Tasmania: Lake St Clair and tiger snake
After coming back from Christmas holiday, we were looking for a destination which we would explore during Easter. We had a really great time in Australia last year and eventually we decided to go back to the region. But this time, we planned to visit the Apple Island – Tasmania.
Despite our colleagues comments “What are you going to do there? There is nothing.” we were convinced that it’s an exciting place with the nice nature and wildlife. Moreover, we still had vouchers from Jetstar as a compensation for delayed flight from Bali last October. With a bit of “luck”, we might get some more this time again.
After arrival to Hobart, we picked up our little rental Kia and drove to a booked campsite located conveniently near the airport. As we recently bought a new tent, this was our first big camping trip because, before, we only tested it during our weekend trips like the Queen Charlotte track.
Once we built the tent on our artificial grass spot, we went for a stroll around the evening city. While looking for a place to have dinner, we came across a hidden burger stand – The Standard. A simple stage was provided for seating and we ate our yummy burger under a ceiling covered by lampions. The evening was wrapped up with a chilled drink at another random tiny place.
On the way to our campsite, we met the wildlife for the first time - two wallabies sitting in the middle of the road. Luckily, we drove slowly enough and they managed to skip safely away.
The next day morning, we left cloudy Hobart behind and headed off to Lake St Clair. On the way, we enjoyed the surrounded landscape covered by the sunshine. We could smell the autumn in the air. As we were a bit in a rush to catch a ferry across the lake, we didn’t really had a chance to make any big stops, except the one for coffee & cheesecake in Jackson’s Emporium in Hamilton. The place looked a bit shabby from outside, but an interior was really nice.
We arrived at Lake St Clair just on time to buy a National Park pass, ferry tickets and then we rushed to the jetty where a boat was already waiting.
During a 15 minutes sail, we had a great view of surrounding peaks before we got off at Narcissus Bay and set off for about a 17 km long way back to Cynthia Bay.
Back in Wellington, before our holiday, Jakub had done a research in Tasmanian dangerous animals and what kind of equipment might be needed. Gaiters had been one of the optional recommendations as a protection against snake bite, but eventually, we hadn’t bought any. And so it happened that within first fifteen minutes, as we walked through sunny open woodlands, we met a tiger snake. It was lying in the sunshine right next to the path. Luckily, it slithered away and left us only in a little shock. After that experience, we spent most of the time staring at the ground to avoid any other problems.
Later, when we walked into the rainforest, the path winded among trees and sometimes it was even hard to follow it in a maze of roots. At Echo Point, we made a short break but then carried on because there were still 10 km left.
As we were approaching to Cynthia Bay, the sun getting closer to the horizon and the dense rainforest was getting darker. We could smell tea tree in the air. Suddenly, we heard a noise in the bush. After a while of staring at shrubs, we saw there a little wallaby hiding and eating some grass but as soon as it mentioned us, it quickly jumped away.
We finished the track within about 5 hours and reached the campsite right on time to manage to build our tent with the rest of daylight. After tasty dinner and with kilometers in our legs, we were already in our cosy sleeping bags when we heard our neighbours grumbling about the mess a possum made around their camping spot while they were doing the dishes.
But then, we quickly felt asleep because there were other exciting journeys waiting for the next day!