Day 19 and the Henty Glacial Erratics State Reserve VKFF-1805

It was now day 19 (Sunday 13th November 2022) and we had a trip booked for a boat cruise on the Gordon River.

The trip took us to Hells Gates which is the narrow entry from Macquarie Harbor to the open water of the Southern Ocean. The name relates to the convicts’ claim that it was their point of “entrance to Hell’, their Hell being the penal station on Sarah Island. 

We sailed passed the Bonnet Island lighthouse and the Entrance Island lighthouse. Both lighthouses were constructed in 1891.

The cruise also took us passed Liberty Point and the aquaculture pens which are stocked with Atlantic salmon and Ocean Trout.

We then visited Sarah Island which was one of Australia’s harshest convict settlements. The Macquarie Harbour Penal Station on Sarah Island operated between 1822 and 1833. Sarah Island took the worst convicts including those who had reoffended and those who had escaped from other settlements.

Conditions on the island were extremely poor with malnutrition, dysentery and scurvy being common. Punishment at Sarah Island included solitary confinement and regular floggings. It was reported that in 1823 a total of 9,100 lashes were given. In 1824 a prisoner named Trenham stabbed another convict in order to be executed rather than face further imprisonment at Macquarie Harbour Penal Station.

Below is an excellent 20 minute video on the Macquarie Harbour Penal Settlement.

We then returned to the boat and sailed down the famous Gordon River. The river is 172 km in length and is part of Tasmania’s World Heritage Wilderness.

We then stopped at a Heritage landing and took a guided tour along a wooden boardwalk through the rainforest.

The boat then made its way back to Strahan where we left the boat and visited Morrison’s Huon pine sawmill. Huon pine only grows in Tasmania and predominantly on the West Coast and in the South West. The Morrison’s sawmill had been in operation on the site at Strahan since the early 1940s.

It was mid afternoon and we decided to go for a bit of a drive to activate a park. We decided upon the Henty Glacial Erratics State Reserve VKFF-1805, which according to the parksnpeaks app was one of the closest parks, about 48 km away.

Above:- Map showing the location of the Henty Glacial Erratics State Reserve. Map c/o Google maps.

The Henty Glacial Erratics State Reserve is located on the eastern side of the Zeehan Highway near the junction with Anthony Road.

Above:- An aerial view of the Henty Glacial Erratics State Reserve. Image c/o Google maps.

The park was gazetted on the 30th day of July 2001.

The park is located in the district of Henty which was named in honour of Mr. William Henty (b. 1808. d. 1881) who was the Colonial Secretary (1857-1862).

Above:- William Henty. Image c/o Wikipedia.

During the Pleistocene epoch, Tasmania was affected by multiple periods of glacial activity with large ice sheets covering much of central and western Tasmania. The Henty Glacial Erratics State Reserve is located at what was the western limit of ice during the Henty glacial event about 34,600 years ago. As the ice sheet melted, rock debris, including large boulders called glacial erratics, and clay that were once entrained in the ice were deposited as glacial tilt.

There is a short walk with some unique glacial features and interpretive signs.

Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3PF
  2. VK3DAE
  3. VK2IO/p (Wallumatta Nature Reserve VKFF-2012)
  4. VK5FANA
  5. VK2YAK
  6. VK4YAK
  7. VK3VIN
  8. VK3UH
  9. VK3GJG
  10. VK3DFG
  11. VK3ZPF/p (Dandenong Ranges National Park VKFF-0132)
  12. VK5BJE

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3PF
  2. VK3DAE
  3. VK2IO/p (Wallumatta Nature Reserve VKFF-2012)
  4. VK5FANA
  5. VK2YAK
  6. VK4YAK
  7. VK3VIN
  8. VK3UH
  9. VK3GJG
  10. VK3DFG
  11. VK3ZPF/p (Dandenong Ranges National Park VKFF-0132)
  12. VK3JW/p (Dandenong Ranges National Park VKFF-0132)
  13. VK2NP
  14. VK5BJE
  15. VK5CZ
  16. VK7AOE
  17. VK3LF/m
  18. VK7RA
  19. VK4TJ
  20. VK5AYL
  21. VK3NP
  22. VK2MI
  23. VK2YK
  24. VK5GA

I worked the following stations on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK4TJ
  2. IK4IDF
  3. IW2NXI
  4. VK4NH
  5. VK4DXA
  6. VK4KC
  7. VK4MAD
  8. VK4DOG
  9. DL2ND
  10. VK4MUD
  11. IK1GPG
  12. VK4CZ
  13. F1BLL
  14. VK4MWL
  15. ZL3MR
  16. ZL1TM
  17. OH6GAZ
  18. OH1MM
  19. OH5EP
  20. ZL1BQD
  21. OH1XT
  22. VK4APV
  23. IZ5JMZ
  24. DK4RM

We packed up and headed back into Strahan. We stopped briefly at the Ocean Beach and Henty Dunes lookout to enjoy the views.

That evening we went out for dinner at the hotel in Strahan.

References.

  1. Lighthouses of Australia Inc, 2023, <https://lighthouses.org.au/tas/bonnet-island-lighthouse/>, viewed 4th January 2023.
  2. Morrison’s Huon Pine Sawmill, 2023, <https://morrisonshuonpine.com.au/about-us/>, viewed 4th January 2023.
  3. Wikipedia, 2023, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hells_Gates_(Tasmania)>, viewed 4th January 2023.
  4. Wikipedia, 2023, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macquarie_Harbour_Penal_Station>, viewed 4th January 2023.

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