Tasmania: West Coast - Day 10

Tuesday, Jan 04, 2005 at 01:00

ExplorOz - David & Michelle

Our 2nd day in Strahan and we're off on another tour however today is overcast and raining. Yesterday involved a bit of fuss when we checked-in at the right time with pre-booked seats to find it was first in, first seated which meant we had a difficult time seating 6 of us together. Today however, we planned to be 45 minutes early to avoid that happening again on the ABT Railway.

We booked both tours through the same agency a few months before our trip but on presenting our e-tickets for the ABT Railway we had a problem. The computer didn't have us on their system and so we could not board until it was resolved. We watched with great disappointment as everyone boarded and filled the carriages. Once all the passengers were seated we were given our tickets and were the last to board - however they upgraded us to the Premier Class which placed us in the rear carriage with own private outdoor balcony - ideal for photography. Tickets for Premier Class cost $65 extra per person as it is a fully serviced ticket with wine, champagne, beer, and food included for the entire day. With no driving required today we all just sat back and enjoyed a very easy day!

The trip began with the train pulled by diesel engine to Dubbill Barrill, then lunch was served and we changed trains and a steam ABT engine pulled us up the hills to Queenstown. The trip was full of commentary, a few stop offs, first at Teepoookana Bridge (also accessible by 4WD on King River Track) and honey tastings and shop at station, then lunch stop at another station, then a toilet stop at one more station plus the final "rod" stop for the driver to take us into the final run to Queenstown. The steam ABT engine was driven by a young local girl.

The tour included a bus trip back to Strahan from Queenstown with more commentary - but we're all starting to feel like "tourists" now and need to get back in the bush leading our own way.

Unfortunately, it had been raining all day and we had no accommodation in Strahan. We also had to gather fresh grocery supplies before heading off to find a bush camp for the night. We had planned for this and noted a few gps points just out of Strahan in the Forestry areas but we didn't realise how much the rain would affect the tracks.

We drove for ages along the Tully river area and finally found a clearing at the end of a track that we felt wouldn't wash away if it continued to rain throughout the night.

Dinner: I was feeling very full after eating all day, but David wanted to eat. Thankfully Mum came to the rescue making a Chinese soup for everyone. I declined - and had a green tea to cleanse out. Mum also gave made everyone a pikelet topped with homemade mango, peach and Contreau jam! (I couldn't resist that!! ha ha!).

Although the sun is not setting until just after 9pm and even the kids are having late nights, we were all in our swags by 9pm but not without incident - David's side of our double swag was wet!! Seems we didn't pack it properly and the last 2 days of rain had seeped in and soaked the pillows, sheets and even the doona. Trust me, there is nothing worse than a wet bed, and nothing worse than hearing someone complain about it all night when there's nothing you can do to fix it.
David (DM) & Michelle (MM)
Always working not enough travelling!
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