Thursday, April 28, 2011

Walk 10......Denmans Cove 3/4/2011

 Well, it's been a while between drinks, 24 days to be precise but hey who's counting!  Finally I've a day free to embark on another adventure and Jane has kindly put her hand up (again) to accompany me on today's hike.  As this is the last walk I plan to do before heading out onto the Overland Track I've chosen a medium walk which doesn't include any steep sections.  I want to use this walk solely as practice walking with a full pack for 4 to 5 hours.

The walk to Denmans Cove allows you to access two seldom visited sandy beaches and also provides an entirely new but distant view of the Port Arthur Historic Site.

To locate the walking track to Denmans Cove turn left off the Arthur Highway 5.6km south of the B37 junction at Taranna, into the old Fortescue Bay Rd. This turn off is easily identified by a sign 'Hire it from Denis' which is situated on the corner.  Drive for approximately 300 metres to a junction and turn right into Andersons Rd.  Continue for a further 1.2km to a fork near the entrance to the TASSAL fish farm. Turn left and proceed up the rough track for approximately 200 metres.  Leave the car at this point, and walk up a rough vehicular track for about 10 minutes and you will see a taped track on the right leading downhill.

The track passes through wet forest and after around about 30 minutes you reach the shore of Stinking Bay, such a charming name but unfortunately does live up to it.  The way the bay is located large amounts of seaweed regularly get washed up into it and stays there rotting...take it from me it is on the nose. Keep walking and you will reach the Stinking Bay Beach, which doesn't smell any better!

Keep walking along the beach to the lagoon entrance and follow the track along the coastline.  Eventually the track emerges again on the shore at Simmonds Creek where there is usually fresh water running out.  It was at this point that Jane & I had to do a little rock hopping to get across the creek, and we both proved to be very sure footed.

About 100 metres from the creek the track moves inland slightly but still follows the shoreline.  On this particular day it was blowing a gale, and a very chilly one at that which didn't add to the enjoyment of this trek.  We walked along the track for about 40 minutes before arriving at Denmans Cove.  Along the way however, there are views across the water to Carnarvon Bay and the Port Arthur Historic Site,   with the Isle of the Dead also visible.

Denmans Cove is a small sheltered bay with a sandy beach and high forested hills either side. 

Click to view full size image

Once on the beach it is possible to explore around the rocks further for a few hundred metres to the south of the cove, however as the conditions were not ideal (even though the above photo suggests otherwise) we decided just to find a sheltered spot, boil the billy and have some lunch. The return trip is via the same route.

Well I have to say this was not one of my favourite walks and there are a few contributing factors to this assessment.  The conditions on the day were just awful with a gale blowing most of the time, low temperature and spasmodic rain.  As a result of this I ended up with a cold which I was to take with me on the Overland Track and a cracked lip from the chilly wind blowing in my face for the majority of the walk. Both of us got our legs scratched to pieces...the track had obviously not been used for quite a while and the aptly named Cutting Grass had overgrown the track, so a word of warning either wear trousers or gaiters, and just to top it all off I lost my camera on the return trip.  Luckily Jane had been taking happy snaps along the way.  So all in all it was not a great day for a hike....I will do this walk again though in the future as I'm sure, like all the walks so far there is much enjoyment to be had from this destination.  Next time though, I'll make sure it's fine weather, wear gaiters and keep my camera close at hand!

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