Tag Archives: North West

Mt Tor

While visiting Emily’s family in Burnie, we were keen to tick off an Abel in the area. We ended up choosing Mt Tor, as it relatively close-by and should’ve been pretty quick to get up and back. There are a couple of ways to access this Abel, both outlined in the Abels Vol.1; we choose the northern route, as there can accessibility issues on the western approach due to forestry activity.

The track starts by crossing Dempster Creek- thankfully, it’s not deep enough to cause any problem though the rocks are quite slippery. Shortly after, you reach the Leven River which can be a bit more difficult to get through due to deeper patches and a stronger current. Unable to pass safely where the road traverses the river, we headed upstream to see if we could find a more suitable crossing. A few minutes later we came across a shallower section with a number of partly exposed rocks. The rocks were incredibly slippery, but I managed to get across without getting wet; however, Emily was not so lucky and took a dip. Having made it past the two major obstacles, we pushed on,  following the old 4WD road along the banks of the river before veering left and finding the final creek crossing at Tor Creek.

From here the track begins to wind up through nice rainforest, climbing steeply before levelling off and then descending slightly. After 3.7kms we arrived at a fork and continued left and up for a few hundred meters before reaching a large cairn indicating the track upwards. The tapes seemed to disappear almost immediately and we were left with no choice but to find our own way up. Initially, we were able to follow some rocky sections and avoid the thick scrub, but we were soon met with a wall of bauera and his mates tea tree and banksia. Any attempt to stay dry was thrown out the window as we pushed up through the wall of scrub. Thankfully, we had already climbed a fair way and we soon reached the buttongrass fields which we were able to cross without too much trouble. Unfortunately the cloud was still present and we got no views whatsoever atop the wet and windy summit.

On the return we found a slightly better route down that avoided the worst of the scrub but had a number of cliffs to negotiate and clamber down. We also found a better river crossing about 100m upstream from where we first crossed, marked by an old road entry.

All up 12.7kms in 5hours and 45 minutes with 791m ascent.

Getting there: Turn off the Bass Highway at Ulverstone onto Preston Road. Follow this past Preston and onto South Preston Road towards Nietta. At Nietta turn right onto Loongana Road (also marked as Leven Canyon). Follow this for 21.2kms and park down by Dempster Creek.

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GPS track
Cross Dempster Creek by the carpark
Tor Creek
Heading up the old road
Cairn indicating the way up
Looking back while climbing up through the scrub
Summit views
A burly tree by the road
A ring of lichen
Nice forest walking

Mt Campbell

Abel#87; 1248m.

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.

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GPS track.
Emily on the way up.
Near the top.
Taking in the view.
Sun setting over Marions Lookout.
Golden hour.
The summit cairn.

Winterbrook Falls

Winterbrook Falls lies in the Winterbrook Forest Reserve, about an hours drive south of Burnie.   This is a nice half day walk (3-4 hours return) that takes you through old myrtle forests and up to about 900m in altitude.  There hadn’t been much rain in the previous days but there was still a fair bit of water coming down the falls, allowing us to walk around the base without getting too wet.

This weekend had been set aside to visit Emily’s family in Burnie, and we were hoping to have some free time on the Sunday to go and bag a peak in the area.  Originally the plan was to hike up to Black Bluff via the Penguin-Cradle trail but this was likely to take the best part of a day so we decided to cut the walk right down.  I wasn’t overly disappointed as I had a few too many wines the night before.  The walk we chose to do was a more leisurely 3-4 hour return to Winterbrook Falls, which lies just below the Black Bluff ridge.

The walk starts along the old forestry road and passes over the eroded bridge.  Turning left at the fork brings you to the old carpark and the start of the Tramway track.  The beginning of the track is mainly duck boards followed by open forest and a small bridge.  The track then climbs slightly while still following  the old snig track.   About an hour in you will reach Winterbrook Creek which provides a nice spot to stop and refill drink bottles.  From here, the track climbs reasonably steeply until it opens up to reveal the falls from afar.  To get to the base of the falls, continue along the duck boards and follow the signs/ribbons.  The final climb to the falls is short but fairly steep and could be difficult if there is a lot of water coming down.  We decided not to return via the slightly longer Maxwell track as we had to be back in Burnie for lunch.

All up 9.7kms in 3 hours and 15 minutes.  390m ascent.

Getting there: Take the B15 (Castra Road) off the Bass Highway at Ulverstone.  Continue along this road through Sprent and Upper Castra until you reach South Nietta Road.  Drive along South Nietta Road then continue straight onto Smith Plains Road.  Follow all signs for Winterbrook Forest Reserve.

Black Bluff can also be accessed via this track but I believe it is a bit steeper and more challenging than the Penguin-Cradle trail.  For those interested in reaching Black Bluff from here, you can start along the Maxwell track by turning right at the fork past the collapsed bridge (continuing along Smiths Plains Rd).  Alternatively you can walk the Tramway Track and turn right about 5 minutes before the falls to cut across to the Maxwell track.


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GPS route.
Sign indicating the collapsed bridge and the new car park.
The traffic hazard.
There is an information sign at the beginning of the track.  We only walked the Tramway track.
The old Tramway from the footbridge.
Open walking in old forests.
Duck boards near the start of the walk.
Odd fungi on the side of the track.
A Fun Guy.
Playing around with the live exposure function on my camera.
Winterbrook Creek.


Our first glimpse of Winterbrook falls
Winterbrook falls from the base.