Nick and I started paddling the kayaks on the glass like waters of Leeawuleena (Lake St Clair) at 9am, after driving up from Launceston at the crack of dawn. This was a trip we'd wanted to do for ages, so it was wonderful to be finally doing it, and in such crackin' weather! The first part to our day was to paddle two thirds of the way up the west side of the lake to Echo Point. Here we had a leg stretch, and caught up with a friend/track ranger who'd just finished his shift. We then had to cross to the eastern shore of the lake, and having chosen our destination from the jetty at Echo Point it took about 20 minutes to get there. We made land about 700m south-east of Ida Bay in a small, south facing bay, with a beautiful beach. We set up the tents, had some lunch, and found a good place in the water to cool down some beers. By 12:30pm we were heading into the bush for Mt Ida.
The walk was simple, just head north-east, and go up hill! The summit of Ida was only about 1.5km from where we had the tents and the walking was delightful. To start with there was majestic rainforest with straight Myrtles, peppered with some Sassafras, and ferns. This lead steadily through a small line of sandstone cliffs before the scrubbier vegetation was reached higher up. This was still very light by comparison to many other places, though. Most of the time we could weave between the Tea Trees and Scoparia bushes with ease. Soon enough we had the tower of Mt Ida looming above us, and it was a matter of heading left till we picked up a very well cairned route through some scrubby scree, and the final push up Ida. We reached summit in just over an hour from the water. The view was amazing! Looking back towards the Walls of Jerusalem, with the crumbling cliffs of the Traveller Range, and it's associated lakes was particularly beautiful. And of course, the stand out feature was the beautiful big lake we'd just come from, with Mt Olympus looming tall above. We spent at least 45 minutes on the summit, before the thought of a swim in the lake became too tantalising!
We followed the cairns as far as we could, and then made a bee line for the lake. Again, very easy navigation, although we did manage to hit a few patches of scrubber bush on the way down. As soon as we got to the lake we cracked out a beer and jumped in the warm waters. We spent the afternoon enjoying the view, the brew, the water, and a lot of 'Hitty Rock Thong' (a game involving Nick, Zane, a body of water, many small stones, and a thong [flip-flop for you yanks]).
|Water like glass.|
|Such a classic mountain!|
|Heading up the lake.|
|Echo Point Hut.|
|Our little bay for the night.|
|Warratah looking sublime.|
|Mt Ida peeping through the trees.|
|Nick doin' his thing.|
|The view from the summit was mint!|
|Hello Mr Lizard!|
|Some cheeky craft.|
Sleeping in till about 7am, watching the sun rise on Mt Olympus, listening to the birds. Not too bad. We packed slowly and were in the kayaks before 8am. The paddling wasn't as smooth as the previous day, but the wind was blowing in our favour. We kept to the eastern shore, which was interesting to see so close up. A lot of thick bush in there. With the aid of the wind, we were back at the visitor centre in just under 2 hours! The inevitable Hungry Wombat pilgrimage followed.
|I'll be back again for sure!|