The top of the Ironbounds

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
Note: For GPS data, go to the GPS data page. 

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.

At about 750m, visibility unfortunately got poor and we couldn’t see anything.

The top of the Ironbounds
The top of the Ironbounds

At the top of the mountain, it was windy and wet and cold. There was nothing to look at and nothing to do. It was easy walking up the top, but then we started descending again.

I always prefer to walk up hills, rather than down. Walking Slipping down the west-side of the Ironbounds wasn’t much fun. The track was narrow, there was quite a few trees and bushes and scrub covering the track, and thousands of tree-roots to climb over and under. It was really slow going. It also got old really quickly. Unfortunately, as the saying goes, ‘what goes up must come down’.

Then, as was always going to happen, the mud made its return.

We pushed on, and decided not to stay at Deadman’s Bay camp. We had lunch there and through it’d be a good idea to walk on to Prion Beach camp.

When we were at sea level, it was wonderful. The weather wasn’t warm, but it wasn’t cold either. And after walking up and over the Ironbounds we even went for a swim in the salty-sea. It was wonderful.

Prion Beach
Prion Beach (post-swim)

It was about 4km along the beach and as we turned and looked behind us, there was some really odd weather going on. Wind was blowing the sea onto the beach, and there was an erie mist. In the sky, a huge black cloud was hanging there – blocking the Ironbounds from view – and more worryingly, looking like it was about to rain heavily for days.

Dash saw some crows, which he reckoned was a sure sign of impending doom.

We scampered along the beach, made it finally to the boats. I rowed Dash over, who went to find some water (it was hard to find water here), then I rowed back and back again. No one else was around at Prion Beach that night.

I also got to finally see Precipitous Bluff in the distance when rowing across the narrows. It was brilliant. I’d been looking forward to seeing the Bluff for a long time. Though, due to the weather and impending doom (which never happened), I didn’t get a photo. Good excuse to go back and walk to the top of it.

I’ll photograph you next time Precipitous Bluff!

So was it worth the extra effort to walk from Louisa River to Prion? I thought so. Firstly, it wasn’t too hard and it meant we were a few kilometers down the track from everyone else. Secondly, it meant our next day to Surprise Bay would be an easy half-day walk. Thirdly, in hindsight, (as you’ll see in the next post), spending extra time at Surprise Bay was one of the best decisions/things to happen on the trip.

Note: For GPS data, go to the GPS data page.

Read Day 8 – Prion Beach Boat Crossing to Surprise Bay

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