Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Walk Number 24....Tatnell Hill via Balt Spur 23/10/2011

I do love it when I get to do two walks so close together. I seem to have recovered pretty well from the all dayer on Friday so it's off to hit the trail again with Jane two days later. This is a walk that Janine and I set out to do way back in March, but due to a wayward tree across the road we had to abandon our plan and undertake another walk.  With seven months having passed I assumed it was safe to try again and that the obstructing tree had been removed.  It was with this positive thought in mind that Jane and I took off on a fine Sunday morning and headed down to the Peninsula. 

The walk to Tatnell's Hill via Balt Spur provides a relatively easy access to the highest viewpoint in the Tasman Peninsula, with the added bonus of passing through an area of remnant rainforest.

To access the start of the track turn left off the Arthur Highway (A9) into Camp Road, which is 500 metres south of the B37 junction at Taranna.  Travel along Camp Road for approximately 2km and turn right into Balts Road.  Now this is where Janine and I came a cropper but today Jane and I had more luck as the tree had been removed and the road was now clear.... thank goodness!  So it's full steam ahead up a rather rough road.  The walks book says to drive for approximately 3.4km to a parking area, however even though I drive a 4WD the road was very rough and I was only confident enough to drive for a further 2km before deciding enough was enough....so we left the car here and walked the further 1.5km to the designated parking area.

From the carpark the walk continues along the Balt Spur Track and soon enters an area of rainforest understorey containing Myrtle, Sassafras, Native Laurel, the endemic Grass Tree and one of the few occurrences of Celery-top Pine remaining on the Peninsula.  The next section of the track is a 4WD track and has been churned up by a bit of use, so expect a walk through a fair bit of mud. Keep going straight a head ignoring two turn-offs to the right. Just past the second turn-off the 4WD track ends and a marked foot track continues in an easterly direction.

The track climbs over rocky ground through strands of gum-topped stringybark.  The track ascends for 20 minutes or so.  On the approach to Tatnells Hill the track markers become rather sparse but the track is fairly well defined so following it is not that difficult.  

Upon reaching the summit of Tatnells Hill you are greeted by a 360 degree view that is literally breathtaking.  The view takes in Maria and Schouten Islands to the north, Fortescue Bay and Cape Pillar to the south and Mount Wellington, Bruny Island and Adamsons Peak in the west.  Closer at hand are Eaglehawk Neck and Waterfall Bay, and offshore the Hippolyte and Cheverton Rocks.

After admiring the spectacular views, retrace your steps and return to the carpark.  Apologies for the lack of photos on this walk but I stupidly forgot to put the memory card into my camera so the only pics I could take were on my phone.  Unfortunately I'm still a novice at retrieving photos off the iPhone.

This walk is a fairly easy stroll. Even though it's a climb to the the summit of Tatnells Hill it is not arduous and can be completed by most with a moderate level of fitness.  The great views at the end are definitely worth it! 

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