10 January 2014

Platform Peak - a pleasant afternoon's stroll

This is a view of Platform Peak; there isn't anything particularly exciting about the peak itself, but there is a most impressive cairn on top of it.

Between 1833 and 1836 James Sprent, Assistant Surveyor, set up about fifty survey points across southern Tasmania. They were approximately fifty kilometres apart, and were marked with various poles, tree trunks and stone cairns. Some of his stone cairns are still standing; I am told this is one of them. Sprent's surveys were so detailed and accurate that they fit today's measurements with no need for adjustment, but his years in the bush impaired his health.  In 1858 he was made Surveyor General, but was forced to retire later that year and died a few years later.

lunch beside the cairn

views from the top

I can see Mt Wellington from here!

we know where we are
Update: thank you fellow HWC members Robert and Rupert

  • Robert Wyatt The cairn is probably a Hardy cairn erected about 1885/6. The carving is by club member Tom Murdoch (Now over 90 years of age!) and it originally had a list of members that were with him on his trip.
    12 January at 15:28 · Unlike · 2
  • Elizabeth Barsham Thank you - I wasn't sure whether it was an original Sprent cairn, but it's a very nice one. Do you know where any of the originals are?
  • Rupert Manners We took the remains away to try and redo. The half which has the names on was not quite readable
  • Robert Wyatt There are several Sprent cairns about, some in reasonable condition; La Perouse, Adamsons Peak, Rufus and there is one on Mt Hean that has been rebuilt by Surveyor Generals staff

There is a good article about early Tasmanian surveyors and their markers here: