Tasmania is a pretty special place. Every time I think I’ve seen everything this island has to offer, something new jumps out at me, and I’m floored all over again.
The Walls of Jerusalem National Park has never been high on my list of places to visit. I mean, I’ve spent a couple of nights on Skullbone Plains, been to Cradle Mountain a bunch of times and a whole lot of other remote locations that most people would never visit. And, to be completely honest, my expectations have been fairly low.
It was a discussion at work that got me thinking about The Walls. We were talking about Cradle Mountain NP, and I was thinking of a good one night adventure. The Walls are very close, and there’s no active tourism there at all. So I made some last minute arrangements, made sure I had my pack ready and some spare batteries for the camera.
I’ll skip all the boring bits, like the long climb to the plateau and the drudge back from Lake Adelaide to Trappers Hut. From the moment I reached the first lake, I was constantly surprised by the variety of beauty in the small accessible area.
There is such an abundance of water, Cushion Plants, Pencil Pines and towering cliffs that the eye is constantly drawn in all directions. Just off the main trail is the stunning Pool of Bethesda, like another world.
Spending the night at Dixon’s Kingdom Hut was an experience in itself. It sits in a glacial saddle between two sets of cliffs. I’d missed an incredible Aurora Australis by one day, but the stars came out to play the night I was there. Even with the five other tents in my immediate vicinity, I still felt an incredible sense of isolation.
The following morning, I woke before dawn to a clear sky and 0°C. I packed my day pack with a burner and coffee pot for breakfast on Mount Jerusalem. The scene spread before me was just mind blowing. No sooner had I reached the top of the saddle, than I was treated to a most amazing scene: a massive bank of cloud crashing up against Mount Jerusalem and tendrils of fog reaching up the valley like waves on a beach.
In less than an hour, I’d made it to the top of Mount Jerusalem. I’d met a few eager walkers on the way up, who were making their descent already, which meant I had the summit all to myself! The cloud was pushing through the forest below. To the south, the sun streamed between the trees, making an unearthly scene, especially with the hundreds of tarns below. Unfortunately, my camera equipment did not include a decent set of ND filters on that occasion.
After a coffee made with snow at the summit, I made my way back down to decamp.
The plan for the second day was to complete the circuit via Lakes Ball and Adelaide. Again, I was in for a surprise! The walk down the valley to Lake Ball took me across a marsh, and then through a Pencil Pine forest. Once I hit the lake, the trail made its way around the edge through a Fagus forest, which was in the throes of turning. Yet another highlight of the trip.
The end of the trail around the lake came out in the shallows, where I was greeted with flowers poking up from the water. Could The Walls possibly get any better?
The answer, for this trip at least, was no. After Lake Ball, all I recall was a long trudge through marsh land on a poorly marked track where I took a wrong turn a couple of times.
If I were to score the Walls of Jerusalem NP, it would easily be a 9/10. Since my return, I have heard of more incredible scenes not far from where I’d been, so another trip is in the making!
Equipment (such as it was):
- Pentax KS-1
- Tamron 10-24mm
- Sigma 28-300mm
Walls of Jeruasalem National Park, Tasmania, Australia
Head towards Mole Creek. The route is well sign-posted from there.