Hume and Hovell track

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Hume and Hovell track

Postby willem » Thu 20 Jun, 2013 1:45 am

Just interested in comments from any one who has walked the Hume and Hovell track end to end. E.g how long did take food drops available water. Is it a worth while walk?
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Re: Hume and Novell track

Postby JohnDaly TakeAWalk » Sat 22 Jun, 2013 2:15 pm

Hi Willem,
The Hume and Hovell is definitely worth doing. We completed it and included the track notes in Take A Walk in Southern NSW.
We broke it up into three stages over 22 days. The total length is 435 km. We also included notes on transport to the sections, water points, etc as well as sketch maps and gradient profiles for each section.
We walked the track in winter and had many icy mornings but it was a good walk.
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Re: Hume and Novell track

Postby Wollemi » Sat 22 Jun, 2013 11:43 pm

The Hume and Hovell Track is certainly not worth doing. 40% or more is through commercial Radiata forests. I recently spoke with people from Sydney Bushwalkers - and it is agreed that the repetitiveness makes it dull.

I did it in April/May 1995 over 17 days, with 2 food drops, though diversions/hitching to nearby re-supply may be easy; thinking Tumbarumba and then Tumut.

From Woomargama to Yass was 370km.
I was with a loose group organised through the YHA magazine. One older guy left as he had trekked PNG a couple of times, and having farmland visible everyday was of no value to him. Perhaps 75% was on public road or forestry road; you will have 4WD's with exposed guns pass you on some days.

I was young and enjoy(ed) looking at rural NSW in Autumn, but had not yet trekked in Tasmania or NZ. I was naive; I had not yet discovered overnight XC skiing or multi-day sea-kayaking. Perhaps the Fume and Hobble is best left as a walk for when you can't walk the Nadgee Wilderness or K2K anymore.

