Date Tags 2002au

Wet and cool. Chris and I took a cruise up the Gordon River into the rainforest. It was misty and mountainous; reminded me of pictures of China's Three Gorges. Cruise was OK, but at 5 1/2 hours it was about 1 1/2 hours too long.

The best part of the cruise was right at the beginning: when we went out of Macquarie Harbour into the ocean through the 60m gap called Devil's Gate. The tide was going out, and we glided out. into the Southern Ocean. Out in the Southern Ocean a couple of miles, a pod of dolphins came up and swam and leapt out of the water in front of the boat. It was neat, then we went back in the harbour, then made our way up the very big harbour (40km long, much longer than Sydney Harbour) into the mouth of the Gordon River, and through some gorges to the Heritage Landing nature walk site... about an hour or so.

The nature walk was short and uninteresting, save for a new rainforest plant that I identified called whitey wood, a member of the citrus family. I've now been on maybe six or eight different rain forest nature hikes, and can pretty much identify almost all the common rainforest plants here in Tasmania, maybe two or three dozen or so. In fact, I'm starting to feel that I've 'done' Tasmania. There are a few more interesting places to go, such as Cradle Mountain and Walls of Jerusalem, but I'm starting to look more and more forward to spending a week exploring Melbourne.

I did take some pictures on the Gordon River, though... the air was very still, and the water made for very good reflections. Water in Tasmania rivers is dark brown, not quite tea colored, not quite coffee colored, but almost identical to Coca Cola! The river has a high amount of tannins in it, coloring it brown; but I've heard two explanations as to where those tannins come from: one says from eucalypts, the other from roots of buttongrass plants.

We stopped for an hour on Sarah Island, a convict settlement for a dozen years or so, mostly ruins now in the rainforest. Then back into town, where we drove out to Ocean Beach, a long wide beach of hard sand. We drove along it for a little way, before realizing we didn't know where the beach ended up... and it also felt somehow incorrect to drive on the beach. So we came back to town, grabbed some fish and chips, and settled in for the night.


April 1 2002, 11:17:47

Love reading about your travels! JMP