Saturday, 14 April 2012

Hartz Peak with Victor - 14th April 2012

Having put Victor's brother Gabi up on the blog, just because he climbed Mount Wellington, I thought I'd go back and see where I'd put Victor up when he stayed with us last year. Found I hadn't put it up, bit remiss of me!

Alex and I took Victor to Hartz Peak. Eamonn was doing his hair or something. We had a great walk and showed Victor the best easy views of Southwest Tasmania. As I recall it was cool on top, but not too bad.

Federation Peak is seen behind the lads and to the right - it's the lumpy mountain. It is considered one of the more difficult mountains in Tasmania, requiring a solid walk in and some airy climbing.

Alex and Victor on Hartz Peak. Ironbound Range to the left of them, Federation Peak on horizon towards the right hand side - 14th April 2012.

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Hartz Peak - 6th April 2012

The Ironbound Range, bobs Knobs, Mt Bobs and The Boomerang and Federation Peak from Hartz Peak - 6th April 2012
Bit late I know, but here it is. My next blog post explains why I needed to put this one up.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Fishers Point - 12th March 2012

Had a leisurely wander along the quiet beaches between Cockle Creek and Fishers Point before driving home. The views of the southern ranges across the peaceful expanse of Recherche Bay are pretty impressive from here. There is also a view across to Bruny Island. Predictably, the Victorians were along here too. They looked at me suspiciously. Yes, maybe I am stalking you.

Part of the Southern Ranges from Recherche Bay, The Cockscomb, The Hippo and Mount Leillateah - 12th March 2012

The Southern Ranges across Recherche Bay - 12th March 2012

Bruny Island from Fishers Point, Bruny Light just visible - 12th March 2012

Southern Ranges across Recherche Bay - 12th March 2012

South Cape Bay - 11th March 2012

Had a very enjoyable walk to this spectacular beach. There are a few interesting observations to make. Also, met the Victorians who had been on the top of Hartz Peak. Don't know if they actually recognised me.

The bottom section of the steps has been washed away, I believe by a large storm late last year. I was going to walk to South Cape Bay that day, however the rain was so heavy and the wind so blustery at Franklin that I abandoned the plan before wasting any extra fuel. No doubt however, the waves would have been awesome. I don't think a walk on the beach would have been possible that day.

There is a sign at the top of the steps sort of sunk into the gravel, telling you that there is a diversion. The diversion seems to be close to the bottom of the steps and has trampled out along the dunes a few metres before descending to the beach.

South Cape Bay beach, showing storm-carved sand spit towards western end - 11th March 2012

The beach itself shows strong signs of big seas, with a spit of sand in the middle of the beach and a large bank of pebbles at the western end. The spit always appears after a big storm. The sand, pebbles and boulders move around a lot on this beach when the seas are large. Even in moderate seas, at high tide the waves can wash around the little outcrop of rock about a third of the way along. It is sensible to be wary of rogue waves.

Steep storm-driven pebble/boulder bank at western end of South Cape Bay beach - 11th March 2012

I was very surprised to see this small dog, straining at the leash, leading its mistress out onto the headland. Apparently it's an Assistance Dog. The lady is from Victoria, and apparently has a card showing the dog is required for health reasons. She showed it to the ranger, I discovered, and even noted the dog in the logbook. Therefore, she is allowed to take it into National Parks. I'm still trying to locate information about how you can get a dog certified as an "Assistance Dog", and for what reasons, it's not very clear. This wasn't a nice quiet labrador, gently padding along at his master's heel, this dog was leading the lady about.

The so-called "Assistance Dog" at South Cape Bay - 11th March 2012

My further investigations reveal the following so far. The Parks and Wildlife Service webpages say that "Assistance Dogs" are OK. The actual regulations from 2009 say that only guide dogs and hearing dogs as defined in the Guide Dogs and Hearing Dogs Act can be exempted from the requirement to not bring non-native animals into national parks. My reading at this point is that the regulations only exempt guide dogs and hearing dogs. This must have been a hearing dog... although I'm dubious. The ranger had to ring someone, on a Sunday, to get advice on whether the lady should be allowed in with the dog. I bet they didn't have time for a search of Austlii!

Cockle Creek sunset tells a tale

The sunset wasn't particularly spectacular, but it was a nice still evening. As the sun set behind this hill, the presence of a forestry coupe was made very obvious. I don't know if they've tried to cut as much as possible without it being visible, but if so they failed and here it is. I've located the spot on Google Maps (below), but the imagery is old enough that there isn't a coupe there. Nearby the most southerly coupes are pretty much on the national park boundary around 2.4km from South Cape Bay beach. Don't ever let anyone tell you that the road at Cockle Creek is Australia's southernmost road, the forestry roads they've pushed in go further south.

The clear signs of a forestry coupe visible from Cockle Creek - 10th March 2012

View Forestry near Cockle Creek in a larger map

Hartz Peak - 10th March 2012

I thought the weather forecast suggested I might be able to get some atmospheric shots up at Hartz in cooler weather than my last visit. In the event it was more cloudy than atmospheric, but was an enjoyable walk nevertheless. Met some Victorians who I was destined to meet again.

Hartz Lake - 10th March 2012

The Devils Backbone, Hartz Mountains - 10th March 2012
The Devils Backbone can be traversed, and I think the Hobart Walking Club used to take walks there. I'm not sure how far you can actually get, however I was in a group that traversed to a point above Lake Osborne. The way was quite scrubby, as was our descent, and frankly the method of descent was quite environmentally unfriendly. Five or six blokes basically falling down the steep hill through the scrub, clearing a path so the rear-most had almost a track to walk down. The section shown in the photo is well beyond Lake Osborne and I should think the saddles are very scrubby.

See all Hartz Peak Climbs.

Mount Wellington - 3rd March 2012

Had a nice bit of exercise on a cloudy day up the front of Mount Wellington via the Zig-Zag Track. The Snow Berries are out and they are growing their bright red new foliage.

Snow Berry, Gaultheria hispida, Mount Wellington - 3rd March 2012

New foliage on Snow Berry, Gaultheria hispida, Mount Wellington - 3rd March 2012

View from the stone seats, Zig-Zag Track, Mount Wellington - 3rd March 2012