Leeaberra Track

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Leeaberra Track

Postby Russ17 » Wed 05 Jul, 2017 4:27 pm

There doesn't seem to be a lot of info around on the Leeaberra track apart from the Parks 2 page flyer so thought I would share some info from completing it on the weekend

The E road access at the northern end, there are two large dips/ crossings - a 4wd or reasonable clearance AWD is required to get through these in order to drive to the trail head. The roads in are in reasonable condition otherwise. Tape has been used at intersections to identify the access road where required

Day 1 is pretty short and the track easily followed. Some one has very recently been through and cleared up fallen trees on the track with a chainsaw from start to finish. The first nights campsites down above the Douglas river are numerous and could probably easily fit 4 tents/ different groups. Water is readily available below the camp sites.
The walk downstream to the top of Heritage Falls is easy. The scramble down to the bottom of Heritage Falls is steep but worth it. Beautiful falls!! Leeabbera Falls are easy to access at the top but would appear to require a similar steep scramble to get to the amazing blue pool beneath. Really beautiful spot
It was a cold location, sun dropping behind the hills early and no sun into the camp site until quite late but no problem insects or other dramas

Day 2 is a short steepish scramble form the campsite up to the Rainforest Ledge side trip. From here its an easy ridgeline walk to the Nichols Cap side track, definitely worth walking out to. From this turn off its a reasonably steep descent to camp 2 on the south bank of the Douglas River. This is a really nice camping location aa bit smaller than the first nights. Good water access and sun into the afternoon and early in the morning. Could potentially push on and camp further along to shorten day 3 but the fire trail road area was still frosty and without sun mid morning

Day 3 is the longest and starts with a reasonably steep hike out of the valley to the fire trail and then some overgrown tracks to the Denison Rivulet which had other campsites scattered around. Water was also flowing here but it was cool and frosty. From here a little more care is required as the track becomes a pad and quote indistinct at times. A snake was close to the track sunning himself on the rocks and I imagine the whole track could be quite accommodating for snake spotting in the warmer months. There was no additional water from the Denison Rivulet until track end at the Apsley River crossing. It was pretty warm heading up the northern slopes on day 3 and cool to very cool on the backs of them

I think it was a bit more challenging than the easy that Parks states. In warmer months with limited water it could be a hot dry slog at times towards the southern portion. Track/ pad identification is required at times and care needed to be taken in parts

A really nice bush walk with some variety. Definitely not eye catching every step of the way like some of Tassies other walks but a great way to spend a few winters days
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Re: Leeaberra Track

Postby Mechanic-AL » Wed 05 Jul, 2017 6:50 pm

Thanks for the post Russ.
I have only ever walked the Appsley Gorge section ( an awesome walk ) and have often wondered what else is out there so you info is appreciated.

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Re: Leeaberra Track

Postby Thornbill » Fri 07 Jul, 2017 1:24 pm

Thanks for the post Russ

I walked the Leeaberra Track a couple of years ago. We saw no people over the 3 days in October when we walked it. If you enjoy different vegetation communities and plenty of flowers, this makes for a great spring walk.
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Re: Leeaberra Track

Postby naturelover » Tue 01 Aug, 2017 4:38 pm

Hi. Thanks for that. I have had the two waterfalls on my bucket list for a bit, so was interested to read your report. How far extra would I have to walk if I'm too scared to drive my Subaru Forester over the sections where you said I need high clearance??? Or would a Forester be OK?? Ta
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Re: Leeaberra Track

Postby north-north-west » Tue 01 Aug, 2017 4:47 pm

The two creek crossings are steep and narrow. I wouldn't be game in a Forester, but it's your car.

It's only an hour or so to the carpark.
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Re: Leeaberra Track

Postby naturelover » Tue 01 Aug, 2017 9:12 pm

Thanks so much for that advice NNW. My car is less than a year old, and is the first new car I have ever owned. I am not very brave with my newish baby. I don't mind an extra two hours' (I'll go in and out the same way) walking.
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Re: Leeaberra Track

Postby whynotwalk » Wed 02 Aug, 2017 8:52 am

I walked the track in 2011, and according to my notes we walked an extra 5.5km from the creek crossing in question (didn't have 4wd). It was hot - yes, even in October - and it took over 3 hours just to get to the actual start of the track. I did a four part Leeaberra series on my blog, starting here: http://www.naturescribe.com/2011/10/goo ... oiled.html

Overall verdict: well worth doing. (Go for it Louise!)

cheers

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Re: Leeaberra Track

Postby naturelover » Wed 02 Aug, 2017 8:56 am

Thanks so much for that Peter, and I will definitely read your excellent blog later today. Sounds like I might need to do an overnighter rather than a single day trip. No probs there! Thanks for the advice
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Re: Leeaberra Track