Highlights I recall were of autumnal leaves fallen across forgotten machinery and of countless satellites and shooting stars seen, but I am getting this at the moment, cycle touring the Hawkesbury and the Central West of NSW, on long day trips.

~~~~~~

The Hume and Hovell is definitely worth doing. We completed it and included the track notes in Take A Walk in Southern NSW.
We broke it up into three stages over 22 days. The total length is 435 km. We also included notes on transport to the sections, water points, etc as well as sketch maps and gradient profiles for each section.
We walked the track in winter and had many icy mornings but it was a good walk.


One cannot just say ''...is definitely worth doing" nor "...it was a good walk" without reason. I am surprised at this, moreso coming from a published Guide Book author. If I may say; it hints at absence of justification of walking the H&H.
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Re: Hume and Novell track

Postby rcaffin » Sun 23 Jun, 2013 8:38 pm

Just interested in comments from any one who has walked the Hume and Hovell track end to end.

We did it shortly after it was opened. It's a longish track walk, with some quite interesting bits. Yes, there is some road bashing and some pine plantation. What do you expect? For us, the 'worst' bit was going down a much-used dirt road in limestone territory: walking through ground-up limestone powder for a couple of km. But that was not very far. On the other hand, some parts were very pretty and enjoyable.

We put in food drops at the three (?) trackheads. We used 20 L buckets, sealed and hidden just a little distance away, then came back afterwards and removed the empties with their rubbish.

After that, try the AAWT.

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Re: Hume and Novell track

Postby JohnDaly TakeAWalk » Tue 25 Jun, 2013 6:09 pm

The one thing I love about this forum is that everyone gets to express an opinion.
I still believe the Hume and Hovell Track is worth doing - but we belong to that relatively small group of bushwalkers who enjoy the preparation, planning and execution of long distance walks. It’s not for everyone but if you have ever completed one of the classic long-distance walks in Australia, you will have to agree.
The Hume and Hovell does follow roads a lot, but as ‘rcafin’ said, ‘what do you expect’. By the way, there is a fair amount of service road walking along the Nadgee Wilderness Walk north of Nadgee Lake, and the Nadgee Wilderness Circuit follows service trails almost all the way. And, although the Nadgee Wilderness Area is a fabulous walking destination, it can’t possibly be compared to the K2K, and the last time were walking in that area I distinctly remember following a service trail from near Taros Ladder to the end of the walk.
The Hume and Hovell Track is an historic route, roughly following the route the explorers used and any long-distance walker interested in our history will appreciate the original effort required to travel the section from Yass to Albury.
Walkers also get to appreciate the enormity of effort required to create Burrinjuck Dam, the headwater storage of the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area. Then there’s Island Bend where Ken Warby broke the world water speed record in 1978 – a record that still stands.
You are almost guaranteed to spot a platypus at Paddys River Dam, and then you walk past relics of the Burra Goldfields.
The views as you contour along the hillsides between Horse Creek and Lankeys Creek are stunning. There are several sections between Samuel Bollard campsite and the Hovell Tree where you need to follow bitumen roads, but you are heading into a fairly large city.
The Hume and Hovell doesn’t have the formal structure of the Bibbulmun Track (This true Australian classic walk follows gravel roads and ex railway routes for much of its length), it doesn’t have the wilderness experience of the Australian Alps Walking Track (Australia’s best long distance walk also follows service roads and 4WD tracks for much of its length) it doesn’t have the isolation and rugged beauty of the Larapinta Trail (This world class walk also follows the occasional service trail) and it doesn’t’ have the variety of the Great South West Walk (This route also uses service trails and roads for much of its length).
But it is worth doing – if you are up to the challenge of organising a 435km walk over 22 days. And based on the feedback we have received from people who have done the walk (or sections of the walk) using our track notes – we are not alone!
I agree with Roger – if this is a bit tame, try walking the AAWT. For a bit of inspiration, try reading ‘The Never Ending Bushwalk’ the story of Steve Tremont’s 375 day walk along the spine of the Great Dividing Range from Dergholm in Western Victoria to the tip of Cape York.
Coincidently, we have just finished proving that the Tops to Myall Heritage Walk is still doable, despite what people have been saying about private property closures and the impossibility of crossing the new highway safely. It runs 220 km from Barrington Tops to Myall Lakes. And surprise, surprise, it follows old and current service trails for most of its length. We’ll include the track notes, sketch maps and gradient profiles in our next book, Take A Walk in Northern NSW.
Cheers
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Re: Hume and Novell track

