Wilmot River Walks

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Wilmot River Walks

Postby tastrekker » Tue 02 Sep, 2008 9:41 pm

Has anyone checked out the 'Wilmot River Walks' in the North West?

I did one recently. Here's the text from my blog. You can see the post complete with pictures at: http://www.blognow.com.au/tastrekker/96885/Wilmot_River_Walks.html

Once upon a time, the Wilmot River in North-West Tasmania was an impressive stream formed by the confluence of the Lea and Iris Rivers. Now, almost its entire flow is tunelled through the hill from Lake Gairdner to a power station on the shores of Lake Cethana.

I had never really thought of the Wilmot River as a potential bushwalking destination until I heard about work to restore 'Dooley's Track.' Apart from the odd article in the newspaper, I heard very little about it until recently I stumbled across the website 'Wilmot River Walks' by Bill Shepherd.

A number of interconnecting walks have been established through the valley between the Alma and Spellmans bridges. I chose the very first walk in the 'book' and started at the parking area a short way up Gentle Annie Hill.

I expected to be able to cross the river and make a circuit but the Hydro had other ideas. Lake Gairdner had not been able to hold recent rains and it was spilling. I was pleasantly surprised by the 'wilderness qualities' of this walk as I passed features such as Barking Snake Pool and a large eddy by The Barbecue along Lucy's Track.

At Ellis Flats, private property is reached and as crossing the river to complete my circuit was not possible, I endured a road bash up Ellis Road to the top of Gentle Annie Hill then back down to my car.

This has now whet my appetite to do more of the Wilmot River Walks. It sounds like the river gorges south of Spellmans Bridge are quite spectacular. Unfortunately these tracks do not yet link up. Perhaps one day a traverse of the entire Wilmot Valley all the way to Mt Jacob and Black Bluff could hook up with the Penguin to Cradle Track near Winterbrook Falls.
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Re: Wilmot River Walks

Postby Penguin » Fri 05 Sep, 2008 12:42 pm

A month or two ago I did the one of Bill's walks. The tracks are excellent and well maintained. A great day walk.

The only trouble we had was finding the beginning of the walk. The one we did started at a dumped blue car. With the plethora of logging tracks, the one we were on did not have the bl..dy car. After some hunting we realised we were on the wrong road. The next fork in the road got us to the right spot. We had a pleasant diversion to some falls - very pretty. It is called to Groove Creek Circuit.

I would recommend these day walks.
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Re: Wilmot River Walks

Postby corvus » Fri 05 Sep, 2008 8:31 pm

Gone past many of your mentioned areas and like you never considered "a walk " there till now ,do think you could organise a BWT Strollers walk in that area tastrekker.
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Re: Wilmot River Walks

Postby Penguin » Sat 06 Sep, 2008 10:53 am

corvus wrote:Gone past many of your mentioned areas and like you never considered "a walk " there till now ,do think you could organise a BWT Strollers walk in that area tastrekker.


If I could find the way in again, certainly good for a four hour stroll.
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Re: Wilmot River Walks

Postby billshep » Thu 11 Sep, 2008 11:55 pm

Glad to hear that people are enjoying the Wilmot River Walks. There are quite a few of us working on the tracks. All the fine shelters and bridges, official signing , poems etc have been done by the Wilmot Heritage Cares group inspired by Jerry Kreger. Forestry have been very supportive.
I do a lot of the trail blazing and track clearing, 2 or 3 days work every week. There is a cd available for loan from State Library in addition to the webspawner website which I maintain.
You can follow a route from the Alma bridge right through to Anderson's Road in South Nietta, but the sections south of Spellman's bridge are rough and ready as yet. The official team has not worked on them to date.
cheers, Bill Shepherd
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Re: Wilmot River Walks

Postby Son of a Beach » Fri 12 Sep, 2008 8:32 am

Good work Bill! All of us who follow tracks anywhere, are very much indebted to you, your team, and other teams who maintain tracks everywhere.

