Tasmania: Northern Central - Day 4

Wednesday, Dec 29, 2004 at 11:07

ExplorOz - David & Michelle

Maybe my theory about the cold isn't the only reason for Chardae's unsettled nights. Last night was at least double the temperature of the night before but she still had me up through the night!. This morning it was 10 degrees at 7am, then 30 degrees by 9am! Tasmania has a strange climate!

Leah loved this camp. She spent as much time as she could by the water just throwing stones. I had to convince her to wear her spray jacket as she hasn't yet developed much of an arm when tossing stones into the water and ends up soaked. She was content to spend hours skipping her stones across the top of the water just like Dad.

We collected water at our site and found it perfectly clear and potable, as we had heard we'd find most of Tasmania's rivers and streams. Fishing however is popular in the dam with other campers further back using motor boats so there must be some level of pollution.

Breakfast today was prepared on the campfire so we enjoyed fried eggs and toast, although Chardae is still too young for eggs so she had mashed bananas with kiwi fruit and a bottle.

Our 10.15am departure certainly wasn't early but we are enjoying ourselves. We headed out on Mersey Valley Rd, briefly went into Mersey White Water Forest Reserve, Arm Camp/Falls area but backed out to pick up Bare Hill Rd? to enter Borradaile Plain track as detailed in Chris Boden's book "4WD Tracks in Tasmania" (available from the ExplorOz Adventure Shop).

We found this track easy, but mostly uneventful although we enjoyed the views at the start of the trip as we ascended steep and winding hillside through a working forest with dense fernery undergrowth. We didn't feel is was worthy of making a Trek Note from as the campsites noted were not appealing and the drive very short but it was a good through-track to get to where we were going as we veered off to the left on another track rather than complete the main Borradaile Rd and descended to Lemonthyme Powerstation.

We tried to follow the Paton Rd, which leads off to the left of the Powerstation, but found a locked gate just past the first bridge so we took the Lorrinna Track (thankfully detailed in Chris Boden's book) and found this to be a very pretty track high along cliffs above Lake Cethana, which eventually enabled us to take a turnoff down to the dam wall, making a shortcut to Cethana bridge and onto the main road where we made a late lunch stop at 2pm.

From here we headed via bitumen roads towards Leven Canyon via Moina, Wilmot, Nietta etc but first we couldn't resist the temptation to stop for wine tasting (and buying 7 bottles) at Wilmot Winery (highest vineyard in Tasmania). This drive, although on the tar, was beautiful for we meandered through rich farming country. Leah seems fascinated in how many horses she can see as we drive along and now she is playing games like who can spot the first "white" horse etc.

We came to Leven Canyon by 4.30pm and both kids were asleep. I sent David off for the 570m walk to the Canyon lookout with Colin and Sandy, while I stayed with the kids in the car. They seemed to be away forever and since we had no idea of what camping was in the area I decided to take a look around before they got back. I found the most delightful grassy grove nestled in the ferns and set back behind the main picnic area. There were no signs indicating no camping, but the place was so pristine and deserted I hesitated. Eventually, I found some faint tyre tracks on the grass and a small campfire so figured it was ok to camp. I moved the vehicle and began to setup camp so when everyone returned they were rather impressed. We all agreed we'd found another fantastic campsite and that Tasmania was going to be full of them.

With plenty of water collected from Parangana Dam, we all did some hand washing, had showers, and Chardae had her first bath in Tasmania. Dinner tonight was cooked on the Cobb Cooker - I roasted a pork fillet then sliced and sautéed this in beef stock and udon noodles and added a tomato and garlic sauce. We read the instructions in the Cobb to use the remaining heat after cooking your main meal to cook a desert, so we made a chocolate pudding packet mix into a glass Pyrex bowl. It was superb! Even after cooking the pudding, there was plenty of heat left in the heat beads to boil the water for washing up, formula bottles and coffee.
David (DM) & Michelle (MM)
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Always working not enough travelling!
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