Hiking Ben Nevis

We had an early start on Sunday 27th June. The southern outskirts of Launceston were still underneath a thick layer of fog, when we drove through the Tamar valley. As usual shortly afterwards we crossed the North Esk River, before arriving in Upper Blessington. After leaving the village we drive into the forest and up the mountain. We left the main road and took the Telopea Road. The turn off from Telopea Road into Schulhofs Road is a bit hidden. The last 1.1km on Schulhofs Road are quite bumpy due to various potholes and washouts. With a 2WD car, it’s faster you leave it at Telopea Road and just walk the last bit.

North Esk River

We started walking at around 9:00 o’clock and arrived the summit 2h later. As we started already at 930m, the elevation gain is only about 450m within 2.2km. The first half of the track leads you through forest, before it opens up and provides fantastic views. The track on plateau is in parts not so clear, and you might miss the odd trail marker, but you can’t miss the summit. We had a full 360° view. The bass strait to the North, the big Ben Lomond massif to the south, Mount Barrow with its TV and radio communication tower for North East Tasmania to the West, and then all the way to the East Coast. We enjoyed the view for a bit, before heading back the same way.

View to the Bass Strait about halfway up after leaving the forest
Summit of Ben Nevis with Ben Lomond behind
Mount Barrow with its antennas on the summit
Kristy and I enjoying the sun on the summit (yes it was still a bit cold)

On the way back we took Gunns Road and Roses Tier Rd to Upper Blessington and then Sawpit Hill Road and Logan Road to Evandale. The drive was nice, but it’s surprisingly easy that the roads can turn into gravel all of a sudden, even if you’re such close to the civilisation in Launceston. I mean the second largest city of Tasmania is literally in sight. Kristy raved about Evandale. So we first had a late lunch at Honeysuckle Banks before exploring the town. It was just shy of 16:00 o’clock. But almost all tourists already left, and the shops were due to close down. So we walked through the main street, which stands out due to its renovated brick houses. But then we took a parallel street on the way back to the car, just to realise that the rest of the village has also just the ordinary cheap buildings which you can find everywhere. In the end Kristy was sobering.

Mainstreet in Evandale is already (a bit) deserted in the afternoon

Then we followed the road and after crossing the Midland highway, we stopped at Brickendon Estate on the way to. But also this also just closed. Then we decided to stay overnight in the Narawntapu National Park (as the Asbestos Range isn’t too appealing to visitors they found out, they changed the name to an Aboriginal one). We turned off the Bass highway in Westbury and arrived via Priestlys Lane. We stayed at Koybaa campground directly opposite to Port Sorell.

Brickendon Estate was also closed once we arrived

On Monday morning our first stop was Griffiths Point just around the corner. The weather was still beautiful, and we could even see Mount Roland in the distance. We had the whole beach to ourselves for while.

Port Sorell on the other side with Mount Roland to the left
Kristy enjoys the warm sunlight at Bakers Beach (with the Asbestos Range in the back)

From the visitor centre we started a short hike (ca. 10km in total). First we followed the Springlawn Lagoon Circuit. The path wasn’t that well marked. But everything was flat and open, so you can’t do anything wrong. Sometimes there were even odd old signs in the middle of the meadow, so we used those as means of orientation. Then through a short bit of bush, we joined the Archers Knob track. We went up the small hill for a really nice lookout. Also this is one of the great short walks of Tasmania, and indeed it was great. We had a full view over the North-West Tasmanian Coastline. As it was still morning, the sun came from behind and gave us a perfect lightning. We returned along the beach on the way back, before taking the turn to the Bird Hide Lookout. I’m not a twitcher, and we couldn’t see any birds either, but the reflections on Springlawn Lagoon were just splendid.

These straight trenches look like remnants of former farming activity (nature is hardly doing anything straight)
Beautiful view over Tasmania’s North-West from Archers Knob
There was still some evidence of the last bushfire
Very calm Springlawn Lagoon
GPX track

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