South Wellington Plateau

Wednesday 19 April 2017

The weather was great, making it extra pleasant especially once off the track, where we had the whole of the plateau to ourselves. The snow gums, bushes and tarns all looked splendid. 

 

South Wellington 2017

South Wellington 2017

Click the image above for a photo album


Rock pillars beside track  South Wellington


Alpine woodland on approach to plateau
Pool on alpine plateau In background Southern ranges, PB and Hartz
Snowgums and yellowbush

 

 

 

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Sphinx Cousin

Tuesday 14 February 2017

Hut ruin
Some years ago, I climbed on to the top of a sandstone monolith just below Sphinx Rock, which I am dubbing Sphinx Cousin as there are a lot of similarities. Anyway, I was there again a few weeks ago, and thought it would be good to return to re-explore the spot.
The walk went up the Cascade track to the spot where a creek joined Guy Fawkes Rivulet.  There is a rough but clearly visible track ending here, but I could not locate it and we eventually ended up on Main Fire Trail.  On revisiting the map, I discovered that the correct route did start at the crossing but turned up more to the right, rather than go uphill left.

Middle Track was used, going past old hut ruins to the Lenah Valley Track; quite a continuous uphill climb. Once at Sphinx Cousin I lead the way up a little gully to top out in thick scrub. The small open area was eventually reached and a good lunch spot is was too.  Neville suggested returning via the quite short bit of bush to the base of Sphinx Rock; a mere 15 metres and easy going at that.
Chimney of Johnsons Hut ruin
On “Sphinx Cousin”

The return leg was down the Lower Sawmill, along the fire trail and then down a new track that was made mainly for bikes, to the track which I dub as Jubilee to join the Cascade again for the last few hundred metres.
 
The walk was 12.6k, took 5 ¼ hours and ascended close to 600 metres.

 

Ascent profile 105m to 684m

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Yellow cliffs

Spectacular Cliffs

Tuesday 31 January 2017
Our most pressing matter before departing was locating the key to close Nigel’s back car window, which fortunately Neville found in the grass. A little over an hour later we arrived
at Glen Dhu Rivulet and after a break started the Yellow Cliffs leg.

Yellow Cliffs central section
 
Initially we found ourselves too high, although this did provide very good views of Yellow Cliffs. On descending stinging nettles provided an unpleasant effect to the unwary; I could still feel the effects from touching against them at 5PM; perhaps I am a bit sensitive to nettles nowadays. Once underneath it was spectacular walking with constant views of the
huge cliffs, overhangs and various frock features.
 
Surprisingly there were occasional tapes marking route for part of the way. After some 450 metres a point was reached that presented a few difficulties and lunch was called. Although it seemed feasible to access the next level up, we decided it best to return by the inward route. It had taken a bit over an hour to get to our far point and return was about 45 minutes.   The length of the remaining cliff was some 1k and would have taken quite a time to reach.

Cliff face
Yellow Cliffs features
 
Once back at the car a second search was undertaken for the again lost key, but it was found where Nigel had left it.
 
What we did see was most satisfying.  Distance for the day was 8.5k and with the two
breaks took 5 ½ hours.
Route

 

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Mount Hull Loop

Tuesday 24 January

 

Pink Mountain Berry

Most of the walk was on fire trails, until turning off for the section up and over Mount Hull. It was debated whether we ascend Hull from the northern side and descend to the saddle on the southern end.  The only advantage to that way would be if it was decided to continue the prominent knoll further south, involving an addition 500 metres of walking each way.

Party on the Mount Hull summit

The decision was to tackle Hull from the south and that may have given us the advantage of seeing what is known as Leamans Knob. By going the reverse could easily have meant that it was bypassed without being noticed.

The route up that we took had several cairns and sometimes tape and was reasonable walking terrain. The summit plateau has several flat rocky areas that make attractive gaps in the bush, one of which we had lunch on.  Unfortunately, one of these also had a lot of healthy Erica, most of which got pulled out, but a few big ones remain.

Rocky torn known as Leamans Knob

 

We walked a bit over 1k looking for the rock tor, known as Leamans Knob, without success. Whilst descending by the much rougher northern face we managed to spot our search rock, about 300 metres from the summit.

In all the distance, including the over 1k searching about, was 14.7k and the time taken was 7 ½ hours.

More photos here

 

Route including search track points

 

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Wellington Pinnacle Sawmill Circuit

Pleasant morning with plenty of Christmas Bush (Prostanthera lasianthos) and Cheeseberry (Cyathodes glauca) on display. Went down Sawmill to the large sandstone monolith below Sphinx Rock and also walked under the cliffs of the latter. Took 3 ½ hours with morning break and lunch

Photo album

Prostanthera lasianthos on  Pinnacle Track
Organ Pipes viewed through the trees
Senecio Sawmill Track

Cyathodes glauca Cheeseberry
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Monash Valley 2016

 

Thursday 29 December 2016
 
Apart from the timber track for the 350 metres the walk was off track over country where animal pads
are the only sign of wear.  The day was quite misty making navigation harder, but having a GPS made a big difference it allowed certainty as to the direction we needed to go.


