Please note, these walk notes are intended to aid in your decision to undertake the Western Arthur Range Traverse and do not give a complete breakdown of the walk. For information on trip planning, pack lists and safety information, please see our
Know Before You Go pages.
You need to
register for this walk, including walkers who only intend to complete part of the Traverse.
The Western Arthur Range Traverse is a
Grade 5 walk suited to very experienced walkers. The rough and challenging terrain can make short distances into an all-day event and walkers new to the traverse should allow plenty of time to cover the route. The walk can be significantly impacted by weather conditions, and walkers should be prepared to turn back if they find the weather or the conditions too challenging. All walkers should come prepared with a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB).
Day 1 - Scotts Peak to Junction Creek
The track to Junction Creek is well-defined, with gentle hills and multiple creek crossings on the approach to the track junction on Arthur Plains. Heavy rains can make creek crossings difficult and at times impassible as there is no infrastructure in place. Sections of the track can be very muddy; ensure you walk through the mud to protect the surrounding vegetation. The campsite can flood in heavy rain and drier sites are located south of the creek.
Day 2 - Junction Creek to Lake Cygnus
At the track junction, take the Port Davey Track to the Western Arthur Range. The route starts off flat before a steep climb up Alpha Moraine to the crest of the Western Arthur Range. The track is clearly visible and climbs 800 metres in elevation over 3 kilometres to a very exposed crest.
After a moor crossing, the route passes below the summit of Mount Hesperus and requires some boulder hopping and rock scrambling. On reaching the saddle between Mount Hesperus and The Capella Crags the route continues through the crags before descending steeply to Lake Cygnus. On the descent to the lake, a right turn at the junction track takes you down to the campsite.
Day 3 - Lake Cygnus to Lake Oberon
From the Lake Cygnus campsite climb back to the track junction and take the route heading southeast. The rocky path follows the crest of the Western Arthur Range and is very exposed to the weather. After passing Mount Hayes, the route includes several steep climbs in and out of rocky gullies and includes rock scrambling.
There is a junction below the Mount Orion saddle, with the right-hand track leading down to the Lake Oberon campsite. The descent from the saddle is steep, very rough and some rock scrambilng is required.
Day 4 - Lake Oberon to High Moor
The route becomes significantly harder and more dangerous after Lake Oberon. It gets rougher, steeper, and more exposed as the route follows serrated ridges, high cliffs and steep gullies. Walkers should expect a lot of climbing, scrambling and pack-hauling. The route is only marked by intermittent rock cairns, so good novigation and map reading skills are essential. Water is scarce, particularly during summer and early autumn, so walkers should carry enough water to get to Haven Lake. This section should only be completed in fair weather by experienced parties.
After leaving Lake Oberon, walkers will pass a small tarn and follow a particularly hazardous part of the track near the top of Mount Pegasus. Pack-hauling may be needed in several sections. 100 metres after the summit of Mount Pegasus, the route descends into a steep gully and traverses under a buttress. This is a hazardous part of the trail as the boulders under the buttress have large gaps with deep drops.
Day 5 - High Moor to Haven Lake
After High Moor, the trail reaches the Beggary Bumps, which is a series of very steep ascents and descents, including Tilted Chasm. The Tilted Chasm is so steep it can leave some people wondering if they've gone off track. This is considered the hardest section of the Western Arthurs Range Traverse. Some walkers may find they need to pack-haul this section.
Day 6 - Haven Lake to Junction Creek
The route remains rough, steep and exposed until Lake Sirona. After Lake Sirona, the ridge opens up and provides exposed but less strenuous walking before ascending Mount Scorpio. There is a long descent down Kappa Morraine and onto Arthur Plains where walkers can expect muddy conditions with multiple creek crossings and weather sodden buttongrass.
Day 7 - Junction Creek to Scotts Peak
Retrace your steps back to Scotts Peak and a hot shower.