Postby Thornbill » Wed 02 Aug, 2017 9:13 am

From memory it took us around an hour with full packs from the first wash out to the start of the track. As NNW has said, the creek crossings are pretty steep and I reckon you'd be brave taking a new Subie across them. The falls are lovely, as are the two main campsites on the track. When I did it, you we're allowed camp fires until October too. Worth double checking if this is still the case before lighting one though. Perfect winter walk. Enjoy.
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Re: Leeaberra Track

Postby north-north-west » Wed 02 Aug, 2017 7:18 pm

Even if you're only going as far as the falls it's worth doing at as overnighter, because the creek and falls are really beautiful and it's worth spending the time exploring them thoroughly (and taking a gazillion photos). Plus the rainforest loop is a nice variation to do. And you can go to Lookout Hill and even Nichols Cap from that end.
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Re: Leeaberra Track

Postby L_Cham_67 » Wed 30 Aug, 2017 6:10 pm

Does anyone know what the water levels would be like at this time of year at the Denison Rivulet campsite? Thinking about doing this walk next week but would need to be out early on the final day so would rather the final day be shorter.
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Re: Leeaberra Track

Postby L_Cham_67 » Thu 31 Aug, 2017 10:31 am

Russ17 wrote:Day 3 is the longest and starts with a reasonably steep hike out of the valley to the fire trail and then some overgrown tracks to the Denison Rivulet which had other campsites scattered around. Water was also flowing here but it was cool and frosty.

Never mind, I should have read the original post in more detail!
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Re: Leeaberra Track

Postby stepbystep » Thu 31 Aug, 2017 11:28 am

My only experience of this track wasn't good, soon after East Coast floods a cpl years back, water levels were still high and the forest very wet, that was fine, but the 10 million leeches per square metre was less than fine!

I'd avoid doing it if the conditions feel 'leechy'...I'm going to do it in warmer months next time to allow for some swimming, it's lovely country to walk in.
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Re: Leeaberra Track

Postby L_Cham_67 » Thu 31 Aug, 2017 1:41 pm

stepbystep wrote:
I'd avoid doing it if the conditions feel 'leechy'....

I'll bear that in mind SBS. I'm not committed to the walk yet, so it may depend on what the forecast is like. Rainfall levels have been about average this month, and the forecast for Bicheno is only predicting a few mm over the next week, so I may avoid a leech-fest :wink:
You're right though. Walking through a forest of densely populated leeches does not appeal!
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Re: Leeaberra Track

Postby north-north-west » Sun 03 Sep, 2017 10:13 am

stepbystep wrote:My only experience of this track wasn't good, soon after East Coast floods a cpl years back, water levels were still high and the forest very wet, that was fine, but the 10 million leeches per square metre was less than fine!

Must be something about me, but I've done the track twice during the damper parts of the year and never seen a leech, even in the rainforest section.
Or maybe it's something about you that attracts them . . .
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Re: Leeaberra Track

Postby L_Cham_67 » Tue 05 Sep, 2017 3:26 pm

Finished the Leeaberra Track today, and only saw two leeches, both at the Heritage Falls campsite. I only have a couple of extra points to add to the original post:
-The sidetrip into Heritage Falls has actually been closed, with notices up at both ends. Much of the vegetation has been pushed over from flooding, blocking the track. However it is still possible to just rock hop down the river.
-I camped at Denison Rivulet last night, and found very few sites. One was a few hundred metres south away from the rivulet, another was about 50 metres away on the southern side of the rivulet (and just off the track with a campfire pit already there) and there is also space to camp on the track in one spot. I pitched my tent on the second of those three choices.
Oh, and a family of huntsman spiders was living in the registration box at the northern end. :wink:
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Re: Leeaberra Track

Postby bogholesbuckethats » Wed 04 Oct, 2017 9:49 am

Did this walk as an overnighter last weekend, no leeches to report of. Ive put together some track notes and times if anyone is interested. https://bogholesandbuckethats.wordpress ... rra-track/
That looks like a pad.
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Re: Leeaberra Track

Postby gatesy » Tue 04 Sep, 2018 5:48 pm

I did it back in July as an overnighter including the road walk

I actually got 2 leeches on me through the trip

I suppose that's just because I'm an attractive bloke

PS. Apologies for opening an old thread!
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Re: Leeaberra Track

Postby seakar » Thu 11 Oct, 2018 7:19 am

I would just like to add, if walking in on the road from the Northern end. Make shore you have enough water. It is surprisingly dry. I walked in to Heritage Falls on the last weekend in September and the first flowing water was a small stream 20 mins before The Falls. Just think carry enough for 10km.

Camp at Heritage is really worth it.
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Re: Leeaberra Track

Postby Blue Jacket Hiker » Mon 10 Aug, 2020 9:25 am

AUG 2020 Track Update:
I should probably preface this update with the fact that I had intentions of running the length of the track 24kms or so in a morning. While more of a hiker, I've been enjoying trail running more with limited time windows away from a young family in recent years. Reasonably experienced, I did my research last week including this blog, parks site and an old favourite Bog Holes and Bucket Hats...it did not adequately prepare my optimistic brain for the challenge ahead.