Richea scoparia in a variety of colours

 

The Richea scoparia at our destination was superb and has not looked any better.  The approach over Wombat Moor was colourful, particularly the Epacris  serpyllifolia  and Boronia citriodora. 
The walk was 6.2k with actual walking time 2:30 for the day.

 

 

Boronia citriodora

 

Epacris  serpyllifolia

 

Photo album

Monash Valley 2016

Route taken

 

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Hartz Peak

Saturday 29 October  2016

The weather was looking good and a walk to Hartz Peak sounded nice and the day turned out to be delightful and calm.  Once we had decided on the venue, it sudden thought sprung to mind that maybe there were some geocaches in the area and a check on the web revealed several, so this was a bonus.

Hartz Lake

One side of the car park at the end of the Hartz road was almost full suggesting that there would be quite a few out walking to the peak.  It was only a few hundred metres along the track that the first returning walker was passed and this continued at intervals with the last just leaving as we reached the top.  We weren’t alone for long though as several others soon arrived.

In such nice weather the views were really good with the best being down to Hartz Lake from the edge of a saddle of wind pruned vegetation a little off to the side of the track.

Wind pruned bushes

Over a number of years, we have made the short detour to Lake Esperance and I have taken a photo of the recovering cushion plants from the same fenced off spot each visit.  Since the first one in 2003 there is a steady improvement, but it is a slow process.

View up to the summit

Before starting the walk we stopped at Waratah shelter and it seems such a nice spot that it prompted us to make a plan trip in December to walk to Lakes Perry and Osborne

On the drive back we noticed a large number of people in the street at Franklin and when we got closer realised that many of them were dressed up for Halloween; it seems this event has become popular in some locations in Tasmania.

Hartz Peak
 
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Wellington Circuit 2016

Tuesday 11 October 2016

The previous day had been quite showery with strong winds and the day after was unpleasant as well, but Tuesday was mostly good.  It was a brisk breeze early but a clear sky, which last for a couple of hours during which time the wind eased lot. However, by lunch time we had a light shower.

The walk went to New Town Falls, Lakins Lair and Crocodile Rock then up Hunters Track and the steady downhill on the Old Hobartians back to the cars at Lenah Valley. The consensus was that we had done enough to justify feeling tired.

 

Mudstone cliffs  near New Town Falls
Cheeseberry Cyathodes glauca

 

Bossiaea obcordata at cliffs

 

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Freycinet Ridge

26-28 September 2016

On the last occasion that we walked to a favourite campsite on the ridge above Bryans Lagoon there was little daylight left, so breaking the journey into two days sounded quite appealing. It worked well for us with arrival at Lagunta Creek at the end of Hazards Beach about 3:15 pm.  After checking the small bay some 400 metres south a decision was made to camp there; especially as it was half expected that a school party would turn up at the main camping area.

 
Small bay used as campsite
The walk through to Cooks Beach next morning was a delight with this section of track one of the richest in flowering plants. Masses of Thryptomene were on show as was the yellows of Hibbertia and Aotus.  From Cooks through to the creek at the bottom of the climb to the ridgetop was also splendid with the greatest number of orchids and a section with heaps of waxflower. It is a steady 1.6k uphill from here and took 50 minutes for a height gain of close on 200m. After lunching a route was taken to a campsite with a delightful aspect with great views over Bryans Lagoon and Schouten Island.  A short afternoon walk to the southern swamp which is a bit over 2k return but in this terrain took 75 minutes and this allowed lots of time to cook tea in the sun.
View of Schouten Island from campsite
Bryans Lagoon from camp
A different route was taken to reach East Freycinet Saddle and the track followed to the junction with Mount Freycinet where after a short distance up this track we headed off to pick up the ridge leading down to Lagunta Creek camping ground. It was a scramble around the steep side for a while until a rough pad was reached.  Several times whilst going down from here we lost the pad, especially when having to evade fallen trees, but each time the nose of the ridge was eventually regained.  It is 4.5k between tracks this way.
By the time the car was reached it had become quite cloudy and a shower could be seen in the far distance to the west; our timing between weather systems had been fortunate.
 
Over the 3 days the walking time was 15½ hours for the 17k.
Thryptomene
Aotus
Philotheca  – waxflower
 
 
 
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Murderers Gully

Sunday 25 September 2016
 
Small cave below the rim
 
Gorge rim
A short, but popular, walk to a sandstone gorge in the southern Midlands. It involved walking over paddocks off Lovely Banks Road and a very gentle and short descent into Murderers Gully. The starting time was set to allow us to get to the end of the gully, have lunch before returning by either the same route or via the overhangs and cliff rim.  Most chose the latter where we had a number of interesting rock features and nice slabby rock making easy walking along the rim.

 

Overhang

Chris suggested stopping for coffee at an old church at Pontville turned into a restaurant.  The staff at Twelve Stones were welcoming and extremely obliging. Despite there being 12 of us they did not find that a problem at all and quickly arranged for tables to be joined together.  Most impressive and the coffee and food were good too.

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