Thursday, November 2, 2017

St Mary Peak, Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park

St Mary Peak is the highest peak in the Flinders Rangers.

Summit Marker
It offer commanding views in all directions.
There are two approaches to Tanderra saddle, the Inner track through Wilpena Pound a distance of 13.5km. Or via the Outer Track, this way is around 7.5km to the top but has a steep section which includes some rock scrambling.

View across the Pound

I selected the outer track, departing just before 7am, about 30min after local sunrise, the track is well marked with only a few spots where I took a moment to identify the next track marker.

Northern View

The signage at the start carries a warning about temperature and the need to carry plenty of water.
I started with 5.5lt, (1.5 over the recommended) and by the time I returned I had consumed just over 3.
However not everyone goes as well prepared, I meet two ladies who had left with just 750ml of water each, I had not long left the summit when I meet them with very little water left. Fortunately I was happy to part with a 1.5lt bottle which I had not used. despite this refill I suspect they both would have been very thirsty by the time they returned to the Resort.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Near Mt Loch

Feathertop and Fainters as seen from near Mt Loch (Machinery Spur in right foreground)

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Mt Beckworth, A Lolly Pop tree and Two ducks

The Mt Beckworth Scenic Reserve (Park Web link.) offers pleasant day walking at just a short distance from Ballarat.

Lolly Pop Tree

Mt Beckworth is well known for the Lolly Pop tree which was frequently used as a bombing target by the local airbase during WW2.

At the Summit with the Lolly Pop Tree

I chose to park my car near the Mana Gums picnic area and following a walking track up to the top of the ridge then following the vehicle track to the summit.

Wind Farm, don't have these where I live

About half way up I noticed a pair of Mountain Ducks (Australian Shelduck) circling and making a great racket.  Information on the Australian Shelduck
They also appeared on my return trip I can only assume they were nesting nearby. This was a new experience for me, and why it is great to walk somewhere complete different form your normal stamping ground, you never know what you may see.

Spot the Ducks

Updated 5th Sept: More on the Lollypop Tree.
From: A Heritage Victoria Document; Victorian Heritage Database place details Pinus radiata
This tree is located in the Mount Beckworth Scenic Reserve. The "Lollipop" is one of five trees planted in 1918 by Mr Jack Scarfe, a forest overseer from Maryborough, and four schoolboys; Arch Andrews, William Young, Francis Kinersley and Colin Drife. One tree died and 3 others were cut down during World War II 
(apparently to make room for an aerial survey beacon Park Vic Park Note)

This tree is a well known landmark in the district as it can be seen from almost any direction for up to 50kms. The tree was used for practice bomb-aiming sorties by the RAAF during World War II. The airmen were based at the Ballarat Aerodrome during this time. It is particularly vigorous and healthy specimen of a very widespread species, The name comes from the spherical shape of the crown; unusual for the species, and a result of low pruning of branches in the 1940s and wind pruning of the crown 

A link to Information on the Ballarat Aerodrome

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Maher's Hill, A suprising trip.

Mahers Hill (near Wodonga) is one of a number of parks manage by Albury Wodonga Parklands, in this case the area is all used as farm land.

Looking West
The park is sandwiched between Bonegilla and Ebden, with access either off Lee’s Lane on the western side or directly of the Murray Valley Highway on the east.

Looking North
I chose to access via the Murray Valley highway and walk out and back, but an end to end walk would be a better option should transport be available.

Looking East
This walk offers surprising views in all directions, as far as Feathertop to the south and more peaks than I could name in any other direction.
Looking South
This is a walk that will remain on my fine winter’s day list.

Track Markers

Friday, November 20, 2015

Burrowa Pine Mountain Car Camp

I have driven past this Park many times, so when searching for a late spring walk I felt it was time for a visit. There are a few walking tracks in the park, I selected walks to do both Black Mountain and Mt Burrowa. 

