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.

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