[One week remaining of our MAG exhibition at Brighton Central Shopping Centre. So far, a most successful time. Our artists have sold over 56 works and counting.]
Heavenly Hike Around Dove Lake
The pinnacle of the K-T-Y’s (K-Team, the Younger) road trip around Tasmania was Cradle Mountain. I might add here that we’d abandoned my husband (Hubby)in Poatina on a Christian Leaders Training course, while I chauffeured the younger members of our family to the scenic sights in the Central Highlands and East Coast.
So, Sunday January 18, 2009, with Cradle Mountain National Park our goal, we drove the hills, dales, twists and turns. And we fended off near-misses with drivers who apparently didn’t know which side of the road they were meant to be on.
Before entering the National Park, we had to buy The Pass. And the K-Team kids took the opportunity to have some lunch at the café in the Visitors’ Centre.
Then another wait on the sealed but narrow road. We watched the procession of cars squeeze past us as they exited the park. The boom gate took what seemed an eternity to rise. I reminded my “lambs” that good things come to those who wait. However, the only positive my 15-year-old Son 2 could muster was more atheistic zeal to preach to his captive audience.
Finally, the boom gate rose, and I ferried the K-Team Young’uns to a highly sought-after carpark. We piled out of the car, sorted out backpacks, and with the sun warming our backs, commenced the hike around Dove Lake. At first, I had to drag a reluctant Son 2 to join us on this adventure, but soon, wooed by the brilliant scenery, he raced ahead to catch up to his older brother.
This time we hiked the opposite way around the lake from the way we did in 2001. Following the well-trodden path, a small lake emerged.
‘Is this Dove Lake?’ Son 1 asked.
‘I don’t think so,’ I replied. ‘I remember it being bigger than this.’
A sign designated to the pond, confirmed that it wasn’t Dove Lake.
A little further on, we reached the boat house and Cradle Mountain framing the view of Dove Lake. On the shore of pebbles and sand, a photographer perched near his sturdy tripod and SLR camera with telescopic lens, while his wife, long-suffering, sat under a beach umbrella enjoying a novel.
We continued our trek around the lake. Son 2 ceased his drone about the meaninglessness of life, while Son 1 captured the beauty on the little digital camera I had lent him.
We marvelled at the sun sparkling diamonds on ripples of water.
I explained that the tannin from the button grass in the highlands caused the rivers to run the colour of tea.
A cheeky currawong amused the boys.
Every few steps, I stopped and took yet more photos of the lake and the mountain towering above.
Even so, time stood still…
Within an hour, the K-T-Y had reached the halfway mark. What a difference eight years make! What took more than two hours in 2001, half the time this time.
More magical drifting. See, I wasn’t hiking; the path was easy, the views spectacular. My film camera took over.
Tea-stained ripples by the shore.
The knotted trunks of the emerging rainforest.
‘I’m in camera-heaven!’ I sighed as I caught up to Son 1 who was also clicking away on his camera.
The deep blue of Dove Lake dazzled us.
Further on, a passing parade of hikers lead by a tour-guide directed my view to Cradle Mountain through a tangle of vegetation.
Then Dove Lake again framed by twisted and thirsty trees.
A couple approached us. ‘How far?’
I looked at my watch. ‘I don’t know, but we’ve been walking about an hour and a half, so, at least that.’
‘Hmmm, we’ve only just begun,’ the man said and then passed us.
My sons raced ahead, eager with the end of the hike in sight.
Dove Lake winked through the trees. Yes, our hike was almost done.
I caught up to the K-young’uns. ‘Took us two hours this time.’
‘Dad’ll never believe us,’ Son 1 said.
Over a hotel dinner at Deloraine, the result of the boys needing a “dunny stop” and me not wanting to cook tea that night, we reminisced the tale of two Cradle Mountain trips. And Son 2 had to admit that the hike around Dove Lake this time was not bad. And maybe, just maybe, there was a God who created this amazing world.
© Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2019; updated 2022
Feature Painting (watercolour): Classic Cradle Mountain and Dove Lake (minus the tangle of forest) © L.M. Kling 2009]
NB. This painting of mine is available as an unframed painting at our MAG exhibition at Brighton Central, until October 30, 2022.
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