Last night, I thought a lot about my itinerary today. The big issue for me is driving in Lauceston. I would rather walk by foot so that I'll be much comfortable. Therefore, in the early morning, I decide to walk to Cataract Gorge before leaving Lauceston. The weather is still cloudy. It's not good at all.

Passing through a church on the half way, the Royal park is at the end of the street. By the way, I also record the direction of the streets along the way on my map so I could refer it when I drive later.

There is a lake beside the park. You may see some water plants and ducks sailing in a row. If the lake could be much clear and the mountain could be much close to the lake or the sun could shows his face, I think this park would be a nice place too.

According to the map, there is a birdge on the way. The drawing on the wall is quite similar to what I saw in Wellington. Basically, I don't have any comment on these drawing if they look nice. As for those ugly and meaningless painting, especially some damn words, I don't think they should be there.

Because I could not find any instructor to Cataract Gorge as I get across the road, I get lost and walk to the street I came from. It's sad that I spent one hour but didn't reach Cataract gorge. In order not to delay my departure to Cradle mountains, I decide to go back to the hostel first.

The reception opens at 8 o'clock, and so is the door of the car park.

Therefore, before checking out, I spent my time cooking the red curry noodle soup as my breakfast. I think I should leave some vegetables or buy some meat yestreday so that the noodle soup would be richer. Though I have spagetti in the box, I perfer it as my dinner in the Cradle mountain.

I study the route to Cataract gorge during the breakfast time. It's true that there is a way to Cataract gorge from Royal park, but I also find that it will take me lots of time to walk to the viewing deck. So, it means that I have better drive there if I want to visit there before going to Cradle mountain.

After 8 o'clock, I drive to the car park of Cataract gorge according to the route I studied, and for about ten minutes, I've arrived there. Cataract Gorge is a river gorge in Lauceston. As you see the map above, you could walk along the Cataract Walk between Tamar River and South Esk River to the "First Basin". And the way I come to First Basin is driving to the car park close to the main entrance which you could walk to First Basin very quickly. 

First Basin looks like a water park, and this lake is not so nice as I think. Of course, the weather is also not good. It's too cloudy. As for the most beautiful lake I saw, that should be the lake beside the Hofn campsite in Iceland. That lake is so clear that you could see the reflection of the mountains. So, I don't think First Basin is nice.

Besides, there is a strange pool beside the lake. I don't know what this pool is used for? it's quite strange. The Suspension bridge is hung over the valleys, and I see some people jogging around the lake. Except the track, there is still a chairlift over the lake.

According to the information, this chairlift is the longest single span chairlift in the world. The total length of the chairlift is 467m, and the longest span is 308m. However, the price for one ride is 12 AUD, and 15 AUD for return tickets. That is a little expensive for me.

Because I plan to go to Sheffiled at about 10 o'clock and it's only 9 o'clock now, I decide to visit the city park and Design Meseum. Though I worry a little about the parking, I'm lucky to find a space that is close to the museum. If I could not find any parking space, I think I will give it up and go to Shefield directly.

I have to say that I'm not so interested in the museums, and the Wood Design Collection is also not my subject. I only take a look in the souvenir shop for a few minutes, and then walk to the city park.

If you are interested in design museum, you could visit their website first to know about what is going on: http://www.designcentre.com.au

The city park is behind the museum. The only one I want to see is the monkeys. I really wonder why they have these monkeys in the city park.

This park looks like a small zoo, but there is no other animal except these monkeys.

Maybe the statue in the park is thinking of what I wonder in my mind...Why there are monkeys in the park?

Some tourists are watching monkeys when I find the monkey zoo.

According to the information, these monkeys are Rhesus monkeys from Japan. 

I don't know whether they like Tasmania or not, and I also don't know in which language I should say hello to them?

おはよう (Japanese) or Good Morning ?

I hope that they live here well for Japan is very far away from here.

When I leave the city park, it starts to rain. It's really a bad news that I may not have a good day in Shefield and Cradle mmountains.

Driving along the road A1 to Devenport, the road B13 will lead you to Railton where you could connect to road B14. Just as I planned, I arrived at Shefield before 12 o'clock. However, the raining is quite big now.

Sheffield, the twon of Murals, has about fifty murals everywhere in the town. Some murals are on the board, and most of them are on the wall of the buidings.

Sheffield is also the supplement place for tourists going to the national parks around here, included Cradle mountains. Before going to Cradle mountains, it's recommended to add the fuel for the last time because the gas in Cradle mountains is very expensive.

