Apologies for not posting last night but there was no internet connection at Cradle Mountain unless you paid an exorbitant fee and then only got 15 minutes!
20 December 2013
Today we made our way by the scenic route to Cradle Mountain. We were once again stunned by the beauty of Tasmania. We crossed many scenic rivers and had to stop at each one so that Earl could see whether there were any trout or bass leaping up. Sometimes there were and we had to restrain him from throwing a line in as time was of the essence.
We visited a little village called Exeter where we filled up with fuel and surprise-surprise – a white man came out to help us fill up. Aunt said that was a first for her in Australia! Perhaps he smelt that we were from South Africa.
I enquired at the bakery as to whether they served breakfast and this was answered in the negative – nowhere in the village would we find a breakfast serving restaurant but she would give us ham and cheese croissants and coffee – so that is what we had!
We took a wrong turn and found a beautiful little Methodist Church and cemetery on the Supply River. It had an interesting history having been started after a man dying in the bush requested the services of a minister. A certain Thomas Travers took a hazardous journey to bring Reverend TB Harris back to minister to him. After this it was decided to build a small church and have services there. It dates back to 1857.
The rest of the trip was scenic taking us over rivers and through beautiful forests and into beautiful mountains. We arrived at Cradle Mountain expecting a Villa but found a rustic cottage that highly amused us.
Facilities were limited here and we had to shop in a tiny grocery store belonging to a different establishment. They would not sell us beers as it transgressed their licence agreement. We bought frozen lasagne, ice creams and tomatoes as well as breakfast supplies. For supper we used up our salad stuff and had a very pleasant meal – It saved us having to go to the very expensive restaurant!
We did not go into the ‘wild life’ reserve as the cost was ridiculous – $60 per vehicle and a chance of having to wait as it was already oversubscribed with people. This would cover a 10 minute drive to the lake where we thought we might see water birds. We figured that we’d seen all the possible Australian animals that it would have and in here they are hardly ‘wild’. Earlier in the day we stopped at a wild life park that charged $ 22 to walk in to see animals in enclosures. When I refused to pay explaining that I wanted to see animals in their natural habitat the assistant was highly upset. She said – we can’t let our Devils roam wild because they are endangered. I didn’t argue – simply told her that in S.A. we let our endangered animals roam free. I explained that we’d already seen the same animals at Healesville and paying $22 each to see them again was not within our budget! She seemed not to understand the concept of free roaming and letting animals find and hunt their own food.
In the rest camp (for want of a better word) a paddy melon came right to our cottage and posed for us. This was better than seeing one in an enclosure. Our room brochure told us it was fine to feed the visiting animals fruit but not bread. Really – Australians have a lot to learn about setting their wildlife free!
We stayed just one night at Cradle Mountain. It rained in the afternoon and was very cold that night. This morning Earl cooked us one of his inimitable breakfasts before we set off back to Hobart where we are presently. It is late now so I will only post Day 15 tomorrow night. We fly to Melbourne tomorrow, spend a night there and then it’s back to New Castle/Cardiff.