Wild-west coastline to forests and sub-alpine grasslands

Dates: Friday 22 – Sunday 24 November. Depart from Hobart on the morning of 22 November

Tour Leader: John Davies

Note: this field trip STARTS in Hobart and ENDS in Launceston. Participants need to be in Hobart by the morning of 22 November, ready for 7:30am departure.

Itinerary:

Friday 22 November

Depart Hobart at 7:30am on Friday 22 November. Travel to the west coast through the low rainfall, fertile agricultural areas of the Derwent Valley, through the high rainfall Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers World Heritage Area. View cool temperate rainforest, mixed forest, tall hollow-bearing eucalypt forest, riparian scrub, horizontal scrub, glacial landforms and buttongrass moorland. We will stop for short guided walks to Nelson Falls, Donaghys Hill Lookout, or a short section of the Franklin River (weather dependent).

Lunch: own arrangement (please bring own lunch with you from Hobart; there are no cafes here to buy lunch.

If the weather is clear, we may enjoy views of the spectacular quartzite Frenchmans Cap.

Continue onto Queenstown, visit the “Iron Blow” and hear about present and past environmental management of Tasmania’s oldest copper mine, and how it has created economic wealth and the environmental legacy of a “lunar landscape”. We will make a quick supermarket stop to collect supplies for breakfast (own expense), before continuing to our overnight accommodation.

Spotlighting in the evening if the weather is suitable. May see brush tailed possum, ring tail possum and wallabies.

Dinner: Tullah Lakeside Lodge

Overnight: Tullah Lakeside Lodge

Saturday 23 November

Breakfast at leisure (own expense). We will drive to Trial Harbour, and see the spectacular high energy coastline, walk along the exposed coastline with its monstrous waves and observe plant and animal habitat sugject to extreme wind pruning and salt spray.

Drive to Zeehan, and then onto Tasmanian Land Conservancy property at the Vale of Belvoir near Cradle Mountain. View high quality threatened native-grassland, basaltic landscape, mineral soils, karst landforms, organic peat soils, weeds, threatened plants, birds (maybe birds of prey), marsupials and other animals, and search and identify scats. Time for discussion about present and past cattle grazing, fire and the long history of anthropogenic burning (Indigenous and European). Denna Kingdom from Tasmania Land Conservancy will join us to discuss fire and cattle grazing management and impacts, following the erection of a cattle grazing exclusion fenct based on surveys that have been conducted on this property. Learn the history of the now extinct thylacine.

We continue to Cradle Mountain, where will stay overnight. Hope to see Tasmanian devils and quolls in the evening.

Dinner: own arrangements. Dinner can be purchased at Cradle Lodge, or there are BBQ facilities and a kitchen at the cabins.

Overnight: Cradle Discovery Park

Sunday 24 November

View Pre-Cambrian landforms at Cradle Mountain, and walk around Lake Dove to see subalpine vegetation ranging from buttongrass moorland to coniferous rainforest (3 hour easy walk). Discuss the impacts and effects of fire, topography, drainage, soils and altitude.

Travel from Cradle Mountain to Launceston. Lunch at a local cafe on the way (own expense). Arrive in Launceston by approx 4pm, in time to check into your accommodation for the conference, and join the Welcome Drinks from 5:30pm.

What to bring: sleeping bags, pillow, sunhat and sunscreen. Food or cash for some meals. Waterproof clothing, warm clothing (evenings will be cool). Torch and/or headlamp.

Participant fee: $450 inc GST per person.