Reeds Peak; 1290m; Abel#66
We had a couple of free days over the weekend and were looking for a reasonable overnighter. Originally the plan was to do Pindars Peak and La Perouse but decided against it due to average weather. We decided then to do a somewhat less ambitious walk to Reeds Peak and The Great Dome. The plan was to leave early and clear some trees that were down on the road leading to the Wylds Craig track. The sun had just started to come up as we passed Westerway and we were lucky to see about 100 white cockatoos perched in the gumtrees. After what felt like a long drive on gravel roads we reached the the campsite by the Floretine River. From here the road that leads to Wylds Craig begins to climb up-but as expected the road was blocked by trees. We then spent the next hour clearing the road so that when we returned in a few weeks time to climb Wylds Craig we could drive straight to the start of the track.
We then back tracked along Tiger Road until we reached the turnoff to the Lake Rhona. I’d read a number of posts about Lake Rhona saying that it is a very popular walk but didn’t expect the number of cars that were parked in the carpark. The forecast for the day was pretty average, overcast with a possible chance of showers.
Given that it rained so much the day before I was expecting the crossing of the Gordon River to be more difficult than usual. Luckily the fallen tree across the river was still above the water line and allowed us to cross without getting wet. However, the log itself was very slippery in the morning shade and we were forced to cross it on hands and knees.
The plan was to walk straight to Lake Rhona, with only a short stop at Gordonvale and oncemore before the final ascent to the lake. The walk consists mainly of button-grass plains separated by areas of forest and a few creeks that provide a good source of water to refill drink bottles.
The climb up to the lake is pretty steep and provides great views of the valley as well as Wylds Craig. We reached the lake and bumped in to a few people who had camped there the night before and had just started to leave their tents after a misty morning to explore some of the surrounds. According to the log book there were about 20 people up there but they all decided to camp in the areas behind the beach. Seeing so many people at a campsite felt weird to me, especially after having done Lake Sydney only a few weeks earlier and not crossing paths with anyone. Overall we made good time even with the steep ascent, having reached Lake Rhona from the carpark in a quick 4 hours and 20 minutes. This gave us enough time to set up camp and have a quick bite to eat before heading up to Reeds Peak and Great Dome.
From the campsite we continued around the lake; it was a nice feeling to not have a pack on. I was also trying out a pair of cheap reef walker shoes that I bought at Rivers for about $8. I had intended to use them as river wading shoes, but thought I would see how they held up on a steep and rocky track. We followed a creek up towards the saddle, where we rejoined the track along a ridge-line that continues up towards Reeds Peak. Once we’d climbed up the ridge, we were treated with the view of Lake Rhona’s pink sands and dark water, surrounded by the cliffs. After taking a few photos and chatting to a group who were coming back down from the plateau, we set off to ascend Reeds. Just before reaching the base of Reeds, we passed a chute that drops straight down to Lake Rhona that makes for a good photo opportunity. The walk along the plateau is relatively flat, with plenty of cushion plants and some dried up tarns, due to drier weather in the previous weeks. It’s an easy trek along the pad to reach the rocky beginning of the climb up Reeds, with a cairn route snaking its way up to the summit. Unfortunately, upon reaching the top we had a few seconds of the view before the rain clouds rolled in and we found ourselves in a downpour. On the way back to the camp we stopped by the Great Dome; however, due to all the mist we couldn’t see Lake Gordon which was visible earlier on in the day. We made our way back to the camp around 6:30 for some dinner, hoping the rain would hold off while we dried off again. This was not the case-we cooked and ate in the tent.
In the morning we were treated with a colourful sunrise and clear skies. After breakfast, we went for a quick dip in the lake before packing up. We were on the track by 9, and as we climbed back down the ridge-line the clouds from the valley were making there way up towards the lake. After a quick stop at Gordonvale we arrived back at the car after 4 hours and 15 minutes.
All up, 36.8km and 1391m ascent.
Getting there: Shortly after passing through Maydena turn right on to Florentine Road. Follow this road for about 20kms until you reach reach the turnoff to Eleven Road on the left hand side (there will be a sign saying Lake Rhona). Continue along this road until you reach a T intersection. Turn left onto Tiger Road and follow for 1km then turn left again onto Range Road. Follow Range Road for 3.5kms then turn left onto Terry Walsh Road. The track starts at the end of this road.
Mt Wright obscured by clouds on the walk in.
Looking back towards Gordonvale as we begin the steep climb.
Emily pretending to smile on the walk up.
Our first glimpse of Reeds Peak and Lake Rhona.
Walking around the lake on the way up to Reeds Peak and Great Dome
Heading up the saddle.
Reeds Peak free of clouds.
Good spot for a photo.
Reeds Peak from the plateau.
Great view of Lake Rhona
The only photo from the Reeds peak before the cloud and rain rolled in.
Interesting rocks and Wylds Craig in the background.
Finger guns. 10/10
Looking out towards Wylds Craig.
Sunrise from the tent.
Breakfast with a view.
Reflections as we leave.
Blues skies make a nice change from the grey of the previous day.
Clouds rolling up the hill as we walk out.
In the mist on the way back to the valley floor.
Mist settling on 1000’s of spider webs in the button grass.
Blues skies for the rest of the walk out.
Crossing the Gordon River on the way out.
Close-up of the route we took to Reeds Peak and Great Dome.