Thursday, March 8, 2012

Tasmania - Big Quiet Dunes

This post is in reverse-chronological order.  So we "start" in Queenstown.  Queenstown, which I think should perhaps be named "Queen'stown" to be grammatically correct, was destroyed by unfettered backwater mining operations over the course of the last 100-odd years.  It is a treeless landscape, because the trees all died due to effluent and emissions from the town's ginormous smelting operations.  Here's a pit mine that had a mine-sponsored placard with information concerning historical events, such as how some things might not be as bad as they seem.  Something about how some miners died in the 60's and how it wasn't really the company's fault. 
This is a stream rolling through a town where the children can't play in their local stream.  Because it is toxic now, and forever more because of a huge tailings pile that wasn't properly managed.  There is a wonderful juxtaposition of orange flowers...
This is a "headframe" which is a mining elevator works.  One of these failed at Olympic Dam.  The shaft there is about 1km deep!
An overlook.  Just great.  Note: reverse chronological order means that we are now outside of Queen'stown, approaching it.
... and the dunes.  The namesake of this post.  So great.  What can I say?  A lot!
TASMANIAN DEVILS EVERYWHERE!  With cute paw-prints.  And tail-swagger prints!
Karin in our tent.
... our tent alone at sunset.
We camped on top of a large pointy dune that was unlikely to be driven up by bogan hoonage.  They tended to camp down closer to the water, because they didn't have to hike in the gear over loose sand dunes.  Oh man it was so worth it.  Let me just list a few things that made this place an excellent night, our best in Tasmania in fact:

  1. Stunning visual beauty - vast expanses of huge white dunes.
  2. You could hear (and see) the ocean in the distance.  
  3. A prevailing breeze meant no mozzies.
  4. No people.
  5. Free!

We woke up in the morning to find tassie devil tracks going past our tent.  I tracked them deep into the dune complex but found no actual devils or den holes.  There is some thick-as scrub in the lowlands where moisture collects.

There's Karin and the ocean.  Karin is brushing her tuffy toofers and the ocean is doing it's thing.  Authentic gorilla chest.
Aforementioned tail-swagger tracks from a fat devil:
Us, before bedding down for the night in a fantastic dune.

Here they are in case you want to enjoy this place too:

View Larger Map

No comments:

Post a Comment