All posts by bogholesbuckethats

Nevada Peak and Snowy South

Nevada Peak; 1390m; Abel #42

Snowy South; 1398m; Abel #38.

The last couple of walks we went on were in the Franklin Gordon National Park so we decided to stay south.  There were a couple of day walks that I wanted to check out including Mt Burgess, Nevada Peak as well as Mt Riveaux.  I can’t think of any reason as to why we chose to do Nevada but that’s what we ended up choosing.  I hadn’t heard much about this walk but knew it was between Snowy North and Snowy South and, on a clear day, provided excellent views of Mt Weld.  The plan was to walk to Nevada Peak then Snowy South before heading back out again.

A quick stop in Banjos Huonville to pick up lunch then we followed the Huon River towards Judbury.  We then continued out past the Rivers Edge camping ground and began winding up Russell Road.  Unfortunately we reached a bridge over the Russell River that has been blocked.  A quick glance at the GPS showed that we were roughly 5kms from the start of the track and it looked as though the other access road would take ~45 minutes to reach.  We decided then to cross the bridge by foot and walk along the road until we reached the start of the track.  It took approximately an hour to reach the start of the track.  Note that about 10 minutes before the start you will reach a bridge that has partly collapsed,  this is where you will have to leave your car and continue on foot.

Follow this road and stay left when it forks until you reach the end of the road and the old carpark.  From here follow the blue sign posts towards the forest,  before long you will see the sign indicating the start as well as the walker registration box.  The track then slowly climbs through the mossy forest and involves a traversing a couple of logs with foot holes cut out. Overall the track is well marked and easy to follow,  it was a nice change from some of the more overgrown tracks that we had encountered in the months before.  Thirty five minutes after the registration box we reached the junction and turned right towards Woolleys Tarn.  The track then continued to climb through pandani and myrtle forests until it opened up and revealed Wetpants Peak and Woolleys Tarn.  Although Woolleys Tarn did provide a good spot to stop and refill drink bottles, it was not that interesting and we decided to keep on moving.  The climb from Woolleys Tarn to the plateau below Nevada Peak was slightly overgrown and required a keen eye to spot the next cairn or ribbon.  Once on the plateau we walked towards the Snowdrift Tarns so that we could summit from the southern side.  From what I could see there was no marked track here just a mix of pineapple grass, cushion plants, scoparia and the occasional boulder to navigate around.  To get to the summit we followed a rocky scree and before long we had reached the top.  After a quick look around and some photos from the summit we sought shelter from the strong wind and had some lunch.

At this point we had to decide whether we would try to climb Snowy South before heading back to the car.  It was already almost 1pm and we had to factor in the extra hour of walking back to the car because of the stuff up in driving to the start of the walk. We decided to give it crack and headed off along the ridge in the direction of Snowy South.  Mt Weld could be easily seen towards the west and is definitely on the bucket list of overnight walks to do in the near future.  The walk between Nevada and Snowy South involved a lot of scrambling over various sized boulders and careful foot placement to avoid slipping and I would not recommend it to everyone.  Careful route planning before ascending may help a lot and save a considerable amount of backtracking.  Dispersed between the rocky sections are flatter areas with lots of small shrubs and cushion plants that shouldn’t be walked on.  The last rocky section before reaching the summit of Snowy South is probably the most difficult as the rocks here a quite large and can be very slippery.

We reached the very windy summit around 2:30 and had a quick snack and a drink before heading back towards the Nevada Peak track.  By this stage we were planning to be back at the start of the track just before dark and then walk along the road back to the car.  On the way back I made a couple of small detours to check out the Honeybird Basin and Dungeon Tarn from above.  There is also an unnamed tarn to the north of Dungeon Tarn that features heavily in the photos taken that day.  After refilling our water bottles at one of the Snowdrift Tarns below Nevada Peak we set off back down to the car park, this time taking the more direct route.  The light was slowly fading and the thick canopy made it harder to see the track ahead.  We made it back to the old carpark then continued to walk along the road for about 15 minutes before night fell.  The rest of the walk back to the car was helped by a phone torch light as the moon was hiding.

