Bushwalking/ Hiking – Wellington Falls

On 2 January 2013 I wandered up to Wellington Falls for a walk.

Here’s a link to the Endomondo workout:
https://www.endomondo.com/embed/workouts?w=j6oSYTzMl5o&width=580&height=600&width=950&height=600

The falls are on the southern face of Mount Wellington, which itself is about 15km from the centre of Hobart. If you’ve ever been to Hobart, Mt Wellington is ‘the mountain’ – or as it’s known by the traditional Aboriginal name of ‘kunayni’. Hobart is built around the foothills of the mountain. If you ever come here – you can’t miss it.

To get there I went to a small town called Neika, where I left my car and started walking along the historic Pipeline Track. Now before you ask, Neika is spelt correctly… no ‘I’ before ‘c’ down here in sunny Tasmania… I’ll write a bit more about the Pipeline Track another time.

1. Neika
Neika

The first leg of the trip is pretty easy. The Pipeline Track meanders its way around the mountain for miles & miles (in both directions, but again, I’ll crap on about the rest of the Pipeline Track in another post). My trek was 17.22km return and took me about four & a half hours (including taking pictures & stopping for lunch). I think about 12 of those kilometers were along the very easy Pipeline Track. On the way out you have a very slight ascent the whole way.

2. Pipeline Track
Pipeline Track.

As you walk, there’s fantastic scenery – notably Cathedral Rock to the South & East (and South, as you get further in).

3. Cathedral Rock
Cathedral Rock

4. Scenery
Scenery

Eventually you will turn toward the south (that’s to the left if you’re going the right way…. Hang on, does that make sense…?) And get to a turn in the track that heads back to the east at about the 6km mark. Here is where I left the Pipeline Track and walked up the Wellington Falls track. Little did I know, at the start of this side trail there is a bike rack. Note to self, next time, ride your bike out to here & then walk to Wellington Falls…

The trail heads uphill from here towards the waterfall. Although a bit steeper than the rest of the walk, the climb is easily managed because the track is very well defined.

6. Wellington Falls Track

5. Wellington Falls Track
Wellington Falls track

7. Wellington Falls Lookout
Wellington Falls Lookout

Once you get to the lookout, you’ll need to scrabble over a few rocks & other bits to see what you came to see.

At the lookout, ate lunch and took a few pictures. There are a few other side treks you can do here, including a difficult (but I’m told worth-while) climb to the top of the falls themselves. You can also keep walking & end up on a different part of the mountain.

8. Looking out at the Lookout
Looking Out
Years ago there was a touristy ad campaign that had a picture of a climber standing atop this rocky spire. It was very impressive then – sadly my photos don’t really do it justice.

9. Wellington Falls
Wellington Falls

When I was there it was in the middle of a dry spell…. Keep in mind that if you go at any time of the year, the weather can be quite variable. As you’re on the southern face of the mountain, the weather will sneak up on you – it always appears from behind the mountain and you won’t see it coming…!

And now all you need to do is walk back to your car…

Thanks for reading

Pete

Bush Walking/ Hiking – Mt Field East

On 1 November 2013, I went for a wander to Mt Field East. This is quite a difficult walk, as there is quite often no actual ‘track’. You find yourself hopping from rock to rock between trail makers for most of the journey, with lots of clambering over rocks on both sides of the summit. I went in from the east & trekked across the summit via Windy Moor and descended to Lake Fenton. I think it would be slightly easier going in the opposite direction (starting from Lake Fenton), but hey, these are lessons we learn…!

Here is a link to the Endomondo ‘workout’: https://www.endomondo.com/embed/workouts?w=nU4nDRQjJI8&width=580&height=600&width=950&height=600

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As per my previous posts, I headed up to Mt Field National Park & followed the Lake Dobson Road until I got to this sign (about halfway along the 16km length).

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And again, you immediately encounter a blockage!

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The trail is rocky – here I dropped my faithful drink bottle & dented it…!

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The trail.

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More trail.

It’s a little different to many bushwalks in Tasmania, in that the entire trek is basically going from trail maker to trail marker. The eastern side is easier, but only because the trail is generally well-worn & easier to spot.

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Coming up to Lake Nicholls. Just after I took this picture I had an encounter with a large tiger snake that (unlike other serpentine encounters I’ve had) would not move from the pathway. So after a lot of tapping of my hiking pole on the ground from a safe distance, he (she?) begrudgingly moved off the path.

