Tassie Trip - Montezuma Falls Tk

Brades
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Tassie Trip - Montezuma Falls Tk

Unread post by Brades » January 8th, 2013, 1:24 pm

Hey all!

Just got back from an awesome trip from Adelaide, across Victoria and down around Tassie in two and a half weeks. Didn't really leave us a lot of time for sight seeing but we managed to tick off most of what we wanted to while we were there!

After having explored a bit of the East Coast on previous trips through St Helens and Bicheno and having seen the pristine beaches and sea-side towns around the area we decided we wanted to spend time on the West Coast and do some serious exploring. After getting off the ferry in Devonport after a smooth night sailing we headed straight to the Raspberry Farm near Deloraine on the way to our first destination in Launceston. A beautiful little setup with fresh coffee and a menu containing raspberry... everything, a must do on the list if you're ever around the area. We spent a night in Launceston catching up with friends before doing most of our booze and grocery/supply shopping for the next week.

We were traveling in our well-prepared 76 series wagon and this was the first big trip for it since purchase a few months back. Also along for the drive was a very capable 05 GU Patrol. From Launceston we headed down the middle through Longford and managed to jump off the beaten track and meet the East Coast at Oxford with our destination set on Marion Bay on the lower SE Coast, we avoided the city as much as we could and set the VMS to 'short' and suddenly we found ourselves winding our way through dense country side on thin dirt roads for about 80kms through the Three Thumbs State Reserve around Copping and Kellville which was a pleasant change from Highway driving! We arrived in the windy Marion Bay and setup for a few days camping at the Falls Festival over New Years Eve and had quite a party!
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On the first, we got caught up in the Festival traffic as everyone was slowly heading out of town, but as soon as we got onto the A10 through Hobart, we were free to cruise at our own pace with sights set on Strahan!
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We weaved our way through the Lake country and made quite a few stop offs at the hydroelectric dam sites and lookouts along the way and managed to detour along more than one forestry track along the way.
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The drive was quite fast until we reached Lake Burbury where the roads turned into very slow mountainous climbs and descents lowering our average speed to around 70kms/h due to the wet and windy roads and high center of gravity in the 76 with the roof-top tent all loads up! We had to be in Strahan by 7pm to check into the campsite, which we unbelievably booked at the last minute and due to taking so many detours looking for 4wd tracks along the way, we didn't manage to explore the off-roading around Queenstown as much as we would have liked.
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After a hot shower and an awesome night sleep we were up early and unpacked the cars to hold minimal weight as we were ready to find some tracks and spent the day out there! We had already planned out a few tracks including the Montezuma Falls Track around Rosebury and the rougher tracks between Strahan, Granville Harbor and Trial Harbor but decided to head straight to Rosebury. We came across the Melba Flats Track to the Montezuma Falls about 2kms South of Rosebury and ended up being around 71kms from Strahan but well worth the drive as the countryside and ocean views from the dense forest mountains were beautiful. We aired down at the roadside to around 25psi and checked out the maps and the 4wd signs, 14km 4wd track to the Falls and it had just started to rain, we were quite excited!
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When you head on the first track there are two options, a steep, rutted out clay-pit of a climb heading straight up, or a muddy, easy-medium grade track with washouts, deep puddles and obstacles to the left. The patrol headed straight up the steep ascent and made it about 100m before losing all traction and had to hazardously reverse down the hill, lucky the ruts were so deep as no matter which way he turned the front wheels, the car just stuck in the tracks and managed to make it down safely. I gave it a go and got a little higher but couldn't see the end of the track and it only got steeper. With the rain coming in harder and without letting the tire pressures down anymore we decided to give it a miss and head down the main track.
cruiser climb.png
There were loads of washouts, some great articulation, which had both vehicles flexing nicely, followed by more and more deeper puddle and small creek crossings. As we got higher into the mountains the terrain changed dramatically and we were driving through rainforests of mud and fun. There were only three spots along the track where we had some real fun with big washouts and mud holes but other than that it was a technical. But easy track. The sign says Easy-Medium.. but I'm guessing that's due to the three larger washouts. About 4kms before the Falls the track divides into two tracks, one takes you straight to the Falls and the left track is called the Ring River Return Tk, and a clear sign saying 'Extreme Grade 4wd Track Only. A minimum of two well equipped 4wds, and dangerous, possible life threatening river crossings, impassable in heavy rain." Of course we decided to head along the Ring River track and we went as far as we could. We managed to get about 2kms before deciding to turn around in the most awkward place, it was steep, sharp rocks, thin, heaps of ruts, didn’t look like it has been driven in a while, we would have kept going but it was getting toward early arvo and we hadn’t been to the Falls yet haha!

We came across a lovely mud pit where we had a bit of a play and the Patrol got bogged but was easily recovered and we were on out way again. The Montezuma Falls were beautiful and is the highest waterfall in Tasmania at 104m. There is a thin steel sway-bridge across the gorge and gives an awesome view of the drop! We spent about 20 mins there having a chat and taking some photos before returning to the trucks to head back. The return trip was a lot faster than on the way, I guess we felt more comfortable on the tracks and were more familiar with the terrain! On the way to the falls with all the stops etc., we ticked over 2.5 hours and saved a heap of time on the way back! BUT…. As with all things when you are in a rush. Something has to go wrong!

