Bush Walking/ Hiking – Kelly Basin/ East Pillinger

Today I ventured out to Kelly Basin and an abandoned town called East Pillinger, on Tasmania’s West Coast.

Of course, the irony of a town called east something, but being on the west coast, is not lost on me…

How do you get there? Well, by now I should have shares in Google Maps, but here goes…

The drive isn’t far in terms of actual kilometres, but the road is not a straight freeway. If you drive through Queenstown and follow Conlan Street which will lead you out of Queenstown and onto Mt Jukes Road. If your mobile phone is with Telstra, it’s probable you will lose coverage when you see this to your left:

Follow the road until you get here:

The narrow 4wd track should be easily passable for 2wd cars. I can only imagine if the track is wet and muddy, 2wd’s may have difficulty pulling over to the side to let others pass.

You’re probably wondering why I drove all the way to Kelly Basin, just to walk out into Macquarie Harbour? I recently discovered the journal of Sir Percival Drake, a famed knight and adventurer, who made the journey many years before me. His journal tells the tale of his travels to recover the lost Iron WarMace of Glusp*. I wanted to follow in his footsteps.

The last journey to rescue the Lady Barrington was a dreadful waste of time. Once I’d saved the girl, I realised I didn’t actually like her very much. Oh well. I’ve come here to East Pillinger for the Iron WarMace of Glusp. I’ve tracked it here, as I understand the evil witch Olga Jinx has taken it and is laired in the ruins at the end of the trail.

I imagine Sir Percival found the track just as I did today; it was very wet underfoot in some places, but overall very level. A couple of very minor inclines only. It’s worth mentioning the wetness. Come prepared for muddy feet.

Despite my preparedness; I coated myself with a potion that the wizard said would protect me from arachnids and insects. But still, I was forced to fight my way past her relentless spider minions.

I think Sir Percival may have used something similar to what I did today.

I also popped on my Gaiters of Protection +2.

The rivers ran red with the blood of Olga Jinx’s enemies, but I would not be deterred. I sallied forth, and defeated the thunder serpent she sent to slay me.

I did encounter a tiger snake, but neither my nor its blood stained the river. It fled at my approach, as most snakes do. Not my approach, anyone’s.

Once at the end of the trek, the remains of East Pillinger are laid out for exploring.

I entered the ruins, and inside encountered the vile witch. We fought, and I emerged victorious. I took the WarMace and will return with it to my home.

Sadly, Sir Percival didn’t make it home. What happened to him is a mystery, but the WarMace is still there to see. No one is willing to take it; it may be cursed.

WarMace

I mulled over Sir Percival’s fate while I ate my lunch on the new jetty.

Here’s the old one:

The jetty’s both sit in Macquarie Harbour; it’s such a beautiful spot.

For those interested, here is what Macquarie Harbour looks like from a different angle.

Once you’re done, retrace your steps.

Here’s a link to my Endomondo workout. It says I walked about 12km, which includes the exploring at the end.

Thanks for reading!

 

Pete

 

* I made these bits up for my own amusement.

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Bush walking/ hiking – Lake Dulverton

Today’s trudge isn’t really a bushwalk, it’s just a walk. When I say ‘just’ a walk, it’s a nice long one, good for getting a few kilometres into the legs after eating too much at Christmas.

I ventured to the sunny hamlet of Oatlands, to trudge from Lake Dulverton to Parattah, and back.

Why? Well, because its Wednesday.

Wednesday is the best day to walk to Parattah; because on other days, there are lions that prey on unwary travellers. I had a close encounter with one, and was lucky to escape. I didn’t take any pictures of the lion, because I was too busy running. *

How do you get to Oatlands? Thankfully, our good friends at Google make it easy for me to show you.

Once there, I entered from the northern side, and parked at one of the many Lake Dulverton car parks. There are a few to choose from; I chose the first one I saw, which meant I walked a little further.

Lake Dulverton is one of those lakes that wasn’t actually covered in water when I was there. I’m sure it is when there’s a bit of local rainfall or flooding, but the whole thing looks like a rather well put-together swamp. Oodles of birds and the like make this a good spot for a bit of… bird-watching. And fishing, perhaps?

Yes, these tin cans used to contain poo.

Poo-cans

There’s a good guide you can download and read, to follow the numbers and to see what each numbered point means.

The trail is remarkably easy to follow. You follow your nose to Parattah, then turn around and walk back. Its well-constructed; you could do it on roller-skates.

Old railway bridge

Parattah, this way

These little wayfinder markers are quite well done.

Lake Dulverton

Parattah, this way…

I think this used to be a tree

I was right!

Old Parattah railway station, in front of old Parattah Hotel. Neither still appear to be operable.

One small side note, I could not find a public toilet at Parattah, which made the trip back a little uncomfortable, until I found a nice secluded spot…

According to my GPS thingy I walked 16.36km and took a touch over three hours.

Lake Dulverton is also home to a coven of witches, who do unnatural things to hikers and animals. I’ll show you some pictures of what I found…**

Here, a hiker was compressed into only two dimensions, and turned into a shadow-being.

Fantastic beasts and where to find them… Witches have turned these animals into bush-like constructs.

The hamlet of Oatlands is one of those really cool old-fashioned colonial towns, that has lots of interesting bits & pieces to see. This includes a windmill.

Callington Mill

and again…

Thanks for reading!

 

Pete

 

 

 

 

* I may have made all of that up about the lions. But it sounds amusing. If you actually believe there are man-eating lions loose in the wilds between Oatlands and Parattah, then perhaps you are better off not venturing anywhere.

** Similarly, if you believe there is a coven of witches doing weird stuff to hikers and animals, please avoid the place.