Australian Man Dies From Drinking Too Much Water During Hike

You hear people dying from dehydration after prolonged exposure quite often, but this is the first time I have ever heard of someone dying from drinking too much water:

Image via Top News.

A coroner has found a Victorian man died during a Tasmanian bushwalk after drinking too much water.

Jonathan Paul Dent, 30, was an experienced bushwalker in good health when he died in the Dial Ranges, in Tasmania’s north-west.

He had been walking alone and was supposed to meet his wife after four hours, but became lost and disorientated.

Search parties found his body two days later.

Coroner Michael Brett found Mr Dent most likely died from an exercise-related medical condition caused by drinking too much water during prolonged exertion.

Severe symptoms of the condition include confusion, seizures and death.

The autopsy showed Mr Dent’s brain was swollen, indicating he had drunk too much water.  [ABC News]

The complete coroners report on this tragic death can be read at this link.  According to the link the deceased was not that fit and he over-exerted himself after he got lost.  He probably drank a lot of water due to how exhausted he was and ended up drinking too much which caused his death.

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Australia Travelog Archive

Below is a list of all my postings that I have completed from the various locations in Australia I visited during the years I spent living there.  I actually have pictures of many other locations in the country that I have not had the time to type up postings on and will eventually do so.  In the mean time there is plenty of postings here in the archives for people to read about the great places I visited while living Down Under.

Australia

Australian Capitol Territory

Melbourne

New South Wales

Northern Territory

South Australia

Sydney

Tasmania

Victoria

Western Australia

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Tasmania Holiday Journal

Tasmania is one of the most incredible places in all of Australia.  My wife and I were lucky enough to have the chance to spend a couple of weeks camping and hiking around the island and really enjoyed ourselves.  The dramatic landscapes, robust wildlife, lush foliage, and nice people all made for a holiday we will always remember.  Here is the map that shows the course we took around the island:

Below are the links to various locations we visited during our holiday:

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On Walkabout: Back to Victoria From Tasmania

Prior Posting: Launceston’s Cataract Gorge

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After finishing up our circuit walk around Launceston’s Cataract Gorge my wife and I then drove to the airport to fly back home to Victoria thus ending our nearly two week holiday around the Australian island of Tasmania.  The Launceston Airport is small, but has plenty of flights to and from Melbourne, plus we found the customer service at the airport to be top notch compared to the poor treatment we have experienced at other Australian airports with Sydney being by far the worst. Our plane took off on time and once in the air we had a nice clear day to appreciate the vast farming lands around Launceston from the air:

Tasmanian Farm Land from the Air

Here was the highway that we took to get to the airport from Launceston:

Tasmanian Highway from the Air

Soon we were flying directly over Launceston where we had a bird’s eye view of the Cataract Gorge we had hiked around just a few hours before.  From the air we were better able to appreciate what an island of wilderness the gorge is in the middle of this city of over 100,000 people:

Launceston from the Air

The flight back to Melbourne followed the Tamar River north that we had tour along just the day prior:

Tamar River from the Air

We could even make out the Batman Bridge that we used to drive across the river during our tour:

Batman Bridge from the Air

Soon we reached the mouth of the Tamar River and we could make out Greens Beach where we had also stopped the day prior:

Mouth of the Tamar River from the Air

It was kind of cool to see all these place we had visited from an aerial perspective.  Since we were now flying over the ocean before long we would no longer see Tasmania, so I took one last picture of Tasmania:

Tasmanian Interior from the Air

The flight to Melbourne takes about an hour so after flying over the ocean for about 30 minutes I spotted Phillip Island as we flew over the southern coast of Victoria:

Phillip Island from the Air

Soon enough we were flying over the eastern suburbs of Melbourne:

Victoria Coastline from the Air

Before long I spotted downtown Melbourne as our plane descended to the airport:

Melbourne from the Air

Soon enough we were on the ground in Melbourne and heading home thus ending our holiday.  My wife and I both had an absolute great time visiting Tasmania and both agreed that we had just as much of a good time visiting Tassie as we did touring around New Zealand.  However, our tour around Tasmania cost about half as much as our holiday in New Zealand.  So both areas are well worth checking out just that Tasmania is cheaper on the pocketbook if traveling from Australia like we were.  We expected a lot out of New Zealand and it delivered, but Tasmania we didn’t know much about and ended up being blown away with the island’s beauty.

Below is the around the island tour course we took over our nearly two week vacation around the island:

As can be seen by the map we covered a great part of the island, but truthfully we just scratched the surface of what Tasmania has to offer.  Tasmania may not be well known to American tourists, but I definitely recommend adding this wonderful island to any tour of Australia and hopefully if you do you have as good a time as we did.

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On Walkabout At: Launceston’s Cataract Gorge

Prior Posting: Beaconsfield Mine

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We woke up early at the caravan park we were staying at and packed up our camp in order to get ready for the final day of our holiday on the Australian island of Tasmania.  Our flight back to the Aussie mainland from Launceston was in the afternoon, which gave us the morning to do something in the town.  My wife and I decided to go and check out the major park in the town known as the Cataract Gorge:

Cataract Gorge On Google Earth

The gorge is located literally in the middle of the city and is actually quite a sight when we first saw it:

Swimming Pool at Cataract Gorge

It is literally a rugged wilderness in the middle of a city of over 100,000 people.

At the entrance of the park there is a number of cafes where my wife and I stopped at to eat breakfast and most importantly drink some coffee.  We then decided to walk a circuit route around the lower end of the gorge.  We first walked across the Alexandria Suspension Bridge that took us across the creek:

Upclose with the Alexandria Suspension Bridge

We then walked down the path along the river back towards the city:

Cataract Gorge 3

Along the way there was a little park we stopped at to sit down and rest a little bit in the shade of this gazebo:

Gazebo In Cataract Gorge

While resting at the gazebo was saw peacocks running around for some reason:

Launceston Peacock

We then continued to walk down the path and I noticed this home high up on a hill that must have the best view in all of Launceston:

Home Above the Cataract Gorge

As can be seen in the above picture the South Esk River that flows through the gorge was running no where near its mass capacity, which this picture below shows how much water can pour down this gorge during the rainy season:

As we walked further down the gorge we then saw the King’s Bridge out in the distance where the creek merges with the Tamar River before flowing out to the ocean:

King's Bridge from the Cataract Gorge

We walked up to the King’s Bridge, which is a major traffic artery in Launceston in order to cross the river, but we then saw these European style buildings, which was some kind of theme park that was closed:

Launceston Theme Park 2

Launceston Theme Park 1

We left the theme park and then walked across the King’s Bridge.  We then followed the trail back up the gorge towards the entrance where we parked.  On this side of the gorge the trail ascended up a high hill that provided some great views of Cataract Gorge:

Cataract Gorge 1

As we continued to follow the trail along the high ridgeline the Alexandria Suspension Bridge came into view that showed that we were nearing the entrance of the park:

Alexandria Suspension Bridge

A few minutes later the trail empty into the parking lot where we then proceeded to drive to the airport to catch our flight back to Melbourne thus ending our tour around Tasmania.  All in all the walk around the Cataract Gorge was a great way to spend our last morning on vacation in Tasmania.  The people of Launceston are certainly lucky to have such an incredible park literally in the middle of their city.

Next Posting: Our Flight Home from Tasmania

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On Walkabout at: Beaconsfield Mine, Tasmania

Prior Posting: Cradle Mountain, Tasmania

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The next day after my hike up to the summit of Cradle Mountain in the central Tasmanian highlands my wife and I then headed to Launceston where we began our tour around Tasmania in order to fly back to the Australian mainland thus ending our vacation.  Our flight wasn’t until the next day and on my original tour schedule this was a back up day to climb up Cradle Mountain if the weather was bad the day prior.  Fortunately I was able to climb up the mountain with no issues the day prior and thus had a free day at our disposal.  We used the day to drive north up to Devonport and then across the northern coast and then down the Tamar River down to Launceston:

Devonport is where the “Spirit of Tasmania” ferry boat from Melbourne docks at.  My wife and I thought about putting out car on the ferry and coming to Tasmania that way.  However, it was actually cheaper for us to fly to Tasmania and rent a car for 10 days than to use the ferry.  That is why we flew instead of taking the ferry.  In Devonport we had lunch at a park along the shore and had a pleasant but uneventful time in the city.  We then drove to the east towards the Tamar River which is the major river system that drains northern Tasmania:

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We first stopped at Greens Beach which is near the mouth of the river.  The beach was actually quite pleasant though a little chilly despite being the summer time:

Northern Tasmanian Beach

Here is the mouth of the Tamar River as it flows into Bass Strait:

End of the Tamar River

From Greens Beach we then started driving south to Launceston where we passed through Beaconsfield.  When we entered Beaconsfield it jogged my memory that this was the place the famous mine collapse happened.   So we decided to stop and see the mine before continuing to drive down to Launceston.

Beaconsfield is a really small village of just over 1,000 people that had a really pleasant small town Australia vibe to it.  Being such a small town it was easy to find the mine which is located nearly in the center of city:

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If you can find the local post office than you have found the mine because it is literally across the street:

Beaconsville Post Office

The mine just like the city we found to not really be all that big:

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There is nice little park with old miner’s cottage out in front of the mine:

Cottage Outside the Beaconsville Mine

Here is the old building in the front of the mine that was constructed over 100 years ago in 1904:

Front of the Beaconsville Mine

Behind the old buildings in the front of the mine is the large mine elevator:

Beaconsville Mine 1

In the front of the building was this plaque that was presented by former Australian Prime Minister John Howard:

Plaque In Front of the Beaconsville Mine

Here is what the plaque says:

Present 29 May 2006 by the Prime Minister of Australia the Hon. John Howard MP on the occasion of a Parliamentary reception to recognize the many Australians who assisted in the rescue of Todd Russell and Brant Webb from the Beaconsfield Gold Mine on 9 May 2006; honour the memory of Larry Knight who lost his life at the Beaconsfield Gold Mine on 25 April 2006 and commemorate the resilience, generosity, and spirit of mateship of the Beaconsfield community.

On the building was this plaque commemorating the Beaconsfield community with the Australian of the Year Award;

Beaconsville Plaque

The front of the mine also had this old locomotive on display:

Locomotive Outside the Beaconsville Mine

After checking out everything outside the mine my wife and I then went inside to checkout the mining museum:

Beaconsville Mine Museum 4

We thought the museum  would discuss more about the mine collapse but it is mostly composed of old mining equipment and tractors:

Beaconsville Mine Museum 3

Beaconsville Mine Museum 1

There is even an old truck on display:

Beconsville Mine Museum 2

After checking out the inside of the museum we then went outside to take a look at some more mining equipment.  This large device was used to smash rocks with to look for gold:

Beaconsville Mining Equipment

Here is as close the mining operations as visitors can get:

Inside the Beaconsville Mine

Here is a look at the large mine elevator that can be seen all around the city:

Large Mine Shaft at the Beaconsville Mine

After finishing our tour around the mine we then continued to drive south towards Launceston and a few kilometers outside of Beaconsfield we drove across the Tamar River using the Batman Bridge:

Bridge Across the Tamar River

The bridge was constructed between 1968-1969 and was the first cable-stayed bridge in Australia.  If you are wondering the bridge is not named after the caped crusader, but instead John Batman, a pioneer of Tasmania who founded the Victorian city of Melbourne.  Here was the view from the banks of the Tamar River below the bridge:

On the Banks of the Tamar River

After checking out the bridge we continued to drive south towards Launceston and found the rural setting along the Tamar River to be quite pleasant:

The Tamar River in Tasmania

We eventually rolled into Launceston and found a caravan park to camp out at for the night.  The next day we had a flight in the afternoon back to Victoria so my wife and I decided to use the morning hours to explore the city’s Cataract Gorge.

Next Posting: Launceston’s Cataract Gorge

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On Walkabout At: Cradle Mountain, Tasmania – Part 2

Prior Posting: Cradle Mountain, Tasmania – Part 1

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From the hut the side trail off of Tasmania’s famous Overland Trek, I headed up to the 1,545 meter (5,069 ft) summit of Cradle Mountain:

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As I ascended up the trail I had a nice view looking back towards Dove Lake where I started my hike:

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All around me in this high plateau was lichen that thrives in this moist and cool climate:

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The trail got rougher and steeper the closer to the rocky crags of Cradle Mountain I got:

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These rocky crags of the mountain are composed of dolerite columns, which are common of the mountains of Tasmania.  It is just that Cradle Mountain is just the most scenic out of all the other mountains of Tasmania and thus deservedly its fame:

