On this trip, I choke on a spider and get attacked by leeches and Jacinta falls over. We also check out the location the second movie in Tasmania was filmed (Jewelled Nights).
We have been in this area before to check out Caudrys Prospect which is a historically listed mine site around the Waratah / Savage River Area and didn’t find anything too impressive as the site had been reworked at a later date. On the way back we came across a marked track and decided to follow it and it took us all the way down to 19 Mile Creek and just appeared to finish so we didn’t think much of it at the time. It wasn’t until later that week I received some very useful information about the area (thanks Wally). It turned out that we were very close to an old town called Flea Flats where the second movie in Tasmania was filmed over 90 years ago back in 1925 called the jewelled Nights.
With that in mind, we had to return to the area and check it out. So on Sunday, we were off and fighting our way through the horrible cutting grass once again. After receiving a few slices and cuts we finally broke through and made our way down to McGinty Creek. As soon as we came close to the creek you could see evidence of human activity as there was a water race evident just above the creek line so we followed it downstream. Whilst I was taking photo’s of fungi and
been totally oblivious to my surroundings (as I was walking around looking at the ground the whole time) Jacinta spotted and Adit.
Which was a bit of a surprise as the area was known for it alluvial activities in the search for Osmium-Iridium and the soil is clay, but regardless it was a good surprise so we went in and checked it out, it only went in for about 15m and it was full of cave spiders. So because of the size of them we decided to leave them alone and kept heading downstream not much further down we came across more evidence of workings and once again whilst I was busy trying to take photos of fungi Jacinta found another Adit but this was caved in so their was very little access. At this stage I thought I better check my map out to see how far we had come and soon realised that we where just about there (Flea Flats) so we kept going and within minutes where at the location and straight away it was very impressive as there was a maze of diversion channels of 19 Mile Creek that were still in a working order and also you could see possible footings of where old buildings or machinery might have been. I think I even found one of the Jewelled Knights boots with fungi growing out of it. At this stage, I didn’t know where to start with the camera because there was so much to take in and try to figure out so Jacinta went one way and I went the other and I just started clicking. I’m not 100% sure on how the diversions on the creek work but I know it would have been used for Alluvial workings and they where everywhere and just about in every direction and the most impressive thing about it is most of them still have water flow even after 80 to 90 years without use. Once we followed just about every channel out, around and through my eyes went back to the fungi which didn’t disappoint either.
So after taking in as much as we could we followed 19 Mile creek downstream and the workings didn’t stop there were old cuttings, diversion channels and we even came across an old Jar and bottle that where still intact and had the liquid still in them.
At this stage the walls of the creek where closing in so we replaced the walking boots with diving boots and started the treck downstream in the creek. It wasn’t to long before we could no longer feel the bottom of our legs so luckily we came across the next area we wanted to check out and that was a diversion trench that cut out a bend in the creek.
We decided to have some lunch here to allow the legs to warm up a bit again so once again I went looking for fungi
and took in the area.
After this, we continued on downstream and Jacinta fell over air…. again. The going got a little harder as we were in a gully and all the fallen trees blocked the creek so there was a bit of climbing and ducking and the rocks in the creek seemed to be more slippery than ice. We then came across the second diversion trench in the creek and this one was still flowing to some extent although log jammed.
From here we weren’t overly far away from where we got to last time on the Caudrys trip so when we reached that point we dropped our bags off and travelled lightly to the last and final diversion. On the way there I could feel my t-shirt was a bit crusty near my shoulder and then Jacinta started laughing as there was a big fat leech there and on further inspection, I had also had one on my leg as it was also leaking like a tap. So with me looking like something out of a war zone we continued a little further downstream to check out the last diversion this was the most spectacular out of the 3 as it was a tunnel, unfortunately, the upstream side was completely log-jammed so we crossed over the ridge and checked out the downstream side.
We couldn’t help but to go in and have a look but didn’t venture too far as once again it was full of spiders and the water was icy. From here we went back to our bags and started the long climb back up the hill at Linger and Die Creek and whilst we where climbing up I must have lifted my head and took a breath at exactly the perfect time as I inhaled a spider and whilst I was choking gagging and spewing Jacinta just laughed at me so after I gathered myself we kept on going and I took some photo’s of some more fungi to take my mind of the spider I had just inhaled.
This one looked like it was still lucky to be standing as something has been chewing on the stipe (stem).
From here after 6 hours of trekking through the bush and down creeks covering about 9km we head back to the cruiser had an icy cold beer and head for home.
More info on Flea Flats can be found here. on pg 29. This is well worth the read and gives a great summary of the history of the ‘Tarkine’ and mining.
More info on the Film Jewelled Nights can be found here.
Hope you enjoyed