Thursday, 14 April 2016

Little Fisher River Adventures

13th April 2016

Mersey Crag
Turrana Bluff

These two little known peaks sit in the far north of the Walls of Jerusalem National Park. I went out with the aim to do an overnight trip and include nearby Clumner Bluff as well, but ended up doing only one day.

I arrived nice an early into the Mersey Forest Reserve as the Targa Tasmania was doing some stages in the area and the road was going to be closed mid-morning. I drove up the Little Fisher River road to reach a bridge that looks recently taken out meaning an extra 3kms of road walking; yay! I headed off at around 8:30 and started up the valley on a track I think is mostly used by fishermen wanting to get to some of the lakes and tarns in the area. About 10 minutes after signing my name into the log-book I heard very close by, a loud and relatively aggressive dog bark. So I reached for the nearest hefty fallen branch and continued on my way (looking back every-so-often). I didn't see it or hear it again, but a bit angering to hear wild dogs. After 50 minutes the old road turned into the regular walking track and I was soon in some gorgeous Myrtle forest, very tall trees with no underlying vegetation. It was beautiful! Walking up the valley with the sound of running water always near, I reach the spectacular Rinadeena Falls. A very peaceful place to be.

After spending some time at the falls I kept pushing uphill and within 45 minutes I had reached the alpine zone; small scrubby plants, towering peaks and open views. I was surrounded on both sides by dolerite cliffs, and both my Abels for the day. I followed the track out of the valley through pineapple grass and coral fern up onto the plateau where I went off track and headed for Mersey Crag. Easy navigation combined with the occasional pad meant it took me only 30 minutes or so to reach the summit. It sits atop a cliff line and has spectacular views back towards the Walls of Jerusalem, Overland Track mountains as well as fine views south. An early lunch on top before I headed back to the track for a brief moment only go go scrub jumping again towards Turrana Bluff. Once on top of the high plateau of Turrana it was easy walking on big slabs of rock and low islands of scrub. Only 50 minutes to achieve the summit and even more great views to be had! This time with an emphasis on the easterly aspect - towards the highland lakes. So many little jewels studding the vast flatness of the central highlands.

I spent a lot longer atop Turrana than Mersey Crag, and I think it was the highlight of the day. After 50 minutes I started to make my way back to the car. A much faster decent, while still enjoying the beautiful forest on the way down. I was back at the car by 5:15pm as the sun was on its way below the trees. A fabulous day indeed! I highly recommend these two peaks, but especially Turrana Bluff!

Crossing the might Little Fisher River.

The old road being taken back by forest.

No more road walking for me!

Fairies live here.

Again, more evidence of Fairies.

Rinadeena Falls.

Not sure what species these are.

Remnants of an old hut.

Walking through the Coral Fern.

Heading towards Mersey Crag - Mt Ossa in the far distance.

That's the summit over there!

Looking to the Walls from Mersey Crag.

From the top I had a great view to my next objective - Turrana Bluff.

Lone Gum in the saddle.

I love two Abel days.

The view from the top of Turrana Bluff looking east.

129 left.


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