Mt Feathertop water - New to Hiking

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Mt Feathertop water - New to Hiking

Postby watchthefark » Tue 05 Apr, 2022 11:07 am

Hi All

I have been reading lots of posts and am pretty much sure that water is available year-round on the NW spur track near Mt Feathertop.

I am taking my son (7) for his first-ever hike! We have done lots of car camping and walks from the campsite, probably the hardest for him was the Catherdral ranges.

Now we are planning the Mt Feathertop along the razorback camping at Federation Hut.

Now as I am carrying most of the gear I am trying to keep weight down a touch, in terms of water we will have 6.5L Between us. 1.5L Pack, 3L Pack, x2 1L Nalgene bottles.
Now in terms of refilling, I was counting on finding water @ NW Spur.

I have x2 questions.

1. Can I count on that spring
2. Do I need to boil, filter water from that spring (I think I do but just wanted to ask)

Thank you to anyone that can confrim.
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Re: Mt Feathertop water - New to Hiking

Postby Lophophaps » Tue 05 Apr, 2022 4:49 pm

Welcome to the forum. The Razorback is a brilliant first alpine walk. About a kilometre in, most people contour to the right rather than go over the top of Bon Accord. It's bumpy for most of the way, with the hardest towards the end, up 140 metres or so. There's always water on Tom Kneen Track, about 20 minutes from the junction of that, Razorback, Federation Hut and the summit tracks. I've never treated this water - there's not much above it to cause pollution. Take a mug to bale out the small pool. The track before this is a bit muddy, and keep going past smaller streams till you get the biggest one.

If the hut is not critical, a good place to camp is about 10 minutes down Diamantina Spur. This means less pack carrying but no hut, toilet and people. From the Diamantina turnoff take day packs to the summit and hut, collecting water on the way back to camp. If it's hot you may need a little more water. One hot day I needed 2 litres Diamantina Hut to the Diamantina Spur campsite. However, 6 litres for two people for about four hours should be fine. The extra capacity is advised for going to camp, wherever this is.

If the weather really bombs out it's a few hours to Harrietville and hitchiking up the road. If you are driving from Harrietville, park facing downhill, saves doing a three point turn. If you have to park facing uphill, go for another kilometre or so to The Cross where there's a big flat area, good for turning.
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Re: Mt Feathertop water - New to Hiking

Postby watchthefark » Tue 05 Apr, 2022 6:25 pm

Thank you so much for a really detailed post. All of your points sound really good. Just a question regarding parking. I was thinking parking was available at the start of the Razorback track at the hut. Is that the case? I take it that is what u mean when you say about parking up or down hill?
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Re: Mt Feathertop water - New to Hiking

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Tue 05 Apr, 2022 6:34 pm

Since there is a now a water tank at the Bon Accord hut ruins site then doing the 2 night loop from Harrietville up the Bungalow spur , over the Razorback and down the Bon Accord spur back to Harrietville is possible, but would be pushing it a bit for 7 Y.O.
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Re: Mt Feathertop water - New to Hiking

Postby watchthefark » Tue 05 Apr, 2022 6:42 pm

paidal_chalne_vala wrote:would be pushing it a bit for 7 Y.O.


Yes I agree. I was thinking just up and down the razorback with a couple nights camp. Potentially break it up with 1 night at federation hut and 2nd at the site the previous poster mentioned.

Although coming back down bungalow spur looks good. Just not sure with logistics what to do with the car.

I am coming from the city and embarrassingly this is my first trip out that way.
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Re: Mt Feathertop water - New to Hiking

Postby Baeng72 » Tue 05 Apr, 2022 7:30 pm

Hi, Lops has covered most of the angles.

I think an out and back on the Razorback is your best best.
For the love of whatever you hold dear, avoid the Bon Accord as a first hike with a 7yr old! (Just kidding, but not kidding)
I was at Fed Hut. about 3 weeks ago and there was water in the tank, but I have no idea if there's been much rain up there, so it might not be reliable.
If you're staying at Fed Hut., then check the water tank, if that fails, you can setup the tent and just take water bottles/filter to Tom Kneen track.

