Mount Anne Circuit (or how did I forget that Mount Anne was a mountain)

Date: December 14 - 16, 2015
Distance: 27km
Weather: Perfect. Wonderful. Very nice.

This was a walk that was different from what I had imagined.

For some reason, I thought it was going to be a rather simple affair. When looking at the estimated walking time from point A to point B, I was thinking I could easily do it in half? quarter? of what was suggested.

‘Meh, 8km. Not a problem. Polish that off before lunch,’ was one of my thoughts. ‘I’m usually a tad faster than Chappy/Chappo? (John Chapman), he says six – eight hours. I reckon I can do it in two,’ was another.

This was a very silly thing to have thought. Like some sort of idiot, I had forgotten to account for the fact that the circuit can simply be described as very up and very down.

Other warning signs should have been the reason why I wanted to do the walk in the first place.

Mount Anne came to my attention after several walking groups, over several months, were plucked off parts of the circuit by the rescue helicopter.

Also the “Mount” part in Mount Anne should have been obvious.


It’s not an easy walk, by any account. But it is an amazing one.

We were lucky to have good weather from day 1 to day 3. Actually, it wasn’t just good. It was stunning. Blue skies, very little wind, certainly no rain. Perfect. If I were to complain about something, it was maybe a few degrees too hot. But that is one of personal preference, and really is me finding a way to gloat about how good the weather really was.

In the end, we completed the walk in two nights/three days.

Day 1

One issue with the Mount Anne Circuit is that the start and the end points aren’t in the same spot. They’re separated by about 9km.

So here’s what we did: I dropped off Dad and he started walking up the mountain. Then I drove to the exit point, parked the car, pulled a bike from the boot and then rode back to the start. I locked the bike up in the Mount Anne car-park and began the long, slow plod up the hill to try and catch father.

This is what most of the bike ride looked like. It wasn’t very interesting. The bike also had only one gear. The best thing about the ride was it was over sooner than I expected.

Boring road
The long road. Made longer by a bike which had only one gear and suspect brakes

I walked through the car park, up the small hill to the registration booth. Then, then along the lovely flat part of the walk. Then, the hill began and it didn’t stop for hours.

Up and up and up. Up a ridge, up a hill, up a pile of rocks. After a period of walking, I heard some scratching ahead of me. I thought I’d caught up to Dad (quicker than I expected), but it was a couple of young guys making their way to Mount Anne. I polished off the last of my water, said my good byes, and continued the slog which by this point seemed to have lasted longer than a Donald Bradman innings.

Not because Bradman is known for spectacularly long periods of time behind the crease, but because I don’t understand cricket so even watching a grab of it on the news feels like eternity. Though to be fair I had probably been walking longer than the classic Australia v England 6th August 2015 innings, where Australia was all done in less than 19 overs.

Talking about being bowled out before lunch, I was starting to get a bit hungry. But there was walking to do, so I kept moving forwards and upwards.

I made it to the hut (see below) and heard Dad, but he was up the mountain (I think where this picture was taken). He was still going, so the chase was still on.

I sat down, had a drink of water that would put a camel to shame, ate more chocolate than Augustus Gloop and discarded (into my mouth) more nuts than Veruca Salt’s squirrels. Another quick drink and I was off again.

The long hill
This is what you’ve got to walk up. See the tiny road in the distance? That’s where you start.

Incidentally, right in the middle of that photo you can see the hut and a little to the right is the toilet.

That toilet used to, I’m told, be facing out – so you’d get one of the best views in the world from a toilet seat. But they’ve rebuilt the old shit-house, and now it faces in – so no view anymore except of a bunch of trees. A travesty of the highest order.

Before I knew it, I was at the top.

The top, for now

No sign of Dad though. He had disappeared.

Insert tension causing music here.

I kept walking. Another hour passed, and then, in the distance there he was. The chase was complete. I had caught up.

He’d spotted me earlier than I spotted him, and had the camera ready.

I appear
That’s me wandering along

We regrouped, just in time to tacked the boulder field before the Mount Anne/campsite track junction.

Mount Anne (behind a small cloud) and lots of rocks

It wasn’t long before we made it to Shelf Camp for the night.

What a place that campsite is on a good day. Spectacular views no matter which way you look. Straight ahead is the mighty Mount Anne:


Or behind, the tiered cliffs


We had something for dinner, can’t remember. It was good though. Then sleep.

My mat had a small hole in it though, which wasn’t great. Especially camping on a sheet of rock. Oh well.

(Writer’s note: I finally fixed the hole, in September 2016. Sort of when I finished this write up from February)

Day 2

The morning started slowly, as usual. Wasn’t my fault. Never is.

