All images © David Noble. No image can be used for ny purpose without permission.
These pages shows a selection of photos taken on a 12 day solo walk during the Easter holidays accross the Central Plateau of Tasmania. The walk started with a taxi ride from Deloraine to Higgs Track - which provides quick access to the tops. I then proceeded slowly to the Walls of Jerusalem.
The country in this section of Tasmania is incredibly beautiful - with many small lakes and tarns often fringed by stands of Pencil Pines. Early on the walk I came accross a flock of about 30 Bennett Wallabies near lake Lucy Long. All the way to the Walls - it was uncommon not to come accross a few of these wallabies every ten minutes or so. Each time I have traversed this section of Tasmania I end up going a slightly different route (there is no track - but the country is open and easy to walk) - and I am always staggered with the wild beauty. I stayed at the Walls of Jerusalem for one night. When I arrived - there was light rain - but the next morning I got up early and was rewarded with a fine sunrise from the top of the West Wall. All the dolerite boulders were frosted and all pools were frozen over.
In recent years there has been a lot of trackwork at the Walls of Jerusalem. New tracks go up onto the Temple and to the top of the West Wall from the Damascus Gate. These tracks are quite amazing - with large boulders stacked to make a nice route. This type of track seems to fit in better than the long sections of duckboard in the main valley. But at least these sections of boardwalk do contain damage caused by walkers over very sensitive alpine country.
On recent trips to the Walls - I have been to the Traveller Range via the Chinamen Plains and Mountains of Jupiter - and would consider that my preferred route - being both very easy walking and very scenic. This time with a poor weather forecast (I took a small radio) I went the lower level route via Lake Adelaide and Meston to Junction Lake. At Lake Adelaide I saw my first fagus of the trip (fagus is native deciduous beech_ - but there was a lot more near Lake Meston (Much fagus can also be found on the Chinamen Plains). Near Lake Adelaide I met Geoff Wise from Sydney and we chatted for few minutes.
At Junction Lake I had a pleasant evening next to the fire in the hut yarning to Richard, a walker from Melbourne. I spent all the next day and night at Junction Lake due to bad weather - it was snowing lightly on and off all day. Three parties of walkers/fishermen turned up (it was now Good Friday) - and we had another friendly evening next to the hut fire.
The next morning I set off for the Traveller Range. Most of the range was covered in about 10-15 cm of snow and this made the route finding a bit harder than normal. I was walking in volleys - but my feet were not too cold as long as I kept moving. I only stopped to take photos and to consult the map a few times. It was very pleasant with all the snow and with the fagus. Originally I had intended to camp on the range - but the snow made campsites hard to discern - so I headed to Du Cane Gap and dropped down to the Overland Track. I regret not camping up high - as the next morning was fine - and the Traveller Range offers very fine views.
I stayed that night in Windy Ridge Hut - which was almost full -
with a pretty international mix of people. The next day I walked to
Pine Valley, had lunch in the hut and then headed up to the Labyrinth
to camp. I was rewarded with plenty of fagus out at its best and a
nice sunset and frosty sunrise. Most of the snow had melted from the
Du Cane Range - but perhaps it was the snowfall that caused the fagus
trees to shed most of their leaves during the next day. The next
three nights, with fine weather forecast - I camped up high in the Du
Cane Range enjoying the fine scenery. Mots of the time in the range -
I was by myself - except for the first night - when there was two
parties (One from Tassie and one from NSW camped nearby).
With my trip drawing to a close - I dropped back down to Pine Valley via a track near The Pool Of Memories. The fagus in the Valley was still at its best and provided a superb display. In the afternoon - I had a quick trip to the Acropolis. I spent a pleasant evening playing cards with Chris (from Sydney) and Daniel Marley (from UNSW Bushwalkers). The next morning I headed down to Narcissus and together with the Lawrence and Taylor parties from Sydney we caught the boat to Cynthia Bay where we all enjoyed a few drinks with some hot food while we waited for the bus to Hobart.
In 1994 I had been on a similar trip, accompanied by Steve Henzell. A report of the that trip can be found here. We had mainly poor weather that time. You can also read my notes on Peak Bagging in the Reserve. Other images from a trip accross the Central Plateau during December 98 can be found here.
Footwear - I walked in a pair of Dunlop Volley OC sandshoes. This type of shoe has not been made for a few years - but the older Australian made volleys are still far superior in how long they last to modern types of volleys. I prefer volleys because of their comfort, good grip and low impact when walking in delicate alpine environments. I would only walk in Volleys in Tasmania for trips up to and including May. For winter trips I also carry boots.
Fagus - according to popular wisdom - the best time to see fagus is around Anzac day.Photographic Notes - I carried a Pentax MZ 5 camera body (and also a very lightweight Pentax MZ M body as a reserve) and three lenses - 20mm, 28-80mm zoom and a 80-200mm zoom. I carried a lightweight tripod - but most images were hand held. On most days I carried a camera on the strap around my neck. This was very handy as the lighting was very transient. If I had my camera in my pack - by the time I had unpacked it the lighting would have probably changed. Film used was Fujichrome velvia (50 ASA), sensia (100 ASA)(thanks Dave Lockwood for these rolls) and Kodachrome 200.