The Arcadia experience on the Pieman River had seemed a fitting conclusion to our discovery of the southern Tarkine. After the boat docked in Corinna around 2.30 pm, with a sense of urgency, we jumped into the car knowing we still had a six plus hour drive back to Hobart, and headed off. However, once on the road the Tarkine landscape continued to delight. Long term blog readers may recall that when we drove westwards from Waratah, most of the country was absent from view – a thick fog had overlaid the landscape and presented us with a white barrier preventing us seeing what we imagined were wonderful views.
And so they were wonderful, as we discovered on the return journey.
I was looking forward to seeing the town of Savage River and its environs although I am not sure why. Perhaps because I was still at school when the Savage River mine was established and I remember a sense then that Tasmanian had entered the world stage and was doing something important. Mature age has given me new perspectives so on our trip to the Tarkine I was curious to see the current situation. I will not say the experience of visiting the township of Savage River disappointed, however because I have experience around mining towns in central Queensland, there were no surprises in terms of the look of buildings or the layout of the tiny town.
Wikipedia provides some basic information including this statement. “The township at Savage River was constructed from 1965 to 1967 when Roy Hudson’s Industrial and Mining Investigations Pty Ltd received backing to construct a mining project in the area.”
We drove on, passing a giant black line snaking across the road, and stopped a while for me to photograph some of the changes to the landscape wrought by the Savage River mine.
The changes were visible for a few kilometres. Maps tell me that the mine extends northwards for around 8 kms and, since the mine is still operational, clearly the area being mined will increase.
I was surprised with the impact this massive intrusion into the landscape made on me.
Finally we reached Waratah and I was delighted to see a man on his very large ride-on mower at work. That grass in this tidy town will never grow long!
The remainder of our trip back to Hobart was uneventful. The first stages were of interest because neither of us had travelled on the road that links eastwards across from the west coast passing close to Cradle Mountain.
We passed through Sheffield and then exited onto the Bass Highway near Elizabeth Town, before taking an inland route to bypass Perth and enter the Midlands/Heritage Highway at Campbell Town. I was grateful for Jeanette’s excellent driving and particularly at night on the new unmarked and badly signed roadworks on the Midlands Highway. It was a test which she passed with my high praise. Back in Hobart clearly our adventure in the southern Tarkine was over.
I have felt profoundly inspired by the experience and I hope this blog has accelerated your plans to visit this wonderful wilderness. I would love to hear your reaction to what I have written and shown.
Obviously we now need to explore the northern Tarkine and plans have been made to travel there before Christmas. Between now and then, I expect to write the occasional blog post with additional information about the Tarkine.