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Lake Nicholls

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Lake Nicholls hut
When I checked in to the Mt Field Visitor Centre, the ranger happened to be there & was most interested to hear I was going to Mt Field East by myself. He made a good point at that time, which I’ll paraphrase:
“Oh, when you come up to Lake Nicholls, there’s a memorial there on the side of the hut. It’s to the last fellow who walked up there alone. He moved off the path. And we never found him.” He pointed and waggled his finger at me. “So don’t go off the path!”

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Once I left Lake Nicholls, the trek became a climb. Up over loads & loads of rocks for some distance.

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Finally at the top, and here I saw one of the most awesome things ever. A huge wedge-tailed eagle flew out of some trees to the north & lazily circled about 30 metres above my head before flying off again.
I took a picture of it coming toward me, but could do nothing except watch in awe as it flew overhead. You know those giant eagles from the Hobbit? That’s what it felt like… such a wonderful and majestic creature. To be honest, I did wonder for a minute if it was going to swoop & take me off for lunch, but I’m guessing that there were easier (and lighter) targets around for lunch.

eagle
Here is the picture with just the amazing bird. Poor effort I know, but hey – I was mesmerised.

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Looking across Windy Moor to Mt Field West

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A sign

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Luckily Windy Moor wasn’t very windy that day

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Across the moor & I could see down to Lake Fenton. Not far to go! Wrong. Lots of rock-hopping still to come. The descent took a while.

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More of the descent.

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Lake Fenton

Once at Lake Fenton, I had to walk a couple of kilometres back down the road to where I’d left my car. I didn’t mind this at all, because it was much easier!
All in all a great walk, a great experience (I still rave about the eagle flying over my head…!).

Thanks for reading!

Pete

Bushwalking/ Hiking – Tarn Shelf

It was a lovely warm day yesterday, so I decided to head out & tackle a long walk I’ve been meaning to do for some time; the Tarn Shelf.

The Tarn Shelf is in the Mt Field National Park, which is about 75km from Hobart. It lies (funnily enough) between Mt Field East and Mt Field West. Once you get to the Mt Field Visitor Centre, take the dusty Lake Dobson Road which goes for 16km and ends, surprisingly, at Lake Dobson.

This whole place is basically a ‘choose your own adventure’ of walks (and skiing in colder months). Numerous short trails & walks are available. I went the long option; and ended up trudging for 18.5km on a hot sunny day.

Lake Dobson is at about the 1,000m level. According to my GPS I got up to 1,278 metres and down as far as 817 metres on the trek. I’ll try to embed a link to the Endomondo ‘workout’ below:
<a href="https://www.endomondo.com/embed/workouts?w=geZRWKMugiw&width=580&height=600&width=950&height=600” target=”_blank”>

From the north and eastern end of the Lake Dobson car park, there is a gated four-wheel drive (4WD) trail that heads roughly north. I started at about 09:45am.

For anyone interested, I just take pictures on my phone (Galaxy S5).

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A friendly native

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From there you reach the first of many signs.

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Now I don’t know what it is about Mt Field, but every walk I’ve done up here has a tree blocking the trail.

The walk on the eastern side is quite pleasant. I went past a couple of side paths. One to Platypus Tarn that I started to follow, until it dropped away quite steeply. I figured from my map I would be able to see this tarn later when I circled back (and up), so I returned to the main trail. For the same reason, I didn’t divert to Lake Seal.

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A pond, perhaps?

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Self-explanatory sign

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Not going to Lake Fenton today

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After an hour and a half, I came upon Lake Webster.

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Lake Webster draining away

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Heading off from Lake Webster, I turn roughly west and head off toward Twilight Tarn, but on the way, another obstacle…!!

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And again… seriously, I’m doing a collection to buy the park ranger a chain saw

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Heading west (still) and walking steadily upwards

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Hut at Twilight Tarn

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Twilight Tarn. Luckily no glittery vampires…

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Inside the Twilight Tarn Hut

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I’d been going for two & a bit hours, so I stopped here for lunch. My view for lunch (at Twilight Tarn…!)

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There were a few of these walkways along the trail, very helpful. From here I went back toward the south, and up a whole lot more. Again, I was able to walk (rather than climb).

