The first day of Spring! It was a lovely day, sun shining and all seeming right with the world. Six of us set out (Di, Robert, Catherine, Peter, Kat and Philip). We approached the Three Thumbs walk from the Spring Bay end, because we knew that the shorter approach (via Copping) was unavailable. Robertson's Bridge (over Sandspit River) has been washed out (again) and the last we had heard on the news was that no-one was volunteering to rebuild it. We left town at 10am, and it took an hour and 20 mins to get to the start of the walk.
Tasman Highway (A3) from Sorell to Orford. Turn right just at the bridge onto Charles St (C320) (toward Wielangta Rd). Before 1 km along, where the road is signed as becoming Rheban Rd, turn right onto Wielangta Rd. This turnoff is badly signposted! There is also a disconcerting "detour" sign not a long away along the road.
After 4 km, turn right onto a forestry road - there is a good sign here to the Three Thumbs picnic area. Drive uphill to the start of the Three Thumbs track (well marked). This is at a big bend in the road
(the road leads further on to the Thumbs picnic area). Park here.
At the picnic area there is a shelter (and that's about all), but good views to be had over the coast to Maria Island.
Suits: Competent (fit, some steep sections, footing variable, some wayfinding required)
Time: 2 hours return Length: 4km
After an initial steep start, the track climbs gently to the ridge line of the Three Thumbs. Then there is a signposted option to take the Forest Walk to the left.
We took the right fork, which follows the ridge line along over a few bumps (the Thumbs) to the highest point at 549 metres.
The track was generally well formed and marked with cairns and marking tape, going through dry eucalyptus forest. There is no water available along the ridge. At the Three Thumbs peak there is a trig station and some nice flat rocks to sun yourself on.
Unfortunately the trees around the summit have grown and tend to obscure the view (dammit).
Robert got the prize for the best gourmet picnic today.
On the way back, we took the Forest Walk option to the right, making a loop of the walk. This passed to the west side of Thumb number 2, dipping down into a moister temperate rainforest microclimate - lots of pepperberry, blechnum ferns and damp logs. We heard lots of birds but were not good at identifying them! The track was fairly overgrown, with some fallen trees providing obstacles to slide around. No leeches though :) Despite the steep descent into the valley the ascent back to the main Thumbs track was surprisingly easy. And the Forest Walk route took the same amount of time as the ridgeline walk.
We had planned to visit the Scorchers by the River Pizza Cafe in Orford for drinks and snacks after the walk. Unfortunately it was closed for the August quiet season and we had to make do with the with cafe on the corner, where the sporting themed decor was decidedly odd.