Tasmania 2018 – Day 6

Miena to Mole Creek via Deloraine

Under another blue sky and warming day, we set off from Miena for the small town of Mole Creek, at the foothills of a number of hills/mountains as part of the Great Western Tiers.

Up until now the road surface has been good, patchy and gravelly in a few places (notably on corners where vehicles have dragged rocks and such onto the road), however between Miena and Deloraine there were extensive roadworks, set to last for another year or so (They generally can only work in Summer due to the ever changing conditions in the mountains at other times).

Big Tree, Liffey Falls
Big Tree, Liffey Falls

Liffey Falls
We decided to stop along the road to Deloraine at our first falls of the trip, a place called Liffey Falls. Once we travelled down the narrow, gravel road, we realised that it was up to an hour round trip, which we didn’t have time for, so settled for a visit to Big Tree near the Liffey car park. If you look in the picture really hard, you’ll see Mr12 with his outstretched arms at the bottom left of the tree (as we see it) – showing the scale of the tree.

View from Deloraine Visitor's centre
View from Deloraine Visitor’s centre

Deloraine
Deloraine is a lovely arts/creative-centric town in the Highlands of Tasmania, between Launceston and Cradle Mountain. We stopped by the Meander River to eat morning tea and enjoy the summer sun. The town has a number of small sculptures lining the streets, made by local artists.

We visited the information centre and stocked up on maps and info for the locations we were to visit along the way (on many occasions, more can be gleaned from a brochure or book/map than you can get from Google or Siri).

View from Chudleigh Cemetery, Tasmania
View from Chudleigh Cemetery, Tasmania

We continued West along the Bass Hwy towards Mole Creek,when we stopped by an old cemetery in Chudleigh for Eva to pick up a cache. I love the name “Chudleigh” and found out it’s named after a town in England, the name having come from Saxon origin.

Mole Creek
We soon came across our accommodation for the next 2 nights along the road from Chudleigh – we unloaded our stuff, got a feel for the place then headed off towards the Marakoopa Caves.

Mole Creek Caves (Marakoopa Cave)
There are 2 caves jointly marketed as the Mole Creek Caves – King Solomon cave and the Marakoopa cave. We opted for the Marakoopa Cave because it offered glow-worms – reportedly the largest gathering of glow-worms in Australia.

Stalctites, Marakoopa Caves, Tasmania
Stalctites, Marakoopa Caves, Tasmania

The Marakoopa cave also had an underground river at the end of the cave, a spot to stop and listen (in darkness as well) to the sound of running water. I spotted a fossil on the wall whilst inspecting the cave with a torch.

Marakoopa Caves, Tasmania
Marakoopa Caves, Tasmania
Tulampanga (Alum Cliff), Mole Creek
Tulampanga (Alum Cliff), Mole Creek

Tulampanga (Alum Cliff)
On our way back from Marakoopa Caves we diverted up a hill towards a location referred to as Tulampanga (Alum Cliff). There was a short walk to be completed to get to the lookout over Alum Cliff and the valley and river below (isn’t there always?) On the way down I said hello to a couple of cows!

Cows at Tulampanga, Mole Creek
Cows at Tulampanga, Mole Creek

Back to the accommodation for washing, dinner and for Mr12 to play with his new friends – 2 goats and a sheep. I only took 1 photo of one of the goats for your enjoyment ๐Ÿ™‚

Friendly goat, Mole Creek
Friendly goat, Mole Creek

Tomorrow: We’re off to Dove Lake in the Cradle Mountain National Park
Previous: Tasmania 2018 – Day 5

Tasmania 2018 – Day 4

A short day action-wise as we were travelling from Hobart up the middle of the state to Miena – quite close to the geographic centre of the state.

Richmond, Tasmania
Richmond, Tasmania

Richmond
First stop was the historic town of Richmond, about 20 mins North/North-East of Hobart. Richmond was a convict settlement and had important ties to Hobart and Port Arthur. Historically speaking, Richmond is home to the oldest Gaol (Richmond Gaol, built in 1825 with one of its most famous inmates being Ikey Solomon – reportedly the inspiration for for the character of Fagin in Charles Dicken’s Oliver Twist.

Richmond Bridge, Richmond, Tasmania
Richmond Bridge, Richmond, Tasmania

Next up was the oldest convict-built bridge (Richmond Bridge) still operating today – It’s so well constructed that it should still be standing in another hundred or so years. There’s a path from the Gaol to the bridge which runs along the Coal river, where one can simply sit and watch the scenery or feed the ducks. Over the bridge is the old Mill House, where they once milled wheat to become flour, which is now a B&B.

St. John's Church, Richmond, Tasmania
St. John’s Church, Richmond, Tasmania
Inside St. Johns Church, Richmond, Tasmania
Inside St. Johns Church, Richmond, Tasmania

Up the hill a little is Australia’s oldest Catholic Church – St John’s Church, built in 1837. There’s a cemetery behind the church and its position on a hill means it has great views of the town of Richmond. In the pic you can see the silhouette of my family all posing like statues.

Port Arthur memorial at St John's Church, Richmond, Tasmania
Port Arthur memorial at St John’s Church, Richmond, Tasmania

Richmond was established as an important military staging post and convict station linking Hobart with Port Arthur – a small memorial stone next to the church was laid in memory of those who lose their lives at Port Arthur on 28 April 1996. After enjoying a hot chocolate and a lamington at The Bakery, we headed off towards Miena, via a few caches along the way.

On the road to Miena
The drive was fairly uneventful, through small towns such as Bagdad, Kempton and Melton Mowbray(where there was a cache called Cutest Little Chapel), and through Bothwell along the Highland Lakes Road.

Steppes Sculptures, Tasmania
Steppes Sculptures, Tasmania

We stopped along the road to view the Steppes Sculptures, a series of stone statues with bronze sections depicting Australian flora and fauna. It seems to be an odd place to have these sculptures but it’s part of a larger historic site you can walk to from the statues.

Miena
At first look, there’s not much to Miena – on second look, it just confirms…there’s not much to Miena! ๐Ÿ™‚

It’s a quiet little fishing town on the edge of The Great Lake, in the middle of the state. There’s a Hotel & Lodge (where we stayed), and not much else apart from a number of fishing shacks and houses. The nearest store is about 10km up the road. We checked in and went out for a wander, having seen signs to a number of lakes and dams.

Miena Dam 2 & 3, Miena, Tasmania
Miena Dam 2 & 3, Miena, Tasmania

Miena Dam(s)
The Great Lake has seen 3 dams built at Miena over the years (later on we pieced together the rest of the story as to what the 3 dams did for the rest of the river system and hydro-electricity in Tasmania). Miena Dam 1 was completed in 1916, Miena 2 in 1922, and Miena 3 in 1982. In the picture you can see Miena 2 the concrete walls in the lower left of the picture and Miena Dam 3, the large stone wall along the right hand side of the picture.

Water glimpse, Central Highlands Lodge - Miena, Tasmania
Water glimpse, Central Highlands Lodge – Miena, Tasmania

We ended the day with a couple more caches before heading home to the Central Highlands Lodge for the night.

Tomorrow we’re off to the Waddamana Power Station Museum and a wander amongst the lakes.
Previous: Tasmania 2018 – Day 3