17. STACKS BLUFF
LOCATION: Storys Creek, 108 km southeast of Launceston.
DRIVE TIME: 1.5 hours from Launceston
MAP: St Pauls or Ben Lomond National Park Map
WALK DISTANCE: 8 km return, 6 hours
DESCRIPTION: A steep climb to one of the State’s highest peaks.
Some boulder-hopping and walking across an exposed plateau is involved
but wonderful views reward. Definitely one for the fitter and more
NOTE: This is a very high altitude walk and should not be attempted in
bad weather. A compass is recommended.
GETTING THERE: Drive south from Launceston on the Midland
Highway and turn east along the Esk Main Road at Conara. At Avoca
turn left and drive up B42. Three km beyond Rossarden turn left on
Storys Creek Road and drive a further 3 km to the largely abandoned
mining township. Turn right opposite the old school and drive for
1.1 km before turning right at a Y-intersection on an old dirt road with a
parking area just 100 m beyond. This road is rough but some drivers may
choose to push on uphill for a further 200 m to a junction where there is
again good parking and room to turn around.
THE WALK: Follow the rough 4WD track steeply uphill through
open eucalypt forest for about 20 minutes until it ends and a sign points
to Stacks Bluff. From here the track is clearly marked with rock cairns
and red markers. Apart from veering right after about 100 m it continues
almost straight uphill.
Half an hour after leaving the signpost the track reaches the base of the
boulder field proper. Do not proceed in misty conditions or if mist is
likely, as once the cairns are obscured the way home is very hard to find.
The cairns continue towards the plateau, skirting the eastern side of a
small rocky tor and emerging at the base of a really steep section of
boulders. These lead up to a gap in the cliffs to the northwest. Cairns are sparse but the way is obvious. Halfway up a small tarn appears in view
less than 500 m away.
The track emerges on the flat and open plateau. There is no marked trail
across the plateau so head west, avoiding the first valley, and turn south
only after passing a small hill. Stacks Bluff now lies due south with a
pronounced gully evident halfway along its length. Cairns resume at the
base of this gully and continue to the top. Here they veer off to the trig
point some 200 m west. Views are spectacular and on a good day Mount
Wellington is clearly visible far to the south.