Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Crescent Bay and Mount Brown - 15th August 2010

To round out the Tasman Peninsula weekend, I did Mount Brown and then walked on to Cresecent Bay. See previous exploits, which include a map. The cliff on the south-western side of Mount Brown remains a "high"light. The shape of the top of the cliff means people like me with borderline height-tolerance can securely sit with a leg, or even two, dangling over this 170+m cliff without feeling insecure. It gives a great vertical view to the sea, and back towards Remarkable Cave across Dauntless Point. Mind you, this is where I misplaced Phil for a few slightly concerning minutes on a walk a while back. The photo here is of Cape Pillar from the Mount Brown trig, with The Blade in clear view protruding at the right. Mount Brown affords great views of both Cape Pillar and Cape Raoul, along with their related topography, as well as of the whole of Port Arthur.

Crescent Bay is superb, although not necessarily a nice safe swimming beach. The waves break beautifully at times, but the beach falls away quite steeply. Looks good for fishing. In the middle of the beach is this rocky outcrop, with a big dune that drops steeply behind it. The rocky outcrop looked to me like a metamorphosed mudstone or similar, which shows the obvious signs of salt water weathering. It's really quite interesting. David Leaman confirms in "Step into History in Tasmanian Reserves" some of my inexpert assessment, but adds a lot more information.

This is Mount Brown as seen from the northern end of Crescent Bay. The cliff is on the far side. Crescent Bay's most notable feature is its tall dunes. There were people sliding down the dune in the middle of the beach on sandboards and other items. I'll do a blog about sand dunes sometime soon, but they didn't seem concerned about their use of the dune in this way. Other people do the same down the dunes at the northern end at times too. I don't know really, but I do know the dunes at Crescent Bay have been there for 20 years, and don't seem to have diminished. Perhaps the wind restores them. I see there are some track notes for this walk here.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Cape Hauy - 14th August 2010

Cape Pillar and The Monument from Cape Hauy - 14th August 2010Had a trip down to the Tasman Peninsula and took the opportunity to wander out to Cape Hauy on Day One. This is a good walk, and I've put it up on here before (here and here). The starting point is Fortescue Bay, and the track is easy to follow. The walk undulates quite a lot, and although no individual hill is more than medium-sized it's a good bit of exercise after you've climbed and descended a few times. Views are great and the cliffs spectacular, although the light was a bit flat the other day for photography.

The Monument, Cape Hauy and the Hippolyte from the Monument Lookout - 14th August 2010The sidetrack to the Monument Lookout (on the way to Mount Fortescue) is well worth the short diversion, and provides a very airy view of the bay stretching south to Cape Pillar. Note that there are many opportunities for falling off cliffs along this track, so younger members of the party should be supervised appropriately. In particular, the flat spot at the end of the walk is basically surrounded on three sides by 120m cliffs sheer to the sea, which makes a great place for lunch but not for wandering about carelessly. The Candlestick and Totem Pole, both goals for climbers, are located at Cape Hauy, and while they are visible from the top of the Cape, better views are available by descending steeply (and very carefully) to the northeast along obvious pads and tracks along the edge of the cliffs towards the sea.

Cape Hauy from the Pirates Bay Lookout - 14th August 2010Cape Hauy, the Lanterns, the Candlestick and the Totem Pole are all visible from the lookout above Pirates Bay. This is reached by turning left along the old highway before commencing the steep descent on the new highway towards Eaglehawk Neck. The views across the bay are worth the diversion.

Haywoods Track, Mount Wellington - 7th August 2010

Red paint marks show the way up Haywoods Track, Mount Wellington - 7th August 2010I've done this track a few times, but never been sure what its name was. If you don't know where the track is it's easy to walk past it without noticing. Peter Franklin has put it up on sharemyroutes, but I only found this out after I'd deliberately taken my new GPS up it so I could plot it on the map. This was also where I found out what the track's name is.

Northerly view to Mount Dromedary and beyond from Mount Wellington - 7th August 2010Anyway, if you walk along the Organ Pipes Track from the chalet towards The Springs, after a few minutes walk there is a track off to the right. It's marked vaguely with some sort-of piled rocks next to a tree. A red mark on a rock is just visible if you look in the right place. The track heads across boulders and then climbs quite steeply and roughly up the hill to near the pinnacle, emerging next to the visitor shelter with the skate ramp for a roof. From there you can take any route back down which takes your fancy.

Paraglider sails off into the Hobart sky from near the Mount Wellington summit - 7th August 2010This paraglider seemed quite brave, launching across a big boulder field with some initial hesitations, but then swinging out to disappear beyond the Organ Pipes. Didn't see them again after that, but it looked like quite a ride.