The time had come for us to take our leave of the sleepy seaside town of Strahan and head to Tasmania’s capital. Our route took us via Queenstown, a mining town at the gateway to the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park. Overnight lows prevented us tearing along the windy route, with black ice dotted along the roads where sunlight rarely settled.
En route we took a pit stop in the small township of Tarraleah, described in Lonely Planet as a surreal town. Originally settled to accommodate the many workers at the hydro station, it has since become little else other than a bizarre settlement.
Several buildings dot the top of the mountain overlooking the massive hydro scheme infrastructure, built in the 1930s. The town itself has no residents now, but is home to Australia’s highest altitude golf course! A multi-million dollar makeover has since homogenised the township giving it its odd theme park feel.
Driving through the town's few streets, there was a genuine ghost town atmosphere. This place was a dead cert for tidiest town – no cars, no people, no mess.
The entire township has been completely restored and one could be forgiven for thinking you had just been time shifted to the 1930s. Accommodation is readily available, with the lodge providing meals and a café providing coffee, cake and little else. Asking for a vegemite sandwich for the short one required a staff conference of two to ascertain:
a. could it be done
b. what it was and
c. how much to charge...
Perhaps we had landed in some parallel universe.
If you are ever down that way, it is most certainly worthwhile taking the short bypass to check out this bizarre little place!
|Tarraleah's resident geese|
|Hydro scheme, Tarraleah lookout|
|Tarraleah, tidy town|