I park my car near the tourists center and then do my must-do things (collecting information and buying souvenirs) in the center. There is a fund-raising box for the mural festival outside the center. Around the car park, you could also see some murals on the boards. Among these murals, the most attractive one for me is the mural which was drawn with five working mem in golden color and one man like the real person. You could cheat others with the photograph that the surroung out of the board is hidden. 

I walk around the main street in the rain and take some photos I'm interested in.

Some murals may be only on only one wall of the buildings, but some murals will cover the whole buildings.

The building of Blacksmith Gallary is such a case that the content of the mural is also related to Blacksmith.

If you are interested in other murals that are not displayed in this blog, you could find more in my Flickr:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/fredweng/sets/72157627526665996/

By the way, the tourists center also sell the Mural book that will be good for you if you are enthusiastic in murals and want to know more about their backgrounds.

Except for adding the fuel, I also buy some ingrediants after I finish the photographing.

The fast-cook spagetti is a good choice, and I also try some Ravioli, a type of Italian filled pasta which is also easy for cooking. Though I still want more vegetables and mince to make my spagetti richer, these ingrediant need to be stored in the refrigerator.

When everything is prepared, I'm ready for going to Cradle mountains. The road C316 is the only way to Cradle mountains, and you will find the scenery becomes different before you reach the national park. It looks like the wasteland in the winter with some dead wallabies on the road.

There is a big map at the park entrance, but I don't think the tourists will get lost in the national park with only one road.

Except for the tourists center and interpretation center, the rests are the accommodations. Holiday park is good for camping in summer, but the cabin in the winter is as expensive as the hotel. There is no hostel here so you could only stay at one of these hotels.

As for the activities here, you could visit the Tasmania Devil center between 10 a.m to 4 p.m, or join the feeding tour after dark.

For me, Cradle mountains is another important place as wineglass bay. The mountain covered with snow is very beautiful though I miss the snow season and could only see few snow on the summits.

Most of the tourists will try hiking to the summit of Cradle mountain which takes about eight hours.

As for the Overland Track, it is an attractive but difficult activity that you will walk for about six days to lake St.Clair.

If you are not good at hiking, Snack Hill and Dove Lake are good options. 

The shuttle buses run between toruists center and ranger station (the start point of the Dove Lake Circuit), and stop at interpretation center, snake hill, and etc. The fare is included in the park pass, and it's recommend to take the bus than drive by yourself that could derease the polution from the cars.

Because of this, the national park pass is 16.5 AUD while the price of other parks is 12 AUD. There is no day pass for the car, but you could buy two-month holiday pass for 60 AUD which means "It's better not to drive and take the shuttle!"

Another important thing I have to do is finding the accomodation tonight, especially the choices are not too much. I'm lucky to get a room in Cradle Mountain Wilderness Village for 120 AUD. Actually, the place is a house surrounded by forests which is luxuery for me.

When the accommodation is comfirmed, I drive to Interpretation Center for the night will come soon after five.

There is a Pencil Pine Track behind the center and only takes about 20 minutes. Except for a waterfall, you will see lots of pencil pines along the boardwalk.

Since there is a waterfall, it's for sure that I will take photos with the monopad so that the long shutter time could make the photo of waterfall very smooth. 

At the end of the walk, I find a wild wallaby passing through quickly. It's the second time I see wallaby since I left the wineglass bay.

Returning to the center, I look around for its information.

A big stereo-model of the cradle mountains displays the geography of the whole park.

The big lake at the left is the Dove lake, and Crater Lake is in the low position of the right area.

The mountain located in the north of these lakes is Crale mountain which looks much like the tooth of the unknown monster.

By the way, I also see the weather forecast in the center. Unfortunately, the rain will not stop until the day I leave Tasmania.

I come back to my house tonight, I think it's the only monent I feel good today.

The luxury house is so comfortable that I feel I come back to my home.

The main area is the living room, kitchen and the king-size bed. Except for the warm washing room, there is still a guest room for two people.

The most important of all, there is a balcony which faces to the forest.

No wonder this accommodation is the best one I've ever have.

The TV is playing "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time". Though it doesn't display the texts and I'm really confused for my poor English, it's better to watch the news or sports programs.

I prepare the steak and warm the spagetti for the dinner.

If I could take a bath in the bathtub with the scene of the forests, it would be excellent.

But I hope that the rain could stop for a while tomorrow so that I could my walk around the Dove lake circuit.

 

Route of Today ---

A:Launceston

B:Sheffiled

C:Cradle Valley

 

Reference:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cataract_Gorge

http://www.launcestoncataractgorge.com.au/gettingthere.html

http://www.launcestoncataractgorge.com.au/rates.html

http://www.launceston.tas.gov.au/lcc/index.php?c=189

http://www.parks.tas.gov.au/index.aspx?base=1

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