Parking is on both sides of the road from the Razorback start/Diamanina Hut up towards Hotham resort.
When I did this walk in November, we were facing down hill, a fair way up the road, at least 100 meters, and the car was fine.
There's no car park, just park on the side of the road (don't go to far if you're on the side facing uphill, as that's a drop).

Some photos to whet the appetite (don't expect snow).

IMG_3859.jpg
Long and winding road. (Snow not guaranteed)

IMG_4551_0288.png
Diamantina Spur turn off
IMG_4551_0288.png (290.55 KiB) Viewed 5800 times

IMG_3881.jpg
Tom Kneen track junction

IMG_45530001.png
Diamantina Spur Campsite
IMG_45530001.png (350.32 KiB) Viewed 5800 times
Attachments
IMG_4543_0094.png
Fed Hut
IMG_4543_0094.png (276.91 KiB) Viewed 5800 times
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Re: Mt Feathertop water - New to Hiking

Postby Lophophaps » Tue 05 Apr, 2022 9:09 pm

Out and back is best, but with a fallback plan. Always have a fallback plan.

There's a bus between Omeo and Bright three days a week
https://www.ptv.vic.gov.au/route/timeta ... 855115aa2c
and this may be useful. There's parking at Diamantina Hut, room for about 40 cars. This is what it looked like at Christmas.

Diamantina cars S.jpg
About 100 metres above Diamantina Hut, the clearing on the left.


I strongly advise against going down the Bon Accord. It's steep, long and there may be a river crossing at the end. The Bungalow is well graded with three water points, although one is off the track and another will be tricky to access. There a seat towards the bottom. At the bottom of the spur, go 500 metres downhill to the bridge, cross this, and turn right for about 200 metres to a shelter shed and toilets. This is where the bus stops.

Federation Hut is very popular, and there's no guarantee of water there. Given that people touch the spout it's also a bit suss. The track to the Diamantina campsite is almost horizontal from The Razorback. Campfires are discouraged in most parts of the alps and especially higher up, and never if a continuous supply of water is unavailable. Take a stove. Also, camp in the trees downslope - it can get very windy.

Diamantina 1 S.jpg
Diamantina Spur campsite
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Federation camp S.jpg
Federation camp looking to The Razorback. The track is just visible, contouring from the saddle on the right into the tree tops on the left.
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Re: Mt Feathertop water - New to Hiking

Postby Baeng72 » Wed 06 Apr, 2022 5:33 am

Good point from Lops, no fires allowed.
Though obviously, some people don't think rules apply to them and a lot of bush camps have a fire ring/spot.
There's a bridge across the Ovens at the bottom of the Bon Accord Spur, but just don't. The 7yr old will never want to bushwalk/hike again.
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Re: Mt Feathertop water - New to Hiking

Postby Xplora » Wed 06 Apr, 2022 6:46 am

We had over 40mm last week and more in the coming week but still no guarantee there will be water in the tank at the hut. My only word of caution is the weather. April in the mountains is when it starts to become unpredictable. Young children do not have the body mass to keep warm and you will be lucky to see double digit temperatures during the day. Expect wind to be around 20 kph on a good day. That will make 5 degrees feel like zero. I think your plan for a first hike to the area is good and keep it simple. There will be plenty of people about if the weather is good.

There are lots of options in the general vicinity that are suitable for young children. Falls Creek has a great expanse around it and the walking is generally quite easy. If the boy likes doing it then you can expand to take in the High Plains. Tawonga huts is only a 4km walk and nice camping with good natural water. A good base camp for further exploration. On the northern side there are easy walks to Fitzgeralds/Kellys huts or Johnsons and Edmonsons starting at either Heathy spur, for the longer walk, or Watchbed creek.

