Story Behind the Art–Cradle Mountain

[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.

[Photo 1: Our goal to view, Cradle Mountain © L.M. Kling 2009]

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.

[Photo 2: Small Lake © L.M. Kling 2009]

‘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.

[Photo 3: Boat House, Dove Lake and Cradle Mountain © L.M. Kling 2009]

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.

[Photo 4: Diamonds on the water © L.M. Kling 2009]

I explained that the tannin from the button grass in the highlands caused the rivers to run the colour of tea.

[Photo 5: Rivers of tea-coloured water © L.M. Kling 2009]

A cheeky currawong amused the boys.

[Photo 6: Cheeky currawong © L.M. Kling 2009]

Every few steps, I stopped and took yet more photos of the lake and the mountain towering above.

[Photos 7, 8 & 9: Views along the way: Cradle Mountain (7), Roots (8), and Flower (9) © L.M. Kling 2009]

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.

[10. Halfway © L.M. Kling 2009]

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.

[Photo 10: Ripples on shore © L.M. Kling 2009]

The knotted trunks of the emerging rainforest.

[Photo 11: Rainforest edge © L.M. Kling 2009]

‘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.

[Photo 12: Deep blue water © L.M. Kling 2009]

Further on, a passing parade of hikers lead by a tour-guide directed my view to Cradle Mountain through a tangle of vegetation.

[Photo 13 & 14: Cradle Mountain Framed by forest © L.M. Kling 2009]

Then Dove Lake again framed by twisted and thirsty trees.

[Photo 15: Dove Lake framed © L.M. Kling 2009]

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.

[Photo 16: Thirsty Bushes © L.M. Kling 2009]

Dove Lake winked through the trees. Yes, our hike was almost done.

[Photo 17: Almost there © L.M. Kling 2009]

I caught up to the K-young’uns. ‘Took us two hours this time.’

‘Dad’ll never believe us,’ Son 1 said.

[Photo 18: Days end at Deloraine © L.M. Kling 2009]

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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K-Team Tassie Adventures–Tahune Airwalk

[Our Summer, here in Australia has continued to be filled with drama. This whole Covid-thing is like a bad relationship in which we are trapped. Pretty disturbing when game-set-and match of Dokevich verses Australian government is more entertaining news than the actual tennis. Let’s just say, as an Australian, I feel as if I’m stuck in the middle of the dystopian universe of Huxley’s Brave New World. So, where else can one escape, but virtually from all this mass psychosis to memories of Tahune Airwalk, in Southern Tasmania. Ah those were the days…]                                

Tree-Top Highlights

The K-men were up by 7am and already packing for the Tahune Tree-Top walk—a highlight all by itself as far as I was concerned. Usually, as the woman, I’m the one doing all that while the men lounge around looking stressed at the mere fact that they have to get up so early. But not this day. Brother P1 packed the lunches. My husband packed the bags. And Cousin P2 washed the dishes. All while I sat on the 3-seater-lounge and relaxed. Bonus!

[Photo 1: Memories of 2009 visit with K-Team, the Younger (K-T-Y). Airwalk through the trees © L.M. Kling 2009]

Besides, I felt tired and my throat itched. Not a good sign.

The road down south through the Huon Valley made me sleepy. Once past Geeveston, the speed limit slowed to a leisurely 60 kilometres per hour.

[Photo 2: Yes, I’d been to the Huon Valley before in 1981. Apple picking in Judbury. View of the Great Western Wilderness from the Huon River near Judbury © L.M. Kling (nee Trudinger) 1981]
[Photo 3: Coffee Break on banks of Huon River with K-Team the Even younger and my mum in 1995 © L.M. Kling 1995]

‘I wonder why the speed’s so low,’ P1 remarked.

‘Must’ve had an accident,’ I said.

‘Yeah, they have one accident and they push for the speed to be reduced.’

I yawned. ‘Yep.’

As the way to Tahune became slower and wound around the Temperate Forest terrain, rain spattered on the windscreen and my eyes drooped and I fell asleep. After all, this was my third visit to the Tahune Air Walk.

[Photo 4: A sunny day in 2009—Tributary of the Huon in Tahune Rainforest © L.M. Kling 2009]

My husband’s voice woke me up. ‘We’ve come at a good time. They’re celebrating 100 years of National parks in Tasmania and we get to go into all the national parks for free during the Tasmanian school holidays.’

‘Well, your mum timed the planning of the trip very well,’ I replied as we rolled into the visitors’ carpark. ‘Good timing too, it’s 10.30am and the park opened at 10am.’

[Photo 5: Speaking of mums, visit to Tahune Treetop Walk with my mum in 2013. Also rainy that day. Glad we had our ponchos © L.M. Kling 2013]

Armed with our rain jackets, layers of clothing and boots for hiking, we trooped to the Information Centre and Souvenir Shop to pay for access to the Air Walk. The National Park Pass only covers entry to National parks, not the Tahune Air Walk which costs $28 per adult. The park manager explained that the fee includes the tree-top walkways, a counter-lever (an over-hanging construction) and two swinging bridges.

