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.

20160807_110207

Debris

20160807_110620

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

20160807_112335

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…

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