Mosquito Infestation at Acacia Flat Blackheath

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Mosquito Infestation at Acacia Flat Blackheath

Postby anotherwalker » Wed 28 Mar, 2012 7:01 pm

Hi guys,

Was camping at Acacia Flat on the weekend and there is a serious mosquito plague down there currently.

I have been there a couple of times before with no dramas.

This time it was crazy, mozzies everywhere. Although I wore long sleeve trousers, shirt, a head net and mosquito repellant on all exposed areas and slept inside a tent I still came back with over 50 mossie bites, most of which was from them biting me through one or even 2 layers of clothing.

So if camping there anytime soon be sure to take the repellant and maybe even a few citronella sticks cause it was crazy.

Thanks
AnotherHiker.
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Re: Mosquito Infestation at Acacia Flat Blackheath

Postby kanangra » Thu 29 Mar, 2012 11:05 am

Gee thanks for that. I was thinking of heading down there at Easter too. Not so sure now? Can you light fires down there? Wood smoke helps keep them at bay.

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Re: Mosquito Infestation at Acacia Flat Blackheath

Postby anotherwalker » Thu 29 Mar, 2012 11:56 am

Acacia Flat is a "No Fires - Fuel Stove Only" Area so unless you can make heaps of smoke from your gas/metho/fuel stove, probably not :(
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Re: Mosquito Infestation at Acacia Flat Blackheath

Postby kanangra » Thu 29 Mar, 2012 4:49 pm

Thanks for that.

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Re: Mosquito Infestation at Acacia Flat Blackheath

Postby Greenie » Thu 29 Mar, 2012 7:12 pm

For a "No Fires - Fuel Stove Only" area, there certainly is a number of fire pits. Some look like they are used by large groups. It would be very sad if a fire broke out there.
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Re: Mosquito Infestation at Acacia Flat Blackheath

Postby melinda » Thu 29 Mar, 2012 9:47 pm

Kanangra,
There is a nice little campsite not too far upstream from the Govetts Creek / Grose junction that appears to be outside of the Fuel Stove Only area.
People light fires here.
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Re: Mosquito Infestation at Acacia Flat Blackheath

Postby kanangra » Fri 30 Mar, 2012 7:03 am

Melinda thanks for that. I think i know where you mean too. I will camp there instead.

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Re: Mosquito Infestation at Acacia Flat Blackheath

Postby FatCanyoner » Mon 02 Apr, 2012 9:58 am

I've spoken to a few people who have done overnight walks in the Grose during the last month or so. All have mentioned an unusually high number of mozzies, and more leeches too. I suppose that's just one of many downsides of two wet summers in a row.
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Re: Mosquito Infestation at Acacia Flat Blackheath

Postby kanangra » Tue 10 Apr, 2012 7:51 am

Did the wark in as planned on Sunday/ Monday. Took 8 others, ranging in age from 23 up to me. :( Took Melinda's suggestion and camped at Little Blue Gum so we could have a fire. Took tents as well but in the end the mozzies weren't too bad at all. Spotted a big eel and platypus in the creek just below the camp. Around 7:30 a young Italian woman appeared out of the gloom saying that she couldn't get her fire going and could we help. Well could we help! The thunderstorm had made everything very wet. She was soon sorted. :? Next morning we walked down to the Blue Gum Forest and then up to Lockley's Pylon. Great views up there. Lunch back at camp before the climb out. The youngest guys were the slowest. One took a full hour 45 mins longer! and that was after I went half way back down to relieve him of his pack :x Too much time in front of the computer playing video games I suspect.

K.

PS I lost my sunnies in some scrub on the other side of Govetts Ck as I was climbing up the side of the hill looking for the Lockley Pylon track. :oops:
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Re: Mosquito Infestation at Acacia Flat Blackheath

Postby troy8880 » Thu 28 Mar, 2013 1:50 pm

Where is the little bluegum campsite? The last time I was at acacia flat was the mid nineties and I am sure we had a fire. Am going there next weekend so I would really like to know.
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Re: Mosquito Infestation at Acacia Flat Blackheath

Postby kanangra » Thu 28 Mar, 2013 1:59 pm

It's upsteam on the southern bank of the Grose river before the BGF.

