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

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