A Tassie Trundle

DidSurfNowSki

One of them
Ski Pass
Jan 19, 2014
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Canberra, ACT
Genesis

Before we got overtaken by events in the news, @skifree and I discussed many plans to occupy ourselves during the start of 2021 including but not limited to:
  • Skiing the Pyrenees
  • Skiing the Dolomites
  • Skiing Hokkaido
None of these panned out so we settled on a walk through the Southern edge of Tassie, aka the South Coast Track.

Skifree is very experienced in this sort of thing, yours truly not so much. A quick inventory of available camping equipment revealed a distinct lack of suitable lightweight gear for an extended hike away. So a search of the interwebs was conducted and I discovered you can have any two of cheap, light and functional but not all 3. After much credit card abuse a new hiking set was procured along with some much needed technical assistance, gear and food from @zac150. A quick gear check up in the Snowies with @chicski and I was right to start the journey.

Getting There

I arranged to meet skifree at Melaleuca which has the 2nd shortest commercial airstrip in Australia. This meant flying in on a bug smasher.

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The flight path took us over the entire track which was really nice.

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New Year Eve Paaarty

The Melaleuca settlement was built by one man and his family; Deny King. If you want to find out more about this remarkable Tasmanian I highly recommend reading his autobiography written by Christobel Mattingley. One of the local traditions he established was that everyone in the vicinity of Melaleuca on NYE get invited to their party to bring in the New Years. So Skifree, who had previously walked in from Port Davey, and yours truly was very well entertained by the Kings and the Fentons. A most enjoyable night indeed.

Zac150 Meals

Another highlight of the trip were the meals prepared in advance by @zac150. After hearing much about how hiking meals don’t need to suck, I was delighted to accept some of zac150’s gourmet meals to road test. I can vouch that they were as good as he said they would be, they even have a quolls seal of approval, but more of that later.

The Walk

This is by all accounts quite a challenging multi-day walk. It involves walking along duckboards crossing bluegrass, scaling a number of ranges including the Ironbound Ranges and strolling along picturesque beach walks. I struggled to marry up the first hand accounts of fellow forumites and people who had completed the track with the elevations and distances in the guides. Luckily I found the stroll to be nicely spread out. Some pictures.

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Quite spectacular.
 
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DidSurfNowSki

One of them
Ski Pass
Jan 19, 2014
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Canberra, ACT
Flora and Fauna

Lots of beautiful flowers this trip, particularly high up in the Ironbounds.

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There was birds everywhere. Gulls, wrens, basswing (mod note Bassian) thrushes, honeyeaters filled the air with their songs. We even saw some of the endangered Orange Belly Parrots in their breeding boxes.

Some of the wildlife was not so welcome. We encountered quite a few tiger snakes and leaches were a constant worry.

Here’s one of our campsite neighbours checking out our packs.

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DidSurfNowSki

One of them
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The Weather and Mud

We were very fortunate with the weather this trip. It only lightly drizzled rain for one night and for the large climbing days we were blessed with cool overcast mornings that cleared during the day.

That said, the track didn’t disappoint with some infamous Tassie mud.

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Luckily there was an abundance of fresh water streams to wash off, well downstream of anyone of course.

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Finale

So a most enjoyable little stroll in the Tassie wilderness.

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We made it out a day early back to Hobart for beer and cake; does it get any better than this ? :)

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Thanks to Skifree and Zac150 for making this trip a possibility.

:cheers:
 
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Lady Penelope

One of some lot ...
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Sep 7, 2014
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Great photos and TR, @DidSurfNowSki . Looks like you had some great weather. The track looks positively luxurious now - there weren’t any duckboards or bridges when I walked (swam) along it back in the 80s! Well done - it’s not the easiest walk in the South West,
 
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Zimbooo

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Are there nice trees to rub up against? I can't imagine there would be many fancy free females (apart from quolls) trundling around there?
When in the wild...........LOL
 

Rabid K9

A Local
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Looks suspiciously dry & unmuddy. Was the pilot even old enough to have his driver license?

Spotted tail quoll is very cool.

Which bay is the glassy, almost tropical looking one with small surf break at entry? Can almost see the crayfish & abalone.
 
