Cathedral Rock (x2!), Montagu Thumbs and Wellington Falls

Tasmania specific bushwalking discussion.
Forum rules
Tasmania specific bushwalking discussion. Please avoid publishing details of access to sensitive areas with no tracks.

Cathedral Rock (x2!), Montagu Thumbs and Wellington Falls

Postby stoogest » Mon 09 Mar, 2009 9:42 pm

Thought I'd give a description of the hike I did today.

Started the day at about 6:45 at the end of Betts Rd down at Neika (parked the car across the bridge next to the river).

Was hoping to get some good early morning light for some photos in the riverbed (mini waterfalls, cacades etc...) but unfortunately there was a lot of cloud/haze.

From the carpark I hiked along the well worn track to the river. Spent about 30mins taking various photos. Gorgeous spot. Would be interetsing to see it after a heavy rain. Rejoined the track that at this stage was parallel to the river and followed it to the point at which it cut left and up the hill towards Cathedral Rock (I was doing the loop clockwise, but you can do it the other way...although I wouldn't recommend it as I'll discuss later!).

The track made 4 or 5 switchbacks as it ascended the mountain. Very steep, but as it was early in the walk I was feeling pretty good. Still had to stop for a few breaks though! Was very impressed when I finally saw Cathedral Rock peeking through the trees. Looked very intimidating!

Where the track levels out at the base of Cathedral ROck there is a big rock cairn marking the track to the top. At this point is gets EXTREMELY steep! It was very damp in places and was quite slippery. There are some fairly large rocks that you need to scramble over just to make it a little more difficult!

Very tough climb, but the reward was well worthwhile. I couldn't believe the views you get at the top! Unfortunately it was still hazy, but still got some reasonable shots.

If I hadn't stopped for photos at the bottom I reckon it would have taken me 1-1.5 hours to get to the top.

It was at this stage that I made my first 'rookie' mistake of the day!! After having a snack I stupidly didn't think to check the map just to confirm where I had to go next. As I looked north to the Montagu Thumbs I thought, "There's no way you can walk across there. I'll walk back down and rejoin the track that will take me around to the Thumbs...". So off I went, all the way back down to the plateau (managing to fall once on slippery tree roots! no serious damage though) and continued along the track. After about 10-15mins the track was still heading west and it was at that point that I rechecked the map and of course realised that I was walking on Betts track which doesn't go to the Thumbs at all!! Instead, I worked out that the track does actually keep going from Cathedral Rock. That of course meant that I had to reclimb what was the steepest track I have climbed in my life for the second time in an hour!!! I was not happy...

Anyway, continued across to the Thumbs. On the map I have it doesn't look like the walk undulates much at all. Wrong!!! It took me ages to get across (probably in part due to the fact I was completely stuffed from the earlier adventure!!). Spectacular views though again from the top of the Thumbs.

I had planned to walk to the top of Mt Montagu, but as I was feeling so buggered I thought I'd give it a miss and proceed around to Wellington Falls.

Along the way I passed a group of walkers who recommended that just a little bit down the track was a turn off that would take me to a hut with a great view up a valley. Sounded like a good plan! I made the required diversion, but after about 15mins of walking down a slowly steepening hill I ended up giving up and turned around. Maybe it was just around the next corner...who knows...

The track to Wellington Falls diverts from the main track at a place with a large rock cairn (no signs though to tell you where it goes). It was at this point that I really got a little nervous. Almost immediately the ground changes from heavily vegetated to partially vegetated with lots of rocks. The first couple of track turns were well marked by little stone cairns but then came a spot where I just couldn't work out where the track went next! After circling for about 20mins I eventually worked out that it continuedup over a large patch of rocks and continued in a roughly east-south easterly direction (I added a stone cairn for the next walkers!). Between here and Wellington Falls the track disappeared numerous times in a similar fashion and it took a bit of trial and error to find the right path. Eventually though the rocks disappeared and the path was easy to follow down to the Falls.

Wellington Falls were simply awesome!!! I rested my weary feet in the icy cold water that flowed down from about a half dozen tiny waterfalls upstream. Downstream was one massive waterfall!! Had some lunch (by this time it was about 1:30 I think) and repleneshied the fluids and had a little snooze by the water. Very relaxing! Took some photos (trying out the new ND filter!) before again packing up to finish the last stretch back down to the car.