Thanks for all your work!
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Re: Wilmot River Walks

Postby billshep » Fri 12 Sep, 2008 9:35 am

Thanks for the feedback on the Wilmot tracks. It helps me to keep going with the endless clearing of storm damage when I know folk are enjoying the walking. One contributor mentioned difficulty in finding the start of the track. This will always be a problem in the Sprent Forests, particularly as my signs and tapes are often removed by opponents of the tracks - you can never please all of the people etc! This has also been a problem on the Eastleys to Spellmans Bridge route, where we lost a new safety rope as well as the tapes. Hopefully when the Wilmot CARES team do proper signing it will survive.
Ultimately we hope to link up to the Black Bluff tracks in Winterbrook and the NWC's excellent Penguin to Cradle trail.
If anyone is feeling keen, the bauera jungle at the beginning of the Maxwell track (Winterbrook)is coming back after a major effort to clear it 2 years ago. The Maxwell track is much nicer track to walk than the Tramway track.
happy Days, Bill
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Re: Wilmot River Walks

Postby walkinTas » Sat 13 Sep, 2008 12:49 am

Two questions Bill. Is the Maxwell track open all the way from Loongana Rd? What is the official name of the waterfall in Groove Creek?
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Re: Wilmot River Walks

Postby billshep » Sun 14 Sep, 2008 12:02 am

Hello walkinTAS. In answer to your questions
1. I have only walked the Maxwell track from the Loongana Road once - the first time I went in there many years ago, when I kept on over Black Bluff and down by the Brooks track, where I was lucky enough to meet a friend who gave me a lift back to my car. I think there have been new logging roads at the Loongana end since then, so I can not be sure what's what. It was a long but easy walk when I did it.
You can of course access the Maxwell from Winterbrook if you drive straight ahead at the last junction before turning left for the Tramway Track car park. The last bit of the road down to the bridge over the Winterbrook is a bit rough.
Last week I went in via the Tramway track, up Black Bluff and back along the Maxwell. It only takes about 30 minutes to walk back along the roads to the main carpark from where you leave the Maxwell. There used to be a shortcut between the Maxwell and the Tramway track carpark but it has been completely overgrown. As I say ,I would appreciate some help cutting the bauera!!

2.The waterfalls on Groove Creek have been christened Secluded Falls by me. This is not official! There are two falls, one on each branch of Groove Creek. I have made a route into the confluence of the two branches just below the fall on the northern branch. The most speccy fall is on the southern branch but this is a ten minute rough scramble upstream.The Secluded Falls are only at their best after rain, but the walk in to the confluence is pretty nice, big manferns. During floods you can just see the southern fall from a point on the track down from the Blue car, and with some difficulty from a couple of places near where you park.

If you are walking the Wilmot tracks take care after heavy rain. Sections north and south of Spellmans have rocky areas very close to the river, and can be very slippery. Much easier during summer water levels.
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Re: Wilmot River Walks

Postby walkinTas » Sun 14 Sep, 2008 1:59 pm

Thanks Bill,

I've walked the Tramway track before. I will be heading back up there in about 5-6 weeks time. If time permits I will check out the Maxwell track. I'll try to visit the Secluded falls even sooner.
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Re: Wilmot River Walks

Postby corvus » Sun 14 Sep, 2008 4:33 pm

G'day billshep,
I will be happy to assist you in bauera clearing but can only do small amounts of physical work at a time owing to arthritis and dodgy back but I guess every little bit helps.
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Re: Wilmot River Walks

Postby geoskid » Sun 14 Sep, 2008 8:00 pm

Geez Corvus,
How to make a man feel guilty! If your willing to help with Arthritis and a bad back, the least I can do is come and make the cuppas! Seriously - this sounds like a very worthwhile project to get involved with. Combine it with an overnighter and a bit of mateship and the job will get done, bit by bit. BWT Blitz team! I know the NWWC need a bit of muscle helping with the Penguin Cradle Trail. It's a good thing to give a bit back - count me in.
Billshep,- perhaps post the details of when and where and whats required equipment wise.
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Re: Wilmot River Walks

Postby tastrekker » Sun 14 Sep, 2008 8:38 pm

billshep wrote:The Maxwell track is much nicer track to walk than the Tramway track.

I'm a bit surprised by this comment, billshep. I wonder if I could be so bold as to challenge it.

I like the following aspects of the Tramway Track:
* The sawpits and tramway remains are of historical interest
* There's a wide variety of vegetation types to enjoy on the way up (eucalypt, bauera, horizontal, king billy, cellery top, myrtle, button grass, etc)
* There is a great view of the falls from a lookout before you reach their base

I have done the circuit back to the carpark via Maxwell's Track a few times and I remember it being a much more direct but far less interesting route than the Tramway Track.

My last trips to Winterbrook Falls would be over 10 years ago so perhaps my memory may not be 100%. Can you elaborate on why you have a preference for Maxwells? Has something changed in recent times?

