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Tue 12 Jan, 2016 6:27 pm
last Saturday I set off for a walk down to the Cyde river via Claydons creek with the loose intentions of returning up bee hive pass.
Leaving the car at the NP car park I set off along the plateau of Mt bushwalker, it's not long before the track begins to hug the cliff line and it's here I found my passage off the tops and down into the valley through gaol house pass.
An absolute gorgeouse drop down where you nearly encounter every plant/terrain known to man (this man anyway) and such was the scenery and I must admit confusing track that the distractions made the descent feel like a 5 minute job.
Now down at the junction of an unnamed creek that feeds into Claydons I stopped for a photo opp and noticed at least 5 boot sized freshwater crayfish motoring around the shallows...on even came up on land for a better look at me, I literally could have scooped him up for lunch BUT he was just so colourful and protected I let Ol pinchy be.
Here I followed the creek down stream for a couple of Ks more, had a nice swim at the Rixon confluence and further on until about half a k before the Clyde junction. Here a had lunch and began to cramp up savagely. Although I'd had an abundance of water not being out for awhile was taking its toll and I couldn't drink the amount I was sweating out if I had two mouths working.
So I decided to leave beehive to another day and headed home the way I came. Cramping up chronically now I was really worried about tearing a hammy but I got there in the end and over all it was a nice day out.
But be warned.if you like sticking to the track like I do, wether it be for historical reasons or just plain safety pay close attention as its rarely used by the looks of thing and in a lot of cases non existent. There are a couple of helpful well positioned cairns that will get you through....and look out for the big, beautiful tiger snake also, only the third I've seen not in captivity, BONUS!
Mon 25 Jan, 2016 9:32 pm
Thanks for the report.
I made many trips down there over the years. I may be responsible for a cairn here and there. It was terribly difficult to negotiate where the trail dipped through a little most gully about half way down (before it swings hard west and parallel to the creek). Over a series of trips we found the route fairly easy to follow, but that is going back a while.
Where the trail first meets the creek, there is some exceptional tall forest a few hundred metres upstream. Not unlike Blue Gum forest- a big flat with huge old trees.
I do not know what you refer to as "Beehive Pass". There is a pass up onto the eastern rim (Mt Bushwalker side) from the creek that enters just upstream of the Clyde Junction- does have few waterfalls though.
Beautiful walking country.
Tue 26 Jan, 2016 6:56 am
G'day Clarence. Beehive pass starts about 300mtrs from the Clyde/Claydons junction and finishes up on Mt Bushwalker roughly halfway between Gadara point and the Bushwalker lookout. An old timer tipped me off quiet awhile ago so I dropped down to make sure when I climb up it wouldn't be for nought.
Absolutely no track or sign of use but it's pretty easy walking. Old mate reckons it got its name due to a bee hive located on the pass for years.
Tue 26 Jan, 2016 9:36 am
Thanks for clarification.
That sounds like the pass which I did some years ago.
It isn't too hard to get through. Some nice rock formations in the uppermost cliffline from memory too.
A great round trip indeed.
Mon 04 Sep, 2017 6:57 pm
Well, 18 months later I finally got around to completing my intended loop. Although the temp did hit 25c I was spared the severe cramping that thwarted my first attempt.
If you are thinking about doing this walk or even just checking out Claydons Ck and if you enjoy those bright pink ribbons then you're in luck because someone has tagged the balls off this track. Damn shame if you ask me and completely unnecessary and overboard, the major attraction for me on this walk was the wild, remoteness you felt dropping to and crossing those moist gullys with the tall timbers lurching above...now I coukd even get a decent photo without a ribbon ruining it.
And the strange thing is wherever the track does become confusing or obscure the ribbons vanish (this is where you can fall back on the already existing and far more environmental friendly cairns) but come the easier parts BOOM back they come with a vengeance. My theory on this is the marker loses the track, hunts around further on, refinds the track, resumes his marking but doesn't bother with the section he's missed? Anyway, the ribbons finally disappear altogether at no place in particular, about half way along the spur you head hard west on before dropping down to the water.