All up 30.3km in a total of 10 hours and 14 minutes and 1565m ascent.  Note that if you take the correct route you can shave off about 10kms of road walking and approximately 2 hours.

Getting there:  The correct route as of 18th of April 2017 is to head towards Judbury from Huonville then drive along Lonnavale Road where you will reach Denison Road. Continue along Denison Road and follow all signs towards Lake Skinner.  You will eventually end up on McDougalls Road which you will follow for about 6.3kms where you will see the last sign indicating the Lake Skinner track.  Continue along McDougalls Road following all signs indicating Forrest Drive.  1.5kms later you will now be on Russell Road which you will follow for 6kms.  At the intersection turn left (turning right will lead to a blocked bridge about 1km down the road) and follow this road for 4.3kms, making sure you go left when the road forks about 2kms in.  You will reach a taped off part of the road indicating the collapsed bridge then continue walking up the road for about 10 minutes to reach the start of the track. Clear as mud.

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Start of the track just after leaving the logging coup.
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Plenty of climbing heath at the beginning of the track.
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Pandani searching for light.
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Walking down to Woolleys Tarn.  Wetpants Peak above.
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Walking up to the plateau from Woolleys Tarn
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Looking back down towards the start of the walk.  Collins Bonnet at the very back.
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Wetpants Peak
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Looking towards Nevada Peak
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Emily climbing up a rocky scree on the way up to Nevada Peak
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Looking towards Wetpants Peak from Nevada Peak
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Snowdrift Tarn and Snowy South
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Snowy South and blotches of shadow from the clouds.
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Small tarns of the way to Snowy South.
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Mt Weld and the Western Arthurs (back right).
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Getting closer to Snowy South.
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Boulders heading up to Snowy South.
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Nevada Peak and Snowy North from Snowy South.

 

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Unnamed tarn and the Honeybird Basin in the background.
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Dungeon Tarn out the back and unnamed tarn in the foreground.
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GPS route of the walk.  Note the waypoint indicating the start of the track if you drive the correct way.
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Elevation plot.

Wylds Craig

Wylds Craig;1339m; Abel#58

This was the last free weekend I had before the football season started and I was keen to finish clearing the trees on the Wylds Craig access road and walk up to the summit.  We arrived around 9am and spent the next 45 minutes cutting and clearing the remaining trees off the road.  We had hoped to clear the road all the way to the start of the track- however the last tree proved too big.

We set off at 10 on the dot and walked for about 5 minutes, before seeing a number of cairns on the left hand side of the road indicating the start of the track.  The path leads into myrtle forest and weaves its way through a mossy maze of fallen trees and rocks.  After a short climb the steep cliffs of Wylds Craig can be seen through the trees.  After 3.3kms we arrived at the creek which was bursting with water from the previous days rain.  Up until this point the track was in decent condition; however as soon as we crossed over the other side, the small shrubs and trees took over and slowed us down.  We then began to climb quickly and steeply through pandani forests until we reached the plateau.

The route towards the summit is well-marked with cairns and the lack of trees provides a great view of the surrounding mountains, as well as a nice change in walking pace.  We arrived at the top after 2 hours and 10 minutes and were surprised to find some snow on the shaded side of the peak.  The next 30 minutes were then spent eating lunch and taking in the view.  On the way back we made a small detour to try and get a better view of the cliffs, but we were somewhat unsuccessful.  After a short stop to refill drink bottles at the creek we arrived back at the car at 2:40 and headed off home.

All up 11.8kms with 853m ascent. 1338m max elevation.

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 (turning right will lead to a bridge that cannot be crossed).  Continue driving on this road for about 11.5Kms and you will reach a bridge on your right that was been closed.  Keep driving another 200 meters and the road will fork.  Stay on the left and follow this road for another 2.5kms as it climbs up.  You will reach a large tree that has blocked the road.  The start of the track is about 5 minutes walk past the tree.

