Sunday, 13 December 2009

Maria Island - 23rd to 27th September 2009

Full set of Photos at Picasa. Or try out the new slideshow feature.

Getting to Maria Island

Maria Island Ferry, Triabunna - 23rd September 2009The ferry currently leaves from near the visitor centre at the Triabunna wharf. Check their website for sailing times. The trips I had recently were fairly rough, although neither was as visually worrying as one the family had a few years ago in a very strong westerly. The boat looks large at the wharf, but does seem smaller amongst the swells. Nonetheless, the blokes running it are very good, and the boat actually handles the sea very well. On days when you can see clearly, there are often dolphins to be seen. On arrival on the island, the rangers will be in attendance at the old Commissariat Store on the seafront to take your money for camping or national park passes. Before heading over right now, it might be worth checking whether your intended activity is possible. Very heavy rain has damaged bridges and roads, and quite massively flooded the campground. There was mention in the press that there would be difficulties with the drinking water supply over summer.

Day 1 - Darlington to Encampment Cove

Counsel Creek in flood, Maria Island - 23rd September 2009The walk south from Darlington is relatively straightforward. The 4WD track heads up and over the headland to the south, then down to Hopground Beach, where the Painted Cliffs are located. On my trip the creek there was in flood and pouring across 50 metres of road, with a large mat of brush and timber damming it. The latest heavy rain has apparently washed the bridge away, so a short wade may be required. This creek is not normally very large, so it shouldn’t be a problem. From here the track climbs and falls, in and out around the coast. You should see wombats grazing, and there are good views in many places. Frenchs Farm is perhaps two to three hours, depending on what you stop to look at. Camping is possible at Frenchs Farm, and when it isn’t busy, you can probably get away with staying inside the farmhouse. This is not preferred by the rangers, so be prepared to get turfed out. The camping there is good, and there is a toilet. You can also cycle most of these tracks, as two blokes I met at Frenchs Farm had done.

Encampment Cove Hut, Maria Island - 23rd September 2009Encampment Cove is another half hour (or less) beyond Frenchs, and the track is clearly signed near the farm. Here you will find a small hut, with “bunks” for about four, and a good bench along the wall for cooking on. On my trip I had this to myself for the three nights I was there. There is also apparently good camping here, however the campground was largely under water during my stay, so I can’t vouch for it completely.

Sunrise across Shoal Bay, Maria Island - 24th September 2009The location is delightful, with camping within a few steps of the gentle waters of Chinamans Bay. There is a pit toilet here. The shore is mainly rocky, and apparently you can catch fish here – I didn’t, despite a lot of attempts. The sunrise is worth getting up for on clear mornings. There is also the remains of a stone convict-built jetty to add historical interest.

Day 2 - Haunted Bay

Reidle Bay, Maria Island - 24th September 2009Haunted Bay lies on the southern coast of South Maria. Walking from Encampment Cove it took me about two hours. From Frenchs Farm you take the track south, first walking along the isthmus between Reidle Bay and Shoal Bay. Both bays can be visited easily along several tracks or by picking your way through the scrub. Reidle Bay in particular is worth a visit, and is a good wild ocean beach. The waves here were quite impressive, and on the days I visited were sweeping right up to and even across the low dunes behind the beach. It was interesting to watch the huge mass of water, having swept up and along the dunes, and clearly coloured by the sand it had picked up, smash its way back out to sea through the following waves. There was no doubt that walking along this beach could result in being picked up along with the sand and swept out into the bay.

Haunted Bay, Maria Island - 24th September 2009From the south end of the isthmus, the Haunted Bay Track forks left, and heads quite gently uphill and across the south island, before descending very steeply. Haunted Bay is a rugged granite cove, and would be very impressive in rough weather. The waves were quite gentle while I was there. At the end, the track emerges on the rocks, and you can pick your way down sloping granite to the water’s edge. The resident sea eagle checked me out at some length as I arrived, and my attempts to photograph him reminded me why bird photographers spend so much on big expensive lenses. A seal came to visit while I was fishing here (catch: nil), and unfortunately I had left the camera safely out of the way about ten metres higher up. This was a good place to sit and eat lunch, and I’d like to return in wilder weather sometime. I considered returning by walking along the shore of Shoal Bay, however the sand was very soggy, and I used the track instead.

