Central Plateau Walk - Tasmania - January 2003

All images © David Noble. No image can be used for any purpose without permission.

This was walk with Mal McLeod and Jo Boyd from SUBW

Page 1 - Higgs Track - Lake Nameless - Walls of Jerusalem - Junction Lake

These are a selection of photos taken on a SUBW walk over the Central Plateau of Tasmania in January 2003. The text is the walks report by Mal McLeod.

Day 1, 2 January 2003

Starting with packs full of food and bellies full of breakfast (Banjo's) we wandered up the hill and took the Redline from Hobart to Deloraine. From there the local cabbie and snake phobic took us on the short drive to the base of the Higg's Track. Before the first step was even taken the video camera was duly waved over us, very much setting the scene for the eight days ahead. A climb of 600 m left us at the top of the Western Tiers with our last glimpse of the civilization the farms in the valley below. We strode inland on Higg's Track for much of the afternoon through alpine country of low scrub, mosses buttongrass and sedge, passing the remains of a number of mysterious small fires on the way (lightning strike?). Near Lake Lucy Long we ran into Vince, allegedly the local track ranger but looking for all the world like an angler with his rod in hand. After a few words about low impact bush walking we parted company - him for the next lake and us for our destination of the hut at Lake Nameless. It was very wet underfoot due to recent rains and one occasion we had to shed footwear to wade the outflow from a lake, however we were blessed with fine weather. We arrived at the Lake Nameless hut as the evening wore on and it was apparent there was no room at the inn. Apart from Vince and a few other folk staying in the hut we also met Gimli (really, but without his axe on this occasion) and his merry band of 7 bush walkers who were also on the way to lake St Clair. We left our mark in the logbook and left them to it and walked up into the adjacent saddle to camp in a beautifully secluded spot in the lee of Forty Lakes Peak. Mushroom risotto for dinner.


Above - Our first camp

Day 2 Day of the devil.

Above - the Rim Lakes

Dawned fine and with high cloud and a blustery wind and we started out on our epic walk through the central plateau. Our route meandered through the myriad lakes of the region past stands of pencil pine. Heading South and then West we visited the mysterious rim lakes and then pressed on towards Lake Lexie. Our approach to the lake gave us one of the wildlife highlights of the trip - a close and extended encounter with a young and brave Tassie devil which Dave tormented extensively with the video. Shortly after we also saw four wedgetail eagles passing overhead, soaring on the gusting winds. From Lake Lexie to Pencil Pine Tarn and lunch. The afternoon saw us pass the Southern end of Long Tarns, Daisy Lakes and Lake Tyre to leave us standing under the looming bulk of the East Wall and on the doorstep of the Walls of Jerusalem. Pressing on we made the Valley and camped just over the saddle under Solomons Throne. From there it was a short stride to the summit of the temple to see the sunset, with a few beams penetrating the low cloud. Macaroni and cheese for dinner.

Above - The Walls of Jerusalem

Day 3 The day of the snake

Another fine day with blustery wind, we had a day fin the Walls and climbed a number of the major peaks in the park. The morning saw us visit Dixon's Kingdom to leave our mark in the logbook followed by a clamber up Mt Jerusalem with fine views over the plateau we had traversed the previous day and Solomons Throne with great views of the valley below and also in the distance the Du Cane Range and the walking to come. After lunch we scrambled up the scree to the top of King Davids Peak for another view of the valley. On the descent we headed for the Pool of Siloam for a to check out a lake. On the way Dave met the our snake for the first time on the walk - a big black tiger snake that very obligingly slithered in and out of the shrubbery for the benefit of the video. In the evening ate an early dinner of cous cous and then climbed the Temple to view the sunset - again a few beams penetrated the low cloud in the distance.

Above - Jo on the Temple

Above - Lake Salome

Above - descending King Davids Peak

Above - The Pool of Siloam

Above - Cushion Plants

Above - Dusk - The Temple

Day 4, Return of the snake.

Above - Dawn from the Temple 

We rose before 6:00 to catch the sunrise and on poking our head out of the tent were initially disappointed to see thick mist shrouding our campsite. Looking further afield though, we could just see the tips of the West Wall tipped with pink light. Racing to the top of the Temple for a third time we climbed above the mist to a spectacular morning. In every direction surrounding the Walls of Jerusalem the mist swirled and eddied in a thick carpet stretching to the horizon, punctuated only by the taller mountain peaks in distance. The valley was largely clear with mist billowing in over the saddles and vanishing in the wind. We stayed up there for a long time savouring the spectacle of it and taking the odd photo. After some time the surrounding landscape began to emerge from the mist. After breakfast our walking started to the North, hanging a left just after the leaving Herods Gate and walking across the button grass to the join a track just North of Lake Adelaide. The day was beautifully warm and sunny as we made our way along the Eastern bank of Lake Adelaide, with beautiful banks of waratah and fagus clustering by the water. On many occasions during the day our progress was briefly checked by the appearance of the same big black snake we had seen the day before lying on the track. At Lake Meston a swim in the lake was followed by a leisurely lunch, disturbed only by the endless march flies (many of which were surprised to find themselves make a tasty snack for the ants). Pressing on disturbed an echidna by the track in one of the few stretches not occupied by snakes. This little critter was very camera shy and he wasn't hanging about to put in an appearance on the big screen. Further on we passed by the quaint Meston Hut to leave an entry in the logbook and survey the general disapproval of previous hut visitors that fires were no longer allowed. No fish, no fires, no f---ing fun as one punter put it. The day ended further down the track at Junction Lake where we camped near the hut. Dahl and rice for dinner. Gimli and his merry band of bush walkers turned up later in the afternoon.

Above - Mist - Pencil Pines - Dixons Kingdom

Above - Pencil Pine reflections

Above - Cushion Plants

Continue to Page 2 - Junction Lake - Traveller Range - The Labyrinth - The Acropolis

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