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More of (the) Tasmania(n Devil), Australia


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When leaving Cradle Mountain we got some directions to take this road in the next two photos which had been used by the Hydro electric companies and now saw little use. Our “informant” told us to watch out for moss on the road and we did see some on the edges. We drove for about 100 km/60 miles and saw no cars in either direction. Heaven. At times really cranked the S up in 2nd and 3rd gear.





Queenstown, the largest town on Tasmania’s west coast, essentially owes its existence to mining.The township of Queenstown was originally developed to service the booming copper fields of Mt Lyell, and with other minerals and gold being discovered in the area in the 1880s the town grew rapidly. Trees growing on the surrounding hills were cut down to fuel smelters and then the topsoil was washed away by the area's heavy rainfall, leaving the bare, coloured rocks and odd, lunar landscape we see today



An unfortunate legacy from the historical mining practices with the tailings/waste from the old workings and water from the underground operations being unsupervised has resulted in massive deposits of heavy metals flowing from the Queen and King River into Macquarie Harbour. Better practices and improved knowledge is addressing this all the time. However, it is expected that the water at this spot will be this colour for another 100 years. Very sad



This is Strahan on Macquarie Harbour which is 6 times the size of Sydney Harbour. Fortunately the deposits of heavy metals are well diluted by the time they get to Macquarie Harbour. In 1982 Strahan was the front line in a vigorous campaign to blockade the construction of the Franklin River dam. The dam project was a proposed dam on the Gordon River the purposes of hydroelectricity. This would have subsequently flooded the environmentally sensitive Franklin River and destroyed scenes like Rock Island Bend (link below) below and my photo which joined the Gordon nearby. During the campaign against the dam, the fantastic photo of Rock Island bend was the basis of a successful media campaign. Both areas were World Heritage listed.




The campaign that followed led to the consolidation of the small green movement that had been borne out of the campaign against the building of three other dams in Tasmania.In December 1982, the dam site was occupied by protesters, leading to widespread arrests and greater publicity. The dispute became a federal issue the following March, and helped bring down the federal government at the 1983 election. The new federal government had promised to stop the dam from being built. A legal battle between the federal government and the Tasmanian state government followed, resulting in a landmark High Court ruling in the federal government's favour.


Through the boom years of west coast mining, steam locomotives hauled a fortune in pure copper from Queenstown's Mt Lyell mine, through the rugged King River gorge and down to the Macquarie Harbour port of Strahan. From 1896 to 1963, steam billowed through the rainforest as the Swiss designed Abt West Coast rack railway dragged the train, cog by cog, up the steep 1:16 slope to Rinadeena. Now, after 40 years, the West Coast Wilderness Railway is running again travelling through one of the world's last pristine wilderness areas crossing 40 bridges, passing wild rivers, and climbing over 200 metres on a fascinating 35-kilometre journey from Queenstown to Strahan.







Let me know if you want more of other parts of Tasmania

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Let me know if you want more of other parts of Tasmania


What kind of question is that? Of course we want more Tasmania! We'll make you a deal, you keep putting on the down under and we'll keep putting on N. America for you!


Great stuff, appreciate the history. Very well written too.



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+Another on more photos.

I would have spent all day riding that road from Cradle Mountain - back, forth, back, forth,.....

The cog railway looked like a great ride.


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  • 2 weeks later...

This is our national “flower” the wattle. It was blooming everywhere and was just a lovely setting above the road


The Styx Big Tree Reserve protects the tallest and largest known trees in the Styx Valley – such as Gandalf’s Staff and Bell Bottom (580 centimetres or 22 feet in diameter).Some of these trees tower as much as 32 storeys/98 metres/ 300 feet and are more than 300 years old. They are the world’s tallest hardwood trees, known as swamp gums or mountain ash (Eucalyptus regnans) and brown top stringybark (Eucalyptus obliqua). These trees are HUGE



Tasmania’s capital lies in the south-east of the state, near the mouth of the Derwent River at the foot of Mount Wellington, in the background of my shot. The 19th century waterfront warehouses once bustled with whalers, soldiers, petty bureaucrats and opportunist businessmen. Now they house cafes, restaurants and studios and bustle with shoppers and visitors. On Saturdays, Salamanca Place, Hobart comes alive with the Salamanca Market. Over 300 stallholders sell produce and crafts from all over Tasmania. 1471472153_4e6cf93115_b.jpg

The view from Mt. Wellington



This was such a quaint older building that I could not resist taking a photo of it. So typical of 19th century Australian architecture. Tasmania is the only state in Australia without a supply of natural gas. Gas was available to households via a reticulated supply up until 1978 when the system was dismantled.


