Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Devils Throne via Dead Island

Tuesday 16th January 2018

Devils Throne
Although I have been to Devils Throne plenty of times, I had a couple of reasons to do it again. One was to check out the headwaters of the North West Bay River and the second was to check out the track re-route carried out by The Friends of Wellington Park to eliminate the wet area on the Devils Throne track.
I set off from the large car park above Big Bend and made a bee line to the north western end of Dead Island. The going was quite easy and there was not a lot of water, but it can be quite wet in that area. Once near the start of the river I headed towards a scree field that I could see in the distance. There are hundreds of small water filled ponds in this area.

Thark Ridge

The moor land

Cushion Plant

Dead Island

Thark Ridge

Hundreds of these small ponds

North West Bay River

North West Bay River

North West Bay River
Once across the river I simply walked up through the scrub to the Thark Ridge track. It was all easy going as the scrub was not bad at all. I followed the track along to the large cairn that marks the municipal boundaries and stopped for a snack.

Heading up to Thark Ridge

Thark Ridge

Thark Ridge
From here I headed over to Devils Throne where I stopped for early lunch. The day was magnificent with mild temperatures and practically no wind, but it was a little hazy.

Collins Bonnet

Mount Connection

Mount Montagu

Mountain River

Mountain River and Devils Throne.
I walked back along the Devils Throne track and along the new hardened section, which is a major improvement over the previous wet area. The Friends of Wellington Park have done an excellent job on the re-route. Once back to the original track, instead of taking the usual route over Thark Ridge, I had planned to follow the old trail done to the Collins Bonnet track and eventually the Big Bend Fire Trail. This I did and it appears that it does receive some foot traffic that way as it was reasonably clear. Once on to the fire trail I walked back to the car, spotting a small snake sunning itself.
There is a sign that has been erected on the fire trail stating that the Scout Hut is closed.

This was a really good walk on a great day.
Distance: 12.5 kms.
Time: 5'42"
Ascent: 460 metres
Click here to download GPX file.

Saturday, 6 January 2018

Mount Fortescue Circuit

Friday 5th January 2018

Mount Fortescue
This circuit starts at Fortescue Bay, follows the Cape Pillar track to the Three Capes Track and then back along the coast, over Mount Fortescue and back to the start. I had done it before when it could be walked in a clockwise direction. It can only be walked anticlockwise now due to National Parks rules.
As it was holiday time, the camping area at Fortescue Bay was crowded out and even the walks car park had limited parking spaces. I set off along the Cape Pillar track and made good time to the Three Capes junction. The Cape Pillar track was quite clear and has had some maintenance done to it.

Cape Pillar track

Button Grass plains towards Arthurs Peak

Arthurs Peak
Once on the Three Capes track I followed it in a northerly direction, through the Retakunna complex, and began the climb up Mount Fortescue. There was a group of hikers just preparing to set off. About halfway up Mount Fortescue, I stopped on a convenient seat to have a snack and to let the hikers go ahead, as they were all young and fit looking. Oh to be that age again.

Three Capes Track

Three Capes Track

Area at Retakunna where helicopter lands

Convenient seat. Red paint is supposed to represent blood
I huffed and puffed up the remaining track to the top of Mount Fortescue. I did not stop at the lookout as there was no room due to the presence of the previously mentioned hikers. I knew there were plenty more lookout spots ahead. The rain forest around Mount Fortescue is quite pretty with lots of moss and tree ferns.

I carried on down to Red Dirt Bluff where there are heaps of lookout locations along the way.

Cape Pillar

Cape Pillar

Once past the lookouts I walked on to the Cape Hauy turnoff when I encountered the hikers again as they were settling down for lunch, and then continued on back to Fortescue Bay.

Three Capes Track at Fortescue Bay

Fortescue Bay

Fortescue Bay

Fortescue Bay
When I arrived back at the car there were people everywhere. All car parks were taken and people had improvised, and utilized every available small spot to park. It was quite chaotic and I was glad to get out of there.
This was a good walk with nice rain forest and coastal scenery.
Distance: 18.0 kms.
Time: 5'18"
Ascent: 730 metres
Click here to download GPX file.