Following on from our lovely walk up at Narawntapu we enjoyed a nice relaxing evening with friends in Latrobe. The following morning we hit the road again to head back to Hobart. The plan had originally been to head up Quamby Bluff and tick off another Abel but the weather wasn’t looking good the night before, so we decided to chill out in the morning and take it easy. Of course when we made it up onto the Great Western Tiers, it was a beautiful day…..albeit too late to attempt Quamby. Another time.
Plan B was to go for a drive along the A5 and go for a jaunt up Projection Bluff, a nice easy hike right at the side of the road. Plan B also included an Abel, the delightfully named Mount Penny West, our first completely off track hike. So we went from one walk to two, excellent!
On our way to Projection Bluff, we were mocked by Quamby Bluff as we drove past. If it was a person it would have had its thumbs in its ears and be blowing raspberries at us. Definitely looking forward to climbing that one! We soon reached the car park for Projection Bluff and after another car left, we had the place to ourselves. I love that, you can go on so many walks in Tasmania and you won’t meet another soul. Long may that continue.
Projection Bluff turned out to be such a fun little hike. The trail zigs and zags its way up through some really beautiful forest before emerging up on the plateau of the Central Highlands. There’s some great views over to Adams Peak and Pine Lake Prospect and the rest of the Great Western Tiers. They really are great as far as Tiers go. The hike to the top takes around 45 minutes so it’s a nice short one, albeit with a few sections where you’ll need to watch your footing.
Mount Penny West
Our second walk of the day turned out to be quite the adventure. After a bit of searching, we found the rock cairn that marked the start of the track…..and that was it until we reached the summit. To get there you walk through some light forest with knee high undergrowth. You clamber over fallen trees, step over rocks and branches and crest a number of false summits and a dozen times you’ll ask yourself “Where the f**k is this damn summit?!”.
The forest begins to look the same in every direction and it would be so easy to get turned around and lost so don’t forget your compasses and maps peeps. Eventually after staring at the trees for a while, Gemma exclaimed “There it is!” and sure enough, looming up out of the forest was the summit of Penny West, complete with its huge rock cairn. The views out over Arthurs Lake are most welcome after wandering around in the woods for thirty odd minutes. The lake itself is quite pretty, even though it’s part of the hydroelectricity network and thus a human creation. It was great to tick off another Abel and fun trying to navigate with no track or markers to show the way.
Bonus Round: Steppes Stones
On our drive back down to Hobart, we came across a really nice little sculpture park, Steppes Stones. It’s a lovely homage to the flora and fauna of Tasmania and has a really cool pagan feel to it, with the sculptures adorned upon a ring of large stones. They were created by the late Stephen Walker who’s work can be seen throughout Tasmania, including the beautiful Antarctica sculptures on the Hobart Waterfront and the cool whale sculpture at Cockle Creek. What a lovely find!