Tasmania – Out and About in the North West 14 – 17 April 2018

I had travelled to Tasmania to do a walk across the Central Plateau. Roger, a good friend was also on his way to Tasmania, taking his car across with him on the boat, and in a few days we would meet up and seat our walk. Before that I was visiting my sister and brother in law and staying at their house at West Ulverstone.

The weather, when I arrived was atrocious! Very cold and very windy – with some rain thrown in. Higher up in the mountains it was snowing. I spent the first day after I arrived indoors. In the late afternoon, in a break between the squalls – we walked down the drive and crossed the road to the seashore. The coast here is normally very protected – but today there were quite substantial waves. The geology and wildlife is interesting here – the coast is part of the Three Sisters – Goat Island Nature Reserve

The next day, the weather had improved enough for us to venture out. Short day walks seemed a good idea. We first when to Dooleys Hill, an area of natural bush at Latrobe. There we had a nice walk through the forest. I had my camera and tripod out, and at one spot we bumped into another person photographing the fungi. It was Herman, a local fungiphile and an expert on Dooelys Hill. I knew his name from the Tasmanian Fungi Facebook page. It was good to meet him – and he went out of  way to show me some interesting species. A pdf guide for the walks at Dooleys Hill is available here.

One species that I found two examples of at Dooelsy Hill is Cordyceps takaomontana. For ne of these the host (a beetle larva) was visible.

Cordyceps takaomontana

We then retreated indoors to an interesting shop in Latrobe. It sold things like clocks, puzzles, jewellery, suits of armour, books. On one wall was a tardis. If you opened the door – you could go through to a section that sold Dr Who and Star Wars merchandise.

Later, after lunch, my brother in law, suggested a visit to the track that goes up to Mt Montgomery and Mt Gnomon in the Dial Range. This was nt far away – in the hills behind Penguin. The first section of the track, known as Ferndene, passes through rainforest as it climbs up to two old mineshafts. He thought it would be good fungi habitat. It was. Lots of fungi was out in the moist forest.

This had wetted my appetite for fungi. My sister had suggested some places to visit the next day, and I chose Philosophers Falls near Waratah in the Tarkine.

This was an excellent place! The fungi was magnificent – lots of colourful and interesting species were out. Also – the waterfall was very spectacular after the spell of bad weather. We also seemed to avoid rain on the day.

The walk from the carpark to the falls is not very long. The first section passes through beautiful rainforest. This is where most of the fungi was. Then it descended to the Arthur River and crossed it on a bridge. Then it followed an old mine race for a few hundred metres and then descended very steeply down wooden stairs to an observation deck.

Philosophers Falls

The next day. My sister showed me a small park near Burnie called Fernglade. As we were looking for fungi, we again bumped into another local fungi aficionado. This was Adrian, and he pointed out a number of fungi, including the rarely seen Chlorociboria aeruginascens. These are small green tack like fungi that grow on wood.

Chlorociboria aeruginascens

More photos are online here on my website.

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