Yesterday was a driving day – the most kilometres (300) for a while – travelling from the camp site at Weldborough to our log cabin at the Mountain Valley Wilderness Holidays site near Loongana at the southern end of Tasmania’s Central Coast district. This was Kerena’s chance to sight and photograph a platypus, a Tassie Devil and a Quoll.
Just when we thought we would get away with packing up a dry tent, it rained almost all of Saturday night and was still drizzling when we were packing up. So, we have a wet tent in the car with little opportunity to dry it until we get home.
The long drive was interrupted for morning coffee at Launceston and to give Kerena a chance to do some last minute shopping (which she managed to do quite successfully). As we were in Launceston, we could not drive through without visiting the Cataract Gorge. I am not sure what I was expecting, but it turned out to be quite a place – the hub of leisurely pursuit on a reasonably sunny Sunday. We had a walk round, said hello to the Peacocks and took a few photographs before setting out for our final destination. One our planned stops was at the Ashgrove cheese factory outlet, just north of Elizabeth, however, we learned on the way that it was closed for major renovations. Our next planned stop was at the Anvers chocolate outlet shop – much more successful – where I bought some chocolate truffles to take home.
On arrival at the cabin at about 17:00, we were greeted by Len, the owner and caretaker of the property. He gave us some background to the place and invited us to join him at 18:00 to go to the river about three minutes away to see if there were any platypus. By then it was raining, but, undeterred, off we went. There was just a glimpse or two of one diving on the other side, so a bit disappointing. We made a return visit later, but came back disappointed. I mentioned it was raining, well, it continued through to the small hours, but at least we had a proper roof over us and it dried up for us for day 25.
At about 9 o’clock, Len came to the front of our cabin and threw out chicken bits – enticements for the Tassie Devils and quolls. We had been given instructions to switch off our internal lights, switch on the veranda light and sit inside and wait for the appearances. It was great to see a Devil come in, grab some chicken, take it way to eat it and return for more. Photographing him/her was challenging due to the low light level and the speed with which he/she moved. There was only one Quoll appearance, much to Kerena’s disappointment, but there is always tonight – another evening of sitting up until midnight!
Today was a walking day. We had decided to complete the three tracks at Leven Canyon. Two these was to lookouts, with 697 steps from one to the next – yes, we managed to get to the top for a spectacular view of the canyon. The next walk looked easier, but it wasn’t. It took us down a steady descent and then some more steps to a bridge over the raging torrent. The next section was classified as ‘difficult’ – pretty accurate. It took us to a section called the Devil’s Elbow, part of the Penguin – Cradle Walking Trail. It is hard to believe that this is used by hikers carrying 15 – 20 kg backpacks.
Back at the cabin for a late lunch and a bit of a restful afternoon. We will be visiting the river again at 6 o’clock in the hope of seeing more platypus and later sitting up in the dark to try to ‘catch’ a Quoll.
I will not be posting this until tomorrow as there is no internet here and this will be my last post before arriving home – but the story does not finish there, please look out for a few more – details to come.