Northern Circuit, Wilson's Promontory

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Re: Northern Circuit, Wilson's Promontory

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Mon 05 Apr, 2021 8:45 am

I walked the full Northern Prom. circuit three Easters in a row. Most People return once the trauma wears off. Therefore it is type 2 fun. Always take a proper sun hat for bushwalking and ski touring . It is not optional , no matter what the weather or season is.
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Re: Northern Circuit, Wilson's Promontory

Postby Baeng72 » Mon 05 Apr, 2021 9:18 am

Thanks BigKev. Can you compare the scrub on the Viking-to-Wonnangatta with the stuff near the Chinaman swamp? I reckon I might be put off if it's that bad.
Or I could get a proper sun hat and long sleeves? :)

Thanks PCV, You're a masochist, 3 times in a row.
What is a proper sun hat? Mine had served me well on bushwalks before, I reckon it just go ripped off while I was wrestling with scrub, or I would have noticed it?
That scrub would make a great pickpocket the way it pulls anything loose off you and you're too preocupied with pushing through.
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Re: Northern Circuit, Wilson's Promontory

Postby peregrinator » Mon 05 Apr, 2021 10:32 am

Baeng72 wrote:
. . . I'll upload some photos if anybody is interested.


Yes, please. Even though they'll probably convince me to go nowhere near that swamp section!
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Re: Northern Circuit, Wilson's Promontory

Postby bigkev » Mon 05 Apr, 2021 11:25 am

Baeng72 wrote:Thanks BigKev. Can you compare the scrub on the Viking-to-Wonnangatta with the stuff near the Chinaman swamp? I reckon I might be put off if it's that bad.
Or I could get a proper sun hat and long sleeves? :)

Thanks PCV, You're a masochist, 3 times in a row.
What is a proper sun hat? Mine had served me well on bushwalks before, I reckon it just go ripped off while I was wrestling with scrub, or I would have noticed it?
That scrub would make a great pickpocket the way it pulls anything loose off you and you're too preocupied with pushing through.



I haven't been up in the Northern Sections of the Prom for around 30 years Baeng - so my scrub comparisons might be a little dated :wink: There was a period when I visited around 4 times over a couple of years, and back then I was following a taped route so it wasn't too bad (that's all relative though!).

Maybe it's because I'm getting older, or maybe it's due to bushfires or other causes however the scrub does seem a lot more impenetrable now days (particularly up in the mountains).

I'm a fan of having everything that I'm not using (hat, gloves, beanie, etc) safely stashed inside my pack. I generally don't like anything being outside the pack, both to stop things getting plucked off by the scrub but also to keep everything dry and undamaged - back in the ye olde days it was pretty common to be walking along tracks following a trail of blue closed cell foam bread crumbs. Watching the You Tube videos of the thru hikers over in the US it sometimes looks to me as if they have more gear hanging off their packs than they do inside them and I suspect that influences some walkers over here...maybe?

If I know that I'm in for a scrub bash then I sometimes wear my work gear (hi vis Hard Yakka type of clothes), it's not pretty but they offer more protection than the lighter walking clothes. The thing with using work gear is that it's hot in the warm weather and useless in the wet so you have to judge the situation a bit. I use a 'Shelta' hat nowadays, not so much for the scrub but for the wind - the brim stays upright even when walking into a strong wind so I don't get a burnt face on long beach (or desert) death marches.

Cheers
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Re: Northern Circuit, Wilson's Promontory

Postby Baeng72 » Mon 05 Apr, 2021 12:03 pm

peregrinator wrote:
Baeng72 wrote:
. . . I'll upload some photos if anybody is interested.


Yes, please. Even though they'll probably convince me to go nowhere near that swamp section!

I'll post something when I have a few moments.
You guys at the B & C society did Viking circuit back in 2017 and Northern circuit last year.
How does the scrub up from the Wonnangatta to South Viking compare with the swamp section?
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Re: Northern Circuit, Wilson's Promontory

Postby Baeng72 » Mon 05 Apr, 2021 12:07 pm

bigkev wrote:I'm a fan of having everything that I'm not using (hat, gloves, beanie, etc) safely stashed inside my pack.

