Iron Pot Creek , Toonumbar NP NSW Saturday 5th January 2019
Participants: Alan G, Rosemary N, Steve M, Yuliana H, Cathy H, Gail B, Michelle M, Simon C-C, Cherie P, Hilde G, Lisa F, John C-C, Andrew C-C and Leader Shane M
Afternoon of Friday 4th we all started arriving at the Iron Pot Camping Ground. We had come from far and wide, Northern Rivers, Gold Coast and Brisbane. There was already quite a few people at the camp so with the addition of our group there was not too many spots left. The late afternoon was spent individually exploring the creek around the camp. At dusk we mustered at the shelter for the briefing of how, what and where. Maps were issued and all were made aware of the frog fungus pathogen issue, boots and gaiters got a good going over and spray, then the sign on and evening meals prepared and consumed. A cold ale and wine was enjoyed before an early night ready for the next day's adventure.
Saturday 5th. Alarms went off at 5am (still pretty dark) and much activity as lunches were packed etc. The 7am start time was reached and we piled into 4 vehicles. One vehicle was to be left at the Murray Scrub Loop Trail for our return and the other 3 vehicles to carry the 14 of us up to the start of the walk at Cox Road. I had come in from the Cox Road end the previous evening to check for trees down and also to mark the start as it can be difficult to find. The drive to the start was uneventful except for the two stops for views. Firstly at the Murray Scrub Lookout where we could look down to where we were about to go. Then to Sherwood Lookout to see the view of the mountains in a row. Unfortunately they were clouded out, oh well next time. We finally had cars parked and started descending the track at 8:20am. The parking area and track down had not been used in a long time I would say at least six months or longer. Reaching the creek we descend to the water level and began our wading on the rock slabs. I was pleased to see my caution flag was still in place next to the site of two previous mishaps. A hole in the slabs about 400mm across but at least 2m deep all set to snare the next unwarey walker.
This top section of the creek flows over what appears to be igneous slabs with many hanging vines and with little sky visible. This terrain continued for 3.5km until we reached the waterfall. The drop off is around 30m and quite exposed. Care and caution emphasized as all peered down to the valley below. I left the group and climbed the right bank and lay the 15m tape rope down the first gully. Summoning the group who took it in turns down to the valley below. A bit of bouldering and we were at the creek level again and looking back at the waterfall. The cliff face is a conglomerate of old smooth river rocks set in what appears to be volcanic ash. Very little water flowing over the falls. Not as much water as evident in the creek so must be underground, another deep hole in the slabs perhap. I had gps marked the confluences of the creeks and labelled them 1 to 11 on the left and only 1 to 4 on the right so that we would know exactly where we were irrespective of our GPS as they have a habit of dropping out at an inopportune time. Proceeding down the stream the creek walls came closer and closer until we were looking vertically up 30m of exposed sandstone/mudstone. It now became most wonderful with the odd waterfall coming in on the left From about the 4th on the left until about the 8th we were in the gorge with sometimes very narrow ( 2m~3m ) and steep sometimes overhanging sides. Walking on gravel and rock hopping followed by wading waist deep, balancing on submerged logs or side walling muddy sections. At 10.45am we stopped next to creek left 7 for morning tea having covered only 3.5km but well on our way towards creek left 11 our exit point. We enjoyed the break as the going requires intense concentration rather than intense exertion. After the break we headed off into more of the same until reaching creek left 9 by which time the walls had moved back from the creek and opened up considerably. Just past left 9 we visited our previous overnight camp spot complete with its giant stinging trees. We had been foolish on that trip as there were ample flat spots well away from the stingy leaf litter. On three occasions up to this time we had seen and photographed frogs that we thought were the Richmondensis, but I now think that is not the case. The crayfish we saw was red and white and a good size. One only lazy python and one fish apart from the squawking Sulphur Crest not much other wildlife. At 4:30 pm we reached the left 11 creek our exit point having travelled 10.4kms. The next bit was the climbout of the creek to the Murray Scrub Loop Track above. This was easily accomplished after an ascent of 55m and a distance of 750m. The idea was then that the drivers would take the short way around the loop while the others would take the long way. Unfortunately the map in the GPS was inaccurate so the situation was reversed. No harm done. The drivers were soon in my car and we were off on our 15km and 30 minute drive back to Cox Road and the cars. We arrived back at the turnoff and picked up the stragglers and carried them back to camp. A lot of happy weary walkers enjoyed reminiscing over dinner that night. What a wonderful walk with great company. My fears about the group size were unfounded and the timing was perfect. Apart from a few bruises and aching bodies all good. Thanks to all the competent crew. Shane
Eden Creek Falls , Toonumbar NP NSW Sunday 6th January 2019
Participants: Alan G, Rosemary N, Yuliana H, Simon C-C, Cherie P, Hilde G, John C-C, Andrew C-C and Leader Shane M
