Belvoir Lookout to Cradle Valley – 2nd & 3rd April 2022

This moderately easy camping bushwalk takes in the last 1.5 days of the Penguin-Cradle Trail.  There are a couple of short steep sections, and the track can be quite rough and uneven underfoot, but it is mostly relatively flat walking through forests, past waterfalls, across open plains and passing by beautiful pandanii groves. This trip could be a great “taster” to see whether wilderness backpacking is for you, and would be a great experience for resilient and energetic children. Total walk distance is about 12.5 km.
Note that all walkers will be required to provide their own overnight camping gear including tent, sleeping bag, stove and food. As this is a camping trip, a checklist of essentials is a good idea. Parks and Wildlife Tasmania have a comprehensive Safety in Parks page which covers many aspects of bushwalking safety and equipment, including a Walker Pack List that is well worth a read. However, much of this gear can be shared with a partner – perhaps a more experienced walker who already has some of the big ticket items such as tent and stove. Make sure you are prepared for wet and cold weather no matter what the forecast is.Walk route:
Day 1 (3 – 3.5 hours):
After enjoying the views towards Black Bluff from the Belvoir Lookout, cross the Belvoir Rd and climb the ridge towards Rocky Mountain, before sidling around below the peak.  Continue south-south-west along the ridge line to the Mt Beecroft turn off, then descend steeply south-east into the valley of the Vale River.  Follow the creek to confluence of three waterways and set up camp at the excellent Four Ways camp site. Optionally walk another 30 minutes to camp at Pandanii Grove (making the next day’s walk a little shorter).
Day 2 (3.5 – 4.5 hours):
From the Four Ways camp site, a sturdy bridge crosses the river, then the track follows Fleece Creek South East to Pandanii Grove (a smaller alternative camp site is here).  The track tends east then crosses Fleece Creek before ascending onto Speeler Plains.  It is then a 3km walk across the plains to the Cradle Mountain (Pencil Pine) village.
Car Shuffle: In addition to the driving time, we need to allow for a car shuffle of about 20 minutes at the beginning and the end of the walk.

Pencil Pine Creek near Speeler Plains

Meeting Times and Places:
If you are interested in going on this walk, please phone Nik Sands on 0429 387 777 to book in, preferably by Wednesday night, 30th March, so that cars, tent sharing etc can be arranged. The departure time is 9:30 am from Door of Hope carpark in South Launceston. A further meeting point along the way could be 10:15 at the Train park at Deloraine. 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 10 minutes ahead of departure time.

To access this area from northern Tasmania: Roads to Cradle Mt. are well signposted, and the area can be accessed from several directions. From Sheffield, go south along Claude Rd (C136) through Gowrie Park and westward down into the Forth Valley (now Cethana Rd but still C136)), continuing up the other side to Moina. Turn south into Cradle Mt. Rd C123 After approx. 20 km, you will reach the Cradle Mt. turnoff. To reach the START of the walk, continue along what is now Belvoir Rd. (C132) for 9 km to reach the Belvoir lookout, which has a car park on the right, and power transmission lines crossing the road about 100m further on. The walk starts on the opposite side of the road. To reach the car shuttle point for the END of the walk, turn left (still called Cradle Mt. Rd.) and drive 5 km south to reach Cradle Mountain Lodge in the Pencil Pine area. The Speeler track comes out into one of the roads within the lodge area. Allow about 2 hours driving time from Launceston, and less, of course, if coming from NW area.

Warnings:
The following codes [from our 2022 walks calendar] apply:
E  Exposed alpine conditions – can be dangerous in poor weather if not fully equipped – see below.
M  Marshy or muddy sections – be prepared to walk with wet feet.
S  Steep incline for at least part of the way
This walk is a little under 1000 metres altitude for the much of the distance and can be very exposed if the weather is bad, even at this time of year. Be prepared! Walkers should wear sturdy footwear due to uneven surfaces, and gaiters for mud, rough vegetation and snakes. You should always carry wet weather gear as well as warm clothing in case of sudden weather changes. For equipment guidelines, CLICK HERE

Map details:
Beecroft-Speeler Plains area: 1:100000 map is Sophia (8014) and 1:25000 map is Pencil Pine (4039).
Map reference: na
Zone      Easting        Northing    Latitude    Longitude
55G 4 03 190 53 97 110 -41.57183 145.83881 (Mt. Beecroft)

No peakbagger points will be reached on this walk, unless you can persuade the leader to divert to Mt. Beecroft (2 points) as a side trip! (about 1 km each way). For listing of peakbagger points, see the Hobart Walking Club Peakbagger’s Guide (2000 revision) which can be found and downloaded (as an Excel spreadsheet) 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).