Nice big pool for swimming at the Cyde, ClaydonsCk junction although if you head up the beehive pass there you'll also find a few good opportunities to cool off...and cool off you'll need as you gain some solid elevation in about a kilometre. Two waterfalls had me contemplating my solo walking choices but I survived both. One is at least a 30 meter thing that cascades rather than spills a beyond vertical. With plenty of foot/hand holds a braver man might consider shimmering straight up it but not me, I hugged the corner wall where the loose scree had some vegetation attempting to eek out a living, and using these flimsy saplings for leverage I inched my way closer to the heights.
but just when you think the worst of it is over after the heart stopping climbs you hit the section before the final climb out, this where the creek narrows and levels temporarily and that typical Budawang scrub eats you alive. I bashed out of the creek here and took the left side ridge (actually quite a way to my left) up to the cliff line before turning back right and reacquainted the creek, then the final effort through the upper cliffs to intersect the mt Bushwalker/Gadara point track and back to the car. About 8hours worth all up with breaks ,and I walked down to the clyde river which isn't essential if your just looking at completing the loop.
Quick tip. If your having trouble locating the beehive pass creek look for a notable but gentle right hand bend in the river, It runs into this BUT you will naturally be opposite it's entry as the walking is way easier on the other side of the bank. So unless you want to swim over to it as the water is deep in front of this flowing creek you will have walk back a bit, cross in the shallows and then cross over a short spur which starts you off 20 meters in the right direction...clear as mud?
Last edited by puredingo
on Mon 04 Sep, 2017 7:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Mon 04 Sep, 2017 7:20 pm
You don't have to suffer the idiocy of ribbon infestation. A quick slash and into the pocket.
We have had rather full pockets sometimes.
Mon 04 Sep, 2017 8:01 pm
Yeah, I do that around here on local walks but where the bright pink ribbons ended they used that bright pink duct tape deal. I'd still be in there now, it was next level tagging believe me.
Tue 23 Oct, 2018 3:52 pm
G'day fellas! Did the loop track last year and was tough but gorgeous. I was just wondering Clarence about the 'large Blue Gum area near where the trail fist meets the creek'? Would that be at GR535 990 on Tianjara 1:25000? Was thinking of checking it out! Cheers
Sat 27 Oct, 2018 9:24 pm
I would have to check the map. From memory it is a few hundred metres north along the creek. No necessarily "Blue Gums"- just beautiful tall forest on the river flats.
Mon 29 Apr, 2019 2:58 pm
Had a three day break this weekend, and having not been out for some time decided to visit head down for a two night chill out on the Clyde.
We descended just like puredingo through Gaol House pass and were soon by the unnamed creek. However rather than following the creek like pure dingo, I picked up a rough track along the small cliff which we then followed assuming it would be easier walking that along the creek line which at last attempt had been a bit painful. The Pink tape and pink gaffa tape continued along this rough track as we basically contoured through open dry Sclerophyll forest until finally dropping down along the ridge at the junction with Claydons Creek (around 2 hours for us to here).
From there we followed the creek as we marched on down to the junction with the Clyde. Encountering patches of either thick bracken if we tried to walk up on the top of the flood banks, or down by the creek a myriad of thorny liana vines and big fallen trees the going was much tougher and zig-zaggy. There were some nice open patches that would fool us and then we’d encounter another difficult section and have to detour around. Closer toward the Clyde it became easier to use some nice open rocky patches along the creek wherever we spotted them. It took us almost double the time to cover the same distance as the first leg, zig zagging to avoid the worst bits and crossing the creek so many times. All that pushing through and climbing over downed trees was quite exhausting. Did not see one tag/ribbon or marker the entire way, so either we followed a completely different path or the marker didn’t do this bit.
Reaching the Clyde we set up our tent on a small beach right at the junction, overlooking a big swim hole, the large gums opposite and Casuarinas on the island in the middle of the Clyde. Great spot for a swim and just to sit and do nothing!
Middle day was pretty much a pottering explore day, as my hubby had sprained his knee coming down the creek the day prior and wanted to rest it up prior to heading out. I had noted that a ridge directly behind our camp site would seem (from the maps) an easy way out up to beehive pass rather than following the unnamed creek up – but knowing how maps can be deceptive in the Budawangs wanted to check it out first. After an hour up the ridge it was decided this was easy walking so was a definite go-er.
The large Island was also explored, the south end has some nice views down river and up to the walls below Gadara Point. Also found a big clearing, nicely leaf littered on the left bank of the island, and here I saw the only further piece of ribbon anywhere, an old pink ribbon tied to the tree right in the middle of the clearing. I suspect marking what I though was a great campsite for a larger group, but without the amazing river views we had from our beach.
