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Western Arthurs Day 10 & 11 : Lake Rosanne - Wullyawa Creek - Scott's Peak Dam

Western Arthur Range Index

Crepuscular Rays


Today was going to be a long day. We had 20 kilometres to cover, a distance that was definitely manageable, but was considered long compared to the average daily distances that we had covered over the previous week. I was already a little weary by then but the fact that the walk was mainly downhill made me feel a lot better about the task up ahead.

We started off early and after packing up camp, we made our way back up to the moraine that lay on the East side of Lake Rosanne. Once we reached the top, we were greeted by magnificent views of the early morning light shining through gaps in the heavy cloud-cover, lighting up the bleak landscape in bright patches. The crepuscular rays shimmered and danced as the clouds moved across the sky, their parallel rays of light seemingly converging due to the perspective effect.

Crepuscular Rays

Feeling rejuvenated, we turned Northwards and began our descent along the moraine. The trail pushed through thick patches of Grass Trees (Xanthorrhoea australis) before crossing Lake Rosanne's outlet creek. The track then turned right and made its way Eastwards, before beginning to descend down the moraine towards the Arthur Plains down below. A light drizzle filled the air, so light that I had initially mistaken it for morning mist.

We continued downwards and towards a large grove of trees, but just before we came upon it, the trail veered off and around the grove. The crashing sounds of torrential water began to grow louder and louder, reaching their peak as the slopes began to give way to the flat plains. It took us approximately an hour of walking to reach this point.

The


Back on the Plains


Back on the Plains

There was mud, and lots of it. Surrounding all this mud were holes that turned out to be the burrows of the Common Yabby (Cherax destructor), a freshwater crustacean, that can lie dormant for years at a time in a state called 'Aestivation'. The yabby enters this state in response to conditions that are very arid and hot, the reverse of hibernation of sorts.

We were hiking using compass bearings at this point as the track seemed to be all over the place, constantly disappearing and reappearing, so we just made our way directly across the plains, over two large rivers (the second being Strike Creek) and several streams before we ran into the track at the 4.25 km mark. We turned left to head Northwards (Southwards leads to Luckmans Lead), skimmed the edge of small forest patch on our left before dipping down to a small bridge. The track then began to climb up the hill, up and into one of the saddles of the Razorback, before continuing Northwards around the hills, tracing the contours as it did so.

The track here seemed to differ from the one that was described by Chapman. Chapman's version veered North-East and through a marshy section of the plains before reaching Cracroft Crossing. We, on the other hand, followed a trail that made its way directly Northward, a trail that was periodically broken up by mud, planks, and wooden bridges before making its way into a forest.

A junction was reached after 4 hours and 6.5 kilometres of walking. Here the path continued North-West, around the contours of the Razorback along McKays Track and towards Junction Creek. The gleaming white line that diverged off to the right lead to Cracroft Crossing and on to the Huon Track.

Back on the Plains

Next : Western Arthurs Day 10 - Lake Rosanne – Wullyawa Creek (Part 2)

Western Arthur Range Index

Western Arthur Range Index

The Razorback


Back on the Plains

Back on the Plains

We were now on the Northern side of the Razorback and were making our way Westwards along the contours of the hills. We crossed multiple streams and blackwater rivers over the next kilometre or so, the water brown from the leaching of tannin from decaying vegetation (altering the taste, but not rendering it unsafe to drink!) and on occasion, jumping into thick bush before re-emerging onto the plains once again. This continued on for at least the next three kilometres or so, before things 'took a turn' and the trail began to cut across the Razorback.

As we emerged on the South side, the magnificent views of the Western Arthur range opened up, showcasing the ominous Lucifer Ridge that we had sidled just the day before, and West Portal peeping out from behind. The scale was incredibly hard to get my head around as everything looked so small and so far away, and I was forced to reassure myself that we had indeed crossed all that with just two days of hiking (from Mt. Scorpio to Lucifer Ridge). I couldn't seem to tear my eyes away from the range and was transfixed for a long while as we marched onwards.

The trail then began a gradual descent down to flatter button grass (Gymnoschoenus sphaerocephalus)-filled plains below. Here we found red and rusty star pickets poking out of the ground that were spaced out at regular intervals, that were running parallel to the track. A pair of large Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos (Calyptorhynchus funereus) took off in flight as we approached, letting off a loud grating screech as they did, almost as if they were greatly agitated.

There were numerous river crossings after that point but the prominent one was the huge river crossing at 7-mile Creek, a crossing that we had to make by shuffling across a fallen tree. The river confluence was located here, with foam building up wherever there was an eddy, with the Huon River just beyond in the North. Here also lay the Kappa Morraine campsite, a pleasant campsite with very large clearings that could accommodate quite a large number of tents.

The Eastern half of the Western Arthur Range

The Eastern half of the Western Arthur Range - the left third of the image is Lucifer Ridge; the middle of the image shows Centaurus Ridge in the distance with West Portal peeking out from behind; the right third of the image shows Mt. Canopus, with Mt. Scorpio and Kappa moraine on the far right.


On to Wullyawa Creek


We set off once again, after a short rest and a change of socks. I had developed a bad case of immersion foot due to all the river crossings and the water that had found its way into my hiking boots. The deep, pale, edematous folds on the base of my foot had started to become quite painful and had left me with bouts of paresthesia; but I figured that I could still push on for the next 5 kilometres to Wullyawa creek, in an attempt to decrease the distance that we would have to cover the next day.

I ended up limping in to Wullyawa Creek almost 2 hours later, the only thing keeping me going was the thought of finally being able to rip off my boots and dry my painful feet. The campsite was absolutely gorgeous as there was a large river with trees that were completely engulfed by soft epiphytes, with the heavy canopy above us making everything feel nice and snug - a perfect place to spend the last night in, I thought to myself.

Route Playback

Suunto Movescount Stats

mc10a

mc10b

 The information from the Suunto Ambit for this trek can be found on my Movescount Page

For those who also have a Suunto GPS device, the entire route for the Western Arthur Range can be found below :

Check the route in

Western Arthurs Day 11 - Wullyawa Creek - Scott's Peak Dam

Western Arthur Range Index
Western Arthur Range Index

Day 11 : Back to Scott's Peak Dam


We left fairly early that morning, our spirit dampened by the rain. We came upon multiple river crossings every couple of hundred metres until at least the first two kilometres of the trail, before finding ourselves plunging into a complex forest-maze of sorts. The entire area was just a huge tangle of branches, roots, and vines, that completely engulfed the faint path that lead Westwards.

Leaving Wullyawa Creek

As we emerged from the forest, we saw visible evapotranspiration completely surrounding us and it seemed as if every tuft of green had whispy tentacles that reached up to the sky. The drizzle began again but this time remained fairly relentless and didn't seem to want to let up. Trudging onwards watching our boots, with the pitter-patter of rain drumming the hoods of our raincoats basically summed up the rest of the day, all the way to Junction Creek and Scott's Peak Dam - such a bleak end to such an epic hike!

Route Playback

Suunto Movescount Stats

mc11a

mc11b

 The information from the Suunto Ambit for this trek can be found on my Movescount Page

For those who also have a Suunto GPS device, the entire route for the Western Arthur Range can be found below :

Check the route in

Western Arthur Range Index
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