THE EDGE OF THE WORLD NORTH WEST COAST OF TASMANIA
"I CAST MY PEBBLE INTO THE SHORE OF ENTERNITY
TO BE WASHED BY THE OCEAN OF TIME
IT HAS SHAPE FORM AND SUBSTANCE
IT IS ME - ONE DAY I WILL BE NO - MORE
BUT MY PEBBLE WILL REMIAN HERE
ON THE SHORE OF ETERNITY
I WITNNESS FOR THE AEONS
THAT TODAY I CAME AND STOOD
AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD"
Pure Coastal Wilderness situated on the North Western Coast of Tasmania that is forever battered by the Wether (Roaring 40's) coming off the coast which nothing lies right across to South America. This is Coastal Wilderness at its best, But Hang ON !!! Who said there were to be vehicle access from Arthur River to Sandy Cape? With 4WD's and ATV'S (All Terrain Vehicle's) as it was a surprise but one of yeah OK, its a long weekend - NO This dragged on until Big Eel Creek and only spotting one at Lake Pedder. Did I Sign up for this ???
The Tarkine (indigenous name: takayna) is an area containing the Savage River National Park in the north west Tasmania, Australia, which environmental non-government organisations state that it contains significant areas of wilderness. The Tarkine is noted for its beauty and natural values, containing the largest area of cool-temperate rainforest in Australia, as well as for its prominence in Tasmania's early mining history. The area's high concentration of Aboriginal sites has led to it being described by the Australian Heritage Council as "one of the world's great archaeological regions
Situated in Tasmania’s North West, the Tarkine Forest Reserve is roughly bounded by the West Coast, the Arthur River to the north, the Pieman River to the south and the Murchison Highway to the east.
A world of natural treasures including mountain ranges, wild river and cave systems, buttongrass moorlands, and a rugged coastline with long sandy beaches, with these ancient wind swept sand dunes and coastal heath.
The plant and animal life here is as rich and varied as the many that support them. Local residents include the platypus, echidna, wombat, bandicoot, possum and glider – not to mention the famous Tasmanian Devil and the state’s other predators, the Spotted-tailed Quoll and Eastern Quoll.
The Tarkine has over a hundred bird species, including several rare and endangered birds like the threatened Orange-bellied Parrot.
The Arthur Pieman area is dominated by a massive coastline shaped by the powerful swells of the Southern Ocean and attracts all kinds of visitors who explore the coast and hinterland via the many roads and recreational tracks for off-road vehicles.
There are plenty of other ways to enjoy the beauty of the Tarkine area. The town of Arthur River sits on the border of the reserve and is the starting point for beach and forest journeys and adventures, including a visit to the ‘End of the World’ at Gardiner Point.
Further south, the Western Explorer touring route winds its way to the tiny settlement of Corinna on the Pieman River, where the Fat Man punt carries cars across the river to continue their journey. A river cruise here takes you to a wild West Coast beach with huge draft wood washed up by the furious Southern Ocean.
Day One -
Arthur River to Sundown Point (11/3/17 - 7.5km)
We start with a Shuttle bus transfer from Launceston Airport right after the remaining group arrived on their Jet Star flight, for our 4 hour Journey to Arthur River / The excitement and anticipation begins after months of waiting here we are - For my self and for other members of this current group a year ago embarked on a muddy journey down in the South Coast and we are here again to accept anything the wild wether of Tasmania will dish out at us....
With a short food stop we were of to Arthur River - ARRIVED !!! Wether looking rather bleak as we reached whats Dubbed "THE END OF THE WORLD" Well it clearly felt and looked like it -
At The End of the World Lookout / Arthur River
Once we were all organised we set foot down the beach for 7kms till we reached Camp for the night at Sundown Point. A old sign that said NO Drinking (Poison Water) and 4WD'S hooning up the beach, well apparently there was a NO CAMPING SIGN AS WELL / we clearly could not read that. A wise choice by the girls we ventured to the left of the point to a nice little bay and had a super fresh / refreshing swim - Feeling Beautiful and Alive.
