It had been a long winter filled with sick kids and cold days. I hadn’t done a single walk since our 10 day odyssey trip in March to Mt Nereus and the like.
With school holidays just a day away, I was preparing to head north to the Sunshine coast with family, when a message from Crawf came through. The proposal: a quick jaunt up Dry’s Bluff the following morning, departing at 4.30am. I still had a lot to do before going away but only erred for a second before promptly replying ‘i’m in’!
Next morning I was up early and awaiting Crawf as he arrived in his chariot at 4.40am. It was then only about 40minutes drive to Oura Oura reserve and the start of the track up Dry’s Bluff in the Liffey valley. The plan today was to head to the Abel and highest point of the peak (not the trig point), and we had given the route across the plateau at the top some consideration as it has some reputation for scrub. With the sun now peaking its head over the horizon we departed in frosty but clear conditions, starting what many consider to be one of the biggest vertical climbs for a day walk in Tassie. With only very light running vests on, we made good progress up the steep incline. We initially followed a bit of an old fire trail before starting on the track proper. It was well defined and easy to follow. Moving quickly it was long before we made our way up through the forest and to the edge of a boulder field. From there it was up steeper to a bit of a lead up to the summit plateau. During the climb, there were a couple of sections with ropes to assist the walker on the steep bits but given our extensive experience in other areas of the state, we found that these were superfluous to us but would certainly be of great assistance to the novice walker. We found ourselves on the plateau about 1 hr 20mins after departing the car.
We had a quick stop at the intersection to don scrub gear (gloves, pants and jacket) before heading west towards the rim of the plateau. We figured that sticking to the rim would avoid the worst of the scrub. After a 10 minute section of thicker scrub, we arrived closer to the plateau rim and found an easy route on towards the main peak which now loomed ahead. After hearing some scrub horror stories of the area we wondered what people had been talking about (and why I myself and delayed this walk so long). Without a cloud in the sky we enjoyed the walking towards the peak. We now ascended up some light scrub then followed the summit ridge along to the peak arriving at the summit 2hrs 30mins after leaving the car. The sun on our faces, we took a few minutes to enjoy the views and then headed back via the same route. The return trip uneventful we jogged the main descent to arrive back at the car making it a round trip of 4.5hrs. Right on schedule! It was a great walk and one i’ll definately head back to. Back home in Launceston by 10.30am Dry’s Bluff was an absolute cracking morning out!