The last day of September, and the last of my two day weekend.. so naturally the last of my 3 day walks. The target was another of those fast dwindling ‘close by’ mountains: Lorkins Lookout. I’d been interested in this, and the other two lookouts nearby (Marriotts and Abbotts) for a while, though I’m not entirely sure why. They’re conspicuous enough you don’t necessarily see them, and they’re not exactly impressive looking either. With Marriotts and Abbotts coming up next weekend, it was only fitting to get my act into gear and do Lorkins. When a friend mentioned that he was interested in doing a local walk on the Monday, and Lorkins was mentioned, it was a definite goer.
I had a GPS track I’d found on the internet, and a FB friend had recently done the walk too, so I had a bit more than usual info to go on. But as usual, the walk still managed to surprise. You drive a fair way along forestry roads, until they deteriorate and get a bit boggy.. if you had a car with ok tyres, all wheel drive and a bit of clearance you could probably drive all the way to where you have to turn off (on the map it looks like there’s no turn, as the most decent looking part of the road is not drawn in). Funnily enough, the bit of road that is drawn in is in places so overgrown that you’re wading through cutting grass.. no vehicle has passed on this ‘road’ for a long time.
Anyway, we parked a bit back from this point, as we didn’t fancy getting bogged, and just walked a tad further (but not much). You follow the old ‘road’ along, don’t be put off by the initial thick cutting grass, it doesn’t last and the road is otherwise quite walkable, with easily passable obstacles.. as you get closer to Lorkins, there’s a few zigs and zags, and you have to admire the work of those who first cut the road.. but the admiring soon stops as you realise it’s time to head off track.
With fears that this was going to be a nasty scrub bash (the FB friend I’d talked to had mentioned waist high scrub and is known to walk with some of the crazier walkers – and I know what they mean by ‘scrub’), I was a tad apprehensive, but Lorkins was to be kind to us. The scrub didn’t appear immediately, and we made our way through quite high myrtle and gum forest.. up the steepest bit of the climb.. across a slightly flatter section, weaving in and out of the trees, walking straight onto a section of pink tapes, always keeping close to the middle of the spur.
It was only about 600m (in a straight line, see SCRB waypoint on map) from the summit, when things started to flatten out, that the scrub started. And it wasn’t particularly nasty scrub, just the kind that stops you moving through with any speed because one step you might be standing on top of it, then next you might be half a metre down on the ground, figuring out a way to get back up on top. This took quite a bit of time to make progress, and when we spotted a decent sized cairn on one of the rocks that seemed to stick out of the scrub all over the place, we started to get excited (well I did at least). It always amazes me how you can stumble across the same path that someone else has taken, on a completely untracked walk.
By now we were getting closer, and the last hundred metres or so the scrub was quite low, allowing us to walk freely through it. There is no obvious high point, and we were within 30 or so metres before we spotted the rock with the cairn on top that must be the summit.. there were lots of other rocks of a similar hight around, but none with cairns on, and this one did look just a little bit higher.. it was also where my GPS said it should be!
For a ‘lookout’, it was a tad disappointing.. you could catch glimpses towards Mt Field and the mountains to it’s west (Wherrets, Tim Shea etc), but there was no view clear of tree tops. That didn’t really matter so much, as it was quite a different kind of summit, and the new growth on the gums around us was quite pretty, so it was still a nice spot to stop and rest awhile while we ate some lunch.
A slight change in wind, and the knowledge that rain would be coming saw us head down after we’d eaten, hoping to make it back without getting wet. The weather proved kind, and not only did we get back to the car, we also got all the way home without a drop of rain. It kindly waited till I was at work this morning, when it displayed a beautiful lightening storm. Very glad the bakery has windows and that I was awake and at work to see it :)!
This one ended up being a 10.5 km walk, 6.5 hours, and just under 600m ascent. Oh, and I spotted my first snake, a tiger, for the season’s walking!