Saturday, March 8, 2014

Montezuma Falls Trail (West Tasmania)

Our plan in for our holiday in Tasmania was to take advantage of its many walking trails.  We looked for walks that were estimated to take no more than 3 hours. We take at least an hour longer as we amble along listening and looking for birds and wildlife and taking pictures of plants and the few flowers we see. 

At Montezuma Falls the trail follows the route of a tramway that was built to carry ore from mines to smelters.  The 4 km trail is rated as easy –its path is wide with a compact surface. As we entered the forest the line “This is the forest primeval” (the first line of Longfellow’s Evangeline) echoed through my mind.  It was no forest primeval. Rather the entire forest had been destroyed to make way for the tramway.  

This 100 year rain forest is thick and lush. The vegetation along the path was dominated by three major tree species (sassafras, myrtle, and one other), ferns and fungi.

Behind this mossy rock was the sound of falling waters. I turned on my camera's record function, but the result was such you will get more enjoyment from imagining the scene. 

Despite the description the path wasn’t always easy. We occasionally ducked under a fallen tree. We navigated muddy spots. Then we read on a sign “only 15 minutes to the falls and worth every step.” Good thing, because a few steps later we had to work our way through a thicket of branches that ate into our 15 minutes.

A suspension bridge served as a viewing platform to see Montezuma Falls, one of the highest waterfalls in Tasmania. Some waterfalls are high, some are powerful, and some are both high and powerful. Montezuma Falls were high.

On our way back we counted off each of the few obstacles we had encountered. We looked forward to a sign where a hiker had corrected Forestry Tasmania’s assertion that we were halfway to the falls.

After our hike we stopped at Rosebery. The center of town was little more than a block long. The next day we again drove through Rosebery, We decided to stop at its Bake House to buy bread. The bake house was filled with people having coffee, meat pies or other pastries. No sign of freshly baked bread. So we went to the IGA grocery.Its modest front was deceptive. It was well stocked. In an area where shops close early and are far between hungry hikers can easily find provisions.

Location:  We were staying Strahan. The drive was about an hour to a turnoff just before entering the town of Rosebery.  The side road was mostly paved (tarred) for about 6 km when it ceased.  We then crawled over a graded rock road to the starting point.  Don't do this is a low slung car or large RV.

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