Sensation Gorge Falls 2018 Sept 10th.
Sensation Gorge has an appropriate name, for it is, indeed, sensational. Yet at the same time, it is also serene. This seems almost a contradiction, but I did feel in the presence of something excitingly spectacular, whilst also having the impression I was encompassed by serenity. The grandeur of the gorge, emanating from a placid little stream minding its own business until it met with a mighty drop was somehow set within a context of great peacefulness. Birds sang; the Overflow Creek (now, there’s an unexciting name if ever I heard one) gurgled; the rich mosses did their shiny green beautiful thing. It was a wonderful day …. except that beautiful days are not generally good for photography of waterfalls.
I am having a little problem at the minute, as days that are considered good for photography (dull ones, perhaps with a little gloomy drizzle) are days that just make we want to stay at home and mope. Days like today, where the sun shines and the world is good and I feel like going places, happen to be the worst sort of days for my hobby of photography. If you arrive at your waterfall at around lunchtime on a sunny day, the dynamic range between the glare of the water and the darkness of the deep shade poses a problem, even if one comes armed with polarisers and other filters. I knew this would be a problem, but it was such a lovely day, I wanted to do something pleasant on it.
I parked the car and set out along the stream on the eastern side. A little pad was discernible, and soon enough, tapes appeared. They led all the way to the base of the second falls (pictured here). This is not a tourist route, however, even though someone has put tapes out. The going was so steep and slippery in the final descent that I had to stop and fix my tripod to my pack to free up my second hand, and on the way back up, I actually started sliding backwards, despite wearing proper bushwalking boots. Don’t consider this route in anything other than boots, and only do it if you are comfortable with steep, slippery slopes. It took me approximately fifteen minutes in each direction. I needed two hands for the steep part, both up and down. I eyed the upper falls longingly, but could not see a way to their base, and the sun was shining on them quite vigorously, so didn’t even bother with a shot from above. This was a nice little excursion from Launceston. Tessa and I had lunch, cake and coffee on the way home, and had the afternoon free to cart barrow loads of mulch onto the garden, and even to have a run in the gorge. I’m afraid thirty minutes’ exercise doesn’t keep me happy for a day’s tally.
(No. I did not climb up the cliffs on the other side. That is some glitch in the gps tracking. )
Coda to this symphony: On Sept 30th, I returned to this spot ready to climb to the base of the upper falls with my friend Carrie. We got there, and were very happy (as some had said it could only be shot with a drone, or from above). However, in the couple of weeks since I was last there, and despite rain in the interim, the falls were a dastardly trickle. We’ll have to go back after much more rain and get our tootsies a lot wetter – but at least we’ve bagged the base. Here’s what we saw: