Saturday, September 24, 2011

Warby Ranges North to South Overnight & Day 2

The Camp

Each time I had stopped during the day there had always been a few mozzies to greet me, and the camp site was no exception, in fact far too many to count. Although they did seemed to stay close to the ground which meant long trousers kept them at bay and the odd one that reached higher could easily be swatted away. This was fine whilst I was sitting around camp cooking and eating dinner but when I retired to bed all of me was close to the ground, (I would love to know what these blighters live on when they can’t get bushwalker). This trip I used the GoLite Shangri-La2 and the Serenity net tent from Six Moon Designs. This set up meant that I had plenty of space inside to spread out my gear, and the mesh did keep the mozzies out, I did however push my pillow above my head to help lift the netting higher and thus more clearance from those hungry mozzies. The weather was great for being out, with the predicted thunderstorms, whilst audible, came nowhere near me and there was only a few strong gust of wind as the change came through, so all in all I had a good nights sleep.

Morning Light

I rose early so I could enjoy the early sunny shine and following breakfast I packed up and headed off. The walk to the car park at Salisbury falls is quite short at only 7Km however the views on this section are well worth the shorter walk. I continued the last few hundred metres along Loggers lane until it finishes at Taylor track, here I swung south following the MVO across the creek that feeds the Brien Gorge Falls until I meet the Friends Walking track, taking a left turn I travelled along this well used track to the turn off to Kwat Kwat lookout.
This lookout has great views across the plains and whilst I had not travel far from camp it was still nice to stop and have a look. Retracing my steps to the Friend’s track I continued on my journey southward until the start of the Alpine view track is met. This track as its name suggest provides some spectacular views both of the nearby Wangaratta and of the Alps. Eventually it drops down and meets up the track to Salisbury falls. From here it was only a short 2 Km walk down to the car park, although the falls do offer photo opportunities (until the camera went flat) and its own views of the distance Mountains to the south.

So there you have it, not the longest two day walk but it did provide a night out, a walk through sections of the park I had not seen and a chance to give some different hiking gear a run.
A note about water, I have always found when I walk in the Warby's that I tend to drink more water than normal, so I would recommend to others to not under estimate how much water you may need on a trip like this. Also on water, given the camp site is not tooo far from the road it would be possible to do a water drop near the camp site (maybe at the intersection of Loggers and Taylor’s) before starting the walk.

Warby Ranges North to South Day 1

The Warby Range section of the Warby Ovens National Park is approximately 23 Km long but it has two features that make an end to end hike awkward. Firstly there is 1Km section of private land which breaks the park in two and the southern boundary finishes against private which would mean back tracking the last 4.5 Km. I therefore investigated walking as far as I could with out the need to enter private land. Studying the map I felt the Sunrise walking track would provide a suitable exit point.

As I had never been in the Sunrise track area I felt a reccie was needed, this confirmed the suitability of walking out this way but I came up against two stumbling blocks firstly the west side of the Sunrise track complex has some very clear do not enter signs placed there by Parks Victoria this is due to the Cinnamon fungus. Secondly and of no less of a risk was the car park at the start of the Sunrise track, this car park is used by people who obviously prefer to (or have to) do their horizontal folk dancing outside (this is based on the used dancing balloons on the ground). Whilst this in itself should not be too much of a problem the empty alcohol cans was enough to convince me I did not want to leave cars there overnight on a Saturday.
So it was back to good old Salisbury falls, the walk would be a bit shorter on day 2 but the close proximity to houses made the Salisbury Falls car park a lot safer.

So day 1, I started walking opposite the junction of Boweya Creek road and Boweya road, heading generally south I slowly worked my way up the ridge the runs up to Mt Killawarra after about a kilometre I swung more eastwards and then more northwards as I finally climbed up onto the top of the ridge some 500m or so south of the summit. The view from the summit surprised me I had not expected such a vista it certainly made a great starting point for the walk.

The view North

So after soaking in the views I turned to the south and followed the wheel tracks back to towards Ridge road. After about 1.5 Km’s I meet Ridge Road, which I followed south for around 2.5 Km’s until I reached what the map showed as the top of the ridge that ran south down thought the Warby’s. At this point I left the road and headed cross country with the map, compass, gps and the terrain as my guide.


This section of about 3.5 Km’s was outstanding whilst offering no views it did off plenty of wild flowers and Kangaroos to look at. Continuing down the ridge line I eventually meet Devenish Wangaratta road, crossing this I continued cross country down the ridge line until I meet the private land boundary. Now I knew there was a MVO track on the boundary but I did not expect to see the sign right where I met it in what seemed like the middle of nowhere.

I planned to follow this fence line east until it joined the Devenish Wangaratta road, but towards the end it became to rough and the scrub became quite thick so I had to zig zag a fair bit to make it out to the bitumen. Once on the road it was only a few hundred meters until I meet Gerrett road and the northern end of Loggers Lane

Grass Trees

The first section of Loggers lane has a steady climb up to a ridge, this ridge had some of the best grass trees I have seen, with full skirts and plenty of height and in groups two or more, I can assure you the photo does not do them justice. I followed Loggers lane as it headed down and once again climbed back up toward the main north south ridge. Just as Loggers lane “flattens” out there is an open area amongst the trees with enough flat areas for a couple of tents and also about 50m south though this clearing is a rocky outcrop with a sprinkling of wattles in full bloom, this open area offers lovely views north eastwards across the plains towards NSW.


I had given a lot of thought to camp site selection when planing the walk, and whilst I was happy enough with the final choice I was not able to find a location close to a guarantied water source. So this meant I would have to carry two days water. The up side to this is the extra weight would allow me to test the AARN pack (MM55) as if I was out for more than one night. This is the first time I have used one of the bigger AARN packs, and I was quite pleased with the performance, the balance pockets did their job to balance the load and certainly I felt comfortable.