Day 3 - Point Lesueur and Robeys Farm

Convict cells, Point Leseuer, Maria Island - 25th September 2009Just north of Encampment Cove, and accessible by a direct track from the campground, is Point Leseuer. This was a secondary convict station in earlier times, and the convict cells remain standing on the windswept hill. There are a variety of interesting features to be seen and explored. It was very windy when I was there, and the rain was coming horizontally. I’ll have to return when the weather is more conducive to ambling about and exploring. I retreated to the more sheltered Encampment Cove to set off for Robeys Farm.

Robeys Farm, Maria Island - 25th September 2009Robeys Farm was farmed until 1965, and lies on the western side of South Maria. Walking south across the isthmus, the track forks right. After crossing the delightfully named Stinking Creek, the track climbs a little and then descends to Robeys Shore. After a short walk uphill the track emerges in a clearing with a tidy and solid weatherboard farmhouse, domestic flowers blooming with somewhat unkempt abandon, and agricultural equipment and machinery scattered about. The farmhouse has had quite a lot of restoration work undertaken in cooperation between the Hobart Walking Club and the National Parks and Wildlife Service, although it is not clear that this is continuing now. Inside the stove and some furniture remains. On the verandah are arranged displays of items obviously left behind, and on the wall inside is the story of Robey. A sign tells you not to camp there, but I think a small group could stay inside if they were careful to leave the place as they found it.

Day 4 - Mount Maria

South Maria from Mount Maria - 26th September 2009I returned to Darlington on Day 4, via the Inland Track and Mount Maria. This track heads inland about 1.5 km north of Frenchs Farm. It undulates and winds over and around the southwestern foothills of Mount Maria. The climbs and falls are much more significant than on the coast, however the highest point is only about 150m, and it makes for a different return trip. It was very wet underfoot when I was there, but I assume it is normally quite dry and dusty. The side track to Mount Maria is reached where the track climbs up from Hpground Beach. This heads south east up a long ridge, gradually becoming steeper. There is a boulder field to cross and climb, and then the last bit is quite steep with some easy boulder scrambling. The view from the 711m summit is worth the climb, and provides a grandstand view of the various walking areas on Maria Island.

Sunday, 29 November 2009

East Coast Deluge - 22-23 Sep 2009

Brushy Plains Rivulet, Buckland - 23rd September 2009
Prosser River, Paradise Gorge Dam - 23rd September 2009
I went to Maria Island in September, between the two East Coast deluges on 22nd/23rd and 26th/27th of the month. These are photos on the morning after the first. I'm not sure I've ever noticed the creek at Buckland before, but on this day it was enormous. At the dam on the Prosser River, the locals were all out looking at the flow of water. They were stunned. The rocks in the bottom of the dam had been visible just a day or so earlier. The young bloke helping on the ferry had been fishing off the rocks below the dam the weekend before.

Mt Wellington - 21st September 2009

Hobart from Mt Wellington - 21 Sep 2009Had a good climb up Mount Wellington in good weather on Monday 21 Sep. A sunny day with cool breezes made for good climbing weather. There were patches of snow here and there, but the punters were having to walk a fair distance to find them.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Freycinet Panoramas

Three stitched panoramas from Freycinet. (One is a repeat form the Mt Amos post, but I thought I'd put them up together.)