Besides the patrol putting a huge dent in the factory alloy bulbar by going a little too heavy footed into the mud-pit and coming to an abrupt stop; nothing went astray with the Nissan, it performed very very well in the mud! The 76 on the other hand.. Incurred a new battle scar on the side in the form of a nice scratch, put there by an overhanging branch I missed! The second was a bend in the rear bar; I came off a step-down a little too fast and dinged the rear bar from underneath when the truck slid off. Finally, what we thought was a trip ender; I was driving off a step-down into a small creek crossing when I heard a large bang! The next 20m of driving through the crossing and up onto level ground to have a look we extremely rough and I thought oh no! My suspension! Sure enough, as I looked at the rear leaf.. the Shackle had fully inverted on itself and was sitting up against the actual chassis! The leaf was so highly sprung and due to the articulation on the downward descent, it over extended the leaf and it came back on itself! We trudged back along the track and out onto the highway, we made it back to Strahan before the BP closed and luckily the bloke had some experience and said this happens all the time! All his hoists were busy, but all I needed was a high-lift jack to jack up the rear of the car and the weight of the hanging wheels would spring the leaf back into position. This was the biggest relief ever! The following morning I tracked down someone in the caravan park with a high-lift jack! I left mine back in Adelaide doh! Lifted the rear and ‘bob’s your uncle’ it fixed itself.

We checked out a few more tracks but never made it to Granville Harbor or alike, but definitely plan to head back and spend at least a week around the area It would be so much more fun in winter even though the average rainfall for January is 305mm. On the way out of Strahan, the Patrol went to do a simple U-Turn on the highway after missing a turnoff, but unknown to him, beneath the overgrown scrub on the side of both sides of the road was a buried creek bed! After getting a help call over the radio, I raced to find a horizontal patrol half off the road and half in the bushes, with two scared passengers sitting in their seats who didn’t want to vacate the car due to fear of rolling over.. It was on a serious angle!, We managed to hook up a 3m tree-truck protector as a snatch strap and used it to gently pull the patrol forward and out of the creek.. And here I was thinking the Patrol had no issues on the trip!

The turnoff we ended up taking lead us to the beach, where we went sand boarding out on the steep dunes before heading off and stopping in Tullah for a great feed at the Pub. We headed up the highway once more and met the coast at Bernie before moseying back to Launceston for the night and jumped on the much delayed day ferry, which was also one of the smoothest trips I’ve encountered on the Spirit! Off the boat and drove straight from Melbourne to Adelaide in one go. 7 hours behind the wheel and we were ready for bed! Another fantastic trip and some more places ticked off the map of this great country! Some epic 4wding and some beautiful touring. Would recommend it to anyone!

See you around!

Brades

Ps. Videos to come of the track too!
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Brades
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2010 76 LandCruiser GXL Build-Up:
http://www.4wdaction.com.au/forum/viewtopic.php?f=187&t=136912
YouTube - 76 Series Videos
http://www.youtube.com/user/BradesR31
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Brades
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Re: Tassie Trip - Montezuma Falls Tk

Unread post by Brades » January 8th, 2013, 1:29 pm

It would only let me add 6 photos per post so here is the rest!
bonnet.png
bonnet shot.png
cruiser creeek.png
cruiser creek.png
cruiser water.png
mud hole.png
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Brades
--------------------------------------------------------------
2010 76 LandCruiser GXL Build-Up:
http://www.4wdaction.com.au/forum/viewtopic.php?f=187&t=136912
YouTube - 76 Series Videos
http://www.youtube.com/user/BradesR31
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Brades
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Re: Tassie Trip - Montezuma Falls Tk

Unread post by Brades » January 8th, 2013, 1:34 pm

highway cruiser.png
insta.png
patrol hole.png
patrol mudhole.png
patrol snatch.png
boggged patrol.png
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Brades
--------------------------------------------------------------
2010 76 LandCruiser GXL Build-Up:
http://www.4wdaction.com.au/forum/viewtopic.php?f=187&t=136912
YouTube - 76 Series Videos
http://www.youtube.com/user/BradesR31
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Brades
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Re: Tassie Trip - Montezuma Falls Tk

Unread post by Brades » January 8th, 2013, 1:42 pm

Top Tassie.png
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Screen Shot 2013-01-08 at 1.23.06 PM.png
Screen Shot 2013-01-08 at 1.22.24 PM.png
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Brades
--------------------------------------------------------------
2010 76 LandCruiser GXL Build-Up:
http://www.4wdaction.com.au/forum/viewtopic.php?f=187&t=136912
YouTube - 76 Series Videos
http://www.youtube.com/user/BradesR31
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Brades
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Re: Tassie Trip - Montezuma Falls Tk

