DOVER TO COCKLE CREEK AND RETURN
- on Tuesday, 16 January 2018.
DOVER TO COCKLE CREEK.
I ended up having another day off in Dover and subsequently doing the blog. It was a nice lazy day.
I left Dover about 0900 on Sunday but had to stop about 2 Km’s out the road and attend to the bloody trailer again, I don’t know what it is with the damned thing, it has a mind of its own and plays up at any old random time. I’m regretting having bought it as opposed to my BOB Ibex. Once that was sorted, with a fair amount of the Queen’s English being used I might add, I carried on my merry way.
For some reason I’m not sure of, I didn’t really feel like peddling down to Cockle Creek but I felt I was that close I may as well do it. It’s the most Southern point in Australia that one can drive to, which of course is a must do bucket list item….ho hum……not.
Well the ride turned out to be quite pleasant, particularly once I had passed the turn off to Hastings Caves, which is a big tourist attraction in these parts. The tar stops at Ida Valley, a small community from where an old narrow gauge steam engine does tourist trips from. From there, there is 25 Km’s of nice dirt road that winds its way through the forest before coming out on the coast just prior to Cockle Creek. It only took me about 3 hours to get down here. I wasn’t taken by the first few camp sites and kept going in the hope they might improve, which turned out to be a good call as the National Park site was very nice. I set up camp under a big pine and took it easy for the rest of the day.
REST DAY AT COCKLE CREEK.
Early this morning I rode out to the whale statue, a tribute to the Southern Right Whale, whose numbers took a serious hit due to whaling activities carried out from this section of coast in the early years of European settlement. It’s estimated there were over 100,000 Southern Right whales back in the day and now there are only about 10,000 left.
After the ride to the whale I gathered my gear and headed off to South West Cape Bay as the weather looked to be improving. I left about 0930, the suggested time for the return walk is 4 hours, I took 6! I shot a lot of video and took a lot of pictures along the way and upon arriving at the coast. I really enjoyed the walk through the forest. The track passes through both Eucalypt and Rain Forest and across open marshland. There is a heap of birdlife, including Yellow Tailed Black Cockatoos, of which I saw a large flock happily chewing on the Banksia’s, of which there are only 3 species in Tassie, 1 on the mainland, 1 on either King or Flinders Island [I can’t remember which] and 1 on The Three Sisters off the North Coast between Penguin and Ulverstone.
The coast is very similar to the coastline that runs from Augusta to Esperance in West Aus, wild and rocky, interspersed with nice sandy bays. I have to admit, by the time I returned, I was feeling pretty knackered and I intend to hit the hay early. All in all, a good day!
Funny story, I was down on my knees completely absorbed with getting the right shot of a large Fungi on the side of the track, when I heard a very gentle French voice quietly say “Are you OK?” It scared the daylights out of me as I’d not heard anyone approach. She looked quite concerned until I showed her the camera and then the Fungi. J
COCKLE CREEK TO DOVER.
I was on the road by 0830, after having completely repacked the panniers on the trailer in the hope it’ll make it easier to tow. I had hoped to beat most of the tourists off the dirt section, which worked well. J The morning was a glorious one with blue sky forever and no wind. The air temp was a crisp 12 degrees which made for really nice riding through the forest. Because there was no cloud cover, I had to put my long sleeved shirt on as soon as I exited the forest, even though the temp only rose to 17 degrees by the time I’d arrived at Dover, which was 1130 am.
En-route a guy in a large rent a van gave his ABS a good workout and came to a halt beside me for a chat. Whilst chatting I asked him how much his van was costing per day, “35 per day” was his reply. He bought an air matrass and was sleeping in the back. Cheap as chips! After I’d moved on I got to thinking if one did that with the van, then bought a Portapotty and a 20 L Jerry can for water, one would be able to utilize all of the self-contained campsites around Tassie, therefor saving a heap in camping fees and getting quite a cheap trip out of it! It had the room for me to chuck all my gear, wholeless bowlless, in the back!
As soon as I had claimed my bit of dirt under a tree in the van park, I got all the batteries out and on charge. Happy happy!!!
‘Cuse the sun is out and the temp isn’t too insane, a lot of people are out sunbathing, including a little group of French chicky babes a couple of sites up!!! I might pop over later and say G’day!!!! :)
Here's a link to the pics;