In my defence, I was using the hat for protection from the sun. I had it on after the 'Granite Outcrop with nice views' but not at Lower Barry campsite.
The glove was removed from my right hand for navigation as the iPhone doesn't work with glove, so I'll cop to that, I wasn't using it, so should have stowed it instead of holding it in the left.
bigkev wrote:If I know that I'm in for a scrub bash then I sometimes wear my work gear (hi vis Hard Yakka type of clothes), it's not pretty but they offer more protection than the lighter walking clothes. The thing with using work gear is that it's hot in the warm weather and useless in the wet so you have to judge the situation a bit. I use a 'Shelta' hat nowadays, not so much for the scrub but for the wind - the brim stays upright even when walking into a strong wind so I don't get a burnt face on long beach (or desert) death marches.

Cheers

I didn't wear long sleeve shirt because of the heat/sweat factor. Being a fat *&%$#! is hot work.
I sweated and chaffed a lot because of the long pants, but I'm glad I wore them.
I'll look into the 'Shelta' hat.
Thanks.
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Re: Northern Circuit, Wilson's Promontory

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Mon 05 Apr, 2021 1:03 pm

A proper sun hat is one with a chin strap and a legionnaire's flap covering the back of the neck.
The Northern Prom . is classic trek in which if any kit is attached to the outside of the pack it will fall off/ be ripped off by hideous scrub and be lost for good. I tried to tell you all this in my previous trip reports for that route but you must have missed that salient point.
Long sleeves on a purpose made synthetic quick dry trekking shirt and the same for long pants are the way to go for most bushwalking IMHO. The scrub, insects and sun will get you so put on your protective layers and get on with it!. You will become hot and sweaty anyway so just keep moving.
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Re: Northern Circuit, Wilson's Promontory

Postby Baeng72 » Mon 05 Apr, 2021 1:34 pm

Speaking of missing the salient point, I said I didn’t know how I didn’t feel getting strangled when I lost the hat which implies it had a chinstrap.
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Re: Northern Circuit, Wilson's Promontory

Postby indented » Mon 05 Apr, 2021 2:01 pm

Great write up Baeng, looks like you copped a simliar amount of suffering to my trip a few months back!

Completely agree on the offline GPS to get through from LBC to CLB, especially the section from the swamp to the beach. It's so thick through there that you often can't see the track when you're on it, let alone a few metres away. I had a couple of moments when I was standing right next to a flagged tree or one of those orange poles and there was no trail in sight.
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Re: Northern Circuit, Wilson's Promontory

Postby Baeng72 » Mon 05 Apr, 2021 5:19 pm

I had a fair few photos, and lots of videos with my rambling commentary to choose from, so apologies if there are too many images.
The images ripped from video images will be smaller than the photos...
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Sunrise, Five mile road.

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Now the fun starts.
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OK, this is fine. Somewhere on the way to Lower Barry camp.
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Nobody's been through here recently.

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Are we there yet?
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Lower Barry Creek
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I must be on the right track?

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Swamp

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Follow the marker.
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Chinaman Long Beach. Looking back to the start.
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Last edited by Baeng72 on Mon 05 Apr, 2021 6:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Northern Circuit, Wilson's Promontory

Postby Baeng72 » Mon 05 Apr, 2021 5:27 pm

Day 2
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Track to Three Mile Beach

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Corduroy section before Mt Margaret-Mt Hunter saddle.
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Destination somewhere over there

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The Beacon.

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Three Mile Beach

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Rocks at end of Three Mile Beach
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Creek next to Johnny Souey Camp. Fresh water trickling over rocks at far end.
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Rabbit Island
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Re: Northern Circuit, Wilson's Promontory

Postby Baeng72 » Mon 05 Apr, 2021 5:29 pm

Day 3, not so many sights, or stuff seen before so not worth repeating.
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St Kilda Junction

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Tree Fern gully
'
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The road home.
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Re: Northern Circuit, Wilson's Promontory

Postby bigkev » Mon 05 Apr, 2021 6:13 pm

Thanks for the photos Baeng... are you going into the Vlogging world with your video's?
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Re: Northern Circuit, Wilson's Promontory