Now one thing one must know about the K-Team, they have to get their money’s worth. And true to form, that day, we did indeed receive value for our money.

[Photo 6: Value For Money and Money from the Counter-Lever © L.M. Kling 2016]

Right from the start, as we stepped out the centre door, the rain eased. First point of interest, how high the river rose during the floods in July. My husband pointed at the measuring post where the mark indicated the waters rose two metres above the height of the bridge. Then for the next twenty minutes, he repeated, ‘Two metres above the bridge, wow, that’s a flood.’

[Photo 7: Height of the flood © L.M. Kling 2016]

We trekked the paths of Tahune through the temperate rainforest, above the forest, and along the rushing tea-stained waters of the Huon.

[Photo 8: Tea-Stained Waters of the Huon© L.M. Kling 2016]

‘How come the water’s brown?’ P1 asked.

‘The highland button-grass colours the water,’ Hubby explained.

‘So there’s nothing wrong with the toilets back at the visitors’ centre,’ I said.

P1 nodded. ‘I wondered about that.’

P2 laughed.

[Photo 9: Temperate Rainforest from below© L.M. Kling 2016]

We hiked for two hours fascinated by the abundance and variety of plant-life in the forest. We pointed out the Huon pine tree, the river lapping at its roots.

‘The oldest Huon Pine is said to have lived for three thousand years,’ Hubby said. ‘This tree’s only a few hundred years old, so young in comparison. They grow only one millimetre in width a year.’

[Photo 10: Huon Pine By the River © L.M. Kling 2016]

Also in the forest we saw, King Billy Pines, Myrtle, Sassafras and Blackwood trees as well as a range of ferns and native laurel.

We viewed the forest from above on the air walk, a sturdy construction made of metal. We stepped, single-file along the counter-lever to obtain the best view of the meeting of two rivers. A man lingered behind. ‘I’m not going on that thing,’ he said, ‘It’s not safe.’

[Photo 11: Forest from Above © L.M. Kling 2016]

Two children pushed past us and raced to the end of the counter-lever. The metal clanged as they raced back while tussling with each other.

Their mother raised her hands and snapped, ‘Careful!’

[Photo 12: The Counter-lever © L.M. Kling 2016]

P1 peered up at the magnificent Stringy Bark eucalyptus tree towering above us, then he lifted his camera and snapped a shot. ‘I reckon that’s the tree I saw from the other side of the river,’ he said.

On solid earth again, the girth and height of another stringy bark tree dwarfed us. A deck had been constructed around the base of that tree so we could stand in front of it and have our photo taken without damaging the roots.

[Photo 13: How big is that Stringy Bark? © L.M. Kling 2016]

We lunched in a picnic hut near a clearing. My husband made a friend of a Currawong bird. As this black bird studied our food with its bright yellow eyes, he said, ‘It’s like our crow in South Australia, but a different species.’

I filmed Hubby hand-feeding the bird. ‘Look, a new friend for you,’ I remarked.

[Photo 14: More Rainforest © L.M. Kling 2016]

Once we’d packed up, P1 announced, ‘Right, now for the swinging bridges.’

We trekked about 45 minutes to the bridges. Seemed to take forever. A boy and girl in their tweens, jogged past us.

Finally, we reached the bridge and began to cross. On the other side the kids we’d seen jogging sat on a bench the other side licking ice-cream. When we reached the other side, they raced off, jogging again. Where do they get the energy?

[Photo 15: Swing Bridge © L.M. Kling 2016]

Checked the lookout where the Picton and Huon rivers meet. Then crossed the second swinging bridge. Husband rocked the bridge, but it didn’t worry me. Not good for taking photos, though.

[Photo 16: Where the Rivers Meet down below © L.M. Kling 2016]

He then stomped up to me. ‘Look, no hands.’

Well, good for him. ‘I need to hold on.’

As we completed our four-hour walk the rain plummeted to the silty path. The K-Team’s mission had succeeded. The Tahune Air Walk—well worth the cost and the effort. And an added blessing, my threatening head-cold had taken a hike and been lost in the forest of the Tahune.

[Photo 17: Calmer Waters, Huon River © L.M. Kling 2016]

© Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2017; updated 2020; 2022

Feature Photo: View Where the Rivers Meet. Taken from the Tahune Air Walk © Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2016


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K-T-Y Tassie Adventures–Wineglass Bay

Wineglass Bay, Freycinet Peninsula

[ January 2009, and my turn to be the Team Leader of K-Team, the Younger (K-T-Y), who were teenagers; one, of whom was a certain 15-year-old son who would’ve preferred to be playing computer games rather than travelling around Tasmania. This time the K-T-Y team venture to Coles Bay on the Freycinet Peninsula which is on the East Coast of Tasmania.]

We need an Aussie “Brat Camp, I thought as we trudged up the steep path. The best beach in the world, but did Son 2 care?