A late start with most packing up camp so as to avoid backtracking. We left the camp at 9:00am and proceeded up Forest Range Road to the Poor Bullock Road parking Area. It was immediately obvious that the locked gate had been driven around recently with the new grass growth flattened and that flattened grass still green and barely dried. Walking down the track the large tree falls that I remember from earlier visits had been chain sawed and moved and it would now be possible to use a push bike. We arrived at the old picnic area at 10:30am and had a breather before setting off down the old track to the bottom falls. It was apparent that the track had been marked by recent blazing of trees along it. Careless and unnecessary vandalism. We arrived at the top of the bottom falls at 11:10am and I deployed a safety line so that we could have a good look over the edge of the 50m drop. We then sat down for morning tea. The geocache was located and note was left expressing our displeasure at the tree vandalism. We then rock hopped up to the base of the top falls where the desire to cool off overcame us and in we went. These falls guesstimated in the 65m ~ 90m range. After a short while we dressed and headed up the right face of the falls. An easy scramble with many vines and roots as support, arriving at about 50m from the top of the falls. By this time it was 12:45pm and time for lunch and another cooling off in the infinity pool at the top of the falls. At 1:30pm we decided to head back taking the shortest route to Poor Bullock. This was accomplished in 30 minutes then all we had to do was walk back along the track to the cars. 3:00pm saw us bidding farewell and parting company after a pleasant easy day. All had enjoyed this easier day and I thank them for their company. Shane
Tarkine Coast and Tarkine Forest walks, Tasmania 2 – 15 February
Barbara, Michelle M, Lucy, John CC, Sally L, Sarah P, Tony L, Don K, Leader Steve
Nine of us camped the night at the remote and gorgeous Corinna Wilderness Resort on the banks of the majestic Pieman River. The next day we boarded the ferry that dropped us just inside the mouth of the river before walking north along the rugged, rocky, wild west coast where the winds have travelled uninterrupted from the bottom of South America: the purest air on Earth. We crossed a number of streams that carry flash flood warnings, but the drought meant they were very low. However it was no problem collecting fresh water. The winds were quite variable in direction and strength, with winds on the second day producing surf that was breaking about 500m offshore. The wave surges made it far too dangerous to be tempted to search the rocky shorelines for abalone, even though there were many abalone shells amongst the thousands of other shells in the extensive middens that must be tens of thousands of years old. We camped the first night on the bar of Interview River, just above the high tide mark. During day 2, the rocky coastline gave way to enormous sand dunes that extended up to 2km inland! We camped up the estuary of the Lagoon River on wombat-clipped grass on our side, with a towering sand dune on the other side of the lagoon. Fresh water was dripping out of the sodden grass and was easily collected into a billy. Day 3 was a long day walk exploring the rocky and sandy coves up to Italian River and on towards Sandy Cape. This is where Bob Brown’s proposed 10 day Tarkine walk will meet the coast for its last two days. Day 4 was a long hike back along the beach for lunch at Interview River, then pushing on to camp at Rocky Creek which had a good supply of fresh water flowing out of granite boulder hills. This put us just 3-4 hours from the Pieman where the ferry would collect us at noon the next day. This coast is notorious for changeable weather and after several mid-20s days we were hammered by very heavy rain from 6.30 to 8am on our last morning. And our tent leaked! Nothing like packing up wet ( heavy ) camping gear and setting off in the rain. By mid-morning the sun came out, we made a cuppa on a rocky shelf above a beautiful beach and had time to dry everything off. Half the party swam in the rock pools as the ocean had finally calmed down. When we got to the Pieman we could see the ferry tied up way across the other side of this wide river mouth. Straight away it’s tinny came whirring across to transfer three of us at a time back to cups of tea and other civilized refreshments after 5 days in the wilderness. It was a pleasurable way to finish the walk, tucking into savouries and beverages for 2 hours as we glided back up the river to Corinna. By 3.30 our 3 cars were all across the tiny car ferry and on our way to Rosebery where we checked into 2 cabins where we could enjoy hot showers, washing machines and dryers and a hearty pub dinner. To summarise the coastal walk, with low river levels, this was a Grade 4 walk along a stunning coast. The fascinating shapes of the huge dunes were like enormous sculptural forms. Their smooth curves were a complete contrast to the rugged rocky headlands and bays. I think we were lucky to get away with just a few showers. This coast is notorious for bad weather and warnings not to cross flooding streams.
The next day was spent climbing the cloudy, 1200m Mt Murchison followed the next day by a half day walk to Montezuma Falls which is as high as Minyon Falls but with a huge plume of water crashing down several steps in the cliff. This is the wettest place in Tasmania. Don, Sally and Sarah returned home while John M joined us.
