This week’s jaunt saw me in Tasmania’s north and west spending some quality time in our magnificent Myrtle Beech forests. The first stop was Upper Quaile Falls, a place I had not visited before. Despite the track in leading through some previously logged forest, there were still some magnificent trees to be seen and the falls had plenty of water.
Back to the car and onward to a location west of Cradle Mountain, the Vale of Belvoir. This area was purchased by the Tasmanian Land Conservancy in 2008 and consists of a limestone valley roughly 10 km long by 2 km wide. Lying at an altitude of 800 metres it is Tasmania’s only sub-alpine limestone valley.
The Vale is home to the world’s densest population of carnivorous marsupials, including the vulnerable Spotted Tail Quoll and the Tasmanian Devil. It was one of the last strongholds of the Tasmanian Thylacine.
It is also populated by magnificent stands of Myrtle Beech rainforest and this was my reason for visiting.
The forecast was for cool, partly cloudy conditions so I had only packed my summer sleeping bag as the minimum temperature was forecast to be -1ºC. I woke up in the morning to see a totally clear sky and -5.3ºC but despite the temperature, I slept warmly in my Helium 450 sleeping bag.
By 6 am I was wandering through the nearby forest to catch what images I could before the sun filtered through the trees. Moving amongst these silent sentinels in the dim early morning light was like walking through a mystical forest of another time. Silent, peaceful and timeless.
Happy with the images I had captured I returned to my car to pack the now ice-free Dragonfly tent and have some breakfast before heading off to my next destination.
Tasmania’s Tarkine forest are magnificent, wild, remote… and threatened. They are challenged by mining, logging, and other inappropriate threats and many areas have been, and are still being, severely damaged.
My destination was a Myrtle Beech rain forest and stream that I had not visited before and I left my car and picked up a faint track across the grasslands towards the distant forest.
This turned out to be one of the nicest forests I have seen and I spent a wonderful few hours wandering the area, searching for images that conveyed its beauty.
Fortunately, the cloudless sky that I woke up to had fully clouded over by the time I entered the forest so photography was possible in the even light. The only improvement would have been a layer of mist between the trees….next time :)
By late afternoon I was back in my car, heading down Tasmania’s West Coast on a 3 and a half hour drive to my home.
Another good trip.
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Choosing a new tent is one of those moments that calls for serious research. It's a big decision, and a potentially risky one, if you get it wrong you may have to live with the consequences for a long time. I live in Tasmania and love exploring wilderness Alpine regions, especially winter camping.
So, my non-negotiables in a tent are it being waterproof, that's #1, then weight and space. Ok, looks play a part, but they are a bonus :)
I first visited Iceland in 2012 on my way to East Greenland. My time in Iceland on this first trip included driving around the Ring Road, the road that circumnavigates this incredible country. Since then I have been privileged to fly into Reykjavik’s airport, Keflavik, a further 5 times.