Going through the 'Never Never' to the Overland track

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Going through the 'Never Never' to the Overland track

Postby mclachk » Thu 29 Dec, 2022 9:14 pm

Hi all,
Just wondering if anyone has gone from the Walls of Jerusalem NP down to Lake Junction and then through the 'Never Never' to the Overland recently? Is it hard to find your way? Any advice to give? :)
cheers,
Mclachk
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Re: Going through the 'Never Never' to the Overland track

Postby philm » Fri 30 Dec, 2022 12:36 pm

There is no track so you need to be comfortable with navigation. You basically follow the Mersey and cross when you can before or at Harnett Falls. The water levels can vary significantly, and you cross either in shallow water above the Harnett Falls or on logs that can jam across the river. If you go this way I'm not sure how it stands to complete the Overland Track south to Lake St Claire as technically it is more than one leg of the track. I think it is ok but look up the rules or call parks. We have done the Never Never and also gone up Du Cane Gap and over the Traveller Range ot Junction. In my view the Traveller is a better route - more scenic. However the Traveller is very exposed in bad weather.
You need to be comfortable and capable or reasonable navigation especially over the Traveller (as going via the Never Never you can basically follow the river).
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Re: Going through the 'Never Never' to the Overland track

Postby mclachk » Fri 30 Dec, 2022 2:12 pm

Great - thanks Philm - that's useful to know. We have spoken to Parks and plan to head north for a bit on the Overland until coming off again at Pelion down to Lee's paddock trail.
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Re: Going through the 'Never Never' to the Overland track

Postby L_Cham_67 » Fri 30 Dec, 2022 4:22 pm

If you come out at Hartnett falls, you're not going to be allowed to continue north all the way to Pelion. If you had to get back to lees paddocks, you could drop down the paddy Hartnett track from Kia Ora, but continuing to Pelion as far as I'm aware is against the overland track guidelines.
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Re: Going through the 'Never Never' to the Overland track

Postby roysta » Fri 30 Dec, 2022 5:43 pm

This post is timely because a group of us are planning to do the same thing and hook into the OT in February.
What I'd like to know is do you have to have an OT ticket to catch the ferry across the lake?
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Re: Going through the 'Never Never' to the Overland track

Postby MrWalker » Fri 30 Dec, 2022 6:11 pm

roysta wrote:This post is timely because a group of us are planning to do the same thing and hook into the OT in February.
What I'd like to know is do you have to have an OT ticket to catch the ferry across the lake?

No you don't need an overland track booking to catch the ferry in either direction.
A lot of people take the ferry for access to Pine Valley and other walks in the area that do not require a OT ticket.
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Re: Going through the 'Never Never' to the Overland track

Postby roysta » Sat 31 Dec, 2022 2:06 pm

Another question on this route.
While following the river are there any issues to deal with at McCoy Falls, in otherwords, can they be sidled without any problems?
Cheers
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Re: Going through the 'Never Never' to the Overland track

Postby philm » Sat 31 Dec, 2022 2:17 pm

Leaving Junction Lake you stay on the North side of the river and pass McCoy Falls there are lots of faint pads many leading to nowhere so just walk on the North side of the river up past McCoy falls and towards Harnett falls. The pads sometimes run close to the river then away. Just keep an eye out for logs to use and cross the river. If water levels are low you can easily wade across the river above Harnett Falls it can be quite shallow. If the water is fast moving and above your knees it is too deep to cross. Also undo your hit belt on your pack when crossing rivers in case you fall in and have to ditch your pack!
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Re: Going through the 'Never Never' to the Overland track

Postby Embrace the suck » Sun 01 Jan, 2023 4:16 pm

mclachk wrote:Hi all,
Just wondering if anyone has gone from the Walls of Jerusalem NP down to Lake Junction and then through the 'Never Never' to the Overland recently? Is it hard to find your way? Any advice to give? :)
cheers,
Mclachk


Hi Mclachk,

We went through the never never at the start of December and quite enjoyed it.

Using the river as a handrail makes navigation easier though we went away from the river in a few flat areas where the vegetation was low. Footpads come and go along the whole distance and we wasted a far bit of time trying to pick them up in the first part of the day.

