AAWT solo

A forum for discussing the Australian Alps Walking Track. This is a 655 km long track from Walhalla (Vic) to Tharwa (ACT)

AAWT solo

Postby wen wen » Thu 12 Sep, 2019 2:20 pm

Hi all,

I'm planning my first solo hike, Kiandra to Tharwa on the AAWT. The only thing I'm feeling really nervous about is being a solo female hiker. I'd love some thoughts on this idea. Good idea, bad idea, safe or a stupid idea?? Any feed back would be appreciated.
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Re: AAWT solo

Postby Zapruda » Thu 12 Sep, 2019 4:05 pm

Completely safe and normal. You’ll likely come across very few people depending on when you go.

Maybe avoid camping at Honeysuckle Creek campground.

I really enjoy solo walking. It’s very peaceful.

I personally know a few women who have done the whole thing solo. I could put you in touch with them if you would like. Send me a pm for details.

Let us know if you have any more questions. It’s a great part of the world. I love the northern frost plains.
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Re: AAWT solo

Postby Mark F » Thu 12 Sep, 2019 4:21 pm

The answer is "it depends". I would not be concerned about personal safety, ie being attacked but I would like to know a bit more about your bushwalking experience. The route you propose is quite straight forward other than a few river crossings which can be dangerous if the rivers have high flows, more likely in spring, especially if you do not have much experience of river crossings. The main problems are the Murrumbidgee and Tantangara Creek although these can be bypassed by heading west to the highway and then along Long Plain Road and Port Philip FT. The Eucumbene and Cotter can also present difficulties. Having walked the route several times you may not see any other walkers until the last day so you need to be comfortable solo.
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Re: AAWT solo

Postby jobell » Fri 13 Sep, 2019 9:16 am

Just don't camp where anyone in a 4wd in the night can see you. I have a rule when solo that I don't camp where ppl can drive in except if I find nice ppl to camp alongside. I broke this rule once on the AAWT and had a middle of the night run in with drunk young 4wd'ers who thought it would be funny to scare the s**t out of me. I wasn't on my own but my walking companions tent was out of sight and he didn't appear during the confrontation.

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Re: AAWT solo

Postby Lophophaps » Fri 13 Sep, 2019 9:48 am

The above posts have merit. At Kiandra, once across the Eucumbene Rive the idiots cease to be. Tantangara Creek and the Murrumbidgee may be high, necessitating an extra 15 kilometres or so as Mark describes. (I do not have a map with me at present.) To allow for this, perhaps have a rest day planned for north of here. After the off track section north of the Murrumbidgee there's a vehicular campsite at Ghost Gully, often with horse riding groups. To avoid the rabble (usually not the horse riders), you could camp before Ghost Gully in many places, but stay high, above the frost hollow. Another factor between Kiandra and the Orroral Valley is to camp where the feral horses do not go. I look for small clearings in the forest. An hour past Ghost Gully is Hainsworth Hut, fair camping. At Honeysuckle Creek you could pick up water and find a spot a little down the AAWT. As far as I can recall, Honeysuckle Creek is the last certain potable water before Tharwa.
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Re: AAWT solo

Postby crollsurf » Fri 13 Sep, 2019 10:19 am

There is always a small risk of bumping into the wrong person but that risk would be miniscule compared to going out in any town/city at night. My experience walking that section of track in Spring; met 1 solo female hiker, Alice completing her AAWT, 2 guys flyfishing at Blue Waterhole and a couple flyfishing the Murrumbidgee. There is that road around the Murrumbidgee River crossing that is accessable by 4WD. Maybe don't camp there but it wasn't a lonely road by any stretch of the imagination, there were flyfishers everywhere, all looking for a spot away from everyone else.

I didn't see any snakes either but they would be more of a worry.
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Re: AAWT solo

Postby wen wen » Fri 13 Sep, 2019 6:51 pm

Thanks so much for all the comments. As a female I really appreciate the advice especially regarding camping. I have quite abit of hiking experience but none solo although I'm very comfortable being on my own . My river crossing experience is limited so I'll look at taking the other options mentioned. I'm aiming to go mid to late October.
Thanks again for the advice, I'll be taking it all on board.
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Re: AAWT solo

Postby ChrisJHC » Sat 14 Sep, 2019 9:41 am

Strongly recommend taking a PLB (and putting your outline trip details in the AMSA website).
Adds safety for you and peace of mind for people left behind.
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Re: AAWT solo

Postby dashandsaph » Tue 17 Sep, 2019 1:56 pm

I agree with the comments above and also suggest as it's your first solo hike, try a 2-3 solo hike first, preferably somewhere without too many other walkers, to work out whether you enjoy solo hiking. Beats finding out the hard way a few days in to the AAWT. Otherwise, enjoy!
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Re: AAWT solo

Postby Lophophaps » Wed 18 Sep, 2019 2:52 pm

I'm endeavouring to provide a bit more background for the first few days. Comments on the following are sought.

If the Eucumbene is about knee deep then the Tantangara and Murrumbidgee should be okay. If the Tantangara is too hard to cross go back to 415385, about 1.5 kilometres south of Chapman 572, the Haines Hut junction. There is an old track, could be hard to find, that goes west over Tantangara Plain to the Goandra Hut site. If the Tantangara is still too hard to cross near here go upstream until it can be crossed, then west to the highway.

If you can get over the Tantangara at 576 it's easier. Cross the Tantangara and go up the hill to the first intersection. Bullock Hill Trail goes south-west to the highway, about 6 kilometres, or go off track west. You may find tracks under the power lines. In either case, go north for an hour or so to Port Phillip Trail. If the weather is poor then Long Plain Hut may be useful, off to the west. However, if there is time, keep going to Hainsworth Hut.

If Dairymans Creek cannot be crossed, go NE towards Millers Hut, then north to port Phillip FT. This route is mainly open plains and light timber.
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Re: AAWT solo

Postby Zapruda » Thu 19 Sep, 2019 1:00 pm

Lophophaps wrote:I'm endeavouring to provide a bit more background for the first few days. Comments on the following are sought.

If the Eucumbene is about knee deep then the Tantangara and Murrumbidgee should be okay. If the Tantangara is too hard to cross go back to 415385, about 1.5 kilometres south of Chapman 572, the Haines Hut junction. There is an old track, could be hard to find, that goes west over Tantangara Plain to the Goandra Hut site. If the Tantangara is still too hard to cross near here go upstream until it can be crossed, then west to the highway.


The old track is now a very noticeable road with a bridge over Tantangara creek... Thanks Snowy 2.0 :evil: One of my favourite plains cut in 1/2.
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Re: AAWT solo

Postby Lophophaps » Fri 20 Sep, 2019 8:21 am

The crossing is now much easier. There is nothing that can be done about this bridge and Snowy 2.0, but be aware of the strategy. It's just a bridge, 4WD track upgrade, a few huts on the South Coast Track, a track upgrade for Falls Creek to Mount Hotham, a new visitor shelter ... Individually they do not matter as much as the long-term result - wild areas significantly smaller, compromised or both. It even has a name, the salami principle or technique. This is where small slices are made to achieve a much bigger long-term result. Hence, we need to be vigilant about such things and oppose them with the long-term picture in mind. Sadly, we need to look no further than climate change to see that the masses and those supposedly in charge cannot see this. A metre or more of snow is on the Main Range, with bushfires in NSW and Queensland. Welcome to the new reality.
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