Monday, 25 June 2012

Arm End - 23rd June 2012

I've been re-doing various walks close to Hobart so I can put together a set of the best ones that are easily accessible from the city. This is probably the one furthest by road, requiring a drive all the way around South Arm to Opossum Bay.

Mount Direction, Hobart and the Tasman Bridge from Arm End - 23rd June 2012

I've previously provided a walk description, but I will be updating this and others when I put all these Hobart walks in a website sometime. (Soon...)

Rocks in Mary Ann Bay and Mount Wellington - 23rd June 2012

I note that some tree-planting has been undertaken near the Gellibrand vault, as well as restoration work on the vault, which has been fenced and excavated. You can still see the vault from across the fence.

The restored and fenced Gellibrand vault - 23rd June 2012

This is a good walk for a day with dubious weather, although segments can be quite exposed to the wind blowing off the very obvious Mount Wellington.

Taroona cliffs and the Shot Tower from Arm End - 23rd June 2012

High Yellow Bluff - 17th June 2012

High Yellow Bluff is a walk I haven't done before. It has a solid 400m climb, so I thought it would be a good bit of exercise. indeed it was - my summary however, is solid climb, interesting fungi, under-maintained track and few views. I gather there are views northwards from the un-tracked northern part of the "circuit", but I did the up-and-down, not least because I'd parked close to the coast.

Road Directions
Drive to Murdunna, and turn left into Hylands Road. Staying on Hylands Road, ignore all side turns until arriving at a parking area near an intersection after 11.4km. The guidebook tells you to park here, and if doing the circuit, you might as well. If just wanting to do the return walk to the summit, or walking to Cape Surville, proceed along the track to the right. Take this slowly. You will eventually come to some deep slippery potholes, and I decided here to park at the side of the track on a convenient pull-off. Just beyond the potholes there is a locked gate anyway. A young bloke on a motorbike was there when I was and he provided some information and a reconnaissance service. (Thanks!)

Walk Description
Heading along the track towards the coast, pass the locked gate. Soon you will pass a track to the right, marked as the Cape Surville Track. Just beyond here there is a turning circle, and a track leaves the far side of it and heads left, north, along the coast. Views can be had from the turning circle towards Cape Surville. There are large cliffs below here, so be careful. There are a couple of short sidetracks close by, where some views can be had of High Yellow Bluff and the cliffs and sea below it. It is quite dramatic. the track winds and descends a little before climbing, gently at first then more and more steeply. A short sidetrack onto some boulders after some solid climbing gives views southwards, back towards Cape Surville and beyond. After this the track climbs more steeply, and starts to cross boulders. There is a bit of clambering about. The whole track has timber across it in places, and this requires a bit of climbing, ducking and crawling at times.

Eventually the track flattens out and heads across the summit, marked quite poorly with cairns. I walked until the track appeared to start downhill again, and where I couldn't clearly see where the next cairn is. There are some large boulders here, which are OK to sit upon for a snack. There are glimpses of the distant sea far below through the trees, but no sweeping vistas. Re-reading the guidebook, I realised that it didn't promise any from the top, so I shouldn't have hoped for them. There is a apparently a tape-marked off-track circuit which proceeds norht, then west from the summit, on very steep and slippery rocks. Having driven well down the track to the coast, this didn't appeal, so I retraced.

My overall assessment is that, unless the circuit offers some pretty spectacular views, this walk is probably best avoided. It is overgrown and has only occasional moderate views. On the plus side, it's very good exercise (400m uphill) and I didn't get any leeches... I know, I'm stretching. The fungus was interesting too, but I'd want a few spare hours to wander about and photograph it, rather than trying to do so while slogging uphill. Maybe I'll try the circuit sometime. I recall that the other walk nearby, Cape Surville, is more interesting.

Cape Surville from the turning circle at the end of the road - 17th June 2012

High Yellow Bluff - 17th June 2012

Cliffs and sea below High Yellow Bluff - 17th June 2012

Crescent Bay and Mount Brown - 16th June 2012

Needing an easy walk to ease back into it, after being crook, this looked like a good bet for the first day of the weekend. I've blogged this walk several times before, so I'll just pop up a few photos. I'm not sure I've ever put up the full walk description I once said I would provide, so I may need to do so. There's a map on Google maps, which essentially has a walk description. Just a note for anyone doing this walk - the Maingon Blowhole is very risky for children and fools. There are also other places where there are huge unfenced cliffs.

Summit cairn and trig, Mount Brown, Cape Pillar and Tasman Island behind - 16th June 2012

Tasman Island from Crescent Bay - 16th June 2012

Oh, except to say that I don't think I've ever seen the creek flowing over the rocks like this before.

Creek flowing across the rocks, Crescent Bay Track - 16th June 2012

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Cape Hauy - 2nd June 2012

I intended to walk up Mount Fortescue, but when I arrived at Fortescue Bay it was persisting down. Momentarily thought of going to a cafe instead, but donning raincoat I headed up the hill. The rain eased, and on top of the hill it was just drizzling occasionally. With the low cloud, I decided I'd prefer to do Mount Fortescue a different day, and would fill in the time with Cape Hauy.

This was instructive anyway, as they have now all but completed the track works. These remain quite impressive in an engineering sense, with steps pretty much all the way up and down all the steeper bits of hill. They're very well done, but complete overkill. No proper wilderness experience here, although I'm not sure it has been for some time. Whatever the previous situation, the recent works have ensured visitors will get a safe and controlled environment. At least they haven't fenced the cliffs....yet.

I did sidetrack out to the Monument Lookout, where the view is stupendous as ever. This is well worth the sidetrip, especially if you're only ever going to go here the once. The lookout is 200m pretty much vertically above Munro Bight, looking south to Cape Pillar. It is very airy, and extreme care must be taken if approaching the rolled edges of the boulders - for example passing the bush to go out onto the most obvious sitting area. Don't let the kids get out of sight here, or in fact on the Cape Hauy track.

Cliffs and seascape, Cape Hauy Track - 2nd June 2012

Impressive stone steps around the "rest rocks" on the large hill above Cape Hauy - 2nd June 2012

Southerly view from Monument Lookout - 2nd June 2012

Munro Bight and Cape Pillar, showing the airy aspect from Monument Lookout - 2nd June 2012

Cape Pillar through the "weather" - 2nd June 2012

Cape Pillar from Monument Lookout
Tasman Island lighthouse, Cape, Chasm and  Cathedral Rock all visible - 2nd June 2012