Off to Tasmania for yet another adventure on the hike track.
Flying into Launceston was the best option and decided on Mountain Bike and Rock Climbing Tasmania to transport us to the Walls car park being the starting point. Once we left the sealed road and made our way along the gravel road the scenery was spectacular and with Ian being a local, his knowledge of the area was interesting, informative and gave us insight into what was ahead of us for the next few days.
On arrival at the car park others obviously had driven themselves and left their cars so we were not going to be alone on the track. Once registering our hike intentions in the log book we set off in the rain and in an upwardly direction, It’s Tasmania, of course there would be rain and climbing. Trappers Hut, a historical hut only for emergency shelter was a great spot to break and take shelter from the rain.
The sign to Lake Adelaide turn off appeared which gives the option to enter the Walls in the reverse to our route or head to the Never Never without entering the Walls section. Not far down the track the dirt track turned to boardwalk saving us from plodding through mud. As we approached Wild Dog Creek we could view a few tents on the platforms mmm busier than we thought.
Interrupted by cloud drifting in and a drop in temperature was our hint to begin the descent. Slowly we eventually made it down. Another group of hikers arrived and were hesitating as to whether they make the climb due to obvious inclement weather, lucky us.
Onward to Dixon Kingdom camp we strolled through a 1000 year old stand of Pencil pines, the history just oozes out of this area for hikers to appreciate.
We climbed and climbed and climbed and just when we thought this has to be the last there was yet another climb. Along the way we passed small tarns creating a very pretty area that had been developed naturally. Leave nature to its own devices and its amazing what is created. The higher we climbed it was obvious we were surrounded by heavy cloud drifting in. Realising the summit views would be obscured it was about face and head back down with hope that tomorrow would Be cloud free.
Peeping out the tent flap early next morning only revealed a gloomy looking day.
With that we snuggled back down into our cosy warm sleeping bags for abit more shut eye. Eventually it was time to roll out of the tent and with that we sprung into action as the sky had cleared and the sun was shining. With much excitement we had breakfast, packed up camp and headed in the direction of Mt Jerusalem and to our delight we made it to the summit. Adding our stone to the collection we marvelled at the views. Believe me the views did not disappoint, simply breathtaking and hard to find an appropriate word to describe what our eyes fell upon.
Well the day had arrived, the day we would be crossing the Never Never along with fording the Mersey River. One big challenge in a day is enough but today there was no choice but to tackle two challenges. Once signing in the log book we headed off to discover the track down to Clark Falls, what track??? There appeared to be no actual track but rather scuffed up areas that suggested others had gone before us. We basically slid down the steep embankment to the rivers edge grabbing onto tree branches to steady our ourselves. It may have been a rough trip down but Clark falls was spectacular as the water spilt the rock.
After being bathed in beauty it was time to push on with our next adventure to negotiate along the rivers edge which was rough and at times had us climbing over and under large rocks until we reached a point of “where to now”. Only obvious option was to scramble up the steep river bank and with a loaded pack on the back it was no easy task but scramble we did and make it we did. Next challenged we were confronted with was a very overgrown track, atleast there was something underfoot that resembled a track.
The track lead us back to the rivers edge where we enjoyed another waterfall before entering the exposed fields of button grass, again bouncing along in between being thrown off balance landing on to the muddy ground. Ian came to a screaming holt as he decided it best to give way to a snake slithering by.
We continued on trying to sight what could be a track that would lead us to the designated fallen tree to cross over the Mersey River. We perused the map, set compass readings and checked the gps co-ordinates, yes we had it all. Well we arrived at the said tree but boy it looked like an awkward scrabble across the fallen tree and the thought of trying to balance with the pack on our backs was abit much. The positive was the river level wasn’t high and certainly not flowing fast so we walked a few metres further and came across what appeared to be a suitable place to cross and that’s just what we did. Once both safely across we stopped and let out a huge sigh of relief as we had crossed the Never Never and never got lost and we had crossed the Mersey River without being swept down stream, phew!
BUT we weren’t finished yet as now on the other side of the river there was no track at all so back to bush bashing carving our own path, the joys of hiking but we love it. In the distance we could hear the roar of what we hoped would be McCoy Falls, yet another stunning waterfall in full flow. Surprise surprise downstream of the falls a well worn obvious track appeared following the river edge. The track lead us right to the top of Hartnett Falls. All the other falls we viewed from the river bed but here at Hartnett we were at the top where the water flowed over. What a perfect spot for lunch, with boots off we dangled our feet in the cool refreshing water as it spilt over.
A slow steady rough climb up to join the Overland Track and walk out to Narcissus Hut. Totally seemed like an anti climax to what we had just been through. Next morning we took the ferry across Lake St Clair to Cynthia Bay Resort where we enjoyed a well earned meal before travelling back to Hobart on the bus.
Until next yarn, happy hiking.