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Published: February 11th 2010
Great big torrents of water that only seem to remind me of a toilet flush at which point I fell the need to relieve myself. I've been to so many over the past year that I find them quite tedious now - that's the downside of travel I'm afraid.Nelson Falls
are nice...on the 10 minutes it took to walk to it we went through temperate rainforest - a canopy of at least seven species of fern. And when the rains come and the rivers swell all falls look spectacular... Nelson Falls here...
But, I can safely say that nothing so far on this trip has compared to these that I have visited: Anisakan Falls (Hampshire Falls) in Burma Drai Sap Falls in Vietnam Erawan Falls in Thailand
After the falls we took another rainforest walk along
the Surprise River
which connects to the larger Franklin River - one of the last untamed rivers in Australia - for instance it was only rafted in the 1960s. In the 1970s there was a proposal to damn the connecting Gordon River for a hydro-electrical plans thus destroying one of the last old growth wildernesses in Tasmania (primary forest that existed prior to European settlement). Years of protests by environmentalists
to protect it not only gave birth to the environmental conservation movement in Australia but also led to the World Heritage Properties Conservation Act 1983, which gave the Commonwealth (the Federal government as opposed to the state government like Tasmania) the constitutional power to require a halt to the dam's construction. "Affirmed in a historic decision of the High Court in July 1983, this law further consolidated Commonwealth power to govern the environment - a major milestone in Australian environmental politics". Peter Christoff "Franklin Dam" The Oxford Companion to Australian Politics. Ed Brian Galligan and Winsome Roberts. Oxford University Press 2008.
We drove eastwards and eventually took a rutted mud track down to a partially dried-up reservoir that even been-everywhere-in-Tasmania Gary had never previously visited. In the stark landscape
of trees and rocks that would normally have been under water we sat and had lunch.
There was more driving after lunch - continuing eastwards to the centre of Tasmania to a beautiful spot called the Pine Tier Lagoon
where we set up camp for the night. Jenni and Maja went for a refreshing swim in the lagoon but as it was full of slimy reeds they were soon on dry land. Half-arsed I built up the courage to enter by balancing precariously on a log that was sticking out of the lagoon before retreating to get some shoes before slipping and ungraciously falling in. Cue five minutes of arm flapping, Sperm whale floundering and facial expressions of disgust at the under water slime before getting back to Maja drying herself off. Despite the slime it was a relief to be partially clean after a couple of days without showers.
Gary then presented us with some evening hors d'oeuvres
- delicious Tasmanian cheese from nearby King Island - a gorgeous cheddar combo with wasabi as well as some very nice Camembert
(jarringly mispronounced with a hard ‘t’ in these parts). Gary our outdoors man noticed the wind had
changed and said it looked like a storm was brewing so he told us to put some ‘tarps’ (tarpaulin) over our bags and swags. He then made us a lovely and elaborate Nepalese curry which we scoffed down with home made chutney. Noises from the bush behind us meant only one thing - possoms - and after using our flash torches on the forest and seeing the usual Common Ringtail Possums
lurking about for our food we spotted the much rarer Spotted-tail Quoll Low. gary was pretty excited by that quick glimpse.
That night, and for the first time in days, as I was snug-as-a bug in my swag I listened to the gentle-hard-gentle-hard-pitter-patter of rain.
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