Postby rcaffin » Tue 25 Jun, 2013 8:09 pm

Hi John

> We’ll include the track notes, sketch maps and gradient profiles in our next book, Take A Walk in Northern NSW.
Sounds as though it should be reviewed in 'The Bushwalker'. Contact me when you're ready?

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Re: Hume and Novell track

Postby charlie59 » Sat 14 Sep, 2013 2:16 pm

JohnDaly TakeAWalk wrote:The one thing I love about this forum is that everyone gets to express an opinion.
I still believe the Hume and Hovell Track is worth doing - but we belong to that relatively small group of bushwalkers who enjoy the preparation, planning and execution of long distance walks. It’s not for everyone but if you have ever completed one of the classic long-distance walks in Australia, you will have to agree.
The Hume and Hovell does follow roads a lot, but as ‘rcafin’ said, ‘what do you expect’. By the way, there is a fair amount of service road walking along the Nadgee Wilderness Walk north of Nadgee Lake, and the Nadgee Wilderness Circuit follows service trails almost all the way. And, although the Nadgee Wilderness Area is a fabulous walking destination, it can’t possibly be compared to the K2K, and the last time were walking in that area I distinctly remember following a service trail from near Taros Ladder to the end of the walk.
The Hume and Hovell Track is an historic route, roughly following the route the explorers used and any long-distance walker interested in our history will appreciate the original effort required to travel the section from Yass to Albury.
Walkers also get to appreciate the enormity of effort required to create Burrinjuck Dam, the headwater storage of the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area. Then there’s Island Bend where Ken Warby broke the world water speed record in 1978 – a record that still stands.
You are almost guaranteed to spot a platypus at Paddys River Dam, and then you walk past relics of the Burra Goldfields.
The views as you contour along the hillsides between Horse Creek and Lankeys Creek are stunning. There are several sections between Samuel Bollard campsite and the Hovell Tree where you need to follow bitumen roads, but you are heading into a fairly large city.
The Hume and Hovell doesn’t have the formal structure of the Bibbulmun Track (This true Australian classic walk follows gravel roads and ex railway routes for much of its length), it doesn’t have the wilderness experience of the Australian Alps Walking Track (Australia’s best long distance walk also follows service roads and 4WD tracks for much of its length) it doesn’t have the isolation and rugged beauty of the Larapinta Trail (This world class walk also follows the occasional service trail) and it doesn’t’ have the variety of the Great South West Walk (This route also uses service trails and roads for much of its length).
But it is worth doing – if you are up to the challenge of organising a 435km walk over 22 days. And based on the feedback we have received from people who have done the walk (or sections of the walk) using our track notes – we are not alone!
I agree with Roger – if this is a bit tame, try walking the AAWT. For a bit of inspiration, try reading ‘The Never Ending Bushwalk’ the story of Steve Tremont’s 375 day walk along the spine of the Great Dividing Range from Dergholm in Western Victoria to the tip of Cape York.
Coincidently, we have just finished proving that the Tops to Myall Heritage Walk is still doable, despite what people have been saying about private property closures and the impossibility of crossing the new highway safely. It runs 220 km from Barrington Tops to Myall Lakes. And surprise, surprise, it follows old and current service trails for most of its length. We’ll include the track notes, sketch maps and gradient profiles in our next book, Take A Walk in Northern NSW.
Cheers


Sorry John, there's always someone to pick a point, however Ken Warby broke the water speed record on Blowering Dam (317.6mph). I was lucky enough to be there. And in Tumut, we have little to brag about!
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Re: Hume and Novell track

Postby JohnDaly TakeAWalk » Tue 01 Oct, 2013 8:07 am

Hi Charlie,
Sorry about the late reply - we have just returned from leading a four week hiking trip to the US.
Not sure where you thought we got it wrong with Ken Warby. We said he started from Island Bend which is on Blowering Reservoir. Is that not where he started from?
Regards
John
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Re: Hume and Novell track

Postby kanangra » Thu 03 Oct, 2013 9:14 am

I was at Blowering Resevoir earlier in the week and they had a sign up about Ken Warby? Also took the opportunity to check out some of the H & H WT. Looked interesting with some good infrastructure. Must try and do some of it one day.

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Re: Hume and Novell track

Postby Wollemi » Sun 20 Oct, 2013 8:11 pm

Just a sideways mention of the H&H Track in this weekends letter's page of the SMH. The letter writer is not me - just adding to a clipboard of cuttings/resources...

Neglect and ignorance will cause a catastrophe
''One thing I won't miss about working is the restructures.'' So said Steve Horsley, retiring Tumut District manager of the National Parks and Wildlife Service, in The Tumut and Adelong Times and Batlow District News last month.
