Ben Lomond National Park

About 60km from Launceston is Ben Lomond National Park and we decided we would walk to the top or rather we started to.

Which walk? 

It is a pity that Tasmania National Parks don’t offer any board or paper map for one to know where the tracks are let alone any information re accessibility, gradients etc. We found a sign post at Cara Villa that indicated 2 walks. including a summit walk that was labelled as 1½ hours – so with us walking slower, we thought we’d take maybe 2 hours. OK we had a backpack with water, lunch and some fruit so off we went, even if it took an hour longer - that was OK too!

Rocky tracks

I found it OK to walk the very rocky track and Rob did too, which is why we took it slow and easy. The path is a gravelly, loose rocky walk about 90% of the track having loose rocks no smaller than a man’s fist and obviously it is nearly all uphill. It would be very rough on your ankles and knees.

Typical of most of the track

Rock wallaby mini drama

Rob spotted the tail of a rock wallaby next to the path and since the wallaby was staying still and ‘playing dead’ I tried to go off the track and around the bush to get a better photo shot, but I slipped on the loose rocks and skinned my left shin and bruised my left buttock. I am lucky I didn’t do anything worst. Boy o boy, did I regret my impulsive actions for about 24 hours – I was so, so sore! Still, I wasn’t going to let that stop me.

Believe me it felt worst than it looked but I am so grateful I didn't break any bones!

Click on the photo to see the tail that was the beginning of my downfall literally!

Are we there yet?

We stopped a few times on the way up for a short breather and for our packed lunch. We came to a trickling spring that is more like a run off but we were able to replenish our water bottles with cold water. Still we climbed. After about 2 and half hours we started questioning how much further. So maybe another 15 minutes we reached a plateau and could see that the track is winding away to here and there and worked out that we were probably a bit more than half way up the mountain. Rob was very concerned that his leg would give out especially as we still had to walk all the way back. After some consideration we thought it wise to stay together and started to descend rather than continue on. I also decided to measure the distance we had traveled and I believe we had gone a bit over 2 km each way, which considering the steepness and difficulty of the terrain, I think was very good for us!

Beautiful flowers

On the way up (and back obviously) we saw some beautiful flora. We were very taken with the red flowers, I am not sure if they are a mini waratah or a grevillea, maybe someone with more botanical knowledge can inform us.

Is it a mini waratah or a grevillea? The whole bush is the image above.

We also saw many other flowers.

The vista

We had a clear walk up the mountains but the vista was a bit hazy. Still the vista is amazing of the craggy mountains and the valley laid out below.

Part of the craggy mountain sides

Alpine Village without the snow!

The drive up Jacob’s Ladder

When we finally made it back to the car, we decided to drive up the other road which apparently lead to the alpine village.

The zig zag road up is called Jacob’s Ladder and it is quite mind blowing. It would be terribly scary in icy or snowy conditions. I also wouldn't take a motorhome or caravan up there. However in a car it is certainly a trip worth making as the view from the top is just stupendous!

Was it worth it?

It is definitely worth the trip and even the walk. The walk from Cara Villa is good for fit people but make sure you allow more time. I think the 90 minutes is well underestimated even for one way. There is a much shorter though maybe steeper walk from the alpine village but we didn’t walk it. We’d had enough!

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