A day of travelling inland from Strahan on the Tasmanian West Coast to Waratah, the surprisingly pleasant northern gateway to The Tarkine, a largely untouched temperate rainforest.
First stop was Zeehan, once the third largest settlement in Tasmania and home to the largest brick building on the island for a time. Though clearly this had been some time ago judging by the current state of the town.
The road to Corinna was one of the most twisty I have ever been on (which is saying something), though oddly just through bush rather than along cliffs or other obvious reasons for such a nausea inducing route.
While waiting at Fatman Barge I saw the first snake I’ve seen in about fifteen trips to Australia. A baby tiger snake, rather poisonous, as all three snakes species in Tasmania are.
Corinna is actually a replica gold rush era town, as if there weren’t enough real ones around Tasmania. There’s a pleasant walk out to the not very scary looking Savage River, the easiest ‘medium / hard walk’ I’ve ever done, which was followed by a shorter wander around the Whyte River, home to a rare mature Huon tree.
The Tarkine is an impressive sub-topical forest, but the scars of mining are clearly visible in the colour of the water.
Philosopher Falls were probably not worth the very large number of steps to see them, though a good work out for the thighs on the way back up them.
Waratah was way better than expected for a near deserted mining town in the middle of nowhere. There was a replica (though unsure the potted plants would have been there originally) of James ‘Philosopher’ Smith’s hut. He discovered one of the largest tin mines in the world back in the 1870s and saved Tasmania from becoming part of the state of Victoria as their industry improved off the back of it.
Next door was the Waratah Museum, full of old sorts of things, including some old school computers with 5 & 1/4 inch floppy disc drives which I can remember using a couple of decades ago!
Waratah was home to the third and best waterfall I’d see that day, not the largest but most scenic viewed from the other side of the valley or from the base.
We stayed in the heritage Bischoff Hotel, which reminded me of my grandparents house, down to the multiple interestingly coloured blankets on the bed rather than a duvet.
Waratah is set among some view pleasant bodies of water, and has more heritage buildings.
It had one of the best playground attractions I’ve come across, very evocative of it’s former glory.
The Don Hill track (which was mostly uphill!) went out to the Mt Bischoff mine, very clear the brutal impact mining has had on the environment.
There was a spot of beauty on the way back though, some gorgeous pink lupines.
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