Day 12 – Wednesday, 8th October 2003
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Said farewell to Hobart Town and started our drive to Queenstown.
Officially it should take 3 ½ hours but the local knowledge says 4 ½
hours, and that’s what it took us with some short stops. The first stop
was a town called Ouse for a toilet break. We saw some fire brigades in
front of a burnt house. Later that night we heard on the TV news that an
elderly man had died in that fire. Apparently the smoke alarm did work but
the man was stone deaf!
The next stop was Tarraleah where there is a hydroelectric power station.
gravity feeding water down a steep hill to the generation halls, amazing
engineering. We had to get back in the car as it started snowing.
It was just before Tarraleah that we first saw snow on the side of the
road. For the next 80klm at least we drove through varying strengths of
snowfall and visibility. We took our time in the worst of it, as we did
not know how the car would grip on the road. There were signs always
warning of “Ice- Slippery on Road” so we watched the road like hawks.
We stopped at Derwent Bridge for a refuel and break. It was here that we
saw what we think was Cradle Mountain capped by huge amounts of snow,
tried to take a photo but the weather changed and the scene disappeared in
snowfall. The views of the snow and surrounding mountains around us added
to the wonderful experiences we have all enjoyed.
kids especially loved the snow hitting the windscreen.
Gradually the snow lessened and stopped as we neared
the images of the surrounding hills devastated by indiscriminate mining
practices decades ago act as a stark reminder that man’s unfettered greed is an
evil beast and must be kept under control.
The town and the
very steep hills
and snow-capped mountains nearby remind us of the fictional town of
Cicily in the show Northern Exposure, though the locals aren’t as wacky
as the characters in the show. The weather is freaky today with wind snow,
sun rain hail low cloud you name it and that’s in just the first hour of
Queenstown is only
about 120 years old and established as a mining town and it still is a
We enjoyed lunch in the Miner’s Grub Café and then a quick tour around
the Miners Memorial [Photo1,
the weather got to us so off to our
to check in. Darani was not feeling well by this stage, as her right ear
was giving her hell. The manager recommended a good local doctor who
prescribed antibiotics while
kids kept warm in the cabin.
We then went to the local IGA supermarket and bought some pasta, mince and
sauce for dinner.