|The first Waratahs|
The Hartz Mountains look superb from a distance. They have a
sharp chiselled outline rather like two pyramids, but the first thing everyone tells wannabe bushwalkers, particularly in this area, is the Tragic Tale of Osborne Geeves,
after whose family Geeveston is
|View across the Valleys|
An expert bushman, Osborne was on prospecting trip in the Hartz Mountains with his three sons and a nephew on a fine
day on the 27th.
of November in 1877,
when they were unexpectedly overtaken by a blizzard. His son Arthur died in his
arms and the nephew, Robert, died of exposure after being dragged into one of
the huts. That kind of thing has always given this area a bit a sinister reputation
and one approaches the
(all mountains in Tas. really) with a certain amount of respect. We turn left at
the Arve Picnic shelter instead of heading up to the Tahune Airwalk. This road
though unsealed is wide and not too bad.
|Waratah Lookout - There is a hidden waterfall here and if you double click you may be able to see a tiny red spot which is the season's first waratah,
well the first I've seen anyway|
We call in at the Look -in Lookout - useful for identifying some of the rainforest trees and understanding a bit of the local logging history, then
do the obligatory stop at Waratah Lookout with its sweeping views across the
surrounding valleys and mountains. It is also my first glimpse of the striking red waratah this
season. A creek gurgles alongside and a tiny waterfall can be heard tinkling a
long, long way down into the gorge.
It gets better
when we do the short walk to Arve Falls. The
track is easy – 20 minutes and well formed. The whole bush seems to be getting
ready for Christmas.
Many more waratahs
are already in bloom here interspersed with white bauera, red mountain berries
and young shoots of myrtle which vary from copper to bright green and
dark. The falls are not huge but pretty, falling over several levels and into a deep gorge. In terms of return for effort, only Russell Falls at Mt. Field and the Nelson Falls on the way to the West Coast would rival it.
|Alpine Moorlands get ready for their brief moment of summer glory|
|Elsewhere the bush seems to be getting into the Christmas Spirit|
|Upper level Arve Falls|
|Lower level Arve Falls|
|Looking down the other side|
There are several other interesting walks in this area -e.g. Lake Osborne 40 mins, and longer ones, e.g. 4 hours to Hartz Peak, but my friend has had enough.
We stop for apples in Huonville and then part company. She heads home and I search for the other waterfall. The promised deluge has not materialised and the weather actually clears. Look out Billy Brown, here I come!
By the way, is it a spoiler to show you pictures of these places? Since most of you live overseas, the chances of seeing them personally are probably fairly slim. If it whets your appetite to come on over, that's a good thing. Even if you go to exactly the same places the season will be different, the weather, the plants. There is always something new. Each person's experience will be different. I just want all yours (and mine) to be pleasant ones.