Nadgee water sources

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Nadgee water sources

Postby legend » Sun 16 Sep, 2018 9:07 am

G'day everyone,
has anyone recently walked the Mallacoota - Wonboyn area?
The area has seen its lowest rainfall in recorded history and I have been there in previous drought conditions and have always found water.
This year is VERY different.
Normally you have good water at L Barracoota, a swamp near the big sandhill just north of WauWau estuary, Bunyip Hole, the swamp on the southern end of Nadgee River, the creek behind Newtons Beach (normally have to walk up this for a couple of hundred metres to source puddles in drought, a good pool on Jane Spiers, and water from the creek between Merrica R and the old ranger station.
I am thinking the only water this year will be Lakes Barracoota and WauWauka, Bunyip hole could be dry, Nadgee River near Harrys Hut, the creek between Merrica R and the old ranger station.
This means a lot of water carrying.
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Re: Nadgee water sources

Postby legend » Sun 30 Sep, 2018 10:53 am

We were surprised how much water was around - looks like some isolated thunderstorms in the southern region dropped some much needed rain. Lake Barracoota never ever a problem. This time the Wau Wauks estuary was almost fresh - do not rely on this because the next big storm could flood it with seawater. Good springs around the Vic/NSW border - but might be dry come summer. Bunyip Hole very good water level. The swamp behind the southern end of Nadgee River very good.
That ends the good news.
The creek behind Newtons Beach is dry, but there are pools upstream from the ford. Not sure how long these will last.
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Re: Nadgee water sources

Postby tiny_tol » Tue 11 Dec, 2018 12:03 pm

Anyone been out in this area more recently than Sept? Shall be heading out there in three weeks. Thanks in advance.
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Re: Nadgee water sources

Postby peregrinator » Tue 11 Dec, 2018 4:44 pm

I can't help you with Nadgee per se, but I was in eastern parts of Croajingolong NP 29 Oct to 2 Nov, and the creeks had much less water than I've seen on several previous trips.
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Re: Nadgee water sources

Postby legend » Tue 25 Dec, 2018 9:35 am

Water supplies should be good now. Greencape has 124mm (December) and Gabo has 132mm (December).
This is much more than the whole of winter and spring put together.
Atm the Mallacoota entrance is still closed, but the lake is now covering some of the jetties. They may push an entrance through when the lower roads go under.

Btw, if you walk this, please let others know of what the available water is like.
Pm me if you want to know where they are to be found. Dry times often mean you have to go searching.
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Re: Nadgee water sources

Postby legend » Tue 19 Mar, 2019 3:43 pm

The whole area is very dry after just returning from the area (rain - around 15mm has just dropped on Greencape as we were leaving).
Good water in Bunyip hole and swamp at southern end of Nadgee River Beach.
Nadgee River is open to the sea, but crossing is easy.
Brackish water at top end of Little River estuary.
Water in small pools in creek near Newtons Beach (about 150m upstream from the causeway). Salty/brackish water behind the beach (northern end).
Water in pools below the creek crossing on way to Nadgee entry point (Merrica River Crossing)
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Re: Nadgee water sources

Postby legend » Mon 30 Sep, 2019 3:43 pm

Another trip to Nadgee.
There is now a complete FIRE BAN in Nadgee. Water sources are very low.
Reliable water can be found on the Merrica River Nature Trail.
There is water behind Newtons Beach, but be prepared to walk upstream from the concrete crossing for about a 150 metres (it had dropped a bit in a week, and one of the pools had gone) - still good water that is shaded from the sun along the edge of a small cliff.
Water (as always at Harry's Hut (Nadgee River).
The swamp behind the southern end of Nadgee River beach is now quite low - but still okay.
The Bunyip Hole had dropped about 10cm in the three days we were there, but was still flowing (just) at the northern end.
Good spring water flowing across the rocks about a km north of Iron Prince.
I'm not sure what the situation will be in December - the whole area is incredibly dry.
Huge seas (up tp 6 - 8m) have closed all the estuaries. The Nadgee River and Merrica River are close to being a metre higher than normal. The seas have pushed sand across the mouths and closed them, and then the waves have continued to dump huge volumes into them.
There are also quite a few trees down after the storm force winds.
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Re: Nadgee water sources

Postby lachmac » Tue 01 Oct, 2019 1:09 pm

Thanks very much for the update, I am planning the walk from 11-15 October so very timely.
Sounds like there will be just enough water around.
Cheers
Lachlan
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Re: Nadgee water sources

