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!

Pete

 

 

* 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.

Bushwalking/ Hiking – Snug Falls

Today I trudged down to Snug Falls.

Its a nice, short little walk that’s not too strenuous. The falls themselves are quite pretty, and apparently much better to view after rain.

We haven’t had much rain lately, but I went anyway.

How did I get there? I drove.

^ if you drive south from Hobart, along the Channel Highway, turn off in the township of Snug, at Snug Tiers Road then follow the signs. Its a lovely spot.

Parts of the actual Snug Falls Road (as you get closer to the falls) are unsealed, but it is easily passable by two-wheel drive vehicles.

^ The car  park looks something like this. When you visit, my ute wont be…

Ooh, wait… I traded in the ute. I now have a bat-wagon. Its red/ maroon. Actually, the official colour is called ‘sizzle’. Oh well…

Some people have called it the big red car, which of course looks like this…

You do come up on the car park quite suddenly, so drive carefully. The car park is about 150 metres before the start of the track.

Walk the rest of the way to the start and begin your trudge. It seems dogs are welcome to join you, as long as they are on a leash. If you don’t have a dog, don’t feel bad. Just walk by yourself.

^ start here, and go through the turnstile. Or go around it. There isn’t anyone there to judge you.

The walk goes gently downhill to the falls, and then (of course) is gently uphill on the way back. It’s a well made and easy to follow trail, but like any track in the forest, you still should watch where you put your feet, as tree roots and rocks still may trip you.

 

The falls are quite pretty. You can walk around the pool and stand underneath (if you want to), but please take care, the rocks can be quite slippery.

All up I walked about 3.5km and took a leisurely hour trudging along the track and scrabbling about at the waterfall taking way too many pictures (not reproduced here).

Here’s a link to my Endomondo workout.

The falls are a popular walk, so don’t be surprised to see lots of people. And maybe dogs. Perhaps you’ll see a dragon, too?

Unlikely, but you never know. Its always good to be prepared.

Thanks for reading!

Pete

Museum of Old and New Art (MONA)

 

I have a confession to make.

 

I live about 5km from MONA, and have never been there. Last time I was there, it was a small boutique winery called Moorilla, and they’d only just started making Moo Brew there. I think they still do the wine thing.

MONA is the best thing to happen to Hobart since we invented sliced bread*; and I’d not been to see it.

So, I went today for a look.

How do you get there?

Thanks to our good friends at Google Maps, here’s the way to travel…

Map to Mona

You can also catch the ferry up the lovely Derwent River. Or, if you’re like me, you can just pop down from home.

The MONA website will tell you a lot more than me.

How was it? It was quite interesting.

As a Tasmanian, I pay no entry fee. I just had to show the scar where my second head was removed. For the rest of you; you will have to pay to get in.

When you enter, you get this little iPhone thingy. You press a button and it tells you all about the artworks that are nearby. Sadly, mine had a flat battery, so I wandered about looking at stuff, and thinking… ‘that’s nice’, or ‘that’s weird’. I eventually found somewhere where I could swap my flat iPhone for a new one.

I’m not an art critic… I’m a heavy metal fan who works as a public servant and writes fantasy adventure books in my spare time.

So, a lot of it was over my head.

 

But it was good fun.

 

The pictures tell the story (as usual).

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Thanks for reading!

 

Pete

 

* It’s possible that this is a made up fact.

Bush Walking/ Hiking (and sightseeing again) – Hastings Caves and Duckhole Lake

Today I drove to Hastings Caves to have a look, and then took a short stroll to Duckhole Lake.

How do you get there? Well, thanks to Google Maps, I can show you:

duckhole-lake-route-map

hastings-caves-route-map

 

There is also this excellent Parks & Wildlife Map that will show you in a little more detail:

parks-wildlife-map

Hastings Caves Road is unsealed, but it’s pretty good for a dirt road.

I went to Hastings Caves first, then drove up Chestermans Road/ Coal Hill Road to Duckhole Lake. The signpost to Chestermans Road is a little overgrown, but look for it just before the only bridge and sealed section of the Hastings Caves Road. A word of warning: Chestermans Road is not really suited to a normal two-wheel drive car, so if you decide to visit Duckhole Lake, the unsealed road marked ‘Old Hastings Road/ Darcy Link Road’ may be your best bet.

Another word of warning: The only sign on the Huon Highway showing the location of this road is here:

Old Hastings Road/ Darcy Link Road
But it’s on the northern side, and not really that visible if you’re heading south…

 

But anyway, I digress.

 

Where did I digress to…?

 

Oh yeah, Hastings Caves.

 

There’s lots to do at the Visitor Centre. A couple of short walks and a thermal pool are key attractions.

Visiting the caves does cost – I paid $24 as an adult. I tried to convince them I was not, but they didn’t fall for it.

Parks Tasmania describe it way better than I can.

http://www.parks.tas.gov.au/index.aspx?base=4525

Once you pay, you drive along Hastings Caves Road until the end of the road and park your transport here:

Park Short walk from the car park

Make sure if you leave your coffee cup on the back of your car, that you remember to grab it off again.

