Trip to Mt. Bethune and Bushfest.
Chris Boden led 7 4WDs out of New Norfolk on Nov. 12 in magnificent weather. Our destination was the summit of Mt. Bethune and then to check out Bushfest at Bothwell.
First stop was Bushy Park where we viewed the first hop kiln in the area . Built by Ebenezer Shoobridge, it featured a water driven hop drying table. A far cry from today! We then trooped up to the Red Hills cemetery to take in the expansive views over Bushy Park.
Then onto Ellendale for morning tea in the sunshine before setting out for the Jones River road. This road gave us access to the property which owned the farmlands which included Mt. Bethune. Chris knew of this area in his role as board member of The Tasmanian Trail. It is always fascinating to see one’s perspective change as you gain altitude as this was no different. Steadily we climbed through sheep country, over tussocks and past waterholes until the track petered out. Sandstone boulders to be looked out for and gates to be opened and closed until we hit the summit.
A stunning panorama! We could see Meadowbank lake from above Dunrobin bridge all the way to the dam. The Western Wellington range, Wyld’s Craig, Table Mountain, Peaks behind L. St. Clair, Mt. Field East all came into view. Personnel from Tasmanian Trail had built and installed a weatherproof map disc to all the peaks and points of interest to be seen from the peak. Far better effort than anything provided by Government, we must say!
Finally , we had to tear ourselves away for the descent to Jones River road and Bothwell. Ouse provided a sheltered nook to enjoy lunch. The actual shelter was built by LROCT in years past. As we left, Stan Hawley opted to return to town. Chris turned onto Tor Hill road to connect with Bothwell and All was good until just north of Bellevue property, Glen Woolley came to a very sudden halt with what was diagnosed as seized front wheel bearings. We were able to get the Disco moving again and parked it at a house on the property, to be retrieved later. Max and Helen Harris had some extra passengers!
Bushfest was in its final hours as we arrived, but was still interesting and gave us an opportunity to enjoy a can of ale in what was now 30 C temperatures.
Glen and passenger Matt hitched a lift back to New Norfolk with Pat and Mary Murray. Big thank you to Chris for an excellent day. Mt Bethune will be long-remembered.