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Day 0 - Cedar Creek Cottage


As we drove up to Cedar Creek Cottage at the beginning of the walk I realised that I was looking at my dream house.  The four-room cottage consists of a kitchen (with fireplace) a bathroom and 2 bedrooms.  It also has an outhouse that sleeps more people.  The stunning setting makes the cottage perfect especially sitting outside on the patio having a BBQ overlooking the valley.



Why do we live in Brisbane? (probably because that's where I earn money)

We spent the afternoon relaxing with the kangaroos and doing a bit of reading.  Although it was New Year's Eve, we were in bed by 8pm, just as the possums started up their party on the roof. We ignored our guests and next thing I know it is 2am.

Day 1

2am - Kerrie starts chatting, wishing me a happy new year and telling me lots of other stuff.  I am glad that Kerrie is so happy and excited.  But at 2 o'clock in the morning?  After I carefully mentioned the time, Kerrie realised that the light outside is not sunrise, but the moon.  I am glad we sorted that out and went back to sleep for another couple of hours.

Eager to begin the walk we set off at 7:30am only to turn around again (after 200 metres) as Kerrie had forgotten her hiking poles (this could have ended up disastrous).

Our destination for today


The walking was easy along undulating management trails.


Slightly overcast weather allowed us to make good time and soon (after about 3km) we stopped to take in some spectacular views from our first lookout.  The trail heads through open forest with more up and downs than the map suggests.  At the 8km mark, we turn off heading west (for about 400 metres one way) to enjoy morning tea at Colwell's cattle yards.  This detour is well worth it providing a good insight into the area's recent history.


Back on the main track, passing the helipad, we ventured a slight uphill until about the 14km mark where a nice log provided the perfect lunch and coffee setting.

As a priority, I put on the coffee, but I seemed to have a problem with the powdered milk.  No matter how much I put in, the coffee wouldn't whiten. As I was about to add more powdered milk, the writing on the clip lock bag caught my eye.  It said "Potato" i.e. mash potato powder.  Obviously, this was not milk powder.  At least the riddle of the lack of whiteness had been solved!

After lunch, we walked another 4.5km before reaching Birds Nest Hut, arriving just before a storm rolled in around 2:15pm.  The hut is fantastic, just one room with all the essentials like a gas stove, beds, chairs, cutlery etc.





The storm fizzled out and we relaxed watching the wallabies munching/mowing the grass and the horseflies that thought we were dinner, all whilst rehydrating ourselves with some nice warm water - yum!

Kerrie decided to have a refreshing wash in the creek below the hut when I heard a sudden scream. Apparently, a huge goanna was also having a wash nearby and just as Kerrie got in the water it made a noisy sudden dash out of the water and up a nearby tree! And she thought we were alone.

Dinner was shepherd's pie made from dehydrated mince, vegetables and mashed potato. Kerrie thought it best to use the potato so I couldn't try to put it in my coffee again tomorrow.

Having read in the visitor's book about people losing their food to wildlife overnight, we hung ours up and were asleep by 7pm.

Day 2

We were a bit disappointed not to have had any nocturnal visitors but didn't complain about our 10 hours of solid sleep on the comfortable camp beds with mattresses. We set off walking at 7am after a relaxing breakfast in this idyllic place.

Some people consider day 2 the hardest day, but we were looking forward to some offtrack walking.

Our walk began by passing the old cattle yards near the hut.  All the huts served as bases for stockmen, hence cattle yards nearby each hut.


With not a cloud in the sky, the morning was spectacular, but we also knew that it was going to be quite hot in a few hours.  Determined not to think about the heat ahead,  we powered up the hill through magnificent scenery towards Birds Nest Trig.



Although there wasn't a maintained track, there was a worn foot pad to follow and occasional directional markers and signs, so navigation was easy.
Birds Nest Trig
Birds Nest Trig was the highest point of the walk and we had started to warm up a bit by now.

We came prepared with 7 litres of water between us, but Kerrie wasn't drinking enough and started to struggle a bit in the heat, but still powered on.  Green Gully Lookout provided awesome views of Green Gully and where we were heading the next day.



The "Rocks Lookout" was not far from here and we could actually see Green Gully creek far below us.

It looked "soooo" inviting and we were looking forward to our swim this afternoon.  Kerrie had some warm Endura and I some more warm water.  It was amazing how quickly Kerrie recovered and she started motoring along, leaving me to eat her dust.

7km to go and it was all downhill.  So far the day had been pretty easy (apart from the heat) and we expected the yet to come downhill to be hard going.  It turned out a lot easier than we thought.  Kerrie's new hiking poles worked a treat.  Today we followed a ridge line pretty much all of the way.




Lunch was with about 3.5km to go and I am glad to say that we had no issues with the coffee/milk powder.  Tiptop sandwich thins with naturally melted cheese (who needs a toaster) was our lunch for today.  And of course, the ever-present warm water (for some reason this always makes me think of a cold beer).  But it was beautiful sitting in the shade taking in nature, listening to the birds and as always chasing horseflies away.

Along the way today, we not only saw lots of wallabies but also came across goannas, rosellas, lorikeets, several black cockatoos and even a couple of sugar gliders.  We have never seen them in the wild before.

