In a momentous week of frantic organisation, a spontaneous Tassie trip was formed. Taking advantage of Jetstar’s cheap flight deals, four motivated Adelaidians flew to Tassie to meet a Lonnie bloke called Aidan. After arriving at 7:30pm, we whisked quickly (past many wallabies and even a Tassie devil) to the trailhead of the Walls of Jerusalem and the next morning embarked on our journey into the Tassie wilderness.
The weather predictions were terrible: -8oC, 40km/hr winds and 15mL rain… With expectations low but stoke high, the snow began on the first day and us South Australians were ecstatic. The views were amazing – towering cliffs and little crystal-clear pools in the button-grass. Tyler went for a dip in a pool and got the first leech: a baptism in the Walls. That evening, camped at Dixon’s Kingdom hut, we scrambled up Solomon’s Throne, came into very close contact with hungry possums, and spilt laksa everywhere.
After summiting Mt Jerusalem (and the Temple in Max’s case) and witnessing Tyler’s epic stack on the ice, we set off, walking beside lakes and rivers and lots of different scenery changes. A spot of bouldering was had below yet another stunning cliff above yet another beautiful stream. We passed Lake Adelaide, which was nice enough, and continued into benightment, reaching cosy Lake Meston hut after dark.
The hut was amazing, we stayed there day 3 as well, thoroughly entertained by swimming in the freezing lake, playing chess, making hot chocolates, and reading our Choose Your Own Adventure book (golden pumpkins yippee!). Aidan and Matilda walked to Lake Myrtle, only to be benighted for the third night in a row. After a stressful, frustrating few hours of following cairns in the dark (sometimes in the wrong direction) and delirious Lime Cordiale singing, they made it back just as the others had decided to form a search party.
Day 4 started with a sleep in followed by a quick trek to Junction Lake where we luckily stumbled on the Junction Lake hut (but only after putting our tents up) which we shared with some old troopers Derek and Wayne.
We set off early day 5, worried about missing our 9pm flight back to Adelaide. This walk back to the cars was the most gruelling. We were lucky to have a GPS, or else would have gotten completely lost. Aidan and Issi sank waist deep in water/sludge and there were leeches galore. We visited beautiful Grail Falls and the terrain went from the squelchy button grass plains to spiky waist-high scorparia, then sometimes to the yellows and oranges of deciduous Nothofagus forests or through pandani giant grass trees, walking along Chapter Lake and Cloister Lagoon. Finally, we finished in a high-canopied peaceful forest, surrounded by ferns. Aidan ran an extra 4 km because we had carpooled the van to the wrong spot, and then we drove back to Launceston at about 2pm.
Kmart provided slippers/thongs as a replacement to our sodden shoes and then we went straight to ramen noodles, then Cataract Gorge and then pancakes. Of course. Amazingly everything went to plan. We said a fond goodbye to our Tassie friend and boarded the flight back to Adelaide.
Thanks for such a fun adventure fellers. We will be back soon Tassie.
Happy days 😉
Trip report written by: Matilda Southgate