Bushwalking/ Hiking – Shadow Lake Circuit

Today I went for a trudge to Shadow Lake and back.
Shadow Lake is a dark, and dangerous place; home of the evil Shadow People.

A malevolent race, they are best avoided at all costs. Their touch drains the very soul from a living creature, their fearsome appearance is unsettling…

Oh, sorry, got a little carried away.

Shadow Lake is actually a really lovely spot, north and west of Lake St Clair in Tasmania.
I drove there. Here is a map that the good folks at Google will be really chuffed that I popped here.

I left home at about 7am, and the drive up took about two and a half hours. Much of the road is elevated (700m+ above sea level), and ice on the road makes for a slow trip before noon during winter. There are many sharp corners on the road and you do share it with a number of log trucks (from time to time).

Once at Derwent Bridge, follow the signs a further 5km to Lake St Clair Visitor Centre. It’s a national park, so you will have to ensure you have the entry fee covered.

Anyway, once you get all the ‘getting there’ and ‘paying to be there’ stuff out of the way, you can start walking!

The staff in the Visitor Centre are very helpful and knowledgeable. There are a bajillion tracks that can be started and ended at Lake St Clair, including the Overland Track. The Shadow Lake walk is best walked in a clockwise direction, and it is best done along the Mount Rufus Track.

The whole track is probably best described as a ‘moderate’ bushwalk. The trail is fairly level, and well-marked. Even in snowy conditions, the plentiful trail markers show the way.
For the first 5km, you do steadily climb, but there are no particularly steep sections. The track starts off at about 800 metres above sea level and climbs about 300 metres over that five kilometre section.

On the way, I found this ferocious-looking tree. I bet he was put there to scare off the Shadow People…

The track has some quite pretty scenery along the way…

The climb ends at a right turn. You can continue to Mount Rufus (if you like), or head north to Shadow Lake. (Remember Shadow Lake? That’s what I was originally talking about…).

It had snowed before I arrived, and I met up with some penguins, who are old friends of mine.

And this odd mountain goat. He plays drums in my band. We call him ‘Goaty’.

Okay, some of this probably isn’t making a lot of sense any more…


After 3 kilometres of trudging past the turn off, you will (hopefully) find Shadow Lake. There are loads of signs, and you can’t get lost.

Well, you can get lost if you leave the trail, but please don’t. I’d feel awful…

Shadow Lake, at last… and no signs of Shadow People…

The track was cold, and wet. Snow, mud and muddy water. Mind you, it is winter here at the moment… but if you do take the trail, make sure you wear good shoes. I mentioned before that it’s a moderate track. It’s still a typical bush track; tree roots, mud and rocks. But the overall lack of significant climbs help make this one a good trek for all ages. It’s well-marked and well-maintained.

Overall I walked 14.2km (according to my GPS). Here’s a link to my Endomondo workout.

Oh, I nearly forgot… on the way back to the visitor centre, I saw a sign for a guitar plant.

I was disappointed it wasn’t Robert Plant with a guitar.

He would have scared off the Shadow People

Oh well…

Thanks for reading!




* Please keep in mind, I made up some bits of this. Its unlikely you will see Shadow People, a goat called Goaty who plays drums, penguins, or Robert Plant. If you do, please send me feedback.