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Bushwalk to Mt Crooke in Mt Field National Park, Tasmania
It is a steady uphill on the Field East track and from there it is completely off track. Generally a bit of meandering over a ridge top to avoid the scrub and the same down to wards the Davis River. The section near the Davis is an open valley, but a bit uneven in spots and the ascent to Mt Crooke is a bit scrubby in parts, with some Scoparia. The walking is not overly rough, but does involve some ups and downs, including over rocky ground.
Mt Crooke is named after William Crooke, who was instrumental and a driving force to have Mt Field declared a nation park. He was often referred to as the father of Tasmanian conservation and in 1906 promoted the concept of land reservation for the Mount Wellington and Queen's Domain parks, Hobart, and of wildlife reserves including bird sanctuaries. Crooke was a keen fisherman and was a regular visitor to Lake Nicholls.
Most of this walk was off track and included negotiating a bit of scrub, including Scoparia, and a fair bit of uneven terrain underfoot.
Initially the track to Mt Field East was followed and I was able to point out the work done by the Friends of Mt Field on hardening the track. On the highest part of the saddle at the top of the climb and before windy Moor we turned northwest and walked through a lovely area of bushes with open space between them that made walking easy. A gentle climb brought us to an unnamed rocky knoll that was actually higher than nearby named features including Mt Crooke, our walk destination. The descent brought the first unavoidable scrub, including some Scoparia in flower. Beyond this we entered the valley holding the headwaters of the Davis River and then began the 45 minute and 900 metre walk through the scrub for an ascent of a mere 100 metres to the summit of Mt Crooke.
A slightly different return path was used, but we still encountered some Scoparia; just enough to make us look closely to find the thinnest patches through to minimise scratched legs.. Once back in the valley of the Davis we walked up the watershed and then descended to the Lake Fenton to Webster track.
The day was sunny and mild with a gentle cooling breeze, the wildflowers were good and we obtained unique views to Lakes Webster and Seal and had the vista across the valley of the distinct line of the Tarn Shelf. It took 2:25 of walking to get to Mt Crooke and 2:15 to get back.
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