Monday, November 17, 2014

The Temple, Tas, Australia

2014 November: One day climb of The Temple in Walls of Jerusalem National Park, Tasmania, Australia


Tasmania has so many enchanting places ... The Walls of Jerusalem National Park is one of them.

Most of the landmarks in the Walls of Jerusalem have biblical names ... names like Herods Gate, Damascus Gate, Lake Salome, Pool of Bethesda, Zion Hill, King Davids Peak, Solomons Throne ... etc etc. The names alone arouse you to want to visit them all !

Although I was a bit unlucky, intermittent rain marred an otherwise wonderful hike. But still, I snapped many beautiful pictures. Just imagine what it will be like if it is a blue sky day. Not to worry, I intend to be back here again, to climb Mt Jerusalem and the West Wall ... watch this blog!

The Temple

It is a mountain. Its summit is 1446 meters - the easiest mountain to climb in the Walls of Jerusalem. There is a well marked track all the way to the top.


"100 Walks in Tasmania" by Tyrone Thomas and Andrew Close (2008 edition), Walk #72 has a well written detailed description of this walk.

Map, Route & GPS files

At the time I was there, I only have the 1:100,000 scaled Mersey 8114 map. That is good enough. You can arm yourself with the more detailed 1:25,000 scaled Tasmap called "Walls of Jerusalem National Park".

The route is in my GPX files which can be downloaded from:
- From carpark to The Temple:

- From The Temple to carpark:


Go on the Mersey Forest Road and simply follow signs that direct you to Wall of Jerusalem Track.

(On Mersey Forest Road, about 2.8 km pass Fish River Road, take the left (southeast) fork, then a further 1.1 km you will be at the carpark on the right (south) side of the road)

Timeline & Distance

07:50   0.0 km  Start at carpark
08:41   2.2 km  at Trappers Hut

08:44   2.2 km  leave Trappers Hut
10:27   6.2 km  crossing Wild Dog Creek
10:41   6.8 km  passing Herods Gate
11:28   8.9 km  at Damascus Gate
11:52   9.4 km  at summit of The Temple


12:37   9.5 km  Leave summit of the Temple
12:58  10.1 km  at Damascus Gate
13:14  10.7 km  at Pool of Bethesda

13:17  10.8 km  Leave Pool of Bethesda
13:48  12.5 km  Passing Herods Gate
13:58  13.1 km  Passing Wild Dog Creek
15:19  17.1 km  at Trappers Hut
15:57  19.2 km  at carpark


Total  19.2 km;  8 hr 07 min at leisurely pace.
(Above distance is from Google Earth. My Garmin Montana GPS gives 19.6 km)


1)  Guess what is this???
You wouldn't believe it ... a few minutes after walking in from the carpark, and in the middle of nowhere, you encounter this boot cleaning machine ... see next pic ...

2)  The sign says in red "Footwear Cleaning Station", followed by instructions. In the front, there are brushes. In the middle is a slot to insert your boot, then squeeze a bulb on the right arm to squirt disinfectants on it. The left arm has brush + screw driver for more thorough cleaning. The idea is to prevent the spread of fungal diseases into the Walls of Jerusalem National Park. Wonder why is there no such machine in other national parks? And what if you do off-trail walking to enter the Walls of Jerusalem?

3)  A typical scene of the earlier part of the trail.
The trail climbs gently from about 700 meters to a shelter called Trappers Hut at 1050 meters.

4)  Shortly after Trappers Hut, the trail levels out. You are in a flat area with numerous small lakes. The vegetation also changes markedly into alpine varieties.

5)  One of the many small lakes along the trail

6)  Many small lakes dotted along the trail

7)  A slightly bigger lake called Solomon's Jewels.
Most of the landmarks in the Walls of Jerusalem National Park have biblical names ... names like Herods Gate, Damascus Gate, Lake Salome, Pool of Bethesda, Zion Hill, King Davids Peak, Solomons Throne ... etc etc. The names alone arouse you to want to visit them all !
By the way does anyone know the name of the peak on the horizon?

8)  A colourful carpet

9)  Rainbow coloured Eucalyptus tree trunk

10)  (Directly from
Leptecophylla Juniperina is a species of flowering plant in the family Ericaceae. The species is native to New Zealand and the Australian states of Tasmania and Victoria. The plant's fruit is edible, raw or cooked. Plants grow best in areas with moderate winters and cool moist summers.
The below photo seems to be L. Juniperina subspecies Parvifolia (syn. Cyathodes Parviflora) - known in Australia as Pink Mountain Berry.

