Creepy Crawly Nature Trail
Southwest National Park
Directions - Located about two hours west of Hobart, take the Brooker Hwy north and follow the signs for New Norfolk. Pass through the town and follow the signs for Westerway and then Mount Field National Park. Pass through Maydena and continue on Gordon River Road until you reach the turnoff for Scotts Peak Road. Follow this for 2km and the car park for the trail is on your left with the trail head on the opposite side of the road.
The Hike - With our three night stay at Lake Pedder having come to an end, the next stop on the Tasmanian road trip was the stunning Lake St Clair. After another warm and cosy breakfast at the lodge, we packed up our things and set about backtracking all the way past Mount Field and Westerway until we reached the route leading north and then west towards the finishing point of the famous Overland Track. With a leisurely three hour drive ahead of us, I suggested a couple of stops along the way to stretch the legs and experience some more trails.
The Creepy Crawly Nature Trail is only 30 minutes from Strathgordon on the road that leads down towards some of the more exciting hikes you can do in Tasmania, including the Mount Anne Circuit and the Western Arthurs Traverse. We would be on the complete opposite end of that spectrum with one of the easiest walks you can do in Tasmania but hopefully I'll return one day to tackle those adventures. Being only 300m long, the one hour return drive from Lake Pedder wasn't really worth it while we were staying there so it made more sense to visit on the way out. This turned out to be the perfect time as the weather was cold and wet so the forest and fungi would be looking a treat. Caris and I had really enjoyed our little forest walk at Lake Pedder so another opportunity to search for weird and wonderful fungi was a treat. Candy and Hal would be joining us for this one so with the cars parked up at the starting point, we all donned our wet weather gear and headed into the forest. From the outside the area doesn't look very interesting with the grey unsealed road and car park not providing a very appealing aesthetic but that all changes once you enter the small gap in the forest.
Immediately you are confronted with a lovely example of a Pandani that seems to be loving the extra light gained from being next to the clearing. From here it is a short gravel path leading towards the boardwalk and where the magic starts to happen. With the cloudy skies and recent rains, this was a lush paradise filled with many different shades of green. As always, I was busy photographing everything I could while the others meandered on ahead of me (or in Hal's case, powered on). Early on there is a very impressive moss covered tree that looks quite ancient and majestic. If you want to experience the stereotypical fairy-tale forest then this certain fits the bill with masses of mossy tree roots, fungi popping out of every corner and a closed in feeling that I absolutely adore. It didn't take long once we were on the boardwalk section to spot the first of many fungi with what could be flammulina velutipes and a small clumping of clavulinopsis sulcata (red coral variety).