Sunday, March 15, 2009

Queenstown & Strahan

Queenstown & Strahan 12th – 15th March

Lake King William
Lake King William Tasmania Australia
From The West coast Tasmania

With our trip to the end of ‘the road to nowhere’ complete, we headed out and eventually north west towards Queenstown and Strahan. We were unable to complete that trip all in one day and had a quick ‘overnighter’ at Lake King William just outside Derwent Bridge. We had not planned on staying here originally and had looked at a paid camp site on Lake St Clair. This site was very busy and we would have been unable to squeeze in. This as it happened was fine with us as we didn’t really like the look of this place and staying at Lake King William (free camp) gave us the opportunity to meet Ron and Cath (also from Brisbane). As we pulled onto the Lake camp area it looked very busy and we thought we would continue down the track to see whether there was anywhere suitable for us (flat in other words!).
There was not and we headed back up to where everyone else was. There was a very tight spot between 2 caravaners and we did the right thing and asked one couple (Ron and Cath as it turned out) if they minded. They said it was fine – “We were Queenslanders” and we parked up and set up the rooftop tent. Meanwhile the guy in the caravan on the other side of us had been informed (Not seen himself – he was watching TV!) of our arrival and proceeded to moan and curse about our close proximity. We were a little worried that we may have encroached. Ron and Cath kindly said to us that we could pull up closer (basically on top of!!) them. We moved over, all but blocking their view of the river and got chatting about travelling and where we had been and where we were going. They had some great recommendations for later on in our trip. Ron got a fire going and we watched the sun go down and fish jump in the river. It was a good night.

Queenstown Tasmania Australia
From The West coast Tasmania

Next morning we headed on over to Queenstown via Nelson falls (a nice little stop), we have heard this was a barren landscape and were quite intrigued to see this, hearing that it was like living on the moon with no trees. As we approached Queenstown it was very strange seeing the landscape with hardly any trees and it looked pretty dead. All this was due to the sulpha mining, where they cut down the trees to provide fuel. The rain would wash away the nutrients in the soil thereafter. We headed down the winding road into the town where we picked up some supplies and decided to continue on passing a river on our way out which was a milky pale orange colour. We later found out from some people who stayed in the town that they showered in that colour water!

Queenstown River
Quunstown River Tasmania Australia
From The West coast Tasmania

We headed on up to Strahan a pretty town on the Gordon river and the edge of the World Heritage Wilderness Area. This town was bustling and no campsites available in the 2 parks. Luckily we were told that there were several areas around that we could stay and would not be moved on and as a bonus there were free hot showers on the esplanade! We were itching for a shower so headed on over. As we jumped in under the “hot” water it was very apparent that these were not hot showers!! After a invigorating wash, we headed on up to Regatta Point which we thought was a park but turned out to be a car park. We obviously weren’t the only ones with this info as there were plenty other campers and caravans and low and behold as we pulled up we saw Ron & Cath tucked up in the corner surrounded by others. We decided it couldn’t be that bad in the car park so parked up and waited for darkness to fall before pulling over the tent.

Strahan - Camp spot in a carpark!
Strahan Tasmania Australia
From The West coast Tasmania

The weather wasn’t great and had been drizzling on and off all day. With a pub over the road we had a moment of weakness and headed over for a meal. (Thought it would be a bit much to drag out our cooker, gas bottle, table etc in the parking lot) We had a lovely roast dinner (it has been a long time) and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves with cheese and biscuits for afters! So back to the car park and off to bed.
The weather wasn’t much better the next day and we managed to just get the tent away before a thunderstorm came through. A day of washing and tumble drying followed. With the chores done we found an undercover bbq area to spend the afternoon as the rain didn’t seem like it wanted to disappear. We had the best steak sandwiches as we watched the rain. It did clear up in the afternoon and Carl decided it would be a good idea to head to the showers again, something I was not looking forward to doing ever again, however not knowing when the next shower would be I put on a brave face. I could not believe my luck when I turned on the hot tap and piping hot water came out. I was in there like a flash having the quickest shower ever in case the hot water ran out. As I came out Carl had a big smile on his face and it was clearly apparent he had had a hot shower too. Another night followed in the car park and we had a night in (the car) as the rain returned.

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