Tasmania and Sheffield is the nearest town at the vicinity of the mountain. The photo is part of Tasmania Adventure Photo Collection June 2013.

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Discovery : Waldheim Chalet

Discovery (Post#20) : Waldheim Chalet

After trekking and bush walking from Marions Lookout in Cradle Mountain Lake St Clair National Park area, we reached Waldheim Cabins, a lodging at Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage site. Within the Cabins, we found a restored or replica of the rustic house of Gustav and Kate Weindorfer called Waldheim (“forest home”) Chalet which showcasing the life of the two while discovering Cradle Mountain which now extended up to Lake St Claire and become national park. These photos are part of Tasmania Adventure Photo Collection June 2013.

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Tasmania (Day 2) : From Montezuma Falls to Strahan to Henty Dunes

I cannot forget my travel in Tasmania because it was one of my travel that I felt how its freezing cold the winter season is in Australia. I experienced winter in Melbourne, but I seldom stayed outside for too long and since I stayed in apartment-hotel, I can control the temperature in my room. It was different when I was in Tasmania. The island is located at the southernmost which geographically nearer in Antarctica or south pole than in Melbourne. We stayed in the dormitory house where the heater is available at the living room/kitchen, therefore we can feel in our bed rooms the cold breeze coming from the outside that  sneaks to the walls and open space of the house. At first I thought that I will never be able to pull it through but in the end I survived the winter in the island.

We woke-up early in the morning. Everyone immediately prepared for the second day adventure. While I was wondering what to see and what we will do for that day, I can still feel the excitement within myself as I know we are going to places to explore and discover something. From the accommodation in Tullah, we drove towards Montezuma Falls not really far from where we stayed during the first night. Along the road, I saw a beautiful lake and I was glad that Greg our guide, did stopped near Murchison Bridge so we had a chance to see up-close and appreciate Lake Rosebery which just around the corner. Since it was early in the morning, the mist in the lake and the surrounding areas  was visible, a uniquely captivating scenery.

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Lake Rosebery

After enjoying the lake and taking some photos, we went back to the van to continue our second day adventure. The first part of the itinerary was Montezuma Falls, the highest Falls in Tasmania. From the parking, we walked in the rain-forest, taking the old tramway track and even had a chance to cross a very narrow suspension bridge not far from the falls which gave us a shaky feeling while enjoying the great view of the falls. Along the hike, we saw some mining holes as the area is a historical place of mining industry in the island during its glory days.

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Inside the rain-forest

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Narrow suspension bridge

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Some photos inside the rain-forest around the falls

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Montezuma Falls

Our lunch stop happened in  a small town called Strahan. The place has been historic because it became access port both for Sarah Island (where penal punishment for convicts were sent) and for mining settlement areas in the island. We spent time to roam the area in a bit. While wandering, the group found pathways to one of the accommodations in the town that offers a great overlooking view of Long Bay. While I was looking on information about the town, I just discovered that the town is called as one of the Loneliest Places On Earth and the Most Isolated Outpost in Australia with beautiful harbour at end of the world.

Some photos captured while on our way to Strahan

Some photos at Strahan while inside the van

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Town of Strahan

At Strahan Wharf Centre

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Overlooking at Long Bay

The group’s last stop before going back to the same accommodation we had during first night in the tour was Henty Sand Dunes which not really far from Strahan. It is a vast sand dunes to be found in the island and not far from the coast. The group had a playful funny activities in the dunes and the inner childishness of the group outburst. In the same sand dunes, the group did the tour company’s jump signature.

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Henty Sand Dunes

For our last night together in the group, I cannot forget the experience I had with them. The group had a party after dinner, because I don’t drink and not a party person, I went inside the dormitory bed room while most of them stayed in the living room. I heard the group just talking at first, then they played some music and started dancing, I heard the laughter and jokes outside. Inside the room I was in, I felt quite shy and timid. I stayed in the room for at least half an hour and while I was contemplating if I will join the group outside, one of them went inside and talked to me in a bit, then I decided to join them since it was the last night of the group together. Even though I really don’t know how to dance, I just move with the music and had fun and laugh with group. We had been like that in hours until we get tired and we decided to end it with happy mood.

Discovery : Strahan – One of the Loneliest Places on Earth

Discovery (Post#19) : Strahan – One of the Loneliest Places on Earth

One of the best thing in traveling is seeing new places and learning something about the place. When we were touring around Tasmania island, we had a chance to visit a small town in western part of Tassie called Strahan. The town has its own shares of its colorful history, has great connection in the earlier prisoners due to its nearness in Sarah Island, a notorious penal settlement during convict era and it also became port access for mining settlement areas in the island. The town’s name was came from its colony’s governor, Sir George Cumine Strahan.