I turned and yelled, ‘Come on, son!’

My 15-year-old Son 2 shuffled up the slope, his head shrouded in emo black hair bent as he stared at the gravel. A cry sounding like a demented “Chewbacca” echoed through the valley, ‘It’s too hard!’

Son 1 and girlfriend had raced ahead.

‘Hurry up! We’re being left behind,’ I waved my arms about, ‘it’s getting late!’

‘Urgh! There’s flies!’ Son 2 batted the air around his face. ‘I need a rest! I’m tired!’

[Photo 1: Oyster Bay to the West with Maria Island © L.M. Kling 2001]

I stumped back to my son who then leaned against a rail. Oyster Bay glistened blue in the afternoon light and boats with white sails bobbed on the water. I was beginning to appreciate the effort and patience my Dad took to take my brother, cousins and me on safari all those years ago in 1981; our adventures documented in Trekking with the T-Team: Central Australian Safari 1981.

I waved a hand over the scene. ‘How can you not appreciate that view?’

Son 2 grunted.

‘It’s better on the other side,’ I said remembering our previous foray eight years earlier up and over the rise of the peninsula to Wineglass Bay.

[Photo 2: Memories of Wineglass Bay © L.M. Kling 2001]

Another grunt, then, ‘Okay, let’s go.’

We trod up the path.

I imagined Son 1 and girlfriend way ahead. But there, at the next lookout, Son 1 bent down, hands on knees, his girlfriend patting him on the back.

‘What’s wrong?’ I asked.

‘I don’t feel so well,’ Son 1 said. ‘I feel dizzy.’

Plan to hike to Wineglass Bay postponed until next morning, we trudged down to the car, and then drove the 20 minutes back to our cabin at Coles Bay Caravan Park. Son 2 grizzled all the way back. ‘Oh, why can’t we? I was just getting into it.’

[Photo 3: Compensation: Sunset on Coles Bay Beach © L.M. Kling 2009]


Bright and early next morning, the K-T-Y team made their second attempt to hike to Wineglass Bay. What a difference a good night’s sleep and early start make? So much easier; the air still cool from the night, and no mosquitos. In 2001, when a much younger K-T-Y team tackled the hike up and over the hummocks to Wineglass Bay, huge mosquitos, hovered around us. The route to the lookout over the bay seemed different, too; not as strenuous. Or was I just more fit?

[Photo 4: The seat of rest © L.M. Kling 2001]
[Photo 5: Umbrella Rock © L.M. Kling 2009]

Son 1 tried to catch tadpoles with his fingers while Son 2 rested on a crazy seat. I enjoyed photographing a cave nearby. After the umbrella rock, a narrow-slatted path lead to the lookout already crammed with other hikers.

Wineglass Bay in all its morning glory wooed us and once I had my turn to snap a few shots of the bay, we trod down the steep and slippery path to the beach. More amazing views through the trees and I unfurled my camera from its case. ‘O-oh,’ I checked the settings, ‘I must’ve had the camera set for the cave still.’ I realised that all the Wineglass Bay photos from up there would be over-exposed. Must take shots on way back.

[Photo 6, 7 & 8: Aspects of Wineglass Bay from Lookout © L.M. Kling 2009]

I remembered the time we enjoyed back in 2001, the boys playing pirates on the rocks, Mr. K and me relaxing on the shore of white sand watching clear cold waves crash to shore.

[Photos 9, 10 & 11: Memories of Wineglass Bay Play © L.M. Kling 2001]

This time, in 2009, we spent about 30 to 45 minutes at the beach, scrambling over the rocks, sitting and eating our nuts and chocolate, and taking oodles of photos. The kids hunted for fish, crabs and starfish. Son 1 chased fish with his camera, while Son 2 avoided the lens and disappeared.

[Photos 12, 13 & 14: Catching sea creatures with camera © W.A. Kling 2009]

12. Fishy
13. Spot the starfish
14. Spot the Crab

I wandered over the black rugged boulders in search of Son 2. There in the distance, he appeared, stepping awkwardly from rock to rock, and then, in slow motion tumbling over.

[Photos 15: If hiking over the steep hill is not your thing, you can take a sailboat cruise to Wineglass Bay © L.M. Kling 2009]

‘Are you alright?’ I called. I had visions of broken arms, legs, and face all smashed up.

Son 2 emerged, again awkwardly stepping from rock to rock. ‘I’m fine,’ he replied.

[Photo 16: Stitched together (not perfect as you can see): A wide-angle view of Wineglass Bay. A several-day hiking trek exists for those who are game © L.M. Kling 2009]

We battled the stiff return climb up the hill and then relaxed as we trotted down the slope. The early afternoon sun shone on Oyster Bay and speed boats tracked across the water. And, once again, Son 2 was glad he’d ventured to Wineglass Bay.

[Photo 17: Up and over, view of Oyster Bay © L.M. Kling 2009]

© Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2019; updated 2022

Feature Photo: Best Beach in the World © L.M. Kling 2009


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