 

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Large tree blocking the road.  There is just enough room to turn a car around.
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First glimpse of Wylds Craig through the trees.
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Plenty of fresh water coming down the creek.
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Pandani begin to appear in the forest as we climb higher.
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Some sections of the track require a certain degree of acrobatics.
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Wylds Craig
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Looking north-west.
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Trig and summit cairn.

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Looking north from the trig.
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Cliff face on the southern side of Wylds Craig.
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Cracked tarn refilled after some rain.
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Layered rock on our little detour.
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GPS track of the walk beginning at the fallen tree.
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Birds eye satellite imagery.
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Elevation plot.

 

Reeds Peak and Great Dome via Lake Rhona

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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMt Wright obscured by clouds on the walk in.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALooking back towards Gordonvale as we begin the steep climb.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEmily pretending to smile on the walk up.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOur first glimpse of Reeds Peak and Lake Rhona.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWalking around the lake on the way up to Reeds Peak and Great Dome

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHeading up the saddle.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAReeds Peak free of clouds.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGood spot for a photo.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAReeds Peak from the plateau.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGreat view of Lake Rhona

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnother angle.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe only photo from the Reeds peak before the cloud and rain rolled in.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAInteresting rocks and Wylds Craig in the background.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFinger guns. 10/10

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Looking out towards Wylds Craig.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMorning light.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASunrise from the tent.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABreakfast with a view.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAReflections as we leave.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABlues skies make a nice change from the grey of the previous day.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAClouds rolling up the hill as we walk out.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn the mist on the way back to the valley floor.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPatiently waiting.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMist settling on 1000’s of spider webs in the button grass.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABlues skies for the rest of the walk out.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACrossing the Gordon  River on the way out.

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Screen Shot 2017-04-02 at 8.53.48 pmClose-up of the route we took to Reeds Peak and Great Dome.

Screen Shot 2017-04-02 at 9.02.46 pmElevtion plot.

Mt Bobs and Lake Sydney

Mt Bobs; 1111m; Abel #145

This walk had been on the list for a little while; unfortunately I still hadn’t received my camera back from getting repaired and was stuck with my phone camera.   We were really lucky with the weather with warm, blue skies and most importantly, no wind.  The plan was start at the Farmhouse Creek track around 11am then walk up to the lake before stopping for some late lunch.  We would then walk around Lake Sydney to set up camp on the southern side, near the start of the climb to the saddle.  The next morning we would head up to Bobs and the Boomerang then return to camp and collect our packs and walk back out.

After a second breakfast stop at Banjos in Huonville we arrived at the start of the Farmhouse Creek track around 11:15.  Ten minutes later we were off and followed the track along the banks of Farmhouse Creek where we encountered two large tiger snakes in the space of two minutes sun baking by the creek.  We walked next to the creek for approximately 2 hours until we reached the fallen tree that is used to cross over to the other side.  After a few quick snacks we crossed the log and continued away from the creek.  This part of the track has some particularly boggy sections, even in the middle of summer.  After about 500m we reached a small tree covered in ribbon indicating the turnoff to Lake Sydney,  where shortly after we arrived at a small clearing that could be used as a campsite if necessary.  After leaving the clearing through a small opening on the left hand side, you enter an almost impenetrable wall of cutting grass, vines and bauera with a gap just large enough to push your way through.  Luckily this section doesn’t last that long and before you know it you begin to climb up towards the Lake Sydney.

After climbing over and under a number of fallen trees and nearly treading on the third and final snake of the day we eventually reached a small opening that provided fantastic views back towards Chapman and Burgess, as well as Federation Peak.  We knew we were getting close  to the lake so we took a few quick photos then continued on our way.  From memory the track climbs a little bit more before it starts to decent into the marshy sections between Pine Lake and Lake Sydney.  About 1 hour after reaching the lookout we arrived at the sinkhole, where we stopped for a late lunch before walking around the other side of the lake.