The Hazards from Richardsons Beach, Coles Bay - 19th September 2009

Wineglass Bay, Mt Graham and Mt Freycinet from the Saddle Lookout - 19th September 2009

Wineglass Bay and southern Freycinet from Mt Amos summit - 20th September 2009

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Mount Amos - 20th September 2009

Summit Panorama, Mount Amos - 20th September 2009

Mount Amos - 20th September 2009After a nice easy Saturday, a slightly more strenuous walk was indicated, so I headed up Mount Amos. This walk departs from the same carpark as the Wineglass Bay walk. The signs warn that the walk is across sloping rock and can be hazardous when wet. After the recent rain, there were more damp areas than usual, but it wasn't too bad. I think it would be very difficult if it was raining and the rock was generally wet underfoot. There are spots where the dry rock is very slippery. Interestingly, some of the wet patches are obviously where the water "normal" flows, and most of these were perfectly grippy, as the softer minerals have been eroded, leaving the protruding quartz crystals to provide a bumpy surface.

Grey granite intrusion into pink granite, Mount Amos - 20th September 2009Views from the summit are really impressive, and as long as you can handle the steep rocky bits, the walk is not too hard. I did meet a bloke who had got himself half way up the central gully, but was obviously unhappy on the sloping rock and chose to walk back down rather than risk a fall. His expensive-looking shoes may not have been as grippy as he had hoped. The granite is what makes the Hazards such an impressive sight, and many great photo opportunities present. The climb up Mount Amos makes evident (see photo) this interesting intrusion of a grey granite into the more dominant pink granite.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Wineglass Bay - 19th September 2009

Drystone bridgewroks on the track to Winegalss Bay - 19th September 2009In search of a part of Tasmania where it was raining less frequently, I headed to Coles Bay, and on the Saturday had a pleasant and quite easy walk over to Wineglass Bay. The first part of this walk appears to receive the majority of National Park funding in Tasmania, and the engineering marvels along the track are quite spectacular. I gather the place is absolutely chocka in summer, which is probably a good reason to stay away. The track to the saddle has been built almost to wheelchair standards - in fact I don't doubt that the first part could be so used. The edges are all lined with extensive retaining walls, and the bridges such as this one have been built lovingly. This, and other, bridges appear to be built with drystone arches, which are really quite interesting. I didn't duck my head inside them to see whether some other structural arrangement is disguised, but at least externally they are quite impressive. The track is now formally a circuit below the final ("staircased") climb to the saddle. There is an outward track and a return track. The return track appears closely (or exactly) aligned to the older track route. The walk is still pleasant.

Granite outcrops at the Wineglass Bay Saddle - 19th September 2009The weathered granite remains intriguing. Those who did this walk before the advent of the viewing platform near the saddle will recall clambering around and onto these outcrops to the right of the saddle in order to get a view to the south.

Bennets Wallaby, Wineglass Bay - 19th September 2009The wallabies remain ubiquitous, and despite the signs forbidding their feeding, obviously still hold out hopes of treats from walkers. This one was going from person to person on Wineglass Bay Beach.

The Hazards from Wineglass bay - 19th September 2009The view of the steeply sloping granite falling from the Hazards into Wineglass Bay remains spectacular. This is particularly so under certain light conditions, which I didn't really get this day. Dolphins and seals were frolicking in the bay, and made for some extra interest, but were not quite as unusual as the Southern Right Whales seen there last year.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

South Cape Bay - 16th September 2009

The Swarm struggle dazedly to their next scheduled food stop, while, out-of-shot, Pied Oystercatchers hide food, South Cape Bay - 16th September 2009It was school holidays, and The Swarm (of locusts) needed to be taken out and made to walk as an antidote to the various electronic games with which they had "wasted" much of the rest of their holiday. South Cape Bay is a good lengthy walk without taxing hills, and not too bad even when the weather higher up is a bit iffy. The trip was akin to what I imagine a walk with Hobbits would be like. It commenced with a large breakfast (probably half a big box of Nutri-Grain each, they're cheaper by the pallet), and then a ritual emptying of the fridge and cupboards into backpacks. After an arduous 40 minutes by car, they required refuelling at Dover with second breakfast, so egg and bacon rolls were purchased and consumed before they succumbed to impending hunger. I felt I had to join them in this ritual, so as not to make them feel in any way guilty about the cost. Having eaten all the Dover Takeaway's E&B rolls (The Swarm has been there!) we resumed our journey.