So seven of us then headed for the Tarkine Forest, to camp at Farquars Bridge before climbing over its chest high gate the next morning. Well that was the suggestion of the track notes; but at the end of the road there was a gaping abyss across a deep, dark, wide, river. The bridge across the Arthur River must have been washed away in the big flood two years ago, so Tony built a raft to float or packs across this big, cold river and then we swam our bodies over. After 2 hours walking up a fire trail through wet sclerophyll forest, we searched for an overgrown track 10 metres past some rusty machinery. It was like Alice tumbling down the rabbit hole into the Wonderland of the moss covered Tarkine Forest. For the next 5 days we were totally off track, slowly picking our way through the tangle off fallen, rotting, mossy trees and following a trail of difficult to find, pink flagging tapes. Every mossy green image you have ever seen of a temperate rain forest seemed even greener in reality. This was a real wilderness experience because we were nowhere near any type of track for 5 days. Even the flagged trail seldom showed as a path on the forest floor. Very few walkers come this way. We camped the first night in a fairy-tale glade beside the Pinner River with our tents scattered around the few flattish spots between tree ferns and immense moss covered trees. There is lots of rain in a rain forest and it was Cold because it’s a “temperate” rain forest! The rain set in on Day 2 and we lunched under a leaky tarp at the abandoned Junction campsite and then hiked on through the “Octopuses Garden” with its twisted boughs and exposed roots that were covered in bright green moss, past a small waterfall and finally reached a bigger tarp at the Tarkine Waterfall camp. These camp sites had been established by Tarkine Trails when they were running commercial hikes, but it seems that they don’t offer them now. This was a tough route and not many people would pay a few thousand dollars for these privations. The waterfall is like a huge bridal veil cascading gently over many sedimentary layers. The rain intensified over night and we could tell that Eastons Creek was rising and we knew we had to cross it a number of times. Several small parts of rotting branches dropped on our tent but slid off the sides. We were planning to spend another night here and climb up to a lookout above a button grass plain so that we could look down on the rain forest that seemed to entomb us. John CC and Tony L decided to make a push for the lookout and rejoin us that night, while the rest of us waited for a break in the rain to walk 4 hours to the next camp site named ‘Heaven’. Would it be a bit more celestial than this sodden camp? How deep would the crossings of the creek be? The current was swift at the first crossing point and we searched up and downstream for a better option as a slip would have meant getting washed into a deep pool and then over some cascades. Finally I took off my pack and used my walking sticks to prod across slippery boulders through the knee deep torrent: not as bad as it looked and we all crossed safely. The next crossing looked worse at first, but it was possible to pick an angled route through some shin-deep rapids. “Heaven” camp was still in the beautiful mossy green rainforest but at the top of a ridge. There was another tarp to shelter under but the chill wind had us eating dinner in our tents. It was 5c overnight. From Day 2 we all had one set of dry ‘camp’ clothes and each morning we would have everything packed ready to walk and then it would be ‘ready-set-go’ to all change at once into our wet socks, boots, undies, and everything else and get walking asap to warm them up. Meanwhile I’m sure the rest of you were sweltering in the sticky Northern Rivers! The rain made several more river crossings challenging. On Day 4, the bridge mentioned in the track notes at Lyons River had disappeared so that meant walking above waist height across a gravel ford in a medium current. Our last camp was on the Arthur River and we noted that it had dropped around 30cm overnight. This made the final crossing of the Arthur late on Day 5 a lot easier than it could have been two days earlier. This time we used a stash of garbage bags to wrap everything inside our packs. I then swam a safety rope across where the bridge once was and we swam our packs back to the start of the hike and to the comfort of our dry, warm cars and some indulgent snacks. What an adventure.
Terania Creek, Nightcap NP 24th April 2019
Participants: Alan G, David R and Leader Shane M
The aim of the recce was to continue along below the McNamara's escarpment from the waterfall found on last recce to what appeared to be another creek going over the edge a further 800m south of the last. We started at the Channon at 9:00 and were on the track up Mackays at 9:30. Passing up the left track at the first Y junction arriving at another Y junction after climbing the 200m in 30 minutes. It was downhill then to the left branch of Bat Cave Creek. A few Oohs and Arrs as we ascended the many waterfalls up the creek. A stop for morning tea in the most idyllic of settings then upward along the north bank of the creek and a further climb/scramble of 100m got us to the bottom of the main falls. After a short respite we headed north along the escarpment staying as close to the cliff face as possible. There was a bit of to and fro as we negotiated the many rock outcrops using a 10m tape once. Eventually we arrived at the target at 1:15 and sat at the base of the falls for lunch. At 2:00 we headed off on the ridge to the north of the creek and dropping 100m or so we were confronted with a drop that was beyond our then cordage. Forced back up the slope we contoured to cross the creek and over to the ridge south of the creek. The going was then a lot easier and an occasional logging stump had us looking for the snigging track. Once that was found we were moving along quite nicely and soon arrived at the track to the Bat Cave. It was then just a dawdle back to the picnic area by the usual route. We arrived back at the car at 3.50 after a rather wonderful day in our backyard. You can look forward to this being a club walk soon, grade 4. Shane
Upper Portals Circuit & Montserrat Lookout - Mt Barney NP, 29 to 31 March
Participants: Cecily, Cathy, Kirsten, Stephen, Ian, Claudia, Michelle, Col, Leader Cam.
This was the fourth time (second time as a club event), since 2014, that Cecily & I have done this combination of walks. We have really enjoyed it every time! Two others in the group this time (Cathy & Ian), were also repeat offenders so it must be good. There is an excellent description of several walks in this vicinity in the guide book, “Take a Walk in South-East Queensland” by John & Lyn Daly. Access is via Rathdowney on the Mt Lindsay Highway, then via Boonah-Rathdowney Rd, Newman Rd & Waterfall Creek Rd. The last 5km are on a 4WD track. The program for the weekend was more or less as planned:
Friday morning: Travel by car to the end of the Waterfall Creek Rd.
