In the end I didn’t dream about Cradle Mountain, but about having to embark on a crime-fighting adventure with the Muppets. It was a great dream and some of the song and dance numbers were amazing, but still – a little odd.
I found moving around a bit difficult this morning, and couldn’t quite wake up. We had to leave Lemonthyme and Dianne, our wonderful host, and hit the road east. Near Mole Creek we took a detour for a visit to the Marakoopa Cave, one of the Mole Creek Karst formations and one of the most wonderful places I have ever been. For a small sum we had a guided tour of the underground rivers and glow-worm cave – magical. The scope of the caves and the massive timescale that they operate on is phenomenal. Each stalactite and stalagmite grows at a rate of one to two centimetres per century. Some of the formations we saw were metres and metres long – thirty metres in some places. It was wonderful. The final point of the tour was the glow worm cave, where Al our guide switched off all the lights so we could see the hundreds of tiny speckles of light that scattered across the ceiling.
From Marakoopa we drove back through Mole Creek to Deloraine, where we stopped briefly for lunch before turning south again for Liffey. When Nicole lived in Launceston she said that Liffey was one of her favourite places to go to work off some frustration and to relax. I can quite see why – the walk to the falls was a little challenging (especially to anybody who might have recently done the Crater Lake walk) but the sight at the end was truly magical. A fringey curtain of water tumbles over black rocks while green ferns nod gently alongside. We found a way down into the river bed to explore properly, hopping along the rocks and (in my case) finding out just how waterproof my new boots are. It was a beautiful spot and well worth yet another lengthy bumpy drive down a dirt road. The walk back to the carpark was less fun and more uphill than I had hoped but it didn’t take too much longer than the posted time.
Liffey thus concluded we got back on the road and headed for Launceston. Our home for the next two days would be Auldington, a recently renovated late 19th Century manor house that sits at the top of Frederick street. It is yet another very well restored elderly building; the old fashioned building is pleasantly contrasted by tasteful modern fittings and art on the walls. The building also boasts broadband internet access and we were finally able to jump online and check our emails! A local Italian restaurant offered a well-priced dinner and the cool night offered the perfect opportunity for sleeping.
Day 8 photos
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