AAWT between Walhalla, Howitt and Hotham

A forum for discussing the Australian Alps Walking Track. This is a 655 km long track from Walhalla (Vic) to Tharwa (ACT)

AAWT between Walhalla, Howitt and Hotham

Postby Lophophaps » Wed 02 Dec, 2015 12:11 pm

These three stickies are for AAWT facts, no discussion, please.
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Re: AAWT between Walhalla, Howitt and Hotham

Postby scoha » Tue 22 Dec, 2015 3:48 pm

Just finished AAWT SoBo - I found nice water in two soaks just north of Low Saddle on the road at 513689 and at 510680. Makes camping at Low Saddle a great option.
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Re: AAWT between Walhalla, Howitt and Hotham

Postby scoha » Tue 22 Dec, 2015 6:05 pm

Correction to previous - should read GR 513679 - apologies - other one correct
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Re: AAWT between Walhalla, Howitt and Hotham

Postby Bushwalker99 » Sat 26 Dec, 2015 7:23 pm

Well done for your great solo walk. I did it a year ago with some friends and found no water where you did this year. No drama though - we walked about 15 mins along the fire trail to the west and found a nice stream. I guess the lesson is that water is not necessarily reliable from year to year.
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Re: AAWT between Walhalla, Howitt and Hotham

Postby gbedford » Thu 14 Jan, 2016 4:36 pm

There is was a good flowing creek about 1 km North along the Low Saddle Road about to weeks ago.

We had to go a fair way South down the Knobs track to get water.

The Mt Selwyn South water tank is of very good construction with an enclosed gutter. Clear water and we drank it having grown up on farm tank water. It also beside a lovely campsite.
the East Riley Road tank is well made but doesn't have an enclosed gutter. the water is not bad but a bit brown. Only place to camp is on the Selwyn track.

The Barry Saddle tank is in a bad state with dark water that had an aroma. We treated it. Its a pity because there is a nice campsite nearby.

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Re: AAWT between Walhalla, Howitt and Hotham

Postby jeza » Fri 15 Jan, 2016 3:15 pm

I can confirm there's a spring just off the slopes of Mt Clear. 1km west of the AAWT along Mt Clear Track there's a fairly nice campsite in a saddle then 500m south along an overgrown vehicle track until you reach a major gully, where the creek cuts through the old track. We had to descend another 50m or so to find a spot with a decent enough flow to refill our bottles. It was just a trickle but clear and odourless. There was a little bit of rain the week before so I'm not sure if it dries out completely during drier times.
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Re: AAWT between Walhalla, Howitt and Hotham

Postby Eljimberino » Tue 19 Jan, 2016 4:42 pm

I carried a lot of water from my food drop at Rumpf Saddle to half way to Mt McKinty where I dumped it because I then decided to collect water from the creek east of Mt Sunday. Getting to that creek was a mission which probably took close to an hour once I had a wash in the stream. There's no track.

Once I got to Low Saddle there were quite a few puddles around that I could have filtered. Since I had enough water I didn't venture north of Low Saddle.

This was early Jan 2015.
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Re: AAWT between Walhalla, Howitt and Hotham

Postby JohnR » Mon 23 Oct, 2017 12:55 pm

Just a quick note to say that as of this weekend (21/22 October 2017) there was drinking water on the Nobs Track down from where that Track meets the AAWT, 3.5km east of Mt McDonald.

I walked South West down Nobs Track from the ridge and found a good source of flowing water about 1km down. Coming off the ridge (that the AAWT follows) this is the first spot on the SV map that shows a creek crossing the track. From the map there also appears to be a more reliable source another 500m or so on, but I did not need to investigate that.

Hopefully this will be helpful to those luck enough to have recently departed on the full AAWT walk.

Cheers,

John
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Re: AAWT between Walhalla, Howitt and Hotham

Postby bigkev » Sat 04 Nov, 2017 4:09 pm

Got into Hotham yesterday, these are the water points that I used or noticed:-

Tyers River at O'Sheas - plenty of cool clear water.
Creeks running across Mt Erica Road - numerous spots.
Creek at Talbot Hut Site - reliable source.
Creek on the Mt Saint Gwinear side track - reliable source.
Creek just below the Whitelaw Hut Site - looks fairly reliable.
Creek just east of Stronachs Camp - reliable source
Creek just north of Thomson Valley Road on the 'new' section of trk- looks fairly reliable and is a good option if not camping at Stronachs.
Thomson River - obviously!
Jordan River - ditto.
Black River - some of the best water on the section.
Creeks draining of the ridge above Middle Ridge Road - two that look reliable and another couple that will dry out over summer.
Soak north of Rumpff Saddle at 480576 - looks like it would try quickly.
Soaks along Mt McKinty Road - will last awhile but water is of very dubious quality - emergency only I reckon.
Creek north of Low Saddle along Low Saddle Road at the first decent gully - looks like it'll dry out.
Two rills of water flowing across Mt Sunday Road b/w Low Saddle and the turnoff to Mt MacDonald - looked more reliable than the creek on Low Saddle Road in my eyes?
Creek in first gully down Nobs trk at 547733 - this one was pretty crappy but I couldn't be bothered descending further to a more reliable source!
Spring at Chesters Yard - the best water b/w Walhalla and Hotham imho.
Spring just before the saddle below King Billy 2 - looks reliable.
Macalister Springs.
Camp Creek off Mt Spec.
Soak to the east of Catherine Saddle on the old Wonnangatta trk - looks like it'll dry up quickly.
Creek to the north-east of Viking Saddle about 150 mtrs down - small pools that you'll have to hunt for - will dry out soon without rain.
Tank at Barry Saddle - tank's full but treat the water.
Tank just west of the AAWT and East Riley Road junction - good water and full.
Tank on Mt Selwyn South - good water and full (nice camping too).
Soak on Twins Jeep trk at around 006014 - will dry up.
Tank on saddle west of The Twins - good water and full.
Creek across Twins Jeep trk at 053029 - looks pretty reliable.
Above 1600 metres there still a bit of snow about as well, but obviously that won't last long.