From here on in there is no track except for the occasional ribbon in the dense forest on the way up to the saddle.   At first it was easy; all we had to do was follow the lake around the western side.  Just before reaching the camp we arrived at a small cliff that prevented us from continuing.  We had to backtrack slightly and head up into the forest above the cliff.  This section was fairly steep and scrubby and took a bit of effort with large packs on.  Before long we had reached the campsite, 5 hours and 25 minutes after leaving the Farmhouse Creek carpark.  We set up camp quickly so that we could have a quick swim and enjoy what was left of the afternoon sun.  The cliff that prevents you from walking around the lake provides a good spot to jump into the water as it drops off pretty quickly.  While we were sitting around the camp we spotted a platypus swimming out towards the middle of the lake, as well as a cormorant that seemed to be a long way from home.  That night the sky was clear and provided an excellent view of the milky way, further adding to my annoyance of not receiving my camera back in time for this walk.

The sunrise the next morning was worth waking up for and we quickly ate breakfast and packed up the majority of our stuff before heading up to the saddle between Mt Bobs.  The walk between the lake and the saddle is probably the worst part of the whole trip.  The trees and pandani are very dense and there is no real way to get your bearings.  Although we had GPS coordinates we were frequently back tracking to find a better path up.  The best advice I can give is to make your way up on the Boomerang side of the forest where you will find the occasional ribbon.  This was something we found out on the way back down.  Once we reached the saddle we had to make a decision on which peak we would summit first.  Given the climb up to the saddle took a lot longer than expected, we chose to summit Mt Bobs as it would probably take a bit longer than the Boomerang.  On the way up to Bobs we chose another bad path that led to an unclimbable cliff face and cost us about 20 minutes.  After backtracking and finding a much, much better route up we reached the top and quickly forgot about our troubles.  The view of Federation Peak that day was 10/10, and as expected there was not a breath of wind and blue skies were above the valley that was covered in cloud.  We were joined at the top by dozens of swallows that appeared to be heading south, but spent a little while whizzing around just above us.

On the way back down to the saddle we decided not to summit the Boomerang and return back to the camp to collect out bags.  I still regret that decision, but it gives us a good reason to return to this lovely place.  We stumbled across a better path on the way back down to Lake Sydney that would have made the climb up much quicker.  Almost 4 hours after leaving camp we returned and collected our packs for the walk back to the carpark.  We reached the carpark 4 hours and 54 minutes later, about 30 minutes quicker than the walk in.  I really enjoyed this overnight trip and would recommend it to anyone who is keen to get away from some of the more popular overnight walks in Tassie.

All up, 29.1km and 1474m ascent.

Getting there:  To get to Farmhouse Creek follow the directions to Mt Picton but do not turn off West Picton Road.  In short, from Geeveston head towards the Tahune Airwalk along the Arve Road.  Just before the Airwalk turn left onto Picton Road and turn right onto West Picton Road once the road forks.  Continue across the bridge over the Picton River and follow this road until you reach the gate and the start of the Farmhouse Creek track.

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Heading off at Farmhouse Creek. Bucket hat ready.
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Looking at the Eastern Arthurs and Federation Peak.
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Our first glimpse of the sinkhole and McPartlans Bluff.
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Water running into the sinkhole from Lake Sydney.

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Looking back towards the track.
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Lunch at Lake Sydney.  Our planned campsite was on the other side of the lake.
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The final hurdle to reaching the camp.
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Flag Iris by the lake.
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View from the camp looking back towards the sinkhole.
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The large boulder provided a good spot to jump into the lake.
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Sunrise on the second day.
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First light on McPartlans Bluff.
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Reflections in the water next to the camp.
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More reflection on a still morning.
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Heading around the next bend to walk up to the saddle.  Photo looking back at where we camped.
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Panorama from the top of Mt Bobs.  Federation Peak poking its pointy head out.
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Federation Peak.
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The top of Mt Bobs is very flat.
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A nearly dry tarn at the top of Mt Bobs and Federation Peak.
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Looking towards Lake Sydney from about halfway up Mt Bobs.
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Looking south.
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The walk around the lake.

