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Published: February 20th 2010
Day 292 - Sisters Beach to Mole Creek
The weather hadn’t made much of an improvement overnight, the dark skies weren’t lifting and the thick drizzle was still making us soggy. Sisters Beach itself looked bright and cheerful though, a naturally beautiful outlook always does. Luckily the twigs in the toilet doors were still in place when we rushed across this morning; there was no peeing in the bush for us!
We talked a lot last night about travelling through the west coast of Tasmania and our decision is that it’s just going to have to wait. We may do it on this trip, we may not but none of us are sure we want to ‘risk’ the link road so the plan is to toddle off for pastures new today heading for Mole Creek just south of Sheffield, which is south of Devonport!
We take the lead for the journey and follow instructions from our trusty Tom Tom. Tasmania is giving it a bit of a hard time. There’s no straightforward route out to Mole Creek, it’s sort of in the middle of nowhere really so it’s no great surprise when the roads start to get smaller,
tighter and wind like they’re going out of fashion. We pass through the lovely looking Sheffield which is well known for its murals and then we see a sign for ‘Paradise’ … no honestly, we really did!
After what seemed like a drive in a complete circle, we arrive at the tiny caravan park in Mole Creek. It’s a great little spot just on the Sassafras Stream and we jump out to see what available space there is. After a short discussion with the lovely caretaker, Henricko, we plump for two spots on the stream side.
We’ve come to Mole Creek because it was recommended to Jane by her good friends Nancy & Alan. Thus far it’s living up to expectations and its well placed for us to enjoy some good walks amidst nature’s wonders.
With a free afternoon ahead of us we grab a bit of lunch and set out to tackle a couple of the more local walks. We’ve got some literature but pop into the tourist information place in the small (tiny) town just to double check a few details. With additional track notes and directions in hand we set off with Darryl behind
the wheel of our car.
Westmorland Falls used to be a track of some regard but more recently has been left out of publications such as Lonely Planet (guess they can’t mention everything!) and therefore is not on most tourist’s radar. Even we struggle to find the start but that’s more to do with missing a fairly significant section from the direction notes.
Somehow we ended up in the car park of the Wet Cave section of Mole Creek Karst Conservation Area. Thinking we were in the right place to start our walk we set off to look for a track keeping the creek to our right hand side which looked like the correct way to approach things according to the map. It was a really difficult bush bash and quite tricky to navigate along a thin ledge above the creek. A yell went up from Tony who was out in front and he jumped backwards about 4ft, luckily onto a lower ledge.
He’d spotted a snake and it wasn’t happy! The snake shot up the rocks but stayed within striking distance coiled in a ‘ready for action’ striking pose, it looked bloody menacing and not something
we wanted to argue with. At the time we had no idea what flavour this snake was but there are only three in Tasmania and they’re all venomous. By this point we were all convinced we were on a track to nowhere so turned back and headed to the car.
We chatted to a guy camped out here and he too had seen a big snake when he’d gone walking into the caves that are close by. He was a funny chap and clearly pleased to have other humans to talk to! He was originally from the Netherlands but now lives in Cairns. There was plenty of banter flying around while we quizzed him about the walking track we were looking for but when he said something about us (me and Darryl) being out enjoying ourselves with our ‘Mum and Dad’ (as he motioned to Tony & Jane) we thought he’d been out in the sun too long! We all howled with laughter and bless them Tony & Jane took the joke in their stride.
The poor guy didn’t really know what he’d said wrong and we were laughing so hard it took a while for us to
With a large tree stump
On our way to Westmorland Falls
explain his mistake! Good on you Art, you gave us a giggle even if you couldn’t put us on the right track.
With lots of ‘Mum’ and ‘Dad’ jokes we bundled back into the car having almost given up on finding our way to Westmorland Falls. But it was bugging me and I just wondered if we hadn’t driven on far enough along the track so re-checked the directions again, we’d missed a bit! There’s another track leading further on into the hills and once we headed up there we find the right car park and some clear track markings!
Through forests of silver-barked dogwoods we walk, across creeks using the logs & the supplied ropes to steady ourselves whilst following the pretty cascades. The walk climbs in places and the track gets slippery underfoot. It’s quite wet from the recent rains and the ferns let go of leaches every now and then so we keep a close eye on each other to make sure there’s no major blood sucking going on. Walking along the creek we find an old flume which seems a bit out of place but later find it was used to supply water to
an estate many years ago. The creek crossings are a hoot and there are lots of pantomime faces being pulled as we all pretend to wobble about above the water.
We found the visitor’s book on the way and then carry on walking until we make it to the impressive falls themselves. It was a great walk in a very unspoilt area and despite the leaches which didn’t seem keen to leave us alone; we enjoyed every minute of it and were very glad we hunted it down!
Back at the car we thought we might just squeeze in another walk so after a quick debate we set off in the direction of Alum Cliffs. Well, what a treat this brought us. Part way up the track there’s a huge sculpture which we feel we must have a clamber around on, it represents the triangulation of Quamby Bluff, Alum Cliffs and Western Bluff. At the end of the walk we were greeted with two lookout platforms and the most stunning view. I don’t think any of us were expecting to have our breath taken away but the scenery was just magnificent. In the Mersey River below we could
even make out playful platypus, credit where credit is due though - this was pointed out to us by a group who had already found them through their binoculars! A short walk with a terrific prize at the end!
That was it for the walking today. We stopped off at the IGA in Mole Creek for a few supplies and then meandered back to the campsite. Dinner was a joint effort from both caravans and as we’re walking so much we decide that sticking to a healthy diet of vegetable wraps for starters, Spag Bol for main course then Bread & Butter pudding for afters is the go! Yummy! We enjoyed all this sitting next to the open fire with the stream flowing along in the background.
There’s talk of a big walk tomorrow, a walk that is bigger than Ben Hur!! The Walls of Jerusalem National Park is reputedly beautiful and has an enormous track up Mt Jerusalem. We have a quick chat with Henriko to see if he can give us any pointers but he hasn’t walked it himself. Our camping next door neighbour is a local lady from Launceston but she can’t offer any guidance
either as it’s been years since she last went there. She’s a lovely lady and pops round for a bit of Bread & Butter pudding with us before bedtime!
With no extra knowledge gained we assume we’re going to need lots of energy so plump for an early night!!
Dar and Sar
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