Orford Thumbs loop (bushwalking) Route Details

Route Description

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Introduction

The route may be walked cw or ccw. Clockwise is easier. The route follows an old logging track up from the Forestry Rd then down the gully south of the Orford Thumbs then joins the Forestry Rd for a short distance to an old quarry before tracking north west to a ridge south west of the Thumbs then up over the 2nd and 1st Thumb and back to the Thumbs Rd and the carpark.

Conditions

The track off the Forestry Rd to the gully is wet and slippery and over grown in places. The gully track is also overgrown in places. The western ridge is very rocky but not too steep and no track. The western side of the 2nd Thumb has no track up it and is quite steep and large rocks, but not too difficult for fit people.

Hazards and warnings

Slippery surfaces, sticks, roots and rocks; cutting grass and rocky hillsides to climb.

Detailed description

For the cw loop, walk around the Forestry Rd boom gate and down the road for about 100m to an old logging track on the right.  Turn right and follow this track up hill taking care on the washed out surface until it swings westerly then follow it down hill and up hill and down again  to cross a small water course.  Up a slight rise then down to a scrub blocked water course then straight through the cutting grass to a wide forestry track which follows the contour to a 4 way junction on the main Forestry Rd.  The route to this point is much more pleasant than it is walking down and around the Forestry Road, but both arrive at this junction.  Turn right to the W and continue down the Forestry Rd to the old quarry.  Keeping the dam on the right, take the first track to the right and follow it N then W to a delapidated log bridge.  Walk across the firm left side of the bridge then continue up to the N again until the track swings W again.  Leave the track here and walk down to a depression to the right, NE, then N up a ridge line to first one summit then down slightly and up again to the main summit.  At this SW end are a ring of flattish topped rocks which make a good place for lunch with views to the west of Mt Wellington, Buckland and the Prosser River valley.  Continue across then down the NE end of the ridge and picking the clearest track through the scrub, walk up and across to the visible dip between the 3rd and the 2nd Thumbs.  There are no track along the 3rd or up the 2nd Thumb, so find a good route and walk to the left up the 3rd Thumb then back down and rock scramble up to the summit of the 2nd Thumb where there is a rock corral "shelter".  Head east from the rock corral past the Trig marker and across to find the track down to the dip between the 2nd and 1st Thumbs then up over the 1st Thumb and continue through low scrub along the track back to the Thumbs Reserve Rd and up to the Forestry Rd again.  

Narrative

We had planned to do this loop ccw over the Thumbs the SW across the western ridge and back to the quarry then up the old logging road south of the Thumbs and back to the car, but one member started off through the boom gate and so off we all went and are glad we did as it was much easier down the gully logging track then finding it finished at the 4 way junction.  It was also much easier finding our way up the western ridge and across, then up to the saddle between the 3rd and 2nd Thumb.

We left Hobart about 09h00, coffee at Orford then started walking at 10h50.  Lunch about 13h00 on the S end of the summit of the western ridge and back to the car at about 15h35.  A very pleasant winter walk with some wildflowers but it would be great for them in spring.

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