My local friend Jim gave his view of Mr Horsley's comments. It means that the constant staff cuts to the NPWS (and forestry) had worn this public servant down and he'd had enough of trying to manage the impossible. Jim's views were not alone.
Two weeks ago I was in Tumut to walk the Hume and Hovell track to Talbingo. I spoke to National Parks staff who were scathing at the loss of jobs and inability to manage the parks, and it was clear state forests were having similar resourcing issues, because as it happens we mostly walked through state forest and it was a mass of weeds, particularly blackberries. Locals told me they too are suffering a chronic lack of resources.


Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/comment/smh-lette ... z2iFtO1cRz
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Re: Hume and Novell track

Postby charlie59 » Thu 02 Jan, 2014 5:54 pm

Hi John, thanks for your reply. We finally got around to walking the Barois Campsite to Fitzpatrick Trackhead, with an overnight at The Hole. I agree with your statement that the great thing about this forum is about each person bringing to it a view of their own. I'm not sure Wollemi did the section we did. We had a great time, and would recommend it thoroughly. The Micalong swamp area and the sound of the Northern Banjo frogs will stay with me a long time. The Barois campsite beside Micalong Creek is a best kept secret.
PS. Island Bend is about 2 1/2 hours drive from Blowering and is a much smaller pondage but hey they are both in the SMNP.
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Re: Hume and Novell track

Postby kanangra » Sun 05 Jan, 2014 7:09 am

I walked a short section of this track as part of a longer walk between Christmas and New Year. I started out from the Thomas Boyd track head and walked beside the Goobarragandra River before leaving the track to explore the Bogong Peaks wilderness.

There were many people camped at Thomas Boyd which has terrific facilities. There were two swing bridges over the river which were excellent and which saved about 10 k of road bashing but it is no wilderness experience. Personally that doesn't bother me. I found the sections that passed through private property interesting. Eg. the track basically goes up the driveway of the "Federal Park" property passing right between the homestead and the shed. This allowed a close up look at the farm machinery both new and because nothing tends to be thrown out on farms, a lot of historical interest as well. There was one pice that looked at least 100 years old that I couldn't figure out what it was used for.

the track takes you places you would never get to see or even honk of visiting otherwise,

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Re: Hume and Novell track

Postby flywire » Wed 13 Aug, 2014 11:20 pm

OSM route for GPS map in the making :> http://hiking.waymarkedtrails.org/en/relation/308594#
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Re: Hume and Novell track

Postby WarrenH » Wed 27 Aug, 2014 12:30 am

When you consider walking a trail like the Hume and Hovell or even the Bicentennnial National Trail, do-do, a bit of research into why these trails have been chosen to be what they are. These trails aren't just the nowadays walking tracks along roads, at times.These routes aren't just good enough for rural. They are the ribbons of exploration and our rural heritage. Much research has gone into the planing and developing these historical routes.

Others have written about unfortunately traveling on public roads ... these routes have been chosen not for easy convenience but because they were once the unformed roads of the Traveling Stock Routes.

When one understands the heritage, these tracks are more than World Class.

Last weekend I re-walked a bit of the Hume and Hovell from the Hovell Tree to the Mungarabina Lagoons. Twenty six years after my first H&H onslaught. I was amazed at the changes that I saw last weekend. The great flour mills in Albury are now gone ... and are a Bunnings Super Warehouse? Nice one Bunnings! But it is good that Bunnings have photos of the old mills in their massive warehouse. Just as meaningful?

A shot from my past, Three White Lights ... http://wildwassa.deviantart.com/art/Thr ... -173060378

And a shot from last weekend. Before Sunrise at Sunrise. On Eastern Hill overlooking the property of Sunrise and the mist shrouded Mungarabina Lagoons, Murray River and Hume Weir ... to Mount Talgarno.

Image

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Re: Hume and Novell track

Postby fatboyboy » Fri 25 Mar, 2016 5:15 pm

I finished the Hume and Hovell track two weeks ago as a through walk. If you have a preference for high mountain scenery or for the high mountain plains then this walk is probably not for you. For me the best part of the walk was the few days spent in sub-alpine forest and then the sudden change from this forest to farmland that happens within just one day when coming down from the mountains into Tumbarumba. Another nice aspect of the walk was the quality of the track- it was so nice to be able to walk around with out having to get a map out every five mins. The third best thing was the facilities and the dams and creeks which ensured water and that a swim was possible every couple of days. The there was the paddle across Burrunjuck dam in the pack raft, instead of using the ferry service- great fun. Finally there was the recurring