I don't go to Feathertop often anymore, just too busy, but it a great walk and not overly taxing. Keep a check on the weather before you go and make a back up plan.
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Re: Mt Feathertop water - New to Hiking

Postby Lophophaps » Wed 06 Apr, 2022 7:39 am

Baeng77, thanks for the advice about the bridge - I could not recall if this was there. Your advice that the child will never want to go bushwalking again is accurate. If The Razorback becomes too much there are a few campsites on the ridge, and below the crest on the east side should be sheltered. However, if the forecast is bad then it's best to find another place that's lower. The car should have anti-freeze.
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Re: Mt Feathertop water - New to Hiking

Postby neilmny » Wed 06 Apr, 2022 8:46 am

Xplora wrote:.................There are lots of options in the general vicinity that are suitable for young children. Falls Creek has a great expanse around it and the walking is generally quite easy. If the boy likes doing it then you can expand to take in the High Plains. Tawonga huts is only a 4km walk and nice camping with good natural water. A good base camp for further exploration. On the northern side there are easy walks to Fitzgeralds/Kellys huts or Johnsons and Edmonsons starting at either Heathy spur, for the longer walk, or Watchbed creek..............


I second the motion. It's been a while but if I recall there will be an opportunity to see live Snow Gums in that area too.
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Re: Mt Feathertop water - New to Hiking

Postby watchthefark » Wed 06 Apr, 2022 3:07 pm

Thank you to everyone of has responded to my post. I feel a lot more confident taking my son out for his first hike.
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Re: Mt Feathertop water - New to Hiking

Postby Lophophaps » Wed 06 Apr, 2022 4:25 pm

I've been thinking about Razorback as a first alpine walk for seven-year-old, and on reflection am no longer persuaded. It's around 11 kilometres, which could be challenging. If the distance is too great then the options are to stop with a dry camp or return. The Razorback is quite exposed in bad weather, and the logistics of getting the car back after descending Bungalow Spur are a bit complicated.

For these reasons I'm persuaded that Xplorer's advice is well worth considering, as always.

The Bogong High Plains is a lot flatter, less committing, has water all over the place, and has many short walks to sheltered base camps from where big mountains can be climbed. Any of the places he mentions are good. Melbourne to Diamantina Hut is about 375 kilometres. Melbourne to Falls Creek is about 392 kilometres, plus another 10 kilometres to the start of the walks to Tawonga Huts, Fitzgeralds, or the like.

It's better to do a shorter walk that does not tire him too much and leaves him wanting more rather than a longer walk that puts him off. Feathertop will be there next year. If you go to Falls Creek then track notes and ideas can be provided here. This is the car route.
https://graphhopper.com/maps/?point=Mel ... =Omniscale
Note the Snow Road, Everton and Mudgegonga Road. The latter is 5 kilometres longer than via Ovens or Bright, but it's a lot flatter and faster.
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Re: Mt Feathertop water - New to Hiking

Postby watchthefark » Wed 06 Apr, 2022 4:45 pm

Thanks for following up. Maybe your right on the 11km being a bit too much.

Yes I was concerned about about getting the car back if we ended up coming down to via bungalow spur due to weather. Worst case would be a taxi I guessed but hadn't got that far into figuring it out.

The Falls creek option sounds good. When I am back on a computer I will investigate. 100% want to make sure he has a great time.
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Re: Mt Feathertop water - New to Hiking

Postby Xplora » Wed 06 Apr, 2022 5:18 pm

watchthefark wrote:Thanks for following up. Maybe your right on the 11km being a bit too much.

Yes I was concerned about about getting the car back if we ended up coming down to via bungalow spur due to weather. Worst case would be a taxi I guessed but hadn't got that far into figuring it out.

The Falls creek option sounds good. When I am back on a computer I will investigate. 100% want to make sure he has a great time.


As you can see we are all more than happy to help. Love it that people are introducing their kids to this. I am not one to tell people (generally) what they should and should not do. The Falls Creek option is only a suggestion but it does provide a greater number of options if the weather turns foul. I probably should have said the weather is more unstable this time of year and not unpredictable. Storms rolling in just now. If you decide you would like to do something around the Bogong High Plains then you will get plenty of help. Just ask. There are some easy walks with great views of Feathertop. You can't avoid every hill but that is part of being in the mountains. It has been a long time since I have dealt with small children on a walk and you would know your son better than me. Make it a good experience and you both will be walking together for many years.

