Walking along Jack’s Track, Strathgordon

Photograph of rainforest with boardwalk winding through it. The boardwalk is covered in moss.

Jack’s Track (appearing on some signs as “Forest Trail”) is a short walk in the village of Strathgordon, Tasmania, Australia. It offers a small sample of the rainforest for which Tasmania’s south-west is famous.

Getting there

For walkers not possessing a seaplane, travel to Strathgordon involves driving most of the length of Gordon River Road. This was wide and sealed, as it had been built for the trucks that carried machinery to the power station. However, it was also long and twisty. When planning your journey, do not assume that you will be able to drive at highway speeds anywhere beyond the intersection with Scotts Peak Road.

As of 2014, the last public petrol station was in Maydena. Be sure to fill up there.

Once in Strathgordon, both ends of the track are a few hundred metres away. Park at your accommodation (if staying overnight), at the chalet (if eating there) or at the northern end of the track on Spring Street. Do not park at the southern end of the track on Gordon River Road.

Track

A few metres of the northern end of the track were steep and slippery. It was otherwise well-made, with bridges and boardwalk over the damp patches and steps for the steep parts.

From the north end, the track climbed steps and then reached a seat. From here it turned left, despite an “obvious” track continuing up the hill and into a clump of cutting grass.

Plants

The vegetation showed regional variation, despite being under a kilometre in length. At the north end it was cutting grass beneath tea trees, while at the south it was ferns beneath horizontal scrub.

Facilities

Road Sealed
Parking Any vehicle capable of driving to Strathgordon can find parking on Spring Street.
Shelter Yes
Toilets At the Lake Pedder Chalet, when it is open
Latest visit 13th January 2014

Opinions

Walking Stick

The track had a lot of steps, but it was interesting and the three seats were convenient. The view across Lake Pedder was worth the climb. The only tricky bit was the slippery part at the north end, where an extra arm was required to get through. It was only for a few metres though. Definitely not for wheelchairs.

Ambler

Attempted the walk one morning and missed the track turn at the the northern seat. Returned that evening and walked the 0.9 kilometre distance in 34 minutes.

Racewalker

Found it hard to walk fast due to the climb and the windy nature of the track, so had to pause long enough to appreciate the interesting vegetation.

Should I visit?

Strathgordon is a long way from anywhere. You should go there, but plan an extended visit to see as much of the south-west as you can, not just this one walk.

If you are already in Strathgordon, you should spend half an hour to experience Jack’s Track. Walk it in the evening to relax after a longer hike, or on a day when it’s raining too hard to go farther afield.

References

Hydro Tasmania – Community – Recreational Sites – South-west area

Hydro Tasmania – Community – Lake Pedder Chalet

All photographs from this walk

Map of this walk

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