Werrikimbe NP

NSW & ACT specific bushwalking discussion.
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Werrikimbe NP

Postby Neo » Wed 12 Apr, 2017 7:52 pm

G'day the last entries about Werrikimbe National Park were November and December 2014. Surely people have explored this Gondwana area since then... any info?

Being in Port Macquarie and loving our ancient natives (potted conifer collection) I've been very slow to realise how lucky I am to be 2hrs from Werrikimbe.
Will probably skip the Easter and holiday season then start heading up there to car camp and do the marked tracks.

Heaps of rain in March but the Hastings Valley Way via Wauchope/Beechwood is pretty good as its also a logging road. This will get you to Brushy Mountain campsite. Recently went as far as the Wilson River picnic turn off.

A couple of years ago I did a Sunday arvo drive via the Oxley Hwy and Yarras to Plateau Beech. This way in would be best if you have a 4wd.
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Re: Werrikimbe NP

Postby Neo » Fri 21 Apr, 2017 8:04 pm

Thursday afternoon I left Port and drove via Beechwood, was a neat 2hrs drive to Brushy Mountain campsite. The second half is dirt and a bit rocky but doable in a 2wd sedan. Fairly well signposted with accurate distances.
Arrived at 4:30 with only a minor detour at No 1 Lookout about half way. Not much of a view from there...
Hooray I was the only one at Brushy other than a Paddemelon and a kangaroo. Wandered around and picked a spot, pitched the tent then drove back along the road to collect sticks.
Brushy has plenty of space, the creek babbles along one side, there is a large shelter with two tables if you want and a few pedestal bbqs and rock fire rings dotted about. There were drifts of leaves and bark which suggests in heavy rain it could be pretty wet. Just a fire and stars above the tree tops for me.
Headed for Spokes Lookout 9:30am I took the path opposite the shelter. It's a loop walk that starts fairly open with grass trees dominating the undergrowth, then fern trees as it winds around. There are patches of mossy rainforest then you come to the signposted [left] turn towards Spokes. I believe this is a bit past half way on the loop that would have taken me back to near the his and hers pit toilets at the campground.
I continued on left, it was the last sign. The track is a mix of gentle incline/decline passing through different dominant fauna often with a leafy pretty path.
I lost the track momentarily on a left bend, through some old sawn fallen logs but then spotted the way around a dry fallen tree/sticks.
Another 100m and the path enters another change in flora and a more open patch but then disappears into some lush sedge. I followed the thin flattened line to what seemed like a dead end, then backtracked and took a break. Tried again, this time exploring a bit further through the greenery and yes, still in track. Marked it as a waypoint first, the trick here is to hook right then keep going until the sedge ends. From here a short way were three mossy stones to cross a nice water source. The track then continues as it has, sometimes a clean footpad and other places there is plenty of regrowth. Easy enough to follow but feeling a bit adventurous.
The last stage is loaded with bluey eucalypt regrowth and gently climbing until you come close to an escarpment with teasing views to the neighbouring ridges. From here there is the more obvious but still slight ascent and you come out on a fire trail at a timber parks sign. 400m to the right is a broken sign, right about 30m and its Spokes Lookout. Took photos, had a rest and snack while checking out the view and what was growing up on this piece of rock. The view is northerly looking into Willi Willi and Oxley Wild Rivers. Eastish through the trees was Mt Banda Banda I think, not sure of the other peaks yet. Switched on the phone, some optus reception. It was just over 5km and I took 2.5hrs.
Was looking forward to an alternate route back, following the old road/fire trail was a bit boring but still new. It was rocky and mostly downhill or flat so may not be that easy as an alternative way in. About 2km down you find a locked gate and cross a creek. Another clear water point, I went across the old concrete on my heels. Another 300m and you are back on the main drag(past Brushy if driving). So turned left and followed the road (going right would be a long haul towards Youldales Hut turnoff and the Mooraback campground on the western side of Werrikimbe). Found the old Grass Tree Picnic area parking so turned left there and walked a short way through great Xanthorrhoea and a bit of a cascade below them to join the track about 300m short of my starting point. The return journey was 4.3km and 1.5hrs so a km shorter and an hour quicker.
Perfect weather, not much wildlife seen, no people/leeches/snakes.

Next visit might be to Plateau Beech to do that walk, also check out the Banda arboretum which I passed on the road in. It looks to continue on as an unsigned track to get Mt Banda Banda. Am tempted to stop at a few spots on the road in and explore some of the overgrown forestry tracks.
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Re: Werrikimbe NP

Postby michael_p » Sat 22 Apr, 2017 9:29 am

Thank you for the report. Sounds like a nice area.

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Re: Werrikimbe NP

Postby Neo » Sun 23 Apr, 2017 11:00 am

Correction the view was easterly and just of Willi and the private land in its middle. Looking online I figured out you can see Double Mountain and it was Mt B B to the right.

The walk I did was Scrub Bird Track. Looking at my track log, the 'path' shown on the Garmin maps is way off, although the trail/road was pretty close. Also Google has a very smoothed out interpretation of it. My track was quite similar to the Parks pdf walks 'cartoon' and also similar to one shown on Mapio photo sharing.

Garmin shows if I went about 800m past the lookout I would have been on the highest point of Spokes. Also shows the trail continues on then forks at what is Coachwood Rd, wrongly name Spokes Trail.
Re-reading awildlands blog of Kemps Pinacle they walked in via my exit and took that route, having to find the overgrown trail to meet Coachwood Rd.
Wish that I'd had a look to check the condition. Its a possible extension to double the length of the walk going to either Hoppys Lookout or Kemps.

Also considering that I should get myself a plb and learn that compass as it could be a week before anyone came by up there.

Photos aren't great as I was expecting to return the same way. Spoiler alert, a couple at the lookout:
Attachments
IMAG2484~4.jpg
A view
IMAG2503.jpg
Mt Banda Banda
IMAG2474.jpg
Hook right, in there
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