Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Tasmania, Northeast

Sorry for the lack of posts over the last few days.  We have been enjoying ourselves exploring the north east quadrant of Tasmania (Tassie for short), and we have not had consistent or fast enough internet access to upload a worthy post. 

A decent part of the our visit to date has  involved free camping along windswept shorelines and visiting various attractive villages, national parks, and forests.  Add in wildlife watching and our days are pretty full!  Some photos below should tell the tale better than I can.
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The ferry landed in Devonport on the north central shore of Tassie.  We free camped 30k away and started driving south east the next day. 

Along the way we stopped at the Woolmers estate which has a number of historic farm buildings and 6 generation turn of the century homes that can be toured.  In addition they have an extensive (albeit poorly maintained rose garden created by the 2nd or 3rd generation.  Like many plantations in the US South this estate once farmed over 30,000 acres using convict labor.  (Australia and Tasmania were founded by penal colonies.

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Next we opted to visit nearby Ben Lomond National Park.  (Pretty much everything is near by, as the island is only about 4 hours across by car.)  Ben Lomond consists of an alpine plateau surrounded by steep dolomite cliffs.  In the  winter part of the park is a ski field and resort as it gets reliable snowfall despite being only 1500m tall.  In the previous ice age a small glacier flowed from the summit creating glacial boulder fields in several areas.

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The final ascent to the plateau is a series of steep switchbacks (called a Jacob’s ladder).  Here we are about ready to make the drive.

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Here we are at the overlook at the top of the ladder.
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There is lots of interesting plants that live exclusively in the tree free alpine zone. 
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We did a  short hike to the summit, mostly for the  views.

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If you look closely you might see a blue van down there.
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If you look carefully there is a bit of wildlife around as well.  This is a Bennets Wallaby
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More to come in the next post.

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