Friday afternoon: Walk to the Yamahra Creek campsite, near the junction with Mt Barney Creek - about 4km on a good track with one steep (down) section & several creek crossings (dry feet on this occasion). Showers were forecast for the next 24 hours so, after erecting our respective small sleeping tents, we took time out to erect some extra cover (thank you Steve!) over the communal “kitchen” area – quite necessary as it turned out. There was “free-time” at the end of the day for some of us to explore the main attraction – the Upper Portals, a spectacular rock/water feature of Mt Barney Creek.
Saturday: Day walk up a steep ridge (foot pad only – 550m gain in elevation over about 1.6km, persistent rain but no one seemed to mind) to Montserrat Lookout (normally “some of the best views of Mount Barney”, but not today due to cloud cover), returning via a different ridge (foot pad) to the top end of Yamaha Creek & then back (via the Friday afternoon track) to the Yamahra Creek campsite for a second night. Total walking time for the day (excluding lunch & other breaks) was about 3.5 hours. More free time at the end of the day and as the clouds cleared, there was much socialising, with talk, inter alia, of the importance of Vitamin I for those of us in the older age bracket (refer Ian).
Sunday: A leisurely start with more exploration/swimming/lazing in the sunshine by the main pool of the Upper Portals. Bliss!! Then we headed back to the cars via a prominent northern ridge (another foot pad) known locally as “cleared ridge”, steep at first (elevation gain of about 250m over about 1 km) then undulating, with lunch and fantastic views of Mt Barney along the way. Next time: We’ll endeavour to include Mowburra Peak in the circuit. Another good option would be to do a loop walk over several days, eg: starting from the Lower Portals, walk via ridges to the Upper Portals, return via Mt Barney Creek and including a night camping at Barney Gorge junction. Cam
Wollumbin Creek, Wollumbin NP, 9 March
Cecily, David R, Kirsten M, Cherie, Leader Cam
The total time for this (very) exploratory day walk was almost ten hours, without a lot of“time out”. It was a big effort but it was FANTASTIC!! We started walking at about 8:30 from the car park at the beginning of the Wollumbin/Mt Warning summit walk. From the end of the (200m long) track to the Lyrebird lookout, we headed into the bush – climbing steeply and very slowly, picking the easiest route through the rainforest (lawyer vines, “other” vines, land slips, fallen trees, steep-sided gullies, rock outcrops), up and up to the saddle, that forms the watershed between Wollumbin Creek & Korrumbyn Creek (at about GR 274593). It took almost two hours to gain 200 m in elevation over a horizontal distance of less than 1 km – a hard slog. After a brief refreshment break at the saddle, we headed north-west into the Wollumbin Creek catchment. We were soon walking in a steep vegetated gully that evolved into a water course that, as we progressed, joined other small tributaries to become a beautiful rocky creek and our “track” for the rest of the day. A lunch break was taken about 1:00 just above the creek junction at 265603. By this stage, the creek was becoming more substantial with huge boulders, numerous small cascades and occasional clear deep pools. Rock/boulder-hopping, with the occasional falter, was the usual mode of travel but the gradient, while constantly quite steep, was quite manageable, without any major waterfalls to negotiate. We were at the main creek junction (GR 259608) by about 2:30. The gradient eased and after several more hours of rock/boulder hopping and wading in this delightful place, the walk concluded at about 6:00 with a proper swim at “the fridge”, a large deep pool, about 500m from our end point near Tyalgum Rd, just before the creek joins the Oxley River. The total descent from the saddle was about 580m. An idea for next time: start from Brummies Rd (approx. GR 232585) and join the creekfrom the saddle between Cedar Creek and Wollumbin Creek (approx. GR 239593). This would avoid the initial hard, steep climb of the 9 March route but the overall duration of thewalk would (probably) be similar.Many thanks to the landowner for permission to cross his land, at the end of the walk, and park near his house. Also, many thanks to my fellow adventurers who were willing to tackle this one with me – based on scant prior information!
Rocky Creek, Nightcap NP, Scramble to the Source, 11 May
Shane started looking for waterfalls to abseil down along various sections of Rocky Creek about 18 months ago. Over that time, a number of us have done recces on all sections of the Creek and many waterfalls of all sizes have been discovered, as well as a number of cascades running down 45 degree slopes, some more than 100m long and all of this through stunning, World Heritage tropical rainforest. But we had left out the last 600m section where the Creek starts, just below the Nightcap walking track. So last Sunday we AWDed it up North Rocks Rd to the entry into the Nightcap National Park. We then walked through the 4-way intersection with Peates Mtn Rd and then down Tungun Rd, stopping for a billy of tea when we met Rocky Creek. I had scrambled up the 1km section to Gibbergunyah Rd twice before. It was just as stunning as my previous visits, second only to the 2kms below Tungun Rd where the cataracts are bigger and the gorge is deeper. We had a long lunch on the Gibbergunyah bridge before setting off up the ever diminishing Creek. We were hoping to find that the Creek bubbled up out of a spring, but it split into two overgrown branches in the last 200m and as time was getting on we chose to exit to the track via a wide, open ridge. Michelle and Cathy have vowed to go back to find the exact source of this amazingly beautiful stream that provides so much water to the people of the Northern Rivers. Rocky Creek and its parallel twin, Gibbergunyah Creek must be the Jewels of NIghtcap NP and only a handful of us Clubbies have had the privilege to scramble its 7km length. Steve
Mann River Hike/Lilo Recce – 8 to 10 March
Participants: Karl S, Simon CC, Shane M and leader Alan G
We met at Mann River caravan Park Jackadgery on the Friday night and settled into drinks and dinner whilst discussing our plans for an early start next morning. Left camp around 7.30am and drove west a few kms before turning onto Cangai Rd then followed the 4WD track up into the Gibraltar Range NP. Turning right at (GDA 488 243) we were soon stopped by trees over the road but managed to clear them with a chainsaw and many hands. After several stops we eventually came across a large tree too big to move so we sent our driver back to camp and continued along our way. Our hike started earlier than anticipated!
