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Tasmania specific bushwalking discussion.

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Tasmania specific bushwalking discussion. Please avoid publishing details of access to sensitive areas with no tracks.
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Frenchmans Cap - booking?

Sat 19 Mar, 2022 3:27 pm

My wife and I are heading to Tassie in April and are very keen to do Frenchmans Cap. As many of you would know, they have implemented a booking system (10 people / day). I don't have a booking and it's been 'booked out' as such since January. Has anyone had experience hiking Frenchmans Cap recently? Were there people without a booking? Are people with bookings not showing up, and not even cancelling? Is it 'recommended', 'voluntary', 'compulsory', etc to book? Would love some guidance

Re: Frenchmans Cap - booking?

Sun 20 Mar, 2022 12:18 pm

It’s voluntary - so if you can handle the shame of being caught not booking go ahead. You’ll just be lectured to by the track ranger. Don’t go during the Easter school holidays because It will be feral. As a guide Lake Rhona had over a 100 people there over the March long weekend when there was supposed to be 24 - so the booking system is working perfectly!

Re: Frenchmans Cap - booking?

Sun 20 Mar, 2022 3:19 pm

Is a boom gate/key system the only way to save Lake Rhona? Or just a handful of summer blizzards?

Re: Frenchmans Cap - booking?

Sun 20 Mar, 2022 4:06 pm

Tazz81, thanks for the reply. When you say 'Easter school holidays', are you referring to the full two weeks? Because, that's when we're visiting haha.

Re: Frenchmans Cap - booking?

Sun 20 Mar, 2022 5:02 pm

Those walks in peak periods are crowded and gross. By going in without the booking is just making it worse. You're really better off aiming to come outside of those periods or picking somewhere not as well known. Tas has a lot to offer away from the insta famous walks!

Re: Frenchmans Cap - booking?

Wed 23 Mar, 2022 7:44 am

My wife and I did Frenchman's in February and struck the same problem. We managed to book at the last minute. My estimate was that less than half of the people who had booked actually walked. Obviously people are booking many months ahead and their plans change. They don't have to pay anything and their intentions may have been a bit vague in the first place. Walkers told me they found it difficult to cancel or modify a booking when someone dropped out. Some people obviously managed it because we got a spot . The first night there were only a few at Vera and only 2 at Tahune despite in theory 10 people starting every day. Despite that Tahune was quite busy as people tend to stay 2 nights and there are rock climbers. I was asked once by a ranger if we were booked in - they are encouraging it but not asking for names and I don't think they have real time access to the online bookings. I didn't ask the people at Tahune whether they were booked in. I suspect locals just do there own thing. I don't know what the solution is but the booking system is not working well. I guess from Parks perspective it is discouraging maybe a third or more of the walkers and that is the intent

Re: Frenchmans Cap - booking?

Wed 23 Mar, 2022 9:49 am

I think it is clear that the voluntary booking system really isn't working... too many people not bothering, and too many people booking way out then failing to cancel when they can't/don't go.

I hate to suggest it but until they (a) start charging a nominal amount for bookings and (b) give the rangers the ability and power to police and fine those who don't, the situation won't improve.

Re: Frenchmans Cap - booking?

Wed 23 Mar, 2022 10:17 am

Ah, they'll all be ending soon, given we are in the jolly infected phase. :)
It's sad to see we can't even manage to all help out here, even manage to go and cancel :( .
Anyway.. Walkers are identified on buying a parks permit/pass aren't they? Maybe their permit should be forfeit if they don't take the booking system seriously? Less it's just a fast track to full regulated system, with associated desire to further privatise bits and employ compliance staff. Admittedly already starting down that path, needing at least someone checking off permits, against bookings. Maybe a 'boothy' at the track-heads, on random days.

Re: Frenchmans Cap - booking?

Wed 23 Mar, 2022 11:17 am

Was on the Western Arthur's a couple of weeks ago, and it seems that just about everyone had booked. Apart from one group of inter-staters who claimed they weren't aware they had to (despite the sign at the trail head. But hey, I guess if you've made it to Scott's Peak you're hardly going to turn around). But, apart from us, just about everyone else we ran into was from outside of Tassie. So perhaps is mostly us locals that aren't booking...

Re: Frenchmans Cap - booking?

Wed 23 Mar, 2022 12:24 pm

Yeah, that's interesting and a reasonable conclusion. In fairness, many wouldn't have had reason to look at the parks site recently.

Re: Frenchmans Cap - booking?

Wed 23 Mar, 2022 12:53 pm

Take away the boardwalk on the Sodden Lodden. Problem solved.

Re: Frenchmans Cap - booking?

Wed 23 Mar, 2022 3:40 pm

Unintended consequences?
Those that don't follow rules get to "voluntary" and then ignore the rest.
Those that follow the rules see it's full and don't go. Or can't cancel so less rule followers go.
The consequence then is the trail fills up with people who don't follow rules.
Leave no trace is a "rule"

Re: Frenchmans Cap - booking?

Fri 05 Aug, 2022 7:19 am

From TPW "The Frenchmans Cap walking track and the suspension bridge across the Franklin River are closed until further notice.

The closure is due to a tree that has fallen and caused significant damage to the suspension bridge which now poses a significant safety hazard to walkers.

Please note that the Franklin River is swollen and very fast flowing and therefore too dangerous to cross without the bridge. Please abide by signage at the location and any directions from staff or contractors.

We will be working to assess the damage and make necessary repairs as soon as possible.

Locations affected: Frenchmans Cap; Frenchmans Cap - walk notes; Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park; Overnight walker registration;"

Re: Frenchmans Cap - booking?

Fri 05 Aug, 2022 8:27 am

That should take some pressure off the area for a while.

Re: Frenchmans Cap - booking?

Wed 10 Aug, 2022 3:19 pm

Agree with headwerkn - relying on people doing the right thing is never a solid Plan A, sadly ...

Can speak only for myself, but I'd have zero issues with paying a fee and rangers having those powers, if it meant a reduction in the volume of foot traffic in these areas. Hundred people at Rhona over one weekend is bonkers.
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