Exploring Cape Raoul

This weekend’s adventure took us to Cape Raoul in the Tasman National Park. There we set off on a 14km return hike, which is considered one of the most spectacular clifftop walks in Australia.

The walk takes you through wet and dry sclerophyll forests, banksia and heathlands. As a special treat for a girl who isn’t great with heights, it also involves wandering along quite a few unfenced cliff edges. But the spectacular views make up for the fear. As well as the towering dolomite pillars of the cape itself, on a clear day you can see south over Storm Bay to Bruny Island and the south coast, and north to Cape Pillar and Tasman Island. It also provides a lovely view of Ship Stern Bluff, which is on our to do list for another day.

The walk is also brimming with wildlife, from the seal colony at the base of the cape, through the range of tiny birds flitting around chasing insects on the heathland, to pademelons in the forests, and lizards everywhere. There were also a few snake sightings (not by me, happily).

It’s a walk I’m very happy to have added to our completed adventure list.

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Cape Raoul hike, Tasman National Park
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Cape Raoul hike, Tasman National Park
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Cape Raoul hike, Tasman National Park
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Cape Raoul hike, Tasman National Park
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Cape Raoul, Tasman National Park
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Views from Cape Raoul lookout out to Ship Stern Bluff, Tasman National Park
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Cape Raoul hike, Tasman National Park
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Cape Raoul, Tasman National Park
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Seal colony at Cape Raoul, Tasman National Park
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Views from Cape Raoul to Cape Pillar and Tasman Island, Tasman National Park
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Cape Raoul hike, Tasman National Park
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Cape Raoul hike, Tasman National Park
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Shallow lake, Cape Raoul, Tasman National Park
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Cape Raoul hike, Tasman National Park
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Views from Cape Raoul to Bruny Island and the south coast, Tasman National Park.
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Cape Raoul hike, Tasman National Park & Dunalley Fish Market.

Pumphouse Point Adventures No. 2

Luckily the wild weather wasn’t constant during our stay at the newly opened Pumphouse Point, and we had the chance to explore a little bit of Lake St Clair.

The lake is situated in the Cradle Mountain, Lake St Clair National Park, which is part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. It’s Australia’s deepest glacial lake (200m at its deepest point), and is the source of the lovely River Derwent, which we Hobart residents know and love. With an area of around 45 km2 it’s substantial, so we only explored a few tiny pockets. Leaving lots more for our next visit.

It’s also home to the last stretch of the Overland Track, so you can always find weary, but happy walkers celebrating the end of their trek at the Lake St Clair Lodge.

St Clair Dam
St Clair Dam

St Clair Lagoon
St Clair Lagoon

Drift boats. Derwent Basin, Lake St Clair, Tasmania
Drift boats. Derwent Basin, Lake St Clair, Tasmania

Colours of nature. Lake St Clair.
Colours of nature. Lake St Clair

St Clair Lagoon
St Clair Lagoon

Details. Lake St Clair.
Details. Lake St Clair

St Clair Lagoon
St Clair Lagoon

Fallen. Lake St Clair
Fallen. Lake St Clair

Lake St Clair
Lake St Clair

Lake St Clair Lodge and the end of the Overland Track.
Lake St Clair Lodge and the end of the Overland Track

Pumphouse Point Adventures No. 1

Our resolution to explore continued in style this weekend with a stay at the newly opened Pumphouse Point in Lake St Clair.

The Pumphouse was originally constructed by the Hydro-electric Commission in 1940 to pump water from Lake St Clair to the Tarraleah power station as part of Tasmania’s Hydro Electricity scheme. The beautiful 5-story structure, set 250 metres into the lake, was only used a few times before being decommissioned in 1995.

Now this gorgeous piece of Tasmania’s industrial heritage is a luxury B&B, and I have to say it heads the list of the most amazing places we’ve ever stayed. There are two buildings on the site – the Lakehouse (which also houses the dining room where breakfast is served), and the Pumphouse. We’d booked a room on the top floor of the Pumphouse, and it lived up to all of our expectations.

Being out on the lake was like being in a boat but without all the bobbing and swaying, which was a very good thing given the weather this weekend. As is so often the case in Tasmania, nature decided to ignore the fact that it’s mid-summer here, and hit us with freezing temperatures, gale force winds, heavy rain, and even sleet. None of that mattered though as we sat in our lovely room, sipping hot drinks, and watching it all unfold through our huge windows.

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The Pumphouse, Pumphouse Point, Lake St Clair
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The Pumphouse, Pumphouse Point, Lake St Clair
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The Pumphouse, Pumphouse Point, Lake St Clair
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The Pumphouse, Pumphouse Point, Lake St Clair
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Top Floor Room (No. 9) in the Pumphouse, Pumphouse Point, Lake St Clair
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Details. The Pumphouse, Pumphouse Point, Lake St Clair
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Bathroom style at the Pumphouse, Pumphouse Point, Lake St Clair
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Details. The Pumphouse, Pumphouse Point, Lake St Clair

Welcome to Tasmania

Looking back, 2014 turns out to have been a very full year. We wound up our wedding photography business in January, and I went on to find myself being the new girl in not one, but three different organisations over the course of the year. I met a whole host of new people, and reconnected with some old ones. We continued our travel adventures with four interstate trips and two international ones. And then to top off our year we said goodbye to Queensland and hello to Tasmania.

This is a return to Tasmania for us, so this year will be a year of discovery and rediscovery, which will tie in nicely with my resolutions for 2015 – to create and to explore.

So let’s kick the exploration off with a trip to the Pinnacle of Mt Wellington.

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