South Cape Bay Beach, scoured of all edible items after the passing of The Swarm - 16th September 2009A quick snack (elevenses?) further fortified them for the walk on arrival at Recherche Bay, and occasional devouring of muesli bars and chocolate continued to lighten packs as the walk proceeded. They were obviously well fed, as the leaches found their ankles enticing. First lunch was taken on the cliffs overlooking South Cape Bay, before a stroll along the beach produced a need to eat again (second lunch?) at the western end. Supplies were running low, allowing only a few snacks on the return journey for The Swarm. Blood glucose was dangerously low on return to the car (that is, there was a little too much blood in their glucose stream). Valiantly I drove them in an emergency dash to the Dover Grocery Store, where enormous fudgy ice creams provided sufficient energy to enable them to snooze comfortably (and me to drive) for the 40 minutes return drive home. This was the land of milk and honey, or at least milk, Weet-Bix and Milo, which can be taken in equal quantities (large ones) in a full large soup-bowl, as I have discovered. This, and occasional glasses of milk, tided them over until dinner, as I recall. Anyway, they seem to be as slim as ever, so I'm worried that maybe I underfed them...

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Cape Pillar - 12th and 13th September 2009

Tasman Island from near The Chasm on Cape Pillar - 12th September 2009 (236KB)
The Blade, Cape Pillar - 12th September 2009(325KB)So, to finish off the Three Capes, it was off to Cape Pillar for an overnighter. This walk is often done as a three-day walk, which allows a day to walk in, a full day to explore the cape and a day to walk out. I decided I could do it in two, and although it made for a longish day of walking on the first day, this is quite achievable. I'm not supremely fit, and the heaviest thing I've been used to carrying lately is my stomach, so minimising the weight by minimising the food to be carried was welcome. If I did it again, I'd probably go for three days, but in fact, the walk in to the campsite isn't long enough for a full-day's walk, and you will probably want to supplement it with a brief excursion further along the cape - the views are superb and will occupy you for hours if you wish.

Perdition Ponds, Cape Pillar - 12th September 2009 (396KB)So the usual walk would be Day 1 - Walk to Perdition Ponds (or other campsite); Day 2- Explore the cape, which can take between 4 and 8 hours; Day 3 - Walk back out. Other campsites include Lunchtime Creek, Bald Hill. Some people apparently camp at the very end of the cape, Chasm Camp, where there is supposed to be a "soak" providing water. Good luck if you choose this. "The Oasis" was wet when I was there, and is a little further along than Perdition Ponds, but it wasn't "flowing", and was rather more a sequence of muddy puddles and damp patches. The water in Perdition Ponds was OK, despite the ranger's advice to me, and tasted perhaps a little better than Coles Bay water at a bad moment. Lunchtime Creek water is noticeably nicer however. The water at Perdition Ponds acquires some mineral salts taste from the surrounds. I think it could become quite "tasty" in dry weather.

Tasman Island from The Blade, Cape Pillar - 12th September 2009 (236KB)The "new" track has been in place for some years now, and leaves from Fortescue Bay, maybe 100m back up the road from the ranger station. It is very well made and climbs gently around the hill and across a few small gullies, emerging on the flatter hilltop after a surprisingly easy climb. The track then undulates a little, climbing around Tornado Ridge and descending steeply to Lunchtime Creek. There's a phytophthera washing station here. Climbing begins again after Lunchtime Creek, but not greatly, and after crossing Hurricane Heath, the track comes out above Perdition Ponds, and cliff vistas start to be visible. The good campsite at Perdition Ponds is located very close to the 300m cliffs, although the scrub is quite thick, so sleepwalkers would have to navigate effectively to find their way into trouble...

