Day 27: Lake Rhona is a No-Go

Friday December 16, 4.3km/2.7mi

Richea Creek Trailhead (0.0/570m) to Gordon River (2.15/460m) to Richea Creek Trailhead (0.0/570m) (TAS)

I had camped right next to the parking lot. Usually I would never camp close to a road, but given that it took me an hour of slow driving on a mediocre dirt road to get here, I wasn’t worried about unsavory humans randomly showing up. I packed all my camping stuff back in the car, as I had planned this hike as a long dayhikes, as it’s 32km out & back to Lake Rhona. I signed into the trail register and hiked out with a delightfully lightweight pack.

I walked for 40 minutes on a pretty nice trail, with hardly any mud or brush.

I’m always so entertained by these logs. I appreciate the effort of the PWS (parks and Wildlife Service), but it’s so much easier to just cut thru the log and remove the whole section. Easier for hikers, too.

After about 2km and 30 minutes of hiking, I arrived to the Gordon River crossing. The guidebook warns that it doesn’t have a bridge, just a massive fallen log to walk on. Unfortunately, the log was partially submerged by the flooded river, making this crossing impossible.

A flooded Gordon River.

I hiked upstream and downstream along the banks and found two other possible logs to cross on, but both of these were submerged too. Bummer.

Even if I found a way across now, I wasn’t sure the river wouldn’t be even higher this afternoon when I would be re-crossing it. And then I would be stuck, as there are no other trails out here. So, I hiked the short distance back to the car. I kept pondering how strange it was that there was no bridge, since the Gordon River is Tasmania’s largest river by volume. And plenty of other more remote trails have had bridges, over smaller rivers than this one. I got in the car and reversed my driving route down the narrow dirt roads.

After an hour of driving down dirt roads, I was back in the tiny town of Maydena. I now had the whole day to entertain myself, and I was looking up information on nearby Mt Anne, I began to feel terribly sick and flu-ish. So the rest of my day was instead focused on medicating myself enough to be capable of driving to my planned destination for tomorrow, Triabunna. After a few rounds of medications, I drove the 2.5 hours to Triabunna, and then to a nearby free car campground at Mayfield Bay. It was a nice spot on the ocean, but it was hard to appreciate in my current state of illness.

Tomorrow I will take an 11:30am ferry from Triabunna to Maria Island, which is supposed to be a very relaxing place, and a great spot to see Tasmanian Devils!

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