Bush Walking/ Hiking – Chauncy Vale + Browns Cave

Today I took a trudge out to Chauncy Vale and Brown’s Cave.

Why did I do that? I haven’t been on a trudge in a while; I’ve had a few injury issues. Fingers crossed that they are all behind me. And please, no need to send money for my recovery – I’m okay.

Chauncy Vale is not too far from Hobart, as you can hopefully see on the map below. Thanks as always to our good friends at Google Maps.

(click on each image for a larger version)

It seemed like a good short one to do. It’s an easy-ish track, if you’re moderately fit and experienced at bush walking. As always, watch where your feet go. Tree roots and rocks will do their best to trip you. And there are some ledges higher in the hills that have no barriers or protections.

The last 3 or 4 kilometres of the drive to the car park is on an unsealed road, but is easily passable by two-wheel-drive vehicles. There is a gate, but it only ‘looks’ locked. Please ensure you close the gate behind you, and there is a donation box.

For more info about the donation box, the area and its history, please have a look at the website: http://www.chauncyvale.com.au/

The only wild life I saw was a couple of friendly pademelons. Oh, and the guy at the start of the trek, but he didn’t look very wild. His beard was very neatly trimmed. He looked like he worked there.

I saw him near the visitor book.

Plenty of room for parking, and as always, my car probably won’t be there when you go. Make your way to the gate and set off.

The route is well signed, marked out and easy to follow. Follow these signs, as it would be very easy to get lost if you go off into the woods.

To get to the caves, follow the copious ‘CAVES’ signs. The trek tot he caves starts to ascend very early on.

There are other caves besides Brown’s Cave. I looked at a few of them. They are pretty amazing formations.

For my fellow fantasy-lovers, I did check the caves for secret underdark entrances and found one. This rather dejected Beholder would not let me past. He reminds me of a really grumpy M+M.

‘You get in the bowl’

I do not know what that black thing is on the roof.

Once done cave-exploring, take care and make your way downhill to the valley floor to continue exploring, or head back to the car park.

I’m not sure who Eve is. I suspect I should have read some of the area’s history.

She wasn’t having a bath when I walked past.

Here’s a link to my Endomondo workout.

There are a number of walks that can be done in and around Chauncy Vale. The Brown’s Cave Trek is only 3km. With the trudging up and down hills and rocky bits (and some exploring) it took me about an hour.

Thanks for reading!

Pete

 

(picture of the Beholder taken from http://geekrampage.blogspot.com.au/2016/09/trouble-in-mantol-derith-out-of-abyss.html )

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Bush Walking/ Hiking – Canoe Bay/ Bivouac Bay

Today I trudged to Bivouac Bay, on the Tasman Peninsula. I heard a rumour that the wreck of the William Pitt at Canoe Bay (on the route to Bivouac Bay) was in fact filled with pirate treasure, and could not resist the lure of sunken treasure.

Tasmania is renowned as the Treasure Island, after all.

(thanks, of course, to Robert Louis Stevenson, and his estate…)

How do you get to Bivouac Bay?

I asked myself this same question earlier. Luckily, I figured it out. You don’t have to; I’ll spell it out for you.

Get yourself to Fortescue Bay, park your car, walk roughly north. (Walk to the beach and turn left, for the geographically-challenged among you).

 

I’ve discussed Fortescue Bay before, and the entry requirements.

https://petediggins.wordpress.com/2016/02/13/bushwalking-hiking-cape-hauy/

http://www.parks.tas.gov.au/index.aspx?base=914

Thanks again to Google Maps, they will show you the easiest route.

Follow the beach until you find the walking track and follow it.

Yes, it’s that simple.

 

The track is easy to follow, although it is a little overgrown in some places. It’s not a well-worked track like the Three Capes highways. The usual tree roots, rock and other bits & pieces will try to trip you up as you go.

Cape Hauy can be seen in the background

About 2.5km in, you will see a fork in the trail.

Wander down the right-hand side for an up-close view of the sunken pirate ship.

I was ready to jump in the water to retrieve the pirate treasure, when before I knew it, the guardian seagull appeared. I was put off by its steely resolve and burning gaze. So, I thought it best to continue my walk; and look to retrieve the treasure another day.

Seagull… looks really fierce.

To continue to Bivouac Bay, take the left-hand trail.

Canoe Bay is quite picturesque.

