The Fabulous Boat Cruise

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The Gordon River Cruise

After another delightful buffet breakfast we hopped on board the coach for the short trip back down the hill to the catamaran moored only metres from the hotel reception.  I guess some of the older people on the tour could not have climbed down the steps as we had done the night before so the coach brought us all down together. 

The catamatan Lady Jane Franklin ll The Lady Jane Franklin ll is our catamaran
Jean looking down at Ian upon the catamaran Cruising through Macquarie Harbour (Ian at the front)










We climbed on board the catamaran, Lady Jane Franklin ll.  Evergreen Tours had a large section in the middle of the boat reserved for us.  It was explained we could move around any part of the boat except for entering the upper lounge where the first class passengers sit.  We could go out on the front and back decks plus also the deck that was above the first class area.


Seating on the Lady Jane Franklin II

On board the catamaran there are 32 first class seats and 170 second class seats.  Some of those second class seats are up next to the side windows and they cost more than the second class standard seats we had.   A few of the window seats were vacant and I mentioned this to one of the crew members.  He said we could move into them if we wished to pay the $25 extra cost per seat.  We were more than happy to keep our cheaper seats because we could wander outside for the views anyway. Later on we saw quite a few people in those dearer window seats who were fast asleep.  What a waste of $25.


Macquarie Harbour

Lighthouse in Macquarie Harbour The lighthouse close up

We quickly ventured out onto the front deck of the boat.  It was exceedingly blustery and we were afraid we’d have our glasses ripped off our faces by the wind.  We headed out towards Hell’s Gate which is the very treacherous area forming the entrance to Macquarie Harbour.  The other side of Hell’s Gate is the Southern Ocean.  It seems Macquarie Harbour is the second largest in Australia, being 110 square miles in size and six times the size of Sydney Harbour.  The entrance to the harbour is very narrow, being only 60 metres wide.  Because the weather was good we actually went out through the entrance.  If it is bad weather then the boat doesn’t go that far.  The boat then turns around and heads back across the harbour and towards the entrance to the Franklin River.  We learned that the harbour has a mix of salt water and fresh water in it with the salt water laying underneath the fresh water.  How strange.


The chatty boat captain

The captain of the boat was great at his job.  He was so chatty and jokey and we had lots of laughs at his comments.  After we’d been going for a while there were just a few cottages/shacks to be seen on shore.  As we passed one of them the captain joked about how he’d regularly see Mrs. Somebody-or-Other out there in her back garden in her nightie and hair rollers pegging up the washing.  There were lots of things to laugh at.


Masses of things to look at on the cruise

We saw fish farms in the harbour and we passed lighthouses.  The water became still as we entered the Gordon River.  Luckily ours was the first boat up the river that morning so we were sailing into water that was as smooth as a mirror.  The views were spectacular with the rain forest being reflected perfectly in the water.  After a while the boat pulled over and we were all able to disembark to stretch our legs.  There was a board walk to stroll along under a canopy of trees. 

The catamaran is moored and we go and stretch our legs The catamaran is moored
Plants seen as we wander in the forest The temperate rain forest in all its glory









Snake napping in the warmth We saw a snake curled up asleep
Fungi growing on trees in the forest Strange fungi grew from the trees









Fallen trees are now sustaining life Fallen trees covered in plant growth


We were in the Temperate Myrtle Rain Forest. We spotted a black snake curled up sleeping, colourful, unusual plants and different types of fungi growing on trees.  We were shown a 2,300 year old Huon Pine tree. 

The board walk went around in a circle.  At the end of the walk we climbed back on board the boat. Lunch was soon going to be served.




Next page: Lunch and the Sarah Island tour





Soon we will hop off the catamaran and investigate Sarah Island

Ruins on Sarah Island