We followed the track and spotted Lyrebirds plus a Red Bellied Black Snake, and it took 3.5 kms to reach our start (447 249) We had a short stop there and into the forest we plunged soon locating our ridgeline (446 248) We began our slow descent over 800m to the Mann River which we arrived at (430 221) around 1.00pm. A swim was definitely in order (38 degrees) and we languished in the low pools before having a bite to eat for lunch. We traversed the Mann River with little opportunity to lilo due to the low water levels. Simon however managed to make the most of it as he was armed with a paddle! Myself, Shane and Karl decided walking would be quicker and our goal was to reach the confluence of the Mann and Nymboida in a decent time frame. This was slow, hot work with regular swim breaks required and plenty of water for rehydration.
We finally pulled up around 6.45pm and stopped to set up camp at (475 196) which was a very pleasant camp site. Shane and I were sans tent so when the rain came in at 4.00am next morning we were scrambling for cover! We were early to rise and left the camp around 7.00am with hopes of meeting up with the Nymboida by 10am. This was unrealistic and we eventually arrived at 12.00pm with a lot of country to cover. Simon set off ahead to see if he could reach Jackadgery by 5.00pm and we departed shortly after on our lilo’s however we soon discovered without paddles and with such low water we would be unlikely to get back till very late, so lilo’s and us - a little deflated - we set off for the march back. Many stops for swims and water and we put in a very big day and arrived back into camp by 5.00pm, just ahead of Simon who liloed most of the way. Total distance around 30km. The pool and a cold beer were utilized for our debrief before departure. In summary higher water, paddles for the lilo’s and allowing for 3 days would make the trek much more enjoyable and would allow for a more realistic time frame. Still a great weekend though with a great team in unique country. What is that saying about being up the creek without a paddle….
Cobb o Corn Creek Recce , Toonumbar NP, April 27
Participants: Alan G, David R and Leader Shane M
The original club listing of Kinanes and Watson was cancelled as not enough takers. It was decided to do an investigation of Cobb o Corn Creek at Toonumbar NP. The intention was to find another day walk to add to a camp at Iron Pot Creek. The map shows the creek following down beside Forest Range Road from just below Poor Bullock Road and ending at an access road on the bottom edge of the NP. So after a suggestion from David that walking upstream was preferred to downstream, we drove into the access road at the bottom and stopped just short of the Private Property sign at the creek. We started the walk along the creek at GR793-420 with much trampling of lantana and over and under vines etc, not much fun at first. Soon we were clear and alternating between rock pools, small rocks and rock slabs. .At about GR788-435 we had the first of many cascades rising a metre or two at each one. The lantana disappeared and we were in a pristine rain forest creek with all usual ferns, palms and strangler figs. We proceeded until 12:45 arriving at GR789-438 a good possible campsite and had a brew. After the break we headed off, more of the rock slabs with the occasional detour to the banks of the creek. At GR789-444 we came to a fair sized pool being feed by a 30m~40m waterfall. The original intention had been to reach the top of the creek, however as we were at the closest point to the parallel road we decided to follow a barely discernible track that lead from the top of the falls west towards the road. After a time the track started running parallel to the road and we opted to do the 60m of steep climb to the road emerging at GR786-444 at 2:30. It was then just a matter of the downhill walk along the road to the start, a distance of 3.5km done at a leisurely pace. In summary we found the bottom 30% of the creek not so pretty but from there on worth the effort. The next thing is to start where we left off and complete the top section of the recce of this seldom visited section of Toonumbar. Shane
Upper Cobb OCorn Creek Toonumbar NP, June 1
Participants Alan G, David R and Leader Shane
We arrived at Iron Pot Camping Ground for a 9:00 start and piled into one vehicle and made our way to approximately where we left the creek the previous time. A little thick and steep near the road then the understory opened up as we followed a gully down to the main creek. We emerged at the creek at 787-545 which was up stream from the larger waterfall in the previous trip. We then went downstream the 350m to check our position by seeing the falls. Now we started the upstream recce. There were numerous waterfalls and cascades none of which were as large as the previous, disappointing in a way as we expected there to be fewer but higher falls. After 2 hours, 2.2km and an ascent of 162m we arrived at the road crossing 780-458 we then walked back down hill to the car 2.0km and 56m. No big waterfalls in this section but never the less a most rewarding walk and we will be adding this to the clubs repertoire. Shane
Smith's Creek Toonumbar NP, June 2
Participants Alan G, David R and Leader Shane M
We spent the Saturday Night huddled around the fire brazer in the hut at the camp ground not sharing the park with anyone. It rained overnight. 9:00 in the morning we moved vehicles to the gate at the entrance to Cobb OCorn road and piled into one vehicle and drove up to Poor Bullock Road. We then set off down the track getting wet by the long grass and the shower from every bumped tree branch. We followed Poor Bullock for 2.7km taking the right track at the intersection with Eden Creek Falls track. A further 500m down Nobles Track at 805-453 we left the tracks and headed down to the Smith's Creek. A slippery and precarious descent of 800m and 200m descent. Reaching the creek we headed up stream. There were many cascades and three 10m waterfalls in the next 1km and 85m ascent. At 797-453 while skirting around a larger waterfall we inadvertently left the main creek and it took 260m and 50m ascent before we realized our error. We then decided that the best option was to return to the track which we did arriving at 798-456 after 400m and 103m ascent. Back on the track we headed back to the car arriving there after a total of 7.7km, 376m ascent and 4 hours. On the way out we noticed a track heading down a ridge line at 485-457. The next time we will recce down this track to the source of Smith's. Synopsis, it has potential for a club walk but needs further exploration from the top down. Shane
Mt Hobwee Walk July 21 – 800m vertical ascent, 13km return, Grade 4.
