West Coast Wanderings | Montezuma Falls to Macquarie Heads

Tourism season is in full swing all over Tassie right now and Strahan is being bombarded by waves of tour bus groups, bikers and campervans galore. As a seasonal hospitality worker, it has been non-stop; early mornings, late nights, 10-15 hour days back to back… some mornings I wake up and have to weigh up whether I want to wash my hair or eat, as there just isn’t time for both.

We will be leaving Strahan in under a month now, and knowing that I am on the home straight has helped put the spring back into my step. After a rocky few weeks, I’ve consciously made more time to appreciate the beauty of this funny little town and its surrounds by;

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Catching some incredible sunsets

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Getting back in touch with nature
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Taking lonesome walks on Ocean Beach, whatever the weather

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With this new found energy, my adventure mojo has returned. Here is what I have been up to over the last fortnight:

Montezuma Falls

Earlier this week, myself and Yas managed to score another rare day off together. After a brief scout over our Tassie bucket list and an all-important weather check, we agreed that it was finally time to visit one of the states highest waterfalls.

Montezuma Falls is situated a few kilometres south of the town of Rosebery on the West Coast and is roughly an hours drive from Strahan, so we packed a lunch and set off in a leisurely manner. At the turn-off to the falls, you hit a rough dirt track with some great mountain views, eventually leading you to a small car park and picnic area.

We were both absolutely busting for the loo and had to endure something we hadn’t seen in a good while… the dreaded long drop. To anyone who is unfamiliar with a long drop toilet, it is basically a portal to hell. Ladies; imagine trying to squat and pee over one of these bad boys, attempting to control the ol’ gag reflex brought on by the violent nasal passage assault you must endure, all whilst praying that one of Steve Backshall’s Deadly 60 isn’t going to jump up your arse. That is the long drop experience more often than not, and this one was no exception. To make matters worse the door wouldn’t even shut so we had to take it in turns to protect each others modesty.

After 5 minutes of noise and fuss (mostly from me when my bare butt accidentally made contact with THAT toilet seat), we were ready to start our walk.

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The walk is 9.6km in total and approximately a 3 hour return. It follows a historic tramway route, dating back to the 1800’s, through the rainforest to the base of the falls, which was named after the Montezuma Silver Mining Company. Along the way there is still evidence of its existence, with an old bridge overgrown with moss and ferns, the remains of sleepers lay along the path and a creepy abandoned mine shaft. The track itself is well maintained and flat, making it a wonderfully easy walk.

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The old tramway sleepers are still visible on the track
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An abandoned mine shaft

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When we finally reached the falls, we were in awe. Neither of us had seen a waterfall so tall. We had to awkwardly crane our necks in order to take in the whole 104m of water elegantly cascading down over the rocks.

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The narrow suspension bridge hangs high across the gorge in front of the waterfall. As you cross, it wobbles and creaks so it is definitely not for those scared of heights!

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But the view from the middle is spectacular…

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…both ways.

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After a short rest and a bush wee (I refused to use the long drop again), we power walked all the way back to the carpark (we were really, really hungry).

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Instead of heading home we decided to continue on with our adventures, so headed further north through the mountains separating Rosebery and Tullah, to check out the Murchison Dam.

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I love the ruggedness of the West Coast. Everywhere you look, jagged mountains and dark greens dominate the landscape.

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We turned onto Murchison Dam Road, a scenic drive following the Murchison River to a dead end with Mount Murchison standing majestically in the backdrop. As I expected, nobody else was there and we had the entire place to ourselves. If you have a spare half an hour, it is definitely worth the short detour.

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We had a bite to eat overlooking Lake Rosebery in Tullah and then headed back to Strahan, stopping along the way to appreciate the beautiful scenery wherever possible.

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Macquarie Heads

Macquarie Heads was a place we had been meaning to visit for some time, but were a tad hesitant, due to the 11 kilometres of unstable gravel road you have to negotiate in order to get there. For the mass of 4×4’s and campers that frequent the area, this generally isn’t a problem, but tootling around in a little Toyota Echo is a different story. Nevertheless, the weather was beautiful, we had another day off work and I was feeling particularly rebellious.

The road was bumpy and we spent the whole time jiggling about uncomfortably, cursing the fact that we had both decided to go braless. The sun was hot, the windows were down, our sunnies were on and our music blared over the heavy rattling of the car as we pootled along leaving an enormous dust cloud behind us.

We pulled up at the campsite car park, hopped out and followed the sandy path to the ocean.

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It was simply beautiful; a little slice of heaven, hidden away for only those who dare to explore.

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4×4’s can drive on the beach and surrounding tracks

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Bonnet Island, home to little penguins at dusk

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You can just make out the lighthouse at Hells Gates

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Unspoilt sand dunes

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Locals and visitors come fishing here
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Distant mountains look painted into the background

We strolled along the beach in both directions, admiring the views, soaking in the sun and reminiscing about the time we did the Gordon River Cruise, which passes through Hells Gates for a taste of the Southern Ocean.

That evening we headed to Bushman’s for some gin and top nosh. The seafood was exceptional, anyone visiting Strahan should definitely consider reserving themselves a table here.

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Scallops with crispy pancetta and cauliflower puree

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Locally caught salmon

Our evening was topped off with an unforgettable Strahan sunset.

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A beautiful end to a beautiful week.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Dad says:

    Very good, nice scenery and a good description of the “long drop”👍👍👍 xxxx

    Like

  2. You are both so lucky, what a wonderful way to spend the time Of your life. I have really enjoyed reading your blog. Keep,writing. Love Grandyxx Take care.

    Like

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