Frday 13th


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Oceania » Australia » Tasmania » Cradle Mountain
March 13th 2009
Published: March 14th 2009
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Out to PlayOut to PlayOut to Play

Andy dreams of his old KTM. These guys had just ridden up from Launceston off road.
DAY 126

Waking at around 8.00 this morning, Andy got out of bed and went to the camp kitchen to put the kettle on, I followed on with the breakfast things. It was lovely and quiet in the camp kitchen this morning. Andy got on with the blog, I made the breakfast, got some washing on the go, went and bought a few provisions.

Lee turned up at some point and we agreed to do the boardwalk today from Dove Lake back to the Visitor Information Centre. We were all getting on with some chores this morning and needed to make sandwiches for lunch.

I wondered if doing the same boardwalk that took me out a couple of weeks ago was a good idea, was Friday 13th going to be lucky or unlucky for me? In the grand scheme of things I figured that as a normal day was unlucky for me then Friday 13th could just be lucky!

We arranged to meet Lee and Marilyn down by the reception for the campsite, while we waited we went in and saw Claire, she had fallen in love with Wally the Wombat. Who’s Wally? You may well ask.
YellowYellowYellow

This bright coloured toadstool stands out in the crowd
Claire mentioned that there is a baby possum in their rubbish skip out the back, Andy urged Claire to show us. I think she was reluctant to take us around to the bins, but we insisted.

Round the back there was a large skip, with an open lid on it. We peered over the edge and inside the bottom corner, barely visible was a Brush Tail Possum curled up, fast asleep. Just out of devilment Andy said lets get a hammer and bang on the side of the bin, as they didn’t give us a thought in the middle of the night. I wonder how many Possums accidentally get picked up by the bin lorry each week. The lids on the bins are usually down, so not sure how this one got in, but if they didn’t go scavenging then they wouldn’t get into trouble.

We drove down to the rangers station and parked our trucks, then jumped on the shuttle bus when it arrived. As we were driving along we saw a pair of Wedged Tailed Eagles out hunting.

We jumped off the bus and signed on to the walk, in the car park four guys
Beautiful BerriesBeautiful BerriesBeautiful Berries

Poisonous or not? who knows? I need to find out what these are.
on dirt bikes had just pulled in and parked, 2 on KTM 660 LC4 and 2 on Honda XR 600’s, my heart just ached for my KTM. I started chatting to one of them they had come up from Launceston off road and said they had had a brilliant time, I thought Crikey the KTM’s will be needing a service in the next 5 minutes then.

Striding off on the walk the day was hot and sunny, I had forgotten my Acubra and was walking in a Tee shirt with a fleece hanging from my rucksack. The first aid kit was readily available should you know who need it.

It seemed sort of rude, but it wasn’t intentional but I strode on whilst the others, Caroline, Marilyn and Lee quite happily bumbled along taking photo’s. If I’m walking then I might as well exert my heart and make a difference, (Honestly Tony I really did put some effort in) (I can vouch for that, Andy did yomp on at quite a pace, I was usually not far behind as I was quicker with my photos or was it that I did not take quite as many as Lee
Lake LillaLake LillaLake Lilla

Cradle Mountain in the background
and Marilyn).

At times Caroline was walking quite quickly through the button grass that was draping over the boardwalk, one thing we forgot to mention in yesterdays blog was the leeches. Caroline saw some leeches on her hiking boot and got them off, however when we got back to the Visitor Information Centre a leech was spotted on the floor, looking down Caroline noticed that she was the one that had the leech on her shin. Leeches can hang around in the long grass and wait for unsuspecting walkers to happen past and then attach themselves to their “prey”.

We walked the first stage and arrived at Ronnie creek, the first section had been fantastic, we found a picnic bench and all broke out our lunch. The sun was baking and the scenery awesome. We shared the picnic table with a lady who was waiting for her friends to return from Marions lookout, Caroline suggested she would be better off waiting back at the lodge with her feet up and a nice gin and tonic.

We strode on to the second section from Ronnie Creek to Snake Hill, Caroline and myself were walking together with Lee and
Ronny CreekRonny CreekRonny Creek

This runs through to the car park
Marilyn 200yard behind. You can tune your self in to the wildlife, the secret is “all you have to do is look, stand quietly” and to know a little bit about wildlife helps, we desperately wanted to see a Tiger Snake, and whilst looking in places where we thought snakes may frequent like hollowed out logs, and warm sunny rocks, we saw an Olive coloured Snake/lizard about 14 inches long and it definitely did not have any legs.

