After a cold wet windy miserable week of weather, we were keen to get out and hopefully enjoy some good weather on the weekend….. FAIL…. But a bit of rain has never stopped us before, so we were off to Tullah for the weekend to camp on Lake Rosebery.
So after work on Friday we were off and it wasn’t long before I was swearing and cursing at tractors on the Bass Highway and then no sooner we get past them the road works started so our top speed from Sisters creek to about the Wynyard was about 40kmph this was severely cutting into relax time so I wasn’t too happy.Â After we got through Burnie it was smooth sailing right into the camp spot and what a ripper of a spot it was.Â The wet horrible weather must have kept the sane people away so we got the pick of the spots right on the bank of Lake Rosebery.Â Directly opposite us on the Southern bank was a waterfall and great views of our arch nemesis Mt Murchison.Hard to tell from the photo but the waterfall is in-between the 2 trees just to the left of centre.Â
After setting up camp and playing with the drone for a bit we couldn’t help ourselves to not go and have a look at the falls so we jumped in the Kayaks and paddled over and checked it out.
I imagine if it wasn’t dammed this would be quite a large waterfall as it is very deep just at the base of the falls but even now they are still quite good. After checking out the falls we went back to camp and indulged in a few beers and put the feet up for the rest of the night.
The next morning we woke to the sound of rain on the tent (lucky it’s 100% waterproof).Â Its never a great sound when your camping but it was only light so we got out had some breakfast found a coffee and made our way to Williamsford to check out the ghost town and the Hercules Mine. Williamsford was recognised as a township in 1913.Â The Hercules Haulage that rose almost 500m straight up was opened in 1899 and was used to cart ore from the Hercules mine to Rosebery and this was in use right up until 1985 when the mine closed and the rest of the Williamsford township was relocated. We spent a bit of time checking out the Ghost Town and realised that it would have been a hell of an area to live as the annual rainfall in the area is 2500mm so even in summer like now it can be very much like the middle of winter. Â Â Think this might of been an old insulator storage shed as there were heaps of broken insulators around.
Haulage line cables nearby.Â Also came across this horrible tree I’m pretty sure it’s not native and it is a prick of a tree literally haha.
Not sure what it is but it is sharp and spiky (Update: Holly, Ilex aquifolium). From here we thought we would try and have a look in the Hercules Mine but unfortunately this was very short lived as MMG must still have a lease on it and have the gate locked.Â They must be monitoring something up there as we came across what I think is a weir type flowmeter.
The last time I saw one of these was in trade school and it was the last time I thought I would ever see one.Â From memory, the Vega on top (yellow thing) measures the distance to the water and then there is some mathematical equation that takes into account the ‘V’ (weir)Â and you can get your flow value from this.Â (something along those lines anyway haha).Â After this, we thought we would try and get up Mt Reed and accidentally go down an old forestry track into Hercules Mine but between old telecom and MMG, this gate was also locked so we moved on.
From here we thought we would go and check out the Sterling Valley track. Â and was pleasantly surprised to see this sign.Â Well done to the West Coast council or whoever is responsible for this area and keeping it open for everyone and not just for certain parties.Â The track as far as 4wding goes was pretty straightforward but it was a nice drive and had some beautiful areas. Â Not far after the Sterling River, the Track for Vehicles ends but if you are on foot or Bike the track follows the old historic Tramway all the way through to Rosebery. (which we didn’t do because of the rain).
From here with still plenty of the day left we decided to go and check out the Mt Farrell mine again. We have briefly visited this place before on another trip but had limited time so it was a quick visit and this trip we looked a bit further and found the mother load in the way of adits.
It went of in about 6 different directions within 3 meters of the entrance but we didn’t go to far this time as we will revisit this with the crew and explore as much as we can but I managed to get a few photos right from the start of the adit.There were multiple levels in the mine this is looking up but you can also go down.Â After deciding not to go too far and leave it for next time we went to have a look at the Mill and processing area but I think we only found an old rubbish dump.Â
Of all the good beers even back in the fifties and sixties in Tassie, some people still decided to drink Victorian shit haha.Â Been a metal can though I suspect it has been there for a very long time.Â After seeing the beer we started to get a bit thirsty so headed back to camp for a beer.Â On the way, I found some fungi that looked a bit different so decided to have a play with the camera. Â
even got a bug to pose for me.
After a few beers, we decided to jump in for a swim to warm up a bit.Â
Believe it or not, the water was warmer than the air temp.Â It was also at this point that I realised that we might have been camping on an old mine itself as there were old ruins around the area and in the water. I haven’t found any info on this though so not to sure.
After a very wet night even wetter than the first we thought the day would be a right-off as it was still raining when we got up so we thought we would have brekkie and see what happened and then can you believe it… the sun tried to come out after a couple of days of hiding.
It was short lived but at least it had stopped raining so we decided to have a paddle up the Murchison Gorge.
It was well worth the effort as it was beautiful and there where plenty of waterfalls falling off the cliff faces after all the rain.Â From here we headed back to camp packed up and head for home.Â Not before stopping and getting one of the best coffees I have ever had from Old mate that runs a small cafÃ© next to the pub. If you love coffee don’t miss it.
Hope you enjoyed
Full Video here.
Reference to Williamsford -Vanishing Towns pg44