We had come to our last day in Tasmania and the weather looked reasonable so we decided to go to the Hartz Mountains and do a day walk. Having local guides in the form of our friends Rod and Judy was great. We left Margate and drove along Sandfly Road over to Sandfly and down to Huonville. Down the Huon valley we drove alongside the river passing through Franklin and eventually to Geeveston, where Judy used to teach, then off into the Hartz Mountains National Park. Some of the road was sealed but a lot was unsealed and a good driving challenge. On our arrival we changed into our boots, gathered water and food, cameras and of course a thermos of tea. I also took my walking pole just in case. At the Info Centre we signed in to do the walk to the Hartz Peak at about 10:50. We set off after a boot clean at the entry to the walk. The early part was along a boardwalk and through almost a passageway of bush.
Then we came to a more exposed area of low lying shrubs and groundcovers and continued over boardwalk, some new and some old. Clearly at other times of the year when the weather is wetter the boardwalk would be needed to make the way passable, because without it the going would be quite challenging to say the least.
After about forty minutes we stopped at Lake Esperance for morning tea. The wind was quite brisk and fairly strong at times. It was a good thing we had come prepared for all types of weather. The trail continued to Ladies Tarn where we made another brief detour off the main trail.
From there the walk rose steeply over rocks. The wind was cold and blowing in from the south. After some time we reached a position where we could turn around and look back down on the lakes below.
We had certainly ascended steeply. Gradually we noticed the vegetation change with many plants having to adapt to the wind and cold. Even in these conditions there was an amazing variety of flora here. There were even patches of snow on the ground.
At times the way was hard to find as there were so many rocks.
It was a matter of making a path over the rocks and just scrambling up but eventually we reached the peak which was marked with a stone marker pile.
We stopped for photos but sadly the cloudy conditions meant the photos wouldn’t be as good as if we had sunny conditions. Apparently on a fine day Federation Peak and the wilderness to the south and west are able to be seen.
After snapping away for a while we started the downward climb/walk. The sky began to clear so instead of being totally white clouds there were patches of blue sky to give us some nice shots.
Arrived back at Ladies Tarn for lunch of curried egg and lettuce ciabatta rolls, banana cake and bananas. We continued over the boardwalks through the very low lying scrub, returning to the car park about 2:30. Our drive down the mountains and back to Geeveston was uneventful. At Judy’s request we stopped at a fruit stall along the way for her to buy jam apricots, peaches and nectarines. The Huon valley is at it’s best when the fruit trees are being harvested. Back in Margate we had afternoon tea of tea and ‘bee sting’ cake before packing and driving out to the airport. Our last walk on this trip was certainly a beauty and worth going to even on a cloudy day. Who knows next time we may be luckier with the weather and see Federation Peak.
Note: For an different look at Hartz Peak see Brodie Emery’s post on his blog Adventures in your own Backyard. https://brodieemery.wordpress.com/