Friday, April 26, 2013

A Pearl of great beauty! - The Pieman.

Remember our visit to the Tasmanian West Coast? What a great trip that was.

At the time, we mentioned that the West Coast of Tasmania requires more time than most people set aside for this part of the world. We knew that at the time, and decided to make a further visit. This time, the focus had to be on the Pieman River.

Quite rightly, I have entitled this chapter 'A Pearl of great beauty!' For Jan and I it holds special memories that changed our lives and it takes very little convincing to revisit the Pieman.

Our destination!
Once again, we were delighted to have Graham with us. For him, it was, I believe, some 47 years since he last saw this part of the world and he was as anxious (maybe even more anxious) as us to visit the Pieman and its delightful little village of Corinna.

Let me begin with a short prelude. While one can drive from Hobart to the Pieman in a day, it is a bit of push. There is so much to see on the way that we chose to go via Cradle Mountain and stay a night at that beautiful creation. Cradle Mountain is a World Heritage site and has become a popular destination with visitors from around Australia and the world. It is indeed an outstanding place to visit.

Our route avoided the main roads, preferring back roads that added to our enjoyment. The route via Cressy and Mount Roland was well worth it:
The Macquarie River near Cressy
Views of Mt Roland

Mt Roland, another place with many memories and unspoilt beauty
     - YES, despite the Green's claim that Tasmanian Hydro Commission has destroyed much of our natural attractions. We are grateful to HEC!
Lake Cethana - part of the Mersey electricity scheme

After the activities of the day, it was good to reach the Cradle Mountain Wilderness Village and to relax, enjoy food and wine and good conversation.

The following morning saw us back on the road for the few kilometers to Dove Lake. Always love this place. It would have been good to walk around it, but time did not permit. Instead, we enjoyed walking down to the boat sheds and take in the views dominated by Cradle Mountain itself.

 Dove Lake with Cradle Mountain
 Below: Lake Lilla

 Love this photo. Such a great setting!
 Views of the boat sheds.

 Farewell Cradle Mountain. Always good to be here!
 A view of Cradle Mountain and Black Bluff as we headed for the Pieman

After an enjoyable stopover in Waratah - another great village to roam around,  we arrived at our main destination, Corinna where the road effectively ends and where we planned to stay for a couple of nights.

Jan and I have a special affinity with Corinna and the Pieman. On previous visits, we enjoyed the assistance of young man by the name of Dale who took us on our first boat trip on the Pieman. We were delighted to find him working on the river cruise boat 'Arcadia' of which he is now the captain, taking tourists most days on excursions. He was as delighted as we were to catch up.

While the Arcadia was not due to make a trip the following morning, as we had hoped, Dale invited us to share an early morning one-hour photography trip with him that he was committed to with a young author/photographer from  Hobart. The plan was to leave early enough to catch the morning mist rising from the river. You can imagine our delight to accept his kind invitation, even if it meant getting up early in the morning.

 Our boat awaits! What a magic scene with Huon Pine trees immediately across the river

 The sun attempted to make its presence felt through the mist, but it was pretty cold.
 Nothing gives Jan greater pleasure than to have a camera and gorgeous scenery and her man (!)
 The Photographer makes haste to get into position to capture the scenes
 From our view, the whole scene was one of extraordinary beauty & mystique
 Every picture tells its own story! Did he enjoy the trip? Judge for yourself.
While Captain Dale was busy keeping us safe and responding to Andrew's requests for starboard or port or whatever. Well done Dale! The old boat - built from Huon Pine, did not miss a beat.

 And as for my lovely lady sailor, again the look says it all!
 There were many photographic opportunities along the river. Enjoy with us!
 So peaceful!
Andrew has completed his task and got the pics he wanted. 
Time for interval as we returned to base, showered and had breakfast.

Jan & I took the opportunity to go walkabout along the Whyte River, while Graham soaked up the atmosphere of the Huon Pine walk. We have not seen more Huon Pine anywhere else, including the Gordon River, than what we saw on the Pieman.

The Whyte River walk took us along the Pieman River, then up the Whyte River and return to Corinna through the forests. Thankfully, my knee coped with it, though I had to be a little careful in certain spots. Just a few photos of this hike:

 Let's do it again!

As though all the above wasn't enough for one day, Dale took us again, this time on the small open boat. It was dejavu  for us both! We asked Dale to again take us up river and, if possible, go as far as the Reece dam.
 Enjoying a different experience
 The entrance to the Whyte River from the boat
 As we got closer the the Reece dam, the current became faster and the foam more numerous
.......and it got much colder. Graham all wrapped up!

And finally! The Reece Dam! Yay! 
 The following morning on our way to Queenstown, we diverted to cross the Reece dam by car and to view where we had been the day before. All good!
 An excellent view from the top.     

 An amazing bit of engineering looking at the terrain
 And of course, the spillway! Imagine it covered with snow?

On that note, it's time to go home! Hope you enjoyed sharing the trip with us!