Tuesday 19 August: Majors Creek to Bells Creek in the Majors Creek State Conservation Area – M/R,ptX. A partly off-track walk in mostly open forest visiting two waterfalls. Drive via Braidwood to Bells Mountain and leave one car on the Sawyers Ridge Rd then shuffle remaining cars to the tennis courts in Majors Creek Village. After visiting Majors Creek waterfall, Eastward through private property, for which we have permission, to the Majors Creek SCA, crossing upper Araluen Creek, to spectacular Bells Creek Falls. About 10 km with 400 m of climbing and some steep scree and patches of dense scrub. Leeches a possibility. Map: Monga. Leader: Peter C. Transport: ∼$60 per car Limit: 10.
5 of us drove in 2 cars to leave one vehicle at the intersection of Araluen Rd and Sawyers Ridge Rd. We then drove to Majors Creek.
Distance: 12.1km | Climb: 445m | Time: 9.20am-2.25pm (5hrs 5mins), with 50 mins of breaks | Grading: M/R; M(10+)
Photographs are available, where you can start a large sized slide show.
Download the Google Earth .kmz file here.
The area had received 75mm of rain in the past couple of days so, from the road intersection NE of Bells Mountain, a recce was done down to Bells Creek to see if the creek could be crossed. Our forward scout said yes, but she is an adventurous lady. We completed the car shuttle to Majors Creek.
The access road down towards the Majors Creek Falls lookout was like a creek in places. There was a lot of water about. We ducked off the road to the lookout, having been warned that it was pretty unsafe. The 10m Majors Creek Falls were roaring and most spectacular. A few hundred metres further along the fire trail the creek was pretty wide and swift too. Some chose boots off to wade, others plunged across and enjoyed wet feet for the rest of the walk.
We followed the track generally east and south. It was private property, but our leader had obtained the nod for us to walk there. It did seduce us to continue south but we soon turned about and headed off-track (after spying the one and only waving leech for the day) through generally open but damp country to loop around SH756. Trending SE to morning tea, there were wonderful Ribbon Gum specimens.
We crossed a couple of arms of Araluen Creek after morning tea, nothing as fierce as Majors Creek. Crossed a snig track, then ascended a gentle broad spur through open eucalypt forest. Down the other side of the top we took a sharp turn to the south to SH678, passing a few mining depressions. South of the SH was an abandoned camp site and fire place.
We continued south over another broad knoll, again through open forest. Here it was realised that the plan to loop down Bells Creek and around the falls was not possible in the conditions, so we descended to the east to hit Bells Creek opposite the morning’s recce-d crossing point. Lunch was called as we surveyed the churning creek.
Following the gentlemanly adage “women and children first”, the ladies set out across a slower flowing but broader part of the creek. Water was up to their plimsoll line. The gentlemen then crossed, in various states of undress.
Up an old fire trail to the Araluen Road near the car.
From here we walked down the Araluen Road, then round the south of the Bells Mountain area. This was on private property, so if any reader was to repeat this, you’d have to obtain permission.
Rounding the southern end we could hear the water roaring over the 120m Bells Creek cascades and falls. Very sadly, we could not get a good view through the trees – none the less, they were truly spectacular and at their very best after recent rain.
Retraced our steps to the car, picked up the other one and visited the Braidwood Bakery on the way home.
Yet another fabulous Tuesday Walk! Thanks Peter.
5 walkers – Peter C (leader), Linda G, Jenny H, Ian W, me.
Next Tuesday Walk
Tuesday 26 August: Tallaganda National Park, North of Mount Tumanang – L/M,ptX. The start is 12 km south of Captains Flat on the Wild Cattle Flat road. We will spend the day off-track in the forests of Tallaganda National Park, mainly in the catchment of Ballinafad Creek. We will investigate a rocky bluff at GR 219429 before returning by a different route. The scrub is generally light but it is an old forest with plenty of fallen timber. Minimum distance: 20 km with 700 metres of ascent. Map: Leader: Ian W. Transport: 155 km return. Limit: 8. WALK FULLY BOOKED