Tasmania by foot – Part Four (2/1/2014 – 7/1/2014)

(This follows on from Part Three)

The last full day of the hike and guess what? Horrible weather. We just hiked straight through until we hit the suspension bridge not far from Narcissus Hut. I’ll admit something here: I hate suspension bridges. But all the good hikes seem to feature them.

A few minutes after crossing it we were at the hut. Our hike was over. I signed the guest book with my real thoughts on the Overland.

We were spending the night in the hut and getting the first ferry out the next morning. We had half a day to kill. On a wall map in an earlier hut we saw a hike to the summit of Mt Gould behind Narcissus hut. It wasn’t on our newer maps, but we found the marked path and decided to head off.

It was muddy and the going was slow, but it was lovely in the rainforest. We had to cross an awesome bridge made from a single log over a beautiful creek.

But after 2 kms the path just disappeared.

And the mud got so bad Michael fell in and almost lost his trekking pole.

We kept going until we cleared the rainforest and got back into shrub. At this point the path was completely overgrown and disappeared and going was incredibly slow in the rain. We did less than a kilometre in an hour. We’d past our 3 hour turn around point, so we decided to call it quits and slowly trudge back. We talked to some people with ranger maps later and it’s apparently there’s a trail all the way over the mountain, but it was only suited for fine weather.

Back at the hut we just chilled, watched the sunset over Lake St Clair and enjoyed the smug feeling of accomplishment knowing it was over.

I even smoked my pipe while looking out for a platypus. None were seen.

After dinner, night times in the hut were fairly quiet with most people going to bed rather early. Luckily a few prepared people brought cards to keep us entertained.

Over the course of our holiday, the only nice days seemed to be the ones where we were stuck in a car traveling. January 3 was no exception. THE WEATHER WAS AMAZING. And all we were doing was taking a ferry and a bus back to Launceston. Like most days, it started with me taking special care of my hiking beard.

And then we waited in the long-lost sun for the ferry to show up to take us back to civilisation (aka: hot chips and coffee).

And so endeth the Overland Track. But it was just the start of our adventures. We got tipsy with some fellow hikers in the Boags Brewery in Launceston, Michael got food poisoning, we grabbed a hire car and drove North to Devonport and Burnie, down to Queenstown and Strahan, all the way to New Norfolk and to our final destination in Hobart, visiting national parks everywhere. The only problem was? It rained the whole time. Insane rain. Most of the water was near flood levels and by the end of our little jaunt waterfalls and rivers were running insanely fast and white. We even managed to get an hour or two of no rain to try some fishing. We visited the (not-so) Big Penguin in Penguin and had to give way to a massive wedge tail eagle that wouldn’t leave the road and even had our way blocked by a landslide. We started on a massive hike to Frenchman’s Cap, but turned around after 10 minutes as the suspension bridge was incredibly scary in the rain over the engorged Franklin River.

This photo pretty much sums up the end of the trip:

We visited Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park, Mount Field National Park, ended up back at Lake St Clair and explored lots of state reserves. There wasn’t as many photos as I would have liked due to the weather, but you can see the rest of them in the gallery below. Most are taken from the car as we drove, as I didn’t want to risk the SLR to the weather gods.

The rest of the holiday is covered in parts one, two and three but here are the gallery of photos for part four:

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  2. [...] rest of the holiday continues in parts two, three and four but here are the gallery of photos for part one: #gallery-1 { margin: auto; } #gallery-1 [...]

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