Postby Baeng72 » Mon 05 Apr, 2021 6:31 pm

I sort of did it so my better-half could have a laugh.
As for vlogging. I don't know, the competition is strong.
I'm no Pedro Arvy, and instead of having a face for radio, have a voice for silent pictures. ;)
But happy to splice it together when I get some time and I'll post a youtube link.
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Re: Northern Circuit, Wilson's Promontory

Postby Plod » Mon 05 Apr, 2021 8:54 pm

Hi Baeng, glad you made it through in one piece. I was one of the 3 you bumped into on TMB. The sun and heat were pretty intense that day, can’t imagine walking the circuit in summer and 30 degree temps. I went through 4.5 litres from Five Mile Beach to Tin Mine and still had a dehydration headache. We found the swamp section a bit tricky but it was handy to have 3 people when it got a bit iffy, with one person staying back at last known marker/pink tape and the others scouting ahead. We pretty much stuck with the pink tape and it got us through. Map, compass and GPS helped too.

I thought the circuit was worth doing and would do it again. We had good weather and the water sources were flowing pretty well with recent rain. I would not go in summer.

For any hammockers out there, you can find decent spots to hang at the camp sites. I was told it might be a problem finding good spots but had no problems. Had three great sleeps.


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Re: Northern Circuit, Wilson's Promontory

Postby Baeng72 » Tue 06 Apr, 2021 7:16 am

Hey Plod. Thanks again for your help!
The signage seems better for anti-clockwise circuit versus clockwise.
I don't know that I would have found the path off the beach without you guys mentioning where it was, and leaving a handy trail of footprints to follow!
But at Johnny Souey, there's a nice sign showing the way.
I'm glad I did the circuit, when I wrote my report I wasn't feeling it, but still can't see myself doing it again.
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Re: Northern Circuit, Wilson's Promontory

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Tue 06 Apr, 2021 8:41 am

I have walked that loop anti clockwise three times. We got a bit geographically embarrassed in three different places each time while crossing the swamp from Chinaman's Beach to Lower Barry Creek. The GPS was really useful. .One year in Autumn I will return to do it again. At least no one set off their PLB. Parks Vic. have told me that they have had to rescue people who could NOT find water out there.
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Re: Northern Circuit, Wilson's Promontory

Postby publicrejoicer » Tue 06 Apr, 2021 9:01 am

yer I agree with bigkev. You have to sit with the whole trip for about a 6 weeks before you declare that you will not do it again. Your trevails make for an entertaining read and you did have some bad luck. A few bullet point responses that come to mind.
    Do it late autumn to mid spring
    Do it anti clockwise
    schedule plenty of time. 3 nights 4 days
    Do it with someone - share the pain
    Its a wilderness area. Its gotta be hard. Humans need these challenges.

Regarding your intel request on the viking circuit by the B&C Society.
The off track work down zeka spur is only tiring because its the first day and you are fully loaded and there are a lot of fallen trees you have to heave yourself over. The scrub is not eye level like the chinamans swamp. From Zeka track when you off track to the wonnangatta river, its scrubby but not fore regrowth stuff that saps your energy. The following day up the spur to the viking is pretty cruisey. Executive summary is, if you have been through Chinamans swamp scrub you will have no issue dealing with viking circuit scrub, just the elevation issues.
"solvitur ambulando"
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Re: Northern Circuit, Wilson's Promontory

Postby Joynz » Tue 06 Apr, 2021 4:18 pm

Great photos!
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Re: Northern Circuit, Wilson's Promontory

Postby Baeng72 » Tue 06 Apr, 2021 6:22 pm

publicrejoicer wrote:yer I agree with bigkev. You have to sit with the whole trip for about a 6 weeks before you declare that you will not do it again. Your trevails make for an entertaining read and you did have some bad luck. A few bullet point responses that come to mind.
    Do it late autumn to mid spring
    Do it anti clockwise
    schedule plenty of time. 3 nights 4 days
    Do it with someone - share the pain
    Its a wilderness area. Its gotta be hard. Humans need these challenges.

