Western Arthurs Traverse, Tasmania, Australia, 2002

 

Distance :  44.7 miles (72 km)

Avg.Time :   6 days

Start / Finish :

  • The Western Arthurs Traverse is a loop route that starts and finishes at the Scotts Peak Dam trailhead.
  • The starting point is three hours by road from Hobart. Unfortunately at the time of writing (2013), regular shuttle bus services to Scotts Peak Dam from Hobart are no longer running. Click here for transport options.
  • If on a budget, you may consider trying your luck hitching. If you can make it from Hobart to the junction of the B61, chances are someone will give you a ride to the dam.

Season :

  • February and March are your best chance of fine (relatively speaking) conditions. That being said, snow and heavy rain are possible at any time of year.

Maps / Info :

  • TASMAP 1:100,000 Old River covers the entire route. It can be purchased at outdoor stores throughout Tasmania.
  • John Chapman’s South West Tasmania includes maps and trekking notes. Highly recommended. Now in its 5th edition (2008).

Route / Conditons :

  • The Arthurs Range is subject to some of the wildest weather imaginable. This place makes Scotland seem like the Sahara. I kid you not, it is not uncommon to have sunshine, heavy rain, wind and snow……..and then sunshine again…………all on the same day.
  • Good wet weather gear is a must. A sense of humour will also come in handy.
  • The Arthurs plains are very muddy (see photos below). Gaiters are useful, however, chances are the mud will occasionally be up over your knees.
  • Walking along the jagged crest of the range is often exposed, and there are sections in which extreme care must be taken. Some scrambling required. Suffice to say it can be slow going at times.

Sleeping :

  • Bring a tent. Be sure it holds up well in a storm.
  • Due to the increasing popularity of this trail, timber tent platforms have been built at some of the more frequently used campsites.

Overview :

  • Fantastic hike. Arguably the most spectacular in Australia.
  • Not recommended for the inexperienced. If this is your first time hiking in this part of the world, the South Coast Track may be a better initial option.
  • Keep your base weight as low as possible (see Going Light). With all the scrambling and mud-slogging involved with hiking in the Arthurs, the last thing you want to be doing is carrying an excessively heavy pack.
  • The photos in the gallery below were taken by good friend and hiking buddy, Mike “The Gambler” Towne, during his 2009 hike of the Western Arthurs Traverse.

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