The start of the path on the other side of the river is not obviously marked, but is down towards the large waterfall (basically as far as you can safely walk on that side of the river bank). This path was by far the best I have walked on in a long time. Probably well maintained due to the large number of walkers walking to the falls from the Springs. Very easy going until the point where it cuts the road to the Springs and continues down the ridgeline.

At this point the path basically follows a water pipe down the ridge all the way to the bottom. This equated to about an hour or so of constant crab walking down the hill (due to the steep slope and extremely loose and dangerous surface). It would have to rate as one of the most monotonous and annoying walks I have ever done!! I would hate to have to walk that track either a) in the rain, or b) in the opposite direction as it would kill even the fittest of walkers I reckon!!

Eventually got to the bottom. You need to make a hard right almost as soon as it reaches the flat section, and cut across to the rocky river bed (saw my first snake here...massive black one...scared the !@$# out of me!!). This final section of the walk involves about an hour of rock hopping down the riverbed as there disn't appear to be a path amongst the trees. As I was well and truly knackered at this stage I very quickly got tired of having to constantly pick a path through the loose rocks. It's a beautiful spot, but by that stage I wasn't feeling very inspired!!

Eventually you will come across a very large rock cairn that marks where the track starts on the river bank. The track makes one very brief diversion back onto the river bed, but then goes onto land again all the way back to the car.

All up it took me about 10 hours. The general guide is that it should take 7-8 hours. Given the fact that I made a few unnecessary diversion I'd say that I probably could have done the walk in 8 hours. Poor weather would have a big impact though I suspect.

Despite the strenuous nature of the walk, I'd give it a 9 out of 10 as Cathedral Rock, the Thumbs and Wellington Falls were absolutely spectacular!! It only loses a point for the poorly marked track and the dangerous pipeline section. A very long day, but thoroughly worth it (not sure if I'll carry my tripod on a similar hike in the future though...those extra kilos were killing me by the end!!).

I hope this helps!!
Photographer and bushwalker
For hiking trails we've completed around the world: Fork and Foot
User avatar
stoogest
Athrotaxis cupressoides
Athrotaxis cupressoides
 
Posts: 172
Joined: Tue 13 Jan, 2009 11:20 am
Region: Tasmania

Re: Cathedral Rock (x2!), Montagu Thumbs and Wellington Fall

Postby ben.h » Tue 10 Mar, 2009 8:47 pm

stoogest wrote:Was very impressed when I finally saw Cathedral Rock peeking through the trees. Looked very intimidating!


This view?
IMG_4366_600x800.JPG


stoogest wrote:Along the way I passed a group of walkers who recommended that just a little bit down the track was a turn off that would take me to a hut with a great view up a valley. Sounded like a good plan! I made the required diversion, but after about 15mins of walking down a slowly steepening hill I ended up giving up and turned around. Maybe it was just around the next corner...who knows...


bushwalk-tasmania knows!
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1749
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=397

stoogest wrote:Eventually got to the bottom. You need to make a hard right almost as soon as it reaches the flat section, and cut across to the rocky river bed (saw my first snake here...massive black one...scared the !@$# out of me!!).


This is the same spot where I took this photo (perhaps a couple of years ago now):
IMG_0891_800x600.JPG


Also, just for your entertainment, I took this photo on the same day (about 45mins from the carpark on the track proper):
IMG_0728_800x600.JPG


Cathedral Rock, Mount Montague, Wellington Falls, Siphon Track is my default walk. If I'm keen to go bushwalking and can't make my mind up then this is the walk I do. I've done this loop perhaps 12 times (ergo, my "default walk"). Wellington Park is my playground :)
User avatar
ben.h
Athrotaxis cupressoides
Athrotaxis cupressoides
 
Posts: 138
Joined: Wed 23 Jan, 2008 7:00 pm
Location: Hobart

Re: Cathedral Rock (x2!), Montagu Thumbs and Wellington Fall

Postby stoogest » Tue 10 Mar, 2009 10:43 pm

As I was trying to find the hut I remember noticing a small track leading off to the left but thought the hut would have been on the main track. The track was starting to get fairly steep and (knowing that I had to walk back up it again!!) I turned around. I guess there's always next time!

