December 7, 2006

Adamson's Peak

Marian Harradine Posted on 2006-04-13
Actual Walk times: 5 1/2 hours
Carpark to top - 3 hours
Top to carpark - 2 1/2 hours
Total time taken - 7 hours

It took around 1½ hours drive south from Hobart to the start of the walk. The walk starts from a signed track along Peak Rivulet Road which you get to by turning right into Creekton Rd, about a kilometre or two past Strathblane. Peak Rivulet Road turns off to the left after about 5 km.
We started at 10.33, having enjoyed the sound of a lyre bird, which seem to be prolific in this part of Tasmania, singing his repertoire of various bird calls including his own, a currawong, a black cockatoo, a parrot, a crow and an olive whistler plus other twitterings.
Initially we crossed two small creeks and the track was on raised boards till we got to the registration box. After that the track quickly deteriorated somewhat. It was a very pretty part of the walk, with rainforest and tall gums. It was quite muddy in places and when that combined with cutting grass trying to trip us up it was a bit tricky keeping sure-footed at times.
The track gradually climbed for the first hour alternating between short steep climbs and flattening out, getting steeper after that, especially in the last 25 minutes before we got to the top of the forest section and came onto the more open plateau. This was reached one and three quarter hours after the start, at 12.15. As we neared that section we again heard a nearby lyrebird's repertoire of birdsongs. The distance travelled to the plateau was 4.5 km and height climbed 750m. It was good to get to the open breezier plateau, as it was a bit hot for comfort climbing in the shelter of the trees, even in the deep shade.
We walked along the plateau in the direction of the now visible Adamson's Peak, towards the south west, with another 3km and 350m to climb. We were a bit concerned as the track we were following very quickly became more like an animal pad and we wondered if we would be able to find our way back to the descent spot later. When I turned around to check the direction we came from I saw the hut which we had heard about and which was just up the rim a bit to the left of where we reached the plateau. Soon after that we ran into the track proper and followed that across the plateau on a gradual incline up to the start of the ascent of the next shoulder, behind which was highest point of the Peak. The plateau was covered in small shrubs and flowers and little tarns and green moss. It was very scenic with the sea and nearby and distant mountains visible. The track was quite boggy in places.
Just before 1pm as we were just beginning the steep climb up the shoulder, we stopped for lunch in a sheltered, scenic spot for 25 minutes. Behind the shoulder there was another nob and then a saddle after which the track sidled to the left on the scrubby sheltered slopes until it came to the top, via a lot of large chunks of dolerite. The biggest cairn I had ever seen marked the top, which we reached just before 2 pm, just under 3 1/2 hours from the start.
We spent about an hour on top admiring the views and identifying the mountains. La Perouse, Pindars Peak, Mt Wylly, Victoria Cross, Precipitous Bluff, Mt Bobbs with Federation Peak popping up behind it, the Eastern Arthurs, Mt Hopetoun, Mt Picton, Mts Anne and Sarah Jane, Mt Weld, Mt Mueller, Snowy North and South, Hartz Peak and Mt Snowy, Esperance Peak, the Wellington Range. There were many others in the west and southwest that I could not identify. Then there was Dover and Southport and Lune River and Cockle Creek and Bruny Island to the east.
We took a few photos and we left at 3.05. We called in to the hut on the way back. The way back was somewhat easier on the lungs and we got back to the car at 5.38. It was a good day, but because of the condition of the track, and the hot day, it could be classed as a hard walk, but it would be easier on a cooler day.
No drinking water was found on the way once we passed the little creeks at the beginning.

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