Whitehorse Hill with Plateau Wildflowers – Tues.28th December

Work off some of that Christmas cheer with a ramble across the alpine high country north of Great Lake. The wildflowers will hopefully be at their colourful best. Just east of the highway at Pine Lake, and hidden from the road by a low ridge, there is a wide alpine plateau of close to 100 square km that stretches to the northeast, east and southeast between the breath-taking escarpments of Liffey, Drys and Cathcart Bluffs, around the northern shores of Great Lake and as far east as the Poatina Highway. The terrain includes hills, ridges, valleys and boulder fields, with extensive and relatively level plains in between. Vegetation includes pockets of alpine woodland and scrub of various kinds, much of which should be festooned with vivid colours from the full flush of summer flowering.

Walk route:
From the car park at Pine Lake, the road and low ridge are crossed, and we continue east for 2 km, before swinging northeast for 2 km, rising over the next 1/2 km to reach the top of Whitehorse Hill (alt. 1219m), not much more than 30 m higher than the plateau that has been crossed. Depending on the energy and enthusiasm of the party, the route then heads a little over 2 km west, with a small rise in the final 200m to reach the summit of Liffey Bluff, a peakbagger point for those so inclined. From there, double back about 1/2 km to avoid scrubby patches before tracking south around the edge of the escarpment, then west along the outward route to return to the carpark at Pine Lake, a distance of a little over 4 km from Liffey Bluff. Total distance if we return by Liffey Bluff is a little over 11 km, and about 10 km if that option isn’t taken. A reasonable walk fitness is needed to make the distance. The walk would be suitable for energetic and resilient older children.

View northwest from near Whitehorse Hill

Meeting Times and Places:
If you are interested in going on this walk, please contact Phil Dawson pidasms@gmail.com or ph. 6382 3561 after 6:30 pm, to book in. The departure time is 8:00am from Door of Hope carpark in South Launceston. The alternative meeting place/time is at the “train park” in Deloraine at 8:30 am. (If coming from east, cross the bridge and turn right at the roundabout). However, you still need to contact the walk leader per details above if intending to walk. The leader should be notified of any other people you intend to bring along. Please be at any meeting place 5 minutes ahead of departure time.

To access this area from northern Tasmania:
To access the walk from Launceston, head towards Deloraine on the Bass Highway (50 km) and take the first (eastern) turn from the highway into Deloraine. Continue into the town and turn left immediately before the bridge (unless heading for the meeting place – see above). From Deloraine, head south along the “Lake Highway” – now Highland Lakes Rd. (but the first bit may be called Meander Rd!). Make sure to turn left after 7 km at signposted junction for Highland Lakes Rd.  Continue south through Golden Valley, up past Quamby Bluff and Projection Bluff to Pine Lake, approximately 25km from the junction. A car park and boardwalk on the west side of the road mark the starting point for the walk.

Warnings:
E…   Exposed alpine conditions – can be dangerous in poor weather if not fully equipped
    Make sure you have a good supply of drinking water – suggest 1 litre per person.
 Walkers are advised to wear strong shoes or boots. Gaiters recommended due to off-track walking. You should always carry wet weather gear as well as warm clothing in case of sudden weather changes.
Click this link for a more detailed discussion of Preparation, Food and Safety guidelines for Boots N’ All walks


Map details:Liffey Bluff: 1:100000 map is Tasmap 8214 (Meander), 1:50000 map is TL07 (Breton) and 1:25000 map is 4638 (Quamby Bluff)
Map reference:
Short ref. 784810
Zone      Easting        Northing       Latitude        Longitude
55G     4 77 780       53 80 130    -41.73033    146.73282

Liffey Bluff is worth 1 peakbagger point. For listing of peakbagger points, see the Hobart Walking Club Peakbagger’s Guide (2000 revision) which can be downloaded (Excel) from http://tastracks.webs.com/peakbaggers.htm  The same web page contains several other listings of Tasmanian peaks.
For GPX (.gpx) and Google Earth (.kml) versions of the track: Click here to browse our collection.
Direct links: GPX for this walk …  KML for this walk
Right-click on the file and save target as to a location of your choice. (Suggest you click the Last modified at top to sort by date to get the most recent at top to find the file for the next walk).