Sunday, October 17, 2021

Wilpena Resort to Cooinda Camp via Edowie Gorge, Ikara~Flinders Ranges National Park - June 2012

Late afternoon at Glenora Falls in Edowie Gorge was pretty epic.

This is another old walk that I've added a few photos to and fixed up a bit of the writing on to help keep me sane during Melbourne's interminable Corona Lockdowns. Once again this is another of the walks that I'd originally put up on my Crazy Guy Journals before I even had a blog.

The plan for this trip was to head over to the Flinders Ranges for a two day walk around Wilpena Pound before heading up to the Gammon Ranges for a longer stroll. So at 4:00am on the first day of winter 2012 I excitedly jumped in my car and took off towards Wilpena, a short drive of around 1200 kilometres. It wasn't too long before the heater was hot and the music was cranking as I passed by the Grampians just as the sun was rising. From there I headed to Nhill and turned off onto the Murrayville track, a roller coaster track over numerous sand dunes. The route I was taking from Melbourne to Wilpena was possibly the shortest, although probably not the quickest route, however it certainly was the most interesting way to get from Melbourne to Wilpena. Once off the Murrayville Track I zig zagged my way through Pinnaroo, Loxton, Waikerie, and finally cross the Murray River on the ferry at Cadell. From there I headed up through Burra, Peterborough, Orroroo, Hawker, before finally arriving at Wilpena at 5.30pm (I gained 30 minutes when I crossed the border) after a fairly long day.

This walk started off with a long road trip from Melbourne to the Flinders Ranges.

I took the shortest (but probably not the quickest) route up the Murrayville Track through Big Desert.

When I'd turned up today the weather was looking a bit ordinary as I headed into the Flinders Ranges, with a steady rain falling. Almost one year earlier I'd had to call off my first attempt at a multi day bike tour on the Mawson trail due the rain in the Flinders Rangers. Considering this country is classed as semi-arid I was certainly dealing with my share of rain. The rain did have a positive aspect to it though as at least some of the waterholes should have water in them which will save me carrying too much water.

Heading into the Flinders Ranges National Park overhead conditions were a little sub optimal!

Within 15 minutes of checking in to my room at the Wipena Resort the room looked like a bomb had gone off, with gear spread from one end to the other. After repacking and checking everything it was off to the pub for dinner. A cosy night was spent in front of the fire having a few beers and a good feed and watching the rain come down outside. After a call to Sam I was off to bed after what had been a fairly big day.

I spent a comfortable night before (and after) the walk at the Wilpena Resort.

Waking to a reasonably clear day lifted my spirits a bit as I wasn't looking forward to slogging through red mud all day. After a last minute check of my gear, I headed to the restaurant for breakfast and savoured not only the breakfast and the coffee, but also the warmth from the fire. All too soon it was time to leave the warmth and get on my way. Parking the ute in the long term walkers car park  I picked up my camping permit from the visitor centre and then hit the track.

After parking the ute in the long term walkers car park I grabbed my permit and set off under reasonably clear skies.

My walk started off by following a closed management road along Wilpena Creek.

The route initially followed a dirt road that runs beside Wilpena Creek to Pound Gap, apart from the shuttle bus transporting less mobile day walkers it's walkers only on this road. I'm not normally a big fan of walking on roads, but this 2 kilometres was quite a pleasant way to ease myself into the stroll. There was a little bit of water in Wilpena Creek and the red gums and bluffs made for a scenic stroll. After reaching Pound Gap I took track that crosses to the west side of the creek and soon emerged inside the Wilpena Pound at Hill's Homestead. At the beginning of the last century settlers tried to make a go from growing wheat in the pound, however the marginal rainfall and the fact that when it did rain it washed the only access road away led to the abandonment of the homestead in 1914. The homestead has been restored and made a good place to leave my pack while I climbed up to Wangarra Lookout.

Passing through Pound Gap.

There is a good tourist track through Pound Gap.

Easy walking approaching Hill's Homestead.

The historic Hill's Homestead.

As well as the more recent European History there is thousands of years of indigenous history up here.

The climb to Wangarra Lookout is on a good track and it made a nice side trip without the pack, the view was only slightly diminished by the overcast morning skies. Once back at Hill's Homestead I grabbed my pack and headed off to cross Wilpena Pound. Walking across Wilpena Pound is as easy as it gets really, except for the last 500 metres the track was basically flat and the only small problem being that of a bit of mud as a result of the recent rain. The mud was more than compensated for by the scenery though which included plenty of Native Pines, Red Gums, as well as lots of grassy openings that came complete with grazing Kangaroos.

Wilpena Pound from Wangarra Lookout.

Looking across Wilpena Pound towards the southern wall.

Hill's Homestead from Wangarra Lookout.

Mt Ohlssen Bagge from Wangarra Lookout.

I was now heading across Wilpena Pound towards Malloga Falls.

I passed by the Heysen Trail heading off towards Bridle Gap.

Last time I walked across Wilpena Pound with Sam we were sloshing through mud most of the way.

