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Saturday, April 06, 2013

     Camping areas on top of the Western Arthur's Range are limited, small, simple and very exposed to the weather and muddy underfoot. In between the recommended campsites, there are very few emergency 1-2 tent sites on open moors or under the cliffs which are extremely exposed to the weather and can be dangerous during storms or high winds. Timber platforms were built at Lake Cygnus and Lake Oberon which can be highly appreciated especially after 24 hours of torrential rain that we were blessed with.

Recommended campsites

  1. Huon campground at Scott's Peak Dam:  A few kilometers past Edgar Dam campground lies the Huon campground. It is accessed by turning off Scotts Peak Dam Road just before it climbs to its terminus on Scotts Peak. The trailhead for the Port Davey (and South Coast track) as well as Western Arthur's Range is close to the campground. Huon campground has about 10 campgrounds that sit in a pleasant forested area. There's supposed to be $10 fee for 2 adults, but at the time we were there no one was collecting the fees.
  2. Junction Creek (3-4 hours from Scott's Peak Dam): a good although busy camping area (lies at the junction of a few different tramping routes) in a nice sheltered forest area on the bank of the Huon River.
  3. Moraine A Camp (1.5 hours from Junction Creek): 1-2 tent campsite with reliable water at the foot of Moraine A, the start of the ascent to the Western Arthur's Range.
  4. Lake Cygnus (4 hours from Moraine A Camp): beautiful campsite near Lake Cygnus. Timber platforms are available for 4 tents. The water should be collected from the stream rather than the lake.
  5. Lake Oberon (1.5 hours from Square Lake): the most spectacular campsite on the range surrounded by dramatic quartzite crags, Mt Pegasus and the famous Lake Oberon. 4 single timber platforms are provided, hidden in the scrub after crossing the lake outlet (can be hard to find in low visibility). Some wet sites can also be found along the western edge of the lake.
  6. High Moor (7-9 hours from Lake Oberon): very exposed and muddy tent sites scattered around the moor. Water can be unreliable. 
  7. Haven Lake (6-8 hours from High Moor): poorly sheltered and muddy campsites located on both sides of the lake.
  8. Lake Vesta (1-2 hours from Haven Lake): sheltered campsites north of the lake near the descent gully off Moraine K.
  9. Lake Rosanne (7-8 hours from Lake Vesta): good sheltered campsites behind the sandy beach.
  10. Cracroft Crossing (3-4 hours from Lake Rosanne): plenty of flat, dry campsites near the forest.

Emergency campsites

  1. Open moor at the top of Moraine A: extremely exposed and should only be attempted if the weather looks excellent and the time doesn't allow continuing to Lake Cygnus (we also passed a single tent site under cliff crevasse in the second half of our ascent up the Moraine A which could serve as an emergency shelter in a bad weather when continuing further up the moraine would be dangerous).
  2. Square Lake: poor tent sites with little shelter are located east and west of the outlet creek. Only recommended if the weather or time do not allow to continue another 1.5 hours further to Lake Oberon.
  3. Mt Capricorn: poor emergency sites only amongst the rocks near the summit.
  4. Lake Sirona: very exposed camping near the lake
  5. Lake Juno: small open sites besides the outlet creek.
  6. Promontory Lake: poor sheltered sites in the south-eastern corner of the lake.

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