We left Launceston early on our way out to the Weldborough area and thought we might bag a quick Abel on the way. The easiest to get was Mt Barrow and neither of us had ever been up that way before. The drive up the side of Mt Barrow winds through some nice forest before reaching a large scree field that is reminiscent of Jacobs Ladder on the way to the Ben Lomond ski fields.
We then parked at a turning circle just below the large communication tower and proceeded up towards the ridge. There is a large metal and concrete staircase that provides access to the comms station which we followed to avoid walking through the scrub. The landscape was typical of any other mountainous region of jurassic dolerite and we were quickly rock hopping our way along the cliff top towards the summit that lay a few minutes further west.
A couple of Emily’s friends from Sydney were spending a few days in the north of the state, and were keen to meet up for a walk; Quamby Bluff seemed a good fit as it is well tracked and relatively short. The walk starts on old farm land just off the Lakes Highway. Once in the forest, a nice patch of large tea trees is traversed before reaching a section of scree. At the top of the scree field you enter a moss covered myrtle forest which was completely unexpected, but reminded me of the beech forests we walked through on the way to Green Lake Hut. From here, the track climbs steadily before emerging at a saddle on the southern end of the bluff. Good views of the Meander Valley and the Western Tiers can be found from here. Before reaching the flat top of Quamby, there is another small rock scree to climb up, offering more views of valleys on either side. A quick walk across the top gets you to the trig point and the summit, where we had lunch in a sheltered rocky nook out of the wind.
All up – 7kms in 3 hours and 55 minutes with 518m ascent
Getting there: The start of the track is well marked and can be easily seen on the Highland Lakes Road (A5) at this location. Additional parking can be found ~100 meters down the road.
The day started off with a quick visit to Adamsfield after collecting the key from the Mt Field Visitors Centre. We had a look around the Clarke Huts and some old machinery, before heading further along the Morley Track to poke around the old mine sites. After negotiating a couple of creeks and puddles we reached a large section of the track that was significantly under water, and decided not to take the risk and return in drier times.
After performing a 48 point turn, we returned to Clear Hill Road and continued on for a few kms to the start of the Clear Hill Track. There is a small cairn on the left hand side of the road, and a number of ribbons on the right hand side that indicate the start leading up the embankment. The first ~10 minutes from the road follow a steep and slippery track cut through thick bush before reaching the ridge. At this point, a number of large conglomerate boulders occupy the landscape and The Thumbs can be seen across Clear Hill Plains. We were lucky to get a quick glimpse of Gordon Gorge before the clouds settled in, and any chance of getting a view from the top had vanished. From this point the track climbs steadily, passing by a number of very large boulders that seem out of place. At one point the track descends into a gully and passes by a small cave on the left hand side, before the final climb to the summit.
We reached the summit trig 1.5 hours after starting and had some lunch out of the wind. I can only imagine the views of Stepped Hills, The Thumbs and the Denisons would be pretty spectacular on a clear day. On the way back we stopped to check out Adams Falls which had a lot of water coming down.
All up 5.1kms in 3 hours and 10 minutes with 592m ascent.
Drive along the Gordon River Road until you reach Clear Hill Road (4kms past the Scotts Peak Dam turnoff). Follow Clear Hill Road for 21.6kms and the track will be on the right.
Australia Day long weekend had been set aside to join a Pandani Club walk to Reynolds Falls. Instead of leaving Hobart early in the morning, we decided to drive up after work and stay the night in the Cradle Mountain area. This gave us good opportunity to bag a peak and we decided on Mt Campbell, as it’s a short walk and has an excellent view of Cradle Mountain and Dove Lake.
We arrived at the Dove Lake carpark around 7pm and made our way around the eastern side of the lake and followed all directions to Hansons Peak. Instead of walking to the saddle between Mt Campbell and Hansen Peak, we decided to head up a rocky scree a bit earlier in order to save a few minutes. This was a mistake and most likely took a little longer than just going the regular way. Once at the saddle head left and follow one of many paths that snake through the fagus and up towards the peak. Once you get to the rocky scree there is only one main path that can be followed all the way to the top. We stopped for sometime about halfway up as the sun was setting and lighting up Cradle Mountain in a yellow/orange glow. The flat and unimpressive summit was our next target and we reached the heap of rocks that is the highpoint (~40 minutes after leaving the carpark).
All up: 4.1kms in an easy 1 hour and 40 minutes with 318m ascent.
Getting there: Follow all directions to Cradle Mountain and drive to the Dove Lake carpark. Once at the lake, walk around the eastern side and follow directions towards Hansons Peak. At the saddle, turn left and follow the pad up to the summit.
I had read mixed reviews about this walk, but it turned out to be up there with one of the best day walks I’ve done recently. Maybe that was due to the fact it was sunny and we did not require head-to-toe wet weather gear; after the last few peaks, I had almost forgotten what it was like to walk in good weather.
After spending the night at the Edgar Campground on the Scotts Peak Dam Road, we made our way back east to climb Mt Mueller. We arrived at the carpark around 8am and were ready to head off at quarter past. Initially the track is a bit boggy and pretty overgrown. This only lasts for about 20 minutes, and before long the old bulldozer track opens up and makes for some nice walking. Once you can see Fossil Lake you need to keep an eye out for a cairned route on the right hand side that takes you down to the lake. Almost 1 hour later we had reached Fossil Lake, where we had a short break and refilled our water bottles. Note that this is probably the last place to get easily accessible fresh water, especially in the warmer months. The track continues from the North Western side of the lake and makes it up towards the peak above. There were still a few large snow drifts left over from the heavy dumps a week or so ago. We reached the top of the ridge 40 minutes later, then made our way across the top towards the summit of Mt Mueller.
Towards the south, low level clouds had blocked our view of any of the nearby peaks, with the exception of the very tip of Mt Anne. This was not the case on the northern side of the ridge, as we could see all the way up the Gordon Valley. The ridge line then drops down to the saddle before heading up one last time to reach the true highpoint. We reached the top 2 hours and 45 minutes after leaving the carpark, then spent the next 45minutes eating lunch and taking in the view. Luckily the cloud to the south had passed and we could now see all the way down to Federation and PB. Luckily the wind had dropped and we were able to check out some of the more exposed rock ledges around the summit. We then made our way back to the Fossil Lake and down to the car.
All up 12.1kms in 5hours and 45 minutes with about an hour and a half worth of stops. 1336m ascent.
Getting there: Follow directions towards Mt Field National Park and continue past Maydena. Take the right turn onto Florentine Road then about 100m take another right onto Styx Road (direction Big Styx Reserve). Follow this road for a few kilometres until you reach Mueller Road. The gate across the road should be open from this end but not from the Scotts Peak Dam Road end. Drive along Mueller Road for 4.8kms and take a right down an unnamed spur road. Follow this spur road and take the first left. A few hundred metres up there will be a car park on the left and the track begins 20m further up the road, as indicated by some orange tape.