Bush Walking/ Hiking – Split Rock and Falls

Yesterday I trudged out to Meander Falls. Today (31 August 2016) I took the trail to Split Rock & Falls.

To get there, you go to the same car park for the Meander Falls walk. Split Rock, etc, is on the other side of the Meander River to the Meander Falls walk. However, you take the little side trail toward the campground and enter the bush here:

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Walk this way

You probably won’t see a giant arrow to show the path to follow when you go. I just got lucky. You will have to rely on your wits to get you on the correct trail.

Just past the imaginary giant arrow is a really cool sculpture.

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Really cool sculpture

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Really cool sculpture explanation

The fun doesn’t stop there… not far after the really cool sculpture, is a suspension bridge. Yes, a suspension bridge.

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Leave your car and pet elephant at the car park.

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Suspension Bridge

I think the track organisers put all this fun stuff at the start, so you won’t be put off by the rest of the track. It’s a bit of hard work. It had rained a fair bit overnight, and the trail was quite muddy and slippery.

Like the Meander Falls track, the trail markers were well-placed and clear. It is a steep trail, but it is a short trail. The rainforest is quite beautiful.

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Trail

Once you get to Split Rock, you will recognise it after you look at the next photo.

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Split Rock

These rocks are quite massive; the pictures don’t really do them justice.

To find Split Rock Falls, keep going to the left.

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Left of Split Rock

However, you can do some exploring (like I did) of the hill above the rock by clambering up here.

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Split Rock split

Its pretty steep, you’ll need to use your hands to climb.

If you don’t go through the split, you will go left and find the falls.

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Pete’s Falls

^ but not these falls. I don’t know what they’re called, so I called them ‘Pete’s Falls’.

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Shower Cave Falls

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Shower Cave Falls again

 

Once you’re finished gazing in wonder at the falls, head back.

On your way back, you should see this really cool Easter Island guy. I think he was about 40 metres high.

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Easter Island Guy

Here is a link to my Endomondo workout. I trudged about above the falls for a while, so I can guess the ‘actual’ trail to be about 3km.

I did need my hiking poles on the way down, the trail was pretty slippery.

Thanks for reading!

Pete

* update 02 September 2016

I originally noted Split Rock Falls – they are in fact Shower Cave Falls.

 

Bush Walking/ Hiking – Meander Falls

There’s something quite magical about a waterfall that drops a hundred or more metres from snow-dusted cliffs, isn’t there…?

I’d never really thought much about this. Another thing I’d never really thought about is that you can never really have too many scarves. What is the relevance? None, really.

But getting back to the waterfall/ cliff thing…

Yesterday (30 August 2016) I trudged up to Meander Falls.

Meander Falls is about 30km south-west of Deloraine, in Tasmania. There are a number of ways to get there, depending where you’re coming from. If you’re like me and leaving from Hobart, the quickest way is via the Lakes Highway.

Here’s a map I prepared earlier (thanks Google Maps).

Map

Map

 

When you get to the end of the Lakes Highway, turn left and go through the township of Meander. Follow the signs to Meander Falls. As a side note, Huntsman Lake is very picturesque, and worth a look.

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Turn here. Or not, your choice…

A word of warning, the road into the Falls car park is unsealed. It isn’t particularly rough, but it was muddy and slippery when I went.

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Muddy Road

 

When you get there, park here. I’ve shown you how, using my own vehicle.

Park this way...

Park this way…

There is a campground here too. How cool is this? They named the bbq after me…

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Pete’s BBQ

 

The trail is easy to follow. The start is well-signed, and the trail markers are well-placed and clear.

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Start trudging

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But stop and read the sign…

The track itself graded as ‘moderate’. I think this is because it’s not particularly long, nor does it climb too much. However, it’s one of those trails where you need to make sure every step is placed with care. Tree roots, rocks and small creek crossings are common. There are some very steep sections that are a bit of hard work. The track follows the Meander River.

I took gaiters and hiking poles, and didn’t need to use either.

You can do a loop via Split Rock, but that track is quite challenging.

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Track

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River

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Track

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Track

The whole trek is a steady climb of about 500 metres.

 

Once you get through the hard bits, then you get to see the water falling off the edge of the cliff (see earlier comments).

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Meander Falls

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Meander Fell

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Meander Falling

 

The falls themselves are magnificent. The water in the pool at the bottom is crystal clear.

Once you’re finished taking it all in, head back to your car.

One thing to note: The base of the falls is about 1,100metres above sea level, and the weather (like anywhere in Tasmania) can change without warning. On my trudge back to the car, it started raining, and became quite cold. The walk back was made a little more difficult thanks to the slippery-ness.

Here’s a link to my Endomondo workout. It tells me that I walked for 9 and a quarter kilometres and took just under 4 hours. I ate lunch at the base of the falls, and the time taken doesn’t take this into account.

Thanks for reading!

Pete

 

 

 

 

Outsider: Deliverance

Hello folks,

It’s been a while since an update on the new book…!

Outsider: Deliverance

Outsider: Deliverance

For a number of reasons, Outsider: Deliverance has been delayed… But I’m now thinking it may be a good time for you to dust off Outsider, perhaps re-read it so you remember what happens.

Outsider: Deliverance is coming soon!

Pete

Bush Walking/ Hiking – Mt Direction

I walk a lot at a place called Risdon Brook Dam, on Hobart’s eastern shore (that’s the eastern shore of the Derwent River, for anyone not from Hobart…). It’s my default walk, I guess. I’ve been around that track a bajillion* times.

