Liffey Falls (Short Walk)

Liffey Falls is one of the 60 Great Short Walks of Tasmania and is situated near Deloraine in the Great Western Tiers.Ā  There are two walks you can do here, the short one, which we did which is a well formed track and takes about 45 minutes to complete, and there is a much longer track not as developed which we hope to do another time.

Walking through the rainforest you will see massive tree ferns, tall eucalypts, myrtle, sassafras and leatherwood trees, and you will hear the twittering of forest dwelling birds, but good luck in spotting them among the trees or trying to get a photo! I got to see my first pink robin here but it was too quick for me to get a picture.

Can you see a face?

Liffey Falls is said to be one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Tasmania.

At the falls you will also see a side track with a sign to a “big tree” and is definitely worth checking out. It has to be one of the biggest eucalypt trees I have ever seen!

Liffey Falls is a must do when visiting Tasmania, and is best seen after some rain. The short walk is quite easy and there are some viewing platforms along the way providing good photo opportunities.

Walking at Windsor Park

As my usual walking place at the local Wetlands is closed indefinitely because of Covid-19, I have been exploring other walking routes nearby and discovered a nice walking trail at Windsor Park close to my home and only a 10 minute or so drive from Launceston.

It isn’t easy to find if you’re not a local because there aren’t any signs for it. But once you’re there, you’ll find a wide asphalt path winding its way among trees and lovely landscapes, and you will even pass a community garden and a newly created dog training arena.

There are quite a lot of Tasmanian Blue Gum trees there of various sizes. The Blue Gum is also Tasmania’s floral emblem.

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The path then takes you by some farm paddocks ……

One morning it had been raining on and off but I went walking anyway, and I was lucky enough to see some hares frolicking in one of the paddocks and they are quite big ones too!

Along the way there are these trees with red berries on them. And it seems someone really enjoys them!

I’ve seen mushrooms and flowers …

And I saw this random sculpture!

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Just past the steampunk dragonfly is a little deviation in the track you can choose which takes you to a bird hide on the banks of the wetlands of the Tamar River.

Bird hide
View from the bird hide of the Tamar River and wetlands

Here is one of my favourite shots, an early morning view.

In this next picture you can see a bridge in the distance in the centre, which is one of the bridges I used to walk along on my walks at Tamar River Wetlands.

From the bird hide I can see lots of greylag geese and black swans and a number of other waterbirds.

Greylag geese, an introduced species to Tasmania

Walking on from the bird hide brings you behind a sportsground, which at the moment is quiet and empty because of Covid-19 restrictions. However the oval is currently being used by these Pacific gulls. I think the sports ground is going to be well fertilised by the time this is all over! šŸ˜€

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I was quite surprised at the variety of wildlife I’ve seen while on my walks here. Here are photos of just some of the wildlife I’ve seen so far. (Click on a picture to see full size)

Even though it has been disappointing not to be able to walk at the Wetlands because of the coronavirus, it has led me to explore more of my neighbourhood and come across wonderful finds such as this walking trail.

Cradle Mountain Day 6 – Blue Skies And Sunshine

And so we come to my final day of my incredible stay at Cradle Mountain. After an amazing day of plenty of snow the day before, today was blue skies and sunshine. And boy was it cold! I checked out of my cabin and since my bus home wasn’t due until later in the afternoon I decided to catch the shuttle bus back to Dove Lake to see it under clear skies.

It was so cold walking to the bus stop, the wind was freezing cold, and I even came across black ice for the first time, only noticing it when my feet started to slip on the road. While I was waiting for the bus, I checked my mobile phone out of curiosity for the current temperature.

For those of you who use Farenheit, the current temperature of -2 Celsius is the equivalent of 28 F and the “real feel” temperature of -9 Celsius is the equivalent of 15F.

No wonder it felt cold!!

I think everyone had the same idea as me because the shuttle bus filled quickly and almost everyone stayed on until the last stop at Dove Lake. But how beautiful does Cradle Mountain look topped with snow under blue skies and sunshine.

