Devils Throne Reroute
The Friends of Wellington Park in conjunction with Parks and wildlife Service have rerouted the track that crossed a wet area on the way to Devils Throne. The story of the work is below followed by reports from the various working days.
Written by Adrian Blackman, Secretary of the Friends of Wellington Park.
Devils Throne consists of several rocky outcrops on the Wellington Range to the west of kunanyi / Mount Wellington. Standing on top of one of the cliffs there gives splendid views below of the Huon Valley and Huonville to the southwest and a wide vista of most of the mountains of the Wellington Range towards the north. Part of the walking track to Devils Throne has just been rerouted by the Friends of Wellington Park thereby avoiding a long, wet and degraded section—a drier walk to the ‘Devil’ is now possible.
To get to Devils Throne one starts at the car park just past Big Bend and follows the Thark Ridge track (itself recently improved by the Friends of Wellington Park). Once the ridge saddle is reached the track to Devils Throne branches off to the right (the main track leads to Mount Montagu). The old track from here to Devils Throne was 2.7 km long. Part of it traversed a plain and was usually wet and boggy; additionally, sections were becoming wider due to walkers trying to avoid the water. Peter Franklin, president of the Friends of Wellington Park, came up with the idea of rerouting this section onto nearby rocky ground to improve walker enjoyment and to lessen environmental impact. Parks and Wildlife personnel agreed and they together with the Friends group surveyed the new route.
The new section of track was planned to be 800 metres in length, a daunting task for volunteers to construct. The undertaking was made more difficult since the site is about 1100 metres in elevation and it takes a little over one hour to walk there (tools had to be carried too!). Work commenced in February 2017 and was completed four months later in mid June. Towards the end of this time the winter weather became a problem in selecting suitable visiting times and occasionally there were small patches of snow on the ground while working. A total of five days were spent building the new section of track. Volunteers from both the Friends of Wellington Park (who are also Wildcare members) and the RAMBOs walking group contributed many hours to the project with Peter’s enthusiastic coordination. Parks and Wildlife personnel took an overall supervisory role and also helped with the construction several times.
Since the new track section is now on hard ground there will be less damage to the surroundings caused by walkers. A part traverses an interesting eucalypt woodland. An additional bonus gained is the improved view—down into the Mountain River valley and then up to Collins Bonnet and Mount Connection. These benefits were gained by removing and trimming vegetation, moving rocks aside and also by placing locally sourced rock into hollows and a few potentially wet spots to make a firm, flat and dry walking surface. The old section of track has now been closed for rehabilitation.
The walk to Devils Throne from Thark Ridge is now 2.8 km long and is a combination of old and new sections. A local walking group has already used the new track and has expressed their appreciation and thanks. Additional future improvements are envisioned to older sections of the track and these include bypassing a steep boulder field and trimming of encroaching vegetation.
The one way walking distance from the car park to Devils Throne is 4.7 km so a visit there can easily be accomplished in a day. As an aside it is possible to take a different route back and this circuit walk is recommended for the more experienced walker. This is on a more southerly, track leading back to the Thark Ridge track. Once there a short detour leads to the ‘Municipal Marker’ a historic rock cairn marking the intersection of the boundaries of Glenorchy, Hobart and Kingborough Municipalities.
The site shown on the right can be viewed by clicking the image. It shows the state of the old track over the moor and the location of the new track.
Photos of the reroute are below
Site E on the Devils Throne reroute showing the same location .
Top left Prior to work
Top right After clearing vegetation
Left After rock work by Greg to make track easier to negotiate
Reports on the work done since the on ground part of the project started in February 2017
Background and reason for the reroute
The route to Devils Throne from the west side of Thark Ridge saddle traverses a wet area in a straight line for 780 metres. The new route realigns this section onto rocky ground to improve walker enjoyment and to avoid further track braiding and the associated environmental damage.
Realign the route to prevent track braiding through wet areas and improve walker enjoyment.
The realignment will prevent future damage to the fragile sub-alpine vegetation and peat soils. The new route will be more enjoyable than the current route due to the superior track surface. The new route is further west and will provide spectacular views west across Mountain River valley and will feature an alternative view of "Sleeping Beauty".