This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.

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2000 Travels March 22


John had played games on his computer until nearly 5am, so he only had a short sleep before getting up this morning.

We discovered that the same front tyre was flat again! K Mart tyres in Burnie had put in a new tube. John phoned them. They suggested that the rivets inside the steel wheel might be rubbing the tube. Wonder if the rivets have moved under recent stresses? Clearly, it needs checking.

We put the van spare wheel on Truck and set out for a final drive – hoping, yet again, not to have another flat tyre!

Refuelled at Smithton – 95cpl.

Drove to the west, to explore the north west section of coast. From Smithton, took the Montague road, which became a gravel one after that township. But it was in good condition. Went right across to Marrawah, then south along the coast to West Point and south to Nelson Beach, Arthur River and Temma.

03-22-2000 Temma.jpg


That last section of coast was truly windswept – the scrub and low trees all leaned at an angle, away from the west!

03-22-2000 temma tree

Not hard to tell the direction of the prevailing winds!

Temma was just the usual collection of mostly seasonal shacks on a small bay. One of the more substantial houses was elevated, and had a huge store of cut firewood under it.

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The entire under-house area was filled with firewood

We retraced the way we’d come, sidetracking and stopping off at Couta Rocks. Arthur Beach and the mouth of the Arthur River. I remembered that my father came over to Tasmania, on several occasions, to go to the big annual Arthur River fishing competition with Uncle T and cousin B, so I’d long had some curiosity about the place.

Around the mouth of the Arthur River there were lots of old logs littering the beaches – a legacy of the logging days, and subsequent floods.

03-22-2000 arthur r mouth

Log debris at the mouth of the Arthur River

It was a very windy day and the seas over on this coast were really rough.

We found this coastal section of the Arthur-Pieman Protected Area fairly bleak – rather dreary coastal heathland. There were several small fisherman shack settlements, like Temma.

However, the country between Marrawah and Smithton was pretty – mostly dairying country, with thick stands of blackwoods in the gullies.

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Dairy cattle on the lush pastures of the north west

On the way back into Stanley, we detoured towards “Highfield”, to the Stanley Lookout, which gave excellent views over the town, The Nut and the general surrounds. Continued on that way and came back into town the back way.

“Highfield House” like “Woolnorth” to the northwest, is a legacy of the time, from the 1820’s, when the Van Diemans Land Agricultural Company owned all this part of the state. Highfield was built in the early 1830’s and is a substantial place, now a Heritage site, whereas Woolnorth is still VDL Company owned. The Company certainly managed to acquire some excellent farming land.

We drove 268kms today.

Packed up the awning and the outside furniture.

Tea was curried zucchini soup, which John really liked. Then lamb chops and vegies.

It was still very windy. Heavy rain set in about 9.30pm.

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2000 Travels March 19


I encountered S, briefly, on her morning walk. Saw K and A and got their address details for our visit there on Thursday.

Socializing done, packed lunch, then set out driving. Went south-ish, through Irishtown, Edith Creek, the Trowutta area, the Tayatea  road to the Milkshake Hills Reserve. What a great name

Stopped at the Tayatea Bridge, over the Arthur River to admire the river and surrounding forest.

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Arthur River at Tayatea Bridge

Lunched at the Milkshake Hills Reserve, in a very pretty forest-surrounded picnic area. John encountered a large tiger snake by the path to the toilet. It slithered off and hid in a nearby tree stump.

We took a walking track through the forest, then up to the top of one of the Milkshake Hills – these are buttongrass country, rather than forest. It was a very pleasant walk with interesting changes in vegetation as we went.

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Walking track in the Milkshake Hills Reserve

When we returned from the walk, the snake was back in position, coiled up in the sun again. It quickly slithered back into its stump home, though no doubt cursing us in snake-talk.

Drove on, to the Julius River Reserve and did the nature walk circuit there. Part way into it, John realized he’d left the keys in Truck, so we completed the rest of the circuit very quickly. There was lots of myrtle, silver wattle and sassafras trees along that walk.

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Silver wattle trees

Next destination was Lake Chisholm, and we walked in to that – another pretty walk in big forests.

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Lake Chisholm

The reserves we visited today are not National Parks, but are managed by Tasmanian Forestry, which means they are areas which may have been – or will be – logged.

Drove on and admired the outlook from Sumac Lookout, on the Sumac Road, then stopped again at the Kanunnah Bridge over the Arthur River – again. This was further downstream from the bridge we’d stopped at, this morning.

03-18-2000 07 arthur r kianungah bridge

Arthur River at Kanunnah Bridge

We travelled through the Roger River area and linked up with the way we’d come, thus completing a circuit that took us through some of the Arthur River valley.

Bought some produce from a roadside stall – tomatoes and raspberry and strawberry jams.

Drove 190kms today. It was a very enjoyable day with a good mix of driving and exercise.

Tea was cold pork, potato and fresh tomato – yum.