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Published: February 23rd 2010
Merlene & Jan from Hatters to Go!
Dancing round a lamp post in Evandale
Day 294 - Mole Creek to Moulting Bay (St Helens)
A word of warning to all travellers intending to visit Tasmania, give yourselves plenty of time! There’s so much to see and do, our 21 days is whistle stop to say the least. Moving day has crept up on us again but we have an early morning short walk to cram in before we up sticks from the caravan park. Mole Creek is proving to be exceptionally well placed for walks of good quality and stunning views, today’s is no exception.
We were given a tip that Devils Gullet should be visited early morning to fully appreciate the view on offer. We didn’t need to be given that advice twice as the sky was filled with ominous looking clouds already but they held firm as we made the 40 minute drive to the start of the walk passing the road to that epic we almost walked ‘The Walls of Jerusalem’.
Off the bitumen the track starts to wind its way upwards, that’s no surprise as we are in Tasmania where thankfully not much of it is flat and therefore the views are tremendous.
This isn’t somewhere you
are able to reach in the really cold weather, if it has snowed the road is shut and if it looks like snow you are warned not to proceed any further. Luckily the only element we’re wary of is more rain this morning but so far we’re even avoiding that.
A lot of effort has been put in to making this a very easy walk, sections of boardwalk with chicken wire over the top so its not slippery in the wet and there are even good gravel pathways in sections. Within 15 minutes we’re looking over the most fantastic view.
Carved out by ice and water Devil’s Gullet lies 220 metres below us and to the west of us are dolerite-capped mountains in the Cradle Mountain - Lake St Clair national park. It’s a truly magnificent sight and the misty morning makes it all the more magical.
We did well to take the advice of visiting early morning, within minutes our view was engulfed in a white blanket and gone for perhaps another day.
From here we continued to Lake McKenzie, a recreational fishing lake that we could see from the lookout at Devils Gullet. We
Is it magical or eerie?
Still at Devils Gullet - 8.22am
followed a raised canal system all the way up there to find two cars presumably owned by keen and early rising fishermen! With no licence to fish we made our way back down the track stopping at the Fisher River scenic lookout for another terrific view across another set of terrific mountains. This time we could see Mt Ossa (1740m), Barn Bluff (1690m) and Mt Smithies to name a few.
That ended our tour through another section of the Great Western Tiers otherwise known as the Great Tasmanian Diversion.
Most things had already been packed away so we afforded ourselves a nice hot shower before getting back on the road, this time with the caravan in tow and making our way to St Helens in the east of the state.
Along the way, Evandale was well placed for a lunch time stop and as luck would have it today is Sunday and therefore market day! Goodie!
We’ve wandered into a little slice of home! This beautiful country town really minds us both of Broadway in the Cotswolds with its lovely olde-worldy charm. We’re a week early for its greatest yearly festival, the village fair and the
Tony, don't look down!
Devils Gullet is 220m below us
National Penny Farthing Championships but we’ve sneaked in just in time for the end of today’s market. There are some great stalls with curious wares for sale, lots of fruit and veg and even a little something for a quick bite of lunch - freshly made Dim Sims, yum!
It’s all very nice, very immaculate and very proper but as we ventured up the main street we spotted something that was quite out of the ordinary. Ladies of a certain age wearing red and purple!
I’ve read about these wild, care free ladies that throw caution to the wind and cover themselves in a mixture of red and purple … but we’ve never met any in the flesh. Jane asks them if they mind having their photo taken, of course they don’t and we’re treated to not only a photo session but an impromptu singing performance of their anthem. It’s all a beautiful experience and it was great fun to meet Joan, Margaret, Jan, Merlene, Suzanne and Janet of Hatters to Go. Good on you ladies, at least I know what I’ll be doing when I turn sixty - dancing round a lamp post if you crazy birds
Devils Gullet - 8.31am
are anything to go by!
We left Evandale with a spring in our step and continued on to St Helens via Fingal, another beautiful tiny mining town, and then we ventured across St Marys Pass. That’s a hill and a half! No drama with a caravan the size of ours in tow but for Tony (who doesn’t like heights) & Jane behind us with their 23 footer it was a bit hairy at times. It’s very tight and very windy plus you’ve got the added entertainment of a sheer drop for some of the way if you get anything wrong - it’s enough to keep you on the ‘straight and narrow’ although there weren’t many ‘straights’!
St Helens was our next stop and us ladies abandoned our men as we went in search of the visitors information centre. We were just curious about what there is to do in the area other than go look at the Bay of Fires and of course the helpful chap comes up with some details on a few walks so it looks like the theme of the holiday will continue!
With some necessary supplies sourced from the local IGA we’re set
for a couple of nights free camping at Moulting Bay. Only a short drive from St Helens the site is perfectly placed for a visit to the Bay of Fires and for Jane & Tony to catch up with a friend of a friend who lives in Binalong Bay.
Moulting Bay is a spacious camp spot and once we’ve delivered the afternoon’s entertainment of circling around it like vultures, we pick what we think is going to be a good area and set up.
It looks like the sort of place where ‘locals’ would come to get away from it all and the family camped just across from us exactly prove the theory. They’ve been here a few weeks already and the enormous trailer of wood suggests they’ll be here a while longer yet!
It’s great travelling with Tony & Jane and we’re having a lot of fun exploring this fabulous state with them and laughing a lot along the way. It’s impossible to write down all the little ditty’s that Tony comes out with (although I will try before we leave!) and when it comes to making a list of the tools that he carries to
make their journey more efficient it spans into the hundreds. Take for example, “Tool 201” which is actually half a peg used in the awning apparatus to stop it being accidentally released! Stay on the edge of your seats for tools “199a” and “199b” as they are waiting in the wings to be used tomorrow!
We’re treated to a fabulous beef stir fry by Jane this evening, a tasty treat for Valentines Day. So from us young lovers out here in Tasmania we bid you a good night.
Dar and Sar
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