Rats Castle - Sat. 30th Dec 2017

As is the custom for Boots N' All, we like to give you an opportunity to burn off some of that Christmas cheer before the new year sets in. This year's last walk is just a little more challenging because of a boulder field that needs to be crossed, but not a particularly long walk, mainly small boulders, and not too far away, and if the weather is helpful, the views are magnificent. 

Walk route:
The walk begins at Brandum, quite close to the northern end of Great Lake, on the western shore of the lake. The first km heads west along a gently rising well-formed pad, following the northern side of Brandum Creek. A further 100 m of altitude is gained over the next 800 metres, with some bands of scrubby trees and small boulders, to reach the steepest part of the walk, which continues west, gaining a further 150 metres over the next 400 metres to reach the ridgeline about 800 m north of Rats Castle. The ridge is followed south into a slightly lower saddle before regaining altitude to reach the summit, which is just under 1400 m above sea level, and only 40 metres lower than the highest point of the Central Plateau, Mt. Ironstone, which might be glimpsed directly over the top of the much closer Wild Dog Tier, and 20 km to the northwest. On a clear day, views as far as the Walls of Jerusalem, Cradle Mt, Mt. Ossa and the mountains around Lake St. Clair can be seen, among many other features of the landscape. Total return walk distance is about 6 km. Energetic and resilient children should cope well.

Meeting Times and Places:
If you are interested in going on this walk, please phone Basil Tkaczuk on 6331 1155  (or reply to this email by Thurs. night, 28th Dec.) to book in. The departure time is 8:00 am from Door of Hope carpark in South Launceston. The alternative meeting place/time is at the "train park" in Deloraine at 8:35 am. (If coming from east, cross the bridge and turn right at the roundabout). 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, 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 going to the meeting place across the main bridge and turn right to find toilets and old locomotive - see above). From Deloraine, head south along the "Lake Highway" - now officially 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 and past Pine Lake. Continue south through Breona to Brandum, about 49 km from Deloraine.  Sealed roads to Breona, with good gravel and some further sealed sections to Brandum.

    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. There may be drinkable water on the way, but less likely on the higher ground.  Walkers are advised to wear strong shoes or boots to protect against ankle injury. 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.
As this is a summer walk, please take precautions against sun exposure - a broad rimmed hat and sunscreen are advised.
Click this link for a more detailed discussion of Preparation, Food and Safety guidelines for Boots N' All walks

Map details: 

Rats Castle: 1:100000 map is Tasmap 8214 (Meander) and 1:25000 map is 4636 (Split Rock)
Map references:
Short ref. 708678
Zone      Easting        Northing       Latitude        Longitude
55G     4 70 990       53 67 990    -41.83945     146.65059  

Rats Castle 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.

GPX version of the track: Click here to download. Google Earth version 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).