Port Davey+South Coast track conditions + transport

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

Port Davey+South Coast track conditions + transport

Postby Sigur87 » Tue 27 Feb, 2024 4:05 pm

G'day folks!

I'm wondering if anyone has recent info on the conditions of Port Davey and South Coast tracks? I want to hike this later in March, so this may be a tad early but wanted to get a better understanding of how muddy/overgrown they are (which has been the main theme/complaints from previous years).

Also wondering if anyone is heading out that way at any point around the 17/18th March? I have contacted Tasmanian Wilderness Experiences re the shuttle from Hobart to Scott's Peak Dam, but they haven't had anyone else book in that week yet so it may not be feasible (I can't afford to pay for the whole shuttle myself unfortunately).

The other bits of info I'd ask about is water along the tracks in March (what it's usually like) and any specialist gear people recommend; I saw someone recommend gaiters for example - I've never hiked with these before but would consider it if the consensus is overwhelming and the logic compelling!

I'm only in the preliminary stages of planning and researching everything but I've had a search through the posts on this site (will still do more to glean more info!) and haven't answered a lot of the above.

I'm hoping to do these tracks pretty quickly; I have a lot of multi day hiking experience both in Aus and in many other countries, but I've only done one multi day in Tassie (nearly ten years ago in the Central Plateau Conservation Area).

Any tips on any of the above greatly appreciated!

Thanks,

NZ
Sigur87
Nothofagus cunninghamii
Nothofagus cunninghamii
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue 27 Feb, 2024 3:12 pm
Region: Victoria

Re: Port Davey+South Coast track conditions + transport

Postby Letstryagain » Wed 28 Feb, 2024 9:26 am

Yes it will be muddy.
Yes the track will at times be scrubby.
Yes definitely wear gaiters.
Letstryagain
Athrotaxis cupressoides
Athrotaxis cupressoides
 
Posts: 117
Joined: Thu 15 Jun, 2023 8:18 pm
Region: Tasmania

Re: Port Davey+South Coast track conditions + transport

Postby Last » Wed 28 Feb, 2024 10:33 am

Gaiters are good for protection against snakes as well as keeping crap out of your boots
noen ganger er det godt å være alene i villmarken
Last
Lagarostrobos franklinii
Lagarostrobos franklinii
 
Posts: 2232
Joined: Thu 23 Jun, 2016 3:43 pm
Region: Tasmania

Re: Port Davey+South Coast track conditions + transport

Postby Letstryagain » Wed 28 Feb, 2024 2:10 pm

Also good for limiting the inevitable scratches and bruises.

As far as water goes there is plenty. You'll probably wish there was less. :lol:
It looks brown (tannin or dirt staining) but it's perfectly fine to drink. Just carry a little bit over the ironbound range.
Letstryagain
Athrotaxis cupressoides
Athrotaxis cupressoides
 
Posts: 117
Joined: Thu 15 Jun, 2023 8:18 pm
Region: Tasmania

Re: Port Davey+South Coast track conditions + transport

Postby Tortoise » Wed 28 Feb, 2024 6:29 pm

Sigur87 wrote:I'm hoping to do these tracks pretty quickly

Mud takes a fair bit more time and energy. But maybe we'll have a dry spell before then. :)
User avatar
Tortoise
Lagarostrobos franklinii
Lagarostrobos franklinii
 
Posts: 5186
Joined: Sat 28 Jan, 2012 9:31 pm
Location: NW Tasmania
Region: Tasmania
Gender: Female

Re: Port Davey+South Coast track conditions + transport

Postby gatesy » Thu 29 Feb, 2024 9:14 pm

I did the Port Davey track a few months ago.

If you go by Chapman's South West notes you'll get a good idea of what it's like. Its worth knowing that camping options are generally poor in places.
Good camping locations I'd recommend or consider are Crossing River, Watershed Camp and Forest camp, possibly spring river. Other areas may only fit one, maybe 2 tents at or are damp and unappealing camping, unless I missed them.

The worst of the mud was on the way to Crossing River in the buttongrass with the Arthur's behind you, and near Melaleuca, but be prepared for it in patches the whole trip.

Also note, the currant of crossing River can be quite strong so be careful with crossing.

With the boat crossing, parks recently put in a third boat, so you may only have to paddle once if you have 2 boats at your starting end.