Postby lachmac » Wed 23 Oct, 2019 6:58 pm

Completed a very enjoyable walk from Womboyn to Mallacoota from 12-16 October.
Similar water experience to legend, but there was less of it. There were a few pools upstream behind Newton's Beach, the second pool was about a foot deep and provided decent water. Reasonable water again from the swamp behind Black Head at southern end of Nadgee river beach. Poor quality water from Bunyip hole, which was low, not much more than ankle deep with little noticeable flow upstream. It took me more than an hour to pre-filter then filter the water, which was needed as I had bypassed Harry's Hut... I would not rely on it again in the near future before significant rainfall.
Bunyip Hole@0,5x.jpg
Bunyip Hole 14 October
Bunyip Hole@0,5x.jpg (268.98 KiB) Viewed 19575 times

Spring soaks flowing over the rocks in a few places between Cape Howe and Iron Prince Reef, which would be 'interesting' to harvest. Lake Barracoota was magnificent, except for the mozzies in the morning!
Walking across Mallacoota inlet at low tide required a long circular arc following the sand bars - fun.
In all a magic reintroduction to multi-day walking after 15+ years.
Cheers
Lach
Snooze waiting for low tide-2.jpg
Snooze waiting for low tide

Barracoota campsite-2.jpg
Barracoota campsite
Barracoota campsite-2.jpg (95.67 KiB) Viewed 19575 times

Barracoota tk-2.jpg
Barracoota Track
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Re: Nadgee water sources

Postby peregrinator » Wed 23 Oct, 2019 7:28 pm

lachmac wrote: . . . Walking across Mallacoota inlet at low tide required a long circular arc following the sand bars - fun.
In all a magic reintroduction to multi-day walking after 15+ years.
Cheers
Lach]


I sense your excitement/enjoyment. What's next?
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Re: Nadgee water sources

Postby lachmac » Wed 23 Oct, 2019 8:15 pm

Its been a slow process for me to rebuild fitness, so will continue to do that in Sydney and surrounds in the short term.
But really I pine for the high country so looking towards Namadgi and KNP at year's end.
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Re: Nadgee water sources

Postby legend » Thu 19 Dec, 2019 3:23 pm

The Mallacoota Inlet is now closed for those contemplating the Mallacoota - Nadge walk.
You don't need to swim the entrance or organise a boat now.
Btw, those doing the walk over the next three months, can you let others know of the water situation.
PM me if you want to know where the most reliable water is.
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Re: Nadgee water sources

Postby sandym » Mon 03 May, 2021 5:10 pm

Just back from sea kayaking Mallacoota to Wonboyn and walking to the top of Mount Nadgee. Mallacoota Inlet is open and flowing strongly. Nadgee River is also open and flowing strongly. To cross Nadgee River at the coast now requires either swimming or waiting until low tide when you can wade across near the outlet. Note that the river runs fast with the tide. The big log over Nadgee River is still in place and Harry's Hut is in as good a shape as ever. The mosquitoes are horrendous. All the trails have been cleared post fires.

The tidal inflow into all the rivers means you would have to go a fair way upstream to get fresh water. Merrica River is running well.
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Re: Nadgee water sources

Postby crollsurf » Tue 04 May, 2021 9:09 pm

Maybe I should trade in my Canoe for a Kayak. Mallacoota to Wonboyn sounds awesome. Thanks for the update although not planning to be down that way until October.
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Re: Nadgee water sources

Postby JulianS » Wed 23 Jun, 2021 11:20 pm

sandym wrote:Just back from sea kayaking Mallacoota to Wonboyn and walking to the top of Mount Nadgee. Mallacoota Inlet is open and flowing strongly. Nadgee River is also open and flowing strongly. To cross Nadgee River at the coast now requires either swimming or waiting until low tide when you can wade across near the outlet. Note that the river runs fast with the tide. The big log over Nadgee River is still in place and Harry's Hut is in as good a shape as ever. The mosquitoes are horrendous. All the trails have been cleared post fires.

The tidal inflow into all the rivers means you would have to go a fair way upstream to get fresh water. Merrica River is running well.


Thanks for the info. I had assumed the whole area would still be closed after the fires. Great news about Harry's Hut, I didn't think it would've had a chance. What was your assessment of the bush - showing signs of recovery?
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Re: Nadgee water sources

Postby Joris » Fri 22 Jul, 2022 11:38 am

Hi there good folks.

I am intending to solo-walk Wonboyn to Mallacoota in early September this year. I am aware the inlet entrance at Mallacoota is open again. Has anyone been walked the area recently? Your intel much appreciated!
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Re: Nadgee water sources

Postby emydura » Sun 24 Jul, 2022 7:00 am

Joris wrote:Hi there good folks.