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Re: Mosquito Infestation at Acacia Flat Blackheath

Postby troy8880 » Thu 28 Mar, 2013 8:06 pm

Is that upstream from bluegum forest or acacia flat? And on the opposite side of the river I assume.
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Re: Mosquito Infestation at Acacia Flat Blackheath

Postby FatCanyoner » Thu 28 Mar, 2013 8:34 pm

Little Blue Gum is marked on the topo map.
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Re: Mosquito Infestation at Acacia Flat Blackheath

Postby troy8880 » Fri 29 Mar, 2013 3:27 pm

Ahh ok thanks. I am going next week to get katoomba and mount wilson topo maps.
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Re: Mosquito Infestation at Acacia Flat Blackheath

Postby Webguy » Wed 03 Apr, 2013 8:22 am

kanangra wrote:
PS I lost my sunnies in some scrub on the other side of Govetts Ck as I was climbing up the side of the hill looking for the Lockley Pylon track. :oops:


When we did the walk out this way last year, never had an issue finding the track? Cross the log/tree, turn left, follow track...
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Re: Mosquito Infestation at Acacia Flat Blackheath

Postby troy8880 » Mon 08 Apr, 2013 8:46 am

Camped at Acacia flat in Saturday night and the mozzies were of plague proportions. The track from junction rock is in a bit of a state also after the floods a few weeks back.
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Re: Mosquito Infestation at Acacia Flat Blackheath

Postby Solohike74 » Mon 20 May, 2013 11:07 am

Spent a night there last week, was a clear night too, hardly encountered any. There is wildlife hanging around campsites at night, and tarp campers would do well to store food securely.
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Re: Mosquito Infestation at Acacia Flat Blackheath

Postby FatCanyoner » Mon 20 May, 2013 7:50 pm

Solohike74 wrote:There is wildlife hanging around campsites at night, and tarp campers would do well to store food securely.


I think this is good advice anywhere (whether or not you use a tarp or tent). I keep my food in a dry bag. It isn't particularly thick, but it stops the animals smelling it. I've seen bush rats chew through canvas to access food at an extremely remote camp, so figure leaving it around at places where more people go (and leave food out) is just tempting fate. Unless you want your dishes washed for you that is!
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Re: Mosquito Infestation at Acacia Flat Blackheath

Postby LizbetJoy » Thu 27 Mar, 2014 7:36 am

How far is the walk from the car to the camping ground? My partner and I want to go in 2 weeks and we're trying to find a spot that isn't over run by families.
Thank you!
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Re: Mosquito Infestation at Acacia Flat Blackheath

Postby johnw » Thu 27 Mar, 2014 1:25 pm

LizbetJoy wrote:How far is the walk from the car to the camping ground? My partner and I want to go in 2 weeks and we're trying to find a spot that isn't over run by families.
Thank you!

The shortest way is going in from Perrys Lookdown. It's about 2.5 kms to Acacia Flat (from memory). It's also a ~6oo metre vertical descent over the first 2 kms of that distance on a well used, but fairly steep and eroded track. Suggestion to keep that in mind when you pack for the trip. I've done it many times, both camping and day trips, and my knees always thank me when it's over :). That said, you many still get an occasional family down there. Mostly they tend to car camp at Perrys. What you can get is a lot of people, backpackers etc on weekends. The quietest experience would be during the week. I've walked out on a Monday a few times and people are a rare species then. A less steep but much longer walk in is via the (unmaintained) Horse Track starting from Evans Lookout. That is a favourite of mine but you can also enter the valley via the (also longer and steep, but great views) Govetts Leap track, which starts about 500m from the park visitor centre. Other routes from Victoria Falls and Pierces Pass are currently closed due to bushfire damage.
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Re: Mosquito Infestation at Acacia Flat Blackheath

Postby DaveNoble » Thu 27 Mar, 2014 9:04 pm

LizbetJoy wrote:How far is the walk from the car to the camping ground? My partner and I want to go in 2 weeks and we're trying to find a spot that isn't over run by families.
Thank you!


Or you can walk in from the Mt Hay Road (north of Leura) via Lockleys Pylon - about an hour from the trail head to the Pylon and then another hour or so down to Blue Gum Forest. Cross Govetts Ck on a log, walk upstream a short way - and then find the track again. Then another 10 minutes to Acacia Flat. This route is very scenic.

Other routes are via Govetts Leap or From Evans Lookout via the (lower) Grand Canyon and Beauchamp Falls (more scenic than the Horse Track).

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Re: Mosquito Infestation at Acacia Flat Blackheath

Postby pugwombat » Mon 19 May, 2014 12:29 pm

Was just there on Thursday and Friday last week. We walked in from Evans Lookout. A section of the track has been obscured by a rock fall along Greaves Creek. There were very few people using the trail, and not many of those were camping. I saw one solitary mosquito, and it wasn't much interested in feeding.

