A Steep Mistake

Craigow Hill

On our last visit to the Belbins Road end of the Meehan Range a track marked Caves Hill was noticed and that is what brought us here this time.  Obviously, the track is created for bikes but being a weekday meant it was low use.
 
The prior walk to Craigow was 2005, and after reaching the saddle between Flagstaff and Eagle Hills it was reasonably familiar, apart from not remembering having to negotiate a fence twice. At the second fence line, there was a gate and then we were on the Craigow Hill property and it was most apparent that it was managed in a manner leaving the bush in a nicer state. Our lunch spot was in a patch of grasstrees making it sheltered with pleasing surrounds. This was the far point of the journey and marked where the other part of circuit started for the return to the start.

Craigow Hill
 
It was very steep down from Craigow and we missed the descent track used last time.  Although a pile of rocks was noticed the track we were on was very distinct and it was not until we were much further down that suspicions arose that the rocks may have marked the route.  The 4wd track became very steep and didn’t seem to fit with our memory of the previous descent, but by then it felt too much of a bother to go back up.  The steepness continued with the slope averaging 1:5 and seemed to be taking us on the Coal Valley side. At the bottom, we found ourselves in the correct gully but at the wrong end, which was OK, making it a simple task of following the open path until reaching the planned point for ascending to Golden Hill.  The particular track used,part from at the very top, is not marked on maps.

Grasstrees Craigow Hill
 

Ozothamnus

It still wasn’t plain sailing though, because on reaching the spot the GPS indicated the track up started, it was pointing 20 metres through a wall of thick scrub. Puzzling, so we continued walking until the track crossed a creek, noticed a sign up the bank and found ourselves on  completely different and much higher grade vehicle track.  Fancy that two tracks running parallel in this obscure spot; anyway, it explained things and it wasn’t long before we were finally back on the planned route.

 
Incidentally the sign was a PWS one indicating it was a reserve. It also was where management burn had been carried out and the unique Eucalyptus risdonii of the slope were looking miserable with lots of dead leaves; hard to see how a burn in the middle of a big swath of bush helps reduce fire risk and equally hard to see that it would be of any value as regeneration tool in already healthy bush.
 
I had marked in the GPS a couple of junctions and planned to use the second one, but for no
good reason took the first one, which although inadvertent, actually cut a bit off the distance.
 
 

 

Distance
12.5k  Total time with lunch 4:50
Track profile
 
Blue = route taken red = planned route
 
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Denmans Cove

A case of two distinctly different grades of track

Sunday 2 July 2017
It had been 14 years since we walked to Denmans Cove and from some reports we expected it to be more overgrown than previously.  It seemed a bit worse, but not as bad feared. We did make one decision that went through the most difficult section unnecessarily. This came about when we followed tapes close to the end that took us past a short easy track directly to the Denmans beach. The longer scrubbier way was no doubt there for times when the tide made the short cut unviable. The short way was used on return without any trouble.
Euaclypts at Stinking Bay
Back in 2003 a wider track beside a cleared area was used to get to Stinking Bay, but now a walking track through forest brought us onto the coast about 600 metres from the beach. This took close to 40 minutes  and another 1:25 to Denmans, excluding morning drink break.
Correa
Three Capes track

Views were good along the way, but Denmans Cove was in shade and was not going to get any sun during mid winter. The Three Capes Track departs from here and the track was followed for about 10 or so minutes to a seat where we had lunch. Whilst there the boat with walkers starting the track came past and we crossed paths with them during our return to the cove.

Denmans Cove
Rocks at Simmonds Creek
Rocks at Stinking Bay
Stinking Bay
The shorter route to the track was used to leave Denmans and there was no problem getting over the creek outlet. From there it just a matter of retracing our inward steps
Actual one way walking time for the 4.7k  to Denamns Cove is about 2 hours.
A photo album can be viewed by clicking the image below.

