For my second day in Hanmer Springs I had a longer walk planned, the climb to Mt. Isobel, the best viewpoint in the area. My muscles were already slightly complaining and I hesitate for a brief moment. Should I even go? When the road to the start of the track turned out to be a backcountry dirt road I almost gave up. There were several warning signs. “Backcountry road.” “Be careful.” “Steep grades.” You get the gist. Luckily it was only two kilometers until the start of the track. It seemed like I was the first tramper of the day.
First I climbed through a forest of pine trees. The trees were very tall and only let through a few rays of Sunshine. The path zigzagged up and the views got better as I climbed. Soon I was higher than I was the day before on my waterfall walk. Emerging from the forest I entered a green, rocky mountainside and stared up the hill. I was not nearly there and it was pretty steep. Sigh. I started wondering which top was Mt. Isobel. I had a quick sandwich to fuel up, but cooled down much to quickly in the chilly wind. So I continued to climb to the ridge. I was so thankful to see a sign that said I had half an hour to go. Mt. Isobel lay in the distance, waiting for me. The last bit was steeply uphill over little rocks and sand that only made you slip back down. I made my own zigzaggy route up.
There I was. The only one on top of Mt. Isobel. What a gorgeous view once again! I could see the mountains in all directions. And some mountains behind those. I saw the forest from above and the plains. On my way back I saw a few other walkers, but I was glad I got to enjoy the beauty all by myself. The walk ended up taking me just under four hours, which is less than I expected. The walk could even be linked with the waterfall track, but then you’ve got to organize transportation between the start and finish. This one is well worth the effort. Well, it seems like all walks here are!