AAWT between Hotham, Omeo Hwy, and Thredbo

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

AAWT between Hotham, Omeo Hwy, and Thredbo

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

These three stickies are for AAWT facts, no discussion, please.
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Re: AAWT between Hotham, Omeo Hwy, and Thredbo

Postby Solohike74 » Wed 02 Dec, 2015 12:55 pm

When you leave the crossing at Big River there is generally no water until you approach the track intersection not far from Cleve Cole Hut. There are stones in the riverbed at the Big River Crossing.
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Re: Maps around the NSW-Vic border

Postby Mark F » Sat 12 Dec, 2015 2:38 pm

There are two excellent side trips in the border area, The Pilot - Little Pilot in NSW and the Cobberas in Victoria. I am looking at the feasibility of doing the Little Pilot - Pilot - Forest Hill Cairn - Source of the Murray - Cowombat Flat on a AAWT trip next year.

I have just been looking at the mapping for this area and offer the following comments. Background - I like 1:50k maps for tracked areas but happier with 1:25K for untracked sections. I prefer to buy GeoPDF maps which are now available for most states and print sections that I need. I also have the GeoPDF maps on my phone which I tend to use when walking using the free Avenza PDF Map app with paper maps for backup.

The area of interest, from the Little Pilot - Pilot saddle south to the border, is covered on the NSW Suggan Buggan 1:50k map but it does not usefully extend into Victoria apart from contours so not useful once across the Murray but is available in GeoPDF form. A far better map is the Victorian 1:25K 8524-3-N Cobberas North sheet which covers from the saddle between Little Pilot and the Pilot, the Cobberas and the AAWT right through to Buckwong Creek - I gather GeoPDF only?. This area is also covered in full on the Victorian 1:50K sheet 8524-S Willis (print only) but this sheet covers no additional parts of the AAWT compared to the 1:25k sheet and is only available as a printed map. Both these maps still show the original alignment of the AAWT which has been extensively changed in this area.

The missing section from the firetrail up to Little Pilot is less than 1km and is on the NSW 1:25K Davies Plains sheet (GeoPDF and paper) but to reach Dead Horse Gap requires 3 more 1:25K sheets. Somewhat better is the Victorian 1:50K 8524-n Tom Groggin sheet (print only) which covers the whole route from Dead Horse Gap south to Little Pilot.

Given the problems with obtaining 1:50K maps for NSW I am thinking about using the nswtopo script to produce a series of 1:50K GeoPDF maps that cover the the AAWT from Tharwa to the border - 11 sheets that can be printed on A3 paper making them accessible in either print or electronic form. Any thoughts or suggestions are welcome.
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Re: AAWT between Hotham, Omeo Hwy, and Thredbo

Postby jobell » Wed 06 Apr, 2016 10:02 pm

The creek one km south down the Corryong Benambra Rd from where the AAWT crosses the road is currently dry. If heading north make sure you fill up at Morass Creek before coming up to the road.

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Re: AAWT between Hotham, Omeo Hwy, and Thredbo

Postby north-north-west » Thu 07 Apr, 2016 1:03 pm

jobell wrote:The creek one km south down the Corryong Benambra Rd from where the AAWT crosses the road is currently dry. If heading north make sure you fill up at Morass Creek before coming up to the road.

And make sure you treat that water. Morass drains a lot of farmland and it's one very few places where you really do have to.
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Re: AAWT between Hotham, Omeo Hwy, and Thredbo

Postby Xplora » Fri 04 Nov, 2016 5:01 am

The Long Spur from Big River fire trail has many trees down on the vehicle part. We attempted a drive up it yesterday and after clearing several trees and half way through another big tree I looked up the track to see more. This lot would make walking through it impossible and would have taken an hour or more to clear. We had not even made 2km. I was talking with some blokes from DELWP a while back who said they are going to do some work on it with machinery this year so I figure they can do the heavy lifting. We were going to walk in to Cleve Cole for the day and did not want to waste it clearing the track. We drove around to Mulhauser and walked in from there. The track from the junction of Mulhauser is very much overgrown for a couple of km's and I suspect it would be the same back toward Wills. Long sleeves would be the go as the scrub is up to your neck in places. We wore shorts and gaiters but long pants would stop the knees from the odd scrape. Only one bit of blackberry but some of the best native pepper I have seen. A few new trees down over the track but most are easy to get through or around. In general there is a lot of timber down but it should not slow you down in the general scheme of things. Just take note of the track direction before the log jamb and pick it up after. Not many track markers until you get closer to the pole line. Still some snow on Bogong and we came across it just over 1700m but it was thin and not a problem. I could see most of the ridge lines up top were clear but walking is wet from 1700m. I suspect the crossing at the bottom of T spur will be passable soon given the river height at Joker is only 200mm above the usual summer flow. No word on the chain being repaired but I would doubt it has this early.
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Re: AAWT between Hotham, Omeo Hwy, and Thredbo