Walkers: Tony L, Cathy H, Kevin W, Peter W, Suzi R, Steve M, Barbara S,
At 1164m, Mt Hobwee is higher than Mt Warning (1156m). We started at the Numinbah Gap border gate (417m) at around 8am on a bright sunny day. Looking up at the steep, narrow ridge, it seemed impossible that there was a way up. We were soon under the extensive cliff overhang that is Bushrangers Cave. It was extremely steep after the Cave, but with plenty of saplings and roots to grab, we steadily ascended to our first views over the Tweed Valley to the south from Wagarn at 960m. It was time for morning tea.. After Wagawn the rough track joins the Lamington path network and we met several groups who had walked out from Binnaburra. Whilst there are no views from Mt Hobwee, we had spectacular views northward along the way from Warumblebah lookout and Darrayabroo lookout. Having carried 2 litres of water each, it was surprising to pass a permanent water source not far below the summit. It was flowing quite well despite the drought. By 3pm we had descended back to the cars , and basking in the winter sun, we feasted on chocolate and Tim Tams, washed down with cups of tea. This was a tough walk but well worth repeating. Of course the wonderful group of people made it a special day. Leader Lucy B.
Rummery circuit walk in Whian Whian, July 28 2019
Faye, Marie, Moira, Joan, Vance, Patsy, Patricia, Val, Kerrie, Brian, Linda, Mark, Karen, Russell, Irene, Jean
Under cloudless skies and cool temperatures 16 walkers set off from the newly refurbished Rummery Park campground and picnic area at 8:30. With temperatures at a low 12 degrees there were no slow coaches as we briskly walked down the Rummery management trail to the causeway crossing over Rocky creek. Then, having warmed up, we started the slow walk UP the hill for the next two hours to the junction with Tungun Road. All agreed it was mighty nice to reach THE TOP and finally stop for morning tea and to ease aching muscles. After a suitable break everybody proceeded further into the forest on the management trail that is now, after recent road works, far superior to the road to Minyon falls.
Although being promised no further uphill walking (when really there is) there was no mutiny and we followed Tungun Road to the Junction with Peates mountain road and North creek road where we found out the history of the Postmans track and the Terrania creek protests and gladly walked downhill back to Rummery Park while indentifying the following birds: Paradise Riflebird: Logrunner: striated pardalote: Cockatoos; Eastern Yellow Robin, Brown Thornbill etc.
A very enjoyable walk at the best time of the year with a good workout for all those muscles that don’t get used everyday. 16km with 533 metres of elevation ascent and descent and 5 hrs 29 minutes of walking. Mark
Upper Rocky Creek waterfalls, July 30
Walkers: Michelle M, David W, Irene, Noel, Peter H, Margie H, Stan S, Barbara, Sally D, leader Steve
We started walking at the Nightcap National Park locked gate on North Rocks Rd at an altitude of around 500m having driven up through around 300m. We didn't feel too guilty about driving the first 3kms as our walk would peak at 830m, all along difficult rainforest scrambling beside the cascades of Rocky Creek.
We boiled the billy for morning tea on the Tungun Rd bridge over Rocky Creek and then spent more than an hour climbing past some of the most beautiful waterfalls and rock features in this World Heritage wilderness. After 160m vertical and 1000m horizontal (and snagging on countless lawyer vines) we reached Gibbergunyah Rd in time for lunch. It was a perfect sunny, winters day and a good break with very congenial company. This was the fourth time I had done this stretch. Each time seems more wondrous than the last.
This was the second time for some of us to push on up the section from Gibbergunyah Rd to the Nightcap track.. 150m vertical in 600m distance. Halfway through this part last time, we followed a fork to the right. This time it had no water in it so we went left hoping to find the source of Rocky Creek, perhaps bubbling out of a spring. Despite our fantasy, the top of the stream just fizzles out in a gully of rocks and thick vegetation. In the last 200m to the track, we blundered onto a ridge line covered with lawyer vine, so we traversed across to the top of the right fork which had less sunshine and therefore less lawyer vines. We were glad to finally reach the track. I always marvel at the feeling of bursting out of thick scrub onto a track. The track suddenly represents an outreach of civilisation, no matter how remote, compared to the wilderness you have just escaped from! Then it was a pleasant walk down the narrow Nightcap path to the 4-ways and back down North Rocks Rd to the utes. We probably won't scramble that final section of the Creek again as it doesn't quite match the water-wonderland of the rest of Rocky Creek.
