Friday, 28 April 2017

Snake Plains 2017

Today I'm leading the group on, what will be for most, a new route via Snake Plains. The weather forecast hasn't been the best, but we can see the top of Mt. Wellington, it's not raining, plus the temperature is perfect for walking.

We park at the old quarry at Fern Tree as it begins to fill up with cars. Today is Anzac Day and a public holiday for many, so walking/riding in Wellington Park is popular.

For those reading this elsewhere in the world, Anzac stands for the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps who fought at Gallipoli against the Ottoman Empire in WW1. They became known as Anzacs. Anzac Day commemorates all Australians and New Zealanders who have served and/or died in all military operations.  For more information:

Just speaking for myself, I prefer to be in the bush. It reminds me what many have missed.

We set off up the steps and follow the Fern Glade track to Radfords Track, continuing the climb to the Springs.

It's a good climb through the damp ferns on one of the older tracks.

Collared earthstar. Geastrum triplex jungh

Waiting for me to take a photo
On we go, heading for the Springs and Morning Tea in comfort.

Radfords Track

Short turn off to the Springs

Best location I could provide

I even provided toilets and access to hot food and drink
Not that I'm bragging, of course.

Tea finished we make our way back to Radfords and head up to the Pinnacle and Milles Track junction, where we turn left heading towards Wellington Falls.

Except for a couple of short bits, we've finished our climbing for the day.

The weather is closing in on top, but it's still dry where we are

We'll follow Milles Track a bit less than halfway until we turn off

Easy walking
It's very easy and we get some views over the Derwent, Hobart and Kingston as we go.

Looking towards Kingston
 The weather looks a bit brighter at the moment.

It isn't long before more cloud moves in

North West Bay

The track becomes a bit wetter and more rocks appear as we scramble up and down.

This adds a pleasant sound to our walk

Soon we reach the turn off to Snake Plains. There is a modern marker here, but I prefer this one.

Snake Plains turn off
We head down to begin our rock hopping through quite pretty bush.

The Friends of Mount Wellington did some track maintenance here about two years ago
I remember climbing up here before that and you couldn't see any track. All thanks to them for what they've done.

There was one large rock that marked an underground stream

You knew this because of the sound of running water coming from a hole in the  earth under it.

Boulders begin to give way to a good track

Colourful gums
 We begin to get a very light drizzle and some change into their wet weather gear.

I'm already wet plus I don't think it will last. So I chance not changing.

The track is flat now and soon we will have views around us.

Looking back at, what was identified to me as, a pointy thing

Possibly Mount Montagu

It's not long before the track becomes wetter
Not only wetter, but much more of a challenge not to fall in!

Some of these are quite deep

Looks like rain coming towards us. But it doesn't

From this spot there is nothing man-made in sight in any direction
Cathedral Rock
At this point I was at the rear, of course. I can't tell you how much chatter was coming from the group in front! A short while later when they stopped to take off the wet weather gear (the rain never amounted to anything) I asked if anyone had seen Cathedral Rock. The reply was mostly blank stares.

We can see civilization again

Removing wet weather gear
We begin to head down through an area that was subject to timber getting in the past. The track turns into a rough road of stones as we look for a lunch spot.

We spot this vine and fruit hiding under a fern
I haven't tried to identify it yet, the fruit are quite large.

Soon a lunch spot appears with plenty of seating for all.


You can see the old stony road now

Many trees cut down in the past

This tree appears to be enveloping a dead older one
I've not seen this before, but there several examples in view.

Lunch finished, we continue down. The rocks become larger, wetter and covered with slippery moss. I found this to my cost when my feet went out from under me. After taking inventory of both myself and my technology, I stood back up with no damage.

Walking on, I was a bit upset about the lack of sympathy I received so I contrive to try again. This time I managed to remove a satisfactory amount of skin on my right forearm and catch a view of my right middle finger bent back much further then I thought possible!

Making my way back to a vertical position again, I was pleased with the attention I now received and the offers of old tissues to clean up my wounds.

Soldiering on, I walk with more care and attention until we finally reach the Pipe Line Track. The only lasting effect, as I told Peter, was to my 'signalling' finger.

It's almost impossible to express my opinion of others bad driving at the moment. Some American and Australian politicians are also going to miss out when they appear on my T.V. screen.

Never mind, I'll just have to learn to use my left hand.

Our walk is now just cruising back on the Pipe Line to Fern tree. On the way we pass many families and children and/or dogs either on foot or bikes.

Question: Why are Tasmanians afraid to use the bell on their bikes? I watched a father and son who had passed us earlier and were now returning, ride up to the back of our group of walkers. Rather than alert them to their presence, the two wobbled behind until I shouted "Cyclists behind!" and everyone moved over.

Wayne had been checking out other cyclists and noticed almost all of them had bells which they never use.

We walk and talk. A couple of dings on a bell and we happily get out of your way.

On the way, Peter identified a Bower bird on the track ahead. I knew they existed here, but had never seen one before. They were introduced to Tassie back in the 1930s.

Crappy photo of bower bird. It was too fast for me

Looking down from one of the foot bridges we cross

As you can see, the weather is much improved

We've separated into about three groups

We're almost back to Fern Tree

We had 11 walkers and covered 14.04kms in 5:15hrs. I enjoyed the walk despite my misadventure. Next time I'll schedule this walk earlier in the year.

 Click here to download GPX file

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