I actually referred to that link to ShareMyRoutes.com (sounds like a porn site!) quite a few times in planning for the trip. Good website!

I've got a few good photos from the hike. I'll see if I can work out how to post them...
Photographer and bushwalker
For hiking trails we've completed around the world: Fork and Foot
User avatar
stoogest
Athrotaxis cupressoides
Athrotaxis cupressoides
 
Posts: 172
Joined: Tue 13 Jan, 2009 11:20 am
Region: Tasmania

Re: Cathedral Rock (x2!), Montagu Thumbs and Wellington Fall

Postby stoogest » Tue 10 Mar, 2009 11:03 pm

Here's a link to some photos I took...

viewtopic.php?f=9&t=1857&p=15591#p15589
Photographer and bushwalker
For hiking trails we've completed around the world: Fork and Foot
User avatar
stoogest
Athrotaxis cupressoides
Athrotaxis cupressoides
 
Posts: 172
Joined: Tue 13 Jan, 2009 11:20 am
Region: Tasmania

Re: Cathedral Rock (x2!), Montagu Thumbs and Wellington Fall

Postby ben.h » Wed 11 Mar, 2009 12:10 pm

stoogest wrote:As I was trying to find the hut I remember noticing a small track leading off to the left but thought the hut would have been on the main track. The track was starting to get fairly steep and (knowing that I had to walk back up it again!!) I turned around. I guess there's always next time!


It is on the main track (the map reference that I plotted there appears off track though). The track does get steep before reaching the hut, and, at an absolute random guess I would say it is 10 to 15 minutes from the intersection with the Montague thumbs track.

edit: Ok, I'm not sure if the map ref I had for this hut was wrong or if gmaps is wrong or both. I've moved the marker on that map to where it should be and also marked what seems to be the "steep" part of the track. Zoom right in on the map as the track thats marked on gmaps is offset somewhat to the actual track.

http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8& ... 05476&z=14
User avatar
ben.h
Athrotaxis cupressoides
Athrotaxis cupressoides
 
Posts: 138
Joined: Wed 23 Jan, 2008 7:00 pm
Location: Hobart

Re: Cathedral Rock (x2!), Montagu Thumbs and Wellington Fall

Postby stoogest » Wed 11 Mar, 2009 5:14 pm

Strange. I remember walking around that sharp bend in the track (I stopped about 50m further down the track) but didn't see the hut. I guess I'll have to go back now!!
Photographer and bushwalker
For hiking trails we've completed around the world: Fork and Foot
User avatar
stoogest
Athrotaxis cupressoides
Athrotaxis cupressoides
 
Posts: 172
Joined: Tue 13 Jan, 2009 11:20 am
Region: Tasmania

Re: Cathedral Rock (x2!), Montagu Thumbs and Wellington Fall

Postby PeterJ » Sun 24 May, 2009 9:00 pm

User avatar
PeterJ
Athrotaxis cupressoides
Athrotaxis cupressoides
 
Posts: 448
Joined: Mon 24 Sep, 2007 6:06 pm
Location: Lenah Valley
Region: Tasmania
Gender: Male

Re: Cathedral Rock (x2!), Montagu Thumbs and Wellington Fall

Postby walkinTas » Sun 24 May, 2009 9:13 pm

Thanks for the report Stoogest. Sounds like a lovely spot. Being from the Northwest I don't know enough about the Mt. Wellington Range and the various walks, so more reports like this would be welcome.
walkinTas
Lagarostrobos franklinii
Lagarostrobos franklinii
 
Posts: 2934
Joined: Thu 07 Jun, 2007 2:51 pm
Region: Tasmania

Re: Cathedral Rock (x2!), Montagu Thumbs and Wellington Fall

Postby Julafreak » Wed 30 Sep, 2009 1:08 am

stoogest wrote: It was at this point that I really got a little nervous. Almost immediately the ground changes from heavily vegetated to partially vegetated with lots of rocks. The first couple of track turns were well marked by little stone cairns but then came a spot where I just couldn't work out where the track went next! After circling for about 20mins I eventually worked out that it continuedup over a large patch of rocks and continued in a roughly east-south easterly direction (I added a stone cairn for the next walkers!). Between here and Wellington Falls the track disappeared numerous times in a similar fashion and it took a bit of trial and error to find the right path. Eventually though the rocks disappeared and the path was easy to follow down to the Falls.


