Handley Peak is not a particularly high mountain, and at ~850m it is far from an Abel. On satellite imagery it is just a bare grassy patch to the Southern side of Blue Tier that has been on the receiving end of sheep grazing over the years. We wanted to climb it as it was named after Emily’s great great great grandfather James, a pioneer from nearby Pyenganna. In the past there has been confusion surrounding the name of the highpoint, and in 1990 what was previously called Mt Littlechild was renamed Mt Handley to reflect James’ past ownership and a Mt Littlechild was named slightly further northeast.
We parked in the carpark of a small lookout next to the intersection between the Tasman Highway and Lottah Road. Across the road there was a clear vehicle track in the paddocks between the bracken fern that made its way up the hill, which we followed up through the paddocks and small patches of forest. We then entered some very unexpected myrtle forest with the ground and tree trunks covered in a vibrant green moss. The occasional old ribbons tied to myrtle were present, though for the most part navigation was very easy as the forest was open and only a few hundred meters long.
Once out on the other side, it was a quick scramble up some rocks to the Handley Peak highpoint where the remains of the large stone circle were scattered around the summit cairn. As it only took around 45 minutes to reach the summit, we decided to continue up towards Mt Littlechild. We continued in a north easterly direction and followed a saddle through some more impressive myrtle forest with large rocky outcrops, and the occasional small creek. We reached what according to the GPS was the highpoint and spent some time looking for the large boulder that marks the true highpoint-however, we were unable to locate it. We arrived back at the car an hour and 25 minutes after leaving Mt Littlechild.
All up 8.8kms in just over 3 hours and 407m ascent.
Getting there: The walk starts here , opposite the carpark.