Koscisuszko National Park. This was a 4 day hard backpacking trip researching sites around Tabletop, Temperance Ck, Boltons Hill and Mulligans Ck Areas plus a visit to Nine Mile Diggings and Four Mile Hut. Quite long hard days. Was lucky with largely good weather.
[provided as record of an old trip visiting many sites around Tabletop, Bolton’s Hill area]
Featured Image is Greg in the Tabletop Race west or south branch just NW of Tabletop
This is a report on a walking trip from Mt Selwyn to the Tabletop, Temperance Ck, Boltons Hill and Mulligans Ck Area plus a visit to Nine Mile Diggings and Four Mile Hut.
The main aim was to check out some sites in the Boltons Hill area, especially the old Boltons Hill Hut site, Mulligans Ck, Temperance Ck and Tabletop Races.
GPS readings of important sites were done using a Garmin Oregon 450 connected to 9-11 satellites and averaged over 1-2 minutes to provide a 100% reliable reading. In the GPS file/Maps the red waypoints are incorrect points, the green are sites not checked but may be valid, blue points are those I GPS’d.
David Scott sent me some map extracts of the area from his maps which showed some extra sites and slightly different races lengths but I didn’t get these until I returned. Thus I was not able to consider Site 38?, Site 41?, Yards near Dr Phillips, or the Clearhill sites south of Brooks.
Pictures referenced are from Google Photos. Total GPS recorded trip distance over 4 days was 70.2Km. Reference the end for information about pictures, files and GPS files.
Day 1 – Mon 18th April
Drove to Mt Selwyn and walked out on the track to the Tabletop track and then along it to the southern end of Tabletop.
I stopped at Nine Mile Diggings and viewed the Empress sluice gully. Wow! Very dramatic. Pics 5-6. I also checked out the header dam next to it on the south side. Pics 7-8.
I stopped where the Tabletop North and South races were supposed to join with one crossing the track. Pics 9-10.
I had several references for the Tabletop Hut site from KHA, SMA, Gatis Gregors and DS. I went straight down to the approx site where DS has provided a GPS reading and came across a small pile of stones at the chimney with some large pieces of old corrugated iron spread around.
I didn’t check out the other GPS references as I didn’t believe there was more than one site here. I thought I would have more time on the way back, but I didn’t. Pics 11-14.
Tabletop Hut site 636415 6017322 (DS’s ref 636412 6017313 not bad)
I tried to find the old Stockroute/Bridle trail that DS provided on a Google Earth track. However the start point turned out to be further south and thus I missed it. I followed the general direction but ended up entering Temperance Ck valley from the west side.
Day 2 – Tue 19th April
I made a basecamp on a ridge between the two main north-south arms of Temperance Ck.
I walked with a day pack and went down to Temperance Ck just to the west. I checked and found a trail going north south as well as the race that runs along its east side. This race has been cut out of the hillside in places. Pic 17.
However I went south and found that the Diggings are mainly an Open Cut section along the banks of the creek. Pics 18-20.
Temperance Creek Open Cut Diggings 636393 6015053
There is a small amount of disturbed land above this OC area but it quite small. I am not sure of it being diggings as it at the same level as where the race ends. Pic 21.
Possible Temperance Ck Diggings 636409 6015037
I also noticed some disturbed land downstream 350M SW as the Ck takes a 90 degree turn to the west. Pics 25-28.
Possible Diggings 636108 6014871
These are on a different a different map Old Adaminaby.
David Scott’s map extract called “hjacks_north2.jpg” has some issues at the borders of Dension, Old Adaminaby, Cabramurra and Toolong Range. DS’s maps shows Temperance Ck running east to west. His Old Adaminaby section does not show the Ck turning north and joining with the same Ck in Denison map. This obviously can’t be right. Pic 23-24.
DS’s map suggests that an old Temperance Track runs NS east of the Ck up to the Boltons Hill trail. I could not see any sign of this.
I then went up to Boltons Hill trail that I could see from near the OC area.
Boltons Hill Trail
This is a delightful grassy track with few impediments from its junction with the Tabletop Track. Pic 28. It’s well marked at the junction and has a sign pointing to the Boltons Hill Passive Reflector. The trail goes all the way to this site. GPS Map Pic 117.
Boltons Hill Hut site
I found the old turn off to the Bolton’s Hill hut but I lost it going down and along the hill and ended up far too high up the slope.
I wandered down a scree slope to the position that DS had marked. Pic 30. It was hard and quite treacherous even without a full pack. It was close to a creek. However no sign of anything here.
I then climbed slightly and traversed around looking for the site I took off the topo map. Not a thing. The scrub is awkward and thick in places.
Moving further south around the hill I headed for the northerly KHA reading (converted from AGD66 GR). I then went down a bit and found there was a large amount of small boulders flowing downhill with a stream flowing near it lower down.
