Thursday, September 21, 2017

Lost No More - Lost Falls Revisted




McCubbinesque landscape - early morning sunshine filters through the trees

 
I should have looked at Lost Falls last year when there had been so much rain on the East Coast. I’m within 27 km of it on the Great Eastern Drive, so I give it another try now. The main road to Campbell Town has greatly improved since my last visit. The chicanes are still there, much to the delight of motorcyclists, but the road is wide and smooth. It's mean of me to say it, but I wonder if the improvement has more to do with enabling wealthy pastoralists to get to their beachside holiday homes than “connecting communities” as the signage says, or they would have finished the Midlands Highway by now or even the Lakes Highway years ago. The road into the Falls however, hasn’t changed since I was giving my son driving lessons there a decade ago, though the signage is better. Last time the alternator failed and we had to hitchhike home from Campbell Town.

Lost Falls is only four kilometres off the highway but I’m going so slowly it feels like forty. Don’t take your hire car on this road unless it’s a four wheel drive. At least this time I find the location straight away.

Eucalytus oil  adds a blue note to distant mountains
 
It’s early morning in the bush. It is a beautiful time. Shards of sunlight filter through the trees. Birds chirp. Eucalyptus oils give the mountains their bluish hue and there is that golden light, captured so well by Frederick McCubbin. I can see where the falls are supposed to be, but there’s a smudge, rather than a torrent. They are impossibly high -it’s a long way down and would be an amazing sight after a decent rain.

The Lost Falls

One of the rock pools at the head of the Falls
The landscape is still interesting. There are rock pools and spectacular columnar rock walls with huge drop -offs into richly clothed gullies. While the waterfall and rock pools lie to the north, there is also another track on my left which goes to a lookout.

 It comes out on top of two rocky outcrops about the size of a football field and looks over forested mountain chains in every direction. I am always a bit surprised how even the bush looks from this perspective, when the reality on the ground is so different - broken and ravaged by wind, by fire, by humans - and the trees themselves shed their bark, leaves and branches with gay abandon, leaving  messy looking litter on the ground.

On top of the world at the lookout


 It’s a bit hard to tell where you are supposed to go on the lookout, but the views are amazing in every direction. Far off to the east there are sea views, presumably the Freycinet Peninsula with Coles Bay nestled in the corner. It’s very picturesque. Wish I had been here at sunrise. I can also see rain clouds  gathering in the south. Perhaps I bring the rain with me. Just call me next time there's a drought..

Looking east there's a glimpse of the sea



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