Monday, October 12, 2009

Decisions: Busy Track vs Underused Secluded Parks

Around $5000

6 n Craddle Mountain hut-to-hut walk in NW corner through TAS’ world heritage area from $2550 pp twin share. Guided trip with many amenities and NP and Overland Track passes.

VS

Around $1000

Go to Bay of Fires Conservation Park and adjacentMt.William National Park in NE corner of TAS in campervan. Pitch a tent on an empty beach or coastal lagoon. From Musselroe Bay (great fishing and bird watching) you can see across to the Bass Strait islands. And in season, photograph wildflowers and wildlife across the heathlands.

Both parks are great for seeing wallabies, wombats, echidnas, pademelons, Forester Kangaroo ( unique to TAS) at dawn or dusk. The Tassie Devil, however, is most active at night.

If you pick B like I recently did you better hurry before things change, as The Lonely Planet has listed it as the world’s hottest travel destination for 2009!


Courtesy of The Lonely Plant

Forever the butt of mainland jokes, Tasmania has shrugged off the stigma of its isolation – the whole world seems to be discovering the physically dazzling, unique and accessible island. Suitably impressed, and a tad sheepish, the rest of Australia has finally stopped laughing and started visiting. ‘Tassie’ (as it’s affectionately known) has it all.

Out and about, the island’s natural treasures live up to the hype – bushwalking, cycling, rafting and kayaking opportunities abound.

The little-known, isolated Mt William National Park brings together long sandy beaches, low ridges and coastal heathlands – visit during spring or early summer when the wildflowers are at their bloomin’ best. The highest point, Mt William (a 1½-hour return walk), stands only 216m tall, yet projects your gaze over land and sea. The area was declared a national park in 1973, primarily to protect Forester (eastern grey) kangaroos, which have been breeding themselves silly ever since. Activities on offer in the area include bird-watching and wildlife-spotting, fishing, swimming, surfing and diving.

At Eddystone Point is the impressive Eddy tone Lighthouse, built from granite blocks in the 1890s. A small picnic spot here overlooks a beach with red granite outcrops. A short drive away beside a tannin-stained creek (and yet another magnificent arc of white sand and aqua water), is the idyllic campground atDeep Creek. Camping here is very basic, with pit toilets, bore water and fireplaces – there’s no power, and bring your own drinking water and wood. You can also camp at Stumpys Bay and Musselroe Top Camp. National park fees apply; pay camping fees on-site (unpowered sites $6). Bookings not required.

The park is well off the main roads, accessible from the north or south. The northern end is 17km from Gladstone; the southern end around 60km from St Helens. (This fishing village was once the home of Rainbow Tourism. Gay friendly businesses exist here and the catch of the day makes you want to stay and stay.)

Rainbow Tourism Recommendations at start/finish of your exploration.

1 comment:

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