Wilson's Prom Northern Circuit Jan 2014

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Wilson's Prom Northern Circuit Jan 2014

Postby jickham » Thu 16 Jan, 2014 9:53 am

Hey guys,

Just completed the Northern Circuit in 3 nights / 4 days. It was meant to be 4 nights / 5 days but the flies and heat and mozzies were so relentless I'd had enough by yesterday afternoon and decided to walk the last 6km of management trail - into the sunset from dramatic effect.

First day / night. Began walking at around 2pm from Five Mile Road Carpark. Took me 3 hours to arrive to West Barry Creek Camp. The track to West Barry Creek Campsite is good for most the way. I found it difficult to follow the track for the last km or so, I don't believe it has been tagged for a while and there isn't always a marker to lead you in the exact direction so you are left navigating to the campsite yourself. Since the creek drops down about 20 meters it's difficult to see the campsite from the top of the ridge. Barry creek is still running moderately, but there are a few stale pools of water so do what you have to do to drink safely. Campsite is nice amongst the trees, lots of mozzies at night which are always keen for a human to feast on.

Second day / night: Chinaman Swamp / Chinaman Long Beach: This day was interesting! Out of West Barry Creek Campsite the path is easy to follow once you hit the swamp / lowland area. It is relatively dry but there are pockets of track where you'll be up to your shins in water. I could imagine in the wetter months you could be much deeper! Don't rely on navigation markers. I was using my GPS and Map and still found myself at times stopping every few meters and backtracking just to find a way through. According to the wildlife officer down there the track was re-tagged 3-4 months ago. I couldn't follow any path (which he reassured me it is very difficult to even find it), so a lot of swamp bashing, and bush bashing is required. Fallen trees, overgrown bushes, heavy water logged boots, I found myself following a track which turned into a game trail, and ended up just walking in the direction of the beach with occasional reference to map to make sure I wasn't going in the wrong direction.
By the time I reached Chinaman Long Beach the walking obviously becomes much easier, but the flies were relentless. The 1.8km path from the beach to Tin Mine Cove in parts is heavily overgrown, but there shouldn't be any issues. Tin Mine Cover water supply is down to a very small stream, without rain in the next week or so I wouldn't be relying on water being there. Lovely sunset on the rocks.

Third day / Night: Walking from Tin Mine Cove to Johnny Souey Campsite: All straight forward. Track going from the Chinaman Long Beach to Three Mile Beach is well defined, some parts of the old 4WD Track are heavily overgrown but still easy to follow. Bumped into my first brown snake there, he was startled to see me and slithered away in a fast and efficient manner. Three Mile Beach is as you would expect, beautiful beach with rolling waves, only issue I had today was the overland pass before Johnny Souey Beach, struggled to find path but managed to work my way through to Johnny Souey. Johnny Souey Campground water stream is down to a trickle, again, without significant rain I would not be relying on this water source in the next couple of weeks or so - there is also another creek maybe 100m up from the campsite on the beach, but I am not sure if that it is fresh water or salt water from high tide because I didn't check.

Final Day: Track from Johnny Souey to Five Mile Beach is well marked and easy to follow, only one creek crossing which at low tide is very easy to pass. Biggest challenge today was the temperature and flies. I began walking at 6AM and arrived at Barry Creek at 11:30AM. After lying in my tent throughout the heat of the day to avoid flies, I decided to walk the last 6km and go home at around 6:30pm. I had had enough of the flies, mozzies, and drinking half my body weight in water to maintain hydrated.

If anyone has any specific questions about the track feel free to ask and I'll try and answer :)

Things I learnt. Don't underestimate the environment, don't overestimate your ability, always take too much water, don't wear shorts or a t-shirt, pants and a shirt will go a long way... and ask yourself what you learnt at the end of every day :). I many more things but this is a trip report, not an article on the spiritual self.

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Re: Wilson's Prom Northern Circuit Jan 2014

Postby dplanet » Thu 16 Jan, 2014 10:26 pm

Excellent report. Thank you. Your experience was the same as I had encountered some years ago, specially around the Chinaman Swamp. Have thought of a revisit, but Park recently introduced a permit application and this has turned me down.

Just going through parks website and from my understanding, at present there is a permit box at Five Mile Road Carpark, but it is for the return trip only.
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Re: Wilson's Prom Northern Circuit Jan 2014

Postby jickham » Fri 17 Jan, 2014 5:08 pm

dplanet wrote:Excellent report. Thank you. Your experience was the same as I had encountered some years ago, specially around the Chinaman Swamp. Have thought of a revisit, but Park recently introduced a permit application and this has turned me down.

Just going through parks website and from my understanding, at present there is a permit box at Five Mile Road Carpark, but it is for the return trip only.


