Walls of Jerusalem, Tasmania, 2021
and commentary: copyright Jonathan C Nevill, Karla Morales and Victoria
Faulstich, 2021, unless otherwise credited. Cameras: Samsung Galaxy S7,
Victoria was using an iPhone.
To walk the high plateaus of Tasmania's central highlands is to be surrounded by beauty.
At least in good weather!
From the sound of the wind rustling in the trees, to the calls of birds, frogs and insects, to the low white clouds, scudding across the sky, to the Milky Way, shining out of a night sky of the deepest darkest blue... To say nothing of the wonderful feeling of being able to see a landscape without humans, and to swim in a mountain steam with no-one else around. Much detailed colour is to be found at a fine scale: small but brilliantly coloured flowers and berries; a wonderful variety of different greens in foliage (some brilliant) also the metallic shine of the small skinks and snakes.
I visited the Walls of Jerusalem National Park with Karla and Victoria, towards the end of Tasmania's rather short summer.
Walking times (we are slow walkers, as we stop to smell the flowers along the way): DAY ONE: carpark to Trappers Hut, 2 hours (an up-hill walk taking you to the plateau). Trappers Hut to Wild Dog Creek, 2 hours. DAY TWO: Wild Dog Creek to Dixons Kingdom, 3 hours. Dixons Kingdom to Lake Adelaide, 3 hours. DAY THREE: Lake Adelaide to Lake Loane, 3 hours. Lake Loane to carpark, 2 hours.
Typical tarns along the track to Wild Dog Creek.
Wild Dog Creek lies just north (this side) of King David's Peak. Photo: Karla Morales.
The elevation of the plateau is around 1000m, while the dolerite intrusions, like King David's Peak (above) rise another 300 - 400 m.
The WDC campsite has a toilet, water supply, and several tent platforms. Photo: Victoria Regia Faulstich
A pademelon tried to break into my tent during the night. There was some damage to the tent fabric (and bruising to the pademelon's nose).
The West Wall. Photo: Karla Morales.
Small, clear water channels meander through the dense ground-cover. We preferred to drink from small flowing water channels.
The Pool of Bethesda.
Climbing Solomon's Throne. Photo: Karla Morales
Lake Ball from Solomon's Throne. Photo: Karla Morales.
The hut at Dixon's Kingdom.
Dixon's Kingdom is like a tiny paradise, a lost world. Very old pine trees and 'marsupial lawns'. On a sunny day, a feeling of peace and beauty.
There are no tent platforms, and no tapped water supply, however there is a toilet.
The pine trees offer protection from winds. However much of the ground is damp and slopping.
Our original plan had been to camp one night here, but due to work commitments on Monday, we moved on to the camp ground at Lake Adelaide.
Before taking the track to Lake Adelaide, Victoria and Karla walked to Mount Jerusalem. This is a pool along the way.
The view northeast from Mount Jerusalem. Note the many tarns. A paradise for small aquatic animals and plants. No humans! But cold in winter. Photo Karla Morales.
From a hiker's viewpoint, the abundance of drinkable surface water is a great benefit.
Looking west from Mount Jerusalem. The large waterbody is Lake Ball.. Photo: Karla Morales.
Looking northwest from Mount Jerusalem. The waterbody is Lake Salome. Photo: Karla Morales.
Lake Ball west. The low plants pictured here appear to be thriving both below and above the water.
Waterbodies on the plateau are often very pretty, partly due to reflections in calm weather. Lake Adelaide is no exception. Photo: Karla Morales.
Sunset over Lake Adelaide.
Lake Adelaide, just before sunrise.
Lake Adelaide after sunrise... the lake's colours are always changing... Photo: Karla Morales.
Skinks are plentiful.
Cushion plants are fascinating. In this image I can imagine that I have taken a journey to another solar system, and landed on a strange planet. The green is a wide field, and a dense forest rises abruptly... no doubt full of strange creatures....
It was a great pleasure seeing dragonflies and damselflies, and taking the time to watch them hunt for prey.
Boulder debris left by glaciation in the last ice-age.
Generally speaking, the condition of the tracks in the Walls of Jerusalem area varies between poor and terrible. In some places, particularly walking west from Dixon's Kingdom, the track is, in many places, impossible to follow. Here the fact that the track runs near the shore of Lake Ball is the only thing that saved us from getting lost.
The Parks and Wildlife Service is (at the time of writing) spending money on the tracks, but the current level of investment is only one tenth of what is needed.
The walk is deservedly popular, and should be one of the jewels of the PWS estate. During our trip, the primary carpark was above full capacity, with around 27 cars parked in a 25-bay park.
One of the many tarns we passed on the walk from Lake Adelaide to Trappers Hut.
The water here was deep enough to swim, and perfectly clear (until we splashed in!). We did not swim where we could damage vegetation.
Back on track.... Personally, I prefer the old PWS signs, which were plain grey wood, with the message engraved. They blended into the bush beautifully.
The best colours appear late in the day.
Although the forest near the carpark is generally dry sclerophyll, small areas of wet vegetation exist around streamlines. This stream is only a few minutes walk from the carpark.