Following on from my previous trip to Lake St Clair and Echo Point we took some time over New Year to visit Mt Rufus, and with a careful eye on the weather websites (Elders usually does the job for me – although lately they have stopped giving forecasts for regional towns and various mountaintops) we picked a couple of days which looked like they could be nice in amongst the fairly average summer Tasmania has been “enjoying” so far this year. Mt Rufus is 1416 metres high, so by “nice” I was looking for still winds mainly, and we decided Weds Jan 5 was our window of opportunity.
Mt Rufus Walk
Mt Rufus is generally listed as a 7 hour circuit walk (if you go up via Shadow Lake). I don’t think it was far off the mark. We weren’t in much of a hurry, as we were only planning on doing half the walk on the first day – the aim being a camp right on top. We walked up past Shadow Lake, through a very dry rainforest section (with heaps of pandani) and through a valley full of blooming scoparia, interestingly enough called “Scoparia Valley”. Finally we passed the sandstone outcrops that makes Mt Rufus unique amongst the Tasmanian dolerite mountains – most other mountains having long ago lost their sandstone caps.
Mt Hugel dominates the horizon in this part of the park, and once we reached the summit we could glimpse Frenchmans Cap on the western horizon, as well as the extensive mountains of the Wild Rivers National Park to the south. In fact, according to the parks map, the ridge you walk up to the top of Mt Rufus is the boundary of the Cradle Mountain Lake St Clair National Park, and the Wild Rivers National Park. In any case, its a classic Tasmanian mountain walk this one, well worth the visit.
Tasmanian wilderness photography
Generally on any overnight walk I count myself lucky to land either a nice sunset or a nice sunrise – so to cop both this time was great, including bright, lingering colours in the evening as well as misty valleys and a clear yellow predawn sky in the morning was a huge reward, and a nice way to start the new year.
All of the images above are available as fine art prints. Visit my online Tasmanian photography gallery for purchase details.