This time of the year is always the best not only is the weather generally good but there are a heap of long weekends and public holidays which means more time to get out and explore. Although we have driven most of the northern end of Keith River Road before we haven’t really ventured to the southern end across the Arthur River so this was the perfect time to check it out. So on Friday I sent the parents out to take the Slug (Quad) down and secure us a camping spot for the weekend and me and Jacinta would come down after work. We arrived by late afternoon set up camp and got stuck into the beers.
A few beers had past and we heard some vehicles coming down to the spot, (This is unusual as you could be here for months and not see another person) I think they where just as surprised as what we where to see people here. We got talking to them and they pointed out there was a hut that someone had built just up the hill. I Have been here quite a few times and have never seen it and it’s only about 150m away from where you camp. After they left we had a few more beers and then as it got dark we got attacked by massive beetles. I have seen these types of bugs before but never seen them this big, they nearly knocked you out when they flew into your head.
The next morning after a night of nightmares about killer bugs we were up and ready to go for a run on the slug and unluckily for the parents they where up even earlier to catch the boat back to Victoria.
This for us was uncharted territory and up there as some of the most remote areas in Tassie not because it is so far from anywhere but because some of it is nearly impossible to access and you definitely feel very vulnerable been in amongst it. The First attraction was the Lyons River crossing
The Lyons River holds a lot of mystery to the general public as it in areas is surrounded by Karst caves springs and formations which would be spectacular to see but that will be next time when I find out some more info. Straight after the river crossing you head straight up the side of Folly hill which offers some fantastic views in areas looking out over the Lyons River Gully
A bit further up the road we came across Chuckling Creek
which was another beautiful little spot.
We kept following Folly hill Road and came across Wynsmith Hills Road which surprisingly looked like the bulldozer had recently been down it which was a bit hard to understand until I looked at my map and noticed that Wynsmith Hills Rd joins onto the Pipeline so after realising that we had come across some type of civilisation we decided to turn around and start to head back and check out some of the spots we had missed on the way. The First was Folly Hill Mine, I have had this marked on my map for a long time but have never had the means to check it out but this time we did I’m guessing by the look of it, it may have been a shallow underground and has collapsed. I believe it was an old gold mine.
We stopped for lunch at the end of the ‘Tarkine’ Guided walk track which is another old leg of the Folly Hill Road and thought it would be a good idea to also stretch the legs as there was a Karst Feature not to far down the track on Eastons Creek. So we started the walk and it was all good as it was downhill and well-marked and came across a few weird things like this. I’m guessing that the triangle thing is some old logging or mining tool and I wasn’t sure if the water may of been emergence water for the walkers or something although just around the corner there was a massive soak.Not far from here we came down to Eastons Creek which was beautiful There is also a camp here where the walkers spend their last night which would be a magic spot if you knew it wasn’t going to rain. The Feature I wanted to look at was literally only 100m away from here so we walked up the creek in search and then I heard a splash and I was called every name under the sun as Jacinta fell in and all I could do was laugh until I was nearly crying and then she stormed off and I was within pretty much arms reach but I thought I better not keep going so I turned around and laughed at Jacinta all the way up the hill back to the bike.
Once I gathered myself we where back in action and heading back down to the Lyon’s River and I noticed on my map that there was once upon a time an old hut marked on the river so we checked it out but it was only the ruins
After checking this out it wasn’t to far back to the camp so we where just cruising along not paying particular attention to anything just thinking about how good a beer would taste and then out of nowhere a rather curious tiger snake appears so I jumped on the anchors freaking out and the damn thing just stayed there an looked at us.
And was even ballsy enough to come closer and check us out much to Jacinta’s dislike
From here it was a very cautious trip back to the Arthur River Crossing
The next morning I awoke in a foul mood as it had been raining all night and was still raining in the morning and I had planned a massive trip for the day to explore the last leg of the Keith River Road. It wasn’t till around 11am that it had stopped raining and I said to Jacinta bugger it lets just go if we get wet we get wet, so we loaded the Jerry can and some food and we where away and this track even at the start was proving to be very scenic
and also looked as if there was a fair bit of history around the area as there was this old tractor just left in the bush at a junction in the track
Would of made a great photo if someone was out sitting on the end but Jacinta was to scared. From here we came down to the Arthur River Flood Plain Rainforest and it was beautiful but also very dark and gloomy and a touch scary, here we also came across our first real obstacle a massive tree across the track but the slug loved it and with a bit of persuasion got over relatively easy It’s Just to bad the dickhead go-pro operator didn’t hit record (sorry). I quite enjoyed this part of the ride as it was slightly boggy and there were a lot of obstacles to overcome
Not far up there was another massive tree over the road but this one you could just squeeze under
Speaking of big trees we stopped for a bite to eat at one of the biggest gums we think we have ever seen. It was massive and made the trees on our block look like saplings
The photo of video doesn’t really give it justice but it was big some of its branches would have been bigger than most trees.
From here we kept ticking along until we reached Farquhars rd and once again where surprised at seen Bee hives and very well maintained roads as I thought all access to this side of the Arthur had been destroyed in the last floods but I must have missed something and are now determined to find it. One of the Access points was Farquhars Bridge down near victory springs so we decided to go and have a look at the other side crossing the Keith River along the way, another river with a lot of hidden features that I will one day find out about even if it drives me mad in the process. Just up the road I had to stop and look twice as I thought I seen a bit of coral on the road
But it turned out it was some sort of fungus growing in the middle of the road of all places. We finally got down to Farquhars Bridge and it made me happy in a way as there is a locked gate on the other side and the bridge is washed away it was very ironic I thought
From here we made the long trip back to camp and checked up on the poor old left out cruiser that was doing a fantastic job of keeping the beers cold for this Trip.
All in all we reckon that this is one of the most scenic Roads in Tassie and recommend it to anyone. It goes from horrible clear felled plantation right through to old growth myrtle and gum forest. Half of the southern end across the Arthur could be accessed by 4wd but would require a great deal of work to clear the track up as there are some big trees down over it but is easily accessible on a 4 wheeler and well worth it. The Trip was all smooth running right until the end too when we had a bingle in the cruiser. I had just taken the bike home and came back for the camping trailer and where on the way again heading downhill on loose gravel coming into a blind corner and old mate was coming the other way, I jumped on the anchors and locked it up and he swerved out of the load but the cruiser just kept going straight as the wheels were locked up and my bulbar came to rest on his rear tyre. We both looked at each other in disbelief checked for damaged (which was none) had a nervous laugh and kept on our ways. I reckon we where both lucky we were in land cruisers as If one was a Nissan it would have come out as a smashed wreck.
Hope you Enjoyed
Brendan & Jacinta
Full Video Here.