richoztrek: Richos trek oz 2013 travel blog

Even the rubbish bins sport penguins in Penguin

A bleak (perhaps normal?) day in Stanley

This guy is appreciating it

The Nut!

Ready to tackle The Nut

Who needs shoes?

Interesting umbrella technique

Still good views from the top

Not hard to understand why there's so much moss around here

Waking up after a good sleep to some sunshine!


Despite the terrible night of wind and rain we'd just had and the many warnings from people that the west of Tasmania is wet and windy, we were really keen to go and see this part first. So we spent the morning driving in that direction along the north coast, mainly through rain and drizzle and under grey skies.

We passed through the town of Penguin and weren't disappointed. Pretty much everything here is adorned with penguins - the only thing we didn't see was real ones. Then on through Burnie and further north-west to the town of Stanley. The most striking feature of Stanley is a geological one which goes by the name of The Nut. The Nut is a volcanic plug about 150 meters high which rises from the earth at one end of the bay in which Stanley is located.

After lunch I was really keen to crack The Nut, you might say (and I'm sure many people have said it before me). It surprised me a little to find that all three kids were keen too (their lack of enthusiasm for walking is well documented) and so, despite the drizzle, the four of us headed up the 500 m of steeply zig-zagging track to get to the top. When the weather is dry and calm (which strikes me as almost never) there is a cable car which you can hop on to do this part of the trip but it wasn't operating today.

Part way up Pip decided this wasn't helping her recovery so she headed back down. At the same time Will, who refuses to wear the new boots we bought him, decided it was too tricky walking in his thongs and so he left them beside the path and proceeded in bare feet. The three of us reached the top and continued around the 2 km summit walk while it occasionally drizzled on us. The view would have been great on a clear day and as still worth it on a grey, cloudy one. Will did comment about half way around that his feet were getting a little sore and cold but there is no mention of trying on the boots again!

After our walk we back-tracked a little and then took the highway south towards Cradle Mountain, spending the night in a free rest area beside the road in Hellyer Gorge. With the sound of the river running in the background we all slept well and, waking up to some sunshine this morning, Sal and I felt as though the world wasn't such a bad place and we might enjoy Tasmania after all!

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