Disappearing Tarn on Kunanyi / Mt Wellington. May 2018.
Why were so many people gathered at Disappearing Tarn on Friday morning, when Kunanyi / Mt Wellington had been declared closed, and when bulldogs were guarding the road that gave the easiest approach (the one to The Springs), just to make sure the citizens didn’t get to enjoy this intriguing and beautiful natural phenomenon? Why were we so very rebellious? And why was everyone I spoke to so particularly antipathetic towards their local politicians? Being a resident of Launceston, I don’t hold the particular gripes ailing the Hobartians at present, but I do utterly loath the fact that my country has become a Nannyland, where people in local and regional power opine that they have the right to think for me, and where I am thus reduced to the lowest possible common denominator of intellectual and physical capabilities; when I am disallowed from activities or sights (and sites) because they would harm Jo Blogs, who can neither walk nor think, and who has utterly no discretion, judgement, or personal responsibility. If I want a nanny or a mother, I’ll go get one of my choice. Such a person would be wise, informed and intelligent. I do not want to be told how to be human by a bunch of pretenders who have risen to power because the indolent population voted for free beer on Sundays.
The worthy citizens of all ages, shapes, abilities and sizes had made the monstrous effort of getting there not just to be rebellious, however (I am sure). I presume that lying beneath that refusal to be told what is and isn’t dangerous or worth their attention, lay a genuine desire to see something amazing and beautiful. The very ephemerality of this tarn – its cute disappearing trick – no doubt kindled our desire not to delay in the slightest. And, of course, it isn’t just that a tarn materialises for a while and then vanishes, but we wanted to see the wonderful colour of this tarn, lying innocently up there amongst the rocks, supporting a dainty grove of trees. What do we call this blue? If you research shades of blue in the web, no two sites seem to agree on the shade of any particular name. I am hoping that cobalt or lapis do the trick. You can see my photos and name the colour for yourself. Any offerings in the comment section will be appreciated.
In terms of getting there, by the time this is published, the mountain will probably be opened again, and the tarn may well have also vanished. I will publish my route so that if conditions repeat, you can use the same one if you sneak past watchful cerberus characters down below. It begins with a very steep walk straight up the spur from Fern Tree to The Springs (which took me 27 mins with my camera gear). One then follows the Milles Track, roughly on contour – but don’t get excited; it makes up for being flat by being very, very hazardous underfoot, with sockerball, football and potato mini-boulders to work around or trip on – heading for signs that say “Wellington Falls”. After 52 minutes, the tarn was just above me. I couldn’t see it, but I could see a depression in the rocks, suggestive of a tarn, and, perhaps luckily, two people heading down that way, so that clinched the deal. I didn’t bother checking my gps; I just followed them. I had driven down from Launceston, and refuelled at Daci and daci to compensate for the early breakfast, so didn’t get started until 10 a.m. This meant that, as usual, I got very hungry, as the place begged you to stay a while, and the people there were friendly, and had plenty to discuss (politics).