Tasmanian Wilderness Walks:
Eastern Arthurs
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Day One:   29 December 2008
Farmhouse Creek to Huon Track via West Picton Road to Blakes Shelter
Walking Time - 7.5 Hours

Susan's Diary
Day 1:    We began our hike over the Eastern Arthurs by departing Hobart at 8:30am, an hour behind schedule.   The plan was to drive to the start of the Huon Track, leave the car there, then walk the Huon Track, the Eastern Arthurs, then down Moss Ridge to Farmhouse Creek, then walk 20kms of dirt road back to the car, unless a lift could be found.

After stopping for petrol we reached the turn off for the Huon track at around 10am, where we discovered a gate where the 12 year old topographical map did not have one marked, and that it was locked. Incidentally, we had driven past of number of spots where the map had gates but there were none.

This posed a dilemma. Forestry Tasmania was probably not going to unlock the gate any time soon, even though the fact that it was locked seemed pretty random. The options were to: 1. Park the car on the side of the road where any number of logging vehicles could drive past it and kick up stones, 2: do the walk in reverse, starting at Farmhouse Creek, or 3: Drive to Farmhouse Creek and walk the 19kms to the locked gate without our packs.

We went for the last option, figuring it would be good to start the walk on an easy note by walking without the packs.
After organising our Padi packs and hiding them, we drove down the road to Farmhouse Creek, which continues the drive through forests, any of which have been logged and some which are regrowth forests. Eventually we reached a locked gate, which also wasnít on the topo map but we still hadnít seen a sign for Farmhouse Creek. We got out of the car and walked past the locked gate to a pedestrian only bridge. After the footbridge a foot track headed off to the right and an old road continued. Luca took the foot track and I took the road. When we met again Luca had discovered that we were indeed at Farmhouse Creek so we parked the car and sadly said goodbye to it, then headed off up the road to the Huon Track. We took a small backpack with some essentials, including a raincoat as the weather looked ominous.

After 3.5 short hours we finally reached our backpacks feeling pretty sore, suffering from the 6 day break from any activity, overeating and the quick pace on the road. We hid the small backpacks, donned our big Padis then headed off to the start of the Huon Track. After passing a few forestry roads, not marked on the topo, we reached a sign for the Huon Track. We started down the old vehicle track which bore some resemblance to the Nattai River Track (which was not a good sign). We had hoped to reach the walkers registration shelter for lunch but we began to doubt it existed and stopped for lunch in the middle of the track.

We checked Chapmanís notes and apparently there was a shelter and after 5 minutes we found it! We continued on being slowed down by a confusion of tracks and some muddy sections. In addition we regretted not carrying more treats on the walk, particularly as we had just walked 18 km without our packs. Luca was really wishing he had flavoured milk, I was too, and we determined he had first day walk blues!
The track widened at some point as we followed the Huon River and became very pretty with tall trees, moss and the river. At 6:30pm we finally reached Blakes Shelter, a very old corrugated iron shelter. After braving a steep descent to the river for water, we set up our own shelter and cooked dinner. At various stages the river had periods of light rain falling into it while we remained protected by the trees.

Regrettably, I bent a spoon whilst stirring our mushroom and garlic pasta and one of the headlamps broke. Except for the mosquitoes, it was a great campsite. 

 

Day 1 Photos:
       
     
       
 
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