Like we have mentioned before snakes don’t have any ears, (So how do they wear glasses I hear you cry) they feel vibration through the floor, and this little chubby fella was getting out of the way. We were overjoyed to see this thing that we did not know what it was, but could look it up when we got back.

We had noticed the atmosphere getting a bit smokey, Marilyn said she had smelt it when we had our lunch, you could see the atmosphere was thick with smoke, the smell was quite strong.

Arriving at Snake Hill at 16.05, now our decision had to be made, do we walk the last section or get the Shuttle back so we can have an early evening meal, then go back out tonight to do another walk?

Unanimously we all decided to get the Shuttle back, go and have a cup of tea, and have a bit of a kick back for a couple of hours. A very rare occurrence on this trip, especially when we are in amongst this magnificent scenery and wildlife.

We got back to the site and Caroline said she might need to pop into the shop for another bottle of wine for tonight, I looked in the bin to see if the Possum was still asleep but it was long gone. In the shop Claire confirmed that there was a fire in the River Gorden National Park, nothing for us to worry about, but someone somewhere obviously has to worry.

Going into the camp kitchen and settling down to drink tea and enjoy the quiet Caroline posted the Blog “Cocky’s joy” up, as we had been a little late posting the blog before “I'm Having a Great Time I've got the Scars to Prove It!” then we set about looking on the internet for snakes and lizards in Tasmania.

It transpires
I've Bin Asleep for a WhileI've Bin Asleep for a WhileI've Bin Asleep for a While

This juvenile Brush Tail Possum finds a bad place to slumber.
that thee are only 3 types of Snakes on Tasmania, The Tiger, the Copper Head and the White Lipped snake, and 12 types of Lizards, which are all a derivative of the Skink family, so with the colour and the size we probably saw a juvenile White lipped snake.

We sat around the camp kitchen doing some photo management and internet work and at around 6.00pm Lee and Marilyn appeared with what they were going to cook for dinner, within an hour and a half we had all eaten and were deciding what we were going to do.

In the 3 weeks since being in Tasmania it has definitely started to get dark earlier and by the time we were walking the enchanted walk it was 8.15 and very dark, but still hoping to see Duck Billed Platypus. We walked the short track and saw, well, fell over a couple of Wombats, one was particularly funny it kept trying to get away from our torch light and play peek a boo from behind the Button Grass, finally reversing back and hiding underneath the board walk. We left it in peace and walked on.

We completed the walk
Lilla WaterLilla WaterLilla Water

This water flows out of Lake Lilla
without anymore wildlife then ended up in the car park where we saw, or more like heard, then saw two more grazing, there were quite a few Pademelons out tonight but it was a full moon.

The consensus was to get back to camp, it was too late for pancakes, so it was wine, tea, and a sit down it has been a busy day.

On the way back, just where we had seen one of the two Eastern Quolls only a couple of weeks ago, we saw our third Tasmanian Devil just sitting in the middle of the road. In one voice all for of us said Tazzie Devil and pointed down on to the road. I pulled the Patrol up right in the middle of the road, there isn’t that much traffic in Tasmania and especially up in Cradle Mountain at night, everyone is out walking spotting wildlife.

The Devil just scampered off to our right hand side we then pulled off 50 metres up the road, we grabbed our torches and padded back, Lee had got a glimpse of these elusive creatures but we lost him.

A Possum was attached to a veranda
Yomping on the BoardwalkYomping on the BoardwalkYomping on the Boardwalk

Caroline yomps up to join me.
pole upside down and stayed there motionless, we heard his partner in crime scamper across the roof of the Transit Terminal Café, we were delighted to have seen another devil.

We got back to the camp kitchen pleased with our final wildlife encounter for the day, talked for an hour then hit the hay, we were shattered.

The question is were we going to get a good nights sleep? You will have to wait and see.

Animal Score to Date in the wild

Wombat 42+1 baby
Tassie Devil 3
Eastern Quoll 2
Eastern Grey Kangaroo’s Lost Count
Wallabies Lost count.
Pademelons Lost Count
Echidna’s 5
Platypus 1
Possums Lost Count.
Fairy Penguins 6
Koala 1
Wedged Tailed Eagles 5
Eastern Brown Snake 1
White Lipped Snake 1
Legless Lizard 1
Dingo 1 (we actually saw this at Rainbow Beach when we had just left the ferry after getting back from Fraser Island on blog date 8th December, we cannot believe that we did not add it into the blog)


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