Thursday, December 24, 2009

Early summer, Mole Creek

This morning we walked a section of our boundary fence to check for fallen trees. (Why do trees always fall across fences no matter where they are?) We found two that we'll have to return for with a chainsaw when we have more time. It was so beautiful out there in the bush in fine drizzle. I didn't take my camera so you'll have to take my word for it, but it was one of those mornings when farm chores are just a joy.

On the subject of farm chores, yesterday afternoon we carted our second and last load of hay for the season. Fifty two bales at $3.oo a bale. Hay's cheap and plentiful this year because of all the spring rain we had. Last year we paid $5.00. It's a nice feeling to have the shed full again, though it doesn't seem so long ago that we were feeding out last year's bales.

The day before, we walked the Westmorland Falls track for the first time in years. It was closed to the public for a long time because the beginning of the track passes through privately owned land and, although the owners were apparently happy for hikers to walk there, they were concerned about liability issues.

This little gem used to be a regular on our walks programme so when we heard the track was now reopened to the public, we set off to rediscover it. It's short, easy and close to home, and extremely beautiful. The falls at the end are lovely but the walk itself is worth doing for its own sake.

Across the road from the Mole Creek supermarket we took Caveside Road for about 6 kilometres until we reached a T-junction, where we turned right onto Wet Cave Road. We turned left at the Wet Cave Reserve and continued on past the last farm on the right, a deer farm with high fences. The beginning of the track is marked with a sign saying 'Mole Creek Karst Conservation Area', and two large rocks.

The walk is just as beautiful as we remembered. It takes less than two hours to do the return trip in a leisurely fashion and it's easy except that there are two or three stream crossings that might be difficult for a small child or an elderly person. Managing those log crossings is a big part of the charm of the walk. It makes you feel a little like a jungle explorer, even though you're only fifteen minutes from an espresso machine.

There are dogwoods and tree ferns and, as you go further, rainforest trees. It's usually damp, and because of that, it's a haven for leeches. We didn't meet any this time, though on our way up to the fall we did meet one other pair of walkers on their way down.

Westmorland Falls walk is definitely back on our list and highly recommended. The visitors' book is still (or back) in its position three-quarters of the way to the falls. The last time we wrote in it was ten years ago. Here's a good website for a description of this and other Tasmanian walks.