Track condition wise these were the spots that I noticed :-
The short section (maybe 500 metres) parallel a logging coupe south of Upper Thomson Road has a lot of fallen timber to climb through - it's not far but it's slow going.
Thomson River wade near campsite was mid thigh deep - there are shallower options but require an exit through blackberries.
Black River section is hard going but reasonably well defined, there are two log crossings and one knee deep wade.
The AAWT up to Skene Lookout is very overgrown with regrowth - it's easier just to use Middle Ridge Road and pick up some water on the way through.
High Cone sidle is indistinct and it's almost easier to go over the top.
Square Top has a cut and marked track over the top - the sidle looked like very hard going.
Regrowth around Mt Buggery is starting to crowd the trk in spots.
Fallen trees climbing Mt Despair are slow going.
The Razor is now as good as I've seen it (still *&%$#! hard though!)
The section from The Razor to Viking Saddle is very slow going due to regrowth and fallen trees.
The climb up the Viking is now well defined, the rope is in the chimney but the exit is blocked by a fallen tree! I climbed a buttress a couple of metres to the north of the chimney (but it's a fairly committed scramble), apparently the next gully to the south is a bit easier.
The descent to Barry Saddle off the Viking is reasonably well defined with track markers and tape, just don't miss the spot where you drop down the steep gully through the cliff line - if you don't see any signs of a route for awhile retrace until you find a clue.
Selwyn Track between Van Dammes trk and East Riley Road is overgrown and fairly slow going.
The track off Mt Selwyn is also slow going with regrowth - particularly lower down.
Twins trk from Murrays Hut site has a lot of fallen timber and regrowth.

Overall I'd say that the Walhalla to Mt Hotham section is in reasonably good condition, it was better than I feared it may have been :D
Last edited by bigkev on Sun 05 Nov, 2017 5:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: AAWT between Walhalla, Howitt and Hotham

Postby Dreamer » Sun 05 Nov, 2017 7:30 am

Spectacular update on conditions, thanks Kev! I hope I catch you in Thredbo...I owe you a beer or 2.
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Re: AAWT between Walhalla, Howitt and Hotham

Postby DavidB » Sun 05 Nov, 2017 8:21 am

Thanks for the update Big Kev. This is really useful info for me and 2 others as we head off from Walhalla on Nov 24 bound for Mt Hotham. All the best for the rest of your trip.
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Re: AAWT between Walhalla, Howitt and Hotham

Postby AWTtrekker » Tue 07 Nov, 2017 7:15 am

for anyone not wanting/able to wade at the Thompson crossing we went via the dam and found our own route up to the track rather than bush bashing along the creek edge, the river was quite high when we got there. Walk up the road to the eastern portal and through the gate on the right to cross the river at the foot bridge. If you then follow the river downstream across the grass you cross a small muddy creek coming in from your left(we threw some smalls logs across to help anyone coming behind us). The easiest way we found from there is to walk another 15-20 metres over one small fallen log and you will see a tree broken in half at right angles next to the creek. To the left of that spot is a side saddle which once you sidle up through the scrub at the bottom opens up to a nice climb up to meet the track at the top. It was easy going. Just follow the native cherry ballart trees up the middle.
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Re: AAWT between Walhalla, Howitt and Hotham

Postby Dreamer » Thu 09 Nov, 2017 9:06 am

Thanks for that AWTtrekker, this looks like a good option. I was planning on camping at Thompson River, but depending upon how I feel I may take this 'shortcut' across the dam & up and camp at Blue Jacket instead.
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Re: AAWT between Walhalla, Howitt and Hotham

Postby AWTtrekker » Fri 10 Nov, 2017 5:36 am

I will say that was one our hardest days. We were trashed by the time we got to Thompson. Wouldn't have wanted to walk further. The track down to the road is covered in fallen timber and it was slow going having to climb over or under large logs every few meters the whole way down. The track can also he hard to follow in places. There was a couple in there who got lost when we were there and we called to them for a while to help them get back on track.
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Re: AAWT between Walhalla, Howitt and Hotham

Postby anne3 » Sun 12 Nov, 2017 6:45 pm

Thanks Big Kev. The track from Thredbo to Tharwa will be a breeze. I didn't go over the Main Range due to unstable snow drifts, but it should be good by the time you get here. Water won't be a problem until you get to Honeysuckles but filling up there will get you to the finish line. Hope to see you out there. anne.
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Re: AAWT between Walhalla, Howitt and Hotham

Postby DavidB » Fri 17 Nov, 2017 5:27 pm

Thanks AWTrekker. A friend mentioned the bridge at the dam rather than wading the river. We'll take the bridge crossing and follow your route up the hill.
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