Into Waratah


Once leaving the Fossey River Rest Area, we drove easily north and then were surprised to see a comparatively tiny finger-post sign pointing down Waratah Road (B23) to Waratah and beyond.  Please note: there is no advance warning for this road when travelling from the south so, if you are driving a large vehicle or caravan, you may not be able to stop in time. Then you may have a long drive northwards along the Murchison Highway before you can turn your vehicle around.

After screeching to a halt we turned into Waratah Road and headed west on the 10 kilometre trip to the town. We passed some saddening remains of cut plantation forests and other tall commercial forests along the southern side of the road. Quite quickly we reached Waratah.


As we arrived, into view, came the astounding spectacle of an immaculate town giving every impression it hopes to win the official Tidy Town Award for Tasmania.  The day was brilliantly sunny with an intense blue sky overhead. These two features combined to enhance the rich green of the carefully mown grass that covered every piece of unbuilt-on land we could see.  I don’t believe I have ever seen so much mown grass.  The golf course was mown. The extensive areas around Lake Waratah were mown.  Private gardens presented mown lawns.  Verges, nature strips and parklands … all were mown.  It was so complete that it felt rather ridiculous and we giggled. And yet it was stunningly beautiful in its perfection.  My brain must have stopped functioning with all the glamour of this careful manicuring so that I forgot to take a photo to show the extent.  I have located a blogsite which includes photos of closely shorn grass, so I recommend you look at Town of Waratah: To Live, Or Not To Live  by Roger Findlay.

The more mown grass we passed the more I kept an eye open for someone mowing, but I never saw a soul or any sort of noisy mowing machine. So the verdant landscape was also very quiet which made Waratah seem like a town in which time had stopped for a moment.  A few days later I learnt that the Wynyard/Waratah local government employ two people to mow. When we transited through Waratah on our way home a few days later, I did see mowing in action from a very large ride-on mower. Looked like fun and I imagine those mower men loved their job.

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