There’d been a fair bit or rain and snow so there was a lot of water flowing down the river. The trees used to cross the river looked like beaver dams with branches washed all over them and I’m not great at wandering along trees at the best of times. We opted to strip down and wade across immediately upstream of one of the trees.

It’s my first post on this forum but I often see people saying they are happy to be PMed to talk directly - if you know how that works, I’m happy to chat.
Cheers
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Re: Going through the 'Never Never' to the Overland track

Postby roysta » Thu 05 Jan, 2023 8:25 am

Embrace, I've sent you a PM
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Re: Going through the 'Never Never' to the Overland track

Postby bernd » Sat 16 Dec, 2023 8:45 pm

Hello,

Just wondering whether anyone has crossed the Never Never more recently since the last post about a year ago. We're planning to go in early January from the Walls to Du Cane. Does anyone have more recent information, specifically on the river crossing? Many thanks! Bernd
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Re: Going through the 'Never Never' to the Overland track

Postby mclachk » Mon 18 Dec, 2023 4:17 pm

Hi Bernd,
We did it last Jan - I was the one inquiring above. We managed ok. We crossed on a log above McCoy Falls without too much trouble. We lost our way a few times when the track takes you away from the river but managed to find it again each time. We could have crossed at Hartnett Falls pretty easily as it turned out as the water level above the falls was low. It is lovely in quite a few places - esp the waterfalls!
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Re: Going through the 'Never Never' to the Overland track

Postby bernd » Sat 23 Dec, 2023 10:05 am

Hi mclachk,

many thanks for your answer and sorry about the delay! This sounds good. A quick follow-up question: you wrote "We could have crossed at Hartnett Falls pretty easily as it turned out as the water level above the falls was low". Are you saying the alternative would have been to cross above Harnett Falls (as in, on top of)? I would have though the alternative was to cross directly below Harnett Falls? Thanks!
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Re: Going through the 'Never Never' to the Overland track

Postby philm » Sat 23 Dec, 2023 10:09 am

If there has not been a lot of rain and river levels are moderate you can often cross at the top of the falls not the bottom. We crossed there in only knee deep water.
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Re: Going through the 'Never Never' to the Overland track

Postby north-north-west » Sat 23 Dec, 2023 3:08 pm

bernd wrote:Hi mclachk,

many thanks for your answer and sorry about the delay! This sounds good. A quick follow-up question: you wrote "We could have crossed at Hartnett Falls pretty easily as it turned out as the water level above the falls was low". Are you saying the alternative would have been to cross above Harnett Falls (as in, on top of)? I would have though the alternative was to cross directly below Harnett Falls? Thanks!


Crossing at the base isn't really on. The river is narrower (though not narrow enough to jump) but a lot deeper and faster flowing. The area just upstream of the drop is wide with relatively shallow water over rock slabs. I've seen people cross while barely getting their ankles wet.
It all depends on the flow. But there are always a number of large trees down in the forest sections further upstream and any one of them can be used as a bridge.
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Re: Going through the 'Never Never' to the Overland track

Postby bernd » Sat 23 Dec, 2023 8:13 pm

Great to know. Thanks a lot! Will report back here when we’re back.
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Re: Going through the 'Never Never' to the Overland track

Postby bernd » Sat 13 Jan, 2024 10:55 am

Just reporting back: we went through the Never Never a few days ago (Junction Lake to Windy Ridge). Gorgeous walk!! Much of the time an (unmarked) track is somewhat visible but overgrown. Crossing the Mersey river was no big deal - there are several log pile-ups across between McCoy Falls and Hartnett Falls that are easy to use (plus, as mclachk and philm already wrote, about 100-200m before Harnett falls the river is so shallow over rock slabs you could easily wade through). There is a map with our exact crossing location here: https://www.alltrails.com/explore/map/walls-of-jerusalem-six-day-hike-ad7ed5d
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Re: Going through the 'Never Never' to the Overland track

Postby philm » Sat 13 Jan, 2024 2:45 pm

Good to hear everything went well. Next time go from Junction but to lake Artemis great spot then over the Traveller range to the Gatepost and camp high in good weather! I prefer this route to the never never as it is more scenic


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