Day 5 Hobart by Land and Sea (the long way round)

Today was our last day in Strahan and it was going to be a pretty big day for us. We have booked the Gordon river cruise then we have to drive down to Hobart for the next leg of our Tassi sojourn. So an early start as we had to pack the car and be at the wharf by 8am. The weather didn’t look all that promising either. We are booked on “The Lady Jane Franklin II” for the trip and she’s not a bad looking craft I have to say and as I was to find out she would happily cruise at 28 – 30 knots. The first leg of the journey is south then NW to Macquarie Heads and Hell’s Gate. Hell’s Gate is the name given to a small stretch of water at Macquarie Heads that forms the entrance to Macquarie Harbour. It was given the name by the convicts, not because the water is VERY treacherous (which it is) but because being a convict here was a living hell. The skipper poked the nose of our craft thru the heads but not far. The 2-3 mtr swell was breaking, choppy and looking very ugly. 
Hell’s Gate
He managed to turn the boat in a bit of lee shore without too much of us resembling a bobbing cork, not an easy feat but one I feel Di and many other passengers were very happy with. I didn’t mention the rain, well because there was that much of it, it wasn’t worth mentioning really. With us now turned around and heading SW back into Macquarie Harbour most people breathed a sigh of relief and rejoiced. We went past a number of fish farms heading for the Gordon River and we stopped close to one for a bit of a look. At this particular one they are farming rainbow trout (yes you heard right) in salt water. It seems that because they are a member of the salmonoid family they can survive in either fresh or salt water and in fact grow much quicker in salt water. 
Fish Pens
The only thing they can’t do is spawn which is done artificially. We entered the Gordon River and if there is ever a reason I would become a greenie this is it. We did a heritage nature walk of about 400 mtrs and it was amazing to see exactly what this wilderness area is like. It would take too long to explain what we saw but if you come here and do nothing else, do this trip. From the wilderness walk we again boarded the boat and enjoyed our a’lacarte lunch while we motored out of the Gordon River  
Gordon River
 towards Sarah Island to the convict ruins. A guided tour of the island, which ended up as a bit of a play/show with audience participation was a highlight and provided some entertainment. Then back to Strahan and into the Paj for what seemed to be the longest 265 km drive I have ever done. 
Convict ruins Sarah Island
Di on the rain forest walk

Fungi on the rain forest walk

The 4 ½ hour drive went through some beautiful country and sites we just didn’t have time to stop and see. We also saw a couple who were on the boat with us and have told us of some great camping sites which will have to wait till next time. Hobart came over the horizon about 7.30pm and everyone was pretty tired.   

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