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DidSurfNowSki

One of them
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Jan 19, 2014
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Are there nice trees to rub up against? I can't imagine there would be many fancy free females (apart from quolls) trundling around there?
When in the wild...........LOL
Actually there were quite a few including Tasmanian Parks, OBP watchers and guides having a few days off guiding. These are girls that don't spend all day in the coffee shops and sitting in offices all day :)
 

Zimbooo

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Actually there were quite a few including Tasmanian Parks, OBP watchers and guides having a few days off guiding. These are girls that don't spend all day in the coffee shops and sitting in offices all day :)
By the way, apart from having a bit of a joke............thanks for the pics and report, great stuff!!
 

Tanuki

Part of the Furniture
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Sep 29, 2010
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Flora and Fauna

Lots of beautiful flowers this trip, particularly high up in the Ironbounds.

8D5481A7-95AB-47A8-949D-45DC0DF92FA5.jpeg


03AE876E-FD78-4B2D-BCC0-097691AB86CD.jpeg


D0DC137A-9324-4C18-942E-1881D0E22358.jpeg


3DC59C58-A432-41D5-AFA8-223330FBA01F.jpeg


68FC95F5-83DB-4EEC-9321-AE06BADF1EF8.jpeg


766FA550-36B1-46D8-834C-3AB4C05572ED.jpeg


There was birds everywhere. Gulls, wrens, basswing (mod note Bassian) thrushes, honeyeaters filled the air with their songs. We even saw some of the endangered Orange Belly Parrots in their breeding boxes.

Some of the wildlife was not so welcome. We encountered quite a few tiger snakes and leaches were a constant worry.

Here’s one of our campsite neighbours checking out our packs.

04F77B0F-00AE-479A-AA5A-1F017AAE7DA0.jpeg


1C75847F-5068-4611-9199-6964D5AAEAEE.jpeg
Wow, a visit from a Tiger Quoll. Beautiful. Any close encounters with the snakes?
 

Tanuki

Part of the Furniture
Ski Pass
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How do you define 'close' ?
I guess it depends on your tolerance for, and familiarity with snakes and your twitch response and composure.
Seeing one on or near the track = normal, one crawling around or over your feet or camp site = yikes. Seeing one at eye level in a tree or cliff = double yikes.
 

DidSurfNowSki

One of them
Ski Pass
Jan 19, 2014
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23,935
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Canberra, ACT
I guess it depends on your tolerance for, and familiarity with snakes and your twitch response and composure.
Seeing one on or near the track = normal, one crawling around or over your feet or camp site = yikes. Seeing one at eye level in a tree or cliff = double yikes.
There were plenty of Tiger snakes. Some were dozing on the track that needed to be shooed off.
 

Rabid K9

A Local
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To be honest when I read thread title, was expecting pushing of large dolerite blocks off cliffs?

What with all the 'bridgey' type things on the SCT? Wanted to see photos of Skifree swimming the Louisa River with a manky piece of cray rope between his teeth.
 

skifree

A disciple of the blessed avi giraffe
Moderator
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To be honest when I read thread title, was expecting pushing of large dolerite blocks off cliffs?

What with all the 'bridgey' type things on the SCT? Wanted to see photos of Skifree swimming the Louisa River with a manky piece of cray rope between his teeth.
I swan Milford Creek years ago when the track went on it's now current alignment behind the dunes and the crossing was was a chain & timber ladder down one side then up the other. Not a good thing to do 5 minutes into the day.
 
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skifree

A disciple of the blessed avi giraffe
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Climbing up Red Point Hills looking back down the Buoy Creek valley, this now has much more duck boarding and is not the complete black swamp it was on my last visit. A week of dry weather also had a lot to do with good track conditions. New Harbour Range in the background over the waters of Cox Bight.
 

skifree

A disciple of the blessed avi giraffe
Moderator
Ski Pass
Jul 13, 1998
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DSCF9714.JPG


Lunch on top of Red Point Hills, Mt Lousia back left, the Ironbound Range back right, PB in the far back between the two.

The forward track from here has been re-routed to be a lot of contour cut track along the Spica Hills (in front of Mt Lousia), Mt Lousia & Ironbound foothills. So only limited duckboard across swamps.
 
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