truk

Australia
December 30, 2001 - Tasmania - Cataract Gorge

Cataract Gorge MapAfter arriving in Georgetown, Tasmania, on the Devil Cat (jet-powered catamaran ferry) from Melbourne (a 6 hour trip), we bused down to the northern city of Launceston. About a 15 minute walk from downtown Launceston is an amazing place called Cataract Gorge.

There is a lot to do in Cataract Gorge, which is a reserve (Australian for "park") featuring a chairlift over a deep basin of water, swimming pools, gardens, a suspension bridge, and roving peacocks.

However, on the day we visited, the only thing good was the weather. Danger lurked in the shadows ... when would it strike?

Gorge Movie
[5.6 mb; 4:35]

Check out Cataract Gorge, take a chairlift ride over First Basin, and swing out to the suspension bridge, all the time enjoying the scenery of Zig Zag Reserve.

truk

Our hero preparing to bravely trek into the wild park that leads into Cataract Gorge.

Notice the firm look of determination and the eyes reflecting the knowledge that he may not return alive to tell the story...

Cataract Gardens

Only 100 meters into the park, our hero faces his first danger: navigating a large collection of flowers places in his path.

Elaine and Kath

Elaine Lambert and Kath seem oblivious to the danger that surrounds them.

At any moment, someone might approach and ask directions...

kath

I don't think Kath liked the look of that bathroom behind her...

Or is this the look of worry that our hero might get lost in the gorge, never to return?

Basin Chairlift Sign

Like Indiana Jones (which is the closest comparison to our hero I can think of), truk spies a chairlift to take the family away from danger.

Or will it deliver them into the clutches of the villains that surround them?

High Up

High above the swirling waters, truk notes civilians on the ground and laments the inevitable "collateral damage" to follow.

River

One slip in the chairlift and the river below waits to sweep you away and crush your skull on the sharp, jagged rocks below.

Larry and Elaine

Larry and Elaine try to keep calm in the face of absolute fear ...

Pool

Far in the distance, a rickety suspension bridge leads to the end of the quest ... in the heart of the dragon's lair ...

River

Bushy trees on both sides attempt to snag our heros and pull them down the danger, but they brush off every attempt.

Kath Grins

Mocking death, Kath sneaks in a grin when the end of the chairlift is in sight.

Bridge

The calm waters of the First Basin below hide the many sea creatures lurking and waiting for our party to get too close.

Cliff Face

High cliff walls prevent any escape, serving to seal our fate.

Lamberts

Weapons temporarily sheathed, our heros venture toward the bridge, ever vigilant for the dangers that surround them.

"Are those children playing cricket over there on the lawn? You take the frontal approach, and I will flank them the left side..."

Bridge Close

Drenched in the blood of their enemies and exhausted from the fight, our hero near the bridge shifting the strong wind.

Elaine Waves

Is that a friendly wave from Elaine . . . or a signal for help?

Elaine on the Bridge

High above the icy depths, Elaine struggles to the other side of the bridge.

Upriver

Upriver, the thrashing of the crocs sliding off of the banks into the water is enough to send a shiver up your spine.

Larry on the Bridge

Larry waves us forward, "Stop! Go back! The dragon is behind me!"

Peacock

The dragon appears of nowhere, dragging his fiery plumage and itching for a fight ...

Chairlift Back

With weapons no match for the giant, our hero and his friends beat a hasty retreat using the chairlift to whisk them from certain death!

Clear Water

River water crashes on the rocks below them, but onward they travel, too scared to look back.

Kath

Sensing the approach of a violent end, Kath purses her lips and waits for the inevitable.

Peacock Feathers

Below them, the dragon rears back and prepares to unleash hell!

Mersey Valley Sign

Our small band of warriors passes out, waking up hours later, far away from danger and wondering about their miraculous escape.

The only clue to where they are is a scenic lookout above a glorious valley on three sides.

Road

The serene valleys show the road ahead ...

Valley

... and the road behind ...

Larry Filming

... as Larry scans the horizon for any sign of the dragon.

Flowers

Pretty flowers ... or a hiding place for the beast?

You decide!

Winding Road

The winding road down the valley seems peaceful, but is it?

Mountains

Caged by high mountains in the distance, our heros struggle on.

Hairpin Turn

A hairpin turn leads down into the valley.

"Proceed with caution," pleads Larry.

Rental Car

Mounting their new chariot, our heros turn toward the sun and struggle every onward ...

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