TAS2020: Day 22

Halls Falls

Happy New year – all the best for 2021

Having rained all night, we woke yesterday to a constant drizzle and found ourselves sitting in the car overlooking the harbour eating a takeaway bacon and egg roll from the bakery and watching the weather closing in the boats going out. The question at the forefront of our minds was – what will we do today when it is so wet? Yes, it was decision time!

Day 21

Taking into account the very rainy and easterly wind forecast for the next few days, the worsening muddy walk to the toilets and our mild less than positive mood, we decided to forego that extra night we booked at Bicheno Caravan Park and head inland. In making this decision we were aware we would miss out on the Bay of Fires, but, hey, we do need another excuse to come back again!

So, it was back to the campsite to take down a very wet tent (fortunately without it raining, pack the car and head for the hills. We eventually found a free campsite at the back of the hotel in Weldborough, 370m above sea level, that suited us nicely for the next three nights and managed to pitch the tent and have dinner before the rain started. I should also say that the wind had followed us, but not quite as forcefully as Arthur River.

For a free campground, this is way ahead of what we left behind in Bicheno.

Day 22

It rained most of the night and was still very drizzly this morning, but Kerena managed to make banana pancakes for breakfast before we headed of on a route that we had planned last night.

The first stop was the Goblin Forest Walk – this was up a very bumpy windy gravel road that took us higher and higher, but was worth the effort. The 20 minute walk (in the drizzle) took us through natural rainforest that once was the site of tin mining back in the late 1800s, the atmosphere was quite spooky and we expected to see the trolls under the couple of bridges we crossed.

This area around Derby has many mountain bile tracks of varying degrees of ease/difficulty – MTB is big business here, running shuttle buses for cyclists dropping of and picking up.

From there we descended to below the cloud base to another tin mining site – this was where there are the remnants of a water driven rock stamper (made in Castlemaine) – the first stage in the process of extracting the tin. On the way back to the main road we stopped at Halls Falls on the Groom River. The walk took us over an hour to reach the falls and the weir, but, again, well worth it – another falls photograph to add to my expanding portfolio.

Our next objective was the St Columba Falls, one of the tallest waterfalls in Tasmania. On the way we stopped for a (very) late picnic lunch at Pyengana. Driving up to the falls we noted that the next road we were planning to take was closed. The walk down to the base of the falls took about 15 minutes and of course the viewing gallery did not give the best view, in my opinion, for a good image, so off to the side we went!

By this time, the afternoon was getting on a bit so we decided to call it a day and head back to the campsite.

One of the benefits of camping behind a hotel is that there is beer on tap – so, guess what, I am sitting in the bar with a beer next to me typing this post (with Kerena reading opposite me, not drinking a beer). As there is no mobile signal here, I am not sure when I will be able to upload …..

I have decided there is no point in telling you what we are doing tomorrow, because our plans change so much. You will just have to wait for the next instalment.

The bridges on the Goblin walk
The stamper used to crush the stone for eventually extracting the tin
All the walks today featured immense tree ferns, well we were in the rainforest
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