Tuesday 28 July: Binnari Pass – L/M-R, part X. From the Nerriga entrance to Morton National Park walk east across Running Creek and to the north of Round Mountain (avoiding private property) to join the Endrick River Trail. We cross Sallee Creek (possible shallow wade) then leave the trail on an ill-defined ridge which leads south to the base of Binnari Pass. Climb onto Quiltys Mountain for lunch. Return to the base of the pass (time and scrub are likely to prevent a different route off Quiltys Mountain) and turn to the west. We cross Sallee Creek again, walk south of Round Mountain, continuing west across a number of creeks to the Alum Creek Trail, joining it 2 km south of the car park. Over 500 m of climbing. Some thick scrub and rock scrambling. Map: Endrick. Leader: Philip G. Transport: $95 per car. Limit: 8.
10 of us drove in 3 vehicles via the Kings Highway to Bungendore, Tarago Rd through Tarago, Lumley Rd, Cullulla Rd, Sandy Point Rd, Oallen Ford Rd over Oallen Ford, Oallen Rd and Nerriga Rd to just before Nerriga. Right onto the Endrick River Rd, then Meangora Rd to the entrance to Morton National Park. A 2hr 15mins drive each way from home.
Distance: 17.3km | Climb: 470m | Time: 8.25am-4.25pm (8hrs), including 60 mins of breaks | Grading: L/R,ptX; M(11+)
Photographs are available, where you can start a large sized slideshow.
Waypoint and Track Files
We sorted ourselves out and proceeded for 100m down the Alum Creek Fire Trail, then turned into the bush, heading a fraction south of east. Crossed an abandoned water race and, after a while steeply down to cross Running Creek (which was). Then to the edge of the private block, where we turned south along the old fence line to morning tea. The going was a mixture of open forest, ferny cover, wet swampy areas and the creek crossing. 2.9km in 1hr 10mins.
We rounded the SW corner of the private block and came upon a nicely constructed seat beside a bit of a vehicle track. Then across the north of Round Mountain, crossing the Round Mountain Fire Trail. Walking through a generally open and wet area, we joined the Endrick River Fire Trail and followed it to near the junction of Sallee Creek and the Endrick River. Plaques on a sandstone block for benefactors who added acres to the Morton National Park. The possible shallow wade turned out to be a long knee-deep wade, so of us going in boots and all and others de- then re-booting. A weir and big pool on the Endrick River which fed the water race. Signage announced that we were entering ‘The Budawangs’, a special part of Morton National Park. The cliffs of Sassafras Mountain reared to the north-east. A kilometre along the fire trail we headed into the bush again, with Binnari Pass onto Quiltys Mountain in view. The leg from morning tea to the turnoff was 4.0km in 1hr 40mins.
Open forest with banksia and hakea was the going as Binnari Pass loomed closer. Some lovely sandstone blocks and formations as we came up through the last of the bush to the base of the rock scramble. Up through a wide crack, along a bit, a little chasm to negotiate and a final climb had us up. Lunch was called with lovely views all round, but particularly across to Round Mountain. Blue sky and warm sun. This leg 1.6km in 40mins, including the scramble to the top.
Philip scouted our way off and found the top of a very narrow slot, marked by a cairn. A tight squeeze down it. Is this Binnari Pass? Then, for a few hundred metres, we walked south-west along the bottom of the cliffs of Quiltys Mountain. Lovely! We then bent away to the west, crossed a damp tussocky area with great views back to where we’d been, and got ourselves across Sallee Creek again. This leg from lunch 1.2km in 45mins, including our descent through Binnari Pass.
A long leg generally north-west and across the southern side of Round Mountain got us back to the cars. We crossed the Round Mountain Fire Trail again, south of Round Mountain, crossed Grassy Creek and Little Grassy Creek, stopped for arvo tea, recrossed Running Creek and joined the Alum Creek Fire Trail along which we trudged for the last couple of kilometres. Generally, the going was a little dryer and more open. 7.6km in 3hrs.
A wonderful area and a great walk, most capably led by Philip. He is a very strong walker – the word fluid comes to mind as he seemingly effortlessly and very quickly moves through the bush. And a very cohesive and pleasant party contributed to an excellent day.
10 walkers – Melinda B, Jan G, Philip G (leader), Eric G, Ian H, Barry K, Stewart J, Max S, Ian W, me.
Next Tuesday Walk
Tuesday 4 August: Tinderry Range – L/R/X. From the Burra Rd we follow the West Keewong and other trails east for 6 km before heading off-track for most of the day. Ascend to spot height 1325m (GR 057 528) and follow the crest of the Tinderry Range south for 4 km, passing over a couple of large knolls to the saddle 500 metres north of Tinderry Twin Peak, which we won’t visit on this trip. We then head northwest, off-track for 8 km, following a series of steep spurs back to the start. This is a long walk with some thick scrub and rock scrambling. Minimum distance: 20 km with approx. 950 metres of ascent. Maps: Tinderry, Michelago, Williamsdale. Leader: Ian W. Transport: 112 km return. Limit: 8.