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Once I got above the tree line I entered into a world of large rock columns that required a lot of effort to climb up to reach the summit:

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Some of the sections of the climb were a little hair raising considering how high up I was.  The increasing wind only made things worse because one wrong step here causing someone to fall would more than likely lead to death.  So I continued to very carefully and deliberately climb up the mountain:

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As I worked my way through the rock columns I could see the summit on the lower north side of the mountain’s “cradle”:

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Here was the view once I got higher looking back across the lower end of the mountain’s “cradle”:

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I was also able to look back and see the Overland Trek trail that I crossed this high plateau on to hike up this striking mountain:

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After much effort I was eventually was to climb to the top of the cradle’s ridgeline.  Here is the view looking across towards the upper end of the “cradle”:

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The highest point on Cradle Mountain is capped with this marker that denoted the distances to various other landmarks that could be seen from the summit of the mountain:

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Easily the most noticeable terrain feature from the top of the mountain is Barn Bluff that is slightly higher than Cradle Mountain and looks like a lonesome citadel overwatching the Overland Trek:

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Below the mountain I could see where the Overland Trek trail continued on into the remoteness of the glacier carved Tasmanian highlands:

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I was also able to see a number of other glacier carved valleys that had no trails running towards them:

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The various lakes that I had hiked by or saw from the mountain are also left overs from the Ice Age glaciers that created this amazing terrain.  When the glaciers melted some other their fresh water collected into the various holes in the terrain:

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Lake St. Clair at the southern end of the Overland Trek is the best example of one of these glacial lakes due to its size and deepness.  Here is the view looking back to the north and where I started my hike at:

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From this vantage point I could not see Dove Lake but the valley between Cradle Mountain and this peak in the distance is where Dove Lake is located.  After spending about an hour at the summit the wind was really beginning to pick up and it appeared the weather was getting a pit unsettled.  It had took me just under 4 hours to get up the mountain so I expected at least 2-3 hours to get back down.  So I headed back down the mountain and was consistently slowed down by people going up the mountain.  I was glad I left so early to climb the peak because the mountain was literally getting crowded now with all the hikers.  Once I was able to climb off of the rocky crags of the mountain I was then able to make really good time since it was all down hill from here.  It was afternoon now with clouds rolling in and it actually began to drizzle just a little bit, but it didn’t stop the horde of hikers heading up the mountain.

Due to this fickle weather I highly recommend starting out as early as possible if climbing the mountain because the lady back at the caravan park had told me that the weather for hiking in Tasmania is always best early in the morning and I am glad I heeded her advice because I got some great pictures during my hike.  Ultimately it took me about 2.5 hours to get back to the parking lot.  The transit time for me from the trailhead and back was just under 6.5 hours, but if you add in the hour I spent on the summit my hike was 7.5 hours long.  Back at my vehicle I couldn’t even see the mountain anymore due to the cloud cover, which made me think about all those hikers who were experiencing such disappointment because of the weather obscuring their views.  Fortunately I had no disappointment and instead felt elation at what a great day of hiking it had been.

This had been my capstone day for my visit to Tasmania and Cradle Mountain definitely lived up to its hype.  Just an absolutely beautiful location that I highly recommend anyone visiting Tasmania to checkout.

Next Posting: On to the Coast

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On Walkabout At: Cradle Mountain, Tasmania – Part 1

Prior Posting: The Road to Cradle Mountain

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The next morning I woke up to head back to Cradle Mountain in order to hike up to its summit.  My wife on the other hand who was enjoying our cabin and the first bed we had slept on in over a week, decided to sleep in and relax at the Gowrie Park caravan park for the day.  So I was going to head over to Cradle Mountain by myself.  When I stepped out of our cabin early in the morning this was the view of the scenic Mt. Claude I was welcomed with:

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The temperature was very pleasant outside but the cloud cover worried me.  Yesterday when we left Cradle Mountain a thick cloud cover had rolled in and in the morning time the thick cloud cover still remained.  As I got into my vehicle and headed down the road to the park it actually started to rain.  I was now really concerned that the fickle Tasmanian weather would make my attempt to summit Cradle Mountain impossible.  However, in a perfect example of how unpredictable the Tasmanian weather can be by the time I arrived at the park and drove up to Dove Lake, this is how the weather looked over the 1,545 meter (5,069 ft) summit of Cradle Mountain:

