We’re sitting in a pub at Lake Leak that has the best pub meals in Australia, according to the owner of the campsite next door. It is cold outside, inside the fire is keeping us warm and it is drying Kai’s shoes and socks that just got soaking wet from from playing a balancing game with the lakeside (the Lake won).
We are getting rid of a couple layers of clothing. After living an outside lifestyle for a couple of days, I guess we are not used to this anymore. It feels like we are in the middle of nowhere, but there are at least six locals here. It makes me wonder where they came from, as there is nothing out here. With a population of about half a million on an island bigger than the Netherlands that is inevitable.
40% of Tasmania is National Park and most of it is inaccessible, the other half is hills, mountains and sheep country.
We are on our way from Launceston to the East Coast, touring in our camper van. Our newly discovered friend, the wikicamps app lead us here. We only met each other today and I am sure we will grow closer very quickly. She knows almost ALL the (im)possible campgrounds of Australia and the reviews by other users are very useful. It is our gateway to the less explored camping places, like this one. There is nothing much here, but that is the charm of it!
We were on the road by nine this morning. We drove to Launceston and followed the advise from the lady at the tourist information so we parked our car at the museum and took the free tourist bus into town. At least, that was the plan, but the driver was very talkative and before we knew it he had talked us into taking the second tour which would head down to the river. As the second route was not too much different from the first one I accuse him of ‘being glad to find someone to talk to and got to stick to it’. He was very friendly about it though. Almost back at the museum (again) we got out of the bus and headed towards the Cataract gorge.
This gorge is very surreal. One second you are in the middle of a city, once you turn around the corner you are in the middle of rugged nature.
On both sides of the river is a walkway. The easily accessible and wheelchair friendly one on the far side, and a Zig-Zag track on the other.
At first Kai and Luka were not very pleased with our plan. “We are in the city, why are we hiking?”. But after a little while even they had to admit that this is pretty cool.
Hmm, that IS a good burger! The first burger that I have to eat with knife and fork, there is just no other way. It has just about anything you can imagine on it and more, onions, bacon, lettuce, tomato, beetroot, egg….
At the end of the gorge walking route is the worlds longest single chairlift span:
Which we had to go on of course:
After going in the chairlift twice and walking over the suspension bridge we were getting hungry and walked back into town. There are a lot of nice food places in Launceston, but we decided to walk past all of them, as we had our mind set on the Pasta Republik on the far end of the town center. To me that sounded like a huge pasta place, but to my pleasant surprise when we got there, it was very tiny. Most important though, the homemade pasta exceeded the expectation!
The raging river that we saw today looks a lot calmer in the tourist brochures. There is a lot of water in Tasmania at the moment. The winter must have been as wet as the Melbourne one. The lake here is almost overflowing, the reviews said there was no water in the lake. Luckily they give you very good advise on this campsite: