Archive for April 2010

Bushwalking: Cape Raoul, Tasmania

“The walk out to Cape Raoul is one of the highlights of the Tasman Peninsula”

Day Walks Tasmania

This is a great day walk based in the Tasman National Park about an hour and a quarter out of Hobart. The objective is Cape Raoul at the southern tip of the peninsula and there are great views along most of the path, featuring some impressive coastline and rock formations. The cape itself feels quite isolated – apart from the birds and the sounds of waves it’s very quiet and secluded.

For this walk, I used the track notes from “Day Walks Tasmania” by John and Monica Chapman which were useful and accurate. The path itself is well formed and reasonably easy to follow for the whole distance, in some places though it skirts very close to the cliff edge and there are no safety barriers so take care. It starts in farmland but soon gives way to bushland and then exposed coastal heath. Near the very end of the track at Cape Raoul the track splits – it’s worth following both branches to take in all the vantage points – the track to the right provides a bit more room to stop for a break or lunch (the one to the left ends rather abruptly at a cliff edge). From the cape it’s back the same way.

Overall, another recommended Tassie walk.

Walk date: 6th March 2010
Time/Distance: Around 4.5 hrs / 13.6km
Grade: Moderate day walk
Map: TASMAP Raoul (1:25,000)
My rating: B+

Bushwalking: Mt Field West, Tasmania

Another great walk in Mt Field National Park, which is an hour or so west of Hobart. This is a fairly demanding one with some strenuous climbs and rock scrambling and is recommended for more experienced walkers. An out-and-back walk, the target is Mt Field West – the highest point in the park – and it took me a little under seven hours.

The walk commences at the Lake Dobson car park and initially follows a boardwalk and path by the side of Lake Dobson before branching off and climbing to a vehicular track that also climbs steeply to some ski huts. From here the walk proper begins along a well defined path and boardwalks, with great views of the Tarn Shelf and Lake Seal to the north.

Eventually the track reaches a junction. Take the uphill path signposted to Mt Field West. This track soon leads to a large field of boulders and the next part requires traversing this by following the occasional track marker and red painted marks on the rocks themselves. The way climbs upwards towards the ridge line (the Rodway Range) and once reached becomes a visible path again before descending another rock field down to K. Col.

From K.Col it’s a short walk to Peterson Memorial Hut, which makes for a nice rest spot. From here the path continues to climb, passing Clemes Tarn and looking towards the impressive Naturalist Peak which is passed to the left. From here the path traverses a somewhat boggy plateau (which looks like it would be fairly hard going in wet weather) before a final rock scramble to the summit of Mt Field West from where there are excellent views.

From here it’s the same way back – take care when climbing up from K. Col to the Rodway Range to carefully follow the marked trail so you end up in the right place to pick up the track down the other side.

Notes: There is no marked trail to Naturalist Peak but it’s worth a short side trip, I found leaving the main trail to the south-west of the summit provided reasonably easy access. The summit itself is clearly marked with a trig point.

I wouldn’t recommend this walk in mist or bad weather, you won’t get any views and route finding, particularly over the boulder fields, would be difficult.

Walk Date: 7th March 2010
Time/Distance: Around 7 hours / 17km
Grade: Hard day walk
Map: TASMAP Mount Field National Park (1:50,000)
My rating: A