Yarrunga Creek

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Yarrunga Creek

Postby Hughmac » Fri 02 Dec, 2016 12:04 pm

Just back from a three and a bit day walk up Yarrunga Creek to Lady Hordern Falls and back. Left the car at the top of Meryla Pass, then down to the ford before heading east along the old logging track above the north bank of the creek. Followed this until it petered out after a small creek crossing, then dropped into the creek itself.
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Typical view of the stream bed.

Followed the creek past an enormous rock fall where it swings to the north, before encountering some unbelievable storm damage. A 500m stretch of the east bank has been shredded. Probably 25% of the trees have been blown over, and half those still standing have been snapped in two. I've never seen anything like it, and unfortunately most of the damaged and fallen trees are lying in the creek bed. The damage is so limited and so clearly defined I can only think a super cell storm has descended into the valley.
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Storm damage on the east bank.

Set up camp for the night on a convenient sand bar, then started the second day with a metre deep wade through an unavoidable waterhole. Reached the valley below Lady Hordern Falls about midday where I had a shower under a cascade before a leisurely lunch. The landscape here is simply majestic, with a curtain of water running over the main falls above you and a series of cascades in the valley below.
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Lady Hordern Falls and associated cascades.

Wandered back to the campsite, which I had left set up, then on day three walked back to Griffins Farm where I overnighted before the slog back up the Pass.
Have to say this is without question the most relentlessly lovely walk in the Highlands, simply beautiful from start to finish. Not simply a walk in the park by any means, although sections of it are very much like this, but the reward for effort is outstanding. Probably 50% of it is rock hopping, and climbing over, under, through and around fallen trees nearly drove me spare at times. You will inevitably do a fair bit of wading, either through necessity or for the sake of convenience. I anticipated this and wore a pair of Merrill Ventilator shoes and lightweight, quick dry hiking socks, which allowed me to avoid the shoes off/shoes on routine. Although my feet were always damp, a few steps out of the water all the excess had drained away, and my feet pulled up fine. Saw plenty of black snakes, as you would expect on a creek walk in summer, but as usual they were all bolting for safety before I even saw them. One pleasant surprise was no mozzies and no leaches.
If anyone is interested in doing this I would highly recommend it if you're comfortable with off-track walking. As to access, it would be an easier walk from Jack's Corner, but coming from Moss Vale Meryla Pass was a lot closer. The old logging road above the ford is not immediately obvious, but it starts before Griffins turns parallel to the creek, and becomes fairly obvious once you find it. One thing I would also recommend is leaving a marker where you drop into the creek. I tried walking all the way back along the creek to the ford, but it actually becomes quite difficult and I gave it up after a fairly solid fall that shook me up a fair bit. As you are traveling up stream you come to a massive rock fall, which needs to be bypassed to your left - it looks easier to the right, but you quite literally hit a rock wall. The storm damage mentioned earlier will need to be bypassed on the eastern bank. As mentioned there is a huge amount of rock hopping, and most of them are covered in moss. Okay when they are dry, but I would definitely avoid doing this in wet weather, it would be seriously dangerous.
Happy hiking!
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Re: Yarrunga Creek

Postby puredingo » Fri 02 Dec, 2016 1:02 pm

Great little walk you did there, Hugh and top photos too. Another bonus of walking up that creek is it's heavily shaded so a good summer option.
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Re: Yarrunga Creek

Postby michael_p » Fri 02 Dec, 2016 5:01 pm

Thanks Hugh. Really good report. Looks like a very nice area.
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Re: Yarrunga Creek

Postby Hughmac » Fri 02 Dec, 2016 6:04 pm

Cheers Aaron. Some nice swimming holes too. Actually found myself sharing one with a black snake at one point.
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Re: Yarrunga Creek

Postby Grabeach » Sat 03 Dec, 2016 6:41 am

Hughmac,

Did you consider a thru walk coming out at Fitzroy Falls (FF)?

Why I ask is that decades back a couple of us decided to explore the old unused track to the base of FF. At the base of the cliffs there was an even less used tourist track heading south. I did some research but never found a thing on this track - anyone know anything? Sections of the formation were gone, but noting the occasional bits of fencing and the odd marker, we managed to follow it down to a spectacular L/O to the west of Lady Hordern Falls (LHF) roughly at the same level as the top of these falls. Of course my thoughts turned to doing a day trip thru walk to Jacks Corner Rd. On a second walk that day we managed to get down the obvious small unnamed creek through the upper cliff line on the eastern side of FF again to the top of LHF level. The key to progressing further on either side would be how far south we would have to contour in what would probably be very rough country to find a way down through the LHF cliff line.

Did you get any feeling from below on where you could get out of the lower gorge on either side?
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Re: Yarrunga Creek

Postby Hughmac » Sat 03 Dec, 2016 2:59 pm

Hi Grabeach. From memory the name of the lookout you found was Victoria Lookout, which was accessible when there was a recognised track to the bottom of Fitzroy Falls. I would have loved to have gone further, but you would see from the last photo that it becomes very precipitous. I think Clarence has said somewhere on here that he knows a way out via Twin Falls, but there was no obvious way to get further that I could see. Some patient exploration might reveal something, but I wouldn't count on it. Where I stopped was in a small gully with 3-4 metre cliffs all round that were mostly wet and mossy, and I decided discretion was the better part of valor - I carry a PLB, but have no desire to use it.
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Re: Yarrunga Creek

Postby clarence » Sun 11 Dec, 2016 7:14 am

I agree with Hughmac- this is one of the most amazing off track walking locations you will find anywhere. I have done this walk twice, and cannot recommend it highly enough.

There is a way through at Fitzroy Falls. If anyone wants to PM me I am happy to share- it is not the sort of thing i want to put out there for hoi polloi. I have tried to find other ways through the cliffline in the area, but there seems to only be the one path, and it is a bit rough (far easier to descend than ascend).

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Re: Yarrunga Creek

Postby jackhinde » Mon 12 Dec, 2016 7:07 pm

This particular wander is best done in one direction, with the water flow! (And in summer with volleys on). I like the shot of the plumwoods framing the top of lady Horton falls, love that spot.
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Re: Yarrunga Creek

Postby Hughmac » Mon 12 Dec, 2016 8:41 pm

Cheers Jack, it is a gorgeous place. I loved the way you catch teasing glimpses of it through the foliage as you approach it, then suddenly the forest opens up and there it is. Some beautiful red cedars down there too. Should have mentioned too that there are plenty of stinging trees down there, and anyone going down there should make themselves aware of what they look like and steer well clear.
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Re: Yarrunga Creek

Postby Thortom » Tue 13 Mar, 2018 8:13 am

clarence wrote:I agree with Hughmac- this is one of the most amazing off track walking locations you will find anywhere. I have done this walk twice, and cannot recommend it highly enough.

There is a way through at Fitzroy Falls. If anyone wants to PM me I am happy to share- it is not the sort of thing i want to put out there for hoi polloi. I have tried to find other ways through the cliffline in the area, but there seems to only be the one path, and it is a bit rough (far easier to descend than ascend).

Clarence


Hi Clarence

I would be super keen on getting some info about where to get through at fitzroy, if there is another way rather than the old ladder that's been removed.
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