Rock Table

Studying the maps I decided to access the Hinces Saddle camping area via the Burrowa 4wd track. This would place me as close as I could get to Mt Burrowa and an easy walk back to Black Mountain. Black Mountain can be access by 2wd quite close to the summit via Black Mountain Track. For those without a suitable four wheel drive parking near Black Mountain and hiking into Hinces saddle would be an option. 

Hinces Saddle Camping area

I arrived at the camping area around midday, popped lunch in the pack and headed of to Black Mountain, I was glad I had taken the time to research this track also, as the track was often hard to find in the scrub and the orange triangles were very internment. 

Black Mountain Track is in there

The 2.5km took around 90 minutes, the summit is treed and offers little views. The return trip took a similar amount of time albeit it a little easier with the gps track to refer to when the direction to walk was not obvious. 

Some track markers

There was a warning notice on the PV web site (and at the start of the Mt Burrowa track) indicating the track was not well marked and over grown and only suitable equipped hikers should attempt the Mt Burrowa track
PV warning sign

Armed with the experiences of the Black Mountain trip I head off early, (0730) the section of track between Hinces Saddle and the turn off to Mt Burrowa whilst also poorly marked and hard to see an obvious foot pad on, with the relatively narrow ridge line did make navigation reasonably simple.

Track Junction

About 2.5km from Hinces Saddle the track to Mt Burrowa heads off to the North West, from here it is a steep decent to the saddle and long slow climb up to the ridge that Mt Burrowa sits on. There are also big gaps between the orange triangle track markers through out this section and often no clear sign of a well-used foot pad. 

Looking North West on Burrowa ridge

After around 2km from the sign post you arrive at a large rock clearing this spot offers good views to the North. According to the topo maps this is not the highest point on the ridge, it is still another good 1Km past this point. Whilst I did head out to the actual highest point it is 2.5km return scrub bash to a rock cairn taking around 2 hours for the return trip. With the exception of the surprised goat, on the way, the summit offers no real views. I would suggest saving you time and energy and enjoy a long lunch here. 

Burrowa Local

The return trip, like the day before was a constant search for orange triangles, some sort of foot pad and referring to the GPS track from the trip out.
Conclusion, the round trip (walking time) was almost 9 hours; the GPS showed I walked just over 12km. So I believe that Parks Vic consider the spot with the good views to be the “summit” from a walkers perspective. 
Also somewhere after leaving this spot I lost my watch, not a good watch, but not one I had planned to replace in a hurry.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Long Walk Short Days Mt McLeod

Mt McLeod provides a commanding view across the Northern Buffalo Plateau and the Ovens Valley.
Mt McLeod trig and view accros the Ovens Valley

With the seasonal road closure adding 3.5km to the one way trip and the expected great weather I decided to make this trip a long walk over the two short days of the winter solstice.
Which way?

I was very happy with my gear, the sub zero temperatures did not bother me, although it was a long night in the sleeping bag, lucky I had packed an audio book to listen to.

Ice Crystals pushing out of the ground

Monday, May 4, 2015

A visit to the AAWT

I had been looking at the section of the AAWT that runs between Mt Speculation and The Viking for a while.

Too make this work we would need to treat this trip as an out and back, whilst this means we would be walking over the same country twice it makes the logistics of the walk easier.

The Mt Speculation track was much easier too drive down than expected this meant we drove to Camp Creek and walked the short distance to the summit of Mt Speculation, shame about the weather, clouded in so little chance for taking in the view.

Mt Cobbler and The Razor. On the way up The Viking

The next day we headed of to Viking Saddle via The Razor, there is no track out the The Razor, but if the weather is good I would recommend it.
There had been a few comments on the local bushwalking forum about the lack of water at Viking Saddle, they were right..... Water was a 3 hour return trip to the West Buffalo River.

The Chulte on The Viking
The next day had us heading up The Viking to take in the view before returning to Viking Saddle collecting our packs and head back to Camp Creek. This is a big day, but well worth the effort.

View South from Mt Cobbler (Mt Buller in right of shot)

The next day we did a short walk in the morning to Mt Cobbler; this summit provides a great look back at where we had just been and a commanding view over the Alps generally.