Well it has been a while since I have written anything and for that I am Sorry, I have spent the last 3.5 months living on the edge of the Great Victoria Desert.
There is not a lot to do out there hiking or mountaineering wise that could be achieved in my one day off per week.
I did however make a regular effort to run up the local “mountain” for want of a better word. so I thought I would share the experience with you.
From the township of Leonora make your way to the goldfields Highway and run in the direction of Kalgoorlie until you get to the turn off for Tower road, turn right onto tower road and follow the road until you see an obvious track leading up the mountain. follow that track uphill until you reach the water tower then follow up a short steep section to the summit. On the way down be careful on the steep section as it can be loose underfoot.
That’s about it for Mt Leonora, I would go early morning before it heats up and watch out for snakes.
The track to the fall leaves from the Parks and wildlife visitor centre at the entrance to the park. The walk itself is quite short at around 10 minutes one way and is well worth the trip. Should you be camping near by the walk to the falls takes on a different feel at night where you will see glow worms dotted along the undergrowth.
Drive on from the visitor centre for a couple of minutes and you will see a small car park with a sign that points you to the start of the walk. The walk through some of the tallest trees you will find in Tasmania is breath taking.
Lake Dobson Area
Continue up the unsealed road for 16km from the visitor centre and you will be at lake Dobson. Here there is a day shelter and the walker’s intention registry. Please remember to log your intentions in the book in case of emergency.
From Lake Dobson follow the track around the western side of the lake until a junction in the track, take the right hand junction to continue around the side of the lake. Again the track will fork and the right hand track should be taken again. The track will lead out to the Urquhart track which you can follow south back to the car park or continue right to link with other tracks.
The Walls as it’s locally known is perhaps one of the most scenic areas in Tasmania, its walking is not to difficult and this combination of scenery and access makes it a favourite amongst school groups, walking clubs and tour operators.
3-4 hours easy
From the car park, the track leads uphill past the walkers registration booth and climbs gradually for most of the way to trappers hut there are steeper sections but generally its not too tough.
From trappers hut the track continues uphill then soon levels out as you reach the plateau. Once on the plateau you start to wander through the tarns following a rocky track with duckboard sections. As you make your way to Wild Dog Creek where there are camping platforms and toilets, Parks request that you camp here and not at Dixons Kingdom hut or the pools of Bethesda. From here there are many short walks and full day walks available.
5-6 hours easy
Follow the track through herrods gates and on to Dixons Kingdom Hut, from here to Lake Ball there is no track to follow and minimal impact walking practice should be followed as you make your way south west to Lake Ball. Once you reach Lake Ball look out for the track again which starts in a forested section before you reach the lake. Follow the track around the lake and then descends to Lake Adelaide, when you meet the junction with the Junction Lake track continue to the right which takes you through a rocky valley and continues to meet up with the track used on the walk in and back to the car. (Don’t forget to sign out)
You may like to spend a few days at wild dog creek exploring the area
Time: 4.5 hours (Including breaks, longer if you have lunch out on the cape)
Access: Drive south from Hobart to Eaglehawk Neck follow the signs on the Arthur Highway to Tasman National Park
Grade: Easy – Moderate
The walk starts from the Fortescue Bay camp ground near the boat ramp. Initially the walking follows the bay around before slowly gaining height as it moves inland, about 15 minutes from the start; there is a small waterfall & creek. The water was good to drink when we walked through, but not sure on how reliable a source it is, so make sure you pack sufficient quantities.
The track dips and then rises gradually across varied terrain including rock, mud and boarded sections. In general the walking is quite easy and not difficult. After about 45mins-1hr you reach a T-junction with the right hand fork leading to Mount Fortescue and the left to Cape Hauy. Shortly after the sign the track starts to lose height gradually then steepens as views of the Cape appear. after the descent the track undulates across the Cape to the end (care must be taken in this section as the track gets close to the cliff line at many points and could be dangerous) at one point the headland is no more than 3 meters wide. There is a nice spot to sit and eat lunch about 50meters short of the end of the cape. Leave your packs here and walk the 50 meters to the end to peer over and have a look at the Totem Pole and Candlestick. The walk back is a simple retrace of the route in.
this walk started out as a three day exploration of mount field, day one was to walk from lake dobson to k col, pitch the tent and then continue out to mt field west and return for a relaxing evening looking over the park. day two was to walk to twilight tarn and cut across to tarn shelf, retrace our tracks back to the hut for dinner. day three would be the short walk out to the car on the end on the tran shelf circuit.
things didnt go to plan though, the clouds looked dubious as we walked past the ski huts and crested the hill, still they seemed they would hold off for a fair while. murphys law prevailed though as we approached rodway hut and the heavens opened their assult midly at first teasing us with a drizzle that was hard to tell if it was snow or mist. It was at this point we decided to break out the waterproof’s, ditching my soft shell i shouldered and zipped up my gore-tex jacket and looked in amazment as my fiancee pulled out a thin sheet of plastic shaped to resemble a jacket. looking at her glorified freezer bag it was quickly decided that a night on the range in the oncoming weather may not be the best idea, so we decided to cut across tarn shelf to Newdegate hut and spend the night there and see what the conditions would offer the next day. arriving at Newdegate hut about an hour later we found the hardened site next to the lake being splashed with water as the wind gusted across the lake, looking at the hut it was quickly decided to continue on to twilight tarn. shortly after leaving the hut the weather gods decided to punish us pelting us with bouncy rain (hail), normal rain though coming in almost horizontal, some snow flakes and then repeating the cycle all the next hour. we floundered into the hut soaking wet and feeling like polar explorers who just fell through the ice. a few hot drinks and dry clothes later our bones warmed by chicken noodle soup nestled in a downie it was time to cook dinner and retire to bed. the next morning the weather showed no sign of improving and it was decided to walk out a day early, the weather gods continued to pound us on the way out but with only 2 hours to the car a full belly of what was to be that nights dinner it didnt seem to bad, i even decided to enjoy the experience and walked along waterproof free feeling the sting of hail on my arms the soft fluffy landing of snow on my face and cheerily singing always look on the bright side of life and 99 bottles all the way to the trail head only realising the funny side when i looked back to see amy (my fiancee) with a foul look on her face ready to belt me across the face for taking her out in such conditions and then being so forward as to actually enjoy it.
The Radfords track on Mount Wellington can be a hot spot for disaster, recently on a walk up the mountain well it was actually on the way back down i saw a lady who seemed to be having trouble with direction. talking to her i found out she was trying to get down to Fern Tree, as thats where i was going i said i would show her the way.
Only 5 minutes down the track two mountain bikes came flying down the track barely missing the both of us and continuing to fly down the hill. thinking the heart rate could afford to go down a bit we continued to head own, moments later just around a small bend another bike came flying down and collected my random walking partner.
the incident injured her quite a bit (split head, twisted back, shoulder) after spending over an hour and a half walking her down to the ranger who was waiting on pinnacle drive she was finally able to head off to be checked out.
I know the benefits of shared pathways and activities around the Hobart area, but i do think there is a need for some sort of regulation on the use/speed of bikes on walking trails to avoid injury to people. i know bells on bikes are a dangerous as the can cause injury to the rider (its happened to me). now the lady i was walking with did the right thing by trying to move to the far left to escape the bike but the rider changed his course and headed in the same direction. from talking to other users on the track its seems close calls and accidents are common on this section of track.
does anyone have any suggestions to aid in the use of the track for the benefit of all users?