Wet, Rainy Day Makes No Fun in Tasmania

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Oceania » Australia » Tasmania » Cradle Mountain
April 14th 2018
Published: April 20th 2018
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It has been a dreary old day up here in Cradle Mountain, with the weather keeping us from doing a lot of things.

We had a 7am start as breakfast isn’t ready until 8 here, so there was no point in being ready early with nothing to do an nowhere to go. It had rained for the majority of the night, and being beneath a tin roof made for a restless and unpleasant night’s sleep.

Breakfast was quite nice with an assortment of cooked food and continental, and as it’s a small place, we saw almost everyone we saw at dinner the night before. Here, faces begin to become familiar.

After breakfast, we headed out to our first stop, which was going to be Tasmazia – at the time of being built in the 1980s, it was the largest in the world.

Tasmazia is a selection of mazes, designed mostly for kids, we knew, but they can be fun for grown-ups too! It’s about a 40 minute drive down from Lemonthyme Lodge, and quite out of the way for such a popular destination for tourists.

As we left, there was a light drizzle which we thought (maybe hoped) would vanish further down the mountain. How wrong we were. Not only did it not stop, but it grew significantly worse the closer we got to our destination. Once we got there, there was a light misty rain again, which was uncomfortable, though we could cope in such weather.

The entry fee for adults into the maze isn’t overly cheap. $28 each, however there are multiple mazes, which on a good day, would make it worthwhile visiting.

Upon entering, the first stop is the big hedge maze. We actually found this maze to be quite enjoyable, as at every corner or every dead end, there was a joke, definitely aimed for adults entertainment over the kids.

Within the maze, there are also lots of side activities such as mazes within mazes and mentions of ‘Lower Crackpot’ which is a miniature village also within.

We went through another maze to reach a memorial for the plumbers, and also completed a balance maze.

By this time, the rain had started to get heavier and heavier, and as we wound our way through, we started to recognise some of the jokes and knew we were near the entrance (which is also the exit). As it was wet, we thought we’d go into the café and dry ourselves off before heading back out.

Mere minutes after making it back in, the rain then began to pelt down and it didn’t let up at all. Not wishing to head back out, we unfortunately had to cut our visit short and we went on to our next stop, which was to be the town of Sheffield. We didn’t really have any plans other than to fill up petrol, and we weren’t ready for lunch, so after filling our car up, we made our way to the next planned stop, the town of Latrobe.

This was about 30 minutes from Sheffield, however due to the weather took us around 50. Not only did the wind pick up through the narrow roads of Tasmania, blowing rain in all directions and making it near impossible to see, something (which we don’t know what) was blocking the main route to Latrobe.

As we were being pelted with rain and wind, we reached an intersection with a lady dressed in an orange rainsuit and waving a red and blue flashing light to stop us. As we pulled up beside her, we noticed witches hats blocking the way we wished to go. This lady was from the SES and we were forced to go left instead of right to take an alternate route due to the other way being blocked by something (I’m guessing a fallen tree or powerlines based on the horrible weather we were experiencing).

We thankfully had a GPS, which redirected us quickly, and at another point, two more SES workers were there to inform us what way we had to go.

So, it took us a little longer, but we eventually made it to Latrobe, which, compared to most other towns we have passed, is rather large and filled with life. Here, there are shops, cafes and even a main street which appears to be lacking in a lot of other towns in this state.

Our destination was a chocolate factory, which we’d picked up a brochure of from the lodge.

Anvers Chocolate Factory is also a café and was the perfect place to stop for lunch and have some waffles! To make their chocolate, they use the Belgian skills, but use a very rare type of chocolate. Unfortunately, the actual factory aspect was not in use, but out the back there is a small museum with utensils and moulds that are or have been used.

The rain had thankfully eased up after being diverted and Latrobe was only experiencing a light drizzle. However, the weather was not above 10 degrees, and we were freezing.

After lunch, we took a short trip to the shop to buy some of their chocolate and with little else to do in this weather, decided to head back to the lodge, which was an hour away.

This was an interesting drive, winding past farms and through tiny towns with populations most likely under 50. The greenery of these farms is different to mainland Australia, which is mostly yellow and dry. At times, it’s not unusual to see completely green fields in Tasmania.

Another interesting aspect on this route were the mailboxes of the properties. It appeared that the people along here were having a competition as to who could have the most interesting mailbox and we saw some interesting ones involving windmills, scarecrows and even old tractors! It was rather fascinating.

The weather on the way back changed between sunshine and heavy rain and by the time we got back to our cabin, we were utterly freezing. The main lodge was warmer, especially when they came around to light the fires and we stayed in there for quite some time, using their wifi to watch the football!

Dinner was a similar affair to last night, and now we are back here, all snug in our cabin, ready for our last day in Tasmania tomorrow. And I feel we are leaving at just the right time. Apparently snow is expected here tomorrow, and we definitely didn’t come prepared for that kind of weather!


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