Northerly view along the northeast coast of Cape Pillar - 12th September 2009 (229KB)At this point I dumped the pack and walked on with light gear and the camera. Beyond Perdition Ponds it is only a few minutes before you start to get superb, even stupendous, views. The track undulates along the cliff edges, providing new views every few minutes. The track is quite rough in places, and it does take longer to navigate than the quite small crow-flies distance would suggest. Not least, this is because you will be stopping every few minutes to gingerly approach the cliff edge and be gobsmacked at the view. The Blade is not to be missed, and provides a supremely spectacular view of the surrounding cliffs and Tasman Island. Beyond The Blade, there are further lookouts. I suspect I didn't find the last one - Chasm Lookout - as I didn't get the view of Cathedral Rock I discovered I should have had when I read the guidebook after my return(!) I'll have to go again to find that final lookout. Anyway, it's all very spectacular, and easily worth the effort of the walk.

View Cape Pillar in a larger map

Cape Hauy - 11th September 2009

View towards Cape Hauy from the Monument Lookout, inlcuding The Monument - 11th September 2009 (269KB)To continue my Three-Capes extravaganza, I next set out for Cape Hauy, just as a daywalk. I should walk over Mount Fortescue one day and join the Cape Hauy walk to the Cape Pillar walk, as I hear the views are very good. It's just I'm not entirely reconciled to carrying a full pack over a 490m mountain when you can walk around the side of it.... Note that in common with most Tasman Peninsula coastal walks, there are a lot of unprotected cliff edges at which you can arrive suddenly, take care and keep the kids under control.

View to The Monument and Cape Pillar from the end of Cape Hauy - 11th September 2009 (364KB)Anyway, Cape Hauy is spectacular on its own account, featuring the Candlestick and Totem Pole, features of great rock-climbing, and scenic, interest. There are also great views up and down the coast, and especially of Cape Pillar. This walk starts from Fortescue Bay, where the ranger is diligent in checking vehicles for parks passes - best to make sure yours is visible. The walk heads along the coast past the boat ramp at first, then turns inland and uphill. It climbs steadily over a moderate hill to emerge at the top of a steep hill looking seawards along the length of the Cape. This whole area was burnt a few years ago, and the effects are still evident although improved. The walk descends and rises a couple more times, before the track emerges on the spectacular platform at the end of the cape, overlooking the Candlestick. Best views of the Candlestick are obtained by descending very steeply (and carefully) towards sea level at the end of the cape. More information here and linked from here.

Tasman Island Cruises boat off Cape Hauy - 11th September 2009 (269KB)Of interest while I was there was the voyage of the Tasman Island Cruises boat. This is operated by Rob Pennicott, with whom I went to school, and is well known as an exciting trip. I must do it myself one day - looked exciting as I watched them sailing about in the quite rough seas. Tasman Island Cruises were kind enough to give my oldest son so-called "work-experience" recently, so they deserve a big plug. I say it was so-called, because for four of the five days he basically tooled around in a very powerful boat looking at Tasmanian scenery. One of his texts, when he was yet to get on the boat, said "if this is work, bring it on". However he did learn to be nice to tourists, day after day, and got some valuable experience of driving a large boat in rough seas under close supervision. Thanks to Rob and staff.

Southerly view from Monument lookout above Cape Hauy, towards Cape Pillar - 11th September 2009 (276KB)Not-to-be-missed on this walk is the sidetrip to Monument Lookout. Near the top of the hill on the return walk a track heads south to Monument Lookout and Mount Fortescue. About ten minutes along here the track emerges at the very high and spectacular lookout. This is rather precipitous, and great care is required, but the views are impressive, and just the sheer height above the water makes this worth a visit. The "Monument" is the significant sea-stack lying just south of Cape Hauy. I've got a shaky recollection of some material about it being climbed - I think involving Peter McHugh and Mendelt Tillema, which I must find - it seems it may be on this website somewhere, but I can't get thesarvo to download right now.

