Christmas 3 day hike

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Christmas 3 day hike

Postby AyKay86 » Sun 10 Dec, 2023 5:42 pm

Hi guys.

After recovering from a broken ankle on my last thru hike I'm looking at getting back out there. I figured people spend time with their families on Christmas day so it won't be as busy from the 24th to the 26th/27th.

I was thinking a 3 day Grampians hike staring at Gar and finishing in Halls Gap, however I'm a little concerned about the heat in late December. The Prom is pretty booked up and some tracks are still closed so I don't think that's an option and I feel like sections of the great ocean walk will be overrun.

Does anyone have any thoughts or suggestions?
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Re: Christmas 3 day hike

Postby Tortoise » Sun 10 Dec, 2023 9:28 pm

It's a long drive if you're in Melbourne, but the high plains are cooler. Lots of options from Falls Creek for example.
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Re: Christmas 3 day hike

Postby Xplora » Mon 11 Dec, 2023 5:35 am

I agree. It is 10+ degrees cooler on the mountain but don't expect it to have it to yourself. We regularly do Christmas walks and run into people on the High Plains and Bogong. There are many like minded people who want to escape all that is Christmas.
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Re: Christmas 3 day hike

Postby Lophophaps » Mon 11 Dec, 2023 6:36 am

The Bogong High Plains is a long way from Melbourne, but it's mainly flat, good off track options, plenty of water and plenty of campsites, plus huts that can be used as a base camp. If you know where to go you can avoid the masses. Starting on the High Plains Road at the Cope Hut car park or the management track just south of there leads to walks to Cope, Jim, Jaithmathang and other places. Coming from the west from near Cope Saddle I've camped on the summit of Mount Cope, may be a nice sunset or sunrise.
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Re: Christmas 3 day hike

Postby Baeng72 » Mon 11 Dec, 2023 6:49 am

A few ideas...
I've heard the Baw Baw plateau also offers some good Alpine walks with cooler conditions and water, maybe drive up the Mt. St. Gwinear.

If you can drive up Howitt Road, there's some nice walking in the Mt. Howitt/Mt. Speculation area, or if you like to hurt a bit more, start from Upper Howqua/King Hut areas, but will be hotter down low.

Mt. McDonald is good so I've heard, but may be quite warm down lower.

You can do a loop starting from 8 mile Flat, up top at the Bluff, follow the tops to Mt. Howitt, then back along the Howqua.

I guess find an area, Bogong High Plains, Mt. Buller/Howitt/Baw Baw and using a map find a nice Alpine (for coolish conditions) walk?
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Re: Christmas 3 day hike

Postby Lophophaps » Mon 11 Dec, 2023 9:52 am

Baw Baw is quite nice, but it's a bit small for three days, and will most likely be an out and back walk. Water may be a challenge on Howitt coiming from the south. Mac Springs has never had a good flow. The only other places I know about are:
Magdala, may be down a way and not flowing very well;
Stanleys Name Spur, should be okay, down a way; and
Speculation, very reliable.

Bindaree Hut, Eight Mile Spur, The Bluff, Howitt, Howitt Spur is a solid three day walk. There's water on The Bluff if you know where to look, and sheltered camping. There may be water where the 4WD track meets the AAWT.
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Re: Christmas 3 day hike

Postby Baeng72 » Mon 11 Dec, 2023 10:09 am

Water was flowing on Stanleys Name Spur 3 weeks ago, and I'd imagine with the rain it would still be OK.
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Re: Christmas 3 day hike

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Mon 11 Dec, 2023 4:43 pm

Lake Cobbler/ Mt. Cobbler/ Mt. Speculation and back to to Lake Cobbler . Have a swim in the lake .Drive in from Glenrowan. The Whitfield road from Mansfield is very windy and slow.
Use low gear for the last couple of kms. Don't drive down to the Lake itself in a 2 WD.
I love the Baw Baw area.
I love the BHP area.
I love the Buller - Howitt area too.
The Kosci Nat. Park has some good walks above 1500 M. elevation but it is a long drive.
I would avoid the Grampians and the Prom . until April- May.
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Re: Christmas 3 day hike

Postby AyKay86 » Mon 11 Dec, 2023 5:29 pm

Thanks guys! Lots to think about and little time to plan.
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Re: Christmas 3 day hike

Postby Xplora » Mon 11 Dec, 2023 6:05 pm

paidal_chalne_vala wrote:Lake Cobbler/ Mt. Cobbler/ Mt. Speculation and back to to Lake Cobbler . Have a swim in the lake .Drive in from Glenrowan. The Whitfield road from Mansfield is very windy and slow.
Use low gear for the last couple of kms. Don't drive down to the Lake itself in a 2 WD.

Great if you like walking on a 4wd track.