It was 2 weeks ago. Me and my friend got lost around the same area during a day walk. Everything looks the same. It has been ard 15 minutes since we last saw any stone cairns. My friend freaking out and scare to death isnt helping things either. It would have sounded rather pathetic. It was 4pm in the evening, 2 more hrs left before dark. My complaining friend got out his phone and dialed the emergency line and asked for the police and guess what? He requested for an emergency airlift O.O considering he just ran out of water less than 10 minutes ago and plenty of food left to keep him alive for days. No injuries, no nothing. I gave up and took over his phone and spoke with the officer telling him we're somewhere in wellington park, Hobart and there was silence for half a minute (he's probably figuring out if its a prank call). He doesnt seem to convinced that we need help just yet, so I told him that we'll give it a try and if all else fails, I'll get back to him on the phone. Then came the hard part, convincing him to walk with me. My friend here didnt want to move, saying that a helicopter would have a higher chance of spotting us (we're at a small clearing of rocks). I told him not to think too much of negativity and he replied blantly that I think too little.

When I finally got him to move again, (we managed to retraced the last stone cairns and took the south west trail towards the shortest exit) he complained all the way that he'll die and should he ever fail to make it out of the woods, Im to bring his body back out and not leave it there. Amazingly he even scolded me for rejecting the emergency airlift, calling me stupid. I figured there wasnt any point arguing or even opening my mouth. I still remember scolding him earlier for littering in the bush. He casually tossed his little piece of snot filled tissue on a bushwalking track! (as though it's a daily routine!) Pisses me off so damn much! It's my fault for even introducing him to bushwalking in the Tasmanian wilderness. We made it out in the end, in Mountain River (the other side of where we're supposed to be) but because of time constraint and of him whining, it was the best we could achieve. When we got out, believe it or not, he even suggested we call back 000 and ask for an ambulance.. he said he need medical check up and for the very least he gets a free ride back to hobart. We got back (I insisted I pay for a cab ride - costed me $70 and not a single cent from him) in one piece, obviously. I swore not to EVER go walking with him again.

Oh yea (got sidetracked, :mrgreen: ) I feel like giving that track another try. Hopefully this time I'll get through to wellington falls. Any tips?
Yippee!
User avatar
Julafreak
Athrotaxis cupressoides
Athrotaxis cupressoides
 
Posts: 127
Joined: Thu 10 Sep, 2009 1:48 pm
Region: Tasmania
Gender: Male

Re: Cathedral Rock (x2!), Montagu Thumbs and Wellington Fall

Postby stepbystep » Wed 30 Sep, 2009 7:53 am

Julafreak wrote:Any tips?


...choose your walking partners better :wink:
The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders ~ Edward Abbey
User avatar
stepbystep
Lagarostrobos franklinii
Lagarostrobos franklinii
 
Posts: 7684
Joined: Tue 19 May, 2009 11:19 am
Location: Street urchin
Region: Tasmania
Gender: Male

Re: Cathedral Rock (x2!), Montagu Thumbs and Wellington Fall

Postby Fizzygood » Wed 30 Sep, 2009 8:51 am

...and people wonder why I walk alone! :shock:
User avatar
Fizzygood
Athrotaxis cupressoides
Athrotaxis cupressoides
 
Posts: 131
Joined: Wed 06 Feb, 2008 12:22 pm
Location: Hobart
Region: Tasmania

Re: Cathedral Rock (x2!), Montagu Thumbs and Wellington Fall

Postby ILUVSWTAS » Wed 30 Sep, 2009 8:55 am

Thats an amazing story.. I hope that guy NEVER goes walking again....... Well done for keeping him under some kind of control and not wasting the "rescue team's" time!!

