Stacks Bluff, Ben Lomond Plateau

A few weekends ago me and a couple of mates made the drive over the the southern end of the Ben Lomond Plateau to have a go at Stacks Bluff – the sixth highest peak in Tasmania (1527m) and a striking geological feature that dominates the eastern skyline from much of the northern midlands. All up the walk should take about 5.5hrs for fit walkers taking a few breaks.

The walk is quite well marked with cairns and tape (although the start is notoriously difficult to find), but it has it’s fair share of hazards – notably, the first section crosses a very large and unstable dolerite scree slope (probably the sketchiest I’ve been on in Tassie), and the second half traverses a high (1400m+) and open plateau, that is extremely exposed to poor weather. Come prepared!

The walk starts from a forestry road just outside of Storys Creek, an old mining town in the Fingal Valley. Take the first left once you get into the town (there used to be a sign saying ‘Stacks Bluff’ but I don’t think it’s there any more…) and head down a gravel road past an old cricket pitch and obstacle course. After about five minutes turn right up the hill and keep going until you reach a small clearing – there should be a big boulder with a cairn on it. Park here as the rest of the road is severely eroded. Walk for about 20mins up the 4×4 track until you reach a pole/cairn on the left with marks the start of the track proper (pretty easy to spot).

It’s then about another 20mins uphill following a fairly well worn track through open and rocky dry sclerophyll until you reach the start of the scree-field. From here you have to keep an eye out as cairns and orange markers are the only indication of the track location – if you happen to lose it then aim for the gully immediately to the right (east) of the large bluff straight up the slope.

About an hour of rock-hopping will get you to the aforementioned gully, which ascends steeply onto the Ben Lomond Plateau itself. While you’re heading up this section remember to look around! There’s some stunning views east along the outcrop, and then from east, through south to the west is the magnificent Fingal Valley. You’ll also spot the very peculiar looking Tranquil Tarn, which appears to be cradled by nothing but boulders.

Once up on the Plateau head west following a faint track and cairns until you reach a narrow gully which will take you up onto the summit mound. From here it’s west to the summit proper, and then south-west to the dramatic cliffs which give the Bluff it’s name. Take the time to explore the summit as there’s a fair bit to see!

Stacks Bluff from the carpark


Will traversing the boulder-field


The first bluff – the track follows the cliffs to the right


Looking east across the boulders


Lunch on the edge of the Plateau


The gully that ascends to the summit


Will and Rosco on the summit


The summit cairn


The first of the ‘stacks’


Fractured dolerite on the western escarpment


Looking south





Up on the Plateau


Tranquil Tarn


Negotiating the boulder field


Looking east


Dry sclerophyll at the end of the track


6 thoughts on “Stacks Bluff, Ben Lomond Plateau

  1. This walk was epic, we crossed down to Tranquil Tarn as well on the way back. I don’t know how you managed it in snow though! Beautiful pics!

  2. Hello. Nice pics of Stacks Bluff. Is the drive up to Storys Creek all sealed roads? Or are they dirt roads.

      • I actually climbed Stacks Bluff on Tuesday (day after my question so I found out the answer)
        There was very little snow, your pics look great with all the boulders snowy. Must have been precarious rock scrambling the boulders with snow.

      • Hope you enjoyed it! It’s a great day trip that doesn’t really get much publicity… It wasn’t too bad when I was up there, there wasn’t any ice under the snow so still plenty of grip.

  3. Pingback: Stacks Bluff - Micro Four Thirds User Forum


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s