On today's walk I'm accompanied by another newbie, Pete a friend from Hash House Harriers. This is a relatively short walk from Fortescue Bay and provides the opportunity to view the towering cliffs of the remote south eastern coastline of the Peninsula as far as Mount Fortescue and Cape Pillar.
Just in case you haven't been paying attention in other posts the directions to Fortescue Bay are.....turn left off the Arthur Highway (A9) 3.5 km's south of the B37 junction at Taranna onto a gravel road marked "Fortescue Bay Camping Area 12km".
Once you arrive at the Casuarina Day Use Area walk east along the shoreside track to the Mill Creek Camping Area and locate the start of the walking track near the boat ramp and a sign marked "Cape Hauy Track 4 hours return".
The track follows the rocky shore for about 15 minutes then climbs southeast. Extensive improvements are in the process of being completed on this track, the result being a much easier to navigate trail.....now you know where your parks fees are going! Works are due for completion at the end of January 2012, until then you will encounter a number of workers on the track, however they do not impede on your hike.
After approximately 30 minutes the track turns south, away from the coast and after a short level section climbs steeply into dry sclerophyll forest before again swinging east and passing through two rather wet areas of low scrub. After about an hour's walk the track climbs onto a low spur and reaches a sign marked "Mount Fortescue"and pointing to the right.
Turn right and follow the track, marked with orange pointers, up the rocky spur to the south. After a short climb the route turns southeast until 10 minutes from the junction it emerges onto the clifftops at Monument Lookout. Be really careful around this area as there is a shear drop of almost 200 metres and no protective barriers. The views from this spot are truly spectacular with Hippolyte Rock and Cape Hauy in the northeast and Munro Bight and Cape Pillar in the south.
What a fantastic place to have lunch, it doesn't get too much better. We even had the added treat of seeing a whale frolicking in the bay.....just magnificent!
The return to Fortescue Bay is via the same route. As I mentioned earlier this is a relatively short walk taking approximately 3 hours for the return trip which includes a refreshment break.....a great one if you're short on time but still want to experience the fantastic views that this part of the Peninsula provides.