Dave Steph Aussie Loop 2012 travel blog

St Columba Falls

Ralphs Falls

Legerwood Wood Sculpture Memorial

Beach View on way to Bicheno - bush fire in distance

Tested the water but not going in...

View of Bush Fire smoke from Bicheno C/van park.

Day 41 Week 6 12.6 ltrs/100kms 1st part of day, without the van, 153kms travelled, then 14.3 ltrs/100kms with the van to Bicheno, 85kms.

Today we left the van at the St Helen's overnight stop while we headed up the range to St Columba Falls, once arrived this was supposed to be a 20 min return walk, we managed to take 45mins, but we did take a few minutes to enjoy the falls and the walk was great. The temperature was a nice and balmy 25○.

Then we reconfigured the navman to include Ralph Falls, Ringarooma, Legerwood, Branxholm, and Derby then back to St Helens. The first part of the road was narrow and unsealed, we could not have taken the van here so was worth the drive while we were in the area. Ralph Falls also included Cashs Gorge(a 45 minute Loop) which we achieved in 65 mins, and by the time we were finished we both wanted a nice cool drink..temperature had risen to about 28○ by now but it was the exercise that warmed us up. ;-) Worth the walk though.

We then headed off to Ringarooma, which was a pretty little town but I wanted to see the wood sculptures at Legerwood, so moved on quickly and I was so glad we did, there are 9 trees that had been planted in memorial to the locals who had died in WW1, but they had became a danger and so the people had made a deal with the government, and a wood carver Eddie Freeman of Ross, carved the trees into the current version of memorials, with his chainsaw... Absolutely amazing. There are more of this gentleman's carvings in other towns as well, and each have a story to tell.

We then went to Branxholm which is a tin mining area, and where we stopped for lunch and had an ice cream, before moving on to Derby, which we passed through as there was not much for us to do there. It was a nice drive through the ranges heading back to St Helen's with the temperature climbing, we saw the bitumen melting with the heat, and quite a few cyclists on this section, and felt very glad we were in an air conditioned car. Stopped a few times to take the obligatory photos but we find sometimes the trees are blocking out the views of the outlooks.

Back at St Helens, 3pm, we quickly packed up, temperature was now 42○ and we wanted to head a bit further south, we did not know Hobart got a record 42○ at this time. But we were aware that bush fires had been causing road closures around St Marys, and further inland.

We got to Bicheno about 4:30pm, and luckly managed to get the last powered caravan site in the park, and probably in the town, they have evacuated Freycinet National Park and blocked some of the roads south of Bicheno to Swansea, the fire is about 4kms from the township we have been told, with winds blowing westerly pushing the fire towards the coast. We are only in danger if the wind changes to a southerly. Dave thinks we may stay here again tomorrow. Best to be safe.

We hope you enjoy the photos... have a safe and happy day.

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