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The Weekend Australian - Travel - - TRAVEL & INDULGENCE -

Wild Ped­der’s four-day guided trips run from early Novem­ber to late April; cost is $2200 a per­son, all-in­clu­sive. Trips can be tai­lored on re­quest. Con­tact: 0456 869 092; hello@wildped­der. com.au . •wildped­der.com.au

The trunks of long-drowned trees pro­vide an oc­ca­sional kayak­ing hazard, as well as a ghostly re­minder that we are pad­dling over for­mer riverbeds and val­ley floors. I could hap­pily spend weeks ex­plor­ing the lake’s hid­den re­cesses in this way. How­ever, the fol­low­ing day our pad­dling arms are rested and our legs tested, as we scale the steep slopes of nearby Mount El­iza.

Four hours of ver­ti­cal foot-slog­ging in un­usu­ally warm con­di­tions — the last sec­tion clam­ber­ing over large, lichen-painted boul­ders — has me long­ing to re­turn to the cool depths of Lake Ped­der, which un­folds be­low us with each up­wards stride.

How­ever, aching legs and sun­stroke are quickly for­got­ten once at the sum­mit. A 360-de­gree view of the Tas­ma­nian Wilder­ness World Her­itage Area, from 1289m, is a panoramic who’s who of moun­tain ranges. There’s Mount Field to the north­east; Fed­er­a­tion Peak, Pre­cip­i­tous Bluff and the mighty Arthurs to the south; and to the north the Thumbs and French­man’s Cap.

This roof-of-the-world feel­ing is matched only by the spec­ta­cle be­low of Lake Ped­der, re­vealed in its full glory,

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