I was always looking forward to the Ironbounds. It was always going to happen, so there’s no point putting off having to walk over it.
We set off nice and early and powered along the track. Then the incline started. It was slow, methodical walking, but soon enough we were at about 500m with an amazing view of the south coast and looking back down towards Louisa Creek.
This turned out to be a much longer day than anticipated, mainly because the campsite was – for the first time – full.
But I’ll come back to that.
I got up early to see my parents fly in on a little plane from Hobart. Flights are offered by one company (it used to be two, but one company unfortunately went broke). That same company had earlier flown in our food supplies, which we picked up at the hut. It made the bags heavy again, but better than lugging it all the way from Scott’s Peak Dam.
My parents were flying into Melaleuca, so we decided to make the jump and stay the night in one of Melaleuca’s cabins.
In order to do so, we got up early.
The walk to Farrell Point is about 6km away through undulating lands. The walking was easy and only took a couple of hours. There are a few hills to walk up and down, but the views are magnificent. There’s a side trip here you can do if you want (we didn’t do it, but it’s on some of the maps).
We were happy to leave Watershed Camp. Up around 7am. Gone by 8:05am.
Looking at the map, we figured we wanted to skip Spring River and get to the unofficial Forest Camp. It turned out to be a good decision. While the distance is a bit longer, Spring River is a big of an odd place. It sounds lovely, and you picture something similar to yesterday’s Crossing River. In reality however, it’s a bit icky.
The rain stopped overnight, and when we got up, the ground was quite dry. It was a positive start to the day. Junction Creek to Watershed Camp is quite a long jump. Ideally, with more time, it’d be great to stop and sleep at Crossing River.
When I saw a man at Hobart airport with a backpack, I asked him where’d he’d just been bushwalking.
I’d just arrived off a flight from Melbourne, with the aim of starting the Port Davey track in Tasmania’s Southwest National Park the very next day.
“I just finished the South Coast track mate,” he said. “Bloody beautiful down there. The weather was perfect.” I asked him if he saw many people on the track. “Not a single person once we left the plane. Had it to ourselves. Make sure you check out Louisa Bay,” he added.
“Where are you off to?” he asked me. I told him my friend Dash and I were also heading down south. Then I added weren’t just doing the South Coast track, we’d decided to add Port Davey into the mix.
“You’re a bloody masochist to be doing both,” he cheerfully replied. “South Coast was tough work, and you’re adding another week to it.”
“So to put this in perspective, we’ve got to do what we just did… all over again?”
Dash’s quip amused me. We had been walking a couple of hours up the Bon Accord Spur. It was hot, and we were sweating more than a Finn in a sauna. What’s worse was we had another 600m to go – upwards.
We had set off from Harrietville at about 8:20am, after I’d picked up a coffee at the general store and failed to find much else open. After driving around the town a bit, we decided to park at the entrance/exit to the other spur track that leaves from town – the Bungalow Spur.
From there, we walked the 1km or so through the town to the start of the Bon Accord Spur. Signed the book, and off we went.
We had decided to walk the Bon Accord Spur and the Razorback on the first day, and staying the night at Federation Hut. We planned to walk down Bungalow the next day. We knew it was going to be a big walk on day 1, but hadn’t really realised that there was a lot of uphill to go.
The first 5km was easy. It’s only about 170m rise. We came across a small campsite at the 5km mark. It’s right near a river and would be a great place to spend the night. It wasn’t marked on our map, so if you’re interested in finding where it is, download the GPS GPX file with its coordinates.
It’s not a huge campsite (probably room for 2 or maybe 3 tents max), and it was also the last place we could pick up water until Federation Hut.