Australian Alps Walking Track Update

A forum for discussing the Australian Alps Walking Track. This is a 655 km long track from Walhalla (Vic) to Tharwa (ACT)

Australian Alps Walking Track Update

Postby Zapruda » Mon 15 Feb, 2021 7:56 am

I had the pleasure of attending the biennial AAWT stakeholder meeting at Charlotte Pass last week. The meeting was made up of Parks staff from Vic, ACT and NSW as well as stakeholders from organisations like Bushwalking Victoria, Canberra Bushwalking Club, National Parks Association, KHA, the Chapmans (guide book) and a few others. In total there were about 30 people in attendance over the two days.

I thought I would give a quick update on the state of the track for those who may be planing a walk in the near future.

ACT

- All of the official AAWT in the ACT is still closed

- Some very exciting new about to be released from ACT parks in regards to Namadgi including the Bimberi Wilderness!!! I cant say much else but there should be an announcement soon.

- The proposed alternate through the ACT is via the BNT from Oldfields hut and out toward Yaouk.

- Post fire tree assessment still underway

- Regrowth between upper cotter and Murray gap really bad after all the rain

- Baroomba to honeysuckle trail has been repaired but still not open.

Northern KNP

- AAWT open through this whole section.

- Foot bridge over Tantangara creek has been requested.

- This part of the park is recovering well post fires.

- No word on whether Four Mile hut, Happys hut or Brookes hut to be rebuilt.

- I have been part of a small team who has surveyed the historical route from Tabletop to Brookes hut site down Arsenic Ridge. Hopefully the AAWT will be realigned down the ridge. Awaiting NPWS environmental assessment.

Jagungal

- Business as usual. AAWT open

Main Range and Pilot

- AAWT will be realigned from Guthega to Charlotte pass on the new track that is part of the snowy Iconic Walk. I walked most of this small section and it is quite nice. It will be opening to the public soon.

- It was acknowledged by NPWS that most people go over the Rolling Ground as an alternate to the official track. Thankfully there wont be any infrastructure installed on this route.

- Upgrades underway on mesh walkway between Rawsons pass and Eagles Nest.

- Possible upgrade of the Dead Horse Gap track

- Possible toilet at Dead Horse Gap (Cascades carpark)

- Main Range very busy with 1000 people an hour walking past Rawsons Pass over the Xmas period!

- Pilot area recovering well post fire.

Cowombat - Johnnies top

- Recovering well

- Still some tree danger

fire affected section of the Australian Alps Walking Track is currently closed between Johnnies Top and Macs Creek Road.

The following vehicle tracks would be suitable as an alternative route west to east from Johnnies Top to Macs Creek Road:

Beloka Log Road

Buenba Gap Track

Buenba Road

Mt Hope Road

Buckwong Track

McCarthys Track

Macs Creek Road

Johnnies top to Hotham

- Johnnies top water tank survived.

- New johnnies top track (not much info)

Hotham to Mt Skene

- All water tanks survived

- Lots of markers burnt

- Barry saddle to Viking cleared

- Barry saddle tank upgraded!

- Lots of fallen timber

- Mt Howitt and King Billy track being damaged by horse riders

Walhalla update

- Black river log needs cross hatching. Too slippery

- Baw Baw plateau boardwalks being installed

- Walhalla being inundated with tourists

Guide book update

John and Monica Chapman releasing updated AAWT book in spring. The current edition is sold out.

I may have missed some things but I hope this helps someone. If anyone has any conflicting info please share below.
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Re: Australian Alps Walking Track Update

Postby crollsurf » Mon 15 Feb, 2021 9:11 am

I hope Murray Gap gets sorted because it's a nice section but it sounds like nothing is happening in a hurry in the ACT
Also I like the idea of the Guthega to Charlotte pass realignment. It's a lot better than the current official track.
Lets hope they rebuild the huts. The huts would have saved an unknown number of lives over the years.
Thanks for the update.
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Re: Australian Alps Walking Track Update

Postby Zapruda » Mon 15 Feb, 2021 9:18 am

The update from ACT was very promising. They are working hard and as I mentioned there will be an announcement very soon.
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Re: Australian Alps Walking Track Update

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Mon 15 Feb, 2021 12:10 pm

Long Spur and Mt. Mc Donald both have much fallen timber and head high scrub.
Yes I know the AAWT is often a bush bash/ slog but it is becoming a PITA on those sections.
Blackberries at Big River Saddle are becoming a nuisance for the first section heading up to Mt. Wills hut.
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Re: Australian Alps Walking Track Update

Postby Zapruda » Thu 08 Apr, 2021 12:42 pm

Namadgi is completely open now.

AAWT walkers can use the original route through the park right from the NSW border to Tharwa.

https://www.act.gov.au/our-canberra/lat ... dgi-reopen
Last edited by Zapruda on Thu 08 Apr, 2021 12:48 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Australian Alps Walking Track Update

Postby crollsurf » Thu 08 Apr, 2021 12:44 pm

Zapruda wrote:Namadgi is completely open now.

