Cruisin' the Gordon
Big cruise today, across Macquarie Harbour (6 times bigger than Sydney Harbour, do you mind) and some way up the Gordon River to the UNESCO-listed Franklin-Gordon Wilderness Area in north-west Tasmania.
Within the first 3 hours of a 6-hour cruise, I'd completely flattened a fully-charged camera battery by taking hundreds of picture postcard shots of mountains completely covered by large trees (including the magnificent, highly sought-after but ridiculously slow-growing Huon Pine), mirror-smooth water, pin-sharp reflections and wispy floating fog clouds. Had to then switch to the mobile to grab any uber-picturesque scenes that might pop up. If it were merely spectacular, or right out of left field - sorry, no photo.
During the late 1970s-early 1980s, the Tasmanian government had bold development plans in place to flood the whole area below where the Franklin River meets the Gordon, to power a vast hydro-electric generation network.
Over 1982-1983, the nascent greens/environmental movement effectively blockaded the area to prevent work starting on the project, until the Hawke Federal government eventually intervened and used its external affairs powers to completely quash it.
Just as well. After years of travelling all over the place, I had given up on the idea of travel agents - along with real estate agents and politicians - being inherently capable of imparting simple, objective information to potential clients, with no spin, and no significant omissions or misleading half-truths.
The unrestrained-to-the-point-of-hysterical hype about this long and not particularly inexpensive cruise did give me pause for thought, but ultimately the philosophical notion of do-it-while-you-can-it's-a-no-brainer prevailed. Ably assisted, obviously, by the lavish food available at boarding time, morning tea, lunch, and afternoon tea; plus unlimited free wine, beer, sparkling, and (very good) espresso coffee for the duration.
So where to begin with selecting photos for a Blip?
Best and easiest seemed to be to casually flip through the mass of photos I'd taken until I came up with three that were perfectly publishable on this site.
And perfectly predictably, that didn't take long at all.
Putting it simply and clearly, this place is amazing. Well beyond the hype and the spin.
It's not just that you get to see a whole bunch of immaculate tableaux of trees, mountains, water and fog clouds here, and here, and here, and all around. You also get to do that, then repeat, seemingly ad infinitum. It's totally OTT.
No skeptic, let alone cynic, can help but make some sort of spiritual connection to this environment, and become significantly - even deeply - emotionally immersed in the exquisite beauty of this precious place.
Words simply are not sufficient - they certainly help, but ultimately you could do a lot worse than bang this one somewhere well within the must-do definites on your bucket list.
- Sony DSC-RX100M6