On Good Friday, myself and Yasmin got together with our neighbour, fellow explorer and photographer, Andrew, to spend the morning doing something a little different.
Having recently purchased ‘Freddie’, Andrew was raring to take us sight-seeing and before he could even finish his morning brew, we were eagerly perched on the bench outside his house like a pair of excitable children.
The weather was cold and miserable, but this didn’t phase us and we set off early, heading north from Strahan. We began by exploring the tracks that lead into the pine forests, used primarily by logging trucks and the odd thrill seeker like ourselves. After a bumpy couple of minutes we found ourselves by a beautifully tranquil little lake. The trees reflected perfectly in the water and the only sounds came from the tuneful songs of the birds.
It was calming to know that you could probably spend all day here and not see another soul.
Which is why I have found that you see a lot of sights like this around Australia:
On my travels I have come across many burnt-out, dumped vehicles. The vastness and remoteness of this country makes it a great deal easier to get away with it, I guess.
Next, it was onto the smelters, located just before you hit the town of Zeehan and opposite Mount Zeehan.
The smelters have been abandoned for over 50 years. Thanks to mining, Zeehan was once a thriving boom town, growing to the third largest town in Tasmania. In the early 1900’s, however, the ore started to dwindle and the town began its decline.
What remains at the site is known as ‘slag’, the by-product left after metal is separated from its raw ore, that and old rusted machines and the brick foundations from where huge chimneys once dominated the landscape. No vegetation can grow here and wildlife is scarce, making visiting it an eerie, almost other-worldly experience.
We then turned around and drove through the torrential rain, back towards Strahan and onto the dirt tracks leading to Ocean Beach.
I have been for plenty of walks on the beach and always see folks whizzing past in their 4×4’s – now it was our turn. The sun even peeked through for a brief time.
But first, lunch…
…and whatever you want to call this.
The drive along the beach was ridiculously bumpy. In some spots, the sand was super soft and the car was sliding all over the place. Andrew had to keep up speed otherwise we would have gotten ourselves bogged. In doing so, I was thrown around in the back like a rag doll, laughing hysterically and trying not to vomit at the same time.
We drove all the way to Macquarie Heads, then back down the dirt track to Strahan, just in time to start work.