From Launceston, we set off on a new road: the West Coast Wilderness Trail. Today, we were going to Cradle Mountain National Park, where we would hike a short circuit around Dove Lake. Hayden was very eager to get to Cradle Mountain and have a look around, mostly to get a taste of the Overland Track. At the visitor center, we got more information about the Overland Track and what it’s all about, in case we want to go someday. I also bought three stuffed animals — a wombat, a Tasmanian tiger, and a Tasmanian devil — as gifts for my younger Japanese relatives, who we will be seeing briefly during our travels in Japan. The stuffed animals were super cute and I would have bought one for myself had I not already just bought three.
A shuttle took us from the visitor center to Dove Lake. The lake was wonderfully picturesque, with Cradle Mountain hovering in the background. The circuit was only about 6 kilometers long, and we completed it in one and a half hours. Hayden had read online that people raved about how great the quality of the trails was, but we really didn’t understand how the “quality of the trail” could be a talking point until we experienced it. The wooden planks were so artfully laid down, in sweeping curves around the lake, with overlaid chicken wire to provide a more grippy surface. Cradle Mountain National Park made Freycinet National Park look like a bunch of lazy bums! The difference in trail quality was really funny to me and Hayden.
On the shuttle ride back, we passed the start of the Overland Track, which had a big, momentous sign to emphasize the journey on which you’re about to embark. Hayden stared longingly at the sign.
The Dove Lake circuit completed, we drove to Tullah Lakeside Lodge for the night, in middle-of-nowhere Tullah on Lake Rosebery. Our room smelled like wet dog, but it did the job and it was cheap for a night. We hung around in the lounge/dinner area because that was the only place WiFi was available, and had our dinner during Tullah’s dinner hours, 6-7pm. The very narrow range of dinner hours was indicative of the very low demand for much of anything in Tullah. Hayden went out briefly to see the lake and described it as “really boring.”
I blogged and Hayden read his book in the lounge area until the staff started turning off lights at 8:30pm, telling us it was time to get out. We went back to our room and found an episode of Top Gear on TV! It was the episode where the three travel through multiple countries in the Middle East and end their journey in Bethlehem, where they find baby Stig in the manger and, as the three wise men, gift him with Gold, shampoo, and a Nintendo DS. I laughed really hard about the Nintendo DS.
I’m still laughing about it.
The Nintendo DS thing is still pretty funny.
Anyway, Hayden and I read our books until bed. The next day, we’d be driving to Lake St. Clair, at the bottom of Cradle Mountain National Park, and day hiking there, and then continuing on to Hobart for the night before our flight out of Tasmania.