Postby dashandsaph » Sun 08 Jan, 2017 6:51 pm

Although there is no water at Sunnyside (where the AAWT meets the Omeo Highway) there is what appears to be all year water 1.5km west along the highway to the first switchback bend - easy road bash, or about 600m down the gully at Sunnyside - less reliable.
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Re: AAWT between Hotham, Omeo Hwy, and Thredbo

Postby Lophophaps » Mon 16 Jan, 2017 8:08 am

AAWT (more or less) Thredbo-Bogong

Between Cascade and Tin Mine Huts the Cascade Trail is an easy way for feral horses to get from A to B. One party camped on the trail and was nearly wiped by feral horses at night. It's best to camp elsewhere.

The route to Little Pilot and The Pilot from about 088353 is mainly in light scrub, becoming more open with altitude. The descent south from The Pilot is easy at first, if steep in a few places. As one gets lower progress becomes quite slow due to the scrub. Allow time to reach the Black and Allen cairn and the source of the Murray.

Like other parts of the AAWT, the track descending to Stony Creek is a little vague in places. The first creek should be running most of the time. Stony Creek is sometimes underground, and the track is sometimes well away from the creek with too many short ascents and descents. In a few places there are several tracks at the creek, and care is needed.

The track above Dead Horse Creek is well defined, but fallen timber and feral horse tracks confuse things somewhat. Once Dead Horse Creek is crossed the track is easy to follow ... mainly. It went up the gully north-west of the Chapman alignment, then west and up quite steeply.

From Misery Trail the track went north-west to Buckwong Creek. This is reasonably well defined, but at the bottom there are clearings with animal tracks all over the place. Just keep going down the clearings. The campsite on the creek 800 metres west of Buckwong Hut is soggy; find a high spot.

I could not see any AAWT markers on the Mt Hope Road loop, and walked down the road. The foot track to Buenba Hut site is reasonably well defined. North bound it may be hard to hit the end of the short road leading to the plain, and I'd take the road to the east.

The section to Corner Creek has light scrub and easy navigation, with a track coming and going. I lost the track just short of Corner Creek, and eventually found three markers close to each other - and no track. From here I went in medium scrub fro a few minutes to the foot of the spur, and up steeply for 10 minutes till I found the track. The steepness continued for a while.

The first part of the track from Turnback Creek Track is easy to follow. From about 655283 there were places where it was hard to follow, notably over talus. Below this it was well defined.

The Morass Creek crossing is a PITA - slimy rocks, crook water and quite wide. The west side has too many prickles.

The descent from Wombat Divide Track is slightly overgrown in places. Gill Creek is unsuited for camping - too small, no toilet areas. The ascent to the Omeo Highway starts off as a good foot track and then becomes a good closed 4WD track.

I stopped at Glen Wills Retreat, http://www.glenwills.com/, 40 minutes towards Omeo, recommended. Gordy had my food drop, which made the pack lighter at Thredbo.

The climb to Mt Wills South is mostly easy to follow. Old logging roads confuse things in places. From Mt Wills South the track is well defined.

The descent to Big Saddle is a tad overgrown in places. The old 4WD track at the start of Long Spur has too many logs over it. When the 4WD track ends the foot track is overgrown in many places with waist- and chest-high scrub. This needs cutting back and Parks Victoria are aware of the matter. It was nice to top out at Bossiaea Hill - no more scrub. This was the day after the Melbourne deluge, and local rain gauges recorded 100 mm of rain, most of which fell on me. Johnnies Top and Long Spur were the hardest days.
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Re: AAWT between Hotham, Omeo Hwy, and Thredbo

Postby north-north-west » Mon 16 Jan, 2017 2:14 pm

Lophophaps wrote:I could not see any AAWT markers on the Mt Hope Road loop, and walked down the road.

When I was last there, there was a tree with arrows painted on it. Quite obvious if you knew the track turned off in the vicinity.
The foot track to Buenba Hut site is reasonably well defined. North bound it may be hard to hit the end of the short road leading to the plain, and I'd take the road to the east..

