The walk to Cube Rock near South Mt Cameron has been regularly traversed for over 100 years. Legend has it that Thylacines were commonly seen along this track.
The Cube Rock Walk
Our Tin Dragon Trail Cottages team undertook this walk in mid-January 2015 on a day of perfect weather: dry, slight breeze and building to moderate wind at the summit. With lots of photo stops and a long break at the summit, we took about 3 hours to complete the walk.
How to find the start of the Cube Rock walk
From Tin Dragon Trail Cottages in Branxholm it is a 35 km drive to the start of the walk. Drive to Derby (8 km) then continue to the Gladstone turnoff (LHS) which is well signposted. Continue for about 11 km, through the small town of South Mt Cameron till you see the signage for Little Blue Lake. (It is another 8km along Gladstone Rd to reach the Gladstone store).
Park your car out of the way near the rocks defining the back of the car parking area (June 2020). Walk down the old vehicle track. There is another water-filled mining hole on your left. Keep walking till you see a small sign “to Cube Rock”. Now you can follow the signs all the way to Windy Ridge and the Cube Rock.
With sunscreen-smeared faces, sunglasses, hats, water bottles and some snacks our intrepid team of Yuka and Aya (WWOOFers from Japan), Graham, James and I set out mid-morning.
After half-sliding down the bank of Saffire Creek we carefully stepped on rocks across the narrow stream then steadily walked upwards. Isn’t it true that all the walks with views involve an uphill climb? But don’t be dismayed, our aging over-60 executive team members classed this as an easy-moderate walk.
High fire danger
The walk starts under a stand of Bulloaks and then passes through open dry forest dominated by Black Peppermint and Stringybark. There is much evidence of fire. The last major fire was in 2006 when arsonists burned the entire range. I recommend that you don’t walk here on days of high fire danger, because the track and access road would be a fire trap.
An interesting walk at all times of the year
You will not find the walk boring. Within a very short distance you see the views start to open out. Interesting rocks emerge from the forest and at most times of the year you will find delicate flowering orchids. In June this year (2020) I spotted a rare Greenhood orchid.
The track to Cube Rock is well marked
Although the track isn’t well formed in places, you will easily see the markers. When you reach the first major granite slab, take direction from the small rock cairns. Don’t be tempted to walk straight towards the cube rock which is now clearly visible! The track takes you to the left and around via a ridge line.
The Windy Ridge
The prize for the uphill climb is the mysterious rock formations—feels a little like Picnic at Hanging Rock. This is the aptly named, Windy Ridge.
I wouldn’t attempt this walk in wild windy or wet weather. I think the rock surface could be very slippery in these conditions.
The amazing cube rock sits proudly on top of the large granite slab. The ridges on this side of Cube Rock look man-made as if blasted by explosives.
A hop skip and a jump to return!
Needless to say, the downhill walk was a little easier and faster than the reverse—although there were numerous photo stops slowing us down. We all agreed that the walk to Cube Rock would be added to our list of favourite walks in North East Tasmania.
Of course taking a photo of the Little Blue Lake is a must every time you visit South Mount Cameron. The colour of this abandoned tin mine reflects the moods of the sky, from almost emerald green to brilliant blue!
Some history – Lalewongener
The following has been taken from M Douglas. Mt Cameron Walks, second Edition, p 1, 2014.
“The sloop Norfolk commanded by Matthew Flinders was anchored near Cape Portland, the North East tip of Van Diemens Land on November 1st 1798. In his log Flinders noted the bare and rugged tops of a ridge of distant mountains which formed a striking contrast with the lower, verdant foreground. These granite peaks, known to the Aborigines as Lalewongener, are now the prominant feature of the Cameron Regional Reserve, gazetted in December 2000. The reserve is managed by the Parks and Wildlife Service.”
Learn More about Tin Dragon Cottages
If you wish to learn more about our tourist accommodation in North East Tasmania, please explore our Tin Dragon Cottages web site. We look forward to hosting your next stay in Tasmania!