Day 5 adds that missing ingredient of the trip so far – tall rainforest and fast flowing rivers and waterfalls including D’Alton Falls, before the journey ends on Day 6 at Narcissus Bay on Lake St Clair.
So far we had traversed alpine rainforest with twisted myrtles and king billies; sub alpine woodlands of gums and pencil pines and alpine regions with wind pruned shrubs and ground hugging cushion plants. But today, we ventured into the stunning, tall rainforest between the Du Cane Hut and Du Cane Gap. The trees were impressive, although the lack of rain was evident as even the moss seemed somewhat tired and dusty rather than vibrant and green. The Tasmanian forest is a special place, and it was wonderful to enjoy the silence and marvel at the ancient trees.
Our main stops today were the waterfalls – D’Alton Falls was the most picturesque. We also saw Fergusson Falls and had lunch on the Mersey River near Hartnett Falls. It was at this point that it started to hit – the trip was pretty much over! Five days on the track, and all of a sudden we were about to be whisked back to civilisation! We continued walking through the forest, which was more eucalypt than rainforest at this point, up to Du Cane Gap. The hakea was flowering and looked stunning as did the Tasmanian waratah, and the bauera was everywhere.
Our last night in the lovely huts was a bit of a celebration. Everyone was in a great mood after such an amazing week. From the aurora on the first night, to the utterly perfect weather conditions which had allowed us to climb both Mt Oakleigh and Mt Ossa, the week was an absolute treat.
Upon arriving at Lake St Clair, we hopped on the ferry, and back to the visitor centre. We had been so well looked after on the track by our guides (we even had a pizza dinner on the last night!) that the usual desire for a nice hot, cooked meal and a beer was unusually absent at the end of this trip, and we looked at the visitor centre – with its great range of Tasmanian postcards and photographic prints – before our shuttle bus returned us to Quamby Estate.
Again I have to compliment the guides and the Tasmanian Walking Company for an outstanding job managing this trip. It is a incredible experience.