St. Patrick's Head - Sat. 27th January 2017

Change of Plan!
This walk was originally to be Mt. Foster, but a "recce" found that it would have been too hard (altitude and off-track including scrub) for younger children, who are part of Family Camp contingent.

St. Patrick's Head is a distinctive peak just east of St. Marys on Tasmania's east coast. A short but fairly steep walk with a track all the way, there is 320 metres altitude gain over about 2 km.  Energetic  children should cope well, and we won't need to hurry.
As has been the custom for the past few years, this walk is held in conjunction with Scripture Union's Family Camp North, being held at Scotch-Oakburn Valley Campus (aka Fawlty Towers) near Fingal. A great opportunity to meet some new people, and perhaps to encourage those who haven't tried this level of bush walking before.
Walk route:
The walk begins at St. Patrick's Head Rd, accessible by Irish Town Rd. from St Marys township, and climbs gently in the earlier parts, gradually circling from the west of the peak, around the southern flank, and then very steeply up and around the eastern side. In this part, the track can be slippery and eroded, so boots or high-sided sneakers are recommended. The final part of the walk is more of a scramble, but still not particularly difficult, and includes a steel ladder and hand lines at the trickiest part, with steep drop-offs. Even at a leisurely pace, it should not be much more than an hour to the summit, which offers expansive views of the east coast, as well as views back up the Fingal valley. Return to the cars by the same route.
Perhaps the campers will invite us for coffee if we get them back nice and early and in good humour!

Meeting Times and Places:
If you are interested in going on this walk, please phone your walk leader, Basil Tkaczuk, ph. 6331 1155 (if replying by email, please do so by Thursday 25th 9 pm) to book in. The departure time is 8:30am from the Door of Hope Church car park, Launceston. 
Alternative meeting points could be arranged en route, such as Conara Junction at 9 am, or Avoca at 9.30 am.
Even if meeting us en-route, you still need to contact the walk leader, 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: 
From Launceston, follow the Midland Highway 55km south to the junction of the Esk Main Road at Conara. Turn left and continue 20 km to Avoca and continue a further 12 km to reach Ormley. Continue past a point where the railway line crosses the highway, and about 500 metres further on, there is a turnoff to the left. This is where we will meet the group from the camp. From there, continue east through Fingal to St. Marys, a further 36 km. (Launceston to St Marys total distance 130 km - about 1 hr 40 min drive time without breaks). From St Marys, continue on Tasman Hwy heading for St Helens, but turn right into Irish Town Rd after about 1 km. Follow this road for 2.5 km, and turn left into St Patricks Head Rd. Parking is less than 1 km into this road.

Water!  There will NOT be any drinkable water on this walk, so please be sure to carry a good supply in a sturdy bottle, and perhaps have some spare water to drink at the car when we get back.
Be aware of possible hazards such as insect bites and snakes. Even though it is summer, it is good practice to carry clothing for a variety of weather conditions from warm and sunny to cold, wet and windy. Walking boots and gaiters are recommended, although not essential on a shorter, tracked walk like this. High-sided, durable sneakers and thick socks (no bare ankles, please!) might be a good alternative.

Click this link for a more detailed discussion of Preparation, Food and Safety guidelines for Boots N' All walks

Map details:

St Patricks Head: 1:100000 map is 8514 (Break O'Day) and 1:25000 map is 6039 (Ironhouse) [superseded, apparently, by 6038 (Grey) covering the same area]
Map references:
Short reference: 029968
Zone      Easting        Northing       Latitude        Longitude
55G      6 03 030       53 96 945    -41.57254     148.23581 

Mt. Foster 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  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. (The files will likely be arranged alphabetically, so the slider on right might help find the correct track).