Lobster Creek  and Nells Bluff  – Sat. 22nd August 2020

This walk was postponed from 4th April due to pandemic restrictions. We had hoped for this walk to happen on 20th June, but as John has since found out that he had a prior commitment for that date, it has been re-scheduled to 22nd August. We will update this page with any information about ongoing pandemic restrictions that may be still in place at that date.

On the northern edge of the Great Western Tiers, there are gorges that mark the start of creeks and rivers that water the rich farmlands below. This walk takes us up Higgs Track  to Lady Lake (well known for its comfortable hut), and then along the northern side of the lake, across the lower slopes of Nells Bluff and into the Lobster Creek gully, descending about 60 metres and 500 metres north into the gorge to reach a spectacular stand of very large pencil pines amid rarely seen and beautiful rainforest. Returning to the plateau, the route will be over the top of Nells Bluff if time permits, otherwise, via Lady Lake to Higgs Track.

The climb from the car park to Lady Lake rises 500 metres over about 2 km on a well-formed but steep track. A little under 2 km further, across relatively level alpine plateau but off-track, the top of the gorge is reached. Some bands of light scrub and patches of small, rocky scree will be met across the plateau and down into the creek area. Expect about 6 hours (return) walk time.
This walk is rated “medium” and is suitable for walkers, including older children, who have had some experience with steep and rocky tracks as well as off-track alpine walking, and able to keep going for sustained distances. Because of the exposed alpine conditions, walkers must be fully prepared for poor weather. Please see the warnings below.

Meeting Times and Places:

If you are interested in going on this walk, please phone your walk leader, John Tabor, ph. 6428 6512 or mobile 0475 566 389 to book in. The departure time is 7:30 am from the Door of Hope Church car park, Launceston. Suggested meeting places if coming from elsewhere are at the Deloraine train park at 8:05 am or Dale Brook Rd. turnoff at 8:30 am. If you would like to arrange to meet the group at these places or elsewhere, please arrange with the leader, and please be at any meeting place 5 minutes ahead of the listed time.The leader must be notified of any other people you intend to bring along.

To access this area from northern Tasmania: From Launceston, proceed along the Bass Highway to Deloraine (about 51 km). Follow the off-ramp into Deloraine and when crossing the bridge, turn right at roundabout to enter the “train park” car park. (If you were not meeting the group there, you would not turn off at the eastern exit into Deloraine. Instead, continue across Meander R. and uphill to the western exit, and to the roundabout at start of Mole Creek Rd.) After leaving the train park, follow the main street uphill through Deloraine to reach the large roundabout. Turn left into Mole Creek Rd. and go about 8 km before turning left into Dairy Plains Rd. Go all the way through Dairy Plains Rd. (several right hand turns and 2 junctions where you need to follow the signs). When you arrive at the T junction with Western Creek Rd, turn right and 800m further on, turn left up Westrope Rd. Go more or less straight for 4 km south, to reach the junction of Dale Brook Rd. which turns off to the right. The car park for the walk is about 500 metres from Westrope Rd. Westrope Rd. is all gravel, and somewhat degraded in parts, but should be accessible for 2WD vehicles with reasonable clearance.

Warnings:

The following codes [from our 2020 walks calendar] apply:
     M   Marshy or muddy sections – be prepared to walk with wet feet.
    S    Steep incline for at least part of the way
    E     Exposed alpine conditions ; can be dangerous in poor weather if not adequately equipped. Follow this link for further information on clothing suggestions for exposed conditions.Walkers are advised to wear boots due to uneven surfaces. 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 and references:

Western Creek/Higgs Track area: 1:100000 map is Mersey (Tasmap 8114) and 1:25000 map for upper area is Lake Mackenzie (TasMap 4438).

Map reference for Nell’s Bluff:
Short ref. n/a
Zone      Easting        Northing    Latitude      Longitude
55G     4 53 380       53 87 110   -41.66640   146.43999

There are no peakbagger points for the area covered by this walk. 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 download.
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).

When you have downloaded the track file, double-clicking on the Google Earth (kml) track should open Google Earth and zoom in to the location if you have Google Earth installed on your computer. The .gpx version of the track should import into mapping software or devices that support gpx tracks and waypoints.