Saturday, 15 November 2014

Eddy Creek Karst

Saturday 15th November 2014

Largest Cave
I have been going to do this walk for some time and decided that today would be a good day for it. For those who don't know, a karst is a limestone or dolomite region in which erosion has produced fissures, sinkholes, underground streams and caverns. This area around Eddy Creek is a dolomite area and there is currently a quarry where the dolomite is extracted. I had a list of locations of various caves, sinkholes and springs that I wanted to check out.
Road to the quarry
To reach the walk start I drove out on Weld Road and turned onto Eddy Road near Southwood Mill and then into Eric Pettits Road and parked just before the locked gate. It is more or less the same starting point as Fletchers Eddy. As there was about 4 kms. of road walking involved to reach the quarry access road, I rode my bike instead of walking which saved some time. It was quite easy riding and not too steep. After reaching the quarry road, I stashed the bike in the bush and began the short walk up the road. No doubt someone younger or fitter than I could have ridden to the quarry but I found it easier to walk.
Dolomite Quarry
It did not take long to reach the quarry, where there were great views of Glovers Bluff. I walked up the right hand side and then into the bush heading for my first point of interest, which was the largest sinkhole in the area. The trees that had been pushed over made it a little difficult but I was soon in clearer territory. The sink hole was just past the quarry boundary and was not very impressive - merely a small depression.
Largest sinkhole
I then carried on to a small cave and a spring and cave that seem to be joined underground and then to the largest cave around the area. It was quite deep and I had too be extremely careful near the edge. The walking was fairly easy with no scrub bashing involved but there were plenty of trees to clamber over, both large and small.
Largest cave from up the hill
From here I walked uphill to locate a couple of sinkholes, one of which I found and one I didn't and then onto another vertical cave to the northwest. When I found it I stopped for a snack before heading back down the dry creek bed to look for more features.
Vertical Cave
I found some more springs and another cave whilst walking down the creek and once I reached the last spring I headed uphill to come out at the quarry, thus completing a small loop. I then walked back to my bike and then headed down the road because I wanted to check out the access for a future walk to Bernard Spur. There was a tree across the road at the Eddy Creek crossing and this proved to be a good seat for lunch.
Lunch at Eddy Creek
I rode on up the road to the end which is near Bernard Spur. There were good views of Glovers Bluff along here and I also watched an echidna for quite some time. After finding out what I wanted to, I simply rode back to the car.
This was an enjoyable short walk through some nice bush and with some different points of interest.
Distance: 15.8 kms. Bike 9.1 kms. Walk 6.7 kms.
Time: 5'06"
Ascent: 490 metres
Click here to download GPX file.
Dolomite quarry

Dolomite quarry

Largest Cave

Bush

Spring flowing over dolomite

Glovers Bluff

Dolomite quarry

Dolomite

Echidna




Sunday, 9 November 2014

Mount Brown and Crescent Bay

Sunday 9th November 2014

Mount Brown
I took some friends on a walk to Mount Brown and Crescent Bay today as they had not been there before. See previous walk description here.
The day was perfect although a little hazy. The Maingon Blow Hole was not blowing as the waves were not big enough. We walked up to Mount Brown summit and had a chat with a couple of elderly gentlemen over here from Victoria and then over to view Dauntless Point and then down to Crescent Bay. We could hear voices in the distance and soon spotted a couple of sand boarders sliding down the dunes. After enjoying the beach we walked back to the car and stopped for lunch on the drive back near Port Arthur.
A very enjoyable day.
Basket Bay

Cape Raoul

Walkers heading up to Mount Brown

Crescent Bay

Cape Pillar and Tasman Island

Dauntless Point

Crescent Bay

Crescent Bay

Crescent Bay

Dune sandboarders

Friday, 7 November 2014

Punna Falls via Watsons Lookout

Thursday 6th November 2014

Punna Falls
I thought that I would go on an easy walk today, and not very far from home, but as things sometimes turn out different to what was expected, I ended up taking much longer than what I had estimated. This was basically due to a scrub bash that was not in the plan. My idea was to start in Denison Road out from Lonnavale and walk up and over Watsons Lookout and then down to Punna Falls and back via some forestry roads. As you will see it did not quite turn out that way.
Track up to Watsons Lookout
To reach the start of the walk, drive out on Denison Road as if going to Snowy South, but at the Lake Skinner turnoff, stay on Denison Road and drive past a gate for about 350 metres and park beside the road. I was expecting the gate to be shut, so intended to start the walk there. If the gate remains open it is possible to drive much closer to Punna Falls via Denison, Barn Back and Walducks Roads.
It took me only 20 minutes to drive from home, so I was walking quite early up an old forestry track which was lined with a display of spring blossoms. The track soon came to a small creek where it was impassable to vehicles and then continued on uphill to meet the track going up the ridge line to Watsons Lookout. There were views of the Snowy Range shrouded in cloud and also up the Huon Valley looking east. I was pleasantly surprised with the views as I was not expecting too much.
Snowy Range

