Life in Tasmania's Huon Valley, by a blow-in from the mainland
Saturday, July 21, 2012
Today I walked to beautiful Kermandie Falls south west of Geeveston. It was a "reccie" for a walk I am leading for our social walking group in a few weeks. I have wanted to walk there for some time, for a couple of reasons. First, the walk forms the first part of the Hartz Track, the historic route to Hartz Peak from Geeveston. According to a Parks and Wildlife Service document, the track was constructed in 1896 by the Geeves family, who were well known in the region as explorers, track cutters and prospectors. Second, in Bryce Courtenay's book The Potato Factory, the main female character Mary goes in search of her sons in the bush along the Kermandie River then the alpine Hartz region, which sounded like a highly improbable feat to me given how thick the bush would have been. Never mind the cold and the wet and the bands of timbergetters. I was keen to see it for myself.
I'm not sure why, but when I read "cross here" in the online instructions, I didn't think it meant "cross river here"... so only about 20 metres into the walk I found myself walking across a river. It wasn't deep, but I dithered about a bit deciding what to do because I wasn't keen on walking for a couple of hours with wet and cold feet. It is winter after all and I'm prone to chilblains on my feet. In the end I decided to avoid the stepping stones and just charge straight through the water. Happily, the combination of my new LOWA boots (purchased on holiday in Switzerland) and gaiters meant my feet remained dry and warm on the other side.
After a very short section on forestry tracks, the remainder of the track follows the course of the Kermandie River. I saw two lyrebirds, one at very close range. I heard a noise and looked up to see the bird's head poking out from behind a large tree. Pity my camera was in the backpack at that point. The rainforest is beautiful - thick and lush - and the track is wet. There were logs to clamber over and under, covered in bright green moss and various colourful fungi. Reaching the falls at the end, I had to walk through some falling water to get to the main falls. Boy did they roar. It was difficult to take photos as the lens fogged up. I'm a little worried about taking a group of people into this wild and watery wonderland, but would love to go back and keep walking through to Hartz Mountains - about 13km according to the sign.
Escaped Sydney in 2010 for a piece of paradise in Tasmania's Huon Valley. I'm a keen walker, remote worker, incompetent gardener, Bernese Mountain Dog owner, fan of almost anything German (food, language, cars, beer), amateur linguist, chook fancier, childfree.