Old Mount Cameron to Mount Barakee route

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Old Mount Cameron to Mount Barakee route

Postby mandragara » Fri 19 Jul, 2019 5:42 pm

Hi all,

I was reading the Plan of Management for the Wollemi NP and I saw reference to a 'Mount Cameron to Mount Barakee route', which is to be allowed to overgrow.

I was wondering if anyone knew what the old route used to be? I did a walk through the area over Easter and found a tiny bit of what looked like an old fire trail, I'm curious to know if I found a bit of that old Barakee route (and also how they got around Annie Rowan Ck). The trail appeared out of nowhere and then promptly vanished after about 500m.

Pic (194).jpg
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Re: Old Mount Cameron to Mount Barakee route

Postby Warin » Fri 19 Jul, 2019 6:18 pm

I may be imagining it .. but I think I see traces of it in the LPI satellite imagery ... no something I'd rely on but ..

33.2814001 150.369283 might be it at your creek.

An old map might help .. I have none for that area.

Parish maps;

Parish of Rock Hill, County of Cook [cartographic material] / printed & published by Dept. of Lands, Sydney.

One dated 1970 and the other 1908.

No .. they do not go far enough north
https://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-560999366/view
Last edited by Warin on Fri 19 Jul, 2019 6:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Old Mount Cameron to Mount Barakee route

Postby mandragara » Fri 19 Jul, 2019 6:37 pm

My eyes aren't sharp enough to spot a track at the point you mention.

My photo was taken at -33.261328, 150.414181, best viewed using Bing Maps Aerial view.

I'll check out your reference, cheers!

EDIT: Those maps are confusing, either way no marked trails.
Last edited by mandragara on Fri 19 Jul, 2019 6:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Old Mount Cameron to Mount Barakee route

Postby michael_p » Fri 19 Jul, 2019 6:41 pm

Google Earth allows you to look at historical imagery. You may be able to spot something from older aerial photos.
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Re: Old Mount Cameron to Mount Barakee route

Postby Warin » Fri 19 Jul, 2019 7:37 pm

mandragara wrote:I'll check out your reference, cheers!


1935 map 1 inch to the mile
viewable here https://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-283727828/view

has some tracks but none continuing eastwards ..

1973 1:100,000 Wallerawang (N.S.W.) 8931 .. not found on the web (by me) ..

1976 1:25,000 Rock Hill 8931-2-N also not found on the web

These could be available in the NSW State Lib., they are in the National Lib., Canberra.

Think six maps allows 1946 imagery .. but it is of low resolution and that is an area of trees... may not be that visible.
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Re: Old Mount Cameron to Mount Barakee route

Postby wildwanderer » Fri 19 Jul, 2019 8:11 pm

Off topic but I wish parks wouldnt just abandon routes/old fire trails..
by all means let them grow back so it becomes a track rather than a road but it wouldnt hurt (or be that expensive) to run a bobcat down these old fire trails every couple of years so the route is preserved.

Not everyone one wants to bash through scrub..
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Re: Old Mount Cameron to Mount Barakee route

Postby Warin » Fri 19 Jul, 2019 8:30 pm

wildwanderer wrote:it wouldnt hurt (or be that expensive) to run a bobcat down these old fire trails every couple of years so the route is preserved.


:lol: The Wiriba (sp?) Ridge Trail some what north of this was put in by the army as part of operation Snow Ball. The bull dozer came from west to east.. in one section the driver put the blade down as it came down the sandstone hill - one pass as it could not go back as the track was too steep in that direction. It would be an expensive operation to maintain it! And for what? No one is going to fight a fire there these days. I have put that track into OSM - but it is market 'disused' or 'abandoned' I forget which. I mapped it from satellite views and memory (before GPS) - some bits are missing. It probably will not show on most maps due to the 'disused' or 'abandoned' and that is as it should be. But it can be found by the determined. I would hope that similar old tracks can be mapped in the same way. I should put the Wiriba (sp?) Ridge Trail into "Open Historical Map" too. The start date for it was 1952, not all that long ago.

Consider the quantity of weeds that NP now has and the lack of money to control them, let alone eradicate them .. money on keeping tracks that spread weeds .. no.
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Re: Old Mount Cameron to Mount Barakee route

Postby mandragara » Fri 19 Jul, 2019 8:43 pm

Warin wrote:[ 1935 map 1 inch to the mile
viewable here https://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-283727828/view


That map shows how the Barakee route would connect to Mt Cameron. From there it would simply follow the ridge line out to Barakee I imagine, so as far as I'm concerned this is solved! Wonderful! Many thanks for your detective work, you must be a master of the NLA's search engine.

wildwanderer wrote:Off topic but I wish parks wouldn't just abandon routes/old fire trails..


The Wollemi is one of the nations last big wilderness areas, I'm OK with letting the trails overgrow. If the demand is there, walkers will naturally keep the trail alive. Actively managed trails in a wilderness area is something I'd like to see minimised. We want to keep the weeds (and walkers who don't respect the place) out.
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Re: Old Mount Cameron to Mount Barakee route

Postby Warin » Fri 19 Jul, 2019 9:31 pm

mandragara wrote:
Warin wrote:[ 1935 map 1 inch to the mile
viewable here https://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-283727828/view


Many thanks for your detective work, you must be a master of the NLA's search engine.


I like maps! Old maps can be quite useful.

And some of my family history is in NLA ... as well as other places like the Mitchell, Art Gallery of NSW, etc
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Re: Old Mount Cameron to Mount Barakee route

Postby mandragara » Fri 19 Jul, 2019 10:59 pm

Warin wrote:I like maps! Old maps can be quite useful.