I am intending to solo-walk Wonboyn to Mallacoota in early September this year. I am aware the inlet entrance at Mallacoota is open again. Has anyone been walked the area recently? Your intel much appreciated!


I don't think you will have too much trouble with water on your trip. There has certainly been plenty of rain. I am actually going in October. We were meant to do it in April, but a week of torrential rain meant we had to pull out.

I last did it in April 2018 at the height of the drought. It had barely rained in years. I was really worried about the water issue. But while most of the creeks were bone dry, if you knew where to look, you could find water. If you look around the cliffs in the rocky headlands, it is easy to find fresh water coming out of the rocks and flowing into the sea. The water flows out of the dunes like a tap at the rocks around Cape Howe. If the creek at Newtons Beach is dry, which it can be, go to the far sea caves at the top of the beach where the water drips out of the rocks. That is a reliable source of water at even the driest of times. You can only access it at low tide though.
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Re: Nadgee water sources

Postby Joris » Tue 13 Sep, 2022 2:51 pm

Thanks for that, emydura - hope you will have as enjoyable a walk next month as I just did on my first attempt. Given the current water levels I strongly suspect water won't be an issue for you either! Frogs literally a dime a dozen.

Solo-walked Merrica River Crossing to Mallacoota between 9 and 12 September. Got dropped off at the old ranger station in overcast, humid conditions, with a clear hint of oncoming rain in the air. Walking the management trails to Newton's Beach could not be easier at the moment - entirely clear with the odd bit of recently wind-thrown vegetation on the downhill section below Tumbledown Mountain. The rain duly came along and although light it was pretty persistent and the world was quite wet by the time I got to camp. Plenty of bird activity with Superb Lyrebird, Wonga Pigeon, Rose Robin and Pilotbird, to name a few, very active. Made dinner during a brief dry-ish spell and retreated to bed early.

Newton's Beach is a nice spot to camp in itself with plenty of flat, grassy space to set up a tent surrounded by forest. It seems there is no obvious access to the actual beach anymore and given that I arrived relatively late and in quickly darkening and increasingly wet conditions I stopped searching after a while. A quick look the next morning did not help either - suspect the beach may be more readily accessed from the management track well before hitting the campground. Both main creeks at Newton's running well.

Left the next morning towards Little River - track obviously cleared since the fires but recent wind-thrown dead trees present in some sections - nothing major. Little River itself is now blocked off from the ocean again - following the edge of the water along the rocks and getting into the water once or twice allowed for easy access to the beach. Water a little saline, presume fresher stuff to be found further upstream. Did not check Little River inland route.

Little River to Nadgee River much the same, can't really miss the trail. The last 100m to the river are a bit overgrown - just keep going - the footpad is there. Nadgee River is also blocked off by the ocean and beach access is very straightforward along the river's northern edge. Did not check inland route. Exiting off the beach is easy enough though keep an eye out at the swampy bit (earlier this year apparently chest-deep, now merely ankle-deep) in the first 100m as it is easy to get off-trail amidst fallen tea trees. Saw Eastern Bristlebird upclose on Nadgee Moor and flushed a brilliantly green Ground Parrot - always nice. The moors are all wet underfoot and flowering beautifully!

Got to Nadgee Lake mid-afternoon under pretty windy conditions - the lake was literally frothing at the mouth with huge amounts of foam along the eastern shoreline. Campsite nicely sheltered and the creek 50m or so to the west is pumping out the good stuff - it may just look like a tiny saltwater inlet but walk 10-15m in and you will hear the water clatter. Clear, tasted good. Apparently a tidal channel had opened up earlier this year but that is all closed off again - huge amounts of sand form a barrier between ocean and lake.

Set out early next morning for Victoria in windy, cool conditions - nice to see Endeavour Moor flowering for all it is worth and being very wet underfoot. National Geographic style views of Southern Emu-wren along here - of course I did not have my camera ready! Keep an eye on the last 100m or so as you approach Bunyip Hole, the tea tree tangle can easily divert you off the trail. Can't really go too wrong, if in doubt follow the sound of the frogs! Heaps of water in the Hole and great camping options a 100m away in the dune scrub.

Kept going passed Conference Point and Cape Howe when the weather cleared up majorly with blue skies and an increasing wind - those inland sand dunes are magnificent and indeed,...., currently very wet. There is a very large temporary dune lake to the SW of Cape Howe but regardless there are dune soaks too numerous to count on top of and along the dune edges. Once I turned the corner at Iron Prince the wind really became full-on, not quite a storm but very strong and full in my face. Popped into the Lake Wau Wauka campsite for a good break - plenty of water here.