When we got going, we made our way slowly towards the ridge line that would eventually lead to The Notch.

Firstly, we needed to get there.

The day ahead
The day ahead

Oh no, we didn’t head off straight away. We went up Mount Anne first. Well, most of it. I sort of got a bit stuck in the final assent, leaving Dad to go on alone to bag the peak. I just sort of waited on a ledge and got bored. Not a worry in the end.

We made our way back to Shelf Camp, packed up and were finally on our way.

It wasn’t long before we got lost (well, a little bit). We knew the direction we needed to go, we just lost the track.


On the left hand side, you can see the TasMap tent. That marks Shelf Camp. We pretty much got lost straight away. Though we did find a “possible” campsite (as marked), so it wasn’t too bad a detour.

But a little bit further on, we got lost again. We travelled up a ridge line that seemed to get narrower and narrower. At the end, The Way seemed to disappear entirely. Confused, we turned back. We eventually veered north and bushbashed/sort-of-followed-what-looked-kinda-like-a-track-but-not-really around the big pile of what we thought were un-passable rocks. Eventually, as expected, we found the track. We also discovered where we went wrong.

We were on the correct path. The Way was simply a bit of a climb down, and around, a boulder. From there it would have been obvious. Silly us. Oh well. It wasn’t too too far off track, and it only cost us a bit of time. But if you’re doing it in the future, the track is there. Just look a bit harder than we did.

Bit that part of the track behind us, it brings me to The Notch.

The Notch is – depending on who you talk to – something that’s either not really worthy of much discussion, or the scariest, most daunting thing you’ll come across in bushwalking anywhere in the entire world.

Ok, that’s a bit of hyperbole, but some do talk about The Notch like its a proper noun deserving of awe.

Awe inspiring, or just a bit of a scramble?
Awe inspiring, or just a bit of a scramble?

Meh. Wasn’t too bad. Here’s me climbing down into The Notch.

It was a pretty easy scramble down. The climb back up the other side wasn’t too hard either, but I did have to take my pack off and get Dad to haul it up with a rope.

Looking down into The Notch
Looking down into The Notch

About 50 meters down the track from here, we stopped for lunch. It was a nice break.

After lunch we continued on, up Mount Lot. The view from the top was wonderful. Lots Wife stood proud in the distance.

Lots Wife
Lots Wife

We then began our decent down Mount Lot, along a very narrow ridge line.

This is one of the things that makes the Mount Anne walk so wonderful. The view, on a nice day like we had, was spectacular. You’re given a 180 degree vista of scenery.

One side gives you an almost bird’s eye view of Lonely Tarns.

Lonely Tarns
Lonely Tarns

The other side, down to Lake Judd:

Lake Judd and Mount Jane
Lake Judd and Mount Jane

After getting down Lightning Ridge, it was a quick walk to one of the Lonely Tarns, and a small creek. It was a lovely warm day, so a perfect spot for a quick dip.

East end of what I called "Dog Lake": great spot for a swim
East end of what I called “Dog Lake”: great spot for a swim

After that, it was a quick 3km walk down the track to our camping spot for the night. Oh we appear to have briefly walked off track again, but didn’t seem to matter.

The camp spot was a flat section of ground just off the track. It was nice in February, but I’m sure in the wetter months it would have been sodden.

Day 3 camp

Not really much to report. We would have packed up the tents – Dad was probably slow, but I can’t remember anymore.

It was about a 9-10km walk back to the car, but we had to probably go down 800 meters.

It was about a 500 meter walk before the decent began. It took about two hours to do most of it.

The view from the top looking out to Lake Pedder was lovely.

The final few KMs
The final few KMs

We started Day 3 at about 9am. It was all done by 2pm, including lunch at the wire bridge that crosses some river (probably the Anne River).

So that was that. Three days doing the Mount Anne circuit in fantastic weather with spectacular scenery. It was a hard walk – a lot of ups and downs – but it was very rewarding.

And the car was waiting for us! Just where I left it a few days ago, before I began the walk with a bike ride.

With the walk done, there was one job left: a traditional swim. We drove down to a boat launching ramp and jumped into Lake Pedder. It was warm (well, the top 10cm was), smooth and relaxing. The perfect way to finish.

Odds and ends:

Here’s the elevation profile of the walk, with the various landmarks added in.

Elevation profile
Elevation profile

The Never Never (May 2015)

Date: May 22 - 25, 2015
Distance: 62km
Weather: Sunny, but very cold. Coldest night I've ever had.

The Never Never. Something that had been on my todo list for a while. Finally got around to it May 2015.

It was a great trip. Freaking cold, but meant the ground was frozen in parts which made easier walking through the Never Never.

