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Rees Dart (h)

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Day 6: (Thursday 16/03/06) Again, a fine day for walking out, with civilzation becoming more evident with jetboats on the Dart.

The track enters some very pleasant forest then comes out on the open space of Dredge Flat and the rather ominous and steep looking Sandy Bluff ahead. The very steep sides of Mt Cerberus (no, not Cerebus) tower above our left.

Beautiful forest 601 KB

Sandy Bluff looms 606 KB

Dredge Flat 608 JS

steep Mt Cerberus 609 KB

There is clearly no option to grunting over the Bluff but after re-entering the bush, the track gradient is surprisingly friendly and the few steep sections have stairs and rails. The view is well worth the effort and even if there was access around the base I would recommend the high level track! I found the forest quite charming on the way down.

ascent of Bluff 610 JC

view from Bluff 617 JS

Keith on Sandy 618 KB

horizontal decay 621 KB

Forest 623 KB

rock cairns 625 JS

on river flat 628 JS

island in Dart 630 KB

Out on another river flat we heard and eventually saw our first jetboat of the day, then a convoy of boats came past and then back, and then after a while another lot .... I suppose everyone has a right to enjoy the river, but our wilderness experience ended with the first boat.

jet boat 632 KB

Sth Is Robin 634 KB

island in Dart 637 KB

Flowers & bees 639 KB

another jetboat 640 KB

Mt Nox 645 KB

more forest 646 KB

Mt Chaos 650 KB

The view over to Mt Nox, the falls from Lake Unknown and the glimpses of Mt Chaos, Sarpedon and Poiseidon Peak were dangerously captivating - but I had learnt my lesson, so I stopped to look and photograph!

Lake Unknown falls 652 KB

Mt Chaos 653 KB

From Chinaman's 662 KB

Graham & Cathy 671 KB

At the carpark at Chinaman's Bluff I got all the trampers who had come down the Dart together for a group photo (some had also come up the Rees, others had come over from Mt Aspiring over Cascade Saddle).

Trampers (in picture 674)

  • Back row: John & Nick (England), John B and myself
  • Middle row: Alan, Scott (USA), Ian, Cathy, Graham & Jim
  • Front row: John S, Lora (USA) and Cara (USA)

group 672 KB

group 674 KB

Turret Head 678 KB

Drinks @ Qstn 683 JS

Qstn from Lodge 684 KB

drinks @ Lodge 685 KB

Qstn sunset 697 KB

Qstn sunrise 700 CT

The Queenstown Lodge had great views, a nice restaurant meal (always great after a week of dehydrated food) and some had a spa while others hit the town.

Overall one of the better tramps, not too onerous, wonderful scenery and a nice finish. I'd certainly do it again given the chance.

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