Wednesday, February 2, 2011

New Zealand & Australia 8: Hobart and Tahune Airwalk

They were having lots of rain and flooding in Australia when we were there.  Fortunately the flooding was north of us, but we woke up most mornings to overcast skies.

That did not deter the bus driver on this foggy day from driving us up a mountain top to enjoy a "fabulous" view of the area around Hobart.  Since he made the effort, I felt it my duty to record the "marvelous" view before we got back on the bus.

The real reason for our excursion was to experience this treetop view of a forest called the Tahune Forest Airwalk.

Tahune Forest is about an hour or so south and west of Hobart, one of the main cities on Australia's island state of Tasmania.  

The Airwalk, located 120 feet above the floor of this Eucalyptus forest, runs for about four tenths of a mile.

Even at a hundred feet off the ground, the treetops still towered above us.

This part of the Airwalk is cantilevered out overlooking the river.  It wobbled from side to side a bit, otherwise it felt safe.

Here's a view of the river taken from the end of the cantilevered portion.

Several couples asked me to take their picture at the end of the cantilevered part.  I did.  

When I had finished, the blond on the right asked me to take her picture, too.  I did.  After looking at the image, she handed her camera back to me and asked me to take another one.

"I want more of me, less scenery," she said.  

Okay, I got it.  This was all about her.  I decided to play with her a bit.  

"Stick your hip out and throw me a pose," I said, tossing off some modeling jargon as I repositioned her camera in front of her again.

She knew exactly what I was talking about.  She gave me poses like a pro.  I took five or six pictures of her,  then handed the camera back to her and made my leave.


Later, a lady on the bus said she had enjoyed watching me work with the young woman, and asked me if I were a professional photographer.  It was a nice compliment.

Another view of the Airwalk from below.

Our hour and a half hike included two swinging suspension bridges.  

I found the motion of them a bit unnerving at first because of the motion, which occurred in all directions: Up and down, back and forth, and side to side.  However, it didn't take long before I found myself accustomed to the motion and I did fine.
All in all, I take my hat off to the engineers responsible for the design of these swinging bridges.  They came up with a strong, safe solution that did the job nicely, with minimal materials and impact on the environment.

Later that afternoon, about the time Melony and I sat down to dinner at 6 pm, we set sail for Melbourne.

Next, we ride the Puffing Billy narrow gauge steam train in Melbourne.
Continue on to Post 9: Melbourne's Puffing Billy Train by clicking here.


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