Friday, February 13, 2015

Holiday in Tasmania

Our first  stopover from Melbourne to Tasmania was the city of Launceston.
We had breathtaking views of Launceston's famous Cataract Gorge and First Basin from the Chairlift. The Central span of 308 metres is believed to be the greatest single span of any chairlift in the world. I was more anxious about my hat flying off and our cameras, as we sat being so exposed.! 

Left Launceston for Mountain Valley Retreats. . A real fire to sit by in the evening. after a delicious home cooked dinner by host, Pat.  No wifi  so caught up with my audio book and it was Beethoven waiting patiently!
 So for the 3 days we were 'lost' in the valley of Loongana under the Black Bluff Mountain. Time was on our side, so we ventured to the caves, experienced Australian wildlife  and the beauty of the Kaydale Gardens - all such great memories to reflect upon.  
Our rustic cabin with simple kitchen amenities. Breakfast was all ready in the fridge for the  three days we spent there. We were advised to stock up on drinks as we made our way to  our destination as there were no shops within close drive to Mountain Valley Retreats. We experienced Tasmanian  wilderness; roaming round the cabins were Pademelons and they fought shy of us when we came closer  

Out in the wilderness
Our host fed road kills in the evenings, and in the darkness of our room, we watched the  Tasmanian Devils come stealthily to eat their dinner. In the evening, we could only watch from a distance the platypuses diving in and out of the water in a river nearby as they foraged for food in the still pools .

From the Cruickshank Lookout, 275 m above the Leven River. Off the beaten track, we got to it via a well equipped picnic area and followed a short relatively easy rainforest walk.

High enough on the viewing platform to marvel at the  Leven Canyon below.

Beauties at Kaydale Lodge and Gardens - just an example of the visual delights of this acclaimed 2 hectacre garden. A must for garden lovers.

Award winning gardens at Kaydale Lodge

With the owner's daughter
Gunns  Plains Cave is close to Leven Canyon - a fascinating world of caves, sinkholes and underground streams. Is this Western Australia hanging from the roof? Actually I saw the head of a python! Amazing limestone formations, glowworms, underground stream, including one of the  Southern Hemisphere's largest shawl formations. Impressive.  The tour guide told us concerts are held in the Caves too! He held our attention with so much info told in an interesting manner. It was well worth the visit.  
. There were low points requiring visitors to 'bend low'. The pathways were sufficiently lit  and not too narrow.

Hanging shawls 

At Wings Wildlife Park - a sleepy wombat in the arms of a caretaker. So many animals - alpacas, eagles, Tasmanian Devils, kangaroos, wallabies, birdlife, emus, ostrich, koalas, echidnas, reptiles

Getting acquainted with the koala at Wings Wildlife Park.

The Tasmanian Devils snarled at one another .  Yes, the teeth doth show up sharp and mean!