View Cape Hauy in a larger map

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Cape Raoul - 10th September 2009

Cape Raoul from the top of the highest cliffs - 10th September 2009Cape Raoul is the south-western extremity of the Tasman Peninsula, a sort-of companion-cape to Cape Pillar, which is the south-eastern point. Unlike Pillar, Raoul does not require an overnighter. (Having said that, I know some people do Pillar as a day-walk, but it's a very long day and probably only achievable in summer without running.) The walk to Cape Raoul is around 5 hours allowing some viewing time. The walk starts at Stormlea, accessed by heading from Port Arthur towards Nubeena, then turning left (south) at the signposted road and following the signs to then end. Cars need to be parked where indicated, and not blocking roads or gates.

Dolerite columns at the southern extremity of Cape Raoul, including seal colony - 10th September 2009The track crosses private land at first and appropriate respect would be useful in ensuring the continuation of this access. The walk heads uphill first, and after about half an hour emerges on top of cliffs which are 400m above the sea. Just prior to this, the track passes a junction where truning right leads steeply down to Shpistern Bluff and Tunnel Bay, another worthwhile walk. The views from here are pretty impressive, both of Cape Raoul and back towards Shipstern Bluff, South Arm, Betsey Island and many other places. The track then climbs a little further before descending significantly through attractive mossy forest onto the Cape. Further views are obtained in places as the track winds along the western cliffs towards the end. At the far end, visitors should make sure they go to the end of both tracks to obtain all the views available. Particularly, the seal colony is visible from the end of the left fork (to the east). The seal colony is visible in the photo, and is on the light-coloured patch to the left of the extremity of the cape. If you don't know where to look, the height of the cliffs, and distance, make the seals somewhat insignificant and hard to spot. The dolerite columns at the end of the cape were used for target practice by the British Navy during World War I, and as a result it is a little more ragged than it would otherwise be.

Shipstern Bluff and high sea cliffs, visible from Cape Raoul Track - 10th September 2009It is important to note that this walk features stupendous cliffs, and none of them have the slightest fall protection, making them instantly fatal in case of a fall. It is important to very closely supervise children at all times, unless you are confident in their common sense. At times, high winds can make the cliffs more dangerous. Signs erected by Parks & Wildlife make it clear that your safety is your own responsibility in this area.

Cape Raoul is the first cape on the government's planned $20M "Three-Capes Walk", which will then take in Hauy and Pillar after using a boat to cross Port Arthur. I'm not sure what to make of this proposal, as many of the tracks around here were cut and maintained by volunteers over many decades, and the government's plan now appears likely to change and limit the access to and use of those tracks by Tasmanians just wanting to enjoy their national parks. No doubt it would be a good money-spinner, but I'm not sure the people who will come and walk it will be getting any sort of authentic experience - once we spend $20M to make our Three Capes attractive to tourists, is it really the Tasmanian bushwalking experience?

View Cape Raoul in a larger map

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Mt Wellington - 9th September 2009

Slopes of Mt Wellington from Sphinx Rock - 9th September 2009Another rainy day. Had a nice walk on the lower western slopes of Mt Wellington though. In the end the worst I got was drizzle. There are plenty of tracks low down that can be walked in almost any weather.

Hakea lissopserma, the Needle Bush, Lenah Valley Track, Mt Wellington - 9th September 2009Some of the plants are starting to flower in recognition of the arrival of "Spring". Wasn't very obvious there last week, although it hasn't been very cold. This is Hakea lissosperma, known as the Needle Bush. One book says it flowers in late Spring (October to December in another book), and is one of the earliest flowers in the subalpine area.

Crescent Bay and Mount Brown - 7th September 2009

Cape Pillar and Tasman Island from Mount Brown - 7th Spetember 2009It's been a difficult task lately finding places in Tasmania where it isn't raining. It's a bit of a switch, given that a large chunk of the state was recently reconfirmed as in drought. Now we have diary farmers whose herds are in a bad way because it's too wet. Leave from work dictated that I should find some walks to do, however rain and illness had conspired a bit to bring the plan undone. The Tasman Peninsula can sometimes provide a drier walking venue than elsewhere in southern Tasmania, although sometimes it can be worse too. Last week I managed a few walks there. The first being the easiest, to Mount Brown and Crescent Bay. See the Google map below for walk details.