I was expecting to see fish or other aquatic creatures in Govetts Creek, but saw nothing. Is this usual? My paranoid camping companion saw it as a sign of toxic runoff from the towns on the escarpment. We filtered the water and UV treated it as well, to reassure him.

Lockley Track is pretty spectacular. It must have been a feat to find the route down the escarpment, and then to chip the steps into the rock. Pretty country indeed. Pity I miscalculated how far it was along Mount Hay Road back to Leura.... but we slogged along and finally got to the bitumen, where a taxi miraculously appeared. Life is good! Knees less so.
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Re: Mosquito Infestation at Acacia Flat Blackheath

Postby GPSGuided » Mon 19 May, 2014 12:42 pm

We went down to Acacia Flat a few weeks ago via Perry's Lookdown and walked around the Blue Gum Forest and Govetts Creek. Didn't look hard for fish but came across a frog. There were a few big mozzies but we were out of there before sunset and may not have met the worst of them. My understanding is that the contamination around that part isn't so much biological but chemical, so UV and filters don't really help. Yet again, for a day or two, not enough to do any harm of note. If to be believed, frog prevalence is a good indicator of environmental condition.

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Re: Mosquito Infestation at Acacia Flat Blackheath

Postby mattburga » Sun 21 Sep, 2014 11:06 pm

Thursday/Friday walked from Govetts Leap as per these notes http://bushwalkingnsw.com/walk.php?nid=224

Underestimated my level of fitness, the steepness really took it's toll on day 2 heading up. I've been hobbling ever since.

Only two others campers at Acacia Flat, they camped over in the separate section to me, closer to a Blue Gum Forest. One of them was about to stash a bag of rubbish in the pit toilet hut when I startled him by walking past. He quickly turned around to hide what he was doing.

Great spot, not really keen to do it again though with how much it knocked my knees around.
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Re: Mosquito Infestation at Acacia Flat Blackheath

Postby ribuck » Wed 05 Apr, 2017 7:37 pm

Went from Pierces Pass to Acacia Flat and return, yesterday and today, camping overnight. There was no-one else at Acacia Flat. But, as others have commented, the mosquitoes were swarming. Something is out of balance here (but I don't know what normally keeps mosquito numbers in check). The mosquitoes were equally numerous at Blue Gum Forest too.

The previous time I did this trip was 30 years ago, but I did it plenty of times in the 1970s and 1980s, and I don't remember mosquitoes ever being a problem. Nor were there leeches in the 1970s, though they moved in around the early 1980s.

The area changed after the authorities killed the brumbies. No longer is the grass short, like a meadow. Now it's long, and retains a lot of moisture after rain. I wonder whether that is what encourages the mozzies.
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Re: Mosquito Infestation at Acacia Flat Blackheath

Postby Chunder fuzz » Wed 05 Apr, 2017 8:16 pm

Frogs and fish usually eat the mosquito larvae I think, were there any frogs/fish in the creeks/rivers 30-40 years ago?
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Re: Mosquito Infestation at Acacia Flat Blackheath

Postby ribuck » Thu 06 Apr, 2017 8:54 am

Chunder fuzz wrote:Frogs and fish usually eat the mosquito larvae I think, were there any frogs/fish in the creeks/rivers 30-40 years ago?

Good point. I don't recall seeing frogs or fish back then, but in my youth I was paying more attention to adventure than to nature.

It occurs to me that a significant change is that Blackheath sewage is no longer discharged into Hat Hill Creek, a tributary of the Grose.
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Re: Mosquito Infestation at Acacia Flat Blackheath

Postby michael_p » Thu 06 Apr, 2017 9:04 am

Useful report from Catalyst (vale) about mine pollution in the Grose River: http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/2331597.htm

Worth noting that the sewerage plant in Blackheath (or Bleakheath if you have been there mid-winter) is long gone. This may (as reported in the video) have caused the levels of metals in the river to go up and disrupt the natural systems further.

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Re: Mosquito Infestation at Acacia Flat Blackheath

Postby ribuck » Thu 06 Apr, 2017 10:51 am

Thanks michael_p, that's an interesting and informative article.

I was interested to read that the zinc coming out of the mine is 500 micrograms per litre. Since the daily zinc limit for humans is around 4 MILLIgrams, this confirms that bushwalkers will not ingest harmful levels of zinc by drinking a few litres per day of mine water (and of course it is much diluted by the time it gets to the part of the Grose that we drink from).

As for the mosquitoes, that's not directly addressed by the article, but the article does make it clear that something is out of balance in the Grose ecosystem.
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