Continuing on after lunch there were a few steeper sections but they were short-lived and Kerrie used her hiking poles to great effect and snowploughed down easily.  The rest was relatively easy and by the time we got to Brumby Creek, we were as hot as an Eskimo at the Birdsville races.  Kerrie wasted no time in cooling off in the creek with me following suit.


Having consumed all our 7 litres of water, we were happy to see the clear flowing stream.

Brumby Creek was a complete change in scenery with its vivid greens and abundant insect life especially the butterflies and grasshoppers.  We were thoroughly refreshed and ready for the last 1.5km along Brumby Creek.  Brumby Pass was another nice surprise with its steep rock walls.


Brumby Pass had an old stock fence that was built so that in times of flood the fence would float and afterward would fall back into place.



Another kilometre saw us arrive at Green Gully hut ....


...where we tore off our boots and clothes (something you can do when there's no-one else around!) and had a cold shower.



We then enjoyed some more (yes you guessed it) warm water in the shade of the hut.  During today's walk, Kerrie drank about 3 litres and myself about 4 litres (I am sure I will grow gills soon).  With still drinking more warm water to rehydrate I am looking forward to a cold drink. Warm water on a 30 degrees day isn't that refreshing!

The huts contain some old belongings from their previous life which are very interesting.
1971 Calendar





Tonight's bedding was not as comfortable as the camp beds the previous night and only had a very solid inbuilt mattress.  Never the less we managed another 10-hour sleep with the first few hours being like a sauna.  But hey, some people pay a lot of money for a sauna.

Day 3

By morning it was pleasantly cool and we said goodbye to Green Gully Hut around 7:20am. Dropping straight into Green Gully (figuratively not literally) we followed a management track for about 4.5km, with numerous creek crossings.




Green Gully is very spectacular, with tall rocky outcrops that are lined with grass trees (which look like sentinels) and staghorns.



Once the management trail finished we had to find our own way up the creek for about 5km.  As there are a lot of creek crossings and sometimes you need to walk in the creek itself, Kerrie decided to wear volleys (as recommended).  I opted for keeping my boots on as I wanted to find out how they would feel totally wet (in preparation for our Tasmanian trip).  Although my boots got quite a bit heavier, they were fantastic with no discomfort or movement.  Kerrie's volleys worked great on the wet rocks.






2km from where we left the management trail we arrived at Green Gully Canyon proper.  Although water levels were down it was still a fun place to have a swim and cool off.



Carrying on, we came across a lot of pig diggings (without the pigs), 3 black cows, one black snake, some wallabies, an eagle and an eel.  We were amazed by the number of tadpoles in the water and grasshoppers (obviously not in the water).  It must have been a good breeding season for both species. We also came across a spectacular rock wall overhanging the creek.



Rejoining the management trail, with about 4km to go, we stopped for lunch and dried out our socks. 


It was then only approx 4km walk to Colwell's Hut once again along management trail, but still crossing the creek several more times.

Day 3 was by far the most spectacular and easy (i.e. no hills) day with lots of swims and lunch/snack breaks.  We counted 41 creek crossings compared to the suggested 35.

Colwell's hut was our favourite.  Loving not only the perfect setup with an undercover outdoor sleeping area but also the fact that this hut had mattresses for the bunk beds again. 





Old meat safe, used for storing for eating implements to keep safe from rodents.
After a short rest, we jumped into the creek for a wash followed by an afternoon nap in the shade.

A spaghetti bolognese dinner (made from Kerrie's dehydrated ingredients) was followed by us packing our bags to enable an early morning start and a good nights sleep outdoors.

Day 4

The lack of mosquitoes and coolness during the night was a pleasant surprise and made for a perfect night's sleep.  Our alarm rudely disturbed our slumber at 3:45am.  I had my mandatory two cups of coffee while Kerrie operated on her blisters before we started our uphill hike at 4:45.  We were prepared and carried 8 litres of water.


The early start was the best decision of the whole trip.  The first 3km have a 600 metres elevation gain and it took us close to 1.5hours to do the 3km.  We sweated profusely, even in the relative coolness of the morning and consumed a lot of water (like a miracle it was warm as soon as we took our first sip).  



The 4th day is a bit of a anti-climax but still very enjoyable.  At the 5km mark we reached Birds Nest Creek where we could have filled up with water, but we weren't 100% sure that this creek had water in it.  And hey, it is much more fun carrying your own water.



We reached the main trail intersection earlier than expected, but we didn't complain.  The sawn-off logs provided perfect seating for our late breakfast.  The rest of the way we doubled back the initial 10km of the first day and met a couple that had just started day 1.  They still looked so fresh and clean compared to us who were a stinking, sweaty mess.

We finished this glorious walk just after lunchtime, arriving at Cedar Creek Lodge where we had our food and cold drinks waiting.  



The rest of the day we spent soaking in the atmosphere on the veranda, eating pancakes and having a BBQ for dinner.

A huge thanks to NSW NPWS for providing this experience. A lot of thought and work has been put into the well equiped huts and logistics of the walk. Highly recommended experience!

Check out our Video and GPS file below.

Length of walk
    64km
Time
    4 days
Best Time to do
    Any time of year, great for swimming in summer. Winter would be cooler for walking.
Difficulty
    Medium/Hard depending on previous hiking experience.




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