Lots of live Snowgums on the BHP still. The beetle is doing its best but still only pockets of dieback.
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Re: Mt Feathertop water - New to Hiking

Postby Lophophaps » Wed 06 Apr, 2022 8:29 pm

These are live Snowgums, quite old, on the Bogong High Plains.

Glade 2 S.jpg
Old Snowgums
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Re: Mt Feathertop water - New to Hiking

Postby indented » Thu 07 Apr, 2022 8:52 am

Another option that might be worth considering is the Baw Baw area for the same reasons as the Bogong High Plains, can make a number of shorter loop or out and back trails with a number of nice campsites. You don't have the huts that are scattered across BHP in case the weather turns really bad though. Still have Snowgums to walk through as well.
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Re: Mt Feathertop water - New to Hiking

Postby watchthefark » Thu 07 Apr, 2022 9:39 am

indented wrote:Another option that might be worth considering is the Baw Baw area for the same reasons as the Bogong High Plains, can make a number of shorter loop or out and back trails with a number of nice campsites. You don't have the huts that are scattered across BHP in case the weather turns really bad though. Still have Snowgums to walk through as well.


This looks good, I am checking this out as I type.

I think considering all the advice I think Feathertop is out for a first trip.
Falls creek and even feathertop seem a bit far to cram into a weekend so I am thinking about the below if anyone can comment.

1. Farmyard @ Catherdral ranges - Camped many times @ neds gully and walk these routes so high comfort level.
2. Mt Stirling loop - Easy to camp 1 or 2 nights as required and its a loop so getting back to the car is easy
3a. Baw Baw - Mt Erica car park to stop at Mushroom Rocks - Talbot Hut Ruins (make camp) - explore (camp again) Talbot Hut Ruins - home
3b. Baw Baw - Mt Erica car park to Talbot Hut Ruins - Camp - walk to camp saddle - camp - walk back to car park (backup plan to camp at talbot ruins if he gets tired)

I finding it really hard to figure out the best spots that will suit my son! thanks for everyone's help!
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Re: Mt Feathertop water - New to Hiking

Postby bigkev » Thu 07 Apr, 2022 9:48 am

watchthefark wrote: I finding it really hard to figure out the best spots that will suit my son! thanks for everyone's help!


Your young bloke will probably like the Mushroom Rocks area - Hours of fun clambering around and exploring the big rocks - just don't lose him!
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Re: Mt Feathertop water - New to Hiking

Postby watchthefark » Thu 07 Apr, 2022 9:55 am

Indeed. He has a whistle and carrys a small kit including a space blanket (he loves having his own kit) He can also get a fire going with a fero rod/ We have talked about what to do in an emergency. He is a switched on kid.
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Re: Mt Feathertop water - New to Hiking

Postby Lophophaps » Thu 07 Apr, 2022 11:01 am

Camping may be restricted at Farmyard, and water may be a fair way down. Also, it's very steep to get there. Stirling is a possible. The tracks are good and there are huts, although these may well be crowded. Water may be challenging; I have not been to Stirling in summer for ages.

The Baw Baw Plateau appeals. Start at the Village, Mt St Gwinear car park or Mount Erica car park. To make the driving easier, Erica car park appeals, a short distance of winding roads. The track is very obvious and goes through the rocks, and I agree with Kev that he will like them and not to lose him. It's sheltered all the way, with good camping anywhere. You could go over St Phillack and camp in the next saddle, water down a short way. This is better than the area to the right of the cave going to St Gwinear. Many people camp there, and the water may be suss. Coming back is mainly downhill, just a few hours both days.

