Safely on Tasmanian soil I immediately started driving in random directions to find breakfast somewhere.
I went the wrong way. Port Sorrell, whilst pretty enough, was lacking in anything useful to us, so we broke out the map and went to Latrobe. We ate in a bakery and then walked the streets looking in the windows of the antique shops. We then headed south-east to Deloraine. Deloraine is a really nice town along the lines of the towns of the Southern Highlands of NSW but better. We picked up brochures about bushwalks and whatnot from the info place and did some long-range Uturning before arriving at Liffey Falls, about 25km south.
Liffey Falls as a World Heritage Area.
'Oh, we can't set it on fire' says the Aunt.
'That's a nice tree', he replied driving off the road.
Some idiot had commissioned a sculptor to 'interpret the wilderness' at the start of the trail that leads to the falls. Strangely, I don't need three large slabs of acid etched metal to show me the splendour of nature that surrounds said sculture completely. Nor should anyone. It was bizarre.
Liffey falls is pretty with lots of man-ferns, nothophagus and interesting geology exposed by the rushing water.
At the car park is a sign for a tap on the same post that the tap is on. Ingenious.
There is also a sign for "Big Tree". They didn't lie. It was a massive brown-top stringybark about forty metres tall and five metres in diametre.
Lunch was back in Deloraine. Excellent bakery-cum-cafe. I bought Ellen some jewellery in a hippy shop next door, and Caroline did auntlike things in other shops.
Deloraine is on the Meander River, thus the surrounding countryside is the Meander Valley. Unable to resist a joke at the expense of Tasmanian country -folk, yet still showing my education I told Caroline that the German for 'valley' is 'thal' thus, this would be the Meanderthal and the locals would be Meanderthals. I know. Hilarious. So on our winding trip to Mole Creek where we were spending the night a mere 24kms away I kept trying to find the village called Meander so I could pose as a Meanderthal myself at the sign.
Well, I didn't manage to find the village but we happily drove through picture-perfect rural scenery: dark green mountains in the background, fat stock in the fore, with dramatic clouds over all. One mountain was grey scree crowned with vegetation, looking like a bison losing its winter coat.
We emerged near Chudleigh and were blown away by the range of flavours at the Honey factory. Almost everything is available for tasting or testing: they have about 40 flavours of honey and the whole swag of honey, queen jelly and beeswax cosmetics and health products. I bought three distinct flavours: a blue gum (the state flower of Tassie), red gum and brown-top stringybark in memory of the Big Tree. All three have an individual and great taste. Given more money and a bigger boot I would have grabbed a whole heap more. Caroline was particularly taken with some skin cream.
We drove west a bit more to Mole Creek seeing more of the abundance of wildlife in the mammals of all different sizes squashed on the road. Evidently their populations are doing well to support so many suicides amongst their number. The lonely planet had mentioned this, but even then it was disturbing. It was easy to imagine a growth in Tassie devil population to take advantage of this bounty from man's interference, and then to have their numbers destroyed also by man's interference. Yep, surprise surprise, it looks like the devil facial tumour is caused by forestry chemical spraying.
I chose the Mole Creek Hotel because I wanted to stay in a number of proper little country town hotels because we enjoyed that so much last time, so I chose this out of the way place in a scenic area near the end of the road. I didn't know that it was a logging road, so Caroline's beautifully fitted out ensuite queensize bedroom gave her all night exposure to the rumble of prime movers. Her room was all lace, cushions and colonial frumpery. It was a hoot.
We drank Huon River Wines Pinot Noir.
Dear god, this journal is going to be far too long. From now on: selected highlights and stuff in point form.