December 7, 2006

Port Davey Track - Scotts Peak to Melaleuca

Senior Walkers

Introduction

The Port Davey Track starts from the Huon Campsite, near the end of the Scotts Peak Road. This is reached via Maydena and Frodshams Pass, about 2 to 3 hours drive west of Hobart.

Scotts Peak to Junction Creek - 2 to 3 1/2 hours, medium walking.

The track starts from the Huon Campsite. Wind around low hills then head south towards Junction Creek. Sections of the track can be boggy. At Junction Creek there is a ford crossing. When water level is high use the cable crossing just downstream. The campsite immediately south of the ford crossing is flood prone following heavy rain. An alternative drier site is available 600 metres further on, but does not have a toilet.

Junction Creek to Watershed Camp - 7 to 9 hours, medium walking.

From Junction Creek the track moves onto open plains below the Arthur Range. A well-defined track leads all the way to the Crossing River, which has campsites on both banks. This river is extrenely hazardous to cross in wet weather. If necessary, wait for the water level to drop.

Watershed Camp to Spring River - 5 to 6 hours, medium walking.

The original benched track of 1898 sidles around the hills until a small creek before Lost Worlds Plateau. Follow the track across open plateus, then descend towards Spring River. There are only poor and exposed campsites until the track nears Spring River. This is crossed via a log rope. extreme care is required, especially if the log is under water. Campsites at the river are prone to flooding.

Spring River to Melaleuca - 9 to 11 hours, medium walking.

Leaving the line of the old track and disused track, head eastwards from the river, the south again. The track undulates through the hills above the river, giving good views over the valley and towards Port Davey. After climbing around Lindsay Hill, descend to the Bathurst Narrows crossing. If weather is deteriorating, cross immediately and camp on the south side. Otherwise camp in the forest just north of the crossing. Water can be scarce.
Climb south to the hills above Horseshoe Inlet. From there the track continues southeast across the open plain to Melaleuca.
There are walkers huts, toilets and an air strip at Melaleuca. A bird hide built nearby for observing the endangered orange-bellied parrot, is named after the late Deny King, a well known long term resident. More Information on the parrot and on the history of the area is available at Melaleuca.

Boat Crossing

There is a boat crossing at the Bathurst Narrows. Two small dinghies have been provided at each end of these crossings for the use of bush walkers.
There should be one boat left on each side of the crossing, well out of the water, turned upside down and securely fastened. Each boat should also have a pair of oars stored securely with the boats. Please leave the boats as you would want to find them. Other peoples' lives may depend on it.

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