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Lake Judd

This Saturday had been set aside to summit Mt Anne with some members from the Pandani group.  Unfortunately the weather didn’t hold up and the walk was cancelled.  Instead of staying at home we decided to head up towards Scotts peak dam and do a shorter, less exposed walk in that area.  We chose Lake Judd as it was pretty much the only walk that fit that criteria.

Not too much to say about this one, the track was in good condition but some sections were very boggy.   I recall one bog hole being almost waist deep.  The weather wasn’t as bad as expected but the intermittent showers were enough to keep everything damp all day.  There is a track marked by a cairn that leads off the main track and up towards Schnells Ridge, unfortunately we didn’t have enough time to go up there but we will be back.

After passing through some thick scrub and avoiding bog holes you will eventually reach a button grass plain that leads to the Anne river.   The only way to continue is to wade through the river and rejoin the track on the other side.  From here the track climbs steadily until you reach the lake.  The track then follows the eastern side of the lake around to a spot where you can easily access the water.  Unfortunately the moment we reached the lake to have lunch the worst shower of the day came through and covered Mt Eliza and Mt Anne in cloud.  I’m sure the views on a clear day are spectacular.

All up I think it took a leisurely 6 hours.  Not sure about distance or elevation as I didn’t have my GPS on me that day.

 

Getting there:  Follows directions to Lake Pedder but turn off the highway onto a well maintained dirt road called Scotts Peak road.  Continue driving past the Mt Anne carpark until you see a signpost indicating the Lake Judd track.

IMG_6637The walk starts off easy with a couple of small inclines

IMG_6639Looking back towards the start of the track and Lake Pedder

IMG_6647Buttons grass plains looking east towards Mt Weld?  Anne river to the left.

IMG_6656Crossing the Anne River

IMG_6660Lake Judd and clouds shrouding Mt Eliza as we stop for lunch.

Mt Picton

Mt Picton; 1327m; Abel #60

Mt Picton is another one of those mountains that I would see occasionally when I was younger and think about what was up there.  Turns out there isn’t much apart from a trig, a log book and a few hungry skinks.  However, this would have to be one of my favourite walks in the area.

On a warm and clear day in January we set off to climb Mount Picton.  Unfortunately my camera was being repaired, so I only had my not-so-trusty phone camera to document the trip.  The walk starts off weaving through the forest and involves crossing Cook Creek along a slightly slippery fallen tree.  The track then makes it way up through the forest, passing by a few smaller streams that we used to refill our water bottles.  There are a couple of steeper sections that have ropes to help pull yourself up and overall the track is well marked and in pretty good condition.

After what felt like a long time under the trees, we made our way out and into the sun, where shortly after we reached an intersection.  Seeing as though we hadn’t had lunch, we thought we would follow the track to the right down towards Lake Riveaux.  After about 5 minutes of walking the track became quite overgrown and hard to follow.  The occasional remnant of a ribbon-sometimes on the ground-was the only reassurance we had that we were still on a track.  After about 25-30 minutes we reached an area that led down towards the lake.  The track seemed to continue around but we decided against going any further as it was already quite late.  I’m not sure where that track leads but I intend on heading back up there to find out.  We stopped for about 10 minutes to eat lunch and enjoy the view of Picton and the crystal clear water of Lake Riveaux.  We then retraced our steps and pushed on towards Mt Picton.

