Tahune AirWalk

20150110-018 Huon RiverSlabs and I went to the Tahune AirWalk  many years ago, pre-Juniordwarf. We thought he might like to go there, so after talking about it for ages, we finally picked a weekend and went.

The Tahune AirWalk is about 28 km from Geeveston in the Huon Valley. It’s located in the Southern Forest area, close to the Hartz Mountains National Park. It’s near the junction of the Huon and Picton rivers.

There’s 3 short walks in the area and we did them all.

The first one is obviously the AirWalk itself, which is a steel ramp up in the tree tops, which gave us wonderful views from the top of the trees. It’s a short walk through the forest – you have to climb 112 steps to get there, and then you start walking among the tree tops at an average height of 20 metres.

20150110-021 Climbing the 112 steps 20150110-022 Climbing the 112 stepsIt’s quite an amazing feeling, and we were lucky to be the only people doing the walk at the time so it was nice and relaxed. 20150110-023 View from the AirWalkThe AirWalk is 619 metres long, and right at the end is the cantilever section which is 48 metres above the river. From here you get a great view of the Huon and Picton Rivers junction, as well as the Hartz Mountains and the surrounding forest. It was pretty spectacular.

20150110-025 View from the AirWalk 20150110-030 View from the AirWalk 20150110-035 View from the AirWalk (River Junction)It’s an impressive engineering feat as well. According to the sign it took 3 months to build and uses over 120 tonnes of steel and 9000 nuts and bolts. The cantilever can support the weight of 120 people or 12 baby elephants – 10 tonnes –and can withstand winds of 180 km/hour. Luckily for us it wasn’t windy at all, so we didn’t need to test that claim out!

20150110-038 On the cantilever 20150110-041 On the cantilever 20150110-042 The cantilever 20150110-044 Part of the AirWalk 20150110-047 Looking down from the AirWalkIt was interesting on the way back down to see some of the anchors holding the AirWalk in place, and to look up and see how high we’d been. 20150110-052 Looking up

We did the second walk, the Huon Pine Walk, which is a 20 minute walk along the river. There’s lots of information about Huon Pine, which we got in reverse because we did the walk the wrong way. Huon Pine is only found in Tasmania. It grows on the edges of rivers and lake where there is high rainfall, and is used in boat building and craft work. It’s a slow growing tree than can live for a long time – apparently there are some specimens on the West Coast that are 2500 years old.

It was a nice little walk.

The final walk we did was the Swinging Bridges Walk, which is an hour long circuit that takes you across two narrow swinging bridges over the Huon and Picton Rivers. We managed to do this one backwards as well, so we crossed the Picton Bridge first before crossing the Huon bridge.

20150110-061 Picton River Bridge 20150110-065 Picton River Bridge 20150110-067 Picton River Bridge 20150110-069 A monster in the forestJust after (or before, if you do the walk the right way around) the Picton bridge is a short trail that takes you as close as you can get to the junction of the two rivers. If you look up, you can see the cantilever section of the AirWalk – the place where we’d seen the river junction from. It looks very cool.

20150110-070 The rivers join 20150110-074 Looking back at the AirWalk 20150110-082 Huon River BridgeJuniordwarf loved the bridges, and after we’d crossed the first one he said it wasn’t long enough and he wanted to make the most of it so he was going to go back and cross it again. He probably would have done it many more times if we’d let him.

These bridges are very narrow and it’s almost impossible to get past anyone walking across them (unless they are very small), so we had to wait for the family crossing from the other side of the Huon Bridge before we could cross. They were moving very slowly and looked a bit nervous – even more so when we told them they had another bridge to cross after that one.

20150110-092 Huon River BridgeThe walk back is very pretty and it passes underneath part of the AirWalk, including the cantilever, so again you get a feel for how high off the ground we’d been. You also appreciate more closely that there’s nothing underneath the cantilever holding it up!

It was a fun day.

20150110-096 The cantilever 20150110-099 Huon River 20150110-104 Huon River

P365 – Day 344 – lunar eclipse (10/12/2011)

After our visit to our friends’ place in the Huon, we made good on our plan to go tenting* in their back yard.
It was a great idea, because it meant we didn’t have to rush home in time for dinner, so we could catch up properly, have a few drinks and enjoy the great outdoors.
Juniordwarf was very excited because, after our recent camping adventure we decided that a “three man tent” is just a little bit cosy to actually house three people, so we bought him his own little tent. This was the first time he was going to use it, and he was really looking forward to sleeping in his own tent, with his teddies Billy and Jenny.
We thought it would be great to sit around the fire and watch it. Unfortunately the sky was covered by clouds, so we didn’t see a thing. We saw some light behind the trees as the moon was rising, but that was it.
This is our view for most of the night
This is what we might have seen if the weather had cooperated.
At about the time we were supposed to be able to start seeing the eclipse, it started to pour with rain, which put an end to the sitting around the fire part of the night as well.
It was kind of nice to go to bed with rain pouring down on the tent. Similar to rain on the roof, but a lot closer.
*Tenting = sleeping in a tent without actually camping.

P365 – Day 288 – catching up (15/10/2011)

After Juniordwarf’s swimming lesson this morning, we travelled down to the Huon Valley to visit some friends who we hadn’t seen for ages.

We had a lovely afternoon catching up, celebrating them finishing their university course and watching Juniordwarf get acquainted with their cats.

The weather was exactly as you’d expect in Tasmania at this time of the year – four seasons in one day. It would have made for some beautiful photo opportunities as we were driving down, but we didn’t really have the time to turn the trip it into a photo excursion, so I had to make do with a couple of pictures from our friends’ place and out of the windscreen on the way home.

Ominous sky

Country lane

Huon River from the car
The plan next time is to spend the night and go ‘tenting’ in the yard so that we have more time and don’t have to rush back home in time for dinner. Juniordwarf is especially keen!