I did the PDT in reverse, walking out from watershed to the car in a day.
The track is super easy to follow and is relatively easy going. The only patch of scrub is near the spring river and near Forest camp from memory. Only other parts to take care on are the land slips north of lost world plateau.
User avatar
gatesy
Athrotaxis cupressoides
Athrotaxis cupressoides
 
Posts: 120
Joined: Tue 14 Nov, 2017 6:55 pm
Location: Tasmania
Region: Australia
Gender: Male

Re: Port Davey+South Coast track conditions + transport

Postby phATty » Wed 06 Mar, 2024 8:39 am

My only complaint with it was the relentless slosh and very little to show for it apart from the Arthur range at the start and Bathurst Harbour/Mt Rugby at the end. It's unpleasant to walk imo, the mud is dirty but it also has variable depth so you end up falling over more than you'd hope. I'd do it once, but I don't think I'd do it ever again.
User avatar
phATty
Atherosperma moschatum
Atherosperma moschatum
 
Posts: 60
Joined: Tue 31 Aug, 2021 9:43 pm
Location: Hobart
ASSOCIATED ORGANISATIONS: Tasmanian University Bushwalking Club
Region: Tasmania
Gender: Male

Re: Port Davey+South Coast track conditions + transport

Postby myrtlegirl » Wed 06 Mar, 2024 9:57 am

Sigur87, given that you've never walked with gaiters, note that the terrain and mud on PDT and SCT will be quite different than other walks you've done.

Take extra food and allow a few extra days. And do your boots up tightly so that when (not if) you sink in the the mud and have to work hard to pull your foot out you don't leave your boot behind. That mud really sucks!
myrtlegirl
Athrotaxis cupressoides
Athrotaxis cupressoides
 
Posts: 157
Joined: Wed 06 Jan, 2010 3:40 pm
Region: Tasmania
Gender: Female

Re: Port Davey+South Coast track conditions + transport

Postby Sigur87 » Sun 10 Mar, 2024 11:17 am

G'day folks!

Firstly, thank you so much to everyone for taking the time to reply! I've tried to reply a few ties but keep getting an error.. anyway. Each bit of info is useful and appreciated. I'll take it all aboard - I just bought a pair of gaiters too, unfortunately they're not very comfy (Sea to Summit gaiters, large/extra large) because they're a bit tight (I have large calves :lol: ) so not 100% sure I'll use them. I'll keep my eyes open for another pair though.

@letstryagain I hear you - I'm sure there will be moments of cursing the amount of water, but also love that there won't be a need to carry large volumes on my back at all times!

@gatesy - thanks for those tips! Also great to know - I'm now thinking of doing the tracks in reverse as I think it'll be easier to hitchhike to Cockle Creek and then I should be able to get picked up from Scott's Peak Dam at the end. Did you do the SCT too or get dropped at Melaleuca? Good to know about crossing river current... but you were ok solo with your pack? I did some multi day hikes in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan last year (some of the best hikes I've ever done, and also some of the most isolated and remote!) and had to cross a couple of rivers that were pretty terrifying.. I'm hoping crossing river won't be to that scale but only time will tell!

@collective :D (re thoughts on gaiters) - it's not that I haven't done challenging hikes in environments were other people deem them necessary for a raft of reasons - its a bit like trekking poles (which I've never found comfortable despite multiple attempts trying - although due to mud will likely take at least one on this hike) - I feel gaiters would feel hot/uncomfortable when worn for long periods (when hiking really long days as I tend to do, comfort becomes even more important!!). And considering how tight these large ones feel, the theory currently feels correct! But I'm sure there are bigger ones out there.....

Anyway, again thank you to all for contributing!

I'll continue appreciating any bit of advice thrown my way, so keep it coming (if there's more to say!). The main take home points for me so far have been that a) people really do think gaiters would be beneficial on this hike b) be prepared for mud, Lots of mud. And possibly water/flooding (although a Tassie friend of mine said last week that its been a dry summer, so fingers crossed!) c) campsites are at a premium d) have an extra day and spare food up my sleeve & e) watch out for river crossings, and hope that I'm in luck and don't have to row a boat back!

Thanks all, and enjoy the long weekend! Hope people are out hiking! I did a short walk yesterday, it's multiple days of 38 here in Melbourne!

Cheers,

NZ
Sigur87
Nothofagus cunninghamii
Nothofagus cunninghamii
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue 27 Feb, 2024 3:12 pm
Region: Victoria

Re: Port Davey+South Coast track conditions + transport

Postby north-north-west » Sun 10 Mar, 2024 1:04 pm

There are a number of reasons for wearing gaiters on tracks like the SCT and PDT. There's the mud - and myrtlegirl is quite right about the potential for losing a shoe/boot in some of the boggy bits; I've seen it happen. There's the water - properly fitted gaiters slow down water ingress. There's the decreased likelihood of you creating damage by stepping off the track to avoid the wet and/or muddy bits. There are all the leeches - gaiters do slow them down. There is the overgrown scrub either scratching you (and ten days of that is *&%$#! painful) or tearing your clothing. There is also the scrub catching on laces and undoing them. There is all the debris (sand, dirt, pebbles, leaves, twigs) that they keep out of your fotwear and off your socks. There is the snakebite issue (although that's not a biggie - attempted bites aren't particularly common). They feel so uncomfortable now because you aren't used to them. The advantages far outweigh the negatives.

One Planet's sizing goes to XXL and my limited experience with OP gaiters is that they're a more generous cut. I would suggest you contact One Planet, give them your calf measurements, and see whether their larger size would work for you.

With regard to the tracks ... one thing that hasn't been mentioned is how tricky the area around the Spring River can be after rain. The bridge means the crossing is safe and easy. It doesn't address the fact that if the river rises enough, the flats on the section immediately to the east are flooded. I once had to wade through water over half a metre deep for most of the roughly 1km stretch between the river and the creek draining Bakers/Legge. This, as you might imagine, is very much not fun.

Crossing River East is a good campsite. The west bank is not a good campsite if there is or has recently been much rain - it kind of tends to disappear very easily. Watershed Camp is dark, damp, dirty, dismal. There are a couple of good alternative sites at creeks between there and Spring River; Chapman mentions them but I'm not sure if he's updated the track notes to show that one of his main three sites in that section is no longer accessible. Spring River West is good: the eastern campsite disappears when the flats are flooded and is soggy most of the time anyway. Forest Camp is surprisingly pleasant. Farrell Point is good. Joan Point is also good but drinking water is a bit of a hike - you have to get to the creek flowing into the little cove on its western side. Mt Beattie is an easy and worthwhile sidetrip. The area around Woureddy Ck gets pretty awkward after rain.
"Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens."
User avatar
north-north-west
Lagarostrobos franklinii
Lagarostrobos franklinii
 
Posts: 15223
Joined: Thu 14 May, 2009 7:36 pm
Location: The Asylum
ASSOCIATED ORGANISATIONS: Social Misfits Anonymous
Region: Tasmania

Re: Port Davey+South Coast track conditions + transport

Postby Sigur87 » Thu 21 Mar, 2024 11:25 am

Hi All,

Thanks again for all the info. Unfortunately I’ve aggravated a back injury (bulging discs) and have had to abandon the hike for now. Gutted, but playing it safe, and will hopefully have another opportunity next year….

Thanks again.

NZ
Sigur87
Nothofagus cunninghamii
Nothofagus cunninghamii
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue 27 Feb, 2024 3:12 pm
Region: Victoria

Re: Port Davey+South Coast track conditions + transport

Postby Son of a Beach » Thu 21 Mar, 2024 12:41 pm

Sorry to hear of your pain (physical pain, and probably mental pain too, if you can't bushwalk!). Playing it safe sounds like the right thing to do with bulging discs!

When the time comes, I would follow NNW's advice on the gaiters. I personally dislike wearing gaiters because they make me even more sweaty, and I avoid wearing them on most well-defined tracks (I also bushwalk bare-foot occasionally and cannot wear gaiters then). However, for very muddy or scrubby tracks I always wear gaiters (and shoes). As she says, the many benefits far outweigh any perceived negatives (which, to be honest, are minimal anyhow).

I also agree that One Planet make the best gaiters available. People go on about the S2S gaiters, and they seem to be the most popular. But the One Planets do not wear out as quickly when scrub bashing or scraping through rocky areas.
Son of a Beach
Lagarostrobos franklinii
Lagarostrobos franklinii
 
Posts: 7039
Joined: Thu 01 Mar, 2007 7:55 am
ASSOCIATED ORGANISATIONS: Bit Map (NIXANZ)
Region: Tasmania
Gender: Male


Return to Tasmania

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 5 guests