Sunday, July 3, 2011

Tasmania, the hidden jewel of Australia 2010/08/01-15 day 10

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Today we left the beautiful Lake.St Clair National park for a 3 hours ish ride back to Cradle mountain National park to retrieve Alex’s frozen car, lol. As there’s no transport available during this season, we have to arrange our own charter and it cost all AUD$400-500??!! for the 3 of us for that ride. Can’t complain even though it’s a lot, it’s the only way of getting out and around, other charters or taxi offer higher or similiar price.

It’s good for us especially Alex since he can have 3 hours of rest and worried not bout driving.

Above is the backpacker lodge we stayed the night and lake st.clair jetty on the right hand side picture.

It’s a calm morning…as we left.

Rolling mountains along the ride

The Frenchman cap!!! Can you see it?? it’s the white pointed sharp peak in the middle. The driver said it might not be snow but the way the rock already is. The Frenchman cap was named so because of the way the peak looks like a frenchman cap when they saw it. The route up and a circuit takes 3 days??? and it’s pretty hard.

Lake Burbury, a man-made lake.

I couldn’t blog about the ride without speaking of the lady that was our driver!!! She is one of the many Ozies that drive big cars, trucks, buses!!! The Oz ladies here are pretty amazing, which is unlike the Asian ones, haha, these ladies just do almost anything. She was telling stories and stories, but i could barely catch her accent and tasie slang, thus i was having a hard time listening, with Alex or Jono making it simpler for me to understand, lol.

Driving up the quite scary mountain road towards Queenstown!!! Why it’s scary? That’s because there’s heaps of big trucks driving along this road which is the Lyell highway which is so twisted!!! Luckily the driver is familiar with the road so she can control and maintain speed at the same time.

One could'n’t help notice about this place is it’s a barren moonscape mountain range!!! So exposed!!! Hardly any trees compared to any other hills!!! I learned that this place + town used to be a mining industry for gold, then copper, then another brief boom for the town when the construction of Lake Burbury dam nearby. The trees was cut down and used for smelting during the industrial periods, now the soil condition of these mountainous slopes are barely able to have any regrowth of trees, though there are already efforts trying to do so.

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Now this town is more of a tourist town on the west coast of Tasmania. The town is now home to a small but thriving arts community, and has inspired writers, painters, photographers and historians by both its unique beauty and history (wiki). While driving through the town for a stop, one can see historic buildings, and old used mining machineries for display.

The photo on the right is Queenstown’s post office.

Orr street, Queenstown. I must say i like the mountainous backdrop of this town.

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Got our car, THANK GOD the car is fine!!! LOL, another long drive out of Cradle mountain national park to our resting spot of the day, Sheffield, the town of murals!!! By now, you must felt like the name of the towns sounds very english, indeed it is, many towns here followed the english names due to the people started here are mostly convicts from UK.

We got ourselves a good bargain by following the tasie newspaper. The boss/manager was surprised to see the cheap price on advertisement because it’s actually NOT. SHe was complaining those advertiser simply advertised!!! Nonetheless, she gave us a price that is not as cheap as advertised but still a good deal for a room of 3 beds, haha. For another night we can have a good rest, hot shower and nice food, lol.

The weather wasn’t very good, it was very windy as we expected with clouds hovering through, a sign of rain. We went to the local library to get connected with the world again, and then I went off alone to explore the town of murals!!!

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As the pictures depicted above, almost every shop on the main street, there’s mural on the wall!!! And all the art are so pretty and delicate!!!

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There’s also a competition that was held a while ago, and the winners art were on display in the nearby small park!!! Lucky me, spent a bit of time here reading what the mural mean and appreciating the exceptional piece of art.

The mural on the right hand pic was my favourite, HOW I WISHED i can have it on my wall!!!!!

Of all the murals in the town, some of them were very very amazing, and are considered heritage in some way. Some of them like the one you see above have a history. And the mural make use of the building design and architecture!!!!

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Mt.Roland!!!!! One of the most photographed mountain in Tasmania which lies on the north of Tasmania. One will see Mt.Roland in the tourist magazine with a rolling of farm land in front of Mt.Roland. Before coming here, i wished so much to see it myself. Haha, and i didn’t thought that i would see it here from Sheffield, because according to the tourist magazine, they photographed it from somewhere near Devonport.

Click for enlarge view!!!

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While waiting for Jono who was still at the library, Alex and I have the comfy of sofa, fireplace and Wizard smith ale in the pub below where we stay!!! I love the Wizard Smith ale better than any other beer i came across in Oz so far, too bad it’s only available in tasie. Alex and I spent a bit of money trying our luck on bingo, which you can get from the machines inside the pub, haha.  No luck….lol.

We had a decent meal at the pub and …resort to our room after that as it was raining, lol. I can’t help but looking at the map and book on the next place we are heading to tomorrow!!!!! So excited!!!!!