Travelling Australia - Journal 2015b
|20 April 2015
Hobart to Strahan
Traffic was moderately heavy as we drove through central Hobart but reduced in volume through the northern suburbs on our way to New Norfolk enroute to Strahan on the West Coast via route A10. We stopped in New Norfolk for fuel then Hamilton for a cup of coffee. Many townships and villages along this part of the road (including Hamilton) were established in the early days of European settlement at places where the numerous rivers could be safely forded then grew as settlement expanded. Modern bridges, good roads and motor vehicles have removed the reason for existence of many smaller villages which are struggling badly to find a role.
The road was good, traffic was very light, the weather was mostly cloudy. The road mainly followed the Derwent River Valley to the north-west of Hobart; land along the road had been mostly cleared leaving rolling hills and was devoted mainly to grazing sheep (although there were a few herds of beef cattle as well). Turn-offs to national parks were common and mountains were visible to the south-west (left of the road).
Well past Ouse the grazing land was replaced by forests (native and planted pine) and the road entered a series of bends approaching the Tarraleah and Tungatinah hydro-electric power station both in the bottom of deep valleys with very obvious multiple pipes down the valley sides delivering water. The first indication of these power stations along the Lyell Highway was the sight of very full, wide-open, water channels along the road taking water from a series of pondages to Tarraleah. We turned off the highway on the road to Tarraleah Lookout; this road was mostly downhill beside two very large pipes, about two metres in diameter, carrying the water to the edge of the valley where it entered several slightly smaller pipes for a very steep drop to the power-station far below. The lookout was on the edge of the valley and looked down onto both power stations with their feeder water pipes.
We returned to the Lyell Highway which entered a series of sharp bands and descents ending up at the bottom of the valley between the two power stations.
From the power stations the A10/Lyell Highway was pretty much into the hills and mountains of the west and south-west. The road remained good bitumen but with many bends and hills. Traffic was very light and the weather was cloudy with some sunshine, no rain and no wind. We stopped a few times for photographs.
Approaching Queenstown we passed through the famous hills which had been denuded of vegetation by chemicals used in processing mine output in the past. The mines have been closed for some time and the hills are showing signs of vegetation regrowth; some areas are bare rock and will never recover but trees and shrubs are growing on much of the rest. On the edge of town tree seedlings had been planted to hasten the recovery.
We stopped for a late lunch in Queenstown then continued to Strahan. The weather had closed in and the sun was now rarely seen through the cloud. Arriving in Strahan we found the venue we had booked with some difficulty after a name change meant advertised and Internet identity did not match on-site signage. After unpacking we went into Strahan to look around.
20 April 2015 - page 2
Click on photograph below to open large image
|Derwent Valley||Australian Shellducks|
|Feeder Pipes||Hydro Power-Station|
|Mountains of SW Tas||Beehives|
Click on photograph above to open large image
20 April 2015 - page 3