Saturday 5 January 2013

Old Hartz Track - Kermandie Falls

Saturday 5th January 2013

Kermandie Falls
The Old Hartz Track was blazed in 1896 by the Geeves family to gain access to the Hartz Mountains and therefore has some historic significance.
To reach the start of the walk drive to Geeveston and just past the town centre turn right into Kermandie River Road and travel about 2 kms. to a fork in the road where there is a sign indicating Kermandie Falls.
Follow this for about 2.3 kms. to a small parking area. The road becomes quite narrow towards the end but is generally okay.
Section of walking track
I set off walking just before 0800. I had noticed some smoke from a bushfire driving up so I made a mental note to keep an eye on that. The track immediately crossed South Creek and after about 250 metres came to a well formed road. Here I turned right and walked down this road for a short distance before finding the start of the walking track to Kermandie Falls on the left. From here the track paralleled the Kermandie River all the way to the falls. The track was indistinct in places but was marked here and there with flagging tape. About 200 metres before the falls was a junction with one way going up to the falls and the other following the Old Hartz Track.
Kermandie Falls
I walked up to the falls which were not flowing too much, but never the less were quite a nice sight. I stopped here for a short while for a break and then headed back to the junction and took the fork to Old Hartz Track. The track went uphill before coming to an old track which I followed to meet an old railway formation. There were numerous small trees down across this but it was not too hard to climb over them. I continued on as the track alternated between an old rail trail and just a walking track in places. There were a few tapes here and there but generally the track was fairly easy to follow.
Kermandie River
After about 8 kms. of walking I reached the Kermandie River crossing which was easily forded and carried on to come across a previously logged and burnt area. There was no evidence of a track here so I ended up walking across it in a south westerly direction to pick up the track on the other side. From here it turned out to be another kilometre to reach Bennetts Road which was my objective today. Here I had a short stop for lunch and then began the return journey. As I was nearing the falls the smoke was becoming thicker and thicker so I must have set a record pace getting back to the car. I need not have worried as there was no sign of fire and it was probably nowhere near me, although it can be a little scary.
This was a good walk through quite nice forest along the river. The track climbs steadily all the way to Bennetts Road and from here it continues on to Hartz Mountains. It would be a good through walk from Kermandie River Road to Hartz Mountains but would obviously involve a car shuffle.
Distance: 19.1 kms.
Time: 7' 00"
Ascent: 630 metres
Click here to download GPX track.
I have since walked the remainder of the Old Hartz Track from Bennetts Road to Hartz Mountains. See here for details.
Sign at Bennetts Road

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