Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Tarkine

Edge of the World, Arthur River

From the North-western Corner I first explored some of the forest around the Arthur River then travelled south down the 'Western Explorer' which borders the Arthur Pieman conservation area.

I came across my first endemic frog, the Tasmanian froglet, Crinia tasmaniensis. Rather drab like all Crinia species, it is set apart by its startling red underparts.

Not long afterwards I found another interesting little frog, the Southern smooth froglet, Geocrinia laevis. Quite a pretty little thing.

Geocrinia laevis, Southern Smooth Froglet

The Western explorer is a pleasant journey for the countryside it travels through - buttongrass hills merging into mixed forest and rainforest around the creeks and river valleys. Near the Savage River I did another good walk which took me up a mountain to survey the landscape.

I made another great little find on this walk. Throughout this country there are numerous little holes in the ground - about a couple of centimetres diameter. Sometimes turreted, sometimes not. I found one of the culprits under a log.

A beautiful little crayfish, entirely terrestrial, clad in a stylish purple and orange!

At Corinna I took the barge across the Pieman river (which, incidentally is a ridiculous name for a river) and headed south to Zeehan. I had a bit of an adventure when I took a 4WD track out to Montezuma falls. Twelve kilometres into the tedious 14km track I came unstuck - while climbing a hill after a creek crossing I lost traction and slid off the lower side of the track. I was neatly stuck. I tried self-recovering for some time but had to give up when the little hand winch that I had was making ominous noises. I had phone reception so got through to the police radio room who sent a guy out to me. With his winch and help, we continued the winching job that I'd started and managed to heave the car up and back on to the road. No damage done but a painful exercise nonetheless. At least the falls and the swing bridge were nice!

Montezuma falls

So, I bet you all wish you were here, am I right?

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