Sunday, 27 September 2015

Collins Bonnet

Saturday 26th September 2015

Collins Bonnet
On a picture perfect day I took some friends up to Collins Bonnet as they had not been before. We started from Big Bend on Pinnacle Road and walked out and back the same way. See previous post here.  I was going to visit the points of interest on Mount Connection on the way back, but I think everyone felt they had done enough by then, so we just walked back to the car. The time taken of 7 hours was almost 2 hours longer than when I walked it solo, but that is to be expected.
This is a great walk and probably the best way to walk to Collins Bonnet as the scenery is much better than other ways.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Esperance River

Wednesday 16th September 2015

Esperance River
Today's walk was along the Esperance River in the Raminea Plains area.
The walk start was on an old side track off Esperance River Road which turns off the highway at Strathblane. I had been here before when I walked Raminea Plains last year.
I set off up the old track that headed towards the river and turned south east to hopefully pick up another track that should go along the riverbank in a northerly direction. Well, I did find the track, eventually, but it was severely overgrown, but having come this far I persevered with it until I came to a clearer track. There was not a great deal to see along this section anyway so it is probably best to avoid this part and take the short cut I used on the way back. It is overgrown also but is much shorter.

 The track carried on along the river where there were plenty of spots to go down to the bank and check out the scenery. I soon reached the bridge on Esperance River Road that spans the river.

 There were camping spots on either side of the bridge and the western side has a picnic shelter, BBQ and toilet. After crossing the bridge I once more headed to the bank of the river and walked along an old track.
From the Bridge

From the Bridge

I continued on and the track seemed to peter out and then I was following a faint pad (human or animal, I am not sure) but this also disappeared and then I was bush bashing through cutting grass and assorted scrub. I was trying to cut straight across to the river but the scrub was too bad, so elected to walk out to the road and follow a track I knew was there back down to the river. This worked out okay and I finally reached the area I had been aiming for. This was a nice spot where there were more camping spots and a river crossing of sorts.
Camping area

Some one has been clever

River crossing
I walked up and down the river trying to find a place where I could cross without getting my boots wet, but decided to opt for safety and walk in the water. The rocks were simply too slippery to provide a easy crossing. I found a stick to steady myself and crossed over. The water was up to my knees in places but not flowing too swiftly. I then sloshed uphill on an old track to a road and down another track to a point where the river does an S bend. This was a lovely spot and my destination.
At the S bend

At the S bend

Some one else has been clever

Downstream of the S bend
From here I walked back along the bank to the river crossing and then back along the road and various tracks to the car.
This was a very enjoyable walk and the river scenery was very pretty.
Distance: 11.4 kms.
Time: 4'33"
Ascent: 156 metres
Click here to download GPX file.

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Willies Falls

Thursday 10th September 2015

Willies Falls
Today, a friend and I did a short walk up to Willies Falls and beyond. See here for previous post.
We used a similar route to the one I followed last time but instead of returning back to the road the same way, we walked up to the top of the second cascade, and then uphill to an old forestry track. This track was then walked up to a small creek, just to see where it went. It was slightly overgrown but not too bad. The return was back down the track to the Jefferys track and to the car.
A good little short walk in fairly easy scrub.
Distance: 7.4 kms.
Time: 4'40"
Ascent: 513 metres
Click here to download GPX file.
Willies Falls

Second Cascade

Top of Second Cascade

Quaint little hut in a paddock beside the road

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Garretts Bight - The Long Way

Tuesday 1st September 2015

Garretts Bight
I wanted to do a longer walk today as I had not been on one for quite some time. This walk turned out to be longer than I was anticipating, but still, was very enjoyable. The normal way to walk to Garretts Bight is to drive down Narrows Road from Strathblane, past the fish farm and start on an old 4WD track. This is only a couple of hours walk although it can be extended by walking along the coastline. I seemed to have chosen the opposite and ended up walking for 8'20".
I intended to drive to Caterpillar Road just out of Strathblane and follow this until I came to a locked gate, which I was sure would be along there somewhere, and walk from there. What I had not anticipated was the locked gate was right at the start of Caterpillar Road!! This necessitated going to plan B. I drove down the highway a short distance and parked off the road in a clearing.
I set off up an overgrown slippery track, and missed a track that I should have taken and ended up doing a sort of dog leg. It did not matter that much and I noted my error on the return trip. After meeting a good road I continued south to an old logging track and up this until it ran out. I then had to bush bash for a short distance before meeting Caterpillar Road, crossed over it on to another road and began the uphill climb. It was a steady ascent to the high point on the walk. It was a great day and the birds were singing. I heard a couple of lyrebirds. The forest along here was quite nice even though most of it was regrowth.
Road on the descent
I passed a large quarry on the descent, a logging coup and caught a glimpse of Port Esperance through the trees.
Logging Coup

Port Esperance
 After about two and a half hours of walking I had my first glimpse of the dam on Stringers Creek. This apparently supplies water for the Tassal Fish Farm. I reached a point on the road near the dam and headed across country to try to get to the dam wall as I had to cross it to attain the track on the other side. This proved to be a little hairy as I came to a vertical drop. Luckily I had been taking it carefully. I reassessed and headed further north and  to the downstream side of the wall. From here it was easy to get up on top of the wall, which I crossed.
Stringers Creek Dam

Stringers Creek Dam

Stringers Creek Dam

Stringers Creek Dam

Below the Wall at Stringers Creek Dam
I continued on along the track on the eastern side of Stringers Creek where there were great lengths of poly pipe, large and small. Some pipes were over 500 metres long as there were markings on the side of the track, and some of the pipes appeared to have been in the sea because of the evidence of marine growth. I passed the second dam, downstream from the first, and located the track to Garretts Bight.
Poly pipe along the track

Marine growth on the pipes

Second Dam
The Garretts Bight track was quite wet and muddy but I reached the end in good time and climbed down to the sea availing myself of the two fixed ropes situated there. I checked the anchors and ropes before using them and all appeared sound. It would be impossible to access the beach at this spot without using the ropes as the ground was very wet and slippery. I stopped here for lunch and enjoyed the view. I did not have time to walk around to the actual bight which was a bit further around the coast.
Scott Point

Scott Point

Rope on the access to the beach
I did not stay long as I had a long walk back and was not looking forward to the uphill on the way.
I took a quick diversion to check out The Pines, which is a nice area on the coast where there are large pine trees.
Modern convenience at The Pines

The Pines

The Pines

Port Esperance

Port Esperance

The Pines
On the way back, just before I reached the high point on the walk, I met a Forestry guy checking the roads. We had a chat and he offered me a lift back down. I gracefully declined and continued on. Thankfully it was mostly downhill from here and I eventually reached the car. I was quite tired and grateful to finally finish.
This was an interesting and enjoyable walk. I dare say it would be a fairly easy bike ride for those enthusiasts, but starting from the gate on Caterpillar Road and riding to the dam. From here it would be difficult to get the bike down and across the dam, but I am sure some carry their bikes across some rough terrain.
Distance: 28.8 kms.
Time: 8'20"
Ascent: 1130 metres
Click here to download GPX file.