Denmans CoveDenmans Cove

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A Changed Track – Cape Raoul

Saturday 1 July 2017
It is now a quite different experience walking to Cape Raoul now that the track has been upgraded, although it was far from finished. The initial early part is predominantly gravel with a little boardwalk and means the slippery mud is now thankfully thing of the past. From the creek crossing it is all gravel and winds up to the Raoul lookout, but on the descent after there some large zig zags have been added and maybe just a bit more than needed. It was still under construction as was long sections between there and cape Raoul. It was pleasing to see the track will continue under the casuarinas but that section was always good walking and it seems a great waste of resource and money ripping through it to add gravel. The same can be said for the last part where the track crosses the heathland before the cape, where the old track has been dug up and rocks removed.  This seems to be very much overdone and again unnecessary and expensive, whereas a little gravel topping would have been quite sufficient.
Cape Raoul from lower lookout on a bend on new track
 
While on the subject of the track upgrade; it looks likely, based on the yellow paint on the Raoul lookout cliff edge that railing is planned.  Surely quite unnecessary.  Storage sheds were noticed a little off the track and two of them seemed to have been hit bit very strong winds and had blown off the base platforms and one was knocked about quite a bit. The scenery was as usual marvellous, especially in such lovely calm weather and a great highlight was seeing a group of whales rounding Cape Raoul below us as we ate lunch.  You could hear the spume and at times some of them beached with one frequently whacking the water with its tail.
 
Whales
 
Just before leaving a couple of walkers turned up and both were quite annoyed about the track upgrade. The bloke looked familiar and Sue eventually recalled that it was Dave from the radio who interviewed people at the Mount Field Fagus Festival last year.
 
Cape Raoul 
 
The return walk is 15.4k and takes about 2:15 each way.

 

We plan to return and make use of the old track now reopened to the public and stated to have convict heritage. This goes to Tunnel Bay and the return would be via the upgraded Shipstern Bluff track to make a circuit of the walk.
 
View a photo album from the walk by clicking the image below.
 

Cape Raoul 2017

Cape Raoul 2017

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Lichen Hill 2017

Tuesday 16 May 2017
 
With the ever decreasing daylight at this time of year, it was good to be back in Hobart before darkness descended. This a bonus as it is not pleasant driving the Sorell to Cambridge section with a host of headlights whizzing towards you. This even after stopping for a coffee.

Lichen and moss encrusted rock surface

 

We went up Pirates and Plateau roads with the vehicle and could have driven to the start of the walk as the barrier was not in use and the final bit of road quite reasonable.
 
The walk only has a gentle climb or two and was pleasant. The country lived up to its name with much lichen accompanied by patches of fungi. The last little bit from the junction with Balts Spur track and Tatnells Hill was overgrown. It was on Tatnells for lunch with good views although it somewhat cloudy.

 

Overlooking Waterfall Bay  with view to Fossil Island and Tasman Blowhole

 

 

 
It took a shade over two hours each way for the11k return distance. In hindsight, we could have reduced 2k from this by driving along the last bit of road to the track start.
 
Most of the walk is with Tasman National Park or land managed by PWs with a small part at the start marked as crown land designated as Future Potential Production Forest. The abutting land is also this category, then it is Forestry run land.
 
One other memorable thing was the singing of two Grey Shrike-thrush.
Total distance on track 9K on forest road 2k   total time exc lunch 4:10
 
A photo album is online
 

Lichen Hill 2017

Lichen Hill 2017

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Plunkett Point Lime Bay

Thursday 11 May 2017

A most pleasant walk along the coast between the convict coal mine settlement and Lime Bay. As there was six of us it allowed for a car shuffle to save making a walk along the road back to the starting point.

Light but quite wetting showers were met on the drive down to Tasman Peninsula, but it was fine if mostly cloudy where the walk took place. The wind was cool and from the south east but the bush was thick enough to block it.
Lunch was at Monk Bay and good fortune brought the sun out for the duration before it disappeared behind cloud again.  The conditions for the last half of the walk at least made it easy to see how clear the water along the coast was.
During the walk the number of little diggings on and beside the track was most noticeable and hopefully it is indicative of a healthy native animal population; possibly many by Bandicoots.
The Fishlips café at Taranna was open and was good for a coffee.


The walk was 9.6k and with lunch took 3:40

 

 

 

 

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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

 

Posted in bushwalk, bushwalking, cliffs, hiking, mountain, outdoors, Tasmania, tramping, trekking, Wellington Park | 1 Comment

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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