Port Davey Adventures
Up the Bathurst channel, we inch our way through the narrows, to our next anchorage at Clayton´s Corner on the entrance to the Malaleuca Inlet. Home to the only airstrip and rangers post, it was originally the home to the relocated Clyde Clayton fishing base. Home to Win and Clyde until they retired from fishing in 1976 it is now an historic mark. At the jetty at their house you can still tied-up your boat and get water collected at their house.
It is in Malaleuca that the Davey Trail ends and connects to the continuing tracks east and south. To our surprise we were woken up by a fast powerboat and airplanes. Investigation up the inlet, was required. The land team decided to explore by battling the trail south around Charles Hill and through the swamp to reach the Malaleuca outpost and airstrip. The advanced team took the more becoming fluvial route, only to encounter civilization and 4 tourist powerboats moored at Malaleuca creek. This is a drop-off zone. Hikers fly in, on 10 passengers small airplanes and leave, either by boat or on foot to the other tracks. The whole region is managed by two volunteer rangers. Toni and Cris greeted me with certain surprise at the airport, thinking I was accidentally left behind by one of the 4 planes that landed today. All cleared, tonton was invited for high tea and ginger biscuits while the land team – in VHF 69 radio contact – battled the knee deep sticky mud/marshland. Three hours of hard walk and they appeared at the settlement for fresh water and tea, enchanting us with their adventurers and dismays.
Originally a Tin mine the settlement still holds two private properties, whose owners summer here yearly. A modern toilet facility, two huts, the rangers cabin and the airport building are all what´s out here.
Commentary: Absurd is the art installation of MONA in this region. Modern art has taken it a step to far …..
After a full day of nice cruising we reached port Davey and settled at the mouth of the Davey River at Carvers Point, we started planning for next day´s river expedition to the gorges. Port Davey is the ultima thule of cruising in Tasmania waters. There are no roads. Only tracks, airstrips and just one settlement / ranger post in Malaleuca Inlet. The region, a Marine reserve is part of the Tasmanian top conservation priorities.
The whole region has a sweet water layer of about 3 to 10m. Brown dark water with little or no life in it. A rich Marine Life springs at the lower salt-water transparent waters. Special care should be taken by tourism, to observe the bio-security risks to this crisp environment.
We went on a river expedition on our potent dinghy. Ten kilometers up-river there are 3 gorges in succession. Worth the 2 hours ride, provided you negotiate some shallows, rapids and hidden propeller eating rocks. Populated with flocks of Black Swan the nature here is fantastic.
The reflections of the gorges on the calm river, can be stunning and invites you for a drift down enjoying the colors and sounds of the river.
Sailing on the Far South Sea
Where the mountains and the forest meet the Great Southern Pacific Ocean. Where the waves crash endlessly on the sandy beaches and cliff points.
Sailing around the East and West South Capes is a sight for the eyes. Long westerly ocean swells, sunny day and a light breeze, allow us to enjoy the unique geological features of this coastline, with it´s white sandy beaches, islets and cliffs. Kelp land, as they thrive in these waters.
Encrusted in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, the region is isolated from civilization, with no roads or villages to be seen.