We left Strahan and traveled to the Mining town of Queenstown. 20 years ago I remembered it to be such a huge contrast in the landscape, ranging from dense forest to stark, bald rolling hills. Nowadays, the vegetation around Queenstown has begun to grow back, thankfully. Read the series of four images below to find out why Queenstown looked the way it has in the past, and is still recovering.
Despite it's history and the miners unforgiving treatment of the land, Queenstown is a beautiful town, and the drive up the bald mountain between Mt Lyell and Mt Owen on the way to Hobart is impressive.
Continuing along the Lyell HWY, we stopped off at Nelson Falls, only a short walk from the main road, and the surrounding cool temperate rainforest is part of the World Heritage Area. There was enough water in the falls for interesting photography, but the moss in the surrounding area was quite dull and brown (not vibrant green) due to lack of rain...and the wrong time of the year!
King William Range from the car, also spotted Frenchmans Cap way off in the distance, but was unable to pause for a photo!
We had a quick, but delightful stop at Lake St Clair, in Derwent Bridge. The Lake is the deepest fresh water lake in Australia, and is part of the World Heritage Area. It also marks the end (or beginning) of the world famous 'Overland Track', a 5-8 day, 80km wilderness walk through this stunning area, one day which I hope to achieve.
Mt Field National Park, including Russell Falls and Horseshoe Falls, we visited next, and spent the rest of the afternoon there, walking in amongst the huge Eucalyptus regnans (swamp gully gums, Tassie Oak or Mountain Ash if you're from the mainland). A beautiful area, which would be even more stunning after descent rainfall reviving the moss amongst the tree trunks and ground cover.
Further up the gravel road, but still in the National Park, we found Lake Dobson. Being late in the day, the sun had already gone behind the nearby mountains, but the lake was so still the reflections were stunning and the scenery absolutely breathtaking, particularly the old gnarled Pencil Pine trees. This area is most definitely on my list for places to explore more thoroughly in the future.
That night was spent in a gorgeous B&B called 'Platypus Cottage', situated on a farm in Ellendale. The sky was clear, the air was crisp and being away from city lights I took the opportunity to photograph the stars.