Sunday, 21 August 2016

Collins Cap

After starting full time nursing work in April, I was finding myself so worn out by the working week that my days off were mostly spent sleeping and/or drinking coffee. I barely had the energy to be social, let alone find the urge to go bush walking.
But lately, things have changed. I've adjusted to the working lifestyle and have started to make the most of my weekends and days off by doing day walks close to home or by heading out to explore this beautiful state. It's been a wonderful respite from the bright, sterile world of the hospital and it's getting me super psyched for the summer ahead. 

Last Tuesday, after four days off (one spent celebrating my graduation, two spent recovering from said celebration) and with a weather forecast for 19 degrees and sun, I made plans to walk to Collins Cap via Myrtle Creek, a small summit north west of Mt Wellington. 

I drove twenty odd minutes to the car park (follow the signs from Berridale) and hit the trail which for the first 500m is a wide, well maintained fire trail that slowly climbs to a picnic shelter and toilet, where the foot track starts. This section of the trail is beautifully diverse. You start surrounded by paddocks and brightly blooming silver wattles and as you climb closer to the creek line, you find yourself surrounded by century old eucalyptus, towering sassafras and of course, the area's namesake, myrtle beech. 

As soon as you leave the fire trail behind, the track narrows and climbs steeply through wet stands of manferns. Soon enough, a small platform is reached, giving good views of Myrtle Creek Falls, a worthwhile walk in itself (it takes about 15 minutes to get to this point). I continued on, crossing the creek multiple times before leaving it to my left and climbing higher still, out of the wet eucalypt forest and into thick stands of Richea dracophylla, baurea and alpine yellow gums. At this point, the trees are thinning, allowing the sun to shine through and giving views to the summits around, namely Collins Bonnet to the south. In no time at all, the track enters a section of regrowth forest and a minute later, the East-West fire trail is crossed. At this point, the track has climbed 340m in altitude. 
Collins Bonnet.
With 180m still to climb, the track changes again. The muddy clay track of the fire trail quickly hardens to one strewn with small dolerite boulders. As the boulders grow in size, the eucalypts fade out and baurea, pineapple grass and hakea dominate. The views continue to broaden as you climb and soon you reach a long traverse under the summit ridge. At the north west extent of the ridge is the small peaked summit complete with a head high cairn. I found myself on the summit 1h10m after starting and spent about 30m on the summit, enjoying the beautiful views, the springlike sunshine and the company of two wedge-tailed eagles. 

One of two wedge-tailed eagles soaring above the summit. 

A skyline of mountain ranges and me!

The walk back takes the same route though there are other options to make the walk a circuit. I ran most the way home in about 40 minutes.

Dee x.

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