You can see the lake had choppy water from the strong wind
The iconic boat house, a very different scene to yesterday’s when it was covered in snow!

I didn’t walk very far this morning as it was just way too cold because of the wind, so I caught the next bus to Ronny Creek hoping to get one last glimpse of a wombat.

And yes, there were several wombats out in the sunshine! I found it quite peaceful watching these funny marsupials munching away without a care.

The mountains were topped with snow from yesterday.

While waiting for the shuttle bus, I came across these black currawongs, one of which tried to get inside my backpack when I had put it on the ground for a moment. I think he was looking for food or maybe somewhere warm! šŸ˜€

Black currawongs

Back again on the shuttle bus and this time I went back to the Enchanted Walk for a new perspective in the sunshine.

It wasn’t far along the path that I stumbled upon a small group of Bennett’s wallabies warming up in the morning sun.

Look at those eyelashes!

A type of fungi

As I still had time to spare until my bus home arrived, I thought I could just about manage to fit in one final walk, and chose to do the King Billy Track. What a beautiful walk it was too.

I even came across a pademelon foraging.

Along the trail I saw this very large tree that had fallen down showing its roots.

You probably can’t judge how big this tree is until you see the roots in proportion to the boardwalk track. It’s gigantic!

Roots of uprooted tree beside the boardwalk

At the end of this beautiful trail you can even see Cradle Mountain.

And so my Cradle Mountain adventure comes to an end. In just 6 days, I got to see spectacular landscapes, enjoy a multitude of walking trails, challenged myself, did some soul searching, saw lots of different birds and wildlife, fed a possum, a couple of currawongs and a few pademelons, I saw plenty of wombats, experienced cold like I never have before, and not just saw snow, but was in right among it as it fell. Cradle Mountain has captured my heart and will remain a special place for me.

I hope you have enjoyed my experiences at Cradle Mountain as much as I have enjoyed sharing them with you. I highly recommend visiting this region should you ever travel to Tasmania, there is something for everyone here, young and old alike, and at anytime of year. Definitely a place worthy of your bucket list!

 

Cradle Mountain Day 1 – First Impressions

I recently went on an amazing holiday to the beautiful wilderness area of Cradle Mountain, Tasmania. This region is well known around the world for its stunning scenery and famous walking tracks and is one of Australia’s most visited places, by overseas tourists and Australians alike. This was my first ever trip to Cradle Mountain.

Red marker shows location of Cradle Mountain

I spent 6 glorious days at Cradle Mountain and would have loved to have stayed longer. I booked into “The Bushman’s Hut” at Highlanders Cottages and I was spoiled for friendly customer service, gorgeous scenery, wildlife at my cabin door, and a perfect location to easily catch the shuttle bus to get to and from the walks.

Small on the outside but big on the inside.
View from the cabin’s veranda.

I packed a fair bit in on my first day. It was a 3 hour coach journey to get there from Launceston, then once I settled into the cabin and unpacked, it was off to the Visitor Centre after a quick lunch to get my shuttle bus pass for the week and to start exploring. My first stop was the Ranger Station and Interpretation Centre, where you can walk around static displays about the walks, wildlife and history of the area. There was even a small theatre inside playing short films.

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Outside the Ranger Station, I spied a black currawong and finally discovered what was making that very strange noise I had been hearing since arriving.

My first walk was the Pencil Pine Falls Walking Track, a very short walk of only 500m but quite enjoyable with lots of nice green trees. Of course it took me longer to walk all the tracks during my stay as I kept stopping to taking photographs and observe animals and watch for new birds I had yet to discover!

Just a short walk away was another track called the Enchanted Walk, about a kilometre long and was exactly as its name implied – enchanting!

Afterwards I went back to the cabin and shortly thereafter I found this cutie at my door!

