These two Abels sit only 2 kilometres apart from each other on a low range to the south of Mt Field National Park. Abbotts has a road all the way to the top to service some transmission towers and act as access to the beautiful, new, and disused Eagles Eyrie function centre. I know... Look it up ya'll! A few years ago the land that envelops these two Abels was handed over from the management of Forestry Tasmania to Parks and Wildlife as a part of the Forest Peace Deal. As a result, getting hold of the key to access the road to Abbotts is very hard; I was quoted a waiting period of many months and a fee of $300! So, we (Chevi wanted to try her hand at some true scrub bashing) parked the car on the Styx Road and walked up Roberts Road to save some money. The 6 kilometre road bash was unremarkable, passing through plantation forest, some native wet sclerophyll (including some humongous Gums), and then as the top of the range was attained, Snow Gum and Bauera. The actual summit of Abbotts Lookout is a small 5 metre trodden path to a pile of rocks overlooking the Eagle Eyrie. It took us just under two hours to reach this point.
|This gate could be yours to open for the low, low price of $300!|
|Bush Pea in fine form.|
|A Tasmanian Waratah about to unfurl.|
|Towers near the summit of Abbotts Lookout.|
|That's the summit!|
|Eagles Eyrie as seen from the summit.|
We walked over to the service towers and as far east as the road would take us to prepare for some scrub-a-dub-dub! The Abels book states that the walk is completely un-tracked, and would take over 2 hours to achieve the summit of Marriotts Lookout. We found a piece of tape and a semi trodden path in the direction we were headed, so with scrub gear on we pushed into it. The slight path descended quickly into Myrtle forest and then into a stand of Snow Gums and thick Bauera. The taped route began to peter out but we kept our bearing and waded through it. From there we crossed the open saddle between the two Abels and began to push up the side of Marriotts through some thick scrub. Occasionally we found semi trodden areas and a few cairns, but nothing to make it easier. After we reached the top of a small ridge we saw the summit across a flat area, and open heath land in between. It was smooth sailing from that point and we reached the summit after 1 hour and 45 minutes from the road. The view was awesome, looking towards Mt Field and the Florentine Valley, Mt Anne and the Western Arthurs, and The Snowy Range. After half an hour on top we jumped back into the scrub and made our way home in a similar time frame.
|The "track" towards Marriotts Lookout.|
|A path! A path!|
|In the scrub, looking across the saddle towards Marriotts.|
|On top of that rocky knoll, looking at the summit.|
|Close to the top, looking back to Abbotts Lookout.|
|The iconic summit wire of Marriotts Lookout! Yes!|
P.S. After climbing these two peaks, it marks the first section of ten that I have completed! Section 3 - The South East, you are mine!