The last 7-8km towards Lake Barracoota were again full pelt into the wind - head-down sort of walking which does sap the energy a fair bit. Had a welcome break chatting to a group of 7 walkers going the opposite direction and who were virtually flying! :-D All this sort of hunched over business plus the glare and the constant salt layer on my glasses meant I twice missed the marker for the Lake Barracoota turnoff - the sort of thing that takes maybe an extra 10 minutes but after that effort feels like 10 hours :-D. The marker is sort of hidden in the scrub but at 2.5m high above the beach as this section of the coast consists of sheer, eroded dune cliffs. Holding onto a few roots and bodily hauling myself up by the signpost got me onto the trail to the lake. Ten minutes later I arrived at a veritable oasis - Lake Barracoota is an absolutely gorgeous spot, plenty of fresh water and I had it all to myself. Singing Pilotbirds around the tent, a single pair of Hooded Plovers on territory on the sand dunes, beautifully clear night, an ever-present frog chorus and, better yet, virtually no wind at the campsite!

Left early the next morning as I wanted to beat a combination of high tide on the (new to me) Croajingolong Beach and an incoming marine wind warning for the East Gippy coast. Got picked up by Dale to cross the Mallacoota Inlet as the sole passenger on his cruise vessel - finishing in style!

In all - what an awesome walk! Wild, rugged, pretty remote - can't wait to do it again!
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Re: Nadgee water sources

Postby JulianS » Tue 13 Sep, 2022 3:18 pm

Hi Joris - thanks so much for posting this. Information about this area post-2019-20 fires is not easy to come by. Sounds like you had a great walk. The prevailing SW winds is a good reason to walk in the other direction :)
Your report read like much of the track has been deliberately cleared/re-established in the NSW section - am I assuming that correctly? Being a wilderness area, I thought that wasn't common in Nadgee, but perhaps it was an initiative after the fires.
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Re: Nadgee water sources

Postby Joris » Tue 13 Sep, 2022 3:26 pm

Hi Julian - I can't vouch for the status of the area irt wilderness and how of that affects general management practices. It is not like it is now a highway though - as far as I can tell an effort was made to reestablish trail access as required, focusing on regrowth on the trails only. Away from the management tracks (old and new alike) the trail is not much wider than a pair of boots.
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Re: Nadgee water sources

Postby JulianS » Tue 13 Sep, 2022 7:26 pm

Thanks Joris.
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Re: Nadgee water sources

Postby emydura » Mon 19 Sep, 2022 9:53 pm

JulianS wrote:Hi Joris - t
Your report read like much of the track has been deliberately cleared/re-established in the NSW section - am I assuming that correctly? Being a wilderness area, I thought that wasn't common in Nadgee, but perhaps it was an initiative after the fires.


They do undertake some track maintenance from time to time. I do remember talking to someone who worked on the track at Endeavour Moors.
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Re: Nadgee water sources

Postby emydura » Mon 19 Sep, 2022 10:07 pm

Thanks for the update Joris. Three weeks to I go. Was it really boggy in the northern half? Were you able to camp in that flat spot below the dunes right next to Lake Barracoota? I was told that campsite was completely flooded last April when we were initially going to do it.

Great to hear the Ground Parrots are still there. That is one spot where you are guaranteed to see them. My goal on this walk is to see the Bristlebirds, a species I have never seen before.

We will be doing the walk over a leisurely 7 days, including a rest day at Lake Nadgee.
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Re: Nadgee water sources

Postby Joris » Thu 22 Sep, 2022 10:36 am

Hi Emydura,

Newton's to Nadgee River was damp underfoot, but clearly (slowly) drying out. Endeavour Moor to Bunyip Waterhole was quite wet underfoot. No trouble at all camping at Lake Barracoota, area behind the beach had a bit of standing water but easy to pitch on the beach or in amongst the tea trees (though limited space there). Eastern Bristlebird should be actively singing in October, hope you get to see them. Enjoy!
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Re: Nadgee water sources

Postby micmar22 » Tue 27 Sep, 2022 10:45 pm

Joris,

Thanks for the info.
Weather permitting I plan to be down there mid to late October.
Will be resuming my Great South Coast Walk from Bermagui around the 2nd week of October.
I'm lugging a packraft so Mallacoota inlet won't be a problem.
Still looking at the logistics of going on to Bairnsdale.
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