Jordan Oakley

This post was contributed by Jordan Oakley. I asked him to contribute after stumbling across his gorgeous photos on Twitter. Jordan is a full-time university student. His genuine interest in bushwalking matured at the age of 17, when his parents took him to New Zealand for the first time. Since then he has visited New Zealand again, climbed Single Cone & Double Cone (The Remarkables), and walked up Mt Bogong, Mt Ossa, Mt Luxmore, Mt Olivier, and Pigeon House Mountain, as well as various other mountain trails. Take a look at Jordan’s personal website (Jordan’s website no longer exists) or follow him on Twitter.


During my recent travels to Tasmania I decided it would be nice to walk up to Frenchmans Cap. What motivated me, even more, was the fact that a lot of the infamous “Sodden Loddons” have now been avoided, thanks to Dick Smith’s generous donations. The deviation, “Laughton’s Lead”, is really great to walk on and saves a nice amount of time.

This area of Tassie is particularly beautiful. Huon pines are scattered throughout very lush bush. Lakes above 1000 metres sparkle in the afternoon Sun. Friendly native animals hang around the huts: Potoroos, Pademelons, and Spotted Quolls. Sharp grey needle-like mountains point up into the sky, the Quartzite Frenchmans Cap towering above. The landscape is incredibly dramatic, like no other part of Australia.

The walk overall is quite difficult, the hardest bit being the climb up to Barron Pass after Lake Vera Hut. The track going up there varies, from steps to a bit of scrambling up slippery rocks. However, once you finally emerge from the shadows of the tall trees, everything opens up and you are faced with a panoramic view (and a lovely spot to stop and have lunch).

The two huts on the walk are both really nice. Lake Vera Hut is spacious, has a little jetty 20 metres away, and attracts lots of animals. Lake Tahune Hut is smaller but in an amazing spot. It’s also really close to the lake, where there’s even a little beach. Additionally, they both have mattresses which are a nice touch.

The view from the top of Frenchmans is amazing. Sadly, a storm was settling in so the view was somewhat limited. There was also a bushfire about 15km away which let out a big line of dark orange smoke, making a really interesting atmosphere.

Overall, it was an amazing trip and I’d recommend it to anyone visiting that part of Tassie (there’s also great rock climbing for the more adventurous).


Crossing the Franklin RiverCrossing the Franklin River


Cute PademelonsCute Pademelons


Sneaky Spotted QuollSneaky Spotted Quoll


Lake Vera HutLake Vera Hut


Barron PassBarron Pass


Frenchmans from Barron PassFrenchmans from Barron Pass


Lakes seen from Barron PassLakes seen from Barron Pass


Bushfire smokeBushfire smoke


Frenchmans Cap summit cairnFrenchmans Cap summit cairn


Map: You’ll need to grab yourself a copy of the 1:50,000 hiking map called “Frenchmans Cap Map And Notes”.
Length (km): 46 km
Time (hrs/min): 3+ days
Grade: Difficult
Return / Circuit / One-Way / Partial Circuit: Return
Region: Tasmania
Park: Wild Rivers National Park
Further Details / Source(s): Full details can be found on the Tasmanian Parks & Wildlife Service website or from TasTrails.


Have you hiked Frenchmans Cap? What did you think? Please let us know by commenting below.