There were triangular markers on the plain and, once reaching the Buenba Rd, you cross and follow the most obvious foot/brumby traffic. Maybe it's a bit more overgrown now, but I never had difficulty picking it up.
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Re: AAWT between Hotham, Omeo Hwy, and Thredbo

Postby north-north-west » Tue 17 Jan, 2017 6:24 pm

Further to the turnoff from the Mt Hope Rd for southbound walkers, it's right at the start of the hairpin at the northernmost point of the road.
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Re: AAWT between Hotham, Omeo Hwy, and Thredbo

Postby gbedford » Fri 20 Jan, 2017 8:35 am

Ha ha Steve,
We knew you were climbing up the Long Spur through all that scrub in the pouring rain. The thought of your struggle kept us amused as we had descended it the day before. It was like being in a car wash.

A couple of comments. The Gill Creek camp site is not that bad but small. Heading North from Buenba hut site we didn't find any markers in the long grass. Finding the track on the other side of Buenba road was a bit tricky. There were no markers until some distance into the bush and a vague track at the start. Maybe a tree has fallen down bu I didn't notice.

A couple of the tracks are poorly designed; just straight up and down with no zig zag contouring. The initial steep section out of Buenba creek up to Johnnies Top and the section above Dead Horse Creek towards Macs Spur track. Fortunately we came down those but you went up. Basically it is lazy track setting which does not meet the Parks usual standard.
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Re: AAWT between Hotham, Omeo Hwy, and Thredbo

Postby shankspony » Wed 01 Feb, 2017 12:44 pm

Maddisons Hut Site to Big River Saddle seems to be listed in most places as being 12.5km long, but two of us clocked it as being about 14.7km (via Garmin's) - probably due to lots of short wiggles in the path as it weaves around the shrubs on the western section of The Long Spur. It also takes a bit longer than you'd expect, due to being overgrown and having sections of fallen trees.
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Re: AAWT between Hotham, Omeo Hwy, and Thredbo

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Tue 28 Feb, 2017 10:01 am

A volunteer is clearing the AAWT from Big River Saddle to CC hut. He is a saint :) . If you see Steve , a middle aged chap with a chainsaw in one hand and a container of fuel in the other , introduce yourself and promise to buy him a drink at the Mitta Mitta pub.
If this work is completed before Easter 2017 then I will walk this section next Summer in the Dec- March 2018 period for sure.
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Re: AAWT between Hotham, Omeo Hwy, and Thredbo

Postby neilmny » Tue 28 Feb, 2017 6:04 pm

paidal_chalne_vala wrote:...........He is a saint :) . If you see Steve , a middle aged chap with a chainsaw in one hand and a container of fuel in the other , introduce yourself and promise to buy him a drink at the Mitta Mitta pub............


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Re: AAWT between Hotham, Omeo Hwy, and Thredbo

Postby madmacca » Tue 28 Feb, 2017 7:17 pm

paidal_chalne_vala wrote:A volunteer is clearing the AAWT from Big River Saddle to CC hut. He is a saint :) . If you see Steve , a middle aged chap with a chainsaw in one hand and a container of fuel in the other , introduce yourself and promise to buy him a drink at the Mitta Mitta pub.
If this work is completed before Easter 2017 then I will walk this section next Summer in the Dec- March 2018 period for sure.


A couple of years since I did this section, but as I recall, there was a LOT of deadfall. Might need a whole tanker of fuel behind him. :D

Thanks Steve!
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Re: AAWT between Hotham, Omeo Hwy, and Thredbo

Postby Xplora » Thu 02 Mar, 2017 6:47 am

We started clearing it after winter last year and with the saw half way through a huge tree I looked up and saw another 3 not much further along and most of them were the crowns. That was still on the road section and did not have enough time to get through them all and get to Cleve Cole. We were not far from the Big River log road so no doubt it would get worse. The year before we were able to drive all the way to the single track. I was told by DELWP they were going to do some clearing on the road section but not sure if that happened but they do clear the road part of the track often enough. As for the single track, I don't really see what the problem is. It is not like 'pick up sticks' all the way but the scrub on the side has grown tall and overhangs the track in a few spots. We are bushwalking after all and what is wrong with the odd climb over a log and a rubbing shoulders with a bit of scrub. Are people getting soft? Might as well pave it then put in hand rails, steps and seats. Most of the large dead fall in the more open section has a track around it now but I can see the value of clearing a tree if there is no way around it. The track was cleared not long ago from Cleve Cole to around 2km east of Bossiaea hill (spelt Bossiaead on some maps but named after the vegetation). Along the track are some of the best Tasmania lanceolata (Winteraceae Family) or Mountain Pepper. A few leaves cut up and cooked in your dinner is quite nice.
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Re: AAWT between Hotham, Omeo Hwy, and Thredbo

