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  1. #1
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Day 22: Where did all the trees go?

    Another quiet night. The anticipated possum attack didn't eventuate - perhaps because I ate all the food before going to bed. I got up and pedalled a mainly flat 11km or so into Strahan. I rode past the camping area of the caravan park - even after people had begun leaving it was a sea of tents. I'd say it's just as well I camped at Henty Dunes for the night.

    The town itself was cramped generally. I arrived just as a Gordon River Cruise (the main tourist attraction to my knowledge) was leaving. Even after it went there was barely enough room to even turn around in the bakery. I took a walk to Hogarth Falls a couple of km from the town centre, and took in the views from Risby Cove. That was about all I could really find to do. All those people were beginning to get to me.

    I then set off on a gradual 5km climb out of the town, bound for Queenstown around 40km away. I passed through patches of rainforest, with some heath on the higher areas and occasional sweeping views. About 15km from Queenstown the vegetation started to change. There were fewer trees, and those left standing tended not to have too many leaves. As I got closer to Queenstown the vegetation thinned out even more.

    A screaming descent through an increasingly barren landscape landed me in the town centre. I crossed a bridge over the Queen River and decided that buying bottled water here might be the best option. The Queen River is copper red. There's no escaping the fact that this is a mining town. There are a few other quirks here, too.

    The bakery/coffee shop where I had lunch has a sign advertising "Lifelike plants". On the way inside I held the door open for a guy who looked so stoned he probably would have forgotten to open it himself. After lunch I visited the Spion Kop lookout. Here I could see the climb up Mt Lyell out of town, and in great detail, since there is literally no vegetation at all left on this mountain. Closer by was a round yellow patch - Queenstown's footy team is tough. They play on gravel - not grass. I wonder how visiting teams fare here.

    The laundromat where I decided to wash for the first time in three days was opposite Queenstown's one tourist attraction - the ABT railway from Strahan. There was a crowd standing around the terminal - nobody seemed interested in exploring the rest of the town. After washing my things and stocking up at the supermarket, I commenced a surreal climb through a Mars-like landscape on Mt Lyell. At the top I was greeted by another tourist claiming a "beautiful" view. I think "unique" is a more appropriate word to use here.

    Another descent took me away from Queenstown, towards Lake Burbury, which would be tonights destination. I scoped out a free camp on the shores, but opted for the paid one, as it appears to be a little less crowded, and slightly more scenic. For $5, I'm not complaining. This is actually quite a pleasant area, with mountain views all around the lake. I was also able to secure a relatively secluded area, so all is well.
    "I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
    "We invite everyone to question the entire culture we take for granted." - Manic Street Preachers.
    My blog.
    My bike tours. Japan tour page under construction.

  2. #2
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Hogarth Falls, Strahan.
    "I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
    "We invite everyone to question the entire culture we take for granted." - Manic Street Preachers.
    My blog.
    My bike tours. Japan tour page under construction.

  3. #3
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    The Strahan Waterfront, seen from Risby Cove.
    "I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
    "We invite everyone to question the entire culture we take for granted." - Manic Street Preachers.
    My blog.
    My bike tours. Japan tour page under construction.

  4. #4
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Climbing out of Strahan.
    "I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
    "We invite everyone to question the entire culture we take for granted." - Manic Street Preachers.
    My blog.
    My bike tours. Japan tour page under construction.

  5. #5
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Heading for the hills, and Queenstown.
    "I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
    "We invite everyone to question the entire culture we take for granted." - Manic Street Preachers.
    My blog.
    My bike tours. Japan tour page under construction.

  6. #6
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    The top of the range between Strahan and Queenstown. Hard to believe this is just a few kilometres from the scene of Australia's "greatest" piece of environmental destruction.
    "I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
    "We invite everyone to question the entire culture we take for granted." - Manic Street Preachers.
    My blog.
    My bike tours. Japan tour page under construction.

  7. #7
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Welcome to Queenstown - mining since 1880. If you look at the hills in the background, you'll see the most surreal climb in Tasmania. In the foreground on the left is the infamous gravel football oval.
    "I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
    "We invite everyone to question the entire culture we take for granted." - Manic Street Preachers.
    My blog.
    My bike tours. Japan tour page under construction.

  8. #8
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    The Queen River, Queenstown. No offence guys, but I think I'll be refilling with bottled water rather than the local town water, thank you!
    "I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
    "We invite everyone to question the entire culture we take for granted." - Manic Street Preachers.
    My blog.
    My bike tours. Japan tour page under construction.

  9. #9
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Looking back on the climb out of Queenstown. Thank God it wasn't a hot day!
    "I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
    "We invite everyone to question the entire culture we take for granted." - Manic Street Preachers.
    My blog.
    My bike tours. Japan tour page under construction.

  10. #10
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Perhaps not the most glamorous place in Tasmania to pose for a photo.
    "I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
    "We invite everyone to question the entire culture we take for granted." - Manic Street Preachers.
    My blog.
    My bike tours. Japan tour page under construction.

  11. #11
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Only I could find a waterfall on Mt Lyell.
    "I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
    "We invite everyone to question the entire culture we take for granted." - Manic Street Preachers.
    My blog.
    My bike tours. Japan tour page under construction.

  12. #12
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Heading toward Lake Burbury, having left Queenstown behind.
    "I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
    "We invite everyone to question the entire culture we take for granted." - Manic Street Preachers.
    My blog.
    My bike tours. Japan tour page under construction.

  13. #13
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Campsite on the shores of Lake Burbury.
    "I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
    "We invite everyone to question the entire culture we take for granted." - Manic Street Preachers.
    My blog.
    My bike tours. Japan tour page under construction.

  14. #14
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    A golden sunset at Lake Burbury.
    "I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
    "We invite everyone to question the entire culture we take for granted." - Manic Street Preachers.
    My blog.
    My bike tours. Japan tour page under construction.

  15. #15
    Burn-em Upus Icephaltus Gojohnnygo.'s Avatar
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    Nice pics Chris, But that pic of the Queen River Just makes me sick. Why do people want to destroy such a beautiful landscapes as this? I know it all comes down to the money hungry greedy people they really &%$#$ me off. But man I've seen cleaner water in my toilet bowl after taken a dump . Good call on buying the bottled water.
    Sick BubbleGum

  16. #16
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gojohnnygo.
    Nice pics Chris, But that pic of the Queen River Just makes me sick. Why do people want to destroy such a beautiful landscapes as this? I know it all comes down to the money hungry greedy people they really &%$#$ me off. But man I've seen cleaner water in my toilet bowl after taken a dump . Good call on buying the bottled water.
    Actually, most of the damage in Queenstown was done pre-1920, when I guess people didn't know any better. The last of the copper smelters closed in 1969. In spite of the massive amount of rain they get (the main reason their football team plays on gravel), it still hasn't cleansed the river - and may never do so. Still, if the world ever needs to be reminded at how easily mankind can destroy it's environment...
    "I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
    "We invite everyone to question the entire culture we take for granted." - Manic Street Preachers.
    My blog.
    My bike tours. Japan tour page under construction.

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