Sunday, February 22, 2015

Mount King William I

This is a fantastic walk. Not very long (under three hours) but with the possibility of extending your walk for a few hours, or even a few days. Turn south onto Harbacks Road (unsigned) about 10 km west of Derwent Bridge and drive for about 1.5 km to an old gated road that heads off across button grass plains to the south. 

 Button grass plains

The first 3.5 km of the walk is along this old road. Initially past some beautiful button grass plains (only two weeks in Tasmania and already I love the button grass plains) into an area of large old eucalpyts. Many of the real giants have been logged and now the stumps stand white and ghostly among the button grass but the forest is regrowing and is very beautiful here. Climbing gradually, the track emerges onto button grass plains on the northeast shoulder of King William I and the dolerite columns on the east side come into view. The road steepens before ending at around 1000 metres where there is a National Parks log book. 

 Dolerite columns on Mount King William I

The last 600 metres of track climbs about 300 metres in elevation so it is steep right from the get go and, just before the top gets even steeper. The track is easy to follow and ladder like as you quickly gain elevation. The views are fantastic. Lake King William, Guelph Basin and a slew of smaller higher lakes are scattered about the button grass plains and craggy peaks rise to the south. 

Lake King William 

On the summit, there is a tiny little fibreglass igloo that I assume is an old fire lookout. Milligans Peak is only half an hour away to the southwest at the northern end of a delightful alpine plateau scattered with small tarns. The white dome of Federation Peak lies to the west, and to the south, the remainder of the King William Range. You could easily spend a couple of days rambling across the gorgeous country, but we just had the afternoon and all to soon had to descend. 
 Doug atop King William I

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