feeling of admiration for Hume and Hovell's achievement. However... the problem, in my opinion, was the massive lack of impressive scenery. Obviously beauty is subjective but for me man-made lakes always seem to lack something and the majority of the forest was no different from that found anywhere around the suburbs of Canberra. The farmland around Manus and the openness of the forests coming into Albury were interesting to me because they were so dry but I don't think they can be classed as impressive. Would I class this walk as worth while? I did the walk as a way to learn about managing extreme heat and the walk gave a relatively safe environment to do this in- from this point of view it was worthwhile. The walk also allowed me to relax and got me into that sleepy/stoned state that only long trails can. From the point of view of scenery however I really find it difficult to recommend this walk apart from to people who are either new to this area of Australia (and so who find it all fascinating) or to people who are already passionate about Australian woodland. Maybe one way to make the track more interesting could be to run the track over the top of the Bogong peaks or if someone did the track in the cooler months they could do an off track excursion up there so as to improve their experience of the views given on their journey. Using a mountain bike would also be a far better way to tackle the track. I think if someone had never seen brumbies before and if they used a mountain bike to do the track then they may come back having really enjoyed this walk.
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Re: Hume and Novell track

Postby flywire » Sun 03 Apr, 2016 9:33 pm

Hey you are likely to see National Parks, forests and farmland in south-east Australia and especially on the Hume and Hovell Walking Track. It's all interesting in my view but if this is not what you are after go somewhere else.
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Re: Hume and Novell track

Postby jaco » Thu 01 Dec, 2016 3:24 pm

Fatboyboy - can you give us some details on:
How many days hiking and food drops did you do?
Paddle across the lake in a pack raft?!?
How easy was it to navigate it?
What time of year did you do it?
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Re: Hume and Hovell track

Postby Rodsports » Mon 02 Jan, 2017 8:48 am

G'day,

Can this be done on mountain bike instead of walking?

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Re: Hume and Hovell track

Postby fatboyboy » Tue 10 Jan, 2017 3:40 am

You could do most of it on a mountain bike if you wanted. except for the area around Pompay pillar- too many black berry bushes to get a bike through. I am not sure how legal it would be to do, so you would have to check with NSW parks and services. I am not in Oz at the moment so don't have the maps in front of me. I remember wishing I had taken a bike for quite a lot of it. Although some of the hills would have been a slog for me they would probably have been easy enough for someone into mountain biking. Before I did the hike I read a report by some people who used bikes to 'do the hike.' I remember reading that for a fair amount of the time they were on roads next to or near the trail, rather than being on the trail the whole way. If you are more into enjoying the experience rather than following the trail for the sake of it then I think this could be a great bike trip- providing it is legal of course. Here is a link to the report I just mentioned: https://bikingbethany.wordpress.com/201 ... adventure/.
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Re: Hume and Hovell track

Postby fatboyboy » Wed 11 Jan, 2017 1:56 am

Hi Jaco,
I think we connected by email but I am not sure so I will just put the info again in brief. Maybe useful to others anyway.

I don't remember how long I took but I think it was three to four weeks.

I did not do any food drops but I do remember my food got pretty low. You could replenish your food at Tumut or at Tumbarumba with a little bit of a detour, the dam after Burrunjack dam (I think it is Blowering dam) has a shop at the holiday park and Burrunjack has at least a cafe but I have only ever seen it from the outside and that was on a separate trip a few years ago. There were a lot of black berries on the way and a lot of apples around Blowering dam.

I paddled across Burrunjack because I was not sure about the ferry service that I kept reading about. It did the job but was not enjoyable and I would not do it that way again. There is an old fire trail running around at least part of the side of the dam on the same side that you cross to. It would have probably been better to just walk over the dam and then bash around until meeting the trail. Of course if the dam was shut for any reason you would then have more problems. If you can blag a lift on one of the speed boats that people were driving around that would be much more fun.

Navigation is easy. They put a lot of money into this path. Avoid the area around Pompey pillar because of black berry overgrowth.

I guess the best time of year is probably autumn. Summer, when I did it, was very hot and from what I have heard winter is too cold. Spring might be alright but then you might end up spending a lot of time in the rain that can set in for weeks, at least around Canberra it can get like that anyway.
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