I thought it might take me a few hours to run the track based on similar elevation/distance trails that I regularly run around the mountain and a recent jaunt up to the Labrynth last week. I grossly underestimated the extra time required to a) trek through the overgrown cutting grass, bush, shin-high sticks and fallen trees, and b) the time lost due to regular loss of track due to overgrown bush, down trees and veryoccassional markers.

Fair to say some humble pie was served up steaming hot on Saturday morning! Still beautiful scenery and enjoyable feeling so exposed in the wilderness while utilising my "survival"/navigational skills to 'head downhill towards a creek in a westerly direction to then follow the creek and discover the elusive orange markers from there' when I became seriously lost despite my GPS (and hard map) suggesting I was very close to, if not "on track". Unfortunately the lack of mobile reception was my biggest issue to let my family know that despite running terribly late, I was fine!

A little battered and bruised I managed to get to the halfway trail junction with the Organ Hill Fire Trail and took the "Emergency Exit" (my Plan B). Although pretty knackered, I sprinted down the FT until I found reception to let my 'rescuers' know I was safe and sound. Met them on the highway by Denison Beach there about 4.5 hours after my start (1.5 hours late), a little sheepish and crest fallen but thankful to be able to run free in our beautiful bush.

In short, the first half of the track is very overgrown with the headhigh cutting grass the most challenging at lower altitudes. Def not suitable for running for much of the bushier sections at my ability. A beautiful bit of bush, especially if you're looking for a bit of a challenge and have the time to regulalry stay on course, or find your own adventure (despite thick, lush, wet bush and lots of fallen trees, there is always a good reference point like creeks/rivers, small summits and changes in altitude - downhill/uphill to find your way).Image Image Image Image
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Re: Leeaberra Track

Postby Blue Jacket Hiker » Mon 10 Aug, 2020 9:38 am

P.S. I should probably add that as is always advised I was carrying the appropriate safety gear water/food, map, GPS locater, PLB, spare warm clothes, rain jacket and phone. Without the GPS, I would've been more cautious but even without GPS, I just picked my "out": a creek, downhill in a westerly direction from where I was lost, because I knew I could track up and down the creek much easier than the thick bush to find the track markers. To get there I just used the age-old technique of picking a big tree or rock in the direction I need to go and headed to that. Stopped. Reassessed. Then picked the next point and so on. Managed to find the track just as I was getting toward the creek.

I gained a bit of knowledge from this experience, mostly surrounding my optimism but also clear communication with those expecting me at the end. I SHOULD have shared my Plan B with them before I needed to action it (out of range) and also explained the possibility of a larger range of finishing time to avoid any worry eg. between X am and Y am, I'll just text you when I can.

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Re: Leeaberra Track

Postby north-north-west » Mon 10 Aug, 2020 4:44 pm

I am a truly horrible person who started laughing as soon as you said "running the length of the track ... in a morning". Even when it's in relatively good condition (for it) the Leeaberra is not really a running route.

Also, issues with cutting grass etc . . . please tell me you went north to south. The worst cutting grass is on the flats near the Dennison Rivulet which is in the southern half of the park. The only other cutting grass that can be a real issue is between the falls campsite and the rainforest ledge junction.
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Re: Leeaberra Track

Postby norts » Mon 10 Aug, 2020 8:16 pm

Funny this should come up, I was up at the northern terminus on Thursday 6 Aug. I was MTBing down from Dalmayne Rd/East Rd through to Tasman Hwy. Thought I would take a slight detour and go up and look at the start, I hadnt been there since about 2001. Shouldnt have bothered , a *&%$#! slog up that hill, lots of hike a bike. I am not fit.
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Re: Leeaberra Track

Postby Blue Jacket Hiker » Tue 11 Aug, 2020 8:16 am

north-north-west wrote:I am a truly horrible person who started laughing as soon as you said "running the length of the track ... in a morning". Even when it's in relatively good condition (for it) the Leeaberra is not really a running route.

Also, issues with cutting grass etc . . . please tell me you went north to south. The worst cutting grass is on the flats near the Dennison Rivulet which is in the southern half of the park. The only other cutting grass that can be a real issue is between the falls campsite and the rainforest ledge junction.


Laughing is a must, *&%$#! horrible time of it! My wife is almost laughing about it too LOL!

Yeah I def went North to South (this is also because of the plant disease in the southern half, south to north is prohibited by Parks) but I had heard the Denison Marshes was the worst so after the start I had, Plan B quickly became escape Plan A!

I don't mind a bit of rock hopping and navigating but the combination of things for my ability, yes this was not a running route!
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