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Frenchmans Cap Hike (Part 2)

Part 2 of my Frenchmans Cap hike report begins from our campsite near Sharlands Peak…

Campsite near Sharlands Peak, the staring point on Day 3 of our Frenchmans Cap hike

Campsite near Sharlands Peak, the staring point on Day 3 of our Frenchmans Cap hike

Frenchmans Cap Hike – Day 3: Climb Frenchmans Cap and return to Lake Vera

Due to a poor weather forecast for the following day we decided that we would leave our gear right where it was, and climb Frenchmans Cap without our luggage before returning to Lake Vera that night. The section from Sharlands Peak to Lake Tahune is fantastic. The view to Frenchmans Cap is framed by the skeletons of burnt out King Billy Pines, sadly wiped out in a fire in the 1960’s. The extent of the fire must have been immense as the bleached white dead trunks were visible right up and down the valley and all around Lake Tahune.

Frenchmans Cap and dead King Billy Pines

Frenchmans Cap and dead King Billy Pines, on the way to Lake Tahune

Frenchmans Cape Hike - Lake Tahune

Frenchmans Cap from Lake Tahune

Frenchmans Cap hike - view from part way up the climb from Lake Tahune

Frenchmans Cap hike – view from part way up the climb from Lake Tahune

Lake Tahune and pandani

Lake Tahune and pandani

From Lake Tahune there is a very steep set of steps to climb before you finally reach the great chunk of quartzite that is Frenchmans Cap. Funnily enough, things got a little easier from here! The final ascent is a zigzag up to the summit for outstanding views of all the mountains of central/western Tasmania. Unfortunately our views were somewhat ruined by smoke – it seems that our climb coincided with a busy day of burnoffs around Tasmania.

Frenchmans Cap hike Tasmania

On the home stretch!

Frenchmans Cap summit Tasmania

View from the top of Frenchmans Cap! Smoke kind of spoiled the really long view but it was still rather magnificent 🙂

Clytemnestra from the summit

Clytemnestra (and smoke haze) from the summit

Frenchmans Cap Hike – Day 4: Lake Vera to the Lyell Highway and the Hungry Wombat cafe

We walked out with light rain falling for most of the day. The highlight of this particular day was a ginormous “Works Burger” at the Hungry Wombat cafe in Derwent Bridge. In fact, the thought of that burger was a great motivator during those last few hours. The walk up to Mt Mullens in particular seemed to take forever when I knew the end was so near!

Franklin River, Frenchmans Cap Track Tasmania

The Franklin River at the end (& start for that matter!) of the hike

Anyone thinking about a trip to Frenchmans Cap should consult with the notes on Tasmania’s Parks & Wildlife Service web page. Needless to say it is a serious undertaking, and will require a favourable weather forecast along with better than average fitness on the part of the walkers, and a fair deal of experience walking on challenging tracks.

Part 1 (day 1 & 2) notes click here.

Sunset/sunrise photos coming up next!

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Frenchmans Cap Hike (Part 1)
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Franklin Gordon Wild Rivers National Park: Sunrise and Sunset
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About Luke

Luke O'Brien runs a stall at Hobart's popular Salamanca Market every Saturday where his prints and cards are available for purchase. Follow Luke's photographic adventures on Twitter at @lukeobrienphoto, at his Facebook page or by subscribing to his email newsletter.