August 2022 - Waterfall Bluff

Spring is well and truly here, and we had won the weather lottery - it was a perfect warm sunny day for this walk on the Tasman Peninsula. Organised by Lyn, we met at the Cubed coffee cart at the spectacular Pirates Bay Lookout for our morning coffee. With the new highway bypass of Sorell in place, it had only taken an hour to get there from the city. There were eight of us today - Lyn, Di, Kat, Philip, Bob, Gerwyn, Wayne and Fin. We were surprised again with cake - it was Gerwyn's birthday and she supplied carrot cake for morning tea. We are getting spoilt!

Fortified with good coffee and cake, we reconvened at the Tasman Arch carpark for our walk. Here the facilities have been updated, very nice.
At 11am we set off. Our first stop was the iconic Tasman Arch.
Then we were onto one of Tassie's Great Short Walks, to Waterfall Bay.
This trail has recently been re-routed, widened and upgraded to almost wheelchair standard (there are some small hills), and is a nice easy stroll. It goes past Devil's Kitchen and many other neat lookouts along the way. We stopped at most of them, but we didn't see any whales or dolphins today.
The view to the south from Patterson's Arch:
Kat spotted a couple of small orchids, including this young Greenhood:
It took us about an hour to reach Waterfall Bay, where there is another carpark [note - apparently the road to get there (Waterfall Bay Road) is a bit rugged]. Here's where we first sighted the eponymous Waterfall across the Bay.
At this point we moved on to the Tasman Coastal Track:
This track is more natural, and the surface less groomed (!). Today it was pretty wet and muddy in patches, so some careful navigation was required. Those of us who'd changed into walking boots had made the right decision! We finally reached the bridge over the top of the Waterfall, and took the trail straight ahead towards Waterfall Bluff.
But shortly after this junction was a discreet unmarked trail off to the left, which Kat knew about.
Guided by her, we dropped our backpacks and stepped down the secret trail. Very quickly we came across Shower Falls. What a treat! Here are just a few of our delighted faces:
Getting back onto the official trail, there was no stopping now, because lunch was the number one thought. We skirted some more scenic headland, until finally, just at the right time (1 pm) we reached Waterfall Bluff.
We took about our usual quarter of an hour or so for snacks, and took turns to brave the (unfenced) lookout rock to revel in the magnificent views southwards to Cape Huay.
Then it was time to retrace our steps back along the trail. We discovered that we'd walked right past this amazing display on our way through:
We arrived back at our vehicles at about 2.45pm. According to the RideWithGPS record, we'd walked about 8.3km, and we all agreed it had been a perfect outing, just right for distance, elevations, fresh air, nature and scenery. On top of that, Lyn had successfully negotiated her first proper bushwalk since breaking her ankle several months ago. It was wonderful to share this perfect day with good friends.

July 2022 - Three Falls, Mt Field NP

Bob organised us today to visit Russell Falls, Horseshoe Falls, and Lady Barron Falls at Mount Field National Park. We last did this circuit in May 2012. Today our group comprised Bob, Wayne, Philip, Gary, Adam, Arav, Angie and Di. We'd arranged to meet at the Visitors' Centre at Mt Field at 10.30.

The first glitch was that the walkers had to start out with Angie and Di, who had been a little late leaving town and were then held up by some unexpected difficulties charging Di's short range EV in New Norfolk [the company had changed their account app, etc etc]. The walkers enjoyed the easy stroll to Russell Falls, along the wide accessible path, smooth enough for wheelchairs.
The Fall were as spectacular as usual.
The next twist in the plan was the discovery that the path up behind Russell Falls connecting to Horseshoe Falls was blocked off for safety reasons. So the group trekked back to the Visitors' Centre, just in time to see Di and Angie swing into the carpark.

We switched to Plan B, which was to drive up to the Lady Barron Falls carpark, and double back towards Horseshoe Falls. Reassembling up the road a little, we walked the Tall Trees loop (one of Tassie's Great Short Walks) which happened to be on the way to Horseshoe Falls.
(Philip was behind the camera).

Then we strolled further along that path, passing the top of Russell Falls, to reach the Horseshoe Falls.
It was beautiful, quiet and peaceful in the rainforest. There were very few other walkers on the tracks, which was a bonus. And we met a pair of pademelons.

We backtracked to the carpark, where Gary took Adam and Arav off up to Lake Fenton. The rest of us took the track to Lady Barron Falls. This was a slightly longer track, also very peaceful.
The falls did not disappoint.
We walked along the rest of the loop trail to the Visitors' Centre. This is mostly downhill but surprises with a steep set of stairs towards the end.
The Waterfall Cafe was our stop for lunch, which was very welcome by now! Wayne then ferried Bob back up to the carpark to retrieve his car, and followed up by surprising us with delicious friands for dessert, made by the lovely Gerwyn who hadn't been able to come today (thank you Gerwyn!).

It was another lovely day in nature with good friends.