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At Dove Lake I had no problems finding a parking spot like I did the day prior because I was the first person to drive to the lake that day.  The trail to the summit of the mountain begins at the lake and is also the start point for one of Australia’s most famous hikes, The Overland Trek:

The Overland Trek stretches 65 kilometers across some of the most beautiful scenery that Australia has to offer.  On a return trip to Tasmania I am definitely going to do this hike.  Today I just planned to hike to the summit of Cradle Mountain.  The trail to the summit of Cradle Mountain is an off-shoot trail from the main Overland Trek trail that is a very popular day trip hike:

cradle mountain trail 2

Shortly after I pulled in a few more cars parked in the parking lot which was my cue to get going and beat the other hikers on to the trail before it got crowded.   The first part of the trail went slightly up hill and then around this small lake pictured below:

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This picture below is from the shore of the lake looking back towards Cradle Mountain in the background:

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Here is just another view from the shore of the lake as I continued to walk around it:

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From the lake the trail began to climb steeply above the lake:

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I soon had a good view of the lake along with Dove Lake in the background:

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The trail continued to climb up towards Cradle Mountain and looking back towards the north I had a beautiful view of the lake and Cradle Valley, which I drove up to reach Dove Lake:

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As I looked ahead of me I still had plenty of more climbing to do on this trail:

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Once I reached the top of this portion of the trail I was surprised to see yet another beautiful lake this far up the mountain:

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As I walked along the trail I was able to enjoy a really nice reflection off of about half the lake:

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I was pretty high up now on the trail and even Cradle Mountain didn’t even look so high as before:

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Here was the view looking back towards the Dove Lake parking lot where I started the hike:

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From the lake the trail started to climb once again and the lower lake and Dove Lake below me became smaller and smaller:

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Once the trail leveled off I was now on a high plateau that led towards Cradle Mountain:

cradle mountain trail 3

The trail on the high plateau was very boggy with a lot of mud:

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Off in the distance the giant mass of the 1,559 meter (5,115 ft) Barn Bluff became larger and larger as I hiked up the trail:

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The trail then headed towards the rocky crags of Cradle Mountain:

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I then arrived at a little hut that was at the intersection of the Overland Trek and the summit trail to Cradle Mountain:

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I actually ran into some people who had stayed the night in the hut and were heading out further down the Overland Trek. One of the hikers was in his 70′s and hiking the trek with his grandkids, which I thought was pretty cool. I hope I will be healthy enough when I am at that age to do something like that with my grandkids as well.

From the hut I headed up the summit trail towards Cradle Mountain.

Next Posting: Cradle Mountain, Tasmania – Part 2

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On Walkabout On: The Road to Cradle Mountain

Prior Posting: Strahan, Tasmania

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My wife and I continued our tour around the beautiful Australian island of Tasmania after we packed up our camp outside the small Western Tasmanian city of Strahan and headed for our next destination which was the iconic Cradle Mountain:

However, we didn’t leave camp until we took one last look at the scenic Western Tasmanian coast:

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As drove inland towards Tasmania’s central highlands we noticed this mountain that looked very similar to the Cradle Mountain we hoped to see:

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I’m not sure what the name of this mountain was, but it was one of many other scenic mountains that we saw during our tour of Tasmania that doesn’t make it into the tourist brochures, but should.

After a few hours of driving the highway came up to the crest of a tall hill where the heart of the central highlands and Cradle Mountain (to the left) came into view:

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We arrived at late afternoon at the park.  The entrance to the park was actually quite busy with people trying to eat, get to their hotels, or exit the park.  Once we got passed the entrance and drove down the narrow two lane road towards Dove Lake at the base of the mountain, we saw few people and just incredibly beautiful alpine scenery:

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When we got to the Dove Lake parking lot it took us sometime to find a parking place because of how crowded the lake was.  Most people take a shuttle bus to reach the lake, but we did eventually find a park spot:

After parking we walked down to the shore of the lake to appreciate just how stunningly beautiful this part of the island is:

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I had read that about 75% of the time this mountain usually has some form of cloud cover on it, but on this late afternoon day we had a perfect view of the mountain:

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However, as my wife and I ate some dinner that we cooked up with food that we brought with us, we could see the clouds slowly rolling in to cover the summit of the mountain:

