This weekend’s adventure took us to South Hobart’s Waterworks Reserve. The Reserve is at the base of Mount Wellington and features the two main reservoirs of the Hobart Mountain Water Supply System set in beautiful bushland surrounds.
The Mountain Water Supply System was first established in 1866, with further updates in the late 1800s and early 1900s, and still provides about 15% of our water supply. Most of the early structures were made from sandstone and many are still in place, although not necessarily in use.
It’s a beautiful place and a fairly regular haunt for us. The low cloud and constant drizzle of this weekend provided a nice backdrop for some rather atmospheric pictures.
This weekend’s adventure took us to Cape Raoul in the Tasman National Park. There we set off on a 14km return hike, which is considered one of the most spectacular clifftop walks in Australia.
The walk takes you through wet and dry sclerophyll forests, banksia and heathlands. As a special treat for a girl who isn’t great with heights, it also involves wandering along quite a few unfenced cliff edges. But the spectacular views make up for the fear. As well as the towering dolomite pillars of the cape itself, on a clear day you can see south over Storm Bay to Bruny Island and the south coast, and north to Cape Pillar and Tasman Island. It also provides a lovely view of Ship Stern Bluff, which is on our to do list for another day.
The walk is also brimming with wildlife, from the seal colony at the base of the cape, through the range of tiny birds flitting around chasing insects on the heathland, to pademelons in the forests, and lizards everywhere. There were also a few snake sightings (not by me, happily).
It’s a walk I’m very happy to have added to our completed adventure list.
Luckily the wild weather wasn’t constant during our stay at the newly opened Pumphouse Point, and we had the chance to explore a little bit of Lake St Clair.
The lake is situated in the Cradle Mountain, Lake St Clair National Park, which is part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. It’s Australia’s deepest glacial lake (200m at its deepest point), and is the source of the lovely River Derwent, which we Hobart residents know and love. With an area of around 45 km2 it’s substantial, so we only explored a few tiny pockets. Leaving lots more for our next visit.
It’s also home to the last stretch of the Overland Track, so you can always find weary, but happy walkers celebrating the end of their trek at the Lake St Clair Lodge.
Our resolution to explore continued in style this weekend with a stay at the newly opened Pumphouse Point in Lake St Clair.
The Pumphouse was originally constructed by the Hydro-electric Commission in 1940 to pump water from Lake St Clair to the Tarraleah power station as part of Tasmania’s Hydro Electricity scheme. The beautiful 5-story structure, set 250 metres into the lake, was only used a few times before being decommissioned in 1995.
Now this gorgeous piece of Tasmania’s industrial heritage is a luxury B&B, and I have to say it heads the list of the most amazing places we’ve ever stayed. There are two buildings on the site – the Lakehouse (which also houses the dining room where breakfast is served), and the Pumphouse. We’d booked a room on the top floor of the Pumphouse, and it lived up to all of our expectations.
Being out on the lake was like being in a boat but without all the bobbing and swaying, which was a very good thing given the weather this weekend. As is so often the case in Tasmania, nature decided to ignore the fact that it’s mid-summer here, and hit us with freezing temperatures, gale force winds, heavy rain, and even sleet. None of that mattered though as we sat in our lovely room, sipping hot drinks, and watching it all unfold through our huge windows.
Looking back, 2014 turns out to have been a very full year. We wound up our wedding photography business in January, and I went on to find myself being the new girl in not one, but three different organisations over the course of the year. I met a whole host of new people, and reconnected with some old ones. We continued our travel adventures with four interstate trips and two international ones. And then to top off our year we said goodbye to Queensland and hello to Tasmania.
This is a return to Tasmania for us, so this year will be a year of discovery and rediscovery, which will tie in nicely with my resolutions for 2015 – to create and to explore.
So let’s kick the exploration off with a trip to the Pinnacle of Mt Wellington.
One Sunday morning earlier this year we decided that a road trip was in order. So we pulled out our map and started planning. As soon as I saw the words “Lost World” I knew it was where we would end up. It’s a valley situated behind the Lamington National Park in the Gold Coast hinterland. I’ve been to surrounding areas numerous times, but somehow this little gem had previously escaped me.
It was a gorgeous day, so we put the top down and set off armed with our cameras. It’s such a beautiful place, that by the end of the day I was seriously trying to rationalise the substantial daily commute that would be involved if we moved here. Maybe one day…