Pademelon

My friends at work had given me advance notice that there would be friendly and hungry pademelons around the cabins so I came prepared with a few apples. It turned out that every afternoon around the same time, there would be a few pademelons looking for a handout. I’m afraid they were too adorable to resist!

It was wonderful to get up so close to a pademelon, I think they are beautiful animals. I have only seen them at the local wetlands on my walks back home and certainly never get this close to one.

To finish off the day, right on dusk, I joined a small group of half a dozen people for a night tour of wildlife spotting. The tour lasted for around 2 hours and included animal spotting from the bus as well as a 20 minute walk around on a boardwalk to see what we could find.

Wombat spotted at Ronny Creek

This was exciting for me as I had never seen a wombat in the wild before. We ended up seeing at least 6 wombats that night along the boardwalk, a few of them quite close to the track. Our driver and guide, James, was great with his commentary and was quite informative and entertaining.

I was also stoked to spot this beautiful Bennett’s wallaby from the bus!

As well as spotting a few more wombats, pademelons, and another Bennett’s wallaby from the bus, we spied a number of brushtail possums, a few had joeys on their back, so cute! I caught this possum heading into the bush as it started snowing!

On the trip back to the various accommodations where the group members were staying, there were several snow flurries which was exciting for me, never having seen snow fall before.

This next video is a view from the bus with a sighting of a pademelon and some interesting information about them from our driver James.

What a first day at Cradle Mountain! Gorgeous mossy green forest walks, wildlife at my door, my first wild wombat sighting, and even a tantalising look at a bit of snow! I was filled with happiness and excitement at what the coming days would bring.

Keep an eye out for my next post to find out what furry creatures I encounter on my second day!

Late Afternoon Walk At The Coombabah Lakelands Mangrove Boardwalk

Recently we visited the Coombabah Lakelands Mangrove Boardwalk And Birdhide – the short mangrove boardwalk on Shelter Road just before you get to The Animal Welfare League.

Not having been there before, we thought we would do a quick visit so we can see what there is and organise a longer stay another time.

We went on a late Sunday winter’s afternoon,Ā and it looked quite promising when we saw several kangaroos eating grass along the roadside before we even got to the car park. We were the only ones there so it was nice and quite and still, although at first you can hear dogs barking at the animal shelter, but this noise quickly disappeared once you got deeper along the track.

The track is an easy walk with lots of informative signs along the way. I even saw this picture of a possumĀ painted on the track.

The track is well looked after, asphalt all the way to the boardwalk and only about 500 metres.Ā At the end is a bird hide.

 

The tide was still going out when we got there, so although we didn’t get to see any wader birds, I did spy this little bird in a tree near the hide. I have never seen one of these before and it took me awhile to look it up and find out what it is – a grey strike thrush. A first for me!

We spent some time just sitting and looking from the hide but apart from the occasional white ibis, there weren’t any other birds to be seen.

I did see this incredibly large striped mosquito, I have no idea what it is, so if you know what it isĀ please let me know!

There was a small bit of mangrove where the water had receded and there were lots of holes in the mud, so I think you would probably see numerous small crabs at low tide. This was all I could see at the time –

On the way back to the car was when we had the most action. First, we saw a brush turkey.

Then we saw kangaroos, and lots of them! There were a couple on the edge of the mangrove and they had muddy paws and legs. They were quite close to the track and didn’t seem perturbed by us in the slightest.

Back on the asphalt track we came across numerous kangaroos, all eastern greys. We even saw one rather large muscly fellow who watched us warily from the forest.

 

Considering we were there for only an hour, we were happy seeing all the kangaroo activity and how close the animals were. Next time we will plan to head there at low tide and hope to observe more water birds.

I recommend this walk if you’re looking for a comfortable easy flat walk, especially if you have a pram, stroller or wheelchair, and you want to see some different forest environments and a bit of wildlife, all while being hidden away in an easy to get to place on the Gold Coast. Don’t forget the insect repellent!