You have to cross the suspension bridge, and of course there are questions to answer from the keeper of the Bridge of Death.

KEEPER: What is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?

KING ARTHUR: What do you mean? An African or European swallow?

(Thanks, Monty Python…).

 

Ahead after you pass the test is a hill, which covers the whole bit between Canoe Bay and Bivouac Bay. It’s not overly steep (about 100m ascent), but it does go for about a kilometre. Which means, it’s another kilometre to climb and descend back…

Once you get to Bivouac Bay, there is a bivouac (camp site) and a bay.

No surprises there…

Turn around and walk back; or if you’re feeling adventurous, you can continue to walk to Waterfall Bay (which is a bit of trek…).

On the way back, I had a chat to this Ent, who was quite friendly. He didn’t say a lot, but he seemed friendly.

(Ents, for those who are yet to read or see Lord of the Rings, are active, talking trees).

Fortescue Bay

My Endomondo tracker thingy says I walked 11km. It took me three and a half hours, but that included stopping for loads of pictures, talking with Ents, passing tests at the Bridge of Death and staring at the seagull.

Thanks for reading!

Pete.

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.

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.

Need help getting there?

Hello folks,

A few people have asked about transport options in and around Tasmania to some of the walks I’ve done.

I guess when I started blogging, I didn’t really stop to think that not everyone could just hop in their car and drive to the locations (like I do!).

Joe at Tassie Road Trips sent me a message the other day, reminding me of the services he and people like him offer. It sounds great for tourist-y types or locals who don’t want to self-drive, or travel by bus. He offers a great drop off/ pick up for longer trudges through the bush, like the Overland Track.

You can find Joe’s services here:

Tassie Road Trips
mobile: +61 455 227 536
Website: www.tassieroadtrips.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TassieRoadTrips
Instagram: @tassieroadtrips
@overlandtracktransport2017

Thanks for reading!

Pete

Bush Walking/ Hiking – Goblin Forest Walk

Last weekend I also visited the Goblin Forest Walk.

Why did I do that?

Well, a good question. I was looking for the mythical lost town of Poimena, and it’s up at the Goblin Forest Walk.

Why is it called the Goblin Forest Walk?

Because of the goblins, I suppose.

 

How do you get there?
Well, the easiest way is to teleport. If that option isn’t available, I’d suggest flying. If using more mundane means of transport, perhaps a car will do. Turn off the Tasman Highway at this sign (possibly only visible if driving east). The road is unsealed, but passable by two-wheel drive vehicles.

 

Otherwise, here’s a couple of maps…

This short trudge is situated on the Blue Tier Forest Reserve, and is the starting point of numerous walks and mountain bike trails.

Maybe it could be called Goblin Forest Hub? It seems more apt. I wonder who I should suggest this name change to?

Maybe… the Goblin King?

But which one?

Hmmm, this may be harder than I thought…

The walk itself is quite easy. A short flat 500m loop through the forest. Forest that’s been regrown since there was a tin mine up in these parts. There’s loads of signs that will tell you all about it. The walk is well-maintained, and no special gear is needed. It’s even wheelchair friendly.

Here’s a link to my Endomondo tracker. I did go a bit off the trails to do some poking around. 

Thanks for reading!

Pete

 

Bush walking/ hiking… definitely just sightseeing – Mt Paris Dam

Last weekend I revisited the Mt Paris Dam. I came here a few years back and did a bit of fossicking in the Cascade River. It was a bit of fun.

But, I’d not taken any photo’s of the awesome structure that is the Mt Paris Dam.

To get there, head east from Launceston (there are a few options), and make your way past Scottsdale. There is a turn off just past Branxholm clearly marked to Mt Paris Dam, or you can meander along into Weldborough and take a shorter drive from there.

The Mt Paris Dam Road (13km long), while unsealed, is passable by 2-wheel drive cars, and can act as a bit of a short cut to Weldborough.

The last hundred metres or so to the face of the dam itself is probably best done on foot, or if you do have a four-wheel drive, you can drive right down to the river.

The dam was built by hand in the 1930’s to help out the local tin mines. But in the 1980’s, had become less useful, so the remaining water was allowed to drain out and holes were blasted through the walls.

I like to imagine the wall was blown apart like at Helm’s Deep, in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. A huge siege, thousands of attackers, a lone orc, an explosive…

But, anyhow…the remainder of the impressive wall is… impressive.

 

 

Thanks for reading!

 

Pete