Howitt/Crosscut/Spec could be crowded. The Christmas day forecast is not out so that could change some options. Look for anything with a max of 20 if that is possible.
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Re: Christmas 3 day hike

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Mon 11 Dec, 2023 7:23 pm

Lake Cobbler to Mt. Cobbler= a walking track not for 4 x 4.
Mt. Cobbler to near the Cobbler Lake track and Spec. road junction= Walking track not for 4 x 4 traffic.
Mt. Spec. road cairn to Mt. Koonika and onto Mt. Spec.= walking route. No cars.
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Re: Christmas 3 day hike

Postby Baeng72 » Mon 11 Dec, 2023 8:52 pm

paidal_chalne_vala wrote:Lake Cobbler to Mt. Cobbler= a walking track not for 4 x 4.
Mt. Cobbler to near the Cobbler Lake track and Spec. road junction= Walking track not for 4 x 4 traffic.
Mt. Spec. road cairn to Mt. Koonika and onto Mt. Spec.= walking route. No cars.

Psst, don't bite! :wink:
Road walk is quicker, but you can do most on tracks I think.
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Re: Christmas 3 day hike

Postby ChrisJHC » Mon 11 Dec, 2023 10:11 pm

A cute little walk is to drive to the Castlemaine train station, follow the Leeanganook Track to Bendigo then catch the train back to your car.

If there is water in the Coliban Water channel then you have an unlimited supply of drinking water - just make sure you filter it as it’s an open channel with lots of dead animals!

https://goldfieldstrack.com.au/explore/ ... ook-track/
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Re: Christmas 3 day hike

Postby peregrinator » Tue 12 Dec, 2023 6:31 am

ChrisJHC wrote:A cute little walk is to drive to the Castlemaine train station, follow the Leeanganook Track to Bendigo then catch the train back to your car.

If there is water in the Coliban Water channel then you have an unlimited supply of drinking water - just make sure you filter it as it’s an open channel with lots of dead animals!

https://goldfieldstrack.com.au/explore/ ... ook-track/


Or if you'd prefer to miss the final section through suburban Bendigo, walk to Kangaroo Flat station.
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Re: Christmas 3 day hike

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Tue 12 Dec, 2023 8:32 am

The VIC. Goldfields area has some good walking options but it will be H O T . The Alpine areas will be cooler.
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Re: Christmas 3 day hike

Postby Baeng72 » Tue 12 Dec, 2023 8:43 am

It's probably a long way out of the way, but there's a walk from Bemm River to Mallacoota, at least you can take a dip when it's hot.
It's point to point unfortunately, and I'm not sure if the Bus is easy to access to get back to where ever you left the car.
https://www.parks.vic.gov.au/places-to- ... ness-coast
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Re: Christmas 3 day hike

Postby ChrisJHC » Wed 13 Dec, 2023 9:01 am

paidal_chalne_vala wrote:The VIC. Goldfields area has some good walking options but it will be H O T . The Alpine areas will be cooler.
Agree - definitely check the forecast before you go!
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Re: Christmas 3 day hike

Postby peregrinator » Wed 13 Dec, 2023 9:15 am

ChrisJHC wrote:
paidal_chalne_vala wrote:The VIC. Goldfields area has some good walking options but it will be H O T . The Alpine areas will be cooler.
Agree - definitely check the forecast before you go!


No, there is no need to check that. Simply believe in p_c_v's crystal ball, which has confidently asserted that the area will be hot.

I asked mine, and was told that hot air rises. Meaning that I should avoid alpine locations.
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Re: Christmas 3 day hike

Postby Lophophaps » Wed 13 Dec, 2023 10:14 am

Hot air rising is why some people can levitate. This
https://www.omnicalculator.com/physics/ ... emperature
is an interesting calculator. At 35 degrees Celsius at sea level its 23 degrees Celsius at 1800 metres, towards the top of many of the highest Victorian mountains and a bit below the tops in NSW's highest mountains. The difference is about 12 degrees Celsius for several sea level temperatures. If it's hot this is a nice place to be:

Main pool.png
Main pool


The camping spot nearby is in a frost hollow and the next morning there was ice on the tent.
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Re: Christmas 3 day hike

Postby Baeng72 » Wed 13 Dec, 2023 10:18 am

Am I detecting the pungent aroma of snark? Must be the rain bringing it out.

I'm with PCV. Nuance is for cowards who won't plant their banner and stand proud!
It will be hot in the Goldfields, somewhere between 273 and 413 degrees (Kelvin)!
That sounds hot, I reckon.
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Re: Christmas 3 day hike

Postby Xplora » Wed 13 Dec, 2023 6:26 pm

Baeng72 wrote:Am I detecting the pungent aroma of snark? Must be the rain bringing it out.

I'm with PCV. Nuance is for cowards who won't plant their banner and stand proud!
It will be hot in the Goldfields, somewhere between 273 and 413 degrees (Kelvin)!
That sounds hot, I reckon.