I hoped the wildflowers would be worth a look, and there were a few out. I'll add some pictures to the Crescent Bay flora post. I believe this is Acacia verticillata. The books describe a number of sub-species of this, which is somewhat bewildering.

This echidna was happily wandering around near the Mount Brown turnoff. He basically ignored me, and was happy to amble away from me digging for ants. He showed no signs of concern at my presence until I actually stepped over him on the narrow track to try to get a shot which included his face. This was successful, but he wasn't keen on walking towards me along the track. I was intrigued by his spiny bum anyway. More photos at Picasa.

View Crescent Bay and Mount Brown in a larger map

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Fungi - South Cape Bay Track

Fungi, South Cape Bay Track - 2nd September 2009

Fungi, South Cape Bay Track - 2nd September 2009

South Cape Bay - 2nd September 2009

Lion Rock at South Cape Bay - 2nd September 2009Had a very good walk to South Cape Bay. The weather has been pretty ordinary, and this Wednesday was forecast as fine. Indeed it was, and the sun shone much of the day, with only gentle (if cool) breezes throughout. There has obviously been some rough weather out on our South Coast, and the long swells were sweeping a significant depth of beach when I was there. The surf was quite spectacular at times, with huge barrels forming perfectly along the kilometre and more from Lion Rock to beyond the cliffs where the track emerges. Nobody was there surfing.

South East Cape from clifftop, South Cape Bay - 2nd September 2009The beach is currently graced with a large dead seal, which I could only partially smell due to the cold I was coming down with. Overall, the beach was looking quite wild last week, and the good weather made a visit worthwhile.

More photos at Picasa

View South Cape Bay in a larger map

Monday, 31 August 2009

Roches Beach to Seven Mile Beach - 1st August 2009

Roches Beach - 1st August 2009The most convenient spot to start this walk is at the eastern side of the Lauderdale "neck". There's a carpark occupying what at one time must have been the eastern outlet of the Lauderdale canal. This is right next to the beach. I did this walk recently on a windy and wet, winter Saturday when anything above sea-level looked dubious. I first headed for the Arm-End walk, but the south-westerly wind was strong enough to make standing difficult in the Arm-End carpark. This walk on the easterly coast was much more sheltered.

The walk heads north along the beach from Lauderdale. It rounds a small headland and follows the beach further. Where the way ahead appears to be somewhat blocked by rocks and low cliffs, it heads up onto the slopes above. This track meanders around alongside the boundaries of houses and farmland. There is a choice at one point - descend back to the beach or remain on the slopes. Your choice might depend on the state of the tide, but the sea-level track is more interesting. The track emerges at Seven Mile Beach, and can be extended to any length as you like.

Cove between Roches Beach and Seven Mile Beach - 1st August 2009There are some lovely concealed bays along this track, and on a warm day there would be plenty of opportunities for a dip in lovely surrounds. This is an easy walk but one worth taking on a day when the weather renders other walks difficult. It was interesting to watch squalls moving up the coast of the Forestier Peninsula while wandering in the sun and gentle breeze along the beach here.

Saturday, 15 August 2009

The insect in the video

Here are a couple of photos of the insect seen laying eggs in the video a while ago. I believe it's a Crane Fly, and there is one like it on page 117 of "Wings - an introduction to Tasmania's winged insects" by Elizabeth and Anthony Daley. This is labelled Ischnotoma sp. The insect was injured, possibly by the cat who loves to chase moving things. My son found it and thought it was an interesting insect and as we watched it, we could see it laying eggs. Hence the video in the earlier blog post.

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Insect laying eggs

Fungus - Mt Wellington

A walk on the front of Mt Wellington produced a few fungi.

Fungi, Mt Wellington - 20th June 2009

Fungi, Mt Wellington - 20th June 2009