Unread post by Brades » January 8th, 2013, 1:48 pm

falls.png
before the hole.png
falls.png
suspension.png
cruiser highlift jack.png
after shot cruiser.png
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Brades
--------------------------------------------------------------
2010 76 LandCruiser GXL Build-Up:
http://www.4wdaction.com.au/forum/viewtopic.php?f=187&t=136912
YouTube - 76 Series Videos
http://www.youtube.com/user/BradesR31
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Brades
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Re: Tassie Trip - Montezuma Falls Tk

Unread post by Brades » January 8th, 2013, 1:50 pm

boggged patrol.png
cruiser after.png
Thanks guys! Enjoy!
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Brades
--------------------------------------------------------------
2010 76 LandCruiser GXL Build-Up:
http://www.4wdaction.com.au/forum/viewtopic.php?f=187&t=136912
YouTube - 76 Series Videos
http://www.youtube.com/user/BradesR31
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bushy84
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Re: Tassie Trip - Montezuma Falls Tk

Unread post by bushy84 » January 8th, 2013, 2:18 pm

Good trip looked like you had a fun time..lucky u got out before the fires

nickonaldo
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Re: Tassie Trip - Montezuma Falls Tk

Unread post by nickonaldo » January 9th, 2013, 1:24 am

Top trip picked a good one with Montezuma, was a high light of both my West Coast trips.
If you ever get the chance Trial Harbour to Granville track was good fun (not sure about track condition now)
and the coastal track from Granville to the mouth of the Pie Man River is spectaculor.
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Not stuck just not moving!

Brades
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Re: Tassie Trip - Montezuma Falls Tk

Unread post by Brades » January 10th, 2013, 10:24 pm

Just put together some footage too if you'd like to check out the track

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GM0N560 ... e=youtu.be

Cheers
Brades
--------------------------------------------------------------
2010 76 LandCruiser GXL Build-Up:
http://www.4wdaction.com.au/forum/viewtopic.php?f=187&t=136912
YouTube - 76 Series Videos
http://www.youtube.com/user/BradesR31
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Luxdan
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Re: Tassie Trip - Montezuma Falls Tk

Unread post by Luxdan » January 12th, 2013, 11:20 pm

Awesome pics Brades looks like you had a lot of fun. im headed down there in April for 8 days to tackle the west coast but the first day we will be doing the Montezuma Falls on our way to Queenstown. We will definitely take a look at Ring River Return Tk;)

Brades
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Re: Tassie Trip - Montezuma Falls Tk

Unread post by Brades » January 14th, 2013, 1:01 pm

Thank guys.

Yea Luxdan, sounds good, between Queenstown and Strahan every 50m there is a muddy turn off that leads to a track, mostly power line tracks or logging routes but especially fun in the rain/mud. Do the Montezuma Tk early and don't waste half the day playing around on the fun bits like we did, get to the falls and get stuck into the Ring River Tk, some of the other vids on Youtube look pretty hardcore after a big rain! Have a good trip!
Brades
--------------------------------------------------------------
2010 76 LandCruiser GXL Build-Up:
http://www.4wdaction.com.au/forum/viewtopic.php?f=187&t=136912
YouTube - 76 Series Videos
http://www.youtube.com/user/BradesR31
--------------------------------------------------------------

smokescreen
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Re: Tassie Trip - Montezuma Falls Tk

Unread post by smokescreen » January 19th, 2013, 10:25 am

Awesome trip report mate well except for the bit when the Toyota recovered the Patrol (obviously Photoshopped :lol: ) my old man is moving to Tassie this year so i hope to do a few road trips from WA over that way it looks like an awesome place to explore and reminds me a lot of the scenery in New Zealand.
2000 GU Patrol TD4.2T ute
2013 GXL 200 Series TTD Diesel Landcruiser
2012 Can Am XMR 800


Brades
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Re: Tassie Trip - Montezuma Falls Tk

Unread post by Brades » January 24th, 2013, 10:11 am

haha not the first time i've pulled out a patrol!

Yea Tassie is awesome, have already planned a 5 week trip back down there at the end of this year! So much more to see!
Brades
--------------------------------------------------------------
2010 76 LandCruiser GXL Build-Up:
http://www.4wdaction.com.au/forum/viewtopic.php?f=187&t=136912
YouTube - 76 Series Videos
http://www.youtube.com/user/BradesR31
--------------------------------------------------------------

Harb
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Re: Tassie Trip - Montezuma Falls Tk

Unread post by Harb » January 24th, 2013, 11:29 am

Did you go past the Falls turnoff and do Ring River Road ?

Brades
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Re: Tassie Trip - Montezuma Falls Tk

Unread post by Brades » January 24th, 2013, 11:56 am

When we were heading to the Falls, we did take the Ring River Road, but only to have a quick look before backtracking to complete the Falls track, we spent about half an hour on the RRR and had a heap of fun, it was a lot more challenging that's for sure! Something i'd like to complete at Christmas time, when i'm back this year!
Brades
--------------------------------------------------------------
2010 76 LandCruiser GXL Build-Up:
http://www.4wdaction.com.au/forum/viewtopic.php?f=187&t=136912
YouTube - 76 Series Videos
http://www.youtube.com/user/BradesR31
--------------------------------------------------------------

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