South Cape Rivulet
22-23 April 2009
Our plan to spend four days in the Walls was replaced with two days to South Cape Rivulet, simply because the north west was expecting rain for the last days. The weather was absolutely ideal with clear skies and quite calm wind on both days. Late in the afternoon a group of about 12 from a Cygnet school arrived, but as we had the small campsite a little distant from the main one, our peace wasn't disturbed much at all.
Whilst most of the walk was very pleasant there is one aspect that is very much below par. And that is the deplorable state of the track that bypasses Lion Rock. I have been along this track over a number of years and have observed the gradual deterioration. Stretches that had once been heavily shaded but relatively dry, became soft and muddy over the years, but are now quite boggy and causing braiding as people walk wide to avoid the mud. The lengths of deteriorating sections have now increased as well. After having walked the South Coast Track on four occasions over my 40 years of walking throughout Tasmania, I feel that this part of the track is in many ways an indicator of the likely state of similar parts of the South Coast Track.
The track is being promoted by the Tasmanian Government, through Parks and Wildlife and the Tourism authority. This is evidenced by PWS web site and the PWS South Coast map and the Tasmanian Walking Tracks Strategy and Marketing Plan 1997 as well as wilderness tourism advertising. There is no doubt that part of the reason for promotion is to bring bushwalkers to Tasmania to help boost the economy. It is therefore an obligation of the Government and other promoters to ensure that the track is maintained to a reasonable standard. If it wasn't promoted then there would have been less people using it over the years and the track would therefore not be as bad as it is currently.