The tours are run by friendly Parks & Wildlife Guides and take 45 minutes. It’s cool inside, 9 degrees Celsius all year round. There are stairs. Quite a few stairs. If you cannot manage stairs, then this may not be the place for you to visit. The tours are catered for the slowest moving members of the party. I attended today with 29 other people.

Once inside, you follow the guide, and can’t possibly get lost. The cave known as Hastings Caves is called Newdegate Cave, and is amazing:

Newdegate Cave Descent into the depths of the Earth Stalactites Looking up at stalactites more stalactites stalactites revisited stalagmite stalagmite pretend glow worms more... oh. you'll figure it out... cool bits & pieces stalagmite fairy cave

Of course, people familiar with the underdark and drow elves will expect to see a few of these here:

the_underdark_cave_by_drowelfmorwen-d58jixd

Duckhole Lake is one of the 60 great walks, according to the sign.

Great walk

It’s a nice little walk: you follow the trail, get to the lake, turn around & come back. It’s nice. No ups & downs, very easy to follow. The trail does link up with a few others in the area, but I just wandered out to the lake today.

trail lake same lake stuff left behind on the trail

Here’s a link to my Endomondo Workout which shows the trail:

https://www.endomondo.com/users/8342602/workouts/879276636.

I walked about 5.5km in about an hour.

No random encounters with orcs, goblins or dragons.

Thanks Gandalf

Which, I have to admit, was a little disappointing.

Thanks for reading!

 

Pete

 

Bush Walking/ Hiking (kinda – more like sightseeing) Scotts Peak Road/ Creepy Crawly Nature Trail/ Twisted Sister

Today I went exploring to Scotts Peak Dam.

Where’s that?

Well… here’s a map…

map

Map (thanks, Google Maps)

 

It’s about 150km from sunny Hobart by road. The road isn’t the best in the world, but its not too bad.

Take a chance, if you can, to enjoy the scenery on the way out. It’s amazing.

scenery

Scenery

 

Get yourself to the Gordon River Road, and turn left at the sign. The sign is supposed to be 30km past a small town called Maydena, but I think it’s about 27km past.

Oh, and unless you have a satellite phone, Maydena is the last spot you’ll get phone reception, too.

 

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Turn left here

The road you turn off onto at the sign is called Scotts Peak Road. It’s actually quite a good road, for an unsealed one.

There are a couple of well-signed attractions along the way

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Lake Edgar Dam

There are lots of attractions for the serious (and not-so serious) bushwalkers. Tracks to Mt Anne, Mt Eliza; you can even walk all the way to Melaleuca from here. Sadly, I did none of those today, as I’ve been having a few troubles with a knee problem since December. Rather stupidly, I thought I’d give jogging a go. And it all went well, I actually jogged a quite a few kilometres. But my left knee wasn’t too keen on the idea, and has been letting me know ever since. So, I’ve given up becoming a ‘jogger’ and my knee is recovering well.

Anyway, where was I?

Oh yes.

At the end of Scotts Peak Road is Scotts Peak Dam. There is a boat ramp where you can (presumably) launch a boat.

scotts-peak-dam

Scotts Peak Dam

Also at the end of the road is a wonderful lookout called Red Knoll Lookout. From the lookout, you can see 360 degrees, and the views are simply amazing.

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Lake Pedder

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Scenery (poorly cropped)

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Mt Anne, and Mt Eliza and a few other mountains (names I cant remember… it will all be on the identification tool thingy, above).

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The view south

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View from Lake Edgar Dam looking south

Of course, anyone familiar with the Gnoll species will be surprised to find one here.

red-gnoll

Red Gnoll

On the way back, I stopped to wander along the Creepy Crawly Nature Trail. I suspect this trail is a nice distraction for bored youngsters. It’s about 300 metres return, but would be a lot of fun to climb under and over a heap of tree trunks and branches. Its fully boarded the whole way.

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Sign

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Room to park

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Creepy Crawly Trail

I suspect it wouldn’t be as fun if it had some real creepy crawlies there.

Like this, shown for illustration purposes.

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Creepy Crawly

 

Once back on the main road, about 10km toward Maydena, I stopped at a sign that said Twisted Sister.

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Twisted Sister

 

Turns out, this isn’t where the rock band has been residing…

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Twisted Sister. Sadly, I didn’t see these guys…

It’s a cool little trail though the bush, about 700 metres in length. Again, I think a great distraction for bored youngsters.

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Twisted Sister Start

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The trail

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This could be a fallen tree…

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End of the line for twisted sister

 

Thanks for reading!

Pete

Bush Walking/ Hiking – Cape Raoul (again)

Hello,

Today I re-did another favourite track… Cape Raoul.

Here is the write up of the first time.

I went alone again. Its a great walk.

Today it was a little slippery underfoot; there had been a fair bit of rain over the past few days.

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Half hour into the walk, on the way in, the view to Cape Raoul Plateau

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Cape Raoul from the south

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Cape Raoul from the south and a bit to the left

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Cape Raoul from the south and a bit to the left, but a bit closer to the edge

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Cape Raoul with my feet in the way

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Cape Raoul from the north

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Cape Raoul from the north. You may barely see a woman standing up on the rocks

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Cape Raoul

 

Thanks for reading!

Pete