Campsite options along Arm River track?

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Campsite options along Arm River track?

Postby headwerkn » Sun 27 Dec, 2015 12:33 am

Hi all,

A small group of us are planning on doing the Arm River track-Mt Ossa Summit walk in a couple of weeks' time - a trip I've wanted to do for oh so long a time.

Plan is to break the trip over the usual 3 days/2 nights, with a base camp somewhere well before New Pelion Hut... we'd much, much prefer to tent independently and away from crowds, and would expect little room for ART freeloaders during the OLT's peak fortnight anyway ;-)

The other rationale is that, due to work commitments, we won't be able to make our start until later in the first day. Everyone in the group is fit and capable enough, but I figure it's preferable to keep Day 1's mileage easily achievable without pushing hard into the evening.

The question is: are there any good, established and/or preferred tent spots along the mid to western end of the ART? (by tent spots, I mean enough room for two, 2-person hiking tents) Originally I was looking at somewhere around the south-eastern edge of Lake Ayr, for the obvious reasons (closeness to track, water source, flat grass and prettiness) but after a bit of searching on here the consensus appears to be that Ayr is leech-central. According to Frenchie's Bible it's also trout-free, which also takes away the other main drawcard of spending two evenings there ;-)

Spying the area on Google Earth there seem to plenty of clear areas, though of course it's hard to tell if you're looking at native lawn or knee-high button grass and swamp. By the sounds of things most people shoot straight through to Pelion Hut, but if a regularly used spot exists it would surely make sense to utilise it than flatten virgin ground elsewhere.

Any suggestions/coordinates would be greatly appreciated!

Cheers, Ben.
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Re: Campsite options along Arm River track?

Postby north-north-west » Sun 27 Dec, 2015 5:03 am

There's an area to the right of the track not far past Wurragurra Ck, but that might not be far enough in for you.
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Re: Campsite options along Arm River track?

Postby headwerkn » Sun 27 Dec, 2015 9:08 am

Thanks NNW for the suggestion, yeah would prefer to get closer to Pelion and keep Day 2 manageable in case of weather, tired quads, etc.

From what I've been able to gather the ART is a fairly fast track (after the initial climb) due to the extensive duck boarding. That would lead me to believe substantial parts of the southern edge of Lake Ayr are swampy/sodden?
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Re: Campsite options along Arm River track?

Postby north-north-west » Sun 27 Dec, 2015 10:30 am

Yeah, but there are a few small knolls that stand higher and drier. Leechiness depends on weather conditions to some extent, although I've never stopped there for more than a quarter hour or so, so I'm no expert.
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Re: Campsite options along Arm River track?

Postby Scottyk » Tue 29 Dec, 2015 10:17 pm

There is Lake Price which is only about an hour from the track start and has room for 2 small tents. The track goes right passed it and it has good views of Mt Pillinger.
I have camped at the high ground above Lake Ayr and I wouldn't do it again. It rained overnight and we had a huge leech invasion of biblical levels. The shore line of Ayr is mostly reedy and no beach that can see, not a very inviting spot to even try to fill up a water bottle
If you turn right just before Wurragurra as NNW desrcibed then follow on the eastern side of the creek for a while there is some nice spots on open areas. There is even a hidden hut that's in ok condition a bit further on that is hard to find in a big patch of the mature pencil pines, all in all a very nice spot. It is marked on tasmaps but I can give you more info if you need it.
The ART is really a quick transit track for the most part with duck boarding and good grading for the most part
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Re: Campsite options along Arm River track?

Postby Tortoise » Wed 30 Dec, 2015 7:34 am

north-north-west wrote:Yeah, but there are a few small knolls that stand higher and drier. Leechiness depends on weather conditions to some extent, although I've never stopped there for more than a quarter hour or so, so I'm no expert.

I think that's the thing - it's been so dry this spring that a lot of places I've walked recently that would often be crawling with leeches have had none at all. So Lake Ayr might be ok for your trip. On the other hand, as Scotty said, it's not exactly inviting in terms of water collection. The Wurragarra Creek site on the other hand, is lovely. Don't know re its trout status though.
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Re: Campsite options along Arm River track?

Postby headwerkn » Tue 12 Jan, 2016 4:22 pm

Ended up passing on Lake Ayr and walking on to the creek at the Pelion/Mt Oakleigh Junction, about 600m away from New Pelion Hut.

As mentioned, Ayr had some flat high points for a tent, but none of the creeks into it were flowing and the lake itself looked pretty stagnant. My better half said no... ;-)

Both Lake Price and the Tarns further along looked beautiful, but would have resulted in a very long second day to Ossa and back.

Will post up a Trip Report soon.
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Re: Campsite options along Arm River track?

Postby cmris1 » Tue 30 Apr, 2019 5:11 pm

I can confirm there is room to camp at Lake Price for about 2 tents (or 3 very small ones at a push), though the site is sloping. It was great for us because we were walking in the same day we completed the Walls of Jerusalem, so we didn't have time to get all the way to Pelion. Thanks very much for this thread as it was the only place I found info on Arm River Track camping, and as it was getting quite late and dark when we were walking in we really appreciated knowing exactly where we were going!!

For slow walkers, please be informed that the Arm River Track took us 8 1/2 hours to get in to Pelion (in two sessions broken by camping at Lake Price) and 6 hours to get out. (Time variance due to walking uphill and in the dark on the way in.) This is significantly longer than the 4 and 5 hours some people report - please take note of this if you are a slow walker. It took us 2 1/2 hours to get to Lake Price, up very steep hill with darkness setting in. Totally worth it tho :-D
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Re: Campsite options along Arm River track?

Postby IDP » Thu 02 May, 2019 10:29 am

Camping near Lake Ayr (off track near where Lees Paddock track diverges) on way out via Arm River track in Feb this year (note, whilst incredibly dry) was reasonably pleasant and completely leech free.
Nice sunset and sunrise views of Mt Oakleigh.
Agree that water in Lake Ayr not the greatest and have been there in more typical conditions when leeches are a problem.
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Re: Campsite options along Arm River track?

Postby north-north-west » Thu 02 May, 2019 11:18 am

IDP wrote:Camping near Lake Ayr (off track near where Lees Paddock track diverges) on way out via Arm River track in Feb this year (note, whilst incredibly dry) was reasonably pleasant and completely leech free.
Nice sunset and sunrise views of Mt Oakleigh.
Agree that water in Lake Ayr not the greatest and have been there in more typical conditions when leeches are a problem.


I have found the best spot there, which includes good access to reliable water, but I'm not sharing with anyone.
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Re: Campsite options along Arm River track?

Postby benoloughlin » Thu 02 May, 2019 12:56 pm

north-north-west wrote:
IDP wrote:Camping near Lake Ayr (off track near where Lees Paddock track diverges) on way out via Arm River track in Feb this year (note, whilst incredibly dry) was reasonably pleasant and completely leech free.
Nice sunset and sunrise views of Mt Oakleigh.
Agree that water in Lake Ayr not the greatest and have been there in more typical conditions when leeches are a problem.


I have found the best spot there, which includes good access to reliable water, but I'm not sharing with anyone.


Dang. I was thinking about maybe doing this walk in a couple of weeks...
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