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.

Saturday, 2 April 2016

Denison Hill Circuit

Saturday 2nd April 2016

Denison Hill
I originally had another walk planned for today but that did not eventuate so I chose this one to do at the last moment. It turned out much better than I was expecting.
The start of the walk is just off the Weld Road in the Lonnavale area.
I set off in the early morning gloom up an old track through regrowth forest.

Barn Back

Forestry Track
I soon reached the top of Denison Hill and turned left here along the ridge. It was easy walking and the track started to descend gradually and then a little steeper. When I reached a predetermined point on a bend in the track, I took to the bush and scrub bashed downhill to cross a good forestry road and end up on an older track. The scrub was head high in places but easy to push through. The older track ran through a forestry plantation, and it was along here that I had a complete surprise when I came across a Tasmanian Devil. It is the first Devil I have seen out in the wild while bush walking. It came within about 3 metres of me and then decided to take off. Unfortunately, I think it may have had Facial Tumour Disease because there are red blotches in the photo. I was too busy trying to take photos to actually notice and it all happened so fast. It did seem quite lively.

Track through plantation

After this chance encounter I came to a very large clearing beside the Little Denison River. This was a magic spot and I spent a few minutes here checking out the river etc.

Beside Little Denison River

Little Denison River

Little Denison River

Little Denison River
I continued following a track that eventually led down to the junction of the Little Denison and Huon Rivers. This was also a great spot.

Huon River

Huon River

Junction of Little Denison and Huon Rivers

Junction of Little Denison and Huon Rivers
 From here I thought about walking along the river bank for a while, but decided against it when the scrub became annoying and simply headed back to the track which ran along parallel to the river. It was quite easy walking and soon I reached the point where I was going to leave the river. I passed some rapids on the way. The track did continue along the river so that is something I will have to check out in the future.

Huon River

Huon River
After leaving the river I headed uphill to meet a good forestry road and turned left and walked this uphill to a point where it became more overgrown but still easily walked. I had a choice of 2 tracks and of course I picked the wrong one because it petered out. I did have a mad thought of scrub bashing to where I wanted to go, but wisely chose to retrace my steps and take the other option. This proved to be a good idea as the track led back to meet the outward leg. From here it was an easy amble back to the car.
This was a really good walk and the sighting of the devil was a real bonus.
Distance: 13.4 kms.
Time: 4'10"
Ascent: 620 metres
Click here to download GPX file.