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Conondale Range Great Walk

Tue 26 Apr, 2016 8:13 pm

This ANZAC weekend my girlfriend, her parents, and I tackled the Conondale Range Great Walk. We took the day off on Friday to allow the 4 days recommended by the NPRSR and drove my i30 down the 4WD access road and through two of the (very shallow) creek crossings to get all but 100m from the day use area. The final creek crossing was halfway up to the knees and rain was forecast for the coming weekend, so we didn't want to push our luck.

The entire walk was amazing! The terrain was constantly changing and we felt totally immersed in the experience; that is, until we briefly heard traffic in the distance on day 3. On the 4th day we felt like we could continue for another loop, not even wanting rest breaks for snacks.

We had perfect weather, a small drizzle one afternoon but mostly dry. We certainly didn't have as many leeches as canthardlywait a few months back! I found 4 the first night after we'd let our guard down, but from then on it was mostly flicking them off our boots before they latched on.

Water was pretty good! We mostly filled our bottles from the creeks, but had to take some of the plentiful tank water some nights. There was quite a bit of leaf litter on some of the roofs/tanks meaning the tannins stained the water an interesting colour. I called it a game of "Whiskey or water?", but others joked about Bear Grylls or samples for QML...

We met a great bunch of people on the way, and learnt it was possible to do the walk in 3 days if you're keen. Starting from the carpark near the first camp, you could make your first day the 17km leg to Tallowwood, Summer Falls the second day, then compress the "first" and "last" days into your third day as you make the 23kms back to your car.

Photos can be found hosted on Imgur here :)

I'd definitely recommend this to anyone who hasn't hiked it before!
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