Rocky Cape to Sisters Beach

On a weekend in November we headed up to the North West Coast to visit family, and managed to sneak in a coastal walk while we were there. The Rocky Cape National Park is small, but beautiful and has some of the best preserved Aboriginal cave art in Tasmania. Somewhere between Smithton and Burnie, the park is accessed from the highway and is home to a few rickety fisherman shacks, a lighthouse and features white sands and blue water surrounded by the hills. A one way walk from Rocky Cape to Sisters Beac, we got dropped off at Rocky in the morning and picked up from the Sisters Beach local store once we were done.

The walk we chose takes you from the first beaches you reach when you are driving through the park, along the coastline to Sisters Beach to the east. The beginning of the walk is accessed from the road and takes you straight up for a quick climb into the sandy, scrubby hills. This gives you excellent views of the rock formations the park is known for, as well as the North Cave; the largest Aboriginal cave in the area. The track continues on a ridgeline for a bit before ducking down into deeper scrub. We decided to take a quick detour down to the coastline to Cathedral Rock, a feature of the coastline that resembles a church.

After taking a few quick snaps we head back up to the ridge and continued along for another hour or so before we hit the beginning of the coastal part of the walk; Anniversary Bay. Here we had lunch before scouring the beach as we walked for shells-especially cowries (few and far between) and abalone (a dime a dozen). This part of the walk is much of the same, all white sand with a couple of parts along rocks that require some scrambling. An hour and a half later we were back at the base of the next section of the walk. We climbed up from the Bay quickly and found ourselves back on another ridge that curled around the hills and gave us more speccy views of the area. From here, we could see our destination between the hills and sea-Sisters Beach. We passed through a small banksia grove and considered taking a detour down to the Southern Caves-but decided to continue. The remainder of the walk is relatively flat, dipping up and down with ridge until you reach the descent down to sea level again into Sisters. We finished up with some chippies at the takeaway; not a very challenging walk and took us about 4 hours to complete.

Getting there: The Rocky Cape National Park is about an hour west of Burnie, following the Bass Highway. The turn off to the park is on the right, with the Rocky Cape General Store on the corner. Drive along the stretch of Rocky Cape Road for about 15 minutes, where the bitumen turns to gravel. Another 5 minutes, and you reach a junction where the road either goes right, down to the main boat ramp or continues on to the lighthouse and shacks. The beginning of the walk is just prior to this junction on the right. Cars can be parked on the left of the turn off to the boat ramp.

To be picked up from Sisters Beach, follow the Bass Highway west out of Burnie for approximately 40 minutes. Turn off at the sign for Boat Harbour on the right, not long after passing the school and a small store in an 80km zone. Continue along this road, bypassing the turn on the right down to Boat Harbour, for another 10 minutes. Eventually, you come down a series of S-bends to reach the local shacks. Follow the signage to the boat ramp to reach the end of the walk, which comes out adjacent.

 

 

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The boat ramp at the start of the walk.
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Plenty of flowers by the track.
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The walking track.
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Cathedral Rock on the right.
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Brightly coloured rocks on the beach.
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Creek running into the sea.
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Another creek running into the sea.
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The Three Goats in Anniversary Bay
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Looking towards Sisters Beach from Anniversary Bay
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Looking back at Anniversary Bay from the walking track.
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Blackboy.
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Banksia grove.
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Sisters beach.
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The boat ramp at Rocky Cape.
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Double thumbs up.

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Adamsons Peak

Adamsons Peak; 1225m; Abel #94

Having grown up in the Huon Valley I’ve always wanted to climb up Adamsons peak.  I  clearly remember catching the bus to school in winter and seeing its pointy white peak sticking out from its surrounds.  So on a chilly day in October 2016 we decided to go and check it out.  There had been some snow forecast the day before and I was hoping that it would stick around until we made it up there.

