After the relative madness of last week’s fishing competition, the lodge returned to its usual tranquillity and quiet. The lakes waters fell still as the droves of boats and campers vacated the lodge and its surrounds.
With a couple of days off ahead of us we decided to make the most of them and rather than heading into Hobart for our usual dose of civilisation we decided to make the most of the pristine wilderness that abounded us on all sides.
We booked ourselves a small Air BnB in the nearest town of New Norfolk and spent a day slowly driving the Gordon River Road, trying to fully appreciate the immensity and grandeur of this world heritage area we call home.
After about an hour’s drive we decided to tackle one of the shorter walks in the South West National Park, The Needles. The summit of this small range stands at 1020m and is just a short 3km return. The weather was closing in and there was a biting south westerly wind but we knew this would be one of our last chances to get a good hike done so we took the plunge.
The track itself is fairly unmaintained, much to Ryan’s pleasure and Lauren’s disdain. At points it was tricky to see where the path led and we almost became a bushwalking statistic when we took a wrong turn and trudged through the dense, overgrown bush before realising we had followed a wallaby trail rather than the footpath.
Once back on the main path we trudged on up to the summit. A few snaps from the top and a steady descent back to the car and we were in need of a warm room and hearty meal.
The Air Bnb we had booked was somewhere between a mountain chalet and treehouse. Built by the property’s owner Dave as an ‘apprentice build’ the unit sits on the edge of a deep gully and overlooks the Derwent Valley far below.
Inside there is a single living space and mezzanine bed level above. The chalet is decked out with 1930’s décor complete with a tin bath tub. It was the perfect space to relax after a day of hiking in the cold.
The best part about the accommodation though was the old resident dog, Moose (who featured in last week’s Snap of the Week). Living well beyond his years and nearly deaf and blind the old boy took a liking to us and we were more than happy to have him stay with us. We tried to walk him back to the main house a few times only to hear him scratching at our door a few minutes later.
So we made him a bed and shared our dinner with him. It’s a perfect example of why Air Bnb has become our staple means of booking accommodation. There is really no other method of booking a bed that leads to such unique and special situations. All hotel rooms and lobbies will eventually fade into one blurry memory but this treehouse and our unexpected adoption of Moose are truly unforgettable.
After saying our farewells to Moose and our idyllic chalet it was time to return to work for one final weekend. This weekend however was set to be another big one as the lodge and grounds were set to host the inaugural Rose Quartz Music Festival.
The festival describes itself as a ‘sensory escape in the wilderness of southwestern Tasmania.’ And undoubtedly the backdrop of Lake Pedder and towering mountain peaks in the distance was a huge selling point for the festival.
Predominantly a dance music festival, Rose Quartz played host to an array of experimental producers and visual artists who persevered through unforgiving weather to a small but dedicated group of festival goers. High winds, plummeting temperatures and driving rain were unable to crush the spirits of the majority of people and considering the adversities the festival came up against it seemed a veritable success.
For us it was a lot of fun to work. A break from the slower, relaxed atmosphere of the lodge. There was a real buzz around the place and really very little trouble. It highlighted why we loved working at Pedder Wilderness Lodge so much over the last couple of months. It never stayed the same for too long and there was such an amazing variation of events and work that always kept us interested.
As the festival wound down and the crowds started to disperse our time in Tasmania was slowly approaching its end. We had a couple more days’ work after the festival and then just a few days on the road before boarding our ferry back to Melbourne and starting our escape north from the encroaching winter!