The day started even earlier today, in anticipation for a really long drive from the east coast of Bicheno to the center of Tasmania, Cradle mountain, some 200km of driving.
We got out of the accommodation and went to Freycinet National Park. We were visiting the Cape Tourville Lighthouse today that featured a 10mins easy short walk that my expectant wife could also do. The drive to the lighthouse was expected curvy and a little difficult but since it was still early, there was no incoming traffic to share the same narrow road in and out to the lighthouse. We parked at the carpark and got onto the walking route that went around the lighthouse, offering views from around the area. The lighthouse was not meant for entry though. The icy cold wind was unbearable after a while and we left.
The GPS brought us onto the highway to a first town called Campbell Town where I got gas and breakfast at Banjo’s Bakery Cafe with pastries and coffee. The town was actually bigger than the other towns that we saw.
Then we continued towards Cradle mountain, the GPS provided directions on the road to different roads that gave us highways or country roads or forestry roads or mountainous narrow roads. Eventually at almost 20km from Cradle Mountain, we stopped and detoured to Deloraine to shop at the supermarket to buy foodstuff for dinner tonight and also to get gas. We also bought take away burgers for lunch.
Then it was another hour drive to the end location Cradle Mountain Highlanders, our accommodation for the night in Cradle Mountain National park. We checked in at reception but the room was in the last stages of cleaning up. I finished up what was left of my lunch in the car before proceeding to our villa.
It was an old style wooden walled building with a kitchenette and a fireplace! This gave us an experience of burning wood for heat but we weren’t that used to the burning smell though.
After leaving our luggage in the cabin, we were about to leave when we saw a pademelon near to our car which we parked just in front of the door to our place. Another day of living close to the wild, exciting!
We visited the visitors center and found out that the last bus from Dove Lake out was at 350pm and it was already 3pm. We figured that driving there ourselves would give us more flexibility on time while we were there.
As we were entering the park, we saw a wombat crossing the road, really cute and cuddly. But that also meant that there was a higher density of wildlife all around us. Had to take extra caution in driving into the park, especially when the road was narrow at some places.
The lake was 7km away and it certainly took awhile for us to get there before parking at the parking lot, lots of empty spaces. I registered our names into the log book before we took the walk. There were 2 walks that we were interested, one was to the boat shed and the other was to glacier rock, in 2 opposite directions, for short 20mins return.
The initial walk was done in poor weather where drizzling was still ongoing. We arrived at the shed but didn’t see anything interesting. As we returned towards the parking space, the weather started to clear up a little, exposing the snowy peaks. My wife wanted to get some rest so I went alone on the other 10mins route to glacier rock, which was just a huge rock on the side of the lake. The walk here was mostly flat till the last portion where there were some steps. As I arrived, I saw that it was fenced up with a gate. Tried to open the gate following the instructions but to no avail. On the way back saw a couple heading towards the rock and after I was midway back to the carpark, I turned around and saw then standing on the rock! What did I missed, I wondered. Too bad.
Shot a few more photos before heading back as the sun was almost setting. Deregistered and drove out. While on the way, we saw another wombat crossing the road and quickly shot a few photos to captured this cutey as it climbed up the slope into the vegetation. With spring incoming, the greens were also filling up this beautiful national park. While we exit the park, we saw a car parked beside the road and the passengers on the slope. Yup, photographing a wombat. There was one wallaby that was on the side of the road that I didn’t see until I passed it. Talked about close to the wild, that was close!
Back at the accommodation, we lazed on the sofa with a huge blanket watching tv as the fireplace didn’t seemed to provide enough warmth. Tried to put in more firewood and that resulted in a smoky living room. There was internet with 50mb complimentary. Got on Facebook for a while but as I tried to reconnect to google some stuff on the destination the next day, I couldn’t get the signal anymore. Sporadic as informed by reception.
Cooked all the instant dinner we bought from Woolworth and it was very filling. Washed up the dishes and showered. The bathroom had some bulbs that provides some warmth too but it was still pretty cold. Got into bed early, hiding in the blanket with the heating in the room and on the mattress on. Fell asleep minutes later.