My mate James and I decided to sneak in a quick trip to Frenchman’s Cap before Christmas. This is a spectacular walk and we had perfect weather. This trip is recommended as a 3-5 day walk, and having done it in 2 days I now know why. At just under 24km each way it is certainly doable in 2 long days, but in hindsight I think 3-4 days would be more enjoyable.
James had done this walk previously during the days of the “Sodden Loddons” but since 2013 the track has been re-routed and significant track building has taken place. Yes our feet were nice and dry.
The first section of the walk from the highway to Lake Vera Hut is relatively flat, easy and enjoyable walking. As we walked down one moderately steep section, we found a nice Swiss guy named Marco camped on the track. It was the sort of spot you would only camp if it was dark and you had no torch, you were exhausted and had drunk 12 beers. Marco’s campsite selection became a source of amusement and ridicule as we spent 4 hours walking with him later in the day.
The section of the walk from Lake Vera Hut to Lake Tahune Hut is significantly slower as there are more obstacles and more up and down.
The big camera….
Rather than carry luxury items like snacks, adequate water, long pants, comfortable boots or a warm sleeping bag, James decided it would be best to load up his pack with several kilograms of fancy camera equipment. I am sure you will agree the photos from James’ camera came out very well – but he certainly suffered for his art.
Did I mention that we had to share my pair of pants? James ate dinner with his legs inside the sleeves of a jacket (a very funny look) but when it came time to sleep I loaned him my beloved fleece pants as he had brought along his very light summer sleeping bag. Then when James went for his sunrise on the summit photo marathon he retained the trusty pants which was the only excuse I needed to sleep in.
A quiet night
Our campsite near the summit of Frenchman’s Cap was the quietest place I have ever been. Not a breath of wind, no bugs, birds or animals, no traffic or planes or noise of any type. It was eerily quiet and the absence of any noise added to the awesomeness of the location.
We had a sweet campsite and I tried out the Bush Cocoon for a 2nd night. See the gear review for more:
For further information on this great walk check out the Tas Parks and Wildlife website:
Navigation on this walk is very straightforward but it is always good to have the right map. Make sure you get the latest edition that shows the re-routed track bypassing the Loddon Plains.
A consequence of doing the trip in 2 days was that I had to drive to/from the start of the walk from Hobart in the dark. There was a heap of wildlife on the road so unless you want a smorgasboard of native animals on the front of your car you need to allow extra time so you can drive slowly to avoid roadkill. Or you can plan your trip better than me and drive out there during daylight.