January 2017 - John Smith's Monument, Mount Wellington

Apart from a miscalculation about the time this walk would take, it was a lovely day on the Mountain for us - Di, Robert and George.  About the time: TasTrails had this walk pegged at 2 hours, when we got to the start of the track the sign suggested 1hr 30 mins each way, and we actually took 3 hrs 40 mins (including a 15 minute stop at the monument).  Hmmm.  I think we need to be more careful these days about estimating how long walks will take us (or get a lot fitter!).

The top of Mount Wellington was a little cool at 10am when we set off, but the clouds burnt off and we warmed up as we walked, so we were quickly removing layers.  Soon we were bathed in sunshine. 

The turnoff to Smith's Monument walk was only a short way along, and would be easy to miss - luckily a helpful person has scratched a directional arrow onto the sign to make it clear that this is where we turn off!


Sooner than expected (i.e. immediately) the track becomes rough and rocky, marked by snow poles. Stiff-soled boots are a prerequisite for rockhopping all along this track, also gaiters as the low growing scrub is prickly!  We were all glad we had walking poles too.

There were many flowers out, which was lovely, and the dolerite columns were spectacular.

The grandeur of the rocks

 And check out that interesting outcrop on the right, as seen by Mark Clemens in about 1985:

Mark Clemens, 1985
The views over the Derwent and into the west were terrific.

Looking over the Derwent

 
Enjoying the view


Looking to the west


Turn left for the Rocking Stone


Rocks everywhere, on the roof of the world

 Skinks were lazing on rocks all over the place, even on the path!

A walker's self portrait

It was actually a bit muddy in parts, as both George and Robert discovered at the cost of a wet foot each!   Many of the little pools were busy with tadpoles.


It was wetter than we expected up on the plateau

The trail dropped down from the top plateau into a rocky field.





We found the new sign to Smith's Monument:

George shows the way


and then the old sign.


The track now passes through a sketchy cover of windblown E. coccifera, and the rocks get larger.  Thankfully the snow poles continue here, as it would be difficult to find the rock cairns alone amongst the bushes. 





It is a bit odd to come across this shrouded object in the middle of nowhere:

Booh!

until you realise that this is it!






We had a short snack break - the march flies were a bit annoying - and set off on the return trek towards the Pinnacle.  This was mostly uphill but not too difficult. 

We were impressed with how many other walkers were on the tracks, and the Pinnacle was crowded with both locals and tourists - taking photos from the summit, enjoying the views, walking, and riding.  The Mountain is a wonderful natural asset for all of us, we must keep it safe.




November 2016 - Timbs Track to Florentine River

Angie organised and was our guide on our second visit to this lovely track just inside the World Heritage Area.  Just a year ago not many of us could make it on this walk, so it was good that we increased our number this time around.   Angie, George, Lyn and Di set off from Hobart at 9.10am on a warm and sunny spring day.

It was a two hour drive (including a quick call into the NP office at Mt Field) to the carpark at Timbs Track.  We booted up and hit the track at 11.10am.

The track off Maydena Rd

Umm, you might get the picture
The track had seen some rough weather and a number of large trees had come down (worse than last year, apparently).  Navigating these was a bit of a challenge.

Angie always adds colour to the scene!

There was also a bit of scrub across the track to contend with, and some excursions around water-filled sections.  But it was a peaceful walk with fairly easy grades, including some beautiful hushed and mossy myrtle forests.  The cloud cover was making it hard for the sun to come out and play, but otherwise it was a perfect day for walking.

The track is a popular meeting spot for wombats, as you can see from their presents at the bottom of the sign to The Lookout, which we reached at 12.10 (so, one hour in).


Here, at the midpoint of the walk, the bush opens up to give views to the south west.



These pictures don't do the scene justice

We continued on towards the Florentine River, mostly downhill from here.
Just near the river is the Ewes' Inn, a recently rebuilt shelter hut.


We reached the pretty river at 1.05pm, where we found the lovely mossy and open picnic spot.



There are a couple of mossies here, but we also saw and heard a Scarlet Robin, and heard a few Olive Whistlers.  

After a half hour R&R, we returned along the same track, catching some different scenes as we negotiated our way around the track obstacles. 

Shades of Lord of the Rings

Back almost at the road, National Parks have recently (since last year?) upgraded a short loop walk which takes you to Twisted Sister, a huge twisted E. regnans.    Taking this loop adds only about 10 minutes to the walk.

Twisted Sister

And from there the track takes you past the Florentine demonstrators' protest site and camp, now decaying back into the bush.  Let's hope the forestry wars don't get inflamed again to the point that protestors have to chain themselves to logs, perch in trees, and sit in front of bulldozers.


We were back at the carpark at 3.40pm, making a total walk time of 4.5 hours.  And home in Hobart a couple of hours later, we were tired but happy, chatted out and kink-free.

October 2016 - IceHouse Track, Mt Wellington

Kat organised this little run up Mt Wellington.  The walkers on the day were Philip, Kat, Bob and Lyn.   The keen group met at 10am at the Springs, in the upper Springs carpark, where the old hotel used to be.   It was estimated at a max 4 hrs walking, with coffee at the new van at the Springs afterwards, a good plan! 

Looking forward to the climb!
It was a cold and blustery day.  As Kat says, we zoomed up and hunkered across the top before we were blown off!


   





 


 
The views from the top were fantastic.


For more info, here's another description of the walk:  (http://tastrails.com/ice-house-loop/)


September 2016 - Cathedral Rock, Mt Wellington

Cathedral Rock is a 9km, 4 hour return walk on the southern outskirts of Wellington Park. Starting by the picturesque North West Bay River at Neika, the track is narrow and quickly climbs 600 meters, zig zagging its way up to the jagged dolerite peak at 880 meters above sea level.   Fantastic views of Southern Tasmania reward you at the summit.

 Lyn organised this expedition.  There was a good weather forecast, but she reminded everyone to be to be prepared for all kinds of weather events. "We need to take a raincoat and warm clothes for protection, as the summit is quite exposed. We also need to take care when walking on the large riverbed pebbles at the start".


Here's a description of the track.  

Download a map of the track here.
 
Directions to Betts Rd at Neika for the start of the walk:
From Hobart take the southern outlet to Huonville, turn right at Leslie Rd, right at Huon Rd and quickly left onto Betts Road. Follow this gravel road for 1km, crossing a small bridge directly before the car park. There is limited parking at the start of track . Map of the driving route here.

Kathleen, Philip, Gary, Bob, George, Wayne and Lyn met at 10.30 am at the Neika carpark.
 
Here's Bob's description:
Climbed Cathedral Rock yesterday, a rather strenuous 4 hour walk. It started with about 45 minutes following a river which was pretty, relatively flat and very pleasant. Then came 45 mins of steep climbing and you finish with 30 minutes of difficult grade walking - the definition of difficult is when you have to use your hands to help you climb up the track. It was tough going but the view was magical. Loved it, but paying for it today with very tired legs!

Now the pictures can tell the story:







 



Our destination - Cathedral Rock!



Lyn on top