I did that same walk about a year ago from the other way. started at betts road crossed the river early, up to Wellington falls and over to montagu from there, I remember the rocky area being a little vague but cairns and markers were there if you spent the time looking. Maybe attempt it from this side? I really dont remember it being too difficult to find the next marker going uphill!
Nothing to see here.
User avatar
ILUVSWTAS
Lagarostrobos franklinii
Lagarostrobos franklinii
 
Posts: 10630
Joined: Sun 28 Dec, 2008 10:53 am
Region: Tasmania
Gender: Male

Re: Cathedral Rock (x2!), Montagu Thumbs and Wellington Fall

Postby ollster » Wed 30 Sep, 2009 10:29 am

Julafreak wrote: ====The whole thing was gold====


OMG. I would have slapped him. :twisted:
"I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member."
User avatar
ollster
Lagarostrobos franklinii
Lagarostrobos franklinii
 
Posts: 3983
Joined: Tue 02 Sep, 2008 5:14 pm
ASSOCIATED ORGANISATIONS: LoveMyGoat.com
Region: Australia

Re: Cathedral Rock (x2!), Montagu Thumbs and Wellington Fall

Postby Ent » Wed 30 Sep, 2009 2:00 pm

Content removed by poster
Last edited by Ent on Mon 15 Nov, 2010 12:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"lt only took six years. From now on, l´ll write two letters a week instead of one."
(Shawshank Redemption)
User avatar
Ent
Lagarostrobos franklinii
Lagarostrobos franklinii
 
Posts: 4086
Joined: Tue 13 May, 2008 4:38 pm
Region: Tasmania

Re: Cathedral Rock (x2!), Montagu Thumbs and Wellington Fall

Postby PeterJ » Wed 30 Sep, 2009 4:17 pm

Julafreak wrote:Any tips?


Gee wizz , apart from having nothing to do with that ex-friend, I suggest you do a bit of bushwalking with someone with at least a modicum of experience. This area is not difficult to walk in, unless you decide to completely avoid the tracks there. The start of the route to Wellington Falls from near Mt Montagu is not hard to find, but it is roughish and only marked by an occasional cairn (well it was last time I was there) so you need to feel pretty comfortable walking without frequent markers.
User avatar
PeterJ
Athrotaxis cupressoides
Athrotaxis cupressoides
 
Posts: 448
Joined: Mon 24 Sep, 2007 6:06 pm
Location: Lenah Valley
Region: Tasmania
Gender: Male

Re: Cathedral Rock (x2!), Montagu Thumbs and Wellington Fall

Postby Singe » Thu 01 Oct, 2009 1:26 pm

Last time I attempted that loop, I missed the turnoff to Wellington Falls and ended up going up the Thark Ridge track instead - didn't actually realise until it was a bit late to turn around, so headed on stupidly assuming it would meet up with the Smiths Monument track :roll:

Ended up around the back of the Mt Wellington summit plateau with darkness falling, cloud blowing in and getting really cold with only daywalk gear and unable to find the next track marker - it was hard to choke down the rising panic and think clearly, and I suspect that if I'd had a PLB I might just have pushed the button... as it turned out I sat down for a moment, took some deep breaths, made a systematic search and found the next track marker, walked around a pile of boulders and could see Pinnacle Rd only a couple of Km away. But I feel a little bit of sympathy for your mate - it's easy to see the stupidity of his actions sitting safe and warm inside, but a bit different when lost in the bush as darkness falls, especially if you're not an experienced multi-day walker.

I learned a few lessons - take adequate gear to keep you alive overnight on daywalks; never leave home without map and compass even on familiar tracks; and if in doubt sit down, work out where you are and backtrack if necessary. And if you need to ask your wife to borrow her parents' car to pick you up from the Mt Wellington summit when you were supposed to be at the end of Betts Rd - prepare to be ridiculed by your in-laws ;)
“No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it is not the same river and he is not the same man.” -Heraclitus
User avatar
Singe
Athrotaxis cupressoides
Athrotaxis cupressoides
 
Posts: 244
Joined: Wed 30 Apr, 2008 5:45 pm
Region: New South Wales
Gender: Male

Re: Cathedral Rock (x2!), Montagu Thumbs and Wellington Fall

Postby stoogest » Wed 21 Oct, 2009 11:14 pm

Sounds like a nightmare Julafreak!! I can imagine there's be nothing worse than an irrational person to make a bad situation even worse!!
Photographer and bushwalker
For hiking trails we've completed around the world: Fork and Foot
User avatar
stoogest
Athrotaxis cupressoides
Athrotaxis cupressoides
 
Posts: 172
Joined: Tue 13 Jan, 2009 11:20 am
Region: Tasmania


Return to Tasmania

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests

cron