Regarding your intel request on the viking circuit by the B&C Society.
The off track work down zeka spur is only tiring because its the first day and you are fully loaded and there are a lot of fallen trees you have to heave yourself over. The scrub is not eye level like the chinamans swamp. From Zeka track when you off track to the wonnangatta river, its scrubby but not fore regrowth stuff that saps your energy. The following day up the spur to the viking is pretty cruisey. Executive summary is, if you have been through Chinamans swamp scrub you will have no issue dealing with viking circuit scrub, just the elevation issues.

Thanks for the replies. Thanks to everyone.
Your comment about testing your mettle sort of help me commit to this hike.
I tested it, made it, so I guess I passed the test. Probably a D-, but a pass. :)
I'm glad it was hard, and I probably shouldn't have posted my raw thoughts half a dozen hours after I finished, as it looks like I'm a sook, or something (I may be a sook, but that wasn't the intention).
Post a few days later, with the discomfort mostly receding and I'd be a lot more sanguine, but I thought a dump of recent experience might help someone.
Anyway, I think doing it with a team would share the load, but wouldn't be such a test, so defeats the purpose. ;)
3 nights would be better, but if it's meant to be a test, 1 night would be the go (joking)!
But definetely do it anti-clockwise. :)
Thanks for the info on Viking, it is back on the cards based on your assessment.
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Re: Northern Circuit, Wilson's Promontory

Postby publicrejoicer » Wed 07 Apr, 2021 4:04 pm

You definitely passed. Your raw thoughts made this a great little thread and will probably inspire others to give it a crack...

I look forward to reading of your future labours !
"solvitur ambulando"
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Re: Northern Circuit, Wilson's Promontory

Postby Baeng72 » Wed 07 Apr, 2021 5:44 pm

The Snyder cut for those interested.
Now it's clear why I took so long to get through the swamp I was taking to many filming breaks (excuses to rest). :)
Day 1 to LBC: https://youtu.be/Eh1lkPvjrPg
Day 1 to CLB: https://youtu.be/feXKCT_FeX0
Day 2 to JSC: https://youtu.be/fypk6CyPHHM
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Re: Northern Circuit, Wilson's Promontory

Postby bigkev » Thu 08 Apr, 2021 11:54 am

Lover the Videos Baeng.

Thanks for sharing. Watched all three (don't tell the boss :lol: ). Things look a bit scrubbier than when I last pushed through.

Looking forward to the rest - or did you run out of charge?

Cheers
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Re: Northern Circuit, Wilson's Promontory

Postby Baeng72 » Thu 08 Apr, 2021 5:40 pm

Here you are BigKev:
Day 3, FMB to FMC https://youtu.be/jRVpWOxa77k

I thought it was a bit of filler, but enjoy!
I don't have anything from Johnny Souey Cove to Five Mile Beach, just trying to keep up with the couple that had dry bag, so didn't stop much.
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Re: Northern Circuit, Wilson's Promontory

Postby indented » Fri 09 Apr, 2021 8:16 am

Great vids. Part 2 certainly captured the essence of the section between Lower Barry and the beach! I tried filming through there but didn't really end up with anything useful.
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Re: Northern Circuit, Wilson's Promontory

Postby Joris » Sun 01 Aug, 2021 4:33 pm

Hi good folks,

Has anyone been on the northern circuit recently (i.e this winter)? Barring a weather disaster I am set to walk the circuit in the first week of September. I have walked 'up north' several times before, but never this early in the season. Presumably on average the swamp crossings at least are still likely to be waist-deep by then - and possibly more. Any insight appreciated (including hot tips on your favourite swimming technique :lol: ).

Cheers!
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Re: Northern Circuit, Wilson's Promontory

Postby Baeng72 » Tue 03 Aug, 2021 10:03 am

Not much help, but maybe ring Parks? The B&C society did it in July last year, so that might be useful.
I'd be bagging my pack and anything I wanted dry in a big plastic bag, then deep breath and ironic demeanour should do it.
Can't imagine any great swimming ability required in the swamp as it won't be a raging torrent.
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Re: Northern Circuit, Wilson's Promontory

Postby publicrejoicer » Tue 03 Aug, 2021 11:55 am

yep I would not expect any change from July 2020. I second @Baeng72. Get your tide times right for Miranda creek or dip the plums. I say do it anticlockwise so you can make the swamp crossing your big day then out to the car park and onto the fishy for a bistro meal to celebrate.
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