Our first nights Camp Fire was made on the salty shores of Sundown Point (Clearly a safe fire)
One of the Many ATV Tracks
The backend of Sundown Point
Day TWO -
Sundown Point to Little Eel Creek (12/3/17 - 18.2km)
RAIN - Stay in your tents if its raining and have "breaky in bed" was the order, thankfully this did not last to long and we were soon out and ready to pack up a wet tent and move on!! With rain shell at the ready. We moved on with yet again the annoyance of the the Damm ATV'S, I thought this was meant to be a wilderness - We passed Nelson Bay and our first sighting of these ocean houses/ beach Shacks, very interesting to see these Little Houses with their absolute basic living arrangements.
Looking very relaxed at Lunch Day 2
After Lunch we continued to Temma, A Sleepy seaside Village with NO Shop, A quick break to don our rain shell once more only to rip it off straight after -
Approximately 2kms South of Temma we found camp at Little Eel Creek, I was somewhat upset to the fact we weren't near the beach tonight. once I got over my ISSUE I then set up camp after everyone else and went to collect water and came back with some that were not to keen to have a fire in the environment we were in -
But YENNY the Fire bug she is screamed FIRE - So I constructed a nice hole with a Poop trowel and OUR Fire remain within the perimeter -
My Nightmare continued 10:30 then then early hours of the morning I could hear rattling up the track a Friggen ATV - Ok from Tomoz and once we get to South Cape Thats, no more as they are not allowed past the Cape.
Day THREE -
Little Eel Creek to Pedder River (13/3/17 - 21.5km)
We left camp quite early and before we knew it we were on the sand again, today was a rather lengthy day on the Sand .The distance was up to 18kms with sunny conditions and this was the beginning of a run of a few warms days - Today was a challenging day, Many were tired and weren't expecting the distances we had already walked. As the there are NO MARKED TRAILS AND CAMP SITES, we made it to where we thought was LAKE PEDDER CAMP SITE - A fe of the group went on to do a Recon behind the Sand Dunes and after a good hour they returned with word of our Camp Site for the Night - Once set and re igniting an existing fire and after My wonder full Dehydrated meal. Two guys that have been calling this region a place for relaxation for many years came over, It was great to get the "locals" insight of the Tarkine, to listen to how passionate they are about it and how they are pushing the Bureaucrat's in Hobart to have the Tarkine better managed so its not lost for future generations....
Day Four -
Pedder River to Italian River (14/3/17 - 19km)
We departed early and dropped our bags off at a intersection to make our way to South Cape Lighthouse, Sadly we did not reach it as we were to far south - All good shit happens, right.
South cape / Lighthouse out there some where
We made our way back to our Packs and remember that there is no marked trail - there was decision made to go on a particular ATV trail and this turned into some sort of extra challenge we didn't really need or expect and as we thought lunch was just over the "headland/ we were wrong, this quickly turned into finding the best way possible out of this myriad of Dunes when you thought you were out there were several rises and falls and a massive scattered area of coastal heath to negotiate through or around - Finally we were spat out to reached the beach for a over due lunch break....
We pushed on to make Italian River Late Afternoon and like to previous nights, a number of us went out and did a recon for a Camp Site - WOW this patch of grass was small, TINY but we managed to fit 9 tents side by side. This worked to be a good things because Tonight was the start to the next two days of non stop wind.
Wind swept Shores of Italian River
As everyone was relaxing at Camp I decided to go walk about up the ancient sand dunes, with no backpack and bare feet and the wind going a bit nuts, what more could you want - I was gone for a while and this is what I came back with....
Back at Camp Yen the Fire Bug she is wanted a fire, iam not sure if that was the best idea going around as the wind was building and to the left of our fire pit was very dry growth. Ok light it up and see that wind fan the fire. Though the night I was kept awake from the gale force winds and was concerned if my tent would hold up though it as in trying conditions before.
