Although school had just started, my wife and I decided to take the kids out for an overnight walk - before the school routine really settled in and we became full time "taxi drivers". So at short notice, and with the weather looking promising, we headed out for an overnight during the first week of February. We had never been there and were especially looking forward, especially after reading everyone's reports and eyeing their photos. We decided to do an out and back on the Razorback. We left home at 0500 and arrived just before 1100. There were already 18 cars parked by the side of the road - I counted. By the time we signed the intentions log, I saw the 20th vehicle pull up! Tent city...?
The weather that Saturday was hot, really hot. Windless, sunny, and hot. The trail, as all would know, is above treeline. It was near impossible trying to get any shade when stopping for a drink. It was just sunscreen, drink, one foot in front of the other. Fortunately, the views were astounding. Breathtaking. Right from the word go, as the trail snaked its way past the sides of the hills, there were 360 degree views of mountains. We passed a number of day hikers on their way back out. Perhaps it wouldn't be tent city at Federation Hut after all.
It took us almost right on 4 hours to reach the hut. I was so stuffed from the heat, I pretty much just had a cuppa, sitting on the "veranda" of the hut. No other campers were here yet. There was a solo hiker having his lunch near the water tank (he "saddled" up and left after his lunch). After almost 30 minutes enjoying my coffee and "recovering", we chose a spot and pitched the two tents. Earlier on we had passed a group of 3 young adults, and a group of 8 (I think) seniors. They were now rolling in and setting up too. There are quite a number of grassy spots for tents, everyone was spoilt for choice.
At 1600, we decided we'd better make a move and head to the top of Mt Feathertop. It's about 10 km from the car to the hut, and about 2 km from the hut to the top. Some of the seniors had dumped their packs at the intersection before the hut and we met them coming down from the summit. The oldest is 73! I hope to be overnight-ing when I'm that age too, it was inspiring. The last two "summits" we visited were Bogong and Durd-Durd, which are both very broad and expansive. The top of Feathertop was very small in comparison, it was neat being able to spin around looking at all the other places, and truly get the sense that you were on top. My sons were disappointed with the lack of a summit cairn, so we scrounged around and only found 4 tiny rocks. So there is a base for the summit cairn now. You all add the next levels...
While on top, a glider buzzed us (or would that be "whooshed us") - it was cool. At points, the pilot was "low" enough that we were probably only a few feet lower than him/her! So, pilot with tail rego XOR - if you were flying around Mt Feathertop on Feb 07 - let me know, I have some great pictures. Soon we were back at camp getting ready for dinner. There was quite a crowd by now, maybe 20? It never felt too crowded though. We looked for the cache near the huts before dinner. As the sun set, the entire western flank of the Razorback glowed orange. It was a wonderful sight.
We were off by 0700 the next day, trying to beat the heat, and trying to get home earlier rather than later. Even at that time of the day, we could already feel the heat building up. Fortunately, it was partly cloudy, and there was a slight breeze every once in a while. My youngest who was setting the pace up front did happen upon two baby snakes, but they slithered off the trail quickly. Other than that, we just saw ants, lots of them - especially in places I wanted to sit on. We stopped for a cuppa at the 1/2-way mark, and looked at the rain clouds moving in from the NW. Before I could even enjoy my coffee, we were donning the rain jackets. The rain clouds fortunately were small and moving fast. We were taking the jackets off not more than 15 minutes later. We were back at the car at the 3:40 mark, with less water and less heat making the walk easier. All too soon we were driving back to life in the unreal world...
As I've mentioned in this post
, I have picked up a lot of information from this great forum, and I feel it's time I put something back in. Hopefully other parents with kids in the similar age bracket, who are wondering what's out there, can get something useful out of these posts. Many of you have undoubtedly done this walk a number of times. This was our first time. If you and your family haven't done this, you definitely should put it on your to-do list. My kids are 9 and 12 and thoroughly enjoyed this walk. The walk is relatively easy and the views are great. Getting to a summit was a great motivator, so was being able to see the cars towards the end of the walk. We'll be back!
Photos were all taken by my wife on her phone.
Last edited by akl168
on Wed 11 Mar, 2015 5:06 am, edited 1 time in total.