P.S. As mentioned in my original post, I believe the Wilmot River area has great potential and I intend to explore some more using your terrific notes. Many thanks to you and the rest of the team(s)!
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Re: Wilmot River Walks

Postby corvus » Sun 14 Sep, 2008 9:25 pm

geoskid,
What a good idea a BWT - Blitz team which could include overnighters if they get involved,as previously mentioned I am limited as to heavy physical activity but keen to do my bit so lets chuck the challenge out to the BWT strollers to front up and assist if and when they can.
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Re: Wilmot River Walks

Postby billshep » Sun 14 Sep, 2008 11:42 pm

To those folk who are offering to help with the Maxwell, I can go on most on saturdays. It will only take a few hours. Tools can range from loppers, heavy shears, bushcutters with sharp blades to 2 stroke hedge cutters. We could meet at Forth Pub around 9 am. let me know what day suits. I might go on sat 20 september.

To tastrekker - my enthusiasm for the Maxwell is based on its qualities as a WALKING track in superb mytrle groves! There are lots of roots and wandering bits on the Tramway when it starts to go up the moraine. The Green Corps worked very hard to improve the drainage, and built a good bridge near the beginning, but the winter rains are defeating their efforts. I am usually heading for Black Bluff and like a fast track. Admittedly the lookout on Tramway is very nice - here is a picture taken the other day.I hope it works.
DSC00722.JPG
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Re: Wilmot River Walks

Postby corvus » Fri 19 Sep, 2008 5:49 pm

Wont be able to help out this Weekend or next but still keen to do so
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Re: Wilmot River Walks

Postby billshep » Sat 20 Sep, 2008 11:25 pm

Thanks to all who offered to help with the Maxwell Track jungle, much appreciated. The good news is that I went there today and got the job done. It was pretty wild and wet, with the Falls very impressive even from the road in. If you are new to this track, the first section is often wet and not attractive, but it soon gets into fine myrtle forest with good walking most of the way to the Falls. Its probably best to park at the top of the hill above the Winterbrook unless you have a 4wd vehicle. The bridge over the Winterbrook is still usable for pedestrians- its just above the ford.
This will be my final post on this topic.
To get updates on the main Wilmot River Walks, see my website http://www.webspawner.com/users/billshep/ or google Wilmot River Walks. The current rough weather will be wreaking havoc on the tracks. I cleared Lucy's East Wilmot track last week so it should be reasonable.
cheers, Bill
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Re: Wilmot River Walks

Postby billshep » Sat 11 Oct, 2008 11:07 pm

Wilmot River at Horsehoe Bend.jpg
An update on the Wilmot tracks. I have cleared all the routes between Alma and Spellman's ; the Eastley's Road to Spellmans route and Anderson's Loop. The river is getting down to summer levels and the swimming holes are getting warmer.
Remember to take your loppers and hand saw when you go through, every little helps, especially at this windy time of year. Here is a picture of Horsehoe Bend taken today(one hour north of Spellman's bridge)
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Re: Wilmot River Walks

Postby theMISSIONARY » Sun 12 Oct, 2008 7:22 pm

billshep wrote:Glad to hear that people are enjoying the Wilmot River Walks. There are quite a few of us working on the tracks. All the fine shelters and bridges, official signing , poems etc have been done by the Wilmot Heritage Cares group inspired by Jerry Kreger. Forestry have been very supportive.
I do a lot of the trail blazing and track clearing, 2 or 3 days work every week. There is a cd available for loan from State Library in addition to the webspawner website which I maintain.
You can follow a route from the Alma bridge right through to Anderson's Road in South Nietta, but the sections south of Spellman's bridge are rough and ready as yet. The official team has not worked on them to date.
cheers, Bill Shepherd


hehehe did i bump into you......about three months ago on the way up to winter brook
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Re: Wilmot River Walks

Postby sirius Tas » Sun 14 Jul, 2013 12:06 pm

Walked into the Secluded Falls yesterday...wowee...very spectacular indeed. All those years wandering around the bush up in the catchment locating forest roads and not knowing what treasures lay beneath.
These falls would easily rank with any in the north. The man fern forest in the valley below is also very spectacular.
As a geocacher, I've placed caches at both falls, so hope they get heaps of visits.
The track work done by Bill and others deserves the utmost praise, a real pleasure to walk. With just a few fallen obstacles cleaned off, the track is in top condition.
Placed some more caches along the lower section of Dooley's Trail as well, doing some minor track work(not much required as it had just been recently slashed) as I went. The track is in pristine condition from the end of Jamiesons Road through to East Ellis crossing. Over the next few weeks I hope to walk the rest and do any track work required, i.e. both Dooley's and the East Wilmot trails.
I'll update as to track condition etc as each section is walked.
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