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Rosebery & Montezuma Falls

The location of Australia's safest mine??

rain
View Tasmania with 2 toddlers! (Winter 2013) on Goannaray's travel map.

Rosebery

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  • After rewashing and drying everything for the second time in Queenstown (following a full night of projectile vomiting from an 11month old boy), we managed to get to Rosebery in time for lunch.
  • Didn't think we'd be able to make and eat lunch, then walk to and from Montezuma Falls before nightfall, so delegated that for the next day.
  • Good parking area in town with playground and skate park nearby for kids to play in while I made lunch.
  • Both parks looked to be getting a good workout by the local kids despite the wet, windy weather.
  • Found a nice cafe opposite the IGA to get the hot chips that'd been promised for when lunch had been fully consumed. Seemed to be the local hangout for quite a variety of different age groups too.
  • Then on to the Rosebery Cabin and Tourist Park - Signs up saying check in preferably after 4pm when office opens, but feel welcome to choose a site and see staff after 4pm.
  • By the time we'd chosen a relatively sheltered spot and organised the van ready for the evening, it was 4pm.
  • Paid for the site, then went for a walk to see Stitt Falls which were just below the caravan park, and continued on a loop past the town pool and oval, through some bush up to the townsite, and back around past the local mine to the campground.
  • Stitt falls hadn't been on any of the maps we'd seen, but they seemed pretty good to us.
  • Thought the sign at the entrance to the Rosebery mine site was pretty good too: 'Australia's safest mine? Not yet - we're working on it!'

Montezuma Falls

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  • Getting there and preparation

Rain continued on and off all night, and into the following morning. Not quite what we were hoping for... but it was either do the walk and see the falls today, or forget the falls and keep going. Decided we may as well try it and see how we went.

Not far out of Rosebery on the way towards Queenstown, is the turnoff to Montezuma Falls and Williamsford. It was bitumen for most of the way in, before turning to gravel to go down the hills past the old Williamsford cemetery and town site, to the start of the Montezuma Falls track (Approx 6km from main road into walk carpark). There was a decent sized gravel parking area, with two creeks flowing nearby. Some picnic tables, and a toilet not far into the start of the walking track.

I was starting to wonder, did I really want to do this? It was raining constantly, and Clancy wasn't feeling too well, so really didn't want to do the predicted three hour walk. Finally decided that Clancy would stay and have a sleep with Kaden, while Sonia and I went in to see the waterfall.

A 22 seater bus arrived at the carpark not long after us, with a group tour. I asked their guide, who said he thought a pram should be able to get through to the falls ok as there were a few steps, but no really bad sections that he could remember. Well.... it was ok for me. I did it with the stroller and Sonia, but wouldn't really recommend that method for anyone else unless it's good dry weather! The pram and I were totally soaked and muddy by the time we got back. Sonia managed to sleep for most of the trip back too, despite the bumpiness.

I'd read the track was an old tramway and therefore fairly level, and had been debating between the pram and Kathmandu child carrier backpack. I didn't really want to have to carry Sonia in the backpack by myself for 3hrs, with her constantly wanting up/down. It would've totally killed my back and hips by the end of the walk, and so therefore, with a bit of confidence from the guide, decided on the pram with raincoats, and whatever we could fit in our pockets. ie, water bottle, mandarines, muesli bars, and camera.

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  • The Track

The track into the falls is mostly one joined track, but there are atleast 2 sections where the track divides for those walking, and those with bikes. The bike sections ford across rocky creeks on a 4WD track, where as the walking sections often involved some steps, and a narrower bridge. We chose the walking sections, as the creeks were too high for the pram at that time.

Clancy and Kaden walked the initial 10-15mins in with us before turning back for the campervan. Not far past the toilet, you go down a steeper section to the first wooden bridge, and then up another steeper section with rocks as steps, to get back to the main tramway track. Sonia walked these sections while I carried the folded up stroller heading in, and I figured she could do the same on the way back out. In regards to the correlation between track and pram.... there were both good and bad patches of track.

