An adventurous morning in Cradle Mountain

We’ve had quite an adventurous morning. It began when we opened the curtains to snow, continued with me being mobbed by 18 rather large Tassie crows, and ended with a very wet walk through a steep and slippery gorge in every type of weather… Snow, sun, rain, sleet and wind!

I woke wondering if it had snowed because it seemed rather quiet outside… the way it does when sound is deadened by snow. John peeled back the curtain by the bed and there it was… about an inch of snow at its thickest. I grabbed my camera and went out onto the balcony to take some photos. Next thing, about 3 crows swooped down to me. I squeeeled and dashed back inside. By now there were 18 crows…. 14 on the balcony rail and chairs, and 4 more in the nearby trees and bushes. I think they must have wanted some brekkie but I’m afraid they didn’t get any here… Signs say not to feed the wildlife.

After dressing in our warm and waterproof gear we drove up to the Rangers’ Station for a walk. It was still rather overcast and the light snow turned to fine rain as we visited Pencil Pine Falls. I was disappointed not to be able to get my filters out for some long exposure shots of the falls because of the rain and spray, but that’s the way it goes sometimes… Can’t win ‘em all. At least the waterfalls, rivers and streams on the walk were impressive, and roaring along after all the rain. And I did just about capture a rainbow when the sun appeared for a bit.

We then followed the board walk through the forest to Kynvet Falls. A lack of footprints in the snow showed that nobody else was mad enough to be out in this weather. The rain forest was lovely though… It was sheltered from the wind and bright green after the wet weather. All the trees are covered in mosses and lichens, which obviously like the clean, damp air. John spotted a pademelon in the bushes but  I didn’t manage to get a good shot of it because it bounced off when I trod on and snapped a branch on the ground. We didn’t see any other wildlife today. I reckon everything was tucked up somewhere warm, avoiding the snow and rain. We did see lots of evidence of wombats though, in the form of cuboid poo!

The ranger we spoke to at the visitor centre yesterday recommended Dove Canyon Circuit (a continuation of the Kynvet Falls walk) to us because it’d be quiet, and we took his advice. I hadn’t realised it’d also be a bit of an adventure… or should that be drama where I’m involved?! It began easily enough through open land and on rocky paths, crossing Pencil Pine Creek before approaching the Dove River canyon.

After this, the path got more difficult because it was covered in wet rocks and muddy puddles, and cross-crossed with slippery wet roots, which I hate. In fact it was a stream for much of the way… Thank goodness for waterproof boots! We seemed to make quite slow progress, especially over the steep, slippery ascents and descents in the woods and on cliff edges. I started to get a bit grumpy because we’d made a few errors of judgement. Firstly, we wore our duvet jackets under our waterproofs because it was cold but, once we were moving we were too hot. However, we hadn’t taken a rucksack so we couldn’t take the insulating layer off. We were wet on the inside from sweating on the climbs, and soaked on the outside from rain and snow. We also forgot to take any water and a phone but, fortunately we weren’t out too long and didn’t have an accident!

[No pictures here because I was too grumpy/scared to take any at this point on the walk 😜]

In some places I was scared of slipping or tripping and falling down the steep hillside but, in hindsight I was probably being a bit of a drama queen! We did have a small row when I said I’d had enough and didn’t find John’s response very helpful or understanding! Fortunately, not long after this, the path left the steep gorge and the terrain improved. After a while, we joined the Cradle Valley Boardwalk, which was an easy stroll back to the Rangers’ Station.

It was a beautiful walk, even in the rain and snow. However, I would have enjoyed it more on a dry day so I could have enjoyed the scenery better, without worrying about falling. I’d also have enjoyed it more if I hadn’t been absolutely soaked! We drove back to our cabin where we stripped off in the porch and hung everything up to dry. We then made a hot cup of tea and spent an hour soaking in the spa bath, while we watched the tall trees outside swaying in the wind and rain. Now we’re having a lazy afternoon. Lovely!

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