Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Lake Repulse

Monday 2nd May 2016

Lake Repulse
I chose to start the walk on Thunderbolt Road off Dawson Road in the Lake Repulse area.
It was a fine day after yesterday's rain and there were lots of puddles along the tracks and some of the creeks were flowing which is a nice change. I had debated whether I should drive up the track further but opted not too. Just as well as there were deep holes which I would not take my vehicle through.
Access track to the lake
I walked the first track down to the lake and that was about 1.5 kms. From there the track paralleled the lake for another 1.5 kms. where there were a couple of offshoots down to the lake shore. These were obvious camping spots because of the amount of rubbish lying around. It is so disappointing!!

Lake Repulse

Lake Repulse

Improvised Boat Ramp
After the last visit down to the lake shore the track started climbing. I knew that it eventually linked back to where the car was parked and I knew I would probably have to leave it at some stage to continue on along beside the lake. Sure enough, I left the track when I could see where I wanted to go and descended steeply to a small creek and inlet.

Small Creek and Inlet

Lake Repulse

Lake Repulse
After the creek it was all off track through mostly open forest beside the lake. I startled a couple of possums that were up a tree. I don't know what they were doing out in the daylight-maybe up to mischief, because they are the first ones I have seen when walking. I also saw another smaller one later on.

Lake Repulse

Open Forest

Open Forest
I continued along and came to a bend in the lake, where on the side I was on, the land sloped steeply down to the lake. I tried following an animal pad for a time beside the water's edge but it was quite messy so opted to climb up and over the hill. This proved to be a good idea. From the top there was a steep descent to another creek and from then on fairly flat to the Catagunya Power Station, which was my destination. The scrub varied but it was mostly open and easy walking.

From Hill

From Hill

From Hill
As I neared the power station I could hear a hum coming from it. There were quite a number of diesel generators visible and I don't know if the hum was coming from them or it was the natural hum of a hydro station. Just before reaching the power station I happened upon a camping spot with an innovative giant heater.

Camping Spot

Catagunya Power Staion

Catagunya Power Station

Catagunya Power Station with Diesel Generators
I went for a wander around but was not too sure whether I should have been there or not as there were a couple of  workmen on the bridge and they had the road closed off. I didn't hang around too long and started heading back the way I had come. When I came to the dicky section on the water's edge I went up high and continued staying high for quite a while before descending to the creek. Here are a couple of shots from up high and a couple more of the lake on the way back.

When I reached the section where I had followed the track uphill I stayed beside the lake and eventually found an overgrown track whick led me back to the road and finally the car.
This was an enjoyable walk with some nice scenery thrown in. I had not been in that area before.
Distance: 15.5 kms.
Time: 5'34"
Ascent: 560 metres
Click here to download GPX file.

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Green Head

Saturday 16th April 2016

I did this walk about 5 years ago and we followed exactly the same route as last time. The write up is here, so I will just include a few photos this time. The main thing that had changed was the lagoon was completely devoid of water and there were quite a few carcases of animals on the edge of the lagoon.

Thursday, 14 April 2016

West Coast Wilderness Railway

Tuesday 12th April 2016

From overhead bridge at Rinadeena Station
This is not a bush walk, nor is it in the south east, but I thought I would briefly share with you the experience of the West Coast Wilderness railway which we undertook this week.
See the West Coast Wilderness Railway site for costs, timetables and bookings.
We decided to do the Queenstown Explorer journey which is an all day trip that starts in Strahan and travels to Queenstown and return. There are shorter options for half day trips. We also opted to take the more expensive fare which entitles passengers to lunch and snacks etc. all day and a slightly better carriage. It was definitely worth it.
After collecting our tickets at the Strahan station and settling down in our seats the train left at 0830.
The first section of the journey was around the coast past Lettes Bay in Macquarie Harbour and then the track followed the King River upstream for quite some distance.
King River

King River at the first station walk
The King River was flowing quite strongly and was a muddy brown due to recent rain. We soon reached our first station where we stopped for 20 minutes or so and where there was a short walk down to the King River. There are no toilets on the train but they are at all the stations.

At the first station- walk to river on right
From here the track crossed the river a few times and there were bridges across many gullies and some were very high above the surrounding landscape.
Crossing the river with the remains of the old bridge downstream
We arrived at Dubbil Barril station which is where the rack and pinion track system starts. This is employed because trains cannot cope with steep hills as they can't maintain traction. A third rail is used in between the tracks and a cog engages with the teeth in this track to provide the traction necessary for ascend or descending hills.

Dubbil Barril showing third rail

Dubbil Barril

Dubbil Barril Station

Turntable Dubbil Barril

Third Rail

Dubbil Barril
After leaving Dubbil Barril the track follows the spectacular King River Gorge for a time where there are great views. The engineer stopped on the way back above the gorge so we could take in the scenery.
King River Gorge

King River Gorge

King River Gorge

King River Gorge
 The engine huffed and puffed up the track to Rinadeena saddle for another stop where it had to take on water.



Walkway over the track at Rinadeena
After Rinadeena Saddle it was downhill to just past Halls Creek and then slightly uphill to Queenstown following the Queen River. Here we had a stop of one and a half to two hours where a great buffet lunch was provided and where some participated in a short historical walk of Queenstown. All too soon it was time for the return journey with a change of engine.
Heritage Carriage

Engine on return journey

The return journey was as enjoyable as the outward leg. There was a stop for gold panning at Lynchford on the way. The poor little engine had to really work hard to climb back up to Rinadeena Saddle as it was a steeper climb from this direction but it made it okay. It did seem to slow to about walking pace for a while with copious amounts of steam being emitted.
Queen River

Queen River

All along the way we enjoyed plenty of snacks and tea and coffee etc. and commentary, which was much appreciated.
Mountainous scenery

Mountainous scenery.
We arrived back in Strahan at about 5.30 pm.
This was a most enjoyable experience. The staff were great, the meals and snacks and service were excellent, so I have no reservations in highly recommending this adventure.