Solomon's Throne and The Temple at Walls of Jerusalem

Solomon's Throne and The Temple at Walls of Jerusalem

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Posted 2024-03-13 by Roz Glazebrookfollow
Beautiful blue sky

A year ago I went on a bushwalk to the Walls of Jerusalem Alpine National Park in Tasmania on my yearly trip home from Queensland. My niece Becca and I ran out of daylight to do some of the walks we wanted to do on that trip, so we decided to go back this year and complete those walks. I wrote about the previous trip here.

Nice trees


This year we planned to camp again at Wild Dog Creek campsite and climb Solomon’s Throne and The Temple. We were going to camp for two nights, but after checking the weather and seeing how heavy rain was predicted on the second night, we decided to only camp one night.

Tarn


After parking and signing the registration book, we set off. The slog up to the campsite with a full pack was as tough as I remembered it, but we took it slow so it wasn’t too bad. The first three kilometres involve a steep 600-metre climb through the beautiful Eucalypt forest to the Plateau. It was another 3.1 kilometres to the Wild Dog Creek campsite.

Large tarn


We had a rest at the historic Trapper’s Hut and chatted to some other walkers having a break there. Two women had been exploring some off-track areas and were very interesting to talk to about their adventures. Becca told me they must have been experienced walkers because they had a mug dangling from their packs to drink water straight from the tarns. She said Tassie walkers who hike away from crowded areas do this.

Track near Trapper's Hut


Trapper’s hut and the other couple of huts at the Walls are only allowed to be used in emergencies. A special breed of hard-working, resourceful and inventive people lived and survived by grazing their cattle and sheep up in the high country.

Trapper's hut


We arrived at Wild Dog Creek campsite and set up camp. After having a snack and cup of tea, we set off to climb Solomon’s Throne. It was an easy walk to Herod’s Gate into the Walls area, and Damascus Gate. We didn’t see any Bennett’s wallabies on the way in, but by the time we were heading back they had come out to feed. The weather was fine, unlike our last trip where it rained heavily.

Track


We walked through ancient thousand-year-old Pencil Pines forests. These trees are an endemic Tasmanian tree species which are only found on the Central Plateau. A lot of the track was on raised boards to protect the vulnerable cushion plants and marshes. There were lots of twisted snow gums and lots of beautiful alpine plants.

There were numerous tarns and lakes along the way and huge Dolerite cliffs all around us.
After a short walk, we reached the turn-off to the track to 1470 m Solomon’s Throne on the right. The track was well-marked with steep steps and a slope. Damascus Gate to Solomon’s Throne is a moderate 30-minute 0.5-kilometre hike.

On the way up Solomon's Throne


The trail turns left and traverses under a rock face before climbing up through a steep, rocky cleft. After climbing out through the cleft and walking across the top of the mountain, there are fantastic views of the whole eastern wall area.

Through the gap


From the summit we had excellent 360-degree views of the Central Plateau stretching out to Cradle Mountain and Lake St Clair.

On top of Solomon's Throne

Another view from Solomon's Throne


After walking back down to the main track, we hiked back to our camp, had dinner and went to bed early. Since we were there last year, National Parks have put in a large secure metal box to put food in to prevent marauding possums. It is on a platform just past the toilet.

Heading up Solomon's Throne


Last year I had a possum trying to get into my tent, but this year I didn’t see or hear any. We did meet other walkers who had camped at the next campsite along the track at Dixon’s Kingdom. They said there were lots of gorgeous quolls around their camp. I would have loved to see them. We even thought about heading there just to see the quolls.

Solomon's Throne


This year we saw the Bennett’s wallabies again after they came out around 4 pm to feed. We were also lucky to see an echidna and tiger snake close to the track. Luckily we had our gaiters on.

Cute echidna


We woke early, had breakfast and then set off for our second climb. We retraced our steps to the track to The Temple, which is on the left at Damascus Gate and only a moderate 20-minute 0.6 kilometre walk up the 1446m peak.

View from the top of The Tempest


It was an easier walk than yesterday, but when we got to the top, the wind came up and almost blew us off the mountain. We had a quick snack, took some photos and headed down. The wind was so strong it was hard to stand upright. It would have been quite dangerous for young children up there that day.

Tiger snake at Walls of Jerusalem


We did enjoy beautiful views though. After we got down, we headed back to camp, packed up our tents and walked down to the carpark. The rain started on the way down.

View from the top of The Tempest


We had some excitement on the way down seeing an Inchman ant. I was interested to see an Inchman as I remembered them from camping trips during my childhood. We were terrified of them as they caused a nasty painful sting. The Inchman (ergatoid, Myrmecia esuriens) is endemic to Tasmania. They live in forests, rocky land, and undergrowth. They also live under rocks and fallen trees and nest in soil, making mounds that are sometimes partially covered by pebbles or vegetation.

Inchman


On 30 January 1777, William Anderson, a surgeon and naturalist aboard Captain Cook’s HMS Resolution which landed at Adventure Bay, wrote of two "troublesome" insects of Tasmania. These included mosquitoes and "a large black Ant whose bite is almost intolerable for the short time it lasts". The ants stinging Anderson were almost certainly M. esuriens.

We had two big days exploring the area and were pretty tired, so we stopped in Deloraine on the way home and had a glass of wine at the local pub. We must have looked exhausted, especially when Becca put her head on the bar as the female bartender asked us if we had had a big day.

Roz on top of The Temple


I loved my second visit to the Walls of Jerusalem National Park. It is spectacular, remote high alpine country, sculpted by glaciers thousands of years ago, full of native wildlife and unusual plants.

Click here for a map.

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#animals_and_wildlife
#views
#photography
280538 - 2024-03-13 00:18:09

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