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Still Expression : Henty Dunes – Jumping

Still Expression (Post#7) : Henty Dunes – Jumping

The so-called Jump signature of the tour company that we joined in. Even though that is not the case, our group had a great time, having fun in the sands even its winter time. These photos are part of Tasmania Adventure Photo Collection June 2013.

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Chromatic Outlook : Strahan Wharf Centre

Chromatic Outlook (Post#34) : Strahan Wharf Centre

While roaming around at Strahan, we found a viewing area of the harbour and here we saw from a distance the town’s wharf where most of the water transportation docks. The photo is part of Tasmania Adventure Photo Collection June 2013.

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Panoramic View : Henty Sand Dunes

Panoramic View (Post#27) : Henty Sand Dunes

Our last itinerary during our second day tour around Tasmania was playing around at Henty Sand Dunes which still part of Strahan, this was the place where our group had the historic and memorable jump adventures which signifies the thematic name of the tour company. The photo is part of Tasmania Adventure Photo Collection June 2013.

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Transportation : Strahan – Cruising Boats

Transportation (Post#6) : Strahan – Cruising Boats

Because Strahan became the gateway of Tasmania’s World Heritage Wild Rivers National Park, cruising boats are common to see since the town converted its major industry from mining to tourism. The photo is part of Tasmania Adventure Photo Collection June 2013.

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Name Of The Place : Montezuma Falls

Name Of The Place (Post#28) : Montezuma Falls

During our second day adventure in Tasmania, we had a walk inside the rain-forest of Rosebery until we found Montezuma Falls. The falls is the highest waterfalls in the island. The photo is part of Tasmania Adventure Photo Collection June 2013.

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Travel Diary 101 : Flight Bound to Taiwan

Today is my flight bound to Taipei I decided to work from home to avoid too much traffic from the city since its Friday and to give me a chance to prepare my stuff as I am avoiding to miss anything in my backpack. While I am packing, I’m still working, monitoring all incoming emails from time to time. I am lucky as not much work for me today since it’s just few days after New Year, most people at work has still hangover from recent major holidays. It is a quiet day for my work life which is great.

I left home 5 hours before my scheduled flight. I traveled at least 1.5 hours from home to Ninoy Aquino International Airport, to Terminal 3 to be exact. I withdrawn few cash to pay for my travel tax. There are self check-in kiosk available at the front of Air Asia counter, which is my airline for my travel. I felt at ease at first since I don’t have luggage to checked-in. After checked-in at the kiosk, I got my boarding pass from the machine, but when I checked the boarding pass printed, I saw that there is travel document verification mark on it and instructing to go to document verification counter. I inquired in one counter of Air Asia about it, I was advised the travel document verification is the same as checked-in counters. This means the self checked-in I did earlier in their kiosk is useless because I have to queue in the long line too. I wondered why they put those self checked-in kiosk, when they cannot provide a counter that only checks travel documents. It’s one of the disappointments that I experienced today.

I queued more than 1.5 hours just for travel document verification. When its my turn, I only spent around 5 to 10 mins. I was advised for the gate for my flight and instructed that the next step is immigration. If there was separate counters for verification check, the 1.5 hours may have been spent to other things than queuing and waiting, but that is reality of life when dealing with budget airlines.

I went to the immigration gate and passed easily without questions. Then, I passed the last scanner and I walked straight to the gate for my flight. One hour to go before my flight and I thought all will be good and then, as we approached the time of the flight schedule, there was announcement that the plane is being serviced and therefore the flight will be delayed for at least 40 minutes. Like other passenger, I can’t do much about it but to wait.

Next announcement was past quarter of 11 PM that night and they mentioned that we will be boarding soon. Then after few minutes, boarding the plane has been started. The plane took off past 12 AM in the morning. Estimated time to arrive Taipei was almost 3 AM, 2 hours delayed than scheduled time.

The usual experience inside the plane happened, the flight crew checks everything, demonstrated safety procedures and evacuation process during emergency. Then, the plane took off, after we were stabilized in the air, the crew started to do their chores, since I booked my flight with food, they served the food to the people who ordered it prior to the flight. I know that we cannot expect too much quality of the service in a budget airlines, because customer service comes with a price nowadays. That’s why I have to order my food together with my booking so that I can take advantage of serving the food at the earliest. Ordering food on the spot while inside the plane, can be daunting, as most of the time, your order will take sometime and if unlucky, the food you wanted to order is not available anymore.

