About 9 months ago, Wendy and I had decided we’d like to Raft The Franklin. We spoke about it a bit and next thing we knew, Len S and Theo had decided to join us. Well, sometimes you’re just not meant to do something.
All our plans were made, the rafting trip and airline flights booked, hotels booked and Trish M and Sharyn C had booked in to join us after the Franklin for the Mt Anne Circuit, so we were all set. Seven days out (let me repeat that 7 days!), the tour company calls us to say that the Trip’s Off because there was not enough water in the Franklin. Who would have thought, bloody Tasmania’s like one big drain, rain all the time and water everywhere.
Well, what were we to do? We all had flights booked including Trish and had asked for vacation time off with work. Seven days out, some quick decisions needed to be made. There were a few small walks in Tassie that I’d long wanted to do and so I quickly set up an itinerary which took in Walls of Jerusalem, Frenchman’s Cap, Freycinet and culminated with us meeting up with Trish & Sharyn in Hobart, as planned, to do the Mt Anne Circuit.
So, we found ourselves in Launceston, picked up gas and a hire car and were off to the Walls of Jerusalem. I’d never been there, although almost everyone else I knew had, so this was an exploratory to see what all the fuss was about and to determine whether or not I’d go there again. We set aside 3 days, not long, but enough to get us in there and out.
The track notes are all over the Net of course so here are some highlights. The walk in is dead easy. National Parks want you to camp at Wild Dog Creek (close to Herods Gate) and about 2 – 3 hours from the carpark) but we were a bit naughty and walked right on by the camp site platforms and headed for Dixons Kingdom, it was definitely worth it and took us another 2 hours.
Mind you, everyone and their mother does the Walls of Jerusalem trip so there were lots of other people there, but when we got to Dixon’s Kingdom we scouted around for a site well away from anyone else and found a spot high up and out of sight, a lovely campsite, a bit of a hike to the composting toilet but that was ok. There is a little hut at Dixons and this looks so authentic, but truth be known, a film crew created this hut as part of a movie and not much of it’s authentic, maybe the idea of having a hut there’s authentic! Most people camp in this area as it’s flat and close to water. I took this shot (above) on the afternoon of our second day when all the back-packers had left, on Day 2 in the evening we had the whole place to ourselves.
Next day we packed up our day packs and headed off to the highlights, Mt Jerusalem (great views and on top of Mt Jerusalem we got out the billy and had a cuppa, you wouldn’t get to do that if you were coming from Wild Dog Creek!)and Solomon’s Throne and The Temple. Theo did the walk up to The Temple, looked like a lot of scree to us so we just waited in the saddle for him to come down plus the weather was closing in, the views wouldn’t be that great.
These spots are well worth visiting, views galore and we didn’t see anyone else there, if they camped back at Wild Dog Creek then they’d be hard pressed to visit all three of the spots that we did in a day.
On day 3 we packed up our gear and retraced our steps back to the highway making a short detour to the Pools of Siloam and Bethesda which is where some people (in the know) camp, it’s away from everything and quite nice.
Would I do it again? Yes, but there are other tracks there that the general tourist bushwalker (the backpackers) don’t do and I’d do those next time, there are some back country huts apparently that are worth a visit. It wouldn’t be as easy, would take longer than 3 days but the area is worth setting aside a few days to visit. Stunning country!