After walking through a bit more forest we reached a more exposed area with lots of Scoparia and other smaller shrubs.  This section was a bit boggy and involved a short scramble up a rocky scree.  Before long we were at the base of Picton and surrounded by small tarns, flowering native shrubs and lots of cushion plants.  This part of the track is what makes this walk one of my favourites.  There are a few places where you could set up camp if you wanted to stay the night and plenty of fresh water nearby.

We dropped our packs for the last part of the climb and made our way up following a cairned route which was reasonably easy to follow.  Once we reached the top we were spoiled with views of Federation and Precipitous bluff.  After eating a few sour squirms and playing with the local skinks we headed back down to collect our packs and walk back to the car.

All up it took around 8 hours including the ~1.5 hour detour to the lunch spot by Lake Riveaux .

Getting there:  From Geeveston follow the signs to the Tahune Airwalk along the Arve Road.  Just before getting to the airwalk turn left onto Picton Road.  The road will then fork into East and West Picton Road.  Continue right along West Picton Road where you will cross the Picton river on a narrow bridge.  Continue along this road for about 13kms then turn right onto West Picton 1.  Follow this road for a couple of Km’s then turn right onto West Picton 1/2 just after crossing Cook creek.  Follow this road for until you see the tape marked start of the track in the cutting grass on the right hand side.

Picton spur 1/2 road has a number of large ruts.  If you don’t have a 4×4 or a 2wd with decent clearance I would consider leaving your car at the bottom and walking along the road.  It would probably only add an extra ten minutes to the walk but might save you from busting an oil sump.

IMG_6382Nice spot for a bit of lunch.  Lots of march flies.

IMG_6407Lake Riveaux looking up at Picton.

IMG_6411About halfway between Lake Riveaux and Picton, looking south towards Chapman and Burgess (right) and Mt Bobs and the Boomerang (middle left).  Southern Ranges in the far back left.

IMG_6440Clear area at the base of Picton.  It wouldn’t be a bad place to camp if you could find a slightly drier spot.

IMG_6450A large cushion plant.

IMG_6466Looking down at Lake Riveaux (large crescent shape) where we stopped for lunch.  Glassworm Tarn to the right and part of Lake Picton on the back left.

IMG_6467Looking north.IMG_6468The trig on top of Mt Picton.

IMG_6471A very high quality snap of Precipitous Bluff in the background.

IMG_6495This plant reminded me of a strawberry.

IMG_6458Steanes Tarn.

IMG_6510Cairn on the way up to the summit.

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IMG_6521More cushion plants.

IMG_6523View towards Hartz and Adamsons from roughly halfway between the summit and Lake Riveaux.

IMG_6530Looking up from the forest above Glassworm Tarn.

IMG_6536A small opening in the bush provides a a great view of Glassworm Tarn and Lake Riveaux.

IMG_6563Interesting light from the early evening sun on the way back down.

Collins Bonnet (Sleeping Beauty) and Trestle Mountain

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.

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Collins Bonnet from the road on the way in.
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An old bride on the fire trail from Mountain River
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Candle heath appear next to the trail as we climb higher.
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There are a few large trees blocking some sections of the track.
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The last section of the Mountain River trail is quite rocky.

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Trestle Mountain from the Mountain River trail
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Trestle Mountain from the East West Trail
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Rock hopping on the way up to Trestle Mountain
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Interesting rock feature of the summit of Trestle Mountain
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Looking West from Trestle Mountain
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Looking towards Collins Bonnet from Trestle Mountain.  The East West trail can be seen on the left.
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A clear tarn just off the East West trail.
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Alpine plants just before the start of the Collins Bonnet track.
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Rock scramble on the way up Collins Bonnet with posts to guide the way.
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Looking down at the Huon Valley from Collins Bonnet
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Trestle Mountain from Collins Bonnet
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Trig on Collins Bonnet
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Rocky scree on the western side of Collins Bonnet
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Flowering Tea Tree
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Just missed the candle heath flowers
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Emily clearing the track.
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Black Cockatoo through the canopy.
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Collins Bonnet from the start of the Mountain River track.