By lunch time I was already at Cooinda Camp so I made myself comfortable and had something to eat whilst checking out the best place to camp. I decided on a spot between two mallee trees that should get a bit of morning sun as the cloud had now cleared and I was thinking I would be in for a pretty cold night. With the tent up and most of my gear stashed I grabbed my small daypack and set off towards Edeowie Gorge.

Easy walking across Wilpena Pound.

There is always a lot of wildlife in Wilpena Pound.

The track to Edeowie Gorge was not as well defined as the main track however it was still easy enough to follow, the important thing being to locate the large cairn which marks the descent point into the gorge. About 600 metres from Cooinda Camp there is a rock hole that sometimes has water in it which is the most reliable water near the camp. Sure enough as I walked passed on the pad high above I could see some water reflecting down in the creek so I stashed a water bottle which I would fill up on my way back to camp. From there it was a pleasant walk to the cairn, and then a short decent to Malloga Falls in Edeowie Gorge with the only obstacle being a waterfall which I climbed around on the lefthand side.

Finding this cairn is a reasonably important navigational aid when dropping into Edowie Gorge. 

The walking was totally off piste from here on.

Malloga Falls

Leaving Malloga Falls I followed Edowie Creek downstream to Glenora Falls.

The afternoon winter sunlight lighting up a Grass Tree in Edowie Gorge.

From Malloga Falls I meandered down the gorge for 2.5 kilometres until I reached Glenora Falls. The route down Edowie Gorge follows the bed of Edowie Creek and is a scenic, but slowish walk. Edowie Gorge gets more spectacular the further into it you get. The Cypress Pines standing out on the red cliffs and the huge gnarly old red gums lining the creek. Once I made it down to Glenora Falls it was time for a rest and a drink and to soak up the view. Glenora Falls is a rugged and wild old place with rocky bluffs towering above so it made for a very pleasant place to relax on the rocks for awhile this afternoon. 

Edowie Gorge, Flinders Ranges National Park.

Edowie Gorge, Flinders Ranges National Park.

Edowie Gorge, Flinders Ranges National Park.

Edowie Gorge, Flinders Ranges National Park.

Edowie Gorge, Flinders Ranges National Park.

The walking down Edowie Creek was rough but mostly scrub free.

Glenora Falls drops through the slot.

Glenora Falls.

Resting on top of Glenora Falls this afternoon I wasn't in danger of being overwhelmed by crowds!

Retracing the route out of the gorge gave me a bit of a different perspective on the scenery and it seemed to be a much quicker trip out than it was on the way in. Once back at the big cairn above the gorge I had some epic views of Wilpena Pound with the late afternoon sun now low in the sky. At one stage I even had an Emu lead me along the track for awhile although every time I tried to stop to get a photo it would turn a corner and I'd lose it just before I could get the shot. Soon enough I was back at the rock hole near camp so I grabbed my water bottles a scrambled down to the creek to check out the water. The rock hole is actually a small waterfall with a small pool at its base however the pool looked a little ordinary for drinking. Luckily there were a couple of smaller rock pools at the top of the falls which were left over from the recent rain that looked a lot better. So I filled two bottles up and popped in a purifying tablet, calculating that with what I had left back at camp then I'd have enough to get back to the Wilpena Resort tomorrow.

Glenora Falls, Edowie Gorge.

Late afternoon in Edowie Gorge, Flinders Ranges National Park.

Late afternoon in Edowie Gorge, Flinders Ranges National Park.

Late afternoon in Edowie Gorge, Flinders Ranges National Park.

Late afternoon in Edowie Gorge, Flinders Ranges National Park.

Late afternoon in Edowie Gorge, Flinders Ranges National Park.

Late afternoon in Edowie Gorge, Flinders Ranges National Park.

Late afternoon in Edowie Gorge, Flinders Ranges National Park.

Late afternoon in Edowie Gorge, Flinders Ranges National Park.

Late afternoon in Edowie Gorge, Flinders Ranges National Park.

The sun was setting by the time I got back to camp and started to cook dinner and the temperature was also heading down with the sun so and it wasn't long before I had my thermals and beanie on. After dinner and a hot chocolate it was straight into the sleeping bag for a relaxing night reading. The feeling of lying down after walking all day is one I savour on every trip and it wasn't long before I nodded off and slept like a log.

I got some nice reflections on my walk back up Edowie Creek.

Edowie Creek

There are some big old Red Gums in Edowie Gorge.

Heading back through the pound to Cooinda Camp in the late afternoon light.

Late afternoon in Wilpena Pound.

The Dirt.
I walked around 22 kilometres and climbed around 350 metres on what I'd call a medium grade days walking. The track itself was extremely clear and well signposted until I reached Cooinda Camp. From Cooinda Camp to Edowie Gorge the track got a little rougher and less we'll defined, once in the gorge it was moderately rough off piste walking down Edowie Creek all the way to Glenora Falls. Water in the Flinders Ranges is scarce, I got water at the rock hole in North Wilpena Creek a couple of hundred metres north-west from Cooinda Camp. I could of also picked up water in Edowie Gorge in a few spots. I treated the water with a purification tablet. Back in 2012 when I did this walk Cooida Camp was just a few patches of bare dirt in a copse of Mallee Trees, there were no facilities.