Mezzanine Ridge to East Peak, Mt Barney, 13 July 2019
Walkers Gary W, Alan G & Karl S
The idea was to also descend Mezzanine as I (Karl) have never descended it. The weather was perfect, being dry, with blue skies and a mild temperature. We left Yellowpinch at 5.00am. It is a straight forward walk along the South Ridge track to a steep ridge which meets the Mezzanine Ridge. The crux of the ridge is a short downclimb, where a tape was used for anyone who felt more comfortable using it. Once past this crux , there is an upward climb mainly through scrub which was much easier to negotiate this year compared to last year’s climb. This was probably due to a storm passing through last year as there were many trees knocked over. At the next headwall the route veers to the right which leads to as easy 10 metre rock climb which has good hand and footholds. Last year we used tape for this section but this year this wasn’t necessary for the climbers on the trip.
This leads to another headwall where the easiest route is to descend the grassy slope afterwhich there is another rock scramble up a gully which reaches the gradually ascending summit plateau, ending up on East Peak at 11.05am. In 9/8/08, at this second headwall, we climbed a small hand & foot hold wall to the right, to reach an exit crack to the summit plateau, however, when we looked at that same wall this time we regarded it too loose with soil (not safe) as a bushfire is likely to have destroyed the previous, well established vegetation.
Left the summit at 11.35am and descended the same route, except somehow we missed the grassy slope (which we would have had to ascend and then downclimb the 10m rockclimb.) Downclimbing is harder than climbing up, but we managed our descent quite well and the crux section where we used the tape earlier was managed without it. 2.20pm at the South Ridge intersection and 3.30pm back at the cars. Another rewarding Mt Barney day. Thanks, Karl
Long Leaning Ridge, Mt Barney, 20 July 2019
Walkers Alan G & Karl S
The last and only time that I (Karl) have ascended this was on 1/9/2007 (12 years ago). Left Lower Portals carpark at 5.30 am and walked to Barney Creek Camp over the ridge line. From the camp area, the start of Long Leaning Ridge is across Barney Creek, a short way downstream. Ascending an obvious gully, a short rock wall on the right side is encountered. The gully continues up and crosses a couple of small saddles, which appear to be the only forward.
This ends up at the crux of the climb which 12 years ago I rated as a Grade 11 rock climb. It is a 10m corner crack and from memory, 12 years ago, when nearly at the top I veered right onto the face of the wall as there were two very small ledges for toe holds, then pulled myself up over onto the mantle shelf. However, this year I used a Rock (Size 9) Friend (Size 1.5) and a sling over a bollard right at the top of the crack. A foot sling was also used to assist with reaching the top. Four runners were used. Once the crux was climbed (which took 1.5hours) we reached the ridge which was a scrubby ridge.
Just before the end of Long Leaning Ridge, where it meets Short Leaning Ridge (696 725), there is an obvious large rocky knife edge (similar to the Breadknife in the Warrumbungles). This was bypassed by scrambling along the foot of it on the south side. We were then able to ascend back onto the ridge through scrubby gullies. We both tried a different gully & they both ended up intersecting with Short Leaning Ridge, at the base of Leaning Peak. The intersection with Short Leaning was reached at 1.30pm.
As this didn’t leave us much time before dark, we decided to descend Short Leaning Ridge. The trick is to stay on the ridge which leads off in a NW direction. There are quite a few inviting slabs which lead off to the right (looking down). If these are descended then you will probably end up on unclimbable steep sections which would require constant abseiling, therefore requiring time to organise the abseils etc. We felt it was safer and easier to stay on the ridge and when we veered off the ridge which happened a couple of times we either had to carefully traverse or climb back up to the ridge.
We made it back to the Lower Portals in the dark (5.30 pm) & ended back at the car park at about 7.00 pm. A long day on probably one of the hardest walking routes Mt Barney has to offer. Thanks for the fulfilling day. Karl
Leaning Peak via Short Leaning Ridge, Mt Barney, 4 August 2019
Walkers Karl S and Alan G
The weather was great with clear blue skies and a mild winter temperature. A car shuffle was organised. We left one car at the Mt Barney Lodge turnoff and drove to Lower Portals carpark. Started walking 5.00am, past Lower Portals to Barney Waterfall. Exiting Barney Creek at Barney Waterfall there was an obvious recent, very large boulder that had fallen down from the steep soil slope/cliff line. We had noted this a fortnight beforehand when we descended Short Leaning Ridge.
The whereabouts of Moonlight Slabs has been a mystery to many, but one recent bushwalker, suggested that it is the name of the rock pools which are just above Barney Waterfall which we crossed at 7.39am. Others suggest that Moonlight Slabs are higher up, closer to Isolated Peak and North Pinnacle saddle. Nevertheless, the watercourse with its rockpools was dry and crossing it leads to the start of the Short Leaning Ridge.
