Trip reports, stories, track notes. Multiple/large photos are OK in this forum.
Posting large/multiple images in this forum is OK. Please start topic titles with the name of the location or track.
For topics focussed on photos rather than the trip, please consider posting in the 'Gallery' forum instead.
This forum is for posting information about trips you have done, not for requesting information about a track or area.
Sun 11 Jul, 2021 7:08 pm
Did this a fortnight ago with my wife (so mid winter report).
On arrival you use a code supplied by NPWS to access the property and the cottage you spend the night in before your walk. Cottage (and all other huts/cottages) has gas burners, crockery, cutlery, tank water and folding chairs for 6 people. Cottages have combustion stoves and beds, huts open fire places and stretchers. Was quite pleasant apart from a resident rat that was very active all night.
Day 1 - After moving your car 100m to the cottage where you spend your last night, and putting any necessary food in the fridge there, you say farewell to a large mob of grey kangaroos before a 17.5km fire trail hike to Bird Nest Hut. The forest is nice, and recovering well from the fires, however it's a fairly uninspiring walk, with plenty of hills to keep the heart rate up. The hut is good, but all three of them have a population of very bold mice, so make sure you use the food safes at each hut on arrival. My wife put her hand in her pocket at one point to find a mouse feasting on a chocolate there. The fireplace here draws very badly too, so crack the windows to prevent gassing yourself.
Day 2 - A 15km day starts with a short, steep climb past an old stockyard, before entering a section of the walk that gently climbs a long ridge to Bird Nest Trig. It is supposedly 'off track' but there is a distinct foot pad to follow. This is a really nice walk, and was actually my favourite part of the whole thing. From the Trig point you hit another fire trail, that takes you past Green Gully and The Rocks lookouts, which both offer ideal lunch spots, and good views of the following day's walk along the gully. Shortly after The Rocks Lookout the fire trail ends and you start a descent along a ridge leading down to Brumby Creek. Again supposedly off track, there is a very distinct foot pad to follow. It descends steadily at first, but lower down it becomes very steep. My wife slid down this section on her backside, and is still having nightmares about falling on it. Be sure to pack your creek shoes at the top of your pack this day, because once you hit Brumby Creek there are about six creek crossings to Green Gully Hut. Couldn't get the fire going here due to very green firewood supplied - take plenty of fire lighters. This hut does have a hot(ish) shower, which was nice.
Day 3 - Supposedly the highlight of this walk, Green Gully Creek was a major disappointment. There are a few nice landscapes to be seen in the cliffs above the creek, but the only thing green about it were the weed infestations following the fires (and yes, they were weeds, not native regrowth). The fires have also killed many of the casuarinas which shaded the stream, and brought down a number of trees along the creek. On top of this it had more pig damage than I have ever seen, together of course with the pigs responsible. There are 35 odd creek crossings along this section of the walk, and we wore mesh runners with waterproof socks and pants. The socks and pants obviously don't keep the water out in deeper crossings (the deepest was up to my 5'2" wife's groin), but they did work well to keep our feet and legs warm. Be aware too that while most of the crossings are over gravel beds, some are moss covered rock shelves, and very treacherous under foot. After 13.5km you reach Colwell's Hut, which is a smaller version of the previous two - it would be very tight for four people, and has an adjacent lean-to for any overflow.
Day 4 - Another 17.5km slog along fire trails. The day starts with a climb of 600m over 3km, which actually proved easier than I thought it would. We did it one spoon drain at a time, with a short break for water and chocolate halfway up, and it took us about two hours. Parts of it are quite steep, and the road surface is loose gravel, so a bit hairy in places. After about 5km you hit Bird Nest Creek, which is an almost permanent water source, and another highlight of the walk - really lovely, with a strategically located fallen tree as a seat for a short break. After another 2km you hit the trail from day one - the last 10km lets you know how much the climb out cost your legs. The last night is spent at Cedar Creek Lodge, a larger version of the cottage from the first night. The 'hot' showers were barely luke warm, which was a major disappointment after a freezing day, but we cranked the combustion stove up and dragged a couple of mattresses out to the living area, before enjoying a few small luxuries.
Overall I have to say I have mixed feelings about this walk. Sharing the experience with my wife was great, and the huts and cottages make it an interesting and unique experience. However apart from Day 2, most of the actual walking part was fairly uninspiring.
Sun 11 Jul, 2021 7:22 pm
Great report hughmac.
I'm pencilled in to do this walk with some friends in a few months. I have to admit that after reading your report I'm a little less enthusiastic about it especially as when my friends want to do it, it's going to be quite a bit warmer! Although that might give us an opportunity for some swimming.
Sun 11 Jul, 2021 8:39 pm
Wife and I did it long ago. Quite enjoyed it. Kangaroos at the farm house - for sure! The creek walk was interesting when we did it.
Tue 13 Jul, 2021 8:02 pm
No pics, sorry. Wasn't going to carry anything more than necessary up that hill! (Had half my wife's gear as well as mine.) There is a nice swimming hole halfway along Green Gully, but as you would understand we didn't test the waters.
Two other things I should have mentioned - the walk costs $900.00 for up to 4 people (minimum two), plus $300.00 ea for up to 2 extra walkers. The best part of this is knowing that you will have exclusive access during your walk.
The other thing is that if you travel via Walcha, be sure to call in to Tia Falls. I'd never heard of them, but the falls themselves are spectacular, the gorge downstream just mind bending. A real highlight of our trip.
Wed 14 Jul, 2021 2:55 pm
My God! $900 for 4 people!
It was $80 per person when we did it in 2011. It must be hugely popular if they can up the fees that much.
Wed 14 Jul, 2021 4:34 pm
Great report Hugh, doesn’t sound like my cuppa tea but I suppose you gotta go to know.
Thankfully you went so now I know.
© Bushwalk Australia and contributors 2007-2013.