NOW: TASMANIA’S NORTH WEST
It didn’t rain but everything was soaking wet from the dew when we packed up at Macquarie Heads and headed to the old mining town of Zeehan then on to Rosebery which still has a working gold mine. Our Rosebery stop was so that we could walk into Montezuma Falls, Tasmania’s longest single drop waterfall.
We had visited Montezuma Falls before from the other side, driving up the narrow 4wd track that was made for the tramway which took ore from the mines in Zeehan and Rosebery. You needed to call ahead on the radio to warn other drivers you were coming as it was definitely one lane wide but carried two way traffic. Passing opportunities were rare so good radio calling was essential. This time we walked in from the Rosebery end along the other half of the tramway.
The return walk took us 4 hours with a lunch from our backpacks at the suspension bridge below the falls. We’d intended to walk earlier in the morning but it was damp and cold making the middle of the day a better option.
From Rosebery we travelled into The Tarkine using the Fatman Barge at Corinna to cross the Pieman River. There was a queue for the barge as it was a long weekend and a group of 4 wheel drivers were in the queue ahead of us. We only just fitted on the barge as there is an 8 metre length limit but we had measured between the Ranger’s front wheels and the Tvan wheels and knew we’d fit. Some people with caravans unaware of the length limit had to turn around and backtrack to get to Arthur River.
The forest road from Corinna towards Arthur River was narrow, winding and hilly. The steepest sections were sealed but it rained all the way and the white dirt road was stuck like glue all over us. We looked like we’d been up the Balfour Track but it had only been the forest road!
From our base at Arthur River we drove along the coast visiting the site of petroglyphs near Couta Rocks and the fishing village of Temma. Lobster boats are winched up onto dry-docks along the shore of the bay when not in use to protect them from the pounding waves even though they are in the “protected” bays.
When we cruised up the Arthur River on the MV ‘George Robertson’ we were on the last untouched river in Tasmania. The poor soil along the banks meant grazing wasn’t profitable, the timber was low quality, there’s no Huon Pine, no gold and the river has too many bends for a hydro plant dam. Saved by being unsuitable and flowing down from a waterfall in the township of Waratah, this section of the Arthur River is just as it was for thousands of years – a peaceful, calm place to cruise and wonder.
The Edge of The World is where the Arthur River enters the sea and you can watch the sun set over the ocean. This is the westernmost point of Tasmania with the next land being South America. No wonder the ocean is so wild and the wind is always gale force!
We’ve camped at Arthur River before and knew the wind could come up cold and brisk so we chose a site in behind the scrub and were pleased with our decision. With the wind at bay we were warm with the fire raging in the Oz-pig and entertained nightly by a family of pademelons.
NEXT: TASMANIA’S NORTH COAST
See you on the Emu Track
Cheryl and David