Gordon Splits

Tasmania specific bushwalking discussion.
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Gordon Splits

Postby dazintaz » Sun 13 Oct, 2013 9:35 pm

I am keen to learn wether any of you hard nuts have been to Gordon Splits? Does a rough track exist? Where would it start? Thanks in advance!!!
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Re: Gordon Splits

Postby sowestas » Sun 13 Oct, 2013 10:08 pm

Q1.Yes, but a few years ago.
Q2.Well, there was when I went. Rough is the correct description.
Q3.Start from Gordon Dam.
Definitely worth the effort. 7 days will give you a full day in the middle for recovering, oh, and for exploring the Splits.
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Re: Gordon Splits

Postby DaveNoble » Sun 13 Oct, 2013 10:54 pm

The Splits are an interesting place - well worth a visit. Although they are hard to see - I think you would get the best views crossing the Gordon River.

When I visited the Splits, we had liloed down the Denison River to close to the Gordon Junction - then spent a day in scrub to reach the Splits. Spent a day or two around the Splits then walked out back to the Hamilton Range - on a rough track. I would suspect the track may well be overgrown by now unless people have been regularly using it.

Some photos from the trip have been posted here -

http://www.david-noble.net/Tasmania/Den ... nison.html

But it seems I have not got around to scanning more of the slides from the trip.

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Re: Gordon Splits

Postby ILUVSWTAS » Mon 14 Oct, 2013 3:01 pm

Been over the Hamilton range a few times, there's a vague/average pad leading over there, but it peters out once on top. I suspect from here on in it would be a case of "good luck"
Nothing to see here.
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Re: Gordon Splits

Postby dplanet » Mon 14 Oct, 2013 4:18 pm

I had a plan to do the Hamilton range pad as an overnight walk the year before. The tastracks site has been a great resource.
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Re: Gordon Splits

Postby DaveNoble » Mon 14 Oct, 2013 6:24 pm

ILUVSWTAS wrote:Been over the Hamilton range a few times, there's a vague/average pad leading over there, but it peters out once on top. I suspect from here on in it would be a case of "good luck"


I think it was easy-open going on the west side of the Hamiltons. The main scrub in getting to the Splits is very close to the Splits. The 'track' was largely due to Martin Hawes and was written up in the Wildnerness Society Journal.

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Re: Gordon Splits

Postby jmac » Tue 15 Oct, 2013 2:31 pm

My visit to the Gordon Splits was about the same time as Dave's and my recollection of the terrain is similar. The Hamilton Range is quite straightforward, but the bauera atop the Nicholls Range, near the splits, is formidable. It is likely overgrown and quite difficult now.

Cheers, John
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Re: Gordon Splits

Postby icefest » Tue 15 Oct, 2013 2:35 pm

Check your PM's dazintaz
Men wanted for hazardous journey. Low wages, bitter cold, long hours of complete darkness. Safe return doubtful.
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Re: Gordon Splits

Postby dplanet » Tue 15 Oct, 2013 5:41 pm

ILUVSWTAS wrote:Been over the Hamilton range a few times, there's a vague/average pad leading over there, but it peters out once on top. I suspect from here on in it would be a case of "good luck"

In fact, I was interested in checking out the access to POW. From memory, we recently had a fun chat on a related thread.
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Re: Gordon Splits

Postby ILUVSWTAS » Wed 16 Oct, 2013 8:25 am

dplanet wrote:
ILUVSWTAS wrote:Been over the Hamilton range a few times, there's a vague/average pad leading over there, but it peters out once on top. I suspect from here on in it would be a case of "good luck"

In fact, I was interested in checking out the access to POW. From memory, we recently had a fun chat on a related thread.



Indeed. I probably wouldnt take on a walk like that though if i were you.
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Re: Gordon Splits

Postby dplanet » Wed 16 Oct, 2013 10:38 pm

ILUVSWTAS wrote:
dplanet wrote:
ILUVSWTAS wrote:Been over the Hamilton range a few times, there's a vague/average pad leading over there, but it peters out once on top. I suspect from here on in it would be a case of "good luck"

In fact, I was interested in checking out the access to POW. From memory, we recently had a fun chat on a related thread.



Indeed. I probably wouldnt take on a walk like that though if i were you.

I can recall few major points from that. Will head to the river, then walk back out.
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Re: Gordon Splits

Postby Ted Mead » Sat 30 Nov, 2013 6:19 pm

dazintaz wrote:I am keen to learn wether any of you hard nuts have been to Gordon Splits? Does a rough track exist? Where would it start? Thanks in advance!!!


The track was cut there over 30 years ago - it would be undefinable now - easy enough to get southwest of Mt Roberts to Dog leg Creek - after that you are in for one hell of a scrub bash anywhere near the Nicholls Range. You could go southerly towards the Gordon and then float down - High water from the power station outlet would make the journey risky. Getting to any view points around the splits will be a challenge. Walking in this region is a major challenge, recommended for die hards only.
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Re: Gordon Splits

