Sunday, March 9, 2014

Mt Tongatabu

This morning our social walking group walked up some forestry trails on Mount Tongatabu, south of Geeveston. At 573 metres, it's not a very high peak, but it can be seen clearly from the Huon River at Franklin: you can see it in this photo behind the remnants of this morning's fog lifting.

One of our walk leaders works at a local school and had asked a few people who live nearby if they knew how to get up to the summit. We drove along Hermons Road past the 'waste transfer station' (tip) before turning onto forestry roads. About half way up we parked the cars and walked from there. We didn't get all the way to the top, as it was quite overgrown in places, but I think it would be possible to reach it. It was a perfectly sunny day, about 30 degrees so warm for autumn.

I wondered how a mountain or hill in southern Tasmania came to be named after the main island of Tonga. Tasmanian place names expert Wayne Smith who appears regularly on ABC local radio wasn't sure who had named it or why, but it seems there are several places named Tongatabu/Tongataboo/Tongatapu around Tasmania so one of the early surveyors must have been keen on it. I had thought perhaps there was some link to Abel Tasman who did travel through Tonga on one of his voyages around the Pacific. But I'll stop speculating. There is probably someone living around here who can enlighten me!

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