I am very much looking forward to 273 degrees kelvin. Over summer already. 413 Kelvin will be reserved for major cities in the coming years so it seems. That aside the mountains were still hot today but a lovely storm coming through just now. I call anything over 20 hot in the mountains. We took the family up one summer just to get away from the lowland heat and ran into a neighbour on our way who actually believed it was hotter on the mountain because it was closer to the sun. I didn't correct him.

Working on a forecast temp instead of anecdotal assumptions is still better. A breeze can make all the difference also.
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Re: Christmas 3 day hike

Postby north-north-west » Wed 13 Dec, 2023 6:37 pm

Xplora wrote: We took the family up one summer just to get away from the lowland heat and ran into a neighbour on our way who actually believed it was hotter on the mountain because it was closer to the sun.


Plus, there's all that rock to reflect the heat back at you. And less shade because fewer trees. And the effiing horseflies and marsh flies are out and about in plague numbers already ...
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Re: Christmas 3 day hike

Postby Camminata » Wed 13 Dec, 2023 6:46 pm

Go to Kmart , buy a cheap pop up self pitching sunshade shelter thingy and go sit on the beach ....if too hot :)
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Re: Christmas 3 day hike

Postby Baeng72 » Wed 13 Dec, 2023 8:19 pm

I think this thread is officially off-track now.
Going to the beach when there's a metric poo... of people, and stress, you're surely extracting the micturition now. :)
Makes one yearn for the sweet loving sunburn of a broiling mountain sun and the gentle nibbling of some horse flies...
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Re: Christmas 3 day hike

Postby Lophophaps » Thu 14 Dec, 2023 6:08 am

Baeng72 wrote:I think this thread is officially off-track now.


An off track walk is fine in some places. In summer I leave early, 6-6.30 am at the latest, beating most of the heat. Camp is reached at noon-2 pm, time for a bludge and wash. A few long days started at 5-5.30 am. The only part of me that is exposed is my face, and that is under a broad brim hat with a big flap. March flies are not a problem, and I don't need sunscreen.
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Re: Christmas 3 day hike

Postby Biggles » Thu 14 Dec, 2023 9:51 am

paidal_chalne_vala wrote:The VIC. Goldfields area has some good walking options but it will be H O T . The Alpine areas will be cooler.



You would be clinically mad (just stupid) to go walking in the Goldfields in any weather above 35°c. :shock:
We don't do walks in the bush in that stuff. Apart from the searing temperature, the number of snakes out (tigers, blacks and browns) is higher this year and they are cranky, meaning they don't scurry off, but are confrontational. The Fryers Ranges are especially notable for snakes presently.

This week it has nudged closer to 37 — 38°c, and even for the people who live and work here that is far too hot — so gather ye, gather ye, 'round for the pub! The alpine area is my choice (again!), even after the less-than-spectacular conditions experienced at Pretty Valley 4 weeks back — not shorts-and-tee weather then!
Conversation about the weather is the last refuge of the unimaginative.
—Oscar Wilde, 1890.
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Re: Christmas 3 day hike

Postby Baeng72 » Thu 14 Dec, 2023 11:07 am

Lophophaps wrote:
Baeng72 wrote:I think this thread is officially off-track now.


An off track walk is fine in some places. In summer I leave early, 6-6.30 am at the latest, beating most of the heat. Camp is reached at noon-2 pm, time for a bludge and wash. A few long days started at 5-5.30 am. The only part of me that is exposed is my face, and that is under a broad brim hat with a big flap. March flies are not a problem, and I don't need sunscreen.

Different philosophy, I camp at or near end of day.
I don't get much time to do walks, so try to use up the day and cover distance.
And I get so hot, I'm shorts and t-shirt, so sun-screen, hat and occasionally repellent.
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Re: Christmas 3 day hike

Postby Lophophaps » Thu 14 Dec, 2023 11:17 am

This is one aspect of bushwalking that attracts me - there are many ways to do a trip, with no right or wrong way. Conduct matters to suit the person and party, and that's good enough. When I was a lot younger I ended a few days at 9-10 pm, and in bigger mountains started at midnight, summit just after dawn, back to the hut by 4 pm or so
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Re: Christmas 3 day hike

Postby ChrisJHC » Sat 16 Dec, 2023 9:10 am

Well, we’re one week away from Christmas and the forecast temps for the next week in Bendigo are between 23 and 32 degrees.

I’d be more than happy to hike in those conditions!
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Re: Christmas 3 day hike

Postby Camminata » Fri 19 Jan, 2024 4:49 pm

Baeng72 wrote:Water was flowing on Stanleys Name Spur 3 weeks ago, and I'd imagine with the rain it would still be OK.



Anyone been up here recently and can report on water status, might head up next week?
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