[SUBW-A] Trip Report - Tasmania - Southern Reserve Walk - Jan 2006
dnoble at ozemail.com.au
Sun Feb 5 16:47:39 EST 2006
Trip Report - Tasmania - Southern Reserve Walk - Jan 2006
Party - Lisa Foster, Dave Noble
The "Reserve" is the old name favoured by bushwalkers for the Cradle
Mtn - Lake St Clair National Park
Photos are on-line via this menu page -
Day 1 (Jan 4)
I met up with Lisa in Hobart and we caught the bus to Lake St Clair,
arriving in the late morning. We took advantage of the cafe being
open to order some hot food and drink and to observe the other
walkers huddled around the fireplace. Apparently it had been raining
for most of the past month or so - and a lot of people had been
having wet trips.
We caught the ferry up the Lake, and had another snack outside
Narcissus Hut. Another walker saw us getting our sun hats out of our
packs and laughed at us. But fine weather was forecast - so we
shouldered our packs and set off for Pine Valley. We arrived to find
a full hut, but that did not worry is as we had other plans. We
continued on and camped on the Acropolis Plateau - in the middle of a
very sheltered little thicket of pencil pines.
Up early, there was a frost outside our thicket, and all the small
pools were frozen over - providing nice ice patterns. We set off with
day packs for the Acropolis. On the way up we were both stunned by
the beautiful flowers - an awesome display! On the summit plateau -
we both climbed the pinnacle which is the true summit and many photos
were taken. Then it was back down to the tent for breakfast. On the
way down we met a large party of catholic bushwalkers (from
Melbourne) - one member seamed very concerned and warned us that our
volleys might get "sucked off" by the bog on the track.
Then it was back down to Pine Valley for elevenses and up to the
saddle near the Parthenon for lunch. The weather was beautiful - but
that means the ants of the Labyrinth, our campsite would be busy.
True. When we arrived at Lake Elysia in the Labyrinth, we found
millions of black ants were up and about and ready to crawl over
everything. Someone needs to import some echidnas into the area.
After dinner, we enjoyed a truly magnificent sunset - with all the
peaks glowing orange and then red.
Another fine day
We walked through the rest of the Labyrinth and up onto the high
plateau of the Du Cane Range, leaving packs to venture out to the
North Peak of the Geryon. On top - we met up with seasonal ranger
Darren Emmet, out on patrol. And we briefly chatted to two girls out
on a daywalk from the Labyrinth. Views were outstanding, particularly
from that part of the summit near to to the middle peak - the foresight.
Then it was back to our big packs and we walked to just above Big Gun
Pass for lunch. That afternoon we crossed the pass and camped on Mt
And after dinner, we could again enjoy a great sunset from the higher
part of the peak.
Another fine and very hot day.
We got up early (5:30am) to watch the sunrise. Back to the tent for
breakfast and to pack up. Then we set off along the range. As it was
going to be a very hot day - we didn't fancy being out on big
dolerite boulders for most of the day so elected to leave the range
early. So we descended down through boulders, then light scrub, then
slightly worse scrub, noting a couple of tiger snakes on the way
down. At last, we broke out onto open button grass plains and then we
had to remember the route we could see from above that seemed the
easiest way to the Overland Track. Yes - it was something like cross
the creek, turn right, then left till you get to a large pool, turn
right, then left through a scrubby section, then out onto another
open section and follow that to the right until you hit the track. Ot
at least that was how we thought we remembered it. Now - I had even
taken a digital photo of how the open sections connected together -
so we could always look at that on the LCD display couldn't we? Well
no - it was too bright to see the detail needed on the LCD screen.
But the going was quite easy as just as we seemed to be running out
of open leads we came across the track. It was a short distance to
Kia Ora hut where we had a swim in the creek and lunch outside on a
After lunch we then pressed on to Mt Ossa and camped near the summit.
A beautiful sunset followed.
A majestic morning heralded another fine day. It was going to be hot
again so we worked out an easy itinerary. We descended off Mt Ossa
and then left our big packs on the main track and quickly climbed
Pelion East. Then back down for lunch futher down the track and then
off to Kia Ora Hut. When we got there we enjoyed a cool swim and
several cups of tea until it cooled down a bit. It wasn't till around
6pm that we left and walked to Du Cane Hut where we camped outside.
Another party of walkers were camping nearby and they had come all
the way from Meander Falls via the Walls of Jerusalem - and were
heading to Cradle Mtn and then to Penguin on the coast. A long walk -
and particularly so for the member in their party with an artificial
Rain! Well light rain - it actually made a pleasant change. We
cancelled plans to go up onto Cathedral Mtn and instead went the low
route to Junction Lake following the Mersey River. The route known as
the "Never Never". I had been that way once before many years earlier
and could not remember much of a track - as we had a lot of rain and
any track would have been underwater. This time the going was quite
easy and fast and the only bad part was the number of leaches that
had come out.
We arrived at Junction Lake, and had lunch in the hut out of the rain
- but elected to camp outside.
The weather was improving, so we set off up a track to Lake Artemas
in the Traveller Range. We continued past it through generally open
country to set up camp in a sheltered campsite fairly close to Du
During the evening we heard voices outside - some distance away. I
got out of the tent and had a chat to the other walkers - who had
camped not too far away. They had planned to walk all the way down
the Traveller Range to the far end of Lake St Clair. When I got back
Lisa enquired about them. I said I thought they were locals (ie
Tasmanian walkers). She asked how did I know. "Did you ask them?" I
replied "No, but that they 'seemed' Tasmanian." Lisa was not
satisfied with my answer.
We slowly packed up and headed off towards Du Cane Gap. On the way,
we ran into the couple I had talked to the day before. After saying
goodbye, Lisa had to admit - that they did indeed "look Tasmanian".
After admiring the views from the top of Du Cane Gap we picked up the
rough track back down to the Overland Track and then walked down to
Windy Ridge Hut where Lisa had been hoping to resume her discussion
of Tasmanian flora and other matters with seasonal ranger Emmet.
Unfortunately he was not in his space capsule (true - the rangers
stay in things that look like space capsules) - and the new seasonal
ranger was more interested in sweeping out the hut.
So we set off for Narcissis - on the way stopping to admire and
photograph a rather friendly echidna. I had earlier told Lisa that
for every visit to the Reserve, you should have at least one bad
weather day (we had had ours on the Never Never) and one night spent
in a hut. So this was the night we would spend in a hut. Narcissus
when we arrived was empty but a few other walkers joined us later in
the evening. We had a nice swim in the river and spent the afternoon
lazing around looking for platypus and quolls (I saw one nice quoll
outside the hut, but it was too quick for the camera)
A nice easy day - we caught the boat back down the lake and then had
quite a few hours to kill before the bus arrived late that afternoon.
Luckily, the the cafe served alcohol......
A very pleasant walk in some of the best mountain scenery in Tasmania.
dnoble at ozemail.com.au
More information about the subw-announce