It may be possible to set up camp and go to Mount Baw Baw, easy ski tracks. Fires are a bad idea on Baw Baw, too much peat-like areas and a probably high fuel load.
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Re: Mt Feathertop water - New to Hiking

Postby watchthefark » Thu 07 Apr, 2022 12:25 pm

Lophophaps wrote:Camping may be restricted at Farmyard, and water may be a fair way down. Also, it's very steep to get there. Stirling is a possible. The tracks are good and there are huts, although these may well be crowded. Water may be challenging; I have not been to Stirling in summer for ages.

The Baw Baw Plateau appeals. Start at the Village, Mt St Gwinear car park or Mount Erica car park. To make the driving easier, Erica car park appeals, a short distance of winding roads. The track is very obvious and goes through the rocks, and I agree with Kev that he will like them and not to lose him. It's sheltered all the way, with good camping anywhere. You could go over St Phillack and camp in the next saddle, water down a short way. This is better than the area to the right of the cave going to St Gwinear. Many people camp there, and the water may be suss. Coming back is mainly downhill, just a few hours both days.

It may be possible to set up camp and go to Mount Baw Baw, easy ski tracks. Fires are a bad idea on Baw Baw, too much peat-like areas and a probably high fuel load.


I am liking the idea of Baw Baw and starting out at the Mount Erica car park and out to Phillack saddle, approx 10km so seems pretty ok. Regarding water, I looked on alltrails and see a body of water just down the hill -https://www.alltrails.com/explore/trail/australia/victoria/mount-erica-and-mushroom-rocks-via-australian-alps-walking-track?mobileMap=false&ref=sidebar-static-map
is this the water I should access or either of these creeks to the NE or SW
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Phill ... 46.2917002

You say " good camping anywhere" does that mean if he gets tired I can just find some flat ground and pitch a tent in any location?

Thank u again.
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Re: Mt Feathertop water - New to Hiking

Postby indented » Thu 07 Apr, 2022 1:15 pm

The water at Phillack Saddle is south west of the clearing and signpost, not as far as the body of water on the map shown. It would have been less than 50 metres from the clearing last May when I was there. You can also camp at the rock shelter to save a little distance if the young one is tired as it's a nice spot. The creek between Rock Shelter and Mt St Gwinear is meant to be reliable.

Dispersed camping is fine on the plateau outside of resort boundaries, so if you find a nice spot or he gets too tuckered out you can call it wherever looks good.

Edit: Just saw the comment about the water potentially being suss at the creek between rock shelter and St Gwinear, so maybe give that a miss. It looked fine last time I was there and was flowing well, but I didn't drink any.

Also, the walk from Erica carpark to St Phillack will be mostly uphill for the whole day. You could save a bunch of elevation by starting from the St Gwinear carpark which would cut it down to 5km each way. I've trialled this as a practice run for a snow camp and it should be quite comfortable for a 7YO.
Last edited by indented on Thu 07 Apr, 2022 1:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mt Feathertop water - New to Hiking

Postby GBW » Thu 07 Apr, 2022 1:20 pm

It's easier to access water at Phillacks to the SW, there's an obvious footpad down from the clearing. I wouldn't consider the walk from Erica carpark to Phillacks any easier than the Razorback but it does offer more shelter and a couple of water sources and campsites along the way, Talbots Hut site, St Gwinear turnoff. There are other clearings between between Talbots and Gwinear suitable for camping but water may be harder to find so fill up at Talbots. Not much in the way of camping between Gwinear and Phillacks from memory.
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Re: Mt Feathertop water - New to Hiking

Postby watchthefark » Thu 07 Apr, 2022 1:52 pm

Thanks. I think I have a few ideas and backup hikes to consider. I am going in a couple of weeks and weather dependent will pick the most suitable. I will report back with pictures and how it all went. Thank you again.
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Re: Mt Feathertop water - New to Hiking

Postby Lophophaps » Thu 07 Apr, 2022 3:10 pm

There's a creek at the bottom, and heaps of water on the plateau, with quite a few creeks. I've camped at the valley north-eastish of the rock shelter and have never treated water. My caution is due to people skiing in from St Gwinear and camping there. Most water on the plateau will be okay. GBW has good advice - shelter and water available. If you reach the rock shelter, point 2 on the map below, and run out of energy, go towards St Gwinear for a short way and find a spot in the trees.