The Port Arthur penal settlement began life as a small timber station in 1830 and quickly grew in importance within the penal system of the colonies. The initial decade of settlement saw a penal station hacked from the bush, and the first manufactories - such as ship building, shoemaking, smithing, timber and brick making - established. The 1840s witnessed a consolidation of the industrial and penal nature of the settlement as the convict population reached over 1100. In 1842 a huge flour mill was begun but only a decade after it was first built, the mill was gutted and, between 1854 and 1857, converted into the Penitentiary, which in turn became Port Arthur's most enduring landmark . On the morning of Sunday 28 April 1996, a young Hobart man armed himself with three high-powered automatic firearms and a large quantity of ammunition, then drove to Port Arthur. Just north of the township he entered the home of a local couple he knew and shot and killed them both. He drove to the Historic Site and ate a meal on the deck of the Broad Arrow Café. He re-entered the crowded café, took a rifle from his bag and began shooting, killing 20 people and injuring 12. The man then moved into the adjacent carpark, where he shot and killed four more people and wounded a number of others.

After shooting indiscriminately at people in the grounds of the Historic Site, he moved to another area. In this area, seven more people were killed in two separate incidents. The man then drove north to a nearby General Store where he killed one person and took another hostage. He drove back to the house where the first killings had taken place, firing random shots at vehicles along the route and injuring a number of people.

At the house, the man took his hostage inside. Through the afternoon and night, shots were fired at police officers on the scene. At some point during this time, the gunman killed the hostage. In the morning, he set fire to the house and was captured by police as he fled from the burning building.

The devastating events of that day at Port Arthur encouraged Australians to question our laws on the private ownership of automatic and semi-automatic firearms. A vigorous national debate was marked by strongly-held views on both sides.

Eventually, State and Federal Governments passed new gun control laws that are among the strictest in the world.




1848 saw the first stone laid for the Separate Prison, the completion of which brought about a shift in punishment philosophy from physical and/or mental subjugation/sensory deprivation.


Even at church services the prisoners on solitary confinement were placed in little compartments in which they could only see the Minister and not the prisoner behind, in front or beside.


Ooops. When I left home I thought I may need to replace the rear tyre by the time I came home having added maybe 5000km/3000 miles to the M3. However, with the former SO on the back tyre wear increased dramatically. Enroute to the Styx Valley Big Tree Forest reserve we rode along 20km/12 miles of gravel road which cut the tyre up even more. Leaving Strahan the tyre was baldish (ok it was bald). 250km/150 miles later it was like this


Random shots of the east coastline of Tasmania



Had enough of the coast. Time to head into the hills


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Wonderful stories Michael...... thanks for posting!!


Unfortunately Nina doesn't allow me to buy a bigger monitor frown.gifgrin.gif

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No way to describe how much I enjoy these little tales!


I'm interested to know how you got out of the tire situation though... lurker.gif

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I rode for about 120kms/75 miles with the tyre like this. The choice was either a tow truck or a slow paced ride. When I found the tyre like this we did not have cell/mobile phone coverage even though we were only 60 miles or so from Hobart.....so I rode for about 20 miles into phone coverage and then kept on going. I just took it real easy once we got back on the tar but it did get real interesting when it started to rain and the road was wet dopeslap.gif. I was surprised how slippery the wet road surface seemed to get when the centre of the tyre has no tread. Further complications was this all occurred with an arrival into Hobart after close of business on Friday so I was unable to get a new tyre on the bike from the local BMW dealer until Monday morning. I just locked up the bike on Friday, gave it a clean on Saturday and took it to the dealer Monday and waited whilst they fitted the new rear. Surprisingly Hobart BMW is one of the only dealers I know of in Australia that sells both BMW cars ( Do BMW make cars lmao.gif)and motorcycles from the same location clap.gif

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  • 4 years later...


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