Turrana Heights - Sat. 23rd March 2019

Turrana Heights (not to be confused with Turrana Bluff which is a different peak) is a prominence several kilometres due south of Lake Mackenzie and offers views of  Mersey Crag, Blue Peaks, Little Throne, Turrana Bluff, Walls of Jerusalem, Clumner Bluff and other well known landmarks in that area. It involves a tracked walk initially followed by off track walking to the summit and back through beautiful alpine terrain across grass, ferns, cushion plants and small rocks, around pools, tarns and lakes and past pencil pine forests. It is rated medium to hard because of the long distance (22 km) and also the off track section where it can be uneven underfoot. It is suitable for walkers who have had some experience with off-track alpine walking, and are able to keep going for sustained distances. Energetic teenagers would be able to manage this walk but it is probably a bit far for most smaller children.

Walk route:
From the car park at Lake Mackenzie, already 1100m altitude, we walk around the boom gate, along the road across a bridge and soon leave the road to follow the Blue Peaks track for about 6 km, climbing about 150 m and taking about two hours, to the lakes just beyond Blue Peaks. From here we have a couple of different route options. We may head to the summit via one and come back via the other depending on the amount of recent rainfall and height of creeks. In either case we follow pads beside lakes and eventually across untracked open alpine terrain about another 5 km to the summit, climbing about another 150m, taking about 2-3 hours. Total return walk distance is approximately 22km, climbing about 300m. The walk will probably take 9-10 hours.

Meeting Times and Places:
If you are interested in going on this walk, please phone Phil Andrew on 0408 014 757 or 6300 1067 to book in. The departure time is 7:00 am from Door of Hope carpark in South Launceston. An early start is needed because of the driving distance and also the length of the walk. Meeting points along the way could be 7.30 at the Mole Creek Road roundabout at the western end of Deloraine, 7.50 at Mole Creek or 8.05 at the Lake Mackenzie (Devil's Gullet) Road junction with the Mersey Forest Road. 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: 
From Launceston, proceed along the Bass Highway to Deloraine (about 51 km), but do not turn off at the eastern exit into Deloraine. Instead, continue across Meander R. and up hill to the western exit, and to the roundabout at start of Mole Creek Rd. A further 24km will bring you to Mole Creek. Continue west past Mole Creek, on what is now Liena Rd, making sure you turn south at the caravan park 4 km from the town. The road continues west until about 14 km from Mole Creek, it branches south, now called Mersey Forest Road. A little over 6 km south, you will pass a  turnoff to Cradle Mountain and Sheffield, and about 300 metres further, take the turn on left to Devil's Gullet/Lake Mackenzie. Follow this road about 19 km, and just short of the Lake Mackenzie dam, turn south to find the car park and boom gate from where the walk starts.

D...Drive distance requires early departure
L...A long day’s walk – in excess of 3 hours each way.
  The following codes [from our 2019 walks calendar] apply:
    D    Drive distance requires early departure – 7:00 am
    S    Steep incline for at least part of the way
    L    A long days walk - in excess of 3 hours each way
    M    Marshy or muddy sections be prepared to walk with wet feet.
    E...Exposed alpine conditions – can be dangerous in poor weather if not fully equipped.
This walk is above 1100 metres altitude for the whole distance and can be very exposed if the weather is bad, especially at this time of year. Be prepared! 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. For equipment guidelines, see      http://bootsnall.sutas.org.au/Pages/Equipment_Safety.htm.

Map details:

Turrana Heights: 1:100000 map is Tasmap 8114 (Mersey) and 1:25000 map is 4437 (Pillans)
Map reference:
Short ref. n/a
Zone      Easting        Northing       Latitude        Longitude
55G      4 48 860      53 76 640     -41.76043    146.38480  

No points for Turrana Heights, but Blue Peaks (1 point) is alongside the route, if your leader thinks you have time for the side trip. 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).