What an adventure! 110km and 7 days… (all photos courtesy of Jess!)
Jess and I were really looking forward to this trail. It goes through Bago State Forest and is located just west of the northern region of Kosciuszko National Park and even dips inside of it for a day. The trail was alive with wildlife since it was beginning of spring and boy did that make things interesting to say the least! The first 2 days were a bit of a strain physically with my ankle but after the 2nd day it felt stronger than ever! I remember a point where it was hurting and as I told Jess, this beautiful butterfly went past me reminding me of Tonya (and her strength). Jess and I loved that moment! It happened a few times, just at the right time 😉
Day 1- Blowering Dam w/ fresh hips and fully loaded packs with 7 days of food
The first three days of the hike were sensational. We hiked around the beautiful Blowering Dam and camped along the water for 2 nights. We also got to see wild echidnas, emus, kangaroos and black cockatoos!
Camp – night 1
Day 2 – hiking along the dam and through a beautiful pine forest filled with cockatoos!
Night 2 camp-
Day 3 – We left beauty of Blowering Dam and climbed over Gurkeroo ridge towards Tablingo. No photos this day because we needed to save the battery! We also overshot our campsite because of some confusion with the trail, the gps and the map all saying different directions. We ended up having to sneakily camp on private property with another hiker who also couldn’t find Ben Smith Campground (and had spent quite some time searching for it!)
Day 4 – disaster camp on private property to Buddong Falls
UP UP UP – Day 4 we climbed a pretty steep section to Buddong Falls where we got to camp at the top of this powerful waterfall. The water was delicious!
camp night 4- Buddong Falls
We have been experimenting with dehydrating our own food for the trail. This one was our favourite! Spaghetti Bol with veggies and mince (plus some creole seasoning and tabasco!) I dream of this meal at night.
Day 5 – Buddong falls to Paddys River Dam Campsite
Photos can’t do this section of Bago State forest any justice.
camp night 5 – Paddys River Dam Campsite
Day 6- Paddys River Dam Campsite to Junction Campsite (25km day)
I woke up at 3am to the sound of something outside our tent stomping around. I started kicking, clapping and stomping to scare it off. It turned out to be wild brumbies around our camp! Since we were wide awake and it was a full moon we made the decision to do a little night hiking to watch the forest come alive with the sun. It was by far the best experience I have had hiking to date. We got to see a few brumbies in the full moon light. Magical! However, it was well below freezing when we got out of the tent. All of our water tubes were frozen and even Jess’ shirt was so solid she stood it up right on the table!!
It was a pretty eventful day. We started off by seeing so many wild brumbies and we were excited! We then read in the logbook “beware of the brumbies in coffee pot region”. Oh man! We got chased by a pretty massive black stallion protecting it’s foal. I don’t think I’ve ever gone that fast! I wanted to climb a tree but luckily once he was close he stood there and let his band pass safely before trotting off angrily. This happened a number of times with both brumbies and cattle! Spring – didn’t even consider it when we left!
We ended up hiking a pretty massive day for 12 hours and 25km. We got to camp so excited to set up and sleep. The tent decided to snap in half and form a tepee! Luckily we put our creative thinking hats on and used a sturdy tent peg and KT tape to get it to hold through the night! We were pretty deliriously tired and sunburnt. Jess and I realised that we both handle stressful situations like this with humour and giggle fits. In hindsight it’s one of my favourite moments.
Here I am in making my “what the hell do we do with this” face…
we fixed it and we are in!
Day 7 – Junction Campsite to Henry Angel Trackhead
We hiked out on day 7 and joined civilisation!
We arrived in town smellier, dirtier, drier, hungrier but surprisingly stronger than when we arrived.
I had been dreaming of a cheeseburger and chips for about 4 days now and I couldn’t wait to fill that empty place in my body. We hitched a ride with a really lovely local family into the town of Tablingo (population 970). I was getting so excited during the car ride when I heard there was an IGA and a cafe! I look back now and realise that family probably thought I was crazy. I was so stoked to pull into the 1 street town! I was in awe!
Here I am enjoying the best burger ever! I believe we ate here 4 times during our stay 🙂
Can’t wait to share more of our adventures with you soon!