Past Derwent Bridge (before I got to Queenstown), I stopped at Nelson Falls, more to get out and stretch my legs than for anything else. Boy, wasn't I pleasantly surprised after a short, easy walk through the lush rainforest to find these pretty falls at the end? The rainforest was so dense, it was at least a couple of degrees cooler inside than it was out near the road.
Continuing on to Queenstown, I was struck by the change in the landscape. Up until then, for the most part, it had been a very pleasant drive though the countryside with farms, trees and plenty of rivers. Areas around Queenstown, however, looked almost desolate with not much vegetation on the hills. The scenery changed again soon after I had this place in my rear view mirror. I was so absorbed in watching my surroundings that it took a while to notice the lack of traffic. It got to a point where I was surprised to even see another car! Not exactly like Dallas rush-hour traffic, that's for sure :-)
My accommodation for the night was in Strahan (pronounced Strawn), a little seaside town about mid-way down the west coast with a decent sized harbour. The first word that came to mind when I saw it was 'quaint'. Charming cottages on the hillside, an esplanade, lots of small boutiques and shops. You can read more about Strahan and the West Coast on our website.
We had the opportunity to disembark at Heritage Landing and have a bit of a stroll on an elevated wilderness walk. I know there were a few 'real' photographers on the tour that made the most of it with some pictures that put my little snapshots to shame. A lovely buffet lunch was served on board and we turned back towards the harbour, with a quick stop at Sarah's Island - yet another convict settlement, this one from the 1820's (before Port Arthur was established). With a guide leading our little group around the ruins on the island, we learned a bit more history about the place. The boat gets back to Strahan mid-afternoon which allowed for a look about town before dinner. You can learn more about the cruise, or make a booking, on the Gordon River Wilderness Cruise page on our website. Seating is limited, so I highly recommend booking ahead.
I will finish up the last leg of my journey to Launceston in my next post - stay tuned!