Saturday, 3 November 2007

Hartz Peak - 3 November 2007

Mt Picton and Hartz Lake from Hartz Peak - 3 November 2007Walked up Hartz Peak today. (Map here.) The forecast for Hobart didn't seem great, rain developing later. The forecast for Strahan was better. Anyway, it looked less grey to the southwest than the northeast, so Hartz Peak won over Mt Wellington. Turned out to be a good choice.

Federation Peak from near the Hartz Peak track - 3 November 2007Very still conditions at Hartz, which were evident on their weather station readings before I left home. Quite a lot of wind readings were showing as "Calm", essentially minimal breeze. I walked up Hartz Peak, only passing a couple of other groups of two during the day. The weather stayed fine, the breezes generally gentle, and I managed to sit on the summit in a shirt for a while. The views were good, with Precipitous Bluff in some wreathes of cloud, but Federation clear, and views to Mt Anne not too bad.

Visitor Shelter, Hartz Mountains - 3 November 2007The new visitor shelter has been open for a while now. It's a pretty good place to sit and eat, look out at the scenery, get ready for a walk etc. There are water tanks to fill bottles, two toilets, tables and benches, including one outdoors. It's quite noticeable as you come back to the car park, but it isn't offensive, so overall I think it's a pretty good job.

The Varnished Gum (Eucalyptus vernicosa), Hartz Mountains - 3 November 2007The Varnished Gum (Eucalyptus vernicosa) is found here. Described as one of the most extreme of all eucalypts, it was once exploited for its oil. "In the early 1900s a new industry supplemented the logging activities on the Hartz Plateau - the extraction of eucalyptus oil from the Varnished Gum (Eucalyptus vernicosa). The branches of this, the smallest eucalypt in Australia, were collected and transported by packhorse to the road's end where they were transferred to carts. From there the branches were taken to Geeveston for shipping to Hobart. The oil was then distilled and used in a number of medicinal preparations." From the Hartz Mountains National Park Day Walk Map, 1992.

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