Lake Salome, Walls of Jerusalem National Park, Tasmania.  2020

 

I visited the Walls of Jerusalem National Park in central Tasmania on November 3, 2020.

Photos: Jonathan Nevill, Samsung S7 phone, unless otherwise credited.

It was an exploratory visit. I wanted to do a day walk out of the car park, just to have a quick look around.

The above image shows Rowallan Dam on the Mersey River, as well as the Fish River valley feeding into the dam from the east. The Mersey River flows from south to north. Lake Salome sits on a flattish plateau, criss-crossed by small streams and their valleys. There are many tarns on this plateau, and some larger lakes towards the east are visible in the Google Earth image.

 

The forest around the Mersey River looked to me like wet sclerophyll, damaged by fire or logging or both. Here I had expected to see rainforest with Nothofagus antarctica. Such forests do occur not far west of this location.

 

Note the absence of aboriginal names...  which have perhaps been lost, at least to some extent.

Note also the three camping areas: Wild Dog Creek, Dixons Kingdom, and Lake Adelaide. 

I left the car-park at 6:30am, planning to be back by 5:30pm. A good trip, carrying food for two nights, would be to camp the first night at Wild Dog Creek, and the second night at Dixons Kingdom. Both camping sites have tent platforms and toilets, as well as a limited supply of water. 

If you only had food for one night, Dixons Kingdom would be the logical place to sleep, returning to the car-park via the Lake Adelaide track. 

I reached the Wild Dog Creek campsite at 11:30am.

The above map show patches of native pine. Pencil pine perhaps?

 

The forest just above the car-park was rather dry, punctuated with wet vegetation around drainage lines.

Overall, the track is rocky, but the grades are easy (at least for someone with only a day-pack).  
Once you reach the plateau, the track is roughly on level ground, so pretty easy walking.

 

Track workers left behind a cross-section of a eucalypt trunk. You can see how the borer favour the inner wood. Each borer hole is about 10mm in diameter.

 

 

 

Trapper's Hut: a relic of former years. Trappers made a living selling wallaby skins. Inside the hut was an empty bottle of Trappers Hut Whisky.

 

 

Once the track reaches the plateau, the forest disappears, and the horizon comes into view.

At this stage the track is still climbing at a moderate grade.

 

In the early morning light, the horizon appeared strikingly blue.

 

Where the sun shines through the eucalypt leaves they appear bright green, but in reflected light, a soft matt green.

 

A typical view of the western horizon from the plateau track. The elevation here is I think around 800m. The higher I walked, the browner the vegetation appeared. I suspect the plants have to cope with dry summers.

 

Wombats place their poo strategically around their territory. This wombat, I thought, displayed some artistic sensitivity.

 

Like the wombat, I too enjoy the patterns in fallen eucalypts.

 

As is typical in Australia, the larger wildlife (eg: wallabies, possums and wombats) are not often visible during the day. I did see a few ravens and currawongs, and one eagle in the distance. The lower forest was full of morning bird-calls, but the birds were invisible. 
There were grasshoppers in a variety of forms and colours.

 

On rising ground, just south of Wild Dog Creek Campsite. Looking northwest.

 

Skinks are one of the few wildlife species readily visible.

 

Cushion plants add a splash of green to an otherwise rather brown landscape.

 

Wild Dog Creek campsite lies among the trees at the end of the track. The walk to the campsite took me 5 hours, walking slowly.

 

Above and below: rock lichens and mosses.

 

Adorning trees too. Is this a lichen or a moss?

 

A typical small tarn on the plateau.

 

From the plateau, the horizon is often visible and striking.

 

Much of the plateau's low vegetation, while giving the landscape an overall brown hue, contains exceptional colour and beauty when examined close-up.

 

This is the same plant in its landscape context. The second lake (in the distance) is Lake Salome.

 

 

Lake Salome from Solomon's Throne. Photo: Victoria Regia Faulstich

The base plateau is around 1000m elevation, while the dolerite intrusions (like Solomon's Throne) sit at around 1300 to 1400m.

The groves of pencil pine are a distinctive feature of this landscape.

 

 

 

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