Gracing Lady Lake on the Western Tiers
Lady Lake hut (Canon 5D MkII, 17-40mm f/4 lens)

Gracing Lady Lake on the Western Tiers

Lady Lake sits on the edge of the dolerite cliffs of the Western Tiers, in Tasmania. This was another one of my holiday adventures with a spot of photography on the side. The main attraction for myself and a friend undertaking this walk was the idea of following the historic Higgs Track. Cut into the side of the Tier in 1879 to move cattle from the lower tablelands to the Central Plateau. When we read about this walk I imagined a wide trail snaking up the face of the Tier. However, to my surprise we were thrown into a tight forested region with a track that was rocky a narrow. I could not imagine droving cattle up this track.

Candle Heath in flower
Candle Heath in flower (Canon 5D MkII, 17-40mm f/4 lens)

The trail involved a steep climb of approximately 500 metres over 3.8 kilometres. Wending its way through myrtle and sassafras forest, across small creeks, fern groves and blocks falls of rock. Our assent took us about an hour and three quarters. It was not until the very end of the trial that we were thrown into daylight, finding ourselves on the top of the escarpment. On reaching the top we noted a small rock cairn about mid-thigh in height. For safety, it was important to note as it is the only marker for the start of the trail.  Even on the bright and sunny day we found it hard it to see from a short distance away. The track notes warn in times of low lying cloud the rock cairn is hard to find. So being prepared for inclement weather and a stay in the Lady Lake hut needs to be considered.

Water pools and sedgeland
Water pools and sedgeland (Canon 5D MkII, 17-40mm f/4 lens)

We chose to do a day hike to Lady Lake, although the idea of an overnight stay was very enticing. The first thing you see as you walk onto the Tier is Lady Lake Hut about 200 metres from the head of the track. We approached it via a single track, worn into the alpine meadow that weaved its way through a pool laden plain. The alpine meadow was a mix of sedgeland and fernfields dotted with alpine heath, cushion plants and sphagnum moss. The meadow was a myriad of small creeks and numerous crystal clear pools of water.

Lady Lake hut
Lady Lake hut (Canon 5D MkII, 17-40mm f/4 lens)

 

On inspection Lady Lake Hut was well maintained, spacious with around eight bunk spaces and a small cooking area. Just outside there was an area where the scars of on open fire lay. We wandered around to Lady Lake and sat and ate lunch and dreamed of coming back and walking all the way through to the Walls of Jerusalem. After lunch, we returned to Lady Lake hut, where my hiking buddy let me indulge in a spot of photography while she basked in the sun on a large rock in front of the hut. Our trip home was certainly much easier than the climb up, although care still needed to be taken. I’d recommend this walk but go prepared for a change in weather. Tasmania’s weather can catch you out as it’s known to snow in summer.

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