A Stroll into Pine Valley, and a Sunny Day on the Labyrinth.
March 2009
Map - the grid squares are 1 km

Laurie Ford/Elli Tappan:

This was a hike up through Pine Valley in central Tasmania, and is part of the Cradle Mt - Lake St Claire National Park (encompassing the "Overland Track"). The track was very easy compared to Cuvier Valley last weekend. Quite a lot of boardwalk, and firm earth track with almost no mud. We had about 4 days to recover from last week, and resupply the food.

We drove up from Hobart on Friday morning and took the 12.30pm ferry up Lake St Claire, and then took 3 hours to walk into the Pine Valley Hut. This is a good track, and has 3 suspension bridges along it. The hut is new since I was here last many years ago, and 2 of the bridges were new - no more trying to balance on slippery logs across the river.

Five walkers had already left their packs in the hut and some had gone off up to the Labyrinth, and a couple went part way up towards the Acropolis. There was very low cloud so they only got views from low down. Just before dark about 5 or 6 more arrived from Kia Ora Hut (the race team?) Wet gear was suspended everywhere, and the coal burning pot bellied stove was fired up to warm us all. Many wonderfully varied stoves and food was produced, while Elli and I munched on our fresh sausage rolls from the bakery that morning.

The race team arose early to dash up the Labyrinth. Elli and I took our time as we weren't expecting the weather to clear till later in the morning. As you'll see from the photos the cloud was just lifting as we got to the top, and then was brilliant and sunny for the rest of the day. We only went as far as the lookout, but spent time sitting around looking at the scenery.

Back in the hut there was just ourselves, a walker from Slovakia who was there last night and been up the Acropolis today, and a Korean couple who arrived shortly before dark, and pitched their tent outside. There were other walkers seen during the late afternoon and we suspect there are some secret campsites not too far away.

Sunday the weather was supposed to break and we had planned to walk out to Echo Point Hut for a night, and then on down the lake to Cynthia Bay on Monday. However my ankles were not standing up very well and hadn't really recovered from last weekend so we got the midday ferry back down Lake St Claire. But it had been a really easy three days, with stunning beauty all around us.

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