Day Five -
Italian River to Rocky Creek (15/3/17 - 19km)
This was going to be another huge day of Beach and Dune Hiking, at least it was on the beach the whole day with no trails to get lost on. The distance per day and the challenge as a whole was starting to take a toll on some members of the group though to everyones credit we all remained positive - It was like I was on a mission, keep pace and get it over and down with and rest later... I led the pack the whole day in Warm an every windy conditions and as we arrived at Interview River it was time to climb some more sand dunes and go for a swim in tis beautiful river, take any moment you can to refresh. This was such a awesome place -
The image above does not really do it justice as to how beautiful it was, especially upstream at Interview River
We pushed on for another 3 kms to reach Rocky Creek to find water and a camp site that had the view of views but was open to all of the elements - What a magic spot. Fire Bug Yen and I had no issues tonight as the wind was a direct offshore, fanning the flames you could hear the the intensity and the speed in which the dry wood was burning -
Finals Nights Camp / Calm before the "Tarkine Storm"
Last night at Camp on the Tarkine Coast - The Calm before the Wind Storm, What a night of NO SLEEP and chaotic moments. As the wind gained speed like I have never ever experienced before in a tent I woke with the tent literally bending side to side and even inwards and I was seriously expecting the poles to snap. I then smelt smoke, Wtf ? the wind has turned onshore and then there was this barrage of sand hitting the left side of the tent. I then jumped out to put the remains of the fire to bed, went back in and was mad packing everything, had all my essentials at the ready and rain shell on and within minutes later it poured down rain for the next few hours - That was it I was never going back to sleep -
Just after First light I moved back out only to find one of the tents packed up and back pack up against the rock face, Where is its owner ? They had informed me that they felt safer packing the tent up and huddling up against a rock face while it was blowing a gale - HMM OK, Wise ? iam not so sure.
Day Six -
Rocky Creek to Pieman River (16/3/17 - 8.7km)
It was business as usual as we departed 08:30 Sharp with the skies looking rather black and our Rain Gear ON, it was not long before we throw it OFF. Yes its true there are 4 Seasons in Tasmania, we just witnessed her fury but thankfully there was a break in the clouds out on the horizon. We were racing against time of our 12pm pick up at PIEMAN JETTY as we made the required 8kms with no stops by 10:30.
As we arrived looking for the Jetty, yes its right in front of you - I have never seen something so small, ok this must be the pick up place - Just a old rusted steel pole. As I was excited and elated that I/ we just complete this amazing challenge - others were I think rather tired and exhausted and everyone was in drying mode of their tents
Before we knew it a "rubber run about" appeared, This truly can not be our pickup shorty just a local passing by WRONG. As he approached looking very stressed there was only two of us ready to go, myself and another - Iam looking in amusement and total disbelief that iam about to get in this "Tiny Run About" Guy is having massive trouble re starting and turning it around (There was a moment in my head that I thought, right iam really glad I just purchased a years travel policy)
As the two of us make it in and we got moving apologies came from Left n Right Field as we clearly were not meant to be dished up this - He Said that he was given a late call up for work, other things failed around him and the most we were meant to be picked up in had mechanical issues. Apologies accepted I just made it to the village of Pieman River - On arrival the guy greeting us had a certain sour look on his face - What a great Welcome.
The rest of the group were given a hand from a local with his larger Boat and all arrived on the Arcadia 2 for our cruise to Corinna on the Beautiful Pieman River, One side was clearly temperate rain forrest and the other was quite a different contrast. Finally arrived in Corinna deep in the Tarkin Rain forrest and ready for a our BBQ Lunch / for me Salmon n Salad
Right before 3:30 here he was Jerry, our driver for a our transfer back to Launy (Launceston) 5 hours journey to the Penny Royal for 2 nights and Dinner at the Kings Bridge Bar N Restaurant - Celebration on call, Seafood Platter and a James Boags xxx