Sunday 28 June 2015

Old Hartz Track

Saturday 27th June 2015

Sign indicating start of track
My wife and I have just spent 3 weeks travelling around the 3 eastern mainland states visiting family and friends, so that is why there has been no walking and no posts for that period. We ended up driving just on 7000 kms. but it was a great trip.
Having walked the lower part of the Old Hartz Track in 2013 and part of the upper track in 2011, I decided that I should complete the missing link section.
The walk commences on Bennetts Road, and to reach this, turn off the Tahune/Hartz Mountains road into Bennetts Road and drive for just over 12 kms. to the sign above. Just before reaching the sign you will notice a sign on the left indicating where the track from Kermandie arrives at Bennetts Road. The road is suitable for 2WD.
I started off walking downhill on Bennetts Spur 2 for about 400 metres until the road ran out and became a walking track. The track was quite wet and there were a number of downed trees across the track in the lower section. The track climbed steadily but not steeply until I reached the unnamed waterfall that I had visited last time. There was considerably more flow than last time.
Beside the track

Unnamed Waterfall

Unnamed Waterfall

Old Hartz Track upper section
I carried on climbing as the wind whistled above and it became colder and colder. I crossed a few small streams that were flowing strongly before reaching the site of the old hut.
Small Stream

Another Small Stream

Old Hut Site
From the old hut was only a short distance to the road. I had previously decided that I would walk to Lake Osbourne and Lake Perry as a destination, mainly to check out the access route to Devils Backbone for a later walk. I started along the track but the wind and rain picked up considerably and soon it was blowing a gale. It was freezing, so I had to quickly don some wet weather gear, mainly to keep me warm. I reached Lake Osborne and found a track on the eastern side that was heading towards Lake Perry. As I crested a small hill the wind hit with full force but I could see the route to take to Lake Perry so I had the info I wanted, and beat a hasty retreat back down.
Lake Osborne

Lake Osborne

Devils Backbone

Lake Perry in the distance
For some variation I walked back to the road via the old track to Lake Osborne. This was definitely a poor decision as the track was severely overgrown in places and not discernible in others, but having come so far I wasn't going to turn back. I carried on and eventually reached the road and then walked up to the start of the Old Hartz Track. After a short stop at the old hut site for lunch I started the descent. As is usually the case it was much harder to stay upright going downhill. The track was so slippery and I ended up falling over numerous times, much to my disgust. By the time I reached the car I was very tired and rather sore in the legs after not doing any serious walking for a month.
This was quite a good walk but probably best done in drier and finer part of the year.
Distance: 14.2 kms.
Time: 5'51"
Ascent: 660 metres
Click here to download GPX file.

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