An experience we will remember... The Tarkine Drive!
We left our van at the camp ground in Arthur River, and Diga Dog with some locals we count as good friends, and took off for the day on a leisurely drive through the Tarkine. Now, we had heard that it was an awesome adventure into the wilderness of the west coast, and while the roads are sealed, and we didn’t really feel like we were truly off the beat and track, we did experience a part of Tasmania that is truly special.
We drove past the entry to the Western Explorer (we will save this for another trip) and headed to our first stop Sumac Lookout
Now, all the information said it was a 10 minute walk, but in reality it was two minutes to the look out from the car park, and about 20 minutes of “Wow”. We could view the stunning forest of the Tarkine and the flow of the Arthur River below.
After leaving here we headed towards Julius River. However; due to fires two years ago, the Julius River area was still closed, so we pressed on to our second stop Lake Chisholm
An easy walk through a forest of tall trees, ferns and other native flora, while spotting some stunning wildlife, leads to Lake Chisholm. A limestone sinkhole that has been flooded in thanks to fallen trees blocking the entry to the river running through the caves.
We pressed on, and enjoyed our lunch beside Rapid River. Spotting the Pademelons and native birds while we enjoyed our picnic lunch. We took a little walk to the river’s edge, and stood on the bridge watching the water flow past underneath. It truly is a perfect place to sooth the soul.
We drove away from Rapid River, looking for The Sink Hole. Now, this place could easily be missed, as it literally is on the side of the road, but stopping to see it is worth the effort. It is another flooded sink hole, but smaller and the still, dark waters allow for some magical reflections of the surrounding forest.
As we drove past Milkshake Hills, we were reminded of the fires that can destroy the forests, and while we know bush fires are important for much of the fauna, as it means new life and growth, it is still sad to see. Now, these fires are at least two years old, and yet this area is still closed to the public, as it needs time to re-establish, regrown and be strong enough to welcome visitors.
We moved on to Tayatea Bridge. Now, this bridge was first built in 1969, so will be celebrating its 50thbirthday this year. It spans the Arthur River, and while the bridge is still there and safe and usable, we have been reliably informed that the top of the bridge, the railings and a few other parts of the bridge have been ripped away during flooding over the years, thus requiring extensive repairs and times when it has been unpassable. Standing on the bridge, watching the water meander downstream, it is hard to imagine it during times of angry flood.
We moved onto our next stop, and one I had been looking forward to all day, and the main reason I wanted to to this trip. Boy, was I in for a surprise at the journey we would go on to get there Trowutta Arch
We turned down a dirt road, into a logging operation. Now, we all have opinions on logging, but we still need wood for building things, so let’s not enter into the arena here. We thought we had driven the wrong road, so we checked the maps, but no, we were on the right road, so through their operations we drove.
We watched them fell trees, we watched them strip the trees of their branches and bark and we watched them pile up huge logs like they were matchsticks. Fascinating to say the least. We continued into Trowutta Arch, and honestly, you would never think that a Pine Forest Plantation was not being logged a kilometre away.
We walked through the rainforest, we marvelled at the tall trees, the lush green ferns and the moss growing over everything. We felt like we had entered Jurassic Park. We were all waiting for the Dinosaurs to awaken and notice us. Now, words like stunning, beautiful, awesome and WOW will never do this place justice. It was simply a place that took your breath away, made you marvel at the beauty of nature and gave you a reason to stop, breathe and relax.
I am so glad we took the time to journey here.