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For a moment I thought I was back in Gondor…

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Water, rocks

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Which way to Lake Dobson…?

I must say, that despite my attempt at humour, it would be very difficult to get lost on this trail (unless it was in snow season). It’s well marked & signed.

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Making my way past Twisted Tarn

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Lake Newdegate

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Water, rocks, burnt trees

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A massive poisonous snake. He looks small, but those are Giant’s boot-prints next to him. He escaped, unharmed.

On a serious note, I have come across a few snakes in the wilderness, and I understand that every Tasmanian snake is deadly poisonous. The younglings are just as poisonous as their parents… so it’s always best to leave them be, and wait for them to wander off.

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This rock was slowly trying to drown itself

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This rock reminded me of the Easter Island fellow from Night at The Museum

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And another Tarn, on the Tarn Shelf…

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Seal Lake (and Platypus Tarn behind it)

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Ski lifts!

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I almost fell to my death here, but luckily I noticed this

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A few cracks opening up in the pitch. That’s a cricket joke, in case you don’t get the humour…

Once past the views, it was a bit of rock-scrabbling to get to and then head past the ski club & along a 4WD track back to Lake Dobson. I finished at about 3:30pm, after a long break for lunch and stopping to take loads of photos. It was a long trek, and quite tiring, but loads of fun with awesome views.

Thanks for reading!

Pete

Bush Walking/ Hiking – Adamsfield

Happy New Year everyone!

It seems my last bushwalking post was quite popular, so I’ll delve back through a few more walks I’ve done and post a few of them.

In February 2014 I went with my old mate Garin to a place called Adamsfield. This old mining town is roughly 120kms south and west of Hobart. Past the Mt Field National Park and the beautiful Florentine Valley, there is an established 4wd/ mountain bike trail that enters the area from the south (and follows the Saw Back Range), but we went in via the Forestry-owned Clear Hill Road (which follows Lake Gordon) to the west and along the actual Adamsfield Track. You need to ensure that if you’re going in this way that you stop at the Mt Field Visitor Centre to get a key for the gate to Clear Hill Road, otherwise it may be locked.

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On your way you’ll see some amazing views of the South-West Wilderness.

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And this awesome sign…!

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Adams River just before it empties into Lake Gordon.

The track we followed was about 12km (return), mostly level, there are a few small hills to negotiate. No navigational skills are required, because you simply follow the track.

However, some paraphernalia about the town does suggest that you can leave the track at the actual Adamsfield town site & head north for a short way to see more mining sites, but the path is very overgrown & not recommended if you have concerns finding your way back to the main track.

There are a couple of interesting sites on the trail.

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Under a kilometre from the start (this picture shows the start – basically don’t go there it’s dangerous… but we went anyway…) was the first old mining huts.

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Apparently these huts may be inhabited – but I have no idea by who (or why?).

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The Adamsfield track follows the Adams River for a few km’s & you need to cross it here.

Not too sure who thought up the naming conventions for the area, but I’m guessing someone called ‘Adams’?

The river eventually meanders off to the south, but the trail follows ‘Main Creek’ for a while. Seriously, we Tasmanians must sit up all night thinking of what we’re going to call stuff…

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Some really nice views, and we were lucky to have such a clear day.
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About 5km in; welcome to downtown Adamsfield, there’s nothing left…

The population of Adamsfield swelled to about 2,000 people way back in the 1920’s & 30’s, but now there is almost nothing left.
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We did venture off the main trail here a short way in an attempt to see one of the old mining sites, but encountered serious overgrown undergrowth.

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Interestingly here, we also disturbed an animal which took off at our approach. We had a serious ‘WTF’ moment… for while we could not see the animal under the ferns, it made a massive amount of noise as it charged away from us. From the sound, it definitely had hooves so we assumed a feral pig or a small, heavy goat?

So we carried on along the main trail to just over 6km, where we found the main open-cut mining site.

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Osmiridium was discovered in Adamsfield in1925 and mining resulted in one of the world’s largest sources of osmium and iridium metal. In the days before the modern pen, Osmiridium was used to manufacture fountain pens and surgical instruments. We ate lunch & returned.

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This is a mushroom that I saw on the way back. It has an unusual pattern on it.

All in all, a fun, interesting walk.

Thanks for reading!

Pete