Thursday, 23 January 2014

Tasmanian Wilderness Hiker - in summary

I had selected this hiking trip as it would take me to a number of areas within Tasmania's World Heritage Areas. Walking gives you a completely different perspective of places than that achieved when you drive through places even if you do stop and look around.

The trip notes promised a birds-eye view over Lake Pedder from the Mt Anne Track, a number of waterfalls, alpine tarns, hiking at Cradle Mountain and more.

Trevor and I flew to Hobart a couple of day ahead of the tour start. While I spent a day doing research on a number of my ancestors who had found themselves in Tasmania Trevor walked all over the central part of the city.

On our second day we took the hop on hop off bus tour of Hobart and hopped off at the Female Factory, a place I had read about in Bryce Courtney's novel "The Potato Factory". In the afternoon we took the shuttle bus up to the summit of Mt Wellington. While Trevor took the bus back to Hobart I hiked down the mountain and back to our hotel. The hike down the mountain was great preparation for the Wilderness Hiker. The higher slopes of the mountain were a riot of colour.

The Tasmanian Wilderness Hiker official started at 9:30am and all the participants were gathered in the lobby of the Fountainside Hotel, the departure point, well ahead of the appointed hour. Our guides introduced themselves and gave us all a briefing. Some of us had done other Auswalk tours and knew one or other of the guides. The addition of a third guide, Monica Chapman, was a bonus. Monica and her husband, John, have walked extensively through south eastern Australia and Tasmania and written a number of guides. Her knowledge added to that of Marie and Lisa, the other guides, on our trip.

The accommodation at all four establishments used during the trip was more than satisfactory even in the unprecedented heat that we encountered.

The catering arrangements were generally good and we certainly did not go hungry. If anything, we probably ate too much.

The tour took us to some wonderful places and through some terrific scenery. It gave us a taste of what makes so much of Tasmania such a special place and why it has been worth fighting to preserve the wilderness areas.

The guides did provide very acceptable alternative walks on the day that was deemed too hot to attempt the climb of Mt Roland. We did see a lot of Mt Roland as we circumnavigated it.

I would have appreciated some additional information on the expected distances to be walked each day and the associated elevation gain. The latter is important for preparation ahead of any trip as it provides an essential guide to for participants as to what needs to be included in their pre trip fitness regime.

I have provided posts on all but the final day of the trip, generally with a selection of photos.

I have statistics on distances walked and elevation gained if you are interested in these.

My overall impression of the trip was very positive and I thoroughly enjoyed the week.

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