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Showing posts from 2015

Ellendale to Mount Field

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Sunday 13 December 2015
It was hoped that we would be able to replicate in part the first known walk from there into the park, but where we ended at lunch time was at the bottom of a hill that, initially at least, was quite a scrubby ascent and was 1.5k and a height gain required of 200m.
This made it too far to the moorland and we opted to return. It also makes future trips that way perhaps needing an overnight stop, a very early start or having transport at the Lake Fenton end. Even so if the scrub encountered, above the marsh, continued it would be a bit tedious and hard to know how long it would take to get through. Perhaps in 1907 there were trapper’s tracks leading through the bush from the marsh level, although from the journal it sounds like the vegetation was much less and had been badly burnt.
The walk up to the marsh was pleasant especially once past the old sawmill site. The part to that point was on the old vehicle access track then we followed tapes to the Jones River an…

North East Ridge Mount Anne

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4-6 December 2015
Finally, after several postponements the walk was on with moderately promising weather. Although it takes a bit of effort getting there, the North East Ridge is a superb area and in good weather it is quite sublime. The plan was to get an early start to allow time for rests on the way up and this had us on the track by 7:30 am.

The plain was fairly wet, after recent rains, but not too bad and the bushes didn’t seem any higher or thicker than my memory from the last crossing. My last visit was in late March 2008 in delightful conditions. The details and photos are on the web. It has not been uncommon to have to do a bit of route searching from time to time in the forest and it again was the case today, but with 5 of us it didn’t take all that long to find one of the tapes marking the way.

Camp site area
A break beside the one and only creek, then lunch higher up provided much appreciated rests. By this point the slope is reasonably steep and continued that that way un…

Heathy Hills

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18 November 2015 It was only a year since first walking in the Heathy Hills Nature Reserve but the rock arch there was so stunning that I was keen to return.  Previously, which was October 2014 we had to ford the Jordan River but this time it was simply a matter of walking over the drying mud.  The other change was that now there were tapes and rock cairns marking the way, whereas before it was unmarked; I much prefer the old conditions. As it was we departed from the tapes and wandered to the arch via some cliffs and caves, but after leaving the arch we again met tapes. The arch area was just as enjoyable as previously and we spent some considerable time there. The remainder of the walk was to the high point on the same side of the gorge and then back along the cliff tops on the northern edge.  Below was another gorge with cliffs of a smaller third section of the hills. Parts along our route were mighty dry and there was the variety of flowering bushes as we had found the previous yea…

Big Hill

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Tuesday 5 November 2015
I misunderstood the route Dave intended to take for this walk; he mentioned an old road which I assumed was the old railway line.  However, it was the old road that was once the Midlands highway running south out from Kempton. So we followed that for about 2k before going through a farm gate; well actually climbing over is a more accurate description. After crossing paddock, we climbed quite steeply through bush, stopping on a knoll for morning tea, before reaching the wide summit then down a much gentler slope with spaced out trees, some quite large and old. 






Quoin Mountain Before us was a short ascent to Kempton Sugarloaf where we lunched then a very steep grassed slope past a series of white pained tyres advertising the Kempton Festival.
As we walked the short distance back along a road we met the property owners who gave us a suggestion for another walk on their property to the west.  The mention of cliffs, caves and losing ourselves in the gully spi…

Beatties Tarn

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Saturday 19 September 2015
The track to this lovely area is once again open for walkers to visit. Beatties Tarn is such a tranquil and beautiful spot sitting 200m below the tree covered slopes of the high ridge between Seagers Lookout and Mount Field East.
The park management plan suggested a re-route the Beatties Tarn side track and rehabilitate the old track, (page 37) and a consultant in a 2008 report on tracks commented that he was “not convinced it’s practical or desirable to prevent access to the tarn.


The track was closed for several years because the original track traversed a very wet area where some of the water flowed over a small flat area and became degraded. This area also has a considerable sphagnum content. A suitable route close to the old was marked out by Friends of Mount Field with PWS staff and is about 320 metres of track of which 80 metres is the existing but overgrown track and the remainder is rerouted but close to the former track
The track now passes…

Central Meehan Range

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Tuesday 18 August
The prospects for this walk were somewhat unknown and it had been so many years since I had been along the top of the central part of the Meehan Range. This was on a trip John Cannon took which went along the tops from near Brighton and finished at Lindisfarne, and I didn’t really have much recollection of it. Anyway for this walk I got details from Chris who had been there only a few weeks before and it sounded like it might be interesting. I have often noticed the enticing cliffs and overhangs when driving on Grasstree Hill Road.

