Tasmania: West Coast - Day 7

Saturday, Jan 01, 2005 at 01:00

ExplorOz - David & Michelle

This page details days 7 - 12 on Tasmania's west coast from Arthur River to Hobart including the Sandy Cape Track, Western Wanderer Rd, Granville Harbour and Trial Harbour via the Climes Track, day trips in Strahan on the Gordon River and ABT Railway, Zeehan Spray Tunnel, Montezuma Falls, Ring River Track, Roseberry, Queenstown and Hobart.

Although it was New Year, it was just another day in our holiday so we lifted camp again and travelled South.

The dirt road to Temma has a couple of side tracks and we ventured into Sarah Anne Rocks and took the short 4WD track through the back of the beach to Couta Rocks and explored beyond there a bit, then back to main road down to Temma and then we started down the Sandy Cape Track where we went as far as Ordnance Point/ Brookes Creek. We probably should have continued on and stayed in this area, but the weather was turning foul and the coast camping wasn't very protected.

I should mention a little about the track conditions as there is a lot of fuss made about this track. We would not rate this as a challenging 4WD track but certainly one that is slow going. We found the first part of the Sandy Cape track just south of Temma to be slow and rocky, with potholes etc then after the first 6km there are a number of bridged creek crossings, all in good condition.

We then encountered 2 tannin stained flooded waterholes across the track with no diversion track so you have to drive through them. The water reached up to the side steps when in the centre of the water but the surface of the track bottom was firm meaning it was no obstacle.

Track conditions and terrain varied throughout the rest of the track from rocky, potholed, sandy, to rutted and muddy and you can see lots of tracks that have been blocked off for regeneration (by 4wd clubs not Conservation Park) but camps are not really possible at all until reaching Brookes Creek. This is a beautiful coast but the weather can change suddenly making it less than ideal.

We decided against travelling further as it was late and we wanted to camp away from the coast. On our return towards Temma the rain started as we headed west onto Western Explorer Rd in anticipation of finding more wonderful Forestry areas.

We were very disappointed to find the Western Explorer Road is nothing more than a tiring drive with steep hills, bendy corners, no pull off bays to rest, and absolutely no campsites. Once past the junction of C249 and C214 where you choose to head left to Zeehan or right to Corrina, you enter the southern section of the Western Explorer Road and admittedly it does get better here as you head into forest areas again.

We explored the various logging tracks in search of dry, high ground as it was to be a very wet night. We eventually found a campsite on green carpet-like moss but setup camp in the rain. In anticipation of this kind of weather David and had made an annexe-style tarp at home that was attached to our roof racks and was supported by tent poles on the outer edges only forming shelter in a l-shaped at the back of the vehicle and around to one side. We setup the OzTent and our swag under the tarp and had plenty of room for tables and chairs for us all to sit down and eat in relative comfort. We just managed to get enough fire going to cook a few quick sausages which we served with a salad.

We discussed the likelihood of wet weather over the next few days and agreed we needed to find accommodation for our 2 night stay in Strahan. This weather was too bad to camp out. We had CDMA service, and I had picked up a Jasons Accommodation Directory on the ferry so I phoned all the numbers listed in Strahan for accommodation and found the town totally booked out. I was advised to ring the Visitors Centre after 10am the next day to see what hotels had passed on notification of cancellations resulting in vacancies.
David (DM) & Michelle (MM)
Travelling fulltime in 2024
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