Why did it discourage you from doing it?
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Re: Wilson's Prom Northern Circuit Jan 2014

Postby dplanet » Fri 17 Jan, 2014 6:02 pm

I would like to do it in reasonable weather conditions. I usually check a weather forecast before heading out.
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Re: Wilson's Prom Northern Circuit Jan 2014

Postby jickham » Fri 17 Jan, 2014 6:14 pm

Back in November I did 3 nights, 4 days, 1st night Five Mile Beach. Although hated the water there, couldn't find any fresh water, was really brackish... Have you stayed there? and if so, what did you do for water?
2nd night was Johnny Souey, 3rd night Barry Creek. Much more water, didn't feel that I had to treat it to be safe and the temperature was sooo much more bearable! Doing this in any warmer conditions would be a bit dangerous I think... Unless you want to be carrying 10+ liters of water with you. Maybe they'll sell powdered water one day?
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Re: Wilson's Prom Northern Circuit Jan 2014

Postby dplanet » Sat 18 Jan, 2014 1:30 pm

My first night was Barry Creek. The second was Johnny Souey, the third Tine Mine Cove, and the fourth Lower Barry. Did take time to take it in. Luckily, water was not a problem. Some purified tablets were with me; but treatment was not needed. I could manage to organize a slide show of the trip on the internet and it is expired. Still have a back-up though and will have it up running again when I have a chance to do so. Regarding dehydrated water, I also made a joke to my buddy about it on a recent walk with the need to carry all drinking and cooking water.
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Re: Wilson's Prom Northern Circuit Jan 2014

Postby walkon » Fri 14 Mar, 2014 2:16 pm

Spoke to the park rangers at tidal river and they had to get water into some hikers in the northern end of the park and rescue them recently. Apparently it was pretty dire. Ol mate Max recons that all you have to do is walk up the dry creek and dig a hole where it's wettest, if dry have a go and you'd be surprised. He's been on and around the prom for years and tough as nails. After listening to him I've decided to take two shovels, though he recons the first one (toilet) will clean up after a few digs :lol:
Cheers Walkon

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Re: Wilson's Prom Northern Circuit May 2014

Postby andrewbish » Mon 12 May, 2014 8:55 pm

Just completed an anti clockwise loop of the northern circuit over the past weekend.

First day - 2 hour evening walk to Barry Creek Camp by moonlight. Couldn't find the camp in the dark. Stumbled around in marshland for a while before camping on the roadside.

Second day - Barry Creek Camp to 5 Mile Beach then on to Lighthouse Point (3 Mile Beach), where I ran out of steam in the late arvo. Crossing the overland section to Johnny Souey was tricky and could use a few more pink ribbons. Camped on the 5 Mile Beach with the high tide coming within 5 metres. There were some large (6") bird-like footprints near a big splatter of poo. I kept a watch out for a huge, diarrhoea-ic flying creature..

Prom-5milebeah.jpg

5 Mile Beach

prom-footprints.jpg

Dems huge footprints!

Prom-beach.jpg

Near Lighthouse Point


Third day - Lighthouse Point to Lower Barry Camp. Pleasant walking through Banksia forests to Chinaman Long Beach, where I loitered a bit too long, then hit a few route-finding problems enroute to the camp, particularly the sections near Chinaman's Creek (which was dry btw). The bush and tussocks sections are both very thick for most of this section and getting lost is no fun. I went 100m off trail at one point. A quick GPS check revealed my error and I frog stomped back through waist-high undergrowth to the trail. Walked like a crazy man for the last couple of kms and made the campsite at dusk.

Prom-marshland.jpg

Thick undergrowth

Fourth day - Lower Barry Camp to the car park. Lost the track just out of the campsite. Used the compass to get back on track. Ok from there. Trail is well defined for the most part and well-placed ribbons and poles filled the gaps.
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Re: Wilson's Prom Northern Circuit Jan 2014

Postby MickyB » Wed 14 May, 2014 8:13 am

Thanks for the report andrewbish

andrewbish wrote:There were some large (6") bird-like footprints near a big splatter of poo.


The footprints look like it's from an emu. Not sure about the poo though.
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Re: Wilson's Prom Northern Circuit Jan 2014

Postby neilmny » Wed 14 May, 2014 8:19 am

Ah yes Emu good thinking MickyB I was thinking maybe the return of the DoDo bird.

Thanks for the report Andrew, nice pictures.
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Re: Wilson's Prom Northern Circuit Jan 2014

Postby andrewbish » Fri 23 May, 2014 8:34 am

Twitter: @andrewbishxplor Blog: Trails & tracks
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Re: Wilson's Prom Northern Circuit Jan 2014

Postby Bodysurfer » Sun 06 Jul, 2014 8:50 am

Heat, flies, and then at sunset the mozzies take over. Sounds like the Northern Prom hasn't changed much since I was last there about 40 years ago.
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Re: Wilson's Prom Northern Circuit Jan 2014

Postby dplanet » Sun 06 Jul, 2014 2:11 pm

dplanet wrote:My first night was Barry Creek. The second was Johnny Souey, the third Tine Mine Cove, and the fourth Lower Barry. Did take time to take it in. Luckily, water was not a problem. Some purified tablets were with me; but treatment was not needed. I could manage to organize a slide show of the trip on the internet and it is expired. Still have a back-up though and will have it up running again when I have a chance to do so. Regarding dehydrated water, I also made a joke to my buddy about it on a recent walk with the need to carry all drinking and cooking water.

No slides. Don't feel like doing; but pix files attached.
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Re: Wilson's Prom Northern Circuit Jan 2014

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Wed 01 Apr, 2015 10:27 pm

I am heading off to walk the Northern Prom circuit this Easter long weekend 2015 , with some fellow hikers from "Meet up". It could be fun or it could be hell . I think It will be a bit of both. Word has it we have to carry a lot of water, 8 litres minimum!!.
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Re: Wilson's Prom Northern Circuit Jan 2014

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Mon 06 Apr, 2015 9:24 pm

I just got back from this Northern Prom trek. See my trip report in the relevant section. It could have been much tougher but overall the whole trek was quite good but not for the faint hearted or those who just like a stroll to the shop at Tidal River.
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