Rock slab area with Mount Wellington The morning for the walk was still, clear and sunny with a chill still in the air. As we were about the leave from Risdon Vale a car pulled up behind us and what we though was a woman got out and began talking to us, however by this stage we were quite unable to determine if the person was male or female. Afterwards neither Greg, Adrian nor I felt any the wiser. Initially the walk is on a rough 4wd tr…

Platform Peak

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Tuesday 21 July 2015There was some sun during the drive to the start of the walk, but soon after starting a high cloud cover took over and remained that way for the remainder of the day. The ground was frosty and even after lunch some ponds were still frozen. Track on ascent to the plateau of Platform PeakOnce out of protected areas there was a cold wind but quite a lot of the walk was through forest with plenty of understory, including one stretch where Teatree had overgrown the old vehicle track. Lots of tapes mark the route and on the climb, traverse and descent of the main massif there were also triangle markers, although those nailed on live trees have been hammered in far too tightly and most of these are in stages of either being ejected by the growing tree; quite a bundle of these were picked up off the ground where they had fallen.By far the Platform Peak was the best part of the walk. Once the forestry tracks and roads are left behind for the climb the vegetation becomes mor…

Mount Franklin

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Wednesday 8 July 2015
Sometime last year Neville suggested a walk to Mount Franklin and we have now settled on a day for the walk. It is a prominence of 1102 metres and is situated on the north east side of Lake Sorell in the highlands and rises about 300 metres above the lake.   It is assumed it was named after former governor John Franklin but checking at Placenames Tasmania didn’t give any history.
This was a particularly cold morning and the temperature was -4 for most of the drive to Oatlands with heavy frost about, Nigel used his windscreen wiper and it turned to ice.  But apart from several fog patches on the way it was still and sunny. Along the Tunbridge Tier Road the gums were spectacularly white.
We had two vehicles and there was confusion about the road to take from the highway, but thanks to mobile phone communication this was soon sorted out.
A 4wd road goes reasonably close to the peak, but it was unknown how far, if at all, we would be able to drive.  However it was in…

Den Hill

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Thursday 21 May 2015We had a couple of waypoints, taken off the map, but did not have any knowledge of the majority of the vehicle tracks within the area, so a likely looking track was picked that headed roughly in the direction of the closest waypoint. This point was at the junction of two tracks that were marked on the 1:25k map but the track we had been following did a turn away when about 250 metres from the waypoint. I went off to check but could not find this track although must have walked over it. All this took 20 minutes and was compounded by going in the wrong direction until the GPS was consulted. While this was going on the others had morning tea so we didn’t lose much time and headed up through the bush towards Den Hill. After a short distanced we came upon the old track which was fairly indistinct but certainly followable. A more pronounced track was met some 600 metres on and that eventually joined an even bigger one that took us to within 280 metres of the top. The top…

WHEN THE EAST WIND BLOWS - Spires Range

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Article written for the Tasmanian Tramp No 29, which probably accounts for the style adopted.The walk was to the Spires Range in southwest Tasmania between 5 and 13 February 1990 Official predictions for the south west were for easterly weather with cloud and showers for the next several days. In the past an easterly pattern usually provided ideal conditions out west, so there was much discussion as to the wisdom of leaving on the planned date. As it transpired some of our original party pulled out leaving just four of us, Chris, Mary, David and myself, setting out on day one, albeit almost three hours later than first planned. By the time vie reached Maydena, the last town, it was pleasant though somewhat: cloudy. Here a local resident informed us that the river levels had dropped since the previous day, which brought on the need to make a decision between fording the Gordon River or walking downstream and crossing at Gordon bend, by flying fox. As an extra couple of hours were neede…

Wards Bluff

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Tuesday 21 – Wednesday 22 April 2015We did not manage to get to Wards Bluff and in fact we were a long way short when we turned around. It would be most interesting to know how others have got on in recent years.

Two reports from quite a number of years ago indicated that the groups did the walk in a long day. One of them from close on 20 years ago took 12 hours whilst the other was a mighty 14 hours. We also had a GPS track log for the major part of the ridge top walk which took 4 ½ hours. Our plan was to do the walk over two days with a camp at a creek that was on the map and also easily visible on satellite images.
The peak on the northern end of Flat Bluff from our campsite
The ascent on the old, but revegetating, logging road took us just over 2 hours to reach the ridge top where the route ahead could at last be viewed. The first section looked to be clad in a lot of vegetation and it did look to be a long way to Wards Bluff.  However there was no feeling that any real prob…