The western areas of Tasmania are quite stunning, much of the west in inaccessible and those areas which do have roads are magnificent. At this stage I’d become a bit of a walking machine and I was trekking longer and higher wherever possible. The further I was pushing it the further I wanted to keep pushing it.
I had hurt my foot up in Ulverstone though and was hobbling for a few days while it mended but I was keen to start hiking and climbing again.
As things began to mend I started to push the walking again and my first big climb since hurting my foot was Cradle mountain. The day before I had walked around dove lake at the base of the mountain without trouble, so time to really test it out with a mountain climb.
It was a full 6 hour return hike and although exhausting, it was really satisfying to get up there and back, the day was amazing, clear and blue I could see for miles. It’s a busy place at cradle mountain, most people park at the entrance and catch shuttle buses up there. They have an automated car counter and boom gate so if you want to drive up there yourself, you need to be early in the day or wait near the boom gate for someone to come out before you can drive through.
Feeling fairly fit the following morning I started driving early and ended up near mount Roland, a magnificent looking mountain range. I took a drive in and found the start of the walk trail, another 5-6 hour hike to the summit of Mounr Roland? Why not, two mountains in two days. I headed off up the track which was interesting because the mountain was covered in low hanging cloud.
The cloud was thick all the way up the mountain and I was concerned that there wasn’t going to be much of a view from the top.
To the south you could see many mountains off in the distance but the view wasn’t the best looking north, nothing but cloud, I’d climbed up through the clouds and now that I was above them, it didn’t make for a very good view or photo.
That night I decided that if I felt ok in the morning I’d try a third mountain, three mountains in three days is a nice goal. I woke up feeling good, the weather had cleared up beautifully and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky.
I decided to tackle Mount Claude, it was at the western end of the Mount Roland Range, a little lower than Roland’s peak and the access road took you a lot closer to the peak so it was a 3-4 hour return hike. I’d read in two different place that cars had been broken into at the car park for Mount Claude. Oh well, I parked up and made sure the laptop and tablet were hidden under the bed in a difficult to find spot. After some careful stashing I noticed that there was smashed glass on the ground near where I was parked. Oh well I started off up the steep climb to Claude’s peak trying not to think about it. Perhaps 40-50 minutes into the climb while still trying hard not to think about the car I stopped dead. My wallet… I’d left my wallet in the glove box and it wasn’t locked. I was half running and clambering at double time down the mountain convinced that someone was breaking into the car right now and they’d be off with my wallet. Of course when I got there everything was fine. So I nearly did three mountains in three days.
I made my way south to Mount Field National Park, a beautiful area around here with many different walks available. While walking a short trail near the national park entrance I came across something very special, can you see what it is?
Here’s another picture.
Not the best pictures, but I felt honoured to have seen it. I sat and watched for perhaps three or four minutes as it messed around before disappearing into the tree roots behind it. I waited for another ten or fifteen minutes but it stayed hidden.
Walking up on the Tarn shelf in Mount Field national park is one of my favourite walks of Tasmania so far. Another fairly big walk if you do the circuit, I think from memory it was about 5 hours, though fairly easy and absolutely stunning scenery.
Very rugged country which gets covered with snow each winter, this makes for interesting and very tough vegetation.
I think I may finish off by just having some more assorted pictures from around the western side of Tasmania.
I left Tassie a few weeks ago now, coming back to sell my car. I’d made the mistake of not booking my return ticket in a timely manner and as it’s peak time for people to be returning to the mainland now the weather’s cooling, I had to wait seven weeks for the troopy to get on the ferry. So I’m back here selling the car and the troopy waits for my return back to Tassie.
The photo above, and the next two pictures are all taken at what I consider to be the best camp spot I have found around Australia so far, it was a truly magical place.