Tuesday 7 July: Gudgenby Valley Wander – M/M. Using old and new knowledge, we’ll visit hut ruins, interesting stone arrangements, the Yankee Hat art site, some lovely hillocks and beautiful stream features. Might see a water rat too, plus an eagle’s nest from last season. About 13km, mostly off-track in grassland with some timber. Maps: Yaouk, Rendezvous Creek. Leader: Matthew Higgins. Bookings: John Evans 0417 436 877 email@example.com . Transport: ∼$10.
14 of us drove in 4 vehicles to park around 300m in along the Old Boboyan Rd.
Distance: 16.0km | Climb: 300m | Time: 9.00am-3.00pm (6hrs), including 45 mins of breaks and plenty of stopping, talking and looking | Grading: M/M; M(10)
Photographs are available, where you can start a large sized slideshow.
Waypoint and Track Files
What a great walk! Matthew just keeps on producing the goods for us. Today was in an area that most of us walk regularly, yet there were new things to see and hear about for all of us. A ramble style of walk – no time wasted between sites, but stops to hear the history of each place we visited.
The first surprise was the car park, a turning area on the Old Boboyan Rd around 300m in from the turnoff from the sealed Boboyan Rd.
From here we wandered straight down to the Gudgenby River and walked beside it upstream for several hundred metres. Plenty of patches of ice along the edges. The first site we visited was a little stone wall (somewhat akin to a scaled-down Glendale stone wall and similarly of unknown purpose).
Next we stopped to look down to the Gudgenby Homestead and the Ready Cut Cottage as Matthew recounted the history of the families who grazed the land prior to the NP and the buildings.
We then ambled (at Matthew’s brisk pace) across the track down to the Ready Cut Cottage, across Hospital Creek and back to the bank of the Gudgenby River. We looked down onto the gentle Gudgenby River gorge, then continued to walk upstream to an enigmatic line of small granite blocks. A straight line for several tens of metres then curving down towards the river, with the occurrences of the blocks approximately equally spaced. Matthew had talked with previous land owners who surmised that they may have been supports for old fencing. A dead feral cat a little further along, followed by the sighting of three healthy wedge-tailed eagles in a tree (at a good distance for my small optical zoom). First time I’ve ever heard them calling (a bit like a seagull).
We headed towards the Bogong Creek bridge, but our guide in the know had us crossing Bogong Creek on a piece of timber 100m downstream from the bridge. Our next stop was at the confluence of the Bogong and Middle Creeks – the start of the Gudgenby River. I’d never been here before.
Heading south-west from here for 700m, we visited the Sinclair’s Hut site and well. I’d known about this for some time through the Winston-Gregson thesis, but had never been able to identify it as some of the locations in the thesis (from pre-GPS times in the late 1970s) are a little off. What I can add, thanks to the W-G description, is that the nearby oval area we noted (but I didn’t photograph) was a well:
“Granodiorite hearth, soil platform from a separate building, shallow depression to gather water from marsh … it clearly comprised two major buildings; is notable for the artificial water soak“
We continued on cross-country, heading for the Yankee Hat rock art. A pleasant morning tea on the way. At the rock art, plenty of time to read the signage for those on their first visit and for us all to inspect the site.
From here, north to the Middle Creek cascades. A dead water dragon and a look at the possible axe grinding groove.
We next added a 10 minute (well, accurately timed by an unnamed party member at 17mins) walk up the old vehicle track on the true right side of Middle Creek. The track stops at the creek and we all jumped/ran/fell/waded across and had a look at the rock shelter and its signage. A return across the creek in similar fashion, except for Eric and Fiona who found a nearby rickety tree crossing.
Back along the track to Jack Rustin’s Hut site where again Matthew had a wealth of information for us. I always admire the two huge Candlebarks there.
Next, south east across the grasslands to lunch, just above the Yankee Hat Walking Track. A couple of times during the day we heard dingos howling a long way off.
We joined the Walking Track and used the bridge this time, following the track back towards the Yankee Hat car park. Then, joy for my simple mind, were the track marking arrow points right and the track takes a right angled bend, we went straight ahead. I’ve always wanted to do that! A leg across the Old Boboyan Road, passing through a little knoll which gave great views back to the hills that frame the western side of the grasslands and Gudgenby Valley.
We headed to Paddy Smith’s Hut site which was another joy for me. I thought I’d identified it some years ago from the Winston-Gregson thesis location, but no. Here it was 400m from where I thought it was, complete with Matthew’s recounting of its history. The moral of this is – never believe anything that I document unless confirmed by someone who is actually knowledgeable!
From here we walked down and across Hospital Creek and back to the cars.
I was surprised that this little ramble turned out to be 16km. Just shows that a tremendously interesting walk keeps one focused on the sites.
Huge thanks to Matthew for a very, very interesting day!
14 walkers – Mark B, Eric G, David H, Matthew H (leader), Jenny H, Barry K, Jonathan M, Quentin M, Jacqui R, Fiona S, Max S, Phillip S, Jenny S, me.
Next Tuesday Walk
Tuesday 14 July: A different approach to Nursery Hill via the N-W and some nice boulders – M/M. The walk wanders up Nursery Swamp then turns up the main feeder creek to the west. After crossing the creek and following it for about a km we head for a saddle that then leads up a wooded spur graced by some interesting granite boulders, to Nursery Hill at 1428 metres. Return down the N-E slopes to the swamp. Nice wooded country, not too scrubby. Climb of ∼480 m and scrapes into the M for distance and M for terrain. Leader: Jenny H.