Collins Bonnet; 1261m; Abel# 78
Trestle Mountain; 1164m; Abel #117
With nothing better to do on a Sunday in January we decided to walk up Collins Bonnet (also known as the Sleeping Beauty) and the adjacent Trestle Mountain. There are a number of ways you can take to reach the start of the track up to Collins Bonnet. We chose the Mountain River side as it the longest and has the greatest gain in elevation. This is an old fire trail that hasn’t been used for some time and makes it was up towards the East West Trail in Wellington Park. There are a few large trees blocking some sections of the track but overall it is in good condition and very easy to follow. There are a couple of smaller creeks that had plenty of fresh running water, even in the middle of January. After a consistent climb the candle heath begin to appear and the view opens up to reveal Trestle Mountain on your left and Collins Bonnet on your right. The track then climbs for a little bit longer before you reach the East West trail.
We chose to summit Trestle Mountain first so we turned left and followed the road until we reach the sign indicating the start of the track. The climb was fairly straight forward with a couple of sections involving a bit of rock scrambling. After a bite of lunch we went back down to the East West trail and headed in the direction of Collins Bonnet. A short time later the road forks with one road leading up towards Collins Bonnet and the other road (Collins Cap Trail) heading down towards Collins Cap and the Suhrs Road carpark in Collinsvale. Continue walking up past a hut and you will find the start of the Collins Bonnet track marked by cairns on your right. The climb up is pretty easy and from memory has only one sections that requires some rock scrambling. The view of the Huon Valley from the top is definitely worth the effort. Although not a very challenging walk I did enjoy the scenery and the abundance of flowering natives. We were lucky enough to also see a couple of Wedge Tails and some Black Cockatoos up close.
Unfortunately I did not have my GPS on me but I think it took ~7 hours with plenty of stops for photos. All up around 18kms with a 1300m ascent according to the Walk the Huon Page.
Getting there: As I mentioned there are a number of ways to reach the start of the Collins Bonnet and Trestle Mountain walks. The walk from Mountain River is probably the most challenging however I have not walked from the other locations.
From Mounatin River: Turn right onto Mountain River Road at the Grove shop on the Huon Highway. Follow this road all the way to the end where you will see a boom gate and an adjacent private driveway indicating the start of the track.
From Collinsvale: Drive up Collins Cap Road until you reach Suhrs Road and follow to the carpark. Walk up along the Collins Cap Trail until you reach a T intersection and the East West trail. Turn left to head in the Collins Bonnet direction or right to head towards Trestle Mountain. Access to the East West trail can also be reached from the Myrtle Forest carpark in Collinsvale.
From Mt Wellington: Drive up Pinnacle Road until you reach the Big Bend and the start of the Big Bend Trail. Continue on this trail past Mt Connection until you reach the East West trail and follow towards Collins Bonnet.
You can also access the start of these walks in a 4×4 by obtaining a gate key and permit from Parks and Wildlife.