Also visited Pelion Hut again, for a night’s stay. Also walked up Mount Oakleigh (mostly) and Mount Pelion East.

Falls, can’t remember their name now…

Frosty Lee's Paddocks
Frosty Lee’s Paddocks

On top of Mount Oakleigh, looking out across the Pelion Plains with Mount Ossa in the background
On top of Mount Oakleigh, looking out across the Pelion Plains with Mount Ossa in the background

Mount Ossa, from Mount Pelion East
Mount Ossa, from Mount Pelion East

EDIT March 6, 2021:

So I’m just going back through some old posts to clean them up a bit, tag a few things, add some extra information, etc.

I didn’t originally write a lot on this post for some reason. There are a few pictures from the trip though, but that’s all.

Walk map:

Installing Shonkymaps onto an Garmin eTrex 20 GPS

This is a guide on how to install the software, and then obtain Shonkymaps for your eTrex GPS device.

I’ve seen it appear in the weblogs a few times, and had a few emails wondering how to do it, so I’ve decided to write a quick little guide. Hopefully it’ll make it easy for you. Keep in mind, this is a guide for WINDOWS.

Continue reading Installing Shonkymaps onto an Garmin eTrex 20 GPS

The Overland Track

So I did the Overland Track the other day.

Date: September 15 - 20, 2015
Distance: 87km
Weather: A bit rainy, overcast, but not too bad.

It was good. I didn’t take many photos. There were too many clouds.


Though there was a wombat or three.


I’d write more, but the trip has been covered by others far funnier than I:

All I can add, is to agree that Bert Nichols Hut is a shocker.

Too big, badly designed, freezing and boring. It mightn’t have helped that I was there by myself. The rest were wonderful.

Actually, I like a list so here is (in order) my ranked lists of huts (that I saw)

  1. Pine Valley
  2. Echo Point
  3. Windermere
  4. Waterfall Valley
  5. Kia Ora
  6. Pelion
  7. Narcissus
  8. Bert Nichols

The walk was about 88km all up. I got lost a few times in the cloud, which was pretty amazing considering the track is so well marked.

For the record this was my daily trip log:

  1. The start -> Waterfall Hut
  2. Waterfall Hut -> Pelion
  3. Pelion -> Bert Nichols
  4. Bert Nichols -> Pine Valley
  5. Pine Valley -> Echo Point
  6. Echo Point -> The end

Few big days and a few slack days as I sat by the heater in my sleeping bag, reading while it rained (there was a lot of cloud).

Walk map

The Port Davey and South Coast Track – Day 9

Day 9 – Surprise Bay to Cockle Creek
Walking difficulty: Hard (hilly and muddy)
Mud: Yes. Again.

We didn’t yet know it, but day 9 was to be our last day. We were planning on staying another night before making our way back to Hobart, but the how shower and non-hydrated meal was just too enticing.

Though we paid for our decision. It was a long, hard, hilly, muddy, root-filled day.

After leaving the wonderful Surprise Bay early, we soon made it to Granite Beach.

While it was something different to walk along, it wasn’t pleasant to do so.

There’s a cool waterfall thing though.

Granite Beach
Granite Beach

The rocky beach is but a warm up for the hilly slog ahead.

Continue reading The Port Davey and South Coast Track – Day 9

The Port Davey and South Coast Track – Day 8

Day 8 – Prion Beach Boat Crossing to Surprise Bay
Walking difficulty: Easy

Due to our extra walking the day before, it wasn’t too much of a jump from Prion to Surprise Bay. There were a few bogs along the way, but nothing too serious.

Leaving Prion, the mood was high.

Continue reading The Port Davey and South Coast Track – Day 8

The Port Davey and South Coast Track – Day 7

Day 7 – Louisa River to Prion Beach Boat Crossing (via Ironbounds)
Walking difficulty: Hard and mountainous
22.9 km

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.

Continue reading The Port Davey and South Coast Track – Day 7

The Port Davey and South Coast Track – Day 6

Day 6 – Louisa Creek to Louisa River

Ah rain. I knew ye was coming.

It was an easy day. You could almost jump from Louisa Creek to Louisa River. It was a bit of a rest day for us too.

Continue reading The Port Davey and South Coast Track – Day 6

The Port Davey and South Coast Track – Day 5

Day 5 – Melaleuca to 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.

Continue reading The Port Davey and South Coast Track – Day 5

The Port Davey and South Coast Track – Day 4

Day 4 – Forest Camp to Melaleuca
Distance: 20km+
Walking difficulty: Medium
Date walked: 14 March 2012

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).

Continue reading The Port Davey and South Coast Track – Day 4