Short Leaning Ridge is always a pleasurable rock scramble/climb as it is mostly clear of scrub if you stay on the ridge. The ridge provides nice sections of rocky friction climbing mostly with good hand and foot holds, but care must still be taken. About 7/8 of the way up, just before the last section of ridge to the summit is the crux which is climbed without any aids by an experienced climber. There are a couple of ways to climb the crux, the harder being the more exposed. We climbed the less exposed route. By the time we realised that we that we were on the crux, we had already climbed through it and it was too late for any photos. This also occurred to me in the past as we approached the crux from a different route/angle and over the years the vegetation has changed from being somewhat bushy with green vegetation around, to bare, following fires a few years ago. Now, it is looking more vegetated compared to a few years ago. Once past this crux it’s a short easy scramble to the summit which we reached at 11.00am.
We set off at 11.30 after an early lunch and the obligatory summit photos (pictures were added to the club’s FB page on 10 Aug 2019 and may also be on the club’s website). A short scramble down to the opposite side of Leaning Peak leads to the abseil point. This has been set up with a bomb proof ring and carabiners. The abseil is always exhilarating. We used a 50m dynamic rope as we had bought this just in case we had to use it for belaying for the climb up. Dynamic rope stretches under load. It was just long enough to reach the bottom of the abseil. If using a static rope then I would suggest a 60m rope as it doesn’t stretch (the book Bushwalking in SE Qld, suggests a 50m abseil rope, but as suggested if it’s static, it maybe just too short). Once the abseil was completed, it’s an easy scramble up towards North Pinnacle. In the gully just before North Pinnacle is the start of the climb down North Ridge. This is always an exciting downclimb as there are some steep rocky sections where care must be taken. Just after 4.00pm we were back at the Barney Lodge turnoff, where the car shuffle took place. Another great Mt Barney day. Thanks Al. Karl
Eagles Ridge, Mt Barney. 24 August 2019
Walkers: Alan G & Karl S
Mission accomplished. Eagles Ridge completed without using abseil gear. Last time this was completed as a club walk, during which we used abseil gear, was 7/10/06. The notes from that walk might still be found. I have also completed parts of this walk with the club and privately, four times. Despite this, there is always something new to discover. The weather was once again excellent for a hard Mt Barney walk with clear skies and mild weather with a top of 25 degrees C. After organising a car shuffle at the Barney Lodge turn-off, we left Lower Portals carpark shortly after 5.00 am.
At the first abseil point we easily found a way down by descending the obvious eastern ridge. It was a bit of a bush bash to regain the next tower of Eagles Ridge. This was probably due to strong winds having passed through a couple of weeks before. Once regained, we didn’t bother climbing back up to where there is a 10m wall to climb (opposite the 1st abseil point) to regain the ridge, but we skirted around the eastern side to the first gully which lead us up to what appeared to be between the 3rd & 4th towers of Tom’s Tum. Once the ridge was regained, up to Isolated Peak is straight forward although there is one steep climbing section which experienced rock climbers won’t find difficult, however, a tape could assist the less experienced (photos of this climb have been added to the club’s FB page). The top of Isolated was reached at 9.40 am.
After a short rest and food we descended Isolated north & then south peaks. Well before we reached the next major abseil point, namely the south wall of Isolated South Peak, we once again found a way down on the east side. For safety, we used a tape at the very bottom 2-3 metre section as it was downward sloping with a bit of dry moss without any obvious hand or foot holds. This part of the descent was different from an earlier descent I’d previously experienced and from memory the earlier descent consisted of a 5-metre chimney downclimb where you don’t want to slip. Close to where we ended up descending I recognised the earlier downclimb and my attitude towards it remains.Regaining Eagles Ridge is obvious and the ridge continues to a headwall by pleasant ridge walking and where this isn’t possible a downclimb to the scrub in the adjacent gully. At the headwall, in the past we’ve always traversed to the left as everywhere else looks very steep and exposed in places. A direct ascent might be possible but would require time and proper climbing equipment.
Once traversed we ended up at a small obvious overhang which is bypassed on the left side. Al continued straight up but I decided to veer back to the right a few metres to where there was a channel erosion in the hard rock consisting of small foot & hand holds which I call the “Stairway to Heaven”. When it rains these holds would fill with pooling water. We bypassed another overhang on the left side. After about 50-60 metres of such climbing, following the path of least resistance a gully of trees is reached which ascends, diagonally to the right, to the top of the Leaning Peak – North Pinnacle & Eagles Ridge saddle. To stay out of the gully scrub, continuing to climb the rock slabs is possible although in places there was significant leaf little on the rock which should be avoided. We reached the saddle at 1.00 pm (8 hours after starting). Once rested and fed we ascended to North Pinnacle and descended North Ridge. North Ridge is always enjoyable because of the great views it offers and challenging sections of climbing where care is required. We were back at the Barney Lodge turnoff at 4.20 pm and drove back to the Lower Portals carpark to pick up the other car.
It is with interest that I note that in 2006 we started walking at 4.40 am (20 minutes earlier), reached the top of the Eagles Ridge saddle at 11.15 (1¾ hours earlier than this time) but arrived at the Barney Lodge turnoff at 4.00 pm (20 minutes earlier). In comparison, it took us the same time to complete the route, however, we arrived at the top of Eagles Ridge saddle I hour & 25 minutes earlier. Go figure! Well done Al. The ascent of the infamous Eagles Ridge had been achieved without abseil gear. Mt Barney is always such a great experience. Karl