AAWT walkers can use the original route through the park right from the NSW border to Tharwa.

About time!


They had to wait for Anotherjonesy to give it the all clear :lol:
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Re: Australian Alps Walking Track Update

Postby Anotherjonesy » Thu 08 Apr, 2021 12:54 pm

Haha, I snuck through stressing for nothing.

Heard that it reopening was an any day affair anyhow, so didn't feel to guilty..
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Re: Australian Alps Walking Track Update

Postby ianhopkins » Wed 10 Nov, 2021 2:05 pm

Does anyone know the status of the section between Johnnie's Top and Macs Creek Road? Is the diversion still in place or has it been re-opened?
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Re: Australian Alps Walking Track Update

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Fri 19 Nov, 2021 12:57 pm

I recently walked the AAWT from pole 267 on the B.H..P. to Roper's hut. There is plenty of water .
East Tyers camping grounds are "closed to vehicles due to flood damage" but AAWT trekkers are still using the camp site at O` Shea's mill a.k.a East Tyers camping ground.
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Re: Australian Alps Walking Track Update

Postby peregrinator » Mon 10 Jan, 2022 4:07 pm

ianhopkins wrote:Does anyone know the status of the section between Johnnie's Top and Macs Creek Road? Is the diversion still in place or has it been re-opened?


I'm asking the same question. The diversion was reported by Zapruda, 15 Feb 2021.
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Re: Australian Alps Walking Track Update

Postby badd0g » Thu 13 Jan, 2022 3:39 pm

peregrinator wrote:
ianhopkins wrote:Does anyone know the status of the section between Johnnie's Top and Macs Creek Road? Is the diversion still in place or has it been re-opened?


I'm asking the same question. The diversion was reported by Zapruda, 15 Feb 2021.


Track is open apparently but this most recent report on AAWT facebook group suggests the area is in a compete shambles and the road is a better option. (FWIW this person is no slouch - if she struggled anyone would IMO)
"From johnnies, the track dissipated into nothing except the occasional footpad (but I am not 100% sure they were footpads). It descended down into the valley and it occasionally opened up a very light track but it was mostly bush bashing scramble over lots of fire damaged fallen trees (widow makers were everywhere), heaps of regrowth and a whole lotta bush *&^%$#!. The steepness is quite risky because of all the rubble. It was ‘slide down on your *&%$#!’ territory. I slid and rolled my ankle, not badly but enough to irritate me.
Once you get to the bottom you land in an awkward purgatory of knee deep swamp or extensive scramble along the base of the hill through fallen trees and (often) thick blackberry. Sometimes I felt like I found the track because according to my mapping and digital nav checks, I was ON it, but they often lead to illusive ‘break-your-ankle’ wombat holes that consistently threatened to aggravate my left ankle. I was tracking 0.8km/hr through these conditions which meant I wasn’t able to get to buenba camp.
"
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Re: Australian Alps Walking Track Update

Postby celmisia » Mon 17 Jan, 2022 12:41 pm

badd0g wrote:
peregrinator wrote:
ianhopkins wrote:Does anyone know the status of the section between Johnnie's Top and Macs Creek Road? Is the diversion still in place or has it been re-opened?


I'm asking the same question. The diversion was reported by Zapruda, 15 Feb 2021.


Track is open apparently but this most recent report on AAWT facebook group suggests the area is in a compete shambles and the road is a better option. (FWIW this person is no slouch - if she struggled anyone would IMO)
"From johnnies, the track dissipated into nothing except the occasional footpad (but I am not 100% sure they were footpads). It descended down into the valley and it occasionally opened up a very light track but it was mostly bush bashing scramble over lots of fire damaged fallen trees (widow makers were everywhere), heaps of regrowth and a whole lotta bush *&^%$#!. The steepness is quite risky because of all the rubble. It was ‘slide down on your *&%$#!’ territory. I slid and rolled my ankle, not badly but enough to irritate me.
Once you get to the bottom you land in an awkward purgatory of knee deep swamp or extensive scramble along the base of the hill through fallen trees and (often) thick blackberry. Sometimes I felt like I found the track because according to my mapping and digital nav checks, I was ON it, but they often lead to illusive ‘break-your-ankle’ wombat holes that consistently threatened to aggravate my left ankle. I was tracking 0.8km/hr through these conditions which meant I wasn’t able to get to buenba camp.
"


I walked the track in Nov/Dec and found this section to be alright. The old footpad is relatively easy to follow in some areas but not obvious in other sections. We found it easy to follow a 'path of least resistance' in most cases where there was thick regrowth but no obvious signs of the track - the regrowth is patchy enough you can follow a clear line on or close to the original track. But as that person points out, wombat burrows were a thing to watch. One thing to note is the newest track markers both heading down from Johnnies top and heading down off the Misery Trail weren't all that helpful at times. In some spots they clearly deviate from the old track, and following them - instead of our intuition - lead to harder walking.
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