Oh no I totally agree. I've checked out some older maps myself, even got to see the original Bob Buck Sketch Map at the NLA. It's absolutely huge!
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Re: Old Mount Cameron to Mount Barakee route

Postby rcaffin » Sat 20 Jul, 2019 6:06 pm

Biased opinion, but one which makes sense.

Long, long ago there was a certain amount of cattle duffing out on the plains, Rhylstone way and beyond. The cattle just 'disappeared'. The cops had no idea how. In fact, they usually ended up around Colo Heights and Putty on a few farms. Impossible, you might say?

I personally KNOW of at least five cattle duffing routes across Wollemi, because I have walked them.
* The Hunter Main Trail used to be an aboriginal path, then got upgraded to a 4WD road by the cattle duffers to come out near Putty. Then it got 'roaded'.
* The Army Road referred to above was the same, and it had two starts which joined near Gospers Mt, and ended S of Putty. One start was graded as a road, the other was graded part of the way but you had to ride a horse for a major section. Yeah, the Wall, quite famous. 4Wd cars have winched up it in the past, not without serious damage.
* There is a cattle route from Nullo Mt down to the plains to the East, not withstanding the cliffs all around. This was a horse & cattle route, not a 4WD.
* The Mt Cameron route was once a cattle track, then was graded to a 4WD status for a lot of the way, but about half of it was only for horses and cattle. It does NOT go over Barakee, nor does it have anything to do with Bob Buck's 'Barakee Pass'. He was given the name by Colo locals, but he never found the Pass and put up a rock climbing route instead (personal communication).

Of course, there is also Surveyor Townsend's track up the Colo: a mule track from Upper Colo to Rhylstone. Yeah, I know, impossible you say - but it exists. It was meant to be a survey for a railway line, but fortunately Parliament sensibly rejected it as a mad idea. Convict remains are out there. Parks do not want to acknowledge it, despite all the official logs, because they would then have to maintain it - at huge expense.

We do not give out details because we do not want hoons, yahoos, trail bike riders, MTB riders, or 4WDs out there. Nor do we want the pollies and 'authorities' involved, searching for lost novices. You will have to go explore yourself. Don't get lost: it is difficult country.

Cheers
Roger
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Re: Old Mount Cameron to Mount Barakee route

Postby mandragara » Tue 23 Jul, 2019 1:24 am

Fascinating info Roger.

So you think we stumbled across an old cattle duffing route. If it doesn't go over Barakee, where do you think it leads\used to lead? The cliffs surrounding the Colo that north are substantial and I can think of no pass he could have used to bring cattle down. Do you think it may have lead down to the Wolgan river somehow?

Also if you're familiar with the Hunter Main area, do you know where the path that branches off near Mt Monundilla leads? Was that an old cattle duffing route do you think? I've cycled the length of Hunter Main but haven't had the time to explore down past Monundilla.

Thanks

Richard
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Re: Old Mount Cameron to Mount Barakee route

Postby tom_brennan » Tue 23 Jul, 2019 12:58 pm

mandragara wrote:I was reading the Plan of Management for the Wollemi NP and I saw reference to a 'Mount Cameron to Mount Barakee route', which is to be allowed to overgrow.

I was wondering if anyone knew what the old route used to be? I did a walk through the area over Easter and found a tiny bit of what looked like an old fire trail, I'm curious to know if I found a bit of that old Barakee route (and also how they got around Annie Rowan Ck). The trail appeared out of nowhere and then promptly vanished after about 500m.


John Norris and Russel May drove to Mt Barakee (via Mt Cameron) in a jeep in 1959. Pretty sure there was an article about it in an old NRMA magazine. I assume others may have done the same.

Whether this relates to your track, I have no idea!

My guess is that it's unlikely, though I don't know when someone would have driven it most recently. The Wollemi Wilderness was declared in 1999 so there's been 20 years at least of regrowth.

I remember a few years ago finding a section of road up on the top of the Wollemi-Capertee Divide west of the Pipeline Track - where there's no chance of getting a vehicle!!. Turned out it was because NPWS had heli-dropped in a bulldozer to clear a firebreak to help manage a fire. So that's another possibility.
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Re: Old Mount Cameron to Mount Barakee route

Postby rcaffin » Wed 24 Jul, 2019 7:44 am

Hi Richard and Tom

Yes to the cattle duffing route. That is quite positive: I could see the cattle track in places where it had not been dozed. No, it does not go over Barakee - which is a silly idea anyhow as the summit is very rocky. Yes, the cliffs around the Colo are substantial, but there are weaknesses here and there. No, it does not go into the Wollemi River: a quick check of the map will show you that would not work at all. I repeat: I have walked the entire route from Natural Bridge to the Putty Road.

Yes, Norris and May drove out along the old track back then, and engraved their names on a rock. I have seen the rock myself, and the engraving is still there, just lichen-covered. But that was probably about as far as they could go. Post fires, the track will have revegetated somewhat.

Further details will not be published as this is a very sensitive area, still fairly pristine. If anyone does find bits of the track, please do not publish them. Preserve the bush.

Yes, I know the psuedo-track above Newnes, W of the Pipeline track. Yes, it was an air-lifted dozer during the fires, although I don't think the clearing would have done an ounce of good against a wild-fire. I discussed it with (I think) Dave Noble, the ranger, at the time: he was pleased that it was also revegetating like mad. That is a pretty wild area too.

Cheers
Roger
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