Snowy Range
The track continued on up the ridge and finally ran out before the top which meant a short walk through the scrub to reach the summit. There were views before the summit which I assume was the lookout because the highest point was enclosed by bush. I eventually came to a track on the southern side that led down to a recently logged coup.
Looking east up the Huon Valley
I found my way through the coup down to a good road and then onto an old track and then another old track that headed south to a coup that had been logged a few years ago. I had intended to follow a track that hopefully skirted the coup on the eastern side, and all was going well until I reached a small creek where the track ended. I walked around the top end of the creek with the expectation of picking up the track on the other side. It was not there, so I went scrub bashing looking for it, but the scrub was too thick and there were too many logs that had been pushed over. I abandoned the attempt to find the track and instead headed into the rain forest on the edge of the coup. This was much easier walking for a while but became scrubby further on with lots of bracken. There were also many large trees in the area both standing and on the ground.
Rain forest area
I eventually came to a ridge that was heading in the right direction, so I followed this down to the top of the falls. It was quite steep towards the end but relatively easy walking. The falls had a larger drop than I was expecting and had a reasonable flow. The water simply flows down the solid rock at an angle but does not cascade through open air. It was quite pretty but it was hard to get a good photo without dangling near the edge. I started to go down to the base of the falls, but it became steeper and steeper the further I went, so I abandoned that idea. It took me 2 hours to walk from where the track finished to the falls and that was about 2.0 kms.
Top of falls

Punna Falls
I walked back up the hill and found a suitable spot for lunch and then back to the track, staying in the rain forest this time. I then walked back down to Walducks Road and back to the car via Barn Back and Denison Roads.
This was a good walk although I could have done without the scrub bash.
Distance: 13.0 kms.
Time: 7'22"
Ascent: 766 metres
Click here to download GPX file.
Snowy Range

Rimons Hill and Huon Valley

Logged coup on Barn Back

Beside a road

Huon Valley

Snowy Range



Friday, 31 October 2014

Taffs and Poulters Hills

Thursday 30th October 2014

Track at start of walk
I had been thinking of going on a longer than normal walk for a while and decided that today would be the day. The walk I chose was to be in the state forest west of Levendale and would incorporate both Taffs and Poulters Hills. I expected  quite an easy walk, mainly on forestry roads and tracks with little or no views, and that is about how it turned out.
To reach the walk start I drove out of Hobart to Sorrell and turned left on the A3 and headed to Runnymede where I turned onto the Woodsdale Road and then after some time onto New Country Marsh Road. The walk start was about 5.1 kms. down this road at a locked gate with just enough room to park one car.
Spring colour beside the track
I had an early start from home so I began walking at 0735, around the locked gate and uphill on an old seldom used track. It was easy walking and once I came to a spot where the track did not seem to go in the direction I was expecting, I took to the bush and found it once again. I realized my mistake on the way back, as the track was not where it was shown on the map. Just after regaining the track I left it and scrub bashed down a slope to pick up a good forestry road.
Good forestry road
 There was a myriad of roads and tracks to pick from, some on the map and some not, but I chose to walk in a southwesterly direction on an excellent road. There were wild flowers everywhere and it was very pleasant walking along and listening to all the birds. After a time the road headed east and then finally petered out. I made a decision to scrub bash across country to pick up another track. I was soon regretting this as I struggled through a cutting grass swamp, with grass above my head, but it didn't last too long and I was soon back on a decent track.
Echidna beside the road
I came across an echidna beside the road and this was the first of two that I spotted on the day. I also saw countless wallabies and pademelons and birds and this was the most wildlife I had seen in ages. I continued on along the road through some nice forest which had regenerated since being logged. There were many tall trees.
Tall trees

More spring colour
Soon I reached the turn off and walked up to the top of Taffs Hill and then along further to see where the track went. It came to a T intersection and this is where I turned around and walked back to the top of the hill for a snack. Taffs Hill is rather a disappointment as a hill and doesn't even warrant a summit cairn, so I set about making one at what I determined to be the highest point, although that could be somewhat debatable.
Taffs Hill summit cairn

Taffs Hill
I soon headed back down and walked in a easterly direction past a large quarry to the headwaters of the Prosser River, where there was a bridge crossing.
Quarry beside the road

Start of the Prosser River
After this I walked north up to the summit of Poulters Hill. There were fleeting views of the surrounding hills as I ascended, but nothing spectacular.
Track towards Poulters Hill
Poulters Hill was more of a hill than Taffs but nothing spectacular, and again no summit cairn, although it has one now. I stopped for lunch before heading back down.
Poulters Hill summit cairn

Poulters Hill
I followed various tracks on my return to the car, all the time staying inside the State Forest boundary. I corrected my mistake on the outward leg and stayed on the track which didn't follow the track on the map, although that is not unusual.
This was an easy walk through a typical forestry area, and although most of it has been logged in the past, it is regenerating and providing a good habitat for various animals. I did see Tasmanian Devil scats as well. Most of the walk could be ridden on a mountain bike except for the scrub bash sections, but there are plenty of tracks to choose from and the lack of evidence of vehicular traffic is pleasing.
Distance: 21.6 kms.
Time: 6'02"
Ascent: 640 metres
Click here to download GPX file.