At 1225m, Adamsons peak is the 55th highest mountain in Tasmania and provides a good view of the southern ranges as well as Southport Lagoon.  The start of the walk is along a board walk that follows the old tramway.  Unfortunately there were a lot of trees that had fallen across the track which made for slow progress.  Once you pass the boarded section you basically climb up through the forrest.  The track that day was pretty wet and boggy as it has rained consistently the day before.  As I am writing this about 5 months after the walk I cant recall the exact details of the climb however I do remember reaching a more open area before reaching the plateau where we spotted a wombat.  I also recall stopping in some of the old Myrtle forests to take photos (shown below).  You eventually make your way out of the forest and into some Scoparia where you get a great view of the forestry operations and dover.  From here its only a short climb to the plateau.

We reached the shelter on the plateau and had a quick bite to eat.  From there on the track is hard to follow so you just head in the general direction of the peak.   There are a number of tarns along the way to refill drink bottles.  Once you’ve crossed the plateau there are a couple of little hills to climb before reaching the top.  Luckily the snow had stuck around and made for a nice change in scenery but it did make the rock hopping slightly more dangerous.

At the summit there is a large pile of rocks that can be used to get some shelter from the wind. After taking a few photos of the southern ranges as well as Hartz and eating a few sour squirms we headed back the way we came.   All up it took us 7 hours and 15 minutes.  Unfortunately I have no GPS data as I didn’t have one at that stage.

Getting there: Continue past Dover until you reach the Esperance River Road just before you cross the Esperance River.  Follow this road for about 9.5km then turn left onto Peak Rivulet Road. After a few clicks the you reach an intersection, continue left to stay on Peak Rivulet Road and shortly after you will see the sign indicating the start of the track.

PA200318.JPGSign by the road indicating the start of the track.

PA200345.jpgThe track was quite wet in places as it had rained in the days leading up to the walk.

PA200361.jpgNative pepper trees on the side of the track.

PA200365.JPGOut of the forest and looking towards the bay of Dover and Bruny island in the distance.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe shelter on the plateau

PA200378.JPGAdamsons peak from the shelter

PA200388.JPGThere are a number of tarns dotted along the plateau on the way to the peak

PA200435.JPGThe summit cairn and whats left of the snow from the day before.

PA200482.JPGLooking towards the southern ranges (left hand side) and federation peak in the distance.

 

Adamsons Falls

Adamsons falls is a short walk in the south of Tasmania.  The falls are pretty impressive after some heavy rain but expect some water and bog on the track.

Allow about 2-3 hours return depending on the number of stops for food and photos.  If you are also doing Creekton falls I would add allow another 1.5 – 2 hours as the track is slow going.

To access the Creekton falls track, cross the creek at the base of the main waterfall.  From memory there are a few rocks that can be used to avoid wading through the creek.  This will all depend on the amount of water coming down the waterfall.  Once on the other side you should be able to spot some pink ribbon indicating the track to Creekton falls.

The track to Adamsons falls is not in the best condition but it is easy to follow.  Walking from Adamsons falls to Creekton falls is slightly trickier as the track is somewhat overgrown and less obvious.

If you are lucky you might hear or even see a Lyre bird.

This walk was completed on 02/10/17

Getting there:  There are two ways to get to the start of the track.

Option 1:  South of Dover. Approaching from the north, take the old Hastings Road at a junction 3.1km south of the Esperance River bridge in the township of Strathblane, after 1km turn right onto the Darcy Link Road and then left onto Creekton Rd.  Continue past the Duckhole lake carpark and cross the bridge.  Continue along Coal Hill road where it will split into three roads.  Take the middle track then follow that until you reach an intersection.  Turn right then follow that road until you reach the start of the track.

Option 2:  Continue past the turnoff outlined in option 1.  Follow the Huon highway until you reach the turnoff to Hastings cave and thermal springs.  Drive past the Hastings caves thermal pools and visitors centre.  Turn right onto Chestermans Road and follow it until it ends in a T junction.  Turn left and follow the road until you reach the clearly marked start of the track.

Although this might take a bit longer, there are some big trees on Chestermans road that are worth checking out.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEnd of the road and the start of the track.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAn uprooted tree near the beginning of the track.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe track turns into a small creek after some rain.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATangled limbs on the track.

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The lower part of Adamsons Falls

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALooking up at the main waterfall.  Creekton falls track to the right of where the photo was taken.

Bushwalking in Tasmania