Anyways, it’s a lovely well-made track, nice and level except for a couple of small hilly bits. It’s very popular and used by hundreds of people every week. An entire circuit is 4.4km normally, but at the moment there are dam works going on. The western end point is not accessible, so you can only do a 4km trek around, before you have to turn back. This will be fixed by October, according to the signage at the track.

But, there are a few side treks you can do off this track, and one of these is Mt Direction. Mt Direction is very noticeable from most spots in Hobart’s northern suburbs. It’s about 450 metres high.

To get there, go to Risdon Brook Dam. I can’t be bothered typing out instructions for this, so here’s a map (thanks Google Maps).

map

Map

 

So, directions to get to Mt Direction. Does anyone else see the humour in that…?

On the western side of the track, there is a side track that will get you onto a fire trail.

For better directions, we have Clarence City Council to thank for yet another map…:

Map 2

Map 2

Keep in mind that the dam itself (green circle) is closed until October 2016 sometime.

Last October I trudged up the northern end of Mt Direction, which you can get to by following the RB13 fire trail. Today I went to the steeper, southern side.

Your walk around the Risdon Brook Dam track should be quite fun. It’s a nice easy track. Once you leave this track at the gate on the western side, you will have about 2km of pretty steep climbing to do.

'Strenuous'

‘Strenuous’

This sign is accurate, it can be a reasonably strenuous trudge. But apart from the gradient, the trail is well signed and easy to follow. This track isn’t really a bush walk… maybe a hike…? I did it today in track pants and joggers, but I suspect if the track had been wet, I may have struggled. I know some people who run up here, but many trudgers choose to do the whole hiking boots/ hiking gear thing. It’s personal preference, as always.

We’ve had a fairly windy winter which has resulted in a bit of debris being across the trail. It’s pretty easy to clamber over. Think of it as an additional accomplishment. You can say ‘Huzzah!’ when you clamber over them.

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Debris

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Debris too

Here, a dragon has destroyed a tree.

Tree destroyed by a dragon

Tree destroyed by a dragon

 

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Dragon who may or may not have destroyed the tree. It could also be a picture of Smaug…. thanks to The Hobbit people for not suing me…

^ Dragon, for illustrative purposes. I’ll call him Reginald. Reginald the Hungry.

Once at the top, you will have lovely views to the north and west of the Derwent River. Trees prevent a good view to the south. You can look east on the way back down.

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View north and west

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view north

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a natural rock formation… or not.

 

Retrace your steps to return. You can join back with the main track at a couple of different spots; clearly marked on the map.

And of course such a steep ascent means the descent is just as steep, so on the way down it can be quite hard on the knees…!

I walked 13.5km all up, and took under three hours But that included a bit of sightseeing at the top.

Here’s a link to my Endomondo workout.

Thanks for reading!

Pete

 

* A bajillion is like, a lot…

Bush Walking/ Hiking – Marriotts Falls

Today I trudged out to Marriotts Falls and back.

Just because.

Where is Marriotts Falls? Well… if you drive from Hobart out to Mt Field (I’ve often thought Mt Field to be an odd name for a mountain. I mean, it’s either a mountain, or a field, surely…? But then, I figure it may be named after someone called Field, perhaps?) I’m sure Wikipedia will tell me… hang on, I’ll check.

Hmmmm… Wikipedia, you disappoint me… Oh well.

Where was I? Oh yes. Mt Field. Drive there. Only don’t go in, drive past it a short way to a quaint little village called Tyenna. It’s about 80km from Hobart, just before Maydena.

Thanks to the magic of Google Maps, I can show you…

Map

Map

 

At Tyenna, turn off here:

Turn off here. If you don't, you will really struggle to find Marriotts Falls

Turn off here. If you don’t, you will really struggle to find Marriotts Falls

Follow the unsealed road a short way, across a bridge and then down a little side trail (well signed and clearly marked) and park here.

Park here. track stats off to the right

Park here. track starts off to the right

You probably won’t see my ute when you’re there.

Some relevant info.

Some relevant info.

The trail entrance is pretty clear, as is most of the trail. Follow the trail along the Tyenna River for about a kilometre, then it veers off away from the river and heads to the north and west. It’s about where you leave the river that you may also leave your mobile phone coverage behind. In terms of elevation, the trail itself isn’t too difficult.

Across a nice meadow and then you plunge into the rainforest. It has been raining a bit lately, and the rainforest was very wet and muddy. I mean, muddy.

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This mud is some of the good bits.

Also some debris from recent bad weather is across the trail as well, so you will need to dodge/climb over/clamber/ climb under/leap across or use brachiation to progress.

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Debris + mud

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Rain forest

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Dead tree

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My pole is a bit over a metre high… so crouch to get through, or go over…

Okay, so what’s brachiation? It’s what monkeys do – “a form of arboreal locomotion in which primates swing from tree limb to tree limb using only their arms” (thanks Wikipedia).

After about a kilometre and a half, you arrive at the falls. You will probably hear them from way back.

Once there, admire the views. Be careful though, this bit is pretty slippery.

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You can clamber about to take in different perspectives of the falls, including standing right at the base. But be warned, it is really, really slippery. But by careful maneuvering, you can do it. Even not-so-careful-you-stuck-your-foot-in-the-water-Pete you can move around to take pictures.

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Foot + water

Once finished, carefully walk back to where you parked. All up my gps tells me it was pretty much spot on 5km, and took me about an hour and a half.

Here’s a link to my Endomondo workout.

https://www.endomondo.com/users/8342602/workouts/778324708

 

Thanks for reading!

Pete