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Wed 26 Apr, 2017 10:47 pm

Ubi. Steve has cleared the track from Mt. Wills to CC hut.He has installed picnic tables all along the route too! The powers that be have sent in a bulldozer to clear the jeep track from Big River saddle to the start of the hiking only section of Long Spur.
I am definitely walking this section next green season( Jan. 2018) from Mt. Wills hut to CC hut and back with a day or two spare to visit Summit west and Howman's falls.
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Re: AAWT between Hotham, Omeo Hwy, and Thredbo

Postby Xplora » Thu 27 Apr, 2017 5:48 am

paidal_chalne_vala wrote:Ubi. Steve has cleared the track from Mt. Wills to CC hut.He has installed picnic tables all along the route too! The powers that be have sent in a bulldozer to clear the jeep track from Big River saddle to the start of the hiking only section of Long Spur.

It has been cleared of fallen timber but is still quite overgrown with scrub foliage to the point it is hard to see your feet on the track at times. It is easy enough to push through but after rain you will get quite wet unless you wear wet weathers. The scrub is not constant but starts at the end of the 4wd track and continues on an off for a quite a few kms. It had already been extensively cleared for some distance east of Bossiaea hill by a member of the Bogong Club but they stopped short of Mulhauser by a couple of kms.

I know picnic tables are Steve's thing but personally I would prefer them only at the trail heads or car parks. Along the tracks seems to spoil that feeling I get from walking in the bush. Another reminder that civilisation is not far away. Perhaps the bulldozer should keep going and make a road of it all the way and then we can install carved stone rest stops, toilets and luxury accommodation for those who feel the going is too rough.

Pick up sticks is not fun but then again we are bush walking and a bit of fallen timber to get around (or over) every now and then is not so much of an inconvenience. I walked it before Steve cleared it and there was little to complain about. It will make it easier for those who ski in from Mulhauser spur though when the snow is low enough. The 4wd track to the start of the long spur walking track, although not closed in winter, is not one to be driven when wet or snowy.
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Re: AAWT between Hotham, Omeo Hwy, and Thredbo

Postby onward » Thu 27 Apr, 2017 10:03 am

It has been cleared of fallen timber but is still quite overgrown with scrub foliage to the point it is hard to see your feet on the track at times. It is easy enough to push through but after rain you will get quite wet unless you wear wet weathers. The scrub is not constant but starts at the end of the 4wd track and continues on an off for a quite a few kms. It had already been extensively cleared for some distance east of Bossiaea hill by a member of the Bogong Club but they stopped short of Mulhauser by a couple of kms.


Yep quite a bit of scrub and with snow on it like a couple of weeks ago it bends down and pushing through wet and snowy scrub is not fun even with wet weather gear.

I know picnic tables are Steve's thing but personally I would prefer them only at the trail heads or car parks. Along the tracks seems to spoil that feeling I get from walking in the bush


When I came across the picnic tables along this spur I thought it must have been via some mad government grant, I can't imagine who would use them for what! The money would have been better spent on track maintenance.
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Re: AAWT between Hotham, Omeo Hwy, and Thredbo

Postby Lophophaps » Thu 27 Apr, 2017 10:51 am

Can someone please advise of the approximate locations of the picnic tables? Thanks.
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Re: AAWT between Hotham, Omeo Hwy, and Thredbo

Postby onward » Thu 27 Apr, 2017 2:26 pm

One where the 4x4 tracks ends (small area you could camp if you had water) 55 H 535505 5931623
2nd one at 55 H 535017 5931963
3rd one I didn't log, just shook my head, but if I was going to guess around 55 H 534355 5932254
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Re: AAWT between Hotham, Omeo Hwy, and Thredbo

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Thu 27 Apr, 2017 7:35 pm

I think Ubi. Steve also has put a picnic table on Mulhuaser spur, one near Bosseia hill and one somewhere near Mt. Wills. He does a good job clearing tracks and resupplying huts with firewood,so I can't complain. However there is something comic about his make picnic tables not war :) kind of mission. It is somewhat obsessive and requires a large amount of time and hard work. Some of them , I am led to understand, were carried in by him , in pieces on his back in places where his 4 WD vehicle was not able to reach.
He has oiled some of them too.
I will investigate the whole Mt. Wills to CC hut route in Jan. 2018 and report back.
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Re: AAWT between Hotham, Omeo Hwy, and Thredbo

