Some opportunities you just can’t miss …
|Even in the photos I put myself at the back …|
Yes, getting a photo at this new sign at the Zeehan Caravan Park is one of those opportunities, but a better example might be taking advantage of a work trip over to the West Coast to go check out Heemskirk Falls.
Now, you may recall that on a previous adventure, I’d got oh so close to the falls, but ultimately was defeated by a lack of track down the last four or five hundred metres.
Well having learnt my mistake, this time I was more prepared …
|Enter the packraft – Heemskirk River|
It had been a long day (starting from Hobart), but we’d wrapped up our series of meetings by 3.30pm and I was back at my hotel by 4pm, so I grabbed my hotel room key, changed into my cycling gear, pulled the mountain bike out of the car (hey, I figured I was over here to talk mountain biking so it was only proper that I bring the bike for street cred) and set off to the falls.
It’s about 20km by road to the Heemskirk River from Zeehan, and from there it’s only a short few kilometres of riding over the button grass plains to get back to where I’d been to before … this being as far as I could go on a bike, but with the river curving out of sight towards the top of the waterfall …
A few leaches came to visit me while I pumped up the packraft, and some very rude animal had used the area I was trying to pump the raft up on as a toilet recently (and it had a bad case of diarrhea), but fortunately I was quickly on the water (without any smelly ‘additions’ to the raft) and heading off …
I felt just like Huck Finn as I headed off around the first corner and saw the river disappearing off in front of me … adventure awaited.
Just not as much of it as Huck had with the Mississippi … in fact, as I’ve already mentioned it’s only about 500 metres from the track end down to the top of the falls, and if you didn’t mind a bit of wading and maybe a short swim or two, you could easily walk the river down to the falls. Most of it would be around knee deep.
There was one short ripple (which I had to pull the raft up on the way back up the river) but otherwise it’s pretty much flat with slow flowing water and just a few trees to get over on the way down to the waterfall …
|A little stream coming in.|
|Small ripple rapid (very short and easy)|
Then it’s welcome to disappointment-ville.
At least it was for me.
You see if you google “Heemskirk Falls tasmania” and look at the images, you’ll see lots of beautiful waterfalls … not one of which (as far as I can see) is actually Heemskirk Falls, and you also kind of figure that if it’s been nominated as a potential destination for a new mountain biking trail then it’s got to be something spectacular …
But this is Heemskirk Falls …
|The suspense builds – you have to walk the last 40 metres|
|Heemskirk Falls – probably 5 metres high|
|the view out over the lake|
|and looking the other way …|
But, in fairness, now that I knew what it looked like, a bit more searching turned up this photo from the State Library which shows the falls in its glory days before the Pieman was dammed (unfortunately it’s copyrighted so I can’t show it here – you’ll have to follow the link.
Now that I would have ridden down to see, but not what is there today, at least not now that I know what’s there.
But fortunately for me, I didn’t know what was there, so for me at least there was still an adventure to be had.
Yep, maybe this isn’t the end – maybe I can go on for just a little bit further yet …
Gold at the bottom perhaps?