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After the clouds covered the summit of the mountain, my wife and I departed the park to go find a place to go camp out at again:

As we drove down the road looking for a place to camp it was quickly getting dark.  We were hoping that we could find some place to stay before night fall.  Fortunately for us when we rolled into the small village of Gowrie Park we saw a campervan park we could camp out at.  However, since we had already been camping for over a week, my wife and I decided to splurge and we went ahead and rented ourselves a cabin.  The cabin was nice with a comfortable bed.  Outside we had a view of the scenic Mt. Claude that backdropped this little village:

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All around the park outside we saw kangaroos and wallabies running around which I never get tired of seeing in Australia.  Besides the cabin, views, and wildlife Gowrie Park held even more surprises for us which was the Weindorfers Restaurant, which just had the greatest smorgasbord you can imagine:

The place didn’t look like much from the outside but the inside  had a real down home country feeling to it:

There was a really nice lady who ran the restaurant with her kids that really created a warm and inviting atmosphere.  The pleasant atmosphere created an opportunity for other people eating at the restaurant to open up and talk to each other.  Additionally the home cooked food was just absolutely delicious and the lady made sure to bring us some fine Tasmanian wine to drink as well.  We had an absolutely fun night stuffing ourselves and talking to fellow travelers at this great restaurant.

We were just looking for any place to camp out at near Cradle Mountain and we really hit the jackpot with this place.  This was the best caravan park experience we ever had in Australia.  However, the next day we planned to head on back to Cradle Mountain, but we made sure to book our cabin again for another night.

Next Posting: Climbing to the Summit of Cradle Mountain

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On Walkabout In: Strahan, Tasmania

Next Posting: Queenstown, Tasmania

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After driving across Tasmania’s Wilderness Highway and exploring Australia mining past in Queenstown; my wife and I then finally rolled into the small, but popular tourist city of Strahan on the island’s remote west coast:

Before Strahan became a tourist city with it’s brightly colored historic cottages, it was in fact known for being the port city for one of the worst penal colonies in the entire British empire:

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The prison itself was located on Sarah Island out in Macquarie Harbor that Strahan was the port city for.  Sarah Island was the Alcatraz of the Australian penal system due to the prison being on an island in the remotest reaches of Tasmania.  Anyone escaping from this prison would literally have to walk back from the end of the world in order to reach civilization again.  However, this didn’t stop convicts from trying to escape.  The only one to successfully escape is also Australia’s most infamous cannibal Alexander Pearce who I profiled in this prior posting.

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However, this cute little town actually didn’t get started because of the penal colony, but as a port for the mining and timber industries that found vast riches in the wilds of western Tasmania in the 19th century.  Now a days the tourism industry is a leading economic driver in this city and for good reason because this remote area of Tasmania is stunningly beautiful:

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There is even a small airstrip at Strahan that is used to take tourists on sightseeing flights around Western Australia.

Fishing is also another major economic activity in Strahan as is quite evident with the number of fishing boats that can be seen tied up at the harbor:

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However, the tourists don’t come to this small city of 637 people to eat fish, instead they come to ride the tour boats around MacQuarie Harbor:

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The Macquarie Harbor reaches deep into the interior of Western Tasmania and has long been the major transportation route to reach this remote area of the island:

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The other reason tourist flock here is to ride the West Coast Wilderness Railway which the terminus can be seen across the harbor from Strahan at Regatta Point:

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My wife and I drove around the bay and over to Regatta Point and here is the view looking back towards Strahan:

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This railway was originally constructed back in 1897 to bring the minerals from the mines around Queenstown down to the port here at Regatta Point.  This rail line was closed in 1963 when shipping minerals by truck became more economically feasible than shipping it by rail. Interestingly enough the carriages from this railway were shipped to Victoria and are used on the well done Puffing Billy Railway outside of Melbourne.  This railway wasn’t reconstructed and reopened for tourism until December of 2002.

Here is an old diesel locomotive used to pull the train the day we visited, but there are a number of steam powered engines as well that were pulled out of museums and reconstructed to support this railway:

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Here are the cars that passengers ride in on this rail journey:

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After spending the day exploring both Queenstown and Strahan my wife and I looked forward to the next day where we planned to travel to the place we most wanted to see on our tour around Tasmania, which is the beautiful Cradle Mountain.

Next Posting: The Road to Cradle Mountain

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