Postby farefam » Tue 05 Mar, 2019 2:07 am

Having viewed the Splits recently under high water conditions, courtesy of the hydro ramping up the power station output, I'd completely agree with Ted's comment's about the risks posed by high water from the power station if anyone tried to raft downstream to reach the 2nd Split. It can be done if the power station is not operating (I've seen a video by kayakers), but you'd need to be completely certain that the Hydro weren't going to unexpectedly turn the tap right open on you. The riverside scrub along the Gordon is also very thick, which would make scouting for any rapids along the way in high water conditions very difficult (and thus dangerous). And if you missed your pull out points and got swept into either of the two Splits then rest assured that you'll be drowned within seconds. Otherwise it would be quite an effort to try to walk in, as in places between the Splits my progress was only 100-200 metres an hour and there is a horrible thick, steep, tall band of bauera on the upper south east side of the Nicholl's Range. From a distance, the scrub on the north side looked even worse. It's not impossible to get there, but it is truly wild, difficult, unforgiving country and it's a place strictly for the die hards, as Ted said.
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Re: Gordon Splits

Postby wumps » Mon 28 Sep, 2020 11:25 pm

Rafting below the dam is not advisable - Able Gorge is insane and the Gordon only calms down below the Albert River - be aware that when the power station is on Gordon is tranquil all the way from the Albert River to the second Split! The vegetation in the reach from the Serpentine to the Splits varies greatly, as it does all the way down the Gordon. I have walked into the second Split with the power station off and camped throughout the scrub on the northern side of the Gordon above the Splits. Interesting old hydro camp below the dam on the right bank and on the left bank between the Splits. Huon pine stumps everywhere - the piners left their mark. Magic country.
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Re: Gordon Splits

Postby taswanderer37 » Thu 01 Oct, 2020 12:48 am

I have walked into the second Split with the power station off and camped throughout the scrub on the northern side of the Gordon above the Splits. Interesting old hydro camp below the dam on the right bank and on the left bank between the Splits. Huon pine stumps everywhere - the piners left their mark. Magic country.

Hi, can i ask roughly how you went about walking in there ? PM is fine if needed. This area has been high up my list of interests for long time.
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Re: Gordon Splits

Postby Jon MS » Sat 03 Oct, 2020 2:11 pm

Getting into the Gordon Splits is not easy.

As part of the Dams Campaign in the early 1980s people associated with the Wilderness Society bashed a route in during either 1981 or 1982.

It took them weeks of bashing to get the route in. They described the bauria as worse than anything they had previously encountered (and these were people who did mega off-track trips). They said that they had to climb on each others shoulders to get high enough to get on top of the bauria to bash it down.

We went in over the 1982/83 summer after the route had had several parties use it. The river was running fast the entire time we were there so it was hard to see much.

Having been over the Hamiltons several times before then I knew the route part of the way. It was a easy day up over Mt Robert and down to Dog Leg Creek. It then took a long hard day to do the 4.5 km from Dog Leg Creek to the First Split. Once at the Splits it was easy to get around using tracks cut by the Hydro. None of these routes will exist now. I have heard that the route up onto the Hamiltons is also very hard to follow.

Somewhere at home I have a detailed route guide which I hand drew onto a 1:31680 scale (2" to the mile) dyeline map.

Had a easier trip in in Feb 1988. The Hydro had the power station shut down for the entire summer so they could install a third turbine and we walked and rafted down the river. On that trip we spent 8 days getting to Sir John Falls.

Basically, the Gordon R is a walk and climb through huge boulders with some pools between when turned off. When turned on it is fast flowing water between rapids with the rapids having little or no pull in points and no chance of survival if you get sucked in.

The Splits are amazing. When turned off, the First Split is too narrow at its base for a raft paddle to be held level and there is a about 10 m drop in the middle of the split. In a cave about 40 m above river level below the First Split (ie where the river had widened out) we found washed up logs from mega floods long ago. There were Huon pine logs that were so old you could pull them apart by hand.

Basically, it will be near impossible and/or highly unsafe to access the Splits unless the Hydro has the river shut down for an extended period. Even then, I would make sure the power system people in Hobart and at the power station knew you were there.
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Re: Gordon Splits

Postby Azza » Sun 04 Oct, 2020 11:17 am

Jon MS wrote:Having been over the Hamiltons several times before then I knew the route part of the way. It was a easy day up over Mt Robert and down to Dog Leg Creek. It then took a long hard day to do the 4.5 km from Dog Leg Creek to the First Split. Once at the Splits it was easy to get around using tracks cut by the Hydro. None of these routes will exist now. I have heard that the route up onto the Hamiltons is also very hard to follow.


I've been up on the Hamilton Range a few times in the last 10 or so years.
Most recently last year to climb Mt Robert.
I definitely noticed the route is getting harder to follow. Particularly the first part out of the dam, it doesn't look like its getting much traffic these days.
Although pushing through the scrub on the way up we noticed the difference coming back down.
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Re: Gordon Splits

Postby sralser » Tue 01 Dec, 2020 10:09 am

I've just been digitizing some old slides and came across this thread. I visited the Gordon Splits back in january 1982, the summer prior to starting graduate school. I believe this would have been soon after the track was established. As I remember the track left the dam and headed in a roughly NW direction to what was then the Truchanas Huon Pine Reserve, and then headed in a roughly SW direction to the Splits. I'm really hazy here, but I think we took 2 days to get to the Splits. As I remember the track was well marked and relatively easy to follow. It ended up in a clear flat area between the Splits. At the time there was a raft stored at this campsite, which we used to cross to the south side. The Tas Hydro Camp was still set up and usable on the south side, and so we spent a few days staying there. In our time at the Splits we were able to traverse the south side of both the 1st and 2nd Split , getting some spectacular views. I can't remember what we did on the north side of the river.
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