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Active Retirees : Active Retirees Aug-Sept 2012
16 | www.probussouthpacific.org TRAVEL DOMESTIC Tasmania's climate is moody, no matter what the season, but not even an unseasonal temper tantrum could distract from the wonders of the Tarkine wilderness. At the end of each day we hovered around a potbelly stove sipping red wine as our guide served pre-dinner snacks and turned steaks and snags on the barbie. We relived the treks to waterfalls in ancient mossy rainforests and the hike along a wave-lashed coast strewn with jagged rocks. There was a certain smugness in our demeanour on the day we made it to the top of a mountain and gulped the freshest air in the world. We were based in the former gold mining town of Corinna on the Pieman River for three nights and in the fishing village of Arthur River on a fourth. These townships mark the respective south and north boundaries of the region, which is bordered to the west by the Southern Ocean and to the east by the Murchison Highway. Walking the wilderness The Tarkine is vast, stretching over 4500sq km of the state's north-west. The region contains the largest unbroken track of rainforest in Australia; old growth forests of myrtle and sassafras, and myriad mosses and lichens that are a living link with the supercontinent Gondwana. We set off from Launceston, stopping along the way for several walks, including a stroll along an old water race to Philosophers Falls. Named after James 'Philosopher' Smith, who first discovered tin in the area in 1872, the walk introduced us to a forest of brilliant trees and moss-covered primeval tree trunks. On day two we walked the Whyte River track near Corinna, a mere warm-up for the onslaught on Mt Donaldson in the mid-morning. In reality, the mountain rises to just 460m, but it is a long and winding four kilometres through forest and open grasslands to the top. At the summit, before the heavens opened with a freak hailstorm, we filled our lungs with some fresh air, overlooking an ocean where the closest landmass is South America. Up before dawn the next day, we boarded a small boat for a trip down the Pieman River to its mouth Trails of the Tarkine Weather can make or break a holiday but, despite Mother Nature unleashing rain, biting wind and horizontal hail during a five-day walking trip, Caroline Gladstone and a small group of adventurers had more than a spring in their step as they trekked Tassie's wild west. at the Southern Ocean. Although this river was a busy artery in the goldrush days of the late 19th century, nothing stirred as we motored along, save for a waterfowl and the rising mist. Toting our small packs, we headed off for an 18km return trip, hugging the ocean and winding through an amazing variety of terrain from coastal scrub A poem engraved on a stone plaque invited visitors to cast a stone into the 'ocean of time' on the 'shore of eternity' .
Active Retirees June-July 2012
Active Retirees Oct-Nov 2012