My food served at the earliest and I ate and finished early, while the other crew still serving the other passengers. Because the flight was not too long, I just closed my eyes and took a nap. When I woke-up, the crew announced to prepare for landing to Taoyuan International Airport and I knew that in a matter of few minutes, I will be in Taipei,  Taiwan, new city and new country for me. Until then

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Written this diary last January 6-7, 2017.
Updated, June 8, 2017

Tasmania (Day 1) : From Mount Field to Lake St Clair to Donaghys Hill

I flew to Hobart from Melbourne at Sunday evening, June 16, 2013. I booked 3-Days tour from 17 to 19 and will return to Melbourne at 20th of the same month. I was booked for overnight stay at Edinburgh Gallery Bed & Breakfast for the next day’s start of adventure.

Monday, I woke-up early and had a quick breakfast in my accommodation which was a self-service at that time. Then, I checked-out by just dropping my room key into the drop box. I left the hotel early in the morning to go to the Pickled Frog hostel where the tour will pick-up the rest that will join the tour.

I was glad that my accommodation that I stayed in the city was not far from the pick-up point and just 5 minutes walk. When I arrived at the front of the hostel, there were  few people earlier than myself and already waiting. We waited in few more minutes until the vehicle for the tour arrived. The tour guide named Greg Price starts asking us for the tours and checks the names in his list, then we hopped on to the van.

Though it was drizzling cold Monday morning in Hobart, I was hoping to have a nice weather as I wanted to enjoy the few days adventure that I planned in Tasmania. From Hobart we drove to the north and as we were getting far from the city the weather was clearing which was a good sign.

Our first stop was Mount Field National Park. The tour that I signed up were more into nature adventure, therefore walking and trekking were not a surprising activity to do.

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We walked into the forest and Greg started discussing tidbits about national park and the giant or tallest trees. Then along the way we found a Tasmanian Pademelon. Though we were not so close to it, I had a chance to observed the cute nocturnal animal even from a distance, I even got a bonus since I was able to capture a snapshot of it (though photos are not so clear). It was one of the animals that I found in the notification board that we passed when we started the walk in the woods.

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Tasmanian Pademelon

After watching Tasmanian Pademelon for a couple of minutes, walks continued and we stopped a bit when we reach the Tallest Trees or Giant Trees (Eucalyptus Regnans) remains in the ground. What we saw were parts of the trees remains for years, one part still standing on the ground and one was fallen to the ground. Both remnants shows the hollow portion of the trees.

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Tallest Trees (Eucalyptus Regnans) at the ground

When we were done with Tallest Trees, we walk towards Russell Falls. At that time of our visit, there at least portion of the water flows in the falls. It was one of the scenic falls that I discovered in my travel because it has layers, like stairs of falls that makes the water flows amazingly beautiful.

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Russell Falls

Along the walks, we found swamp, Tallest Tress and scarlet robin bird. Below were snapshots that I had:

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Swamp

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Swamp Gum (Eucalyptus Regnans)

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Scarlet Robin

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Tasmanian Pademelon wood carved

Before we head for our lunch, we had a quick visit at Tarraleah Penstocks Lookout. The lookout is overlooking of Tarraleah Power Station including the huge pipes (penstocks) down to it. Looking at the photos of Hydro Tasmania, it reminded me the largest environmental movement occurred in Australia. As I see it, the company still somewhat able to push the project in another way.

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Tarraleah Penstock Lookout

Next thing happened, we went for the lunch, a restaurant near Lake St Clair. After lunch we went to the lake side. And there, I witnessed how the lake was so calm at that time, a very serene scenery.

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At Lake St Clair Lodge Restaurant

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Lake St Clair

After enjoying the lake, our last stop was a trek to Donaghys Hill Lookout. After a while of walking and trekking we reached the lookout. We climbed the stairs to reached its viewing platform and the next thing happened was enjoying a 360 degrees view of wonderful wilderness. I was thrilled of what I had seen at the lookout, a scenery worth to see.

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Scenery at Donaghys Hill Lookout

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Franklin River

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After the first and jam-pack itinerary tour, we drove to Tullah where our dormitory accommodation is located.

Before we reached our designated accommodation, the group did some groceries in a small town called Queenstown. A historic town rose during the mining glory days in the island.