Sunday, 17 June 2018

Quamby Bluff


While travelling, I often see a section of coastline, odd point on a map, mountain in the distance, or something that just looks cool that I want to explore. Quamby Bluff was one such location. We were passing through the town of Deloraine, contemplating our next move. Seeing the bluff in the distance, I decided it would be there. A good decision; the walk is stunning!

We camped close to the base of the bluff at a place called Quamby Corner. This is a tidy little campground with beaut amenities and a great open camp kitchen. It's close enough to town for those who need to resupply, but far enough away to make you feel in the bush. At time of writing, camp fees were $9 a person. A bargain for the quality of the place, and we stayed again towards the end of our trip!

The walk itself was amazing! It takes about two hours up to the top, and another two back down. It involves a bit of boulder climbing, but the rocks aren't all that large or difficult to scramble over in dry weather.

During this hike, I discovered the macro function on my new camera. I became slightly obsessive with it, but ended up taking some really unique photos of little critters during the rest of our Tassie trip! We saw some bizarre fungus during our climb, plenty of small lizards catching early rays, and breathtaking views of the surrounding valleys.

The plateau at the top offers panoramic views of mountains, valleys, bush, lakes, plus Deloraine and the nearby farm land. While we were up top, clouds meandered through the valleys, making the peaks and plateaus appear as islands in a sea of clouds. At one point, I almost thought I was standing atop a Kalinga from Necrosanguin!

Being above everything, and seeing such vastness, can be quite tranquil. It's easy to just kick back and relax as you take everything in. Bring a picnic for this walk, as the top is a sweet place to just enjoy the serenity.

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Mole Creek, Limestone Caves

When planning our trip around Tassie, a mate of ours suggested we visit the caves at Mole Creek. It is 1 hour south of Devonport, and 25 minutes West of Deloraine. There are plenty of caves around Tasmania. We went to some of the lookouts and walks around town and the mountains at Allum Cliffs State Reserve. It was nice but we found no caves.

We went to the information centre. As it turns out they are limestone caves, the really pretty ones, like at Jenolan Caves, Katoomba, NSW. If you want to see them you join a tour. Tours run every half hour and last for an average of 45minutes, so the website says but I'm sure that ours ran longer. There are 3 underground caves accessible for tours, Marakoopa Cave, Great Cathedral Cave, and King Solomon's Cave.

We went in the Great Cathedral Cave. It wouldn't really matter which tour you do, they would all be spectacular. Beautiful colours, sparkling crystals, glow worms, at times complete darkness, (not while walking), under ground creeks and running water, shimmering stalactites, and stalagmites.

Back before the land became a national park, it was privately owned. The Great Cathedral Cave was sometimes used for church. There is a lot of symbolism. Some stalagmites represent the 12 apostles, and Lot's wife who was turned to a pillar of salt and there are other biblical stories. Pretty cool place for Sunday School. Other events have been held in the caves too over time. Music would have superb acoustics!

Happy Travels
- Jeni

Saturday, 9 June 2018

Topiary Town: Railton

Not far south of Devonport lies the unique town of Railton. The local pub offers a place to set up camp for the night, so we decided to crash out here and enjoy a few beers. Other than a place to park up for the night, we had no idea what to expect. It was topiary.

Topiary, for those who don't know, is the art of sculpting plant-life to resemble non-plant life. The folks of this town really take it seriously! The main street looks like a zoo had unleashed its residents, then turned them into shrubberies!

It's not just animals either, trains, people, wizards and dragons, plus much more can be found while exploring this tiny town. There's even a shop set up where anyone bitten by the bug can purchase frames to start their own topiary creation.

For the super-enthusiastic individual, there is a map in the town park that informs you where all the hidden topiary creations lurk. For those who aren't up for a topiary-hunt, a simple stroll down the main road will offer plenty leafy monuments to enjoy the art.

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Hellyers Road Distillery

How good is whisky? Alright, that's a rhetorical question. The golden spirit is a fantastic substance enjoyed all around the world. And, Tasmania holds some of the purest water sources on our beautiful planet. That means it's also home to some of the best beer and whisky!

We had enjoyed Hellyers Road whiskys a number of times during our year in Tassie. So, when the opportunity arose for us to visit the distillery, we couldn't possibly let it pass!

There's a few Hellyers in Tassie: Hellyer Gorge, Hellyer River, and, of course, Hellyers Road. The name comes from a bloke named Henry Hellyer, one of the early explorers of Tasmania.

While Hellyers Distillery is in Burnie, the gorge and river can be found southwest of the town. If you want to explore that area, it is full of the delightful rainforests, mountains, and walking tracks one might expect to find in Tasmania's west coast.

Now, back to the distillery! The place gives off a premium vibe that reflects that of the whisky. You can order some top quality grub from their cafe, which offers tranquil views of Emu Valley while you dine. There's a whisky tour, which is quite informative, involves sampling, and offers special-grade whisky. Or you can just pop in for a drink or pick up some of the good stuff!

Hellyers Road Distillery's whisky is all made here in Aus, with almost all Tassie ingredients. I say almost as their peated whisky—which I highly rate—contains peat imported from Scotland.

If you're in the area, and feeling a bit thirsty, an afternoon visit to Hellyers Distillery can't be beat!