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Saturday, April 06, 2013

     Western Arthur's Range Traverse is a circuit route that starts and finishes at Scott's Peak Dam near the southern end of Lake Pedder deep in the heart of Southwest National park. Scott's Peak Dam with the Huon campsite nearby is also a trailhead for the Port Davey Track which leads to Melaleuca, the start of the South Coast Track.

By car

Scott's Peak Dam is located 154km (4 hours drive) south-west from Hobart. From Hobart, follow the main road west through New Norfolk and Maydena, then turn to Scott's Peak Road and drive south until you reach Huon campground near Lake Pedder. If you're planning other tracks in Tasmania after your Western Arthurs adventure, you'll almost certainly need your own car: it gives you peace of mind and flexibility which the difficulty of this unpredictable traverse almost demands. 

By private shuttle

  1. Evans Coaches can provide transport for bush walkers in and around Southern Tasmania. They cater to independent travelers or walking groups with an option of airport pick ups and drop offs. The cost is usually very high for less than 4 passengers, although some destinations can be arranged on weekends or public holidays. They can offer the following connections: Hobart to Scotts Peak Dam ($400.00 1 - 4 passengers, departs 9.00am on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday). The return transfer has to be pre-arranged individually.
  2. Tiger Wilderness can offers private charters for walking groups as well as independent travellers. They provide transport to and from the following National Parks: Cradle Mountain and St Clair, Arm River, Lees Paddocks, Walls of Jerusalem, Frenchmans Cap, Southwest and other places. Check their website for the free quote.  
  3. Mountain Bikes Tasmania is a new transport provider in Tasmania offering flexible transport options from the airport to the start of the major bushwalking areas. They can also pick you up from the end of your walk with return transfer to either Launceston or Hobart airport.
  4. Tasmanian Wilderness Experiences provide a comprehensive transport service for bushwalkers seeking to access Tasmania's walking tracks. They can offer very convenient and flexible schedule to and from Hobart Airport.
  5. Adventure Seekers provide transportation service from Hobart to Scotts Peak Dam ($120 pp).  

Most private shuttle can provide assistance with the purchase of National Park Passes, fuel and gas for camping, books and maps for your walk, as well as equipment hire and limited range of camping foods. Most of them also encourage you to share the cost for your transport with other people so check on the forums such as bushwalk.com or contact the company in advance to see when other people are going so you can share the cost. For the more budget minded hitchhiking business does work and you can always find other  people heading the same direction on the bushwalking forums. If you're planning to visit a few different  National Parks, hiring a car very often ends up being the cheaper option not mentioning the flexibility of your own car which in an unpredictable wilderness such as Southwest or Cradle Mountain is almost always a welcome bonus.

     Depending on the weather conditions and your experience level you have a few options when accessing the Western Arthur's Range from the western end (Moraine A):
  1. Scott's Peak Dam to Lake Cygnus: 3 days return walk from Scott's Peak.
  2. Scott's Peak Dam to Lake Oberon: 4-5 days return walk from Scott's Peak.
  3. Westerns Arthur's Range Traverse via Moraine A-K: the most popular circuit route from Scott's Peak which descends the range via moraine K. It takes 7-9 days.
  4. The full traverse: The traverse of the entire Western Arthur's Range. It takes 10-11 days including the access to and from the range.
     It is also possible to access the range from the eastern end (from Cracroft Crossing on the Huon and Arthur Plains Track, or from the Pass Creek) as well as from the southern ridges, this should be however only attempted by the most experiences parties.


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