It was Sunday and our first mountain in “Spring”; showers were forecast, as well as possible snow around 1200m. We had decided to do Mt Riveaux as it was only around 845m in elevation and had been on the to-do list for a while. There wasn’t that much information on this walk, but we were expecting to reach a locked gate and then have a ~3km road walk followed by a decent climb, which would take around 3 hours to get to the top.
After a few stops in Huonville and Geeveston we eventually made our way to the start of the track on Riveaux Road, where we reached the gate and I decided to check to see if it was actually locked. Luckily it wasn’t, which meant that we could drive almost all the way to start of the track and avoid the annoying road walk. Unfortunately, there were a number of small trees across the road and they took some time to move so that we could drive under, over or around them. We also wasted some time wandering around the bush where we saw some pink ribbons, thinking it was the start of the Mt Riveaux Track. As it turned out, the ribbons led nowhere so we continued driving down the road until we reached another gate, which was definitely locked. It didn’t matter however, as the actual start of the Mt Riveaux track was only 50m past the gate on the left hand side.
The first part climbs steeply through some very nice rainforest full of large man-ferns, lichen and moss covered sassafras trees. The gradient then lessens and the forests opens up; there is no defined track for the majority of this walk, just a decent number of ribbons guide the way. In saying that, we did find ourselves searching for the next ribbon a few times, especially in the areas where a lot of trees have come down-which can be said for most of the track. Forty-five minutes in and we were completely soaked; the rain wasn’t heavy but it was consistent, and the constant brushing up against wet bushes and fallen logs didn’t give us much chance to stay dry. Emily decided to try and walk over the slipperiest looking log in the entire Southwest NP and ended up slipping sideways-unfortunately I didn’t get to see the fall, but I did manage to get a photo of how she landed before she picked herself up as if nothing had happened.
As you get closer to the top, the bauera takes over and makes it a bit harder to find the correct path. The last section before the summit is a pretty fun zig zag between large boulders, as well as a couple of short climbs up a short rocky face. Exactly 2 and a half hours after leaving the car, we popped out of the top and were confronted with some very strong winds which almost blew the beanie right off my head. We spent the next 15 minutes layering up and taking some photos, before heading straight back down to the car which we reached after 2 hours and 5 minutes .
This was definitely not the longest or steepest day walk we have done, but it was probably the most annoying. There are a lot of fallen trees and slippery slopes that make it seem like you are constantly stepping over or crawling under something.
All up 7.1kms in 5 hours including some short breaks, and 682m ascent.
Getting there: Follow the Arve Road out towards the Tahune Airwalk. Just before the Airwalk, take the left onto Picton Road and stay right at the fork. Cross the bridge over the Picton River and take the second right onto Riveaux Road (the first right takes you to the Huon/YoYo Track). Follow Riveaux Road until you reach a boom gate; either park your car here, or if it’s unlocked continue along this road for a couple of kms without taking any of the side roads. You will eventually reach a second gate and what is basically the end of the road. Continue past the gate for about 50m and you will see a bunch of ribbons indicating the start of the track