- The Good: Wherever the track was rocky or like rough gravel, basic wooden 4WD bridges, walking bridges.

- The Bad: Deep mud, fallen rock slides, tramway sleepers where there wasn't a better walkway beside them.

- For walking: The only bad was the mud!

The tourist group that'd arrived in the bus not long after us, comprised mostly of Asian girls, some wearing very good neat casual clothes, heels, and wedges. Not quite what I would've thought appropriate clothing for that track on that day. But then again, who am I to judge. I was taking a 2.5yr old toddler through the same rain and mud in a pram! And at a fairly fast pace too considering the conditions. I passed the tail end of the group on the way into the waterfall, and then again on the way out as well.

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  • The Waterfall and Suspension Bridge

The waterfall, creek, suspension bridge, and history was amazing! Well worth the walk in good weather. The walk would be much nicer then too! Others may not have thought it worth the struggle, but I was glad I battled my way through the rain and mud with toddler and pram to see it all. There's quite a lot of spray from the waterfall that comes out over the viewing platform near the base of it, so trying to get good photo's was interesting. Water droplets on the lens from not only the continuing rain, but also from the waterfall's spray got rather annoying! Sonia and I enjoyed the food and water we'd brought along as well. Talking to the group's tour guide, we found out he knew one of our neighbour's from when I used to live on a farm in Toodyay, WA!

The suspension bridge was a lot of fun! Sonia and I really enjoyed it. It gave a totally different perspective and view of the falls and valley. Only two people were allowed on the bridge at one time, and I made sure I hung on to Sonia's hand like crazy the whole time we were on the bridge. I also made sure I had my camera well and truly secured to my wrist!

  • The walk back

Heading back, Sonia wanted to walk and run, so she walked, jumped, or ran down the tramway sections while I carried the pram. That was much easier than on the way in where I'd bumped the pram around or over the tramway sleepers. She did end up totally soaking her shoes and feet in the mud and puddles, but that was unavoidable, so oh well. Once we got through the tramway sections (they're all mostly at the waterfall end of the track), Sonia got back into the pram, where I then proceeded to pull her backwards for the rest of the way on the back two wheels only. This was much easier, especially through the bad sections. And with the hood fully pulled down (Valco stroller hood fully pulled down nearly covers the whole seat!), and a raincoat covering from the hood to the footrest, she soon fell asleep out of the wind and rain.

I was expecting to have to wake Sonia so she could walk through the steep sections and first bridge close to the beginning of the track, but the group guide had walked back to check on the tail end of his group, and helped me carry the pram through instead. Very much appreciated!!

Got back to the campervan, where Clancy and Kaden were stirring from a good sleep. We woke Sonia up so she could get into some clean, dry clothes, and found that only her outer layers were wet! All her internal layers were still nice and dry! I grabbed the big umbrella and a change of clothes to go change in the toilet, while Clancy cooked up some nice hot two minute noodles for a late lunch for everybody.

Timing from the start of loading the pram, to getting changed and dry... we'd managed the walk in about four hours. Considering the conditions and everything else... I reckon we did pretty well!! When I got back to the campervan, I felt like I could have kept on walking with Sonia in the pram as she was at the end, for another hour or so. If I'd had her in the backpack, I reckon I would've had badly aching hips by the time I got to the waterfall, let alone the return trip.

  • Recommendations

So, after successfully completing the walk with the pram this way, my recommendations are...
- If Dry: Go for it however you want. Walk, baby/child carrier, pram... whatever.
- If Wet: Gumboots!!! Umbrellas/good rain gear, pram if prepared for mud and a rough trip! Baby/child carrier if it's not going to affect you physically.
- Whatever the conditions: Enjoy the walk, the suspension bridge, and waterfall!!

Posted by Goannaray 21:15 Archived in Australia Tagged waterfalls rain tasmania walk mine toddlers pram rosebery montezuma_falls 2_toddlers_in_winter_tasmania! western_tasmania interstate_overseas

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