Fern glade fairyland

Fern glade fairyland

JANUARY 2018 | Tara Ulbrich

THE FOURTEEN kilometre drive from Mole Creek to Marakoopa Cave has stolen many a heart.

More than one person has described it as the place where their Tasmanian love affair first began.

From the small township, through rural abundance, looking to the ranges on either side of the road, it is easy to be swept into the glory.

A destination, oft overlooked by those pursuing the cave experience, is the Fern Glade Walk.

It starts at the Parks and Wildlife Service Ticket Oˆffice for Marakoopa Cave and leads to the departure point for the tours held throughout the day.

However, to discover the above ground beauty of this place, a guided experience is unnecessary.

The signage describes the walk as a twenty-minute return, but an amble completed in less than thirty has done a disservice to the journey.

Sandals and a sun hat are suitable for this path as the narrow, dolomite track wends its way gently upward through dense fern forest.

Fronds reach to caress your passing and overhead the foliage offers shade, giving an enchanted walker cause to appreciate all dappled things.

Alongside the path flows Marakoopa Creek. These are the combined waters of the Long Stream and Short Stream, which have passed through the caves higher up and will eventually make their way to the Forth River and into the Bass Strait.

Narrow footbridges cross the creek twice. From here look down into the clear torrents, enjoy an auditory bath or ponder platypus.

Take a picnic! To enjoy at either the beginning, where a bbq is provided, or in the lunch shelter at the highest point. Car access is available to both areas.

If you venture on a Sunday, the nearby Marakoopa Café is open for lunch and coee. Make sure to stroll their garden too. In all, expect your heart to skip a beat.

Jade Hallam

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