A Small Piece of Austria


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Published: August 30th 2015
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A Small Piece of AustriaA Small Piece of AustriaA Small Piece of Austria

Mummy and her offspring
We woke early, as today was our last day full day in beautiful cradle mountain, it was raining and the weather report said it was going to rain all day, but we were not deterred, not when there are Wombats to see.



We drove down to the main lodge as we wanted out breakfast, and sat in a window seat and watched the weather roll in.



The open fire was crackling away, and as we looked out we commented that there seemed to be a lack of wildlife, no pademelons, no Wombats, so when it snows they come out to forage, but when it rains they seem to stay inside.



I have been reading a book called the “Secret life of Wombats” written about a 15 year old school boy who went to a privileged school called Timber Tops in Victoria, the very same school that Prince Charles went to, the schoolboy Peter Nicholson, began to investigate the secret world of Wombats by crawling down their burrows and making friends with them, these torch light adventures have since inspired generations of scientists and his research is still considered useful.



Breakfast is finished, we zip up and head out to the car, as we wanted to go to the the Waldheim Chalet, Gustav and Kate Weindorfer built the chalet in around 1912 as they fell in love with the region, and wanted it to be shared with everybody as a National Park to that it would remain unspoilt and for us standing here today, this is truly magnificent.



The story is a sad one, the Chalet was nearly complete when Gustav lost his wife Kate in 1916, with the out break of the first world war, as Gustav was Austrian he was treated with suspicion, so he finished the chalet and became a hermit.



Our trip up the Waldheim was picture perfect apart from the rain, snow lying deep on the ground. Despite the rain the snow remains intact and ice has formed to make the paths very slippery. It was a bit of a climb to get to the chalet safely, we have been to Austria a few times and with the snow and looking at the style of chalet, if you didn’t hear Aussie accent you would swear we we were in Obersalzberg.



We walked around, man it would have been cold in the chalet back in the early 1900’s, cold but stunningly beautiful.



There was a few interactive recording of supposedly Gustav himself telling his story of Waldheim, and my word they must have been tough people, it was great to be there to share their story. Gustav spoke of wildcats who would "torture" him by hanging around and breaking into his house at night and wrecking the kitchen, I wondered if he was talking about the Tasmanian Tiger.



We wandered back to the car and looked over Cradle Mountain, what an amazing choice for our anniversary.



Next stop was Ronnie Creek again, in search of our favourit marsuipial, and as required we spotted about eight different Wombats out grazing in the rain.



The mother and off spring who were out yesterday had made an appearance and some other Wombats were out just doing their thing, I carefully navigated my way over to the button grass to see the mother and off spring and Caroline wandered over to a gorgeous brown colour looking Wombat, who was heading down to the stream.



Just a quick description about the wombat from my book.



“The Wombat is a buff to Greyish-black course haired thick set animal about three feet long and it stands about one foot three inches high. It is heavy set ( Often about 70 pounds in weight) and its weight is carried by its short thick legs. It is very strong and when in a hurry looks like a tank and it takes all types of hills and Gullies in its stride. It leaves a footprint like a foreshortened human footprint in the mud and snow”.



We are getting pretty well soaked but these creatures just don’t seemed bothered by the weather (unlike the ones up by the Lodge this morning!) and are just most probably driven by their stomach.



I got to about three feet away from my animal and it just kept crazing, though the off spring did retreat to under the button grass, which I did wonder was possibly the entrance to their burrow.



Caroline had success with her quarry and got a great shot of a Wombat drinking from the stream.



With all this fresh air and excitement it was lunch time,so we went back to our chalet and excitedly down loaded our pictures, I was happy to lie on the bed in the warmth and read and Caroline took a wander down to the gift shop then up to the falls.



The afternoon passed in the blink of an eye, Caroline had come back from her wanderings, and after am afternoon spa, we decided to go and have an early dinner as we needed to pack we would be away early ish tomorrow.



It was our last time in the restaurant, Caroline ordered a salad and I ordered steak (& chips, but Caroline steals the chips claiming that she is helping me out), the food has been really good here, with dinner digesting we went back to our room to pack our gear ready for the morning.



It was not easy getting repacked, we were pretty tight on space when we came out, but we are taking home a couple of extra mugs and a small wombat, but somehow we managed to squeeze everything in and the zippers were done up! Except for our toiletries bags which would go in just before we leave in the morning.



We are sad to be leaving this wonderful place and what a great trip and great memories, but we can always come back next year.



Goodnight KJ


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A Small Piece of AustriaA Small Piece of Austria
A Small Piece of Austria

The view from the Waldheim House
A Small Piece of AustriaA Small Piece of Austria
A Small Piece of Austria

The Waldheim House, there are guest chalets in behind.
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A Small Piece of Austria

Andy cannot resist, he took pity on this Currawong who was looking amongst the tourist cars for someone to feed him


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