Queenstown to Derwent Bridge

Wednesday, Mar 05, 2014 at 13:00

Member - Chooky and Wobble

Another short travel day along the Lyell Hwy with all its twists and turns. We spent a short while checking out the town of Gormanston. This town has become a virtual ghost town with the demise of the mines in the area. It was then eastward to Lake Burbury where we stopped at the camping ground. This area is very good and if it had been a bit further east we would have stopped for the night. We were thinking about spending a night at the Collingwood River Camp, but couldn't identify the turn off as there were no signs so we pressed on to the Franklin River picnic area for morning tea. This is a nice stopping point with shelter, toilets and a walking track, although the walking track was temporally closed due to some dangerous trees.
The final stop for the day was the Lake St Claire National Park Camping Area. The area for caravans is limited and I think there were only about 10 powered sites, all booked. We were offered an unpowered site which we decided to take for 2 nights. It was a bit strange as the vans in the unpowered area just parked the vans in the car parking spots around the tent camping area. The area is very nice with lots of trees and friendly campers. The toilets/showers were clean and it was reasonable for $20 per night.
After lunch we explored some of the local tracks and called into the lodge office to enquire about the advertised trip on the lake. The Lodge provides a "Ferry " service for hikers in an aluminium hulled work boat to ferry them to and from various start and finish points on the various hikes. For a fee they will take visitors along for the ride. We hoped on board and were taken by a very friendly driver to a number of points on the lake, allowing time at each place for photos. Apart from many stops to photograph mountains we stopped at the old pumping station which is an amazing building that used to house pumps to pump water out of Lake St Clair to feed lakes further down stream. We also stopped at Echo Point hut to see the facilities. Finally were went up the Narcissus River to the landing just below the Narcissus Hut where we picked up 4 hikers who had just completed the Overland Track from Cradle mountain. Overall a great day.


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