Tasmania

Tasmania is the southernmost state of Australia. It's a large island and it lies to the south of Victoria. It is a very short flight from Melbourne - less than an hour - or you can take the vehicle ferry. Click on the pictures to view them full-size. If you "hover" your cursor above the right-hand-side of the picture you'll see an arrow to scroll to the next one.

Cradle Mountain National Park. Magnificent Wilderness.
I spent some time in the Cradle Mountain National Park and surrounding areas in late April, 2018.
These days the word "awesome" is overused, but it's as close as I can come to an accurate word to describe this place.
Wild, rocky mountains. Impenetrable forest. Abundant wildlife and unpredictable weather.
The panoramic shot is of Dove Lake with Cradle Mountain in the background to the right. The other shots are of various places around the mountain. The waterfalls (in order) are Knyvet Falls, "The Cascades" and Pencil Pine Falls.
Macquarie Harbour and Gordon River World Heritage Area.
Macquarie Harbour is located on Tasmania's beautiful west coast. It opens on to the wild Southern Ocean and contains the mouth of the Gordon River, which flows through world-heritage listed rainforest.
The harbour is also home to Sarah Island - a former penal colony that pre-dated the infamous Port Arthur. There's a separate gallery for Sarah Island following this one.​​​​​​​
The first few shots are of Macquarie Harbour, including pictures of one of two lighthouses that guard "The Gates of Hell" - the harbour entrance. The entrance was named by convicts - not because the area itself is hell (it's more like the Garden of Eden!) but because they considered Sarah Island, and the life they would be leading there, as hell.
The Gordon River and Surrounding Rainforest
There are no words that adequately describe this place.​​​​​​​
We took a six-hour cruise on the Lady Jane Franklin II, a large, fast catamaran-hulled tour boat run by Gordon River Cruises in Strahan, Tasmania. If you ever get a chance to experience one of these cruises, I highly recommend that you take it.
Sarah Island
Sarah Island was, in its day, a cruel convict settlement where the prisoners were expected to harvest the local Huon Pine - the best possible timber for building wooden ships.
Most of it has now been re-taken by the rainforest, but there's enough of the old convict settlement remaining to allow a glimpse into the past.​​​​​​​
Interestingly enough, an insurrection by the convicts was successful in removing most of the command structure. They were replaced when the colony was taken over by a businessman who treated the convicts fairly. He became very prosperous building huon-pine ships on the island using willing convict labour!

Fungi
I was constantly amazed at the variety and sheer number of fungi in the Tasmanian forests.
Here's a selection from various places - Cradle Mountain wilderness and surrounding area, Strahan, Sarah Island and Gordon River.
Launceston
Launceston is Tasmania's second-largest city. It lies at the junction of the North Esk and South Esk Rivers, where they join to become the mighty and beautiful Tamar River.​​​​​​​
I took a walk from our motel down to Launceston's Royal Park late in the afternoon. It was a beautiful day, the shadows were lengthening, and I couldn't resist the temptation to go and photograph the remaining late-Autumn colours.

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