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Restless by nature, on a whim I blew off city living and my career, to try my hand at a simpler-slower life in rural Tasmania. It's going to be one heck of a learning curve..join me as I find my feet, fingers crossed!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Tasmania's- west coast wonder...

Lake Burbury
Recently we took our first break to the west coast. 
What awaited us were: majestic mountain ranges, rivers, lakes & stunning wilderness, at every turn.
It's a long winding drive to Strahan but worth the effort. Tired, we stop for the night, the night's cold; four hours later our cabin still isn't warm. The following morning we cruise the local sights. Expensive large tourist adventures are sign posted but there's no sign of life, they're shut for winter. It doesn't matter, it's not our thing, anyway. I'm hanging for a chai but all cafes but one 'chain cafe' are shut for winter. No problem, looks like it's too hard at Strahan, we hit the road.

Next stop is Queenstown, it's bustling with activity plus there's a choice of cafes for my hot chocolate because chai's probably pushing it here.. Two hours later I'm lost in concentration between the antique shop & groovy art gallery. Driving out of Queenstown the landscape twists & turns; arid, dry & lumpy best describe it. We pass the unique gravel football oval, playing footy on that sounds painful to me.

Around the bend the landscape changes with Lake Burbury, it's reflection is mesmerising & vast. A few clicks down the road at a birdwatching lookout, I meet an inquisitive native broad-toothed mouse, it sits close to me looking for scraps. We cross into the world heritage area for a picnic, then take a short suspension bridge walk. The temperature is dropping, we're on the alpine plateau of the mountain ranges & snow capped mountains surround us. Our accommodation options for the night are reducing, we need to stop as it's nearly dark. Arriving at Derwent Bridge, we tentatively book into the chalets. One step into their pre-heated rooms & all of my concerns about customer service diminish, hurray..somebody has finally got it right. 
Lake St Clair
Their attention to detail is fabulous; freshly ground coffee, chocolates & liqueur are a lovely touch & Louise gives us great info on the local area. It's one of our best Tassie stays, to date. Before leaving In the morning we stroll around Lake St Clair, I wish we had the canoe, it's paddling heaven. We head home via Hamilton, a gorgeous heritage town with beautiful architecture & detour to stop in Westerway at the Possum shed for lunch, it's hearty, fresh & very delicious fare. 
Lake of ice
We're already planning our next trip to the west coast with loads more time to explore around Strahan. But on this trip we hit the jackpot with the weather; no rain just clear-still sunny days. That's pretty darn good for winter on the west coast....

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