Postby Xplora » Sun 30 Apr, 2017 9:08 am

onward wrote:One where the 4x4 tracks ends (small area you could camp if you had water) 55 H 535505 5931623
2nd one at 55 H 535017 5931963
3rd one I didn't log, just shook my head, but if I was going to guess around 55 H 534355 5932254


If he keeps going with this then we should be able to stop for a picnic every half hour. I understand it may be cathartic for him but there is a limit. Steve does not take well to his work or intentions being questioned. I also thought he kept his tables outside park boundaries so to not fall foul of PV. To clear the Long Spur of brush would require a good petrol hedge trimmer. The worst of it is not in the NP and the NP boundary sign does not appear to align with the maps (it has been placed east of the map boundary line). If anyone was interested in doing this then I could arrange support and transport but I do not have a hedge trimmer. This would be a project for Spring or early Summer as it is likely too late in the season.
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Re: AAWT between Hotham, Omeo Hwy, and Thredbo

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Sun 30 Apr, 2017 9:44 am

Ubi. Steve put a picnic table at the Diamantina Horse Yards. That is inside the Alpine Nat. park boundaries , is it not?. The other one near Bossiea Hill on the approach to CC hut from the T spur junction on the AAWT is inside the Alpine N.P. too.
The rest of them are in state forests etc.
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Re: AAWT between Hotham, Omeo Hwy, and Thredbo

Postby Lophophaps » Sun 30 Apr, 2017 12:26 pm

I'm struggling to see the wisdom in having picnic tables in remote regions. Picnic tables are out of place when they are away from roads that are open to the public. Effort would have been better spent clearing trcaks of logs and scrub. Another option is to put angled diversions for water, thus minimising the effects of erosion. It does not matter if it's a national or state park - PV needs to be asked.

Many have been opposing the Falls-Hotham walk as an intrusion into wild areas. Picnic tables on Long Spur weaken our case.
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Re: AAWT between Hotham, Omeo Hwy, and Thredbo

Postby north-north-west » Sun 30 Apr, 2017 2:23 pm

Bossieia Hill is a weird place for a picnic table anyway. Do you mean near the top of the hill where the track turns to the east to start the run down Long Spur after climbing up from Maddisons? It's hardly daytripper territory, and most people who have a break on that leg will do it at Maddisons.
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Re: AAWT between Hotham, Omeo Hwy, and Thredbo

Postby neilmny » Sun 30 Apr, 2017 2:31 pm

onward wrote:One where the 4x4 tracks ends (small area you could camp if you had water) 55 H 535505 5931623
2nd one at 55 H 535017 5931963
3rd one I didn't log, just shook my head, but if I was going to guess around 55 H 534355 5932254


None of these coordinates are inside the boundary of the ANP all are in state forest.

table locations.png


Boundary (green area) is to up to date Vic spatial data
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Re: AAWT between Hotham, Omeo Hwy, and Thredbo

Postby Xplora » Mon 01 May, 2017 4:46 am

Lophophaps wrote:I'm struggling to see the wisdom in having picnic tables in remote regions. Picnic tables are out of place when they are away from roads that are open to the public. Effort would have been better spent clearing tracks of logs and scrub. Another option is to put angled diversions for water, thus minimising the effects of erosion. It does not matter if it's a national or state park - PV needs to be asked.

Many have been opposing the Falls-Hotham walk as an intrusion into wild areas. Picnic tables on Long Spur weaken our case.


I totally agree. Outside of the park then PV have no say (unless heritage area) and I do not know the position of DWELP but asking the land manager would be sensible. I do know you are not supposed to be using a chainsaw to clear tracks in the park without permission but I doubt they would be concerned about that aspect of Steve's work. My previous comment about bulldozing the entire track was a back handed and sarcastic reference to some ambiguity I have noticed from other comments on this forum and elsewhere. I am not sure the placement of picnic tables on the long spur will weaken our case for the FHAC but when you have someone opposing such development placing picnic tables every couple of kms on a walking track that is supposed to be remote then I too struggle to see the wisdom. It is not for us to tell others how to use their time but I can see the expense and effort would have been better placed as few who walk the track will want them there. On the whole the work Steve does is appreciated. He can put up as many tables as he likes, just not on walking tracks please.
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