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Friday, April 16, 2004
South Coast Track - Day 1 - Cockle Creek to South Cape Rivulet
Today I got up and, as no-one else was up, went for a walk along the beach as the sun was coming up. It was very pretty – the sky was still clear. I walked out to a headland where there was a sculpture of a whale – the views were much more interesting though.
The weather came over cloudy, and we sat around reading and relaxing. The sun came out again, and we went and layed on the beach – it was nice, but despite the warm sun, the air and sand were still cold. while were were sitting there, we saw a pod of dolphins swip past, it was pretty cool, but they were too quick for photos.
We decided we'd walk the first day of the South Coast Track as it was not supposed to be very muddy, and was only 3.5 to 4.5 hours, hence we could even start at 1:00pm and still make camp before dark.
Jennifer had been ribbing me about taking ages to get packed in the morning, so I made sure I was packed and waiting for half an hour for them, so I could get my own back.
By 12:50 we set off, the track traverses dry bush, open grassy plains, and occasional rainforest. We saw a snake, which I came close to stepping on.
After about two hours walking this very well maintained track, we came to the Southern Ocean. We were on top of a short cliff, from which we had great views – we could see two surfers below (I don't know how they got there) and South Cape – the most southerly part of Tasmania. The road I walked on at dawn near the whale sculpture is also apparently the most southerly road on Tasmania and in Australia.
The waves in the Southern Ocean were big, but not huge. We could see cloud rolling in, and with the wind off the sea, it was fairly cold. We walked along the beach to lion rock, where there was a campsite (with toilet), and where we took the high tide route up over a bluff to the next beack. The track was a bit muddy, but not deep mud. At one point there was a lookout from a cliff which had great views.
After walking along the second beach, the track went briefly inland again past a headland, and came out on a third beach, at the end of which was South Cape Rivulet, and our intended Campsite.
There were several small campsites at the rivulet, but no toilet. As we were checking out the campsites, it started raining again – the weather here seems to force you to be unsocial, as it often rains around dinner, hence necessitating cooking from inside your tent. I ate heaps for dinner, and it was very satisfying. During the night it continued to rain, and at one stage Gaye was disturbed several times by some animal trying to get into her tent – It woke Jennifer and me as well.