Post lunch we wandered upstream a couple of kms past a lovely set of cascades and past a couple of massive pools. Fairly easy walking for the most part without our packs.
Next morning, we packed up early and taking a cue from day 2 we followed the ridge directly behind the junction. There were sections with a definite foot pad along the ridge, possibly just animal tracks as there were no markers, however broken branches tended to suggest others has come this way before us. Once up at around 300-320m elevation, we contoured around crossing a side creek, to the main creek and the first cliff pass. A mix of bouldering and skirting saw us to the top of this section with little effort and in good time.
Now came the part I was least looking forward to through the mid “plateau” which I expected would be “Budawangs scrub”. Thus, we decided to walk straight up the creek, picturesque with carved stone pools and mossy covered banks, and easy walking, but after about 400m as the hill got steeper the creek turned into boulders, and then bigger boulders, we had no choice but to move out the side to get around these massive boulders. Thankfully the Budawangs scrub was no longer an issue, just normal scrubby understorey with lots of fallen branches and boulders to overcome. By this stage being pretty tired, and Hubbies knee not liking the scrub we slowed down significantly and my goal of reaching the top by lunchtime started to evaporate.
Finally, we saw the cliffs and guided by the perceived gap in them (we could see sky) we reached the bottom of the top pass. The presence of a comfortable overhang made for a nice rest stop and a chance to get some food into us, after which my hubby decided to go far a half hour pack free explore around to the North of the bottom of the cliffs, finding a massive camping cave with a good stock of firewood, but no sign of having been used. Climbing out was easy taking the climbing route to the left of the large broken off bit of cliff, as I didn’t like the look of the sword grass along the creek bank on the other side. We were up in no time, then following a rough pad to the right we were soon back on the Gadara point- Mt Bushwalker track. Coming back up this way was way easier than I’d expected, and I wondered why this pass has never made either the sketch map, or Ron Doughton’s bushwalking book. I noted it is in the Little Forest Plateau e-book with same Grid reference, although the photos look different.
I loved the last part of the journey taking in the views from Mt Bushwalker, IMO the best views in the area. Also have to say puredingo, I’m amazed you did the complete circuit in 8 hours. Was significantly longer for us, although we did find the creek banks extremely difficult with our full packs as every vine/branch wanted to grab us. The short section without was so much quicker and easier.
Photos to come.
Mon 29 Apr, 2019 7:50 pm
Awesome report and it really is a great little loop isn’t it?
I always thought that this walk would be a perfect overnight for a budding bushwalker who’s ready to take it up a notch.
I got away with the eight hour thing because I just had a day pack on...although I did carry all the essentials for an overnighter....just in case.
Tue 30 Apr, 2019 3:12 pm
Great report Fiona. And thanks for posting.
A few years ago we did the longer loop in the opposite direction to your walk (ie Mt Bushwalker-Gadara Point-Gadara Pass-Talaterang-Clyde-Claydons Ck-Gaol House Pass). Coming from that direction we saw the pink tape you mentioned, we saw it at the junction of Claydons Creek and the Unnamed Ck and saw it heading up the ridge. We opted not to follow it, just in case it lead us on a wild goose chase. Good to know it goes though.
Your report makes me want to head back. I know that beach campsite too - beautiful spot. Just sounded like a perfect three day walk.
Thu 08 Oct, 2020 8:35 pm
Thanks Fiona and puredingo for your reports. We did this loop a couple of years ago and took the same ridge you did Fiona but instead of heading left to Bee Hive Pass we sidled to the right until it was possible to go up through the first line of cliffs and end up in the saddle just under Gadara Point. If you stick to the cliff, then the scrub is ok but I remember going down this way many years ago and trying to work our way across to the ridge through impenetrable scrub on the slopes - never do that again! It is a great weekend walk but I also like the idea of spending the extra day just wandering up and down the Clyde. Thanks also for the pictures; they remind me of our lovely weekend there. Oh the pink tape - we found it started just after gaol house pass and, while intermittent, it went all the way to the junction of Claydon's Creek and the unknown creek which you follow from gaol house pass. At times it was useful in that it kept us up above the creek until the last ridge which came down to the junction - probably the best way given how slow creek walking can be. We saw a Brown snake down Claydon's Creek just lying in a pool until one of us passed over it and it flew off, scaring the pants of them.
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