I have visited the Walls of Jerusalem dozens of times over the years but for some reason I had never walked the Junction Lake track. So it was time to do a little exploring.
I climbed the usual track up past Trapper’s Hut, disturbing a beautiful, sleek black Tiger snake on the way. It wasn’t long before the Junction Lake track branched off and new country was ahead. It was a fast, easy walk down to Lake Adelaide, followed by a somewhat slower twist/turn down to a really attractive campsite at Lake Meston.
The next day was a continuation further south to Junction Lake. On the way I passed two absolutely classic Tasmanian mountain huts, Lake Meston Hut and Junction Lake Hut. Both about as rustic as you could get. A quick scout around near Junction Lake Hut and I found the somewhat elusive track up to Lake Artemis. “Track” is probably a somewhat grandiose term for it but it did lead me to Lake Artemis eventually. I set the Moondance up in windy, showery conditions and cooked dinner before slipping into the dryness of my shelter. It was cool, around 3.5 degrees at dinnertime but an hour or so later I could hear the silence. The wind had dropped out and the rain cleared. I woke at around 7am and checked the thermometer outside the tent. Right then, -5.7 degrees C! That was a surprise! Despite travelling with what I would call my summer gear, Moondance I non FN tent and Helium 450 XLsleeping bag, I had been toasty warm all night and had no idea that it was actually quite cool outside.
The frost cleared to a glorious cloudless day as I packed up for the walk back out. Lake Meston was so pleasant I decided to stay there again. The next morning was a little drizzly, clearing to a fine morning with mist on the water. Certainly nowhere near as cold as the previous night. Tassie weather is beautiful in all its moods.
Later that morning as I made my way up the shoreline of Lake Adelaide I saw a helicopter slowly making its way south, almost as if it was looking for something or someone. I met two other walkers at the top end of Lake Adelaide and they told me that the helicopter was landing next to any walkers spotted and letting them know that all Tasmanian national parks were closing the following day because of Covid19. Serious stuff!
Another perfect campsite at Lake Adelaide and an especially serene sunset capped off a perfect day.
The fifth day was a relaxed wander back over the plains before dropping down past Trappers Hut and then to the car.
Five days of peace and relaxation (and a fair chunk of good healthy, exercise). Perfect isolation!
And even a lovely moonset over Mt Dromedary on the way home.
By wilderness photographer and Mont Ambassador Geoff Murray
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