https://graphhopper.com/maps/?point=-37 ... i%20Aerial

The climb from Erica car park to Mount Erica, point 1 on the map, is 380 metres in 3.6 kilometres, close enough to 100 metres/km, a bit steep perhaps but quite okay if you take it easy with several rests. The next climb is 210 metres in 4 kilometres, a much nicer 55 metres/km. St Phillack is point 3 and the campsite is the red drop. While this has more climbing than coming from St Gwinear car park, for a first walk I like it better. The St Gwinear route is well graded, plenty of campsites, and water at several places. However, in bad weather it's quite exposed. Erica car park to St Phillack Saddle is mainly in trees, much more sheltered. Also, the rocks will be magic for the kid.
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Re: Mt Feathertop water - New to Hiking

Postby Xplora » Thu 07 Apr, 2022 6:38 pm

Seems like a plan is coming together nicely. Well done crew. I don't get as far south as Baw Baw so will not comment. Too close to Melbourne for me. What I have read from those here who have been there is all good. When the time comes to do BHP I will be more than happy to offer assistance. Please post something of your adventure.
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Re: Mt Feathertop water - New to Hiking

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Fri 08 Apr, 2022 8:50 am

The climb up from The Mt. Erica car park is steep up to the Talbot hut ruins camping area. There is reliable water at the Talbot hut ruins area, flowing in a stream.

Starting at Baw Baw village and walking to either the Rock Shelter at Camp Saddle on the AAWT to camp or over to the Whitelaw hut ruins reduces the up hill slog.

I think Pretty Valley to Tawonga Huts is possibly the best soft option in the BHP area.

For newbies and children I would avoid any hill slogs or long exposed ridge line treks.
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Re: Mt Feathertop water - New to Hiking

Postby watchthefark » Fri 08 Apr, 2022 10:36 am

paidal_chalne_vala wrote:The climb up from The Mt. Erica car park is steep up to the Talbot hut ruins camping area. There is reliable water at the Talbot hut ruins area, flowing in a stream.

Starting at Baw Baw village and walking to either the Rock Shelter at camp saddle on the AAWT to camp or over to the Whitelaw hut ruins reduces the up hill slog.

I think Pretty Valley to Tawonga Huts is possibly the best soft option in the BHP area.

For newbies and children I would avoid any hill slogs or long exposed ridge line treks.


Thanks for the info.

Yes I just checked the elevation on Mushroom Rocks to Talbot Hut Ruins, nearly 300m over 2.5km, so that is steep.

Pretty Valley to Tawonga Huts looks pretty great, nice and easy. Could be a good start tbh.

The Whitelaw hut ruins walk. Could not find a location for the ruins. I found a blog and detailed and placed a pin in the map below. is this the route you suggest.

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Baw+Baw ... 27!1m0!3e2

I am aiming for x2 nights so that Whitelaw one could be really good as we could also camp @Phillack Saddle plus there is water @Phillack Saddle
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Re: Mt Feathertop water - New to Hiking

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Fri 08 Apr, 2022 2:01 pm

There is water in a stream near The Mt. Whitelaw hut ruins and there are good camp
sites.There is an overgrown foot pad leading down to the trickle of water near the Whitelaw Hut ruins.
I don't remember finding water at St .Phillack saddle. There is water in the stream along the pole line between Camp Saddle /The Rock Shelter and Mt. St. Gwinear. In Green season there is a small foot bridge there over the stream. You can pick up water at The creek between The Baw Baw village / Nat. Park junction and St. Phillack saddle. It is a bit of up hill from there to the St.Phillack saddle but nothing too severe. There are good flat tent sites at St. Phillack saddle.
You could start from Mt. St. Gwinear car park. See the web links.
https://www.trailhiking.com.au/hikes/mo ... -whitelaw/


https://mountbawbaw.com.au/Hiking
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