Tasmanian Wilderness Walks:
Eastern Arthurs
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Day Nine:   06 January 2009
South Cracroft River to Farmhouse Creek
Walking Time - 5 Hours

Susan's Diary
Day 9:     We set the alarm for 6:30am and actually got up with the alarm. The wind was blowing hard above us, which caused some nervousness given the number of fallen logs around. There had been an absence of rain during the night so for the second time we were able to pack our gear outside the tent. There were even blue skies overhead!

The river had risen slightly overnight, however the log crossing over the South Cracroft was well above the water level so we crossed easily after leaving the campsite at 8:30am.

We were hoping to get to the car in four hours, Chapmanís minimum time, given our light packs, the start of the day effect and the incentive of the car. The track rises by 200 metres from the river to Picton Saddle. We were hoping to see the track become more open with the climb as was the case yesterday but this was not the case with the continuation of logs, tree roots and mud throughout this section. The climb, rather than being out in the open, sidled the mountain and was covered in trees, making it another long tiring and difficult section of track.

We eventually reached South Picton Saddle at around 11am, 2.5 hours from the campsite, which Chapman had as 1-1.5 hours, so we were well behind his time. The track at the saddle fortunately widened, making for much more pleasant walking. There were a number of markers to assist in following the track which had become a bit difficult to follow. We then descended off the saddle, where we did not see any sign of the old track that takes you to Judds Cavern. The descent was very muddy but with fewer logs it allowed quicker walking.

We passed the Lake Sydney and Mt Bobs track junction which had been very well marked, in a large muddy section of the track and from there we reached the Farmhouse Creek crossing about 20 minutes after the track junction.   From there we had heard the track became easier and shortly after the river crossing we met two very clean walkers who confirmed this, saying there were only about a dozen fallen logs between us and the car. We warned them about the fallen logs they were about to encounter then quickly headed on to our car.

John Chapmanís book has the 3.3km campsite as 2 to 2.5 hours from the start of the walk. We werenít too worried about avoiding mud anymore so walked very quickly along this section of the track. We were expecting to pass a small campsite after 2.2km (1.1km from the start), where Chapman gives 40 minutes to reach the registration book, despite easy walking, which we found very odd. Thirty five minutes after passing a small campsite we were speeding along and despite Chapmanís times were frustrated to reach the registration book in this time given 1.1km distance.

We reached the car shortly after with much relief at 1:30pm about 1.5 hours from the beginning of Farmhouse Creek. It was raining as we changed into dry clothes, as it had every now and then during the day, denoting another day of poor weather on the walk.

We drove out on Picton Road, stopping to gather our day pack from its hiding place at the Huon Track turnoff. As we drove towards Geeveston, the sky cleared and the sun came out, however, we were fairly certain it was still raining at Farmhouse Creek!

We commented that it was a great loop and doing the loop motivated us to keep going every day. However, given the lack of visibility and our poor attempt of Federation Peak, we expect to be back in the future. The Huon Track had improved significantly in our minds after Farmhouse Creek, as an opener to the walk, and the quick exit using Farmhouse Creek almost made the track bearable! We would do the same route next time and after nine days this time would allow eleven for the next attempt.

 

Day 9 Photos:
       
     
       
 
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