Relevant Posts.

I picked up some water from a rock hole in North Wilpena Creek a few hundred metres from Cooinda Camp.

Cooinda Camp was fairly basic affair back in the day.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Lynbrook Creek Trail - October 2021

Banjo Paterson Lake.

Hey, hey, with our short sharp Corona Lockdown # 6 looking like it's going to be dragging on for at least another month down here I'm dredging the bottom of the barrel a bit when it comes to finding new walks now. After scouring maps for patches of green to explore I'd pretty well exhausted all my legal options. Thankfully at about the same time as I shelled out for the Pro version of Alltrails my Covid leg rope was extended to 15 kilometres from home and I suddenly found myself with a few more options though. So anyway, after consulting my distance from home app along with my Alltrails map I came up with this little stroll over at Lynbrook.

The sun was just starting to rise behind the Sikh Temple when I set off this morning.

The sun had yet to show itself when I pulled up the ute at Lynbrook this morning. Lynbrook is one of those fairly recent suburbs that have sprung up in the cities of Australia, a place where working people and new immigrants have made their homes, a place where a house and land is still somewhat attainable on an average wage. Unfortunately a lot of these newer suburbs seem to lack a lot in the way of infrastructure and community facilities so arriving at the start of the walk I was interested to see what was going on in this little piece of suburban paradise. The existence of this trail is probably a little to do with the government now scrambling to build the infrastructure that the growing community needs, I'm thinking. So anyway after parking on the other side of Evans Road near the Sikh Temple I set off through the deserted streets of Lynbrook to check things out. 

My mornings walk started off by following the suburban Banjo Circuit for a few minutes.

After a short suburban walk along Banjo Circuit I arrived at the start of the large BarnBam Swamp and started the walk north. The trail now followed a footpath with the houses of Lynbrook on the right and BarnBam Swamp off to the left. Like on most of my Covid walks I'd set off pretty early this morning - social distancing is a lot easier when there is no one to social distance from I've found, and indeed I was shuffling along more or less on my own this morning, well unless you count the Bin Chickens who have made their home in the swamp. After tracking along beside BarnBan Swamp for twenty minutes or so I arrived at the deserted Lynbrook Railway Station (remember, we we're in a Covid Lockdown) and left the swamp behind and started the Lynbrook Creek section of the walk.

I had BarnBam Swamp off to my left and the suburban houses of Lynbrook off to my right until I reached the Lynbrook Station.

Early morning in Lynbrook.

BarnBam Swamp.

BarnBam Swamp, Lynbrook.

Crossing over the oval in the Paterson Drive Reserve I was meant to pick up a boardwalk over a swamp, although arriving at the start of the boardwalk I found it fenced off with the deck having been removed. Now I did contemplate going around the fence and skipping across the skeleton like frame of the boardwalk, although being a stickler for rules I decided that wouldn't be a prudent course of action... well, that and the fact there was an easy detour around the boardwalk! With Lynbrook Creek now flowing through a corridor of native bush off to my left this bit of the walk was actually pretty good, although with the sound of the busy Western Port Highway easily audible it wasn't always peaceful. 

Lynbrook Station is really where the Lynbrook Creek Trail came into its own.

Paterson Drive Reserve.

Wetlands in the Paterson Drive Reserve.

Yes, I did consider it....!

Lynbrook Creek Trail.

Lynbrook Creek Trail.

Apart from a couple tiny excursions it was a pretty strait forward stroll all the way up until I reached Northey Road now. When I suddenly emerged from my green corridor onto Northey Road it was a little jarring to suddenly be deposited into a light industrial area although I suppose the juxtaposition between nature, the suburban areas, the nearby highway and railway line, along with the industrial area is one of the things that make this walk interesting (he say's in a glass half full kind of way!). Northey Road was the northern extremity of this stroll so all I had to do now really was to retrace my steps back down to the ute, a journey that I enlivened where I could with a few variants which along with the changing early morning light helped keep me interested.

Early morning at Lynbrook Creek.

Lynbrook Creek.

I'm about to emerge onto Northey Road - this is as far north as the trail goes.

Lynbrook Creek.

Paterson Drive Reserve Wetlands.

Paterson Drive Reserve Wetlands.

The Dirt.
According to my GPS I walked around 7.6 kilometres and climbed about 49 metres this morning on this easy walk. This walk isn't really way marked and the signposting is fairly hit and miss for a lot of the distance so most people would find some kind of map useful I'm thinking, I used the Alltrails map although Google Maps will get you through. I'm thinking that this is another of those walks to consider if anyone finds themselves in the area or who lives locally (or finds themselves in yet another Covid Lockdown!). The Banjo Paterson Reserve looks like it would make a nice spot for a picnic and has a nice children's playground. 

Relevant Posts.

I think that look pretty well sums up my mood at the moment!

Lynbrook Creek Trail.

Bin Chickens out enjoying BarnBam Swamp.

Pelion Hut to Mt Ossa return, Overland Track - April 2010

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