11)  I think these are Pultenaea Daphnoides, commonly known as Large-Leaf Bush Pea ... Correct me if I'm wrong.

12)  Even the rocks along the trail are interesting ... they are bright orange red inside ... can anyone tell me the name these rocks? Or are they simply a type of lichen covering?

13)  Approaching Herods Gate.
- King Davids Peak is the high point on the left.
- Herods Gate is to the left of King Davids Peak ... see photo #15
- In the pic, the path cuts through Wild Dog Creek - a rare case where a landmark is not a name from the Bible.

14)  Crossing Wid Dog Creek.
It is dry at the moment; but the Cushion plants are lovely.

15)  Approaching Herods Gate.
From carpark to Herods Gate is just a bit shy of 3 hrs.

16)  After passing through Herods Gate, you enter this flat area which is like inside a bowl - with hills on all sides.
- The lake is Lake Salome.
- The mountain in front is Zion Hill.
- The mountain in the distance is Mt Jerusalem. I intend to climb it one day ... watch this blog.

17)  - The distant mountain on the left is Mt Jerusalem.
- The mountain in the middle is The Temple. Its summit is at the dead centre of the mountain. I'll be climbing to the summit soon.
- The cliff on the right side of the photo is south part of West Wall.
- The gap between The Temple and West Wall is call Damascus Gate.

18)  On the right is West Wall ... a looong looong cliff.
The gap on the left is called Damascut Gate.
Further to the left is the mountain called The Temple.

19)  Looking backwards.
The mountain on the right is Mount Ophel.
Love the green Cushion plants.

20)  Green Cushion plants

21)  More of the lovely Cushion plants

22)  Richea scoparia

23)  (Looking backwards) Pencil Pine groves and Lake Salome.
- The highest point on the left is King Davids Peak (located on the north part of West Wall.)
- On the right is Mt Ophel.

24)  Pencil Pines - they are ancient

25)  Knarled trunks of the ancient Pencil Pines.

26)  Breadth taking scene of the West Wall - simply majestic.

27)  West Wall - worth every minute of the three and a quarter hours to reach this point.

28)  - On the right is the West Wall. The high point on the left side of West Wall is called King Solomons Throne.
- The Gap in the middle is Damascus Gate
- On the left is the Temple. The red arrow points to its summit - I'm heading there.

29)  The Temple.
The red arrow points to the summit ... I'll be there soon. To climb it, first head towards the gap on the right of the mountain, called Damascus Gate. Then climb up the slope on the right side. As can be seen from the photo, you'll climb pass 2 false peaks (blue arrows) before you reach the summit.
In the next few photos, watch how the summit changes its shape.

30)  The summit of The Temple is right in the middle of the mountain. It has changed its shape slightly from the previous pic. (The blue arrows point to the false summits.)

31)  This photo is taken at the shore of Pool of Bethesda.
The summit changed its shape again - it is near the middle of the pic, like a triangle, and the lowest of all the mounds.

32)  The summit is on the left edge, the teeny-weeny partly covered triangle.

33)  Almost at Damcascus Gate now and looking back at Lake Salome. King Davids Peak (north part of West Wall) is on the left.

34)  At Damascus Gate now. On one side is a path climbing up Solomons Throne (south part of the West Wall).

35)  On the other side of Damascus Gate is a path climbing up The Temple.
The top of this hill is the 1st false summit.
You can see a small slanted triangle at the top. When you first climb The Temple, you may think it is the summit cairn. But it turns out to be ...

36)  ... just a big rock.

37)  After you climb pass the big rock of the previous photo, you see another peak in front. This is the 2nd false summit.

38)  After you reach the top of the 2nd false summit, you can see the true summit ... this is it.

39)  This is the true summit.

40)  This is the summit of The Temple, 1446m. There are 2 cairns. The one on the right is higher.

41)  Shortly after I arrived at the summit, the clouds closed in. It snowed and sleeted !
As I was hungry, I decided to simply stood there in the snow and sleet and just ate my lunch.
As luck would have it, half an hour later, a hole opens up in the sky which allows me to quickly snap this shot.

42)  The view from the summit is superb ... just imagine what the scene would be like if it is blue sky!
- On the left is the north part of West Wall and King Davids Peak.
- In the middle is Lake Salome (bigger lake) and Pool of Bethesda (smaller squarish shaped).

43)  View from the summit - The bigger lake is Lake Ball.

44)  View from the summit - towards the west is West Wall.
It was my intention to climb it later and traverse the whole length of it. But then, the clouds start to close in, so I abandon this idea. But one day, I'll be back to climb it ... watch this blog !

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