Makes a better site if there is water around. Climbing back up slightly and moving south I found a large piece of corrugated iron and GPS’d the thing. Pic 31. I thought I must be close now but heading south to the southerly KHA reading I didn’t find anything.
I get the distinct impression that it’s somewhere between the two KHA readings as there is a small creek in this area. Further north it gets far too steep. GPS Map Pics 115-116.
Corrugated Iron sheet 632530 6015251
Boltons Hill Passive Reflector 632538 6014749. GPS Map Pic 114.
This is shown on maps as a communications tower. It is not. It is closer to a small drive in screen than anything else. It’s actually a “Passive Reflector” also called a repeater by some. It has no electronics or power, although there is a small solar panel powering something. Pics 32-35.
It reflects the signal (voice, data and telemetry) between Happy Jacks Pondage and Cabramurra Tower. Pic 36.
Snowy Hydro has several of these, one being on the hill north of Cooma, and another in a quarry up above Tumut Pondage. A design manual for US Passive Repeater design is available for download here. It covers design covering Microwave link in the 2-11GHz bands.
Mulligans Ck 2 Diggings (later called Boltons Hill Diggings)
These were a surprise. There is a long race that seems to come from the north and probably Boltons Ck around the hillside and ends at the top of a large gully which was probably a sluice gully of sorts. It’s quite long and deep. Near where the race meets it is slice of the hillside still showing dirt which I think may have been some open cut work and another further around to the north. There could be more workings further down the gully. Pics 37-39. GPS Map Pic 123-124.
Mulligans Ck 2 Diggings Open Cut 1 633358 6013441
Mulligans Ck 2 Diggings Open Cut 2 633383 6013410
Mulligans Ck 2 Diggings Dam 633631 6013503
Mulligans Ck 2 Diggings Shaft 633626 6013512 approx
Mulligans Ck 2 Diggings Gully 633636 6013478
I followed the hillside north to where DS has marked the diggings. These were some 300m NNE of the gully. Here I found a dam with some water in it, a shaft just to the NE of the dam, a steep and narrow gully running east down towards a creek some 100m away. Pic 40, 41. There was another small more open gully 30m SE of the dam. Pic 42. It’s outflow sluice channel also runs away to the creek and they met in 60m before getting to the creek. I could not see anything more substantive around this area. Due to time constraints I could search here no further.
Mulligans Hut site
I took this off the KHA database. It’s another Gatis Gregors listing. Looked for it but I had no joy. However the nominal site is on a narrow valley going off the Mulligans Ck valley and looked prospective.
Mulligans Ck 1 Diggings. There is a bit of a narrow valley and mini gorge as you go up the valley and then enter the diggings area which is a higher plateau that sits between the Boltons Hill Track and Arsenic ridge to the east. The top of the plateau is a wide open swampy area that at its top NE edge actually nearly touches the Bolton Hill FT. Pic 50.
I found most of the diggings between where the higher plateau drops through a small set of rapid which piles of rocks at the bottom and the area down the creek before it enters the mini gorge mentioned earlier. Pics 48 and 49.
Mulligans Ck 1 Diggings 636834 6014449
Mulligans Ck 1 Diggings – Rocks 636982 6014462
It a mixture of piles of stones dug from gullies adjacent on the sides of the creek. Pic 47. There are some large gullies next to the creek at the lower end. Pics 45 and 46. View back down over the swamp above the diggings Pic 77.
This was a tough hard day and I got back to camp in the dark at 5.30PM. I did some 16.5Km. Doesn’t seem long, but it was slow going up Mulligans Ck and around Boltons Hill Hut area.
Day 3 – Wed 20th April
It initially rained straight after breakfast so I stayed in the tent from 8-10AM. Then I went down to Temperance Creek and mapped out the race and the track above it over the hill. I then followed north to where DS had plotted another race, I thought but it turned out to be a track. Pics 51-54.
The Temperance Ck race is about 500m long but it was well cut out of the hillside.
The track near it disappears in the swampy area to the north as several parts of Temperance Ck come together. However walking north another track, probably an extension of the other one becomes obvious. This I have nicknamed Temperance Ck Track North. Pic 55. It heads towards the ridge line just ahead that contains the Tabletop – Temperance old bridle track to Arsenic Ridge.
I then followed the ridge line and eventually at the top picked up this rut that turned into a trail across a swampy area and then I could follow an old route up a ridge and onto the plateau below Tabletop. It gets hard to follow and for the last 500m before reaching the Tabletop Track. There is a large cairn to the west of the track. Pics 74-76.
The track is mostly discernible from Waypoint T3-T7, and then later T9-T14. GPS Map Pic 122.
Tabletop North (or East) Race. This seems to start just north of the creek that flows strongly out of the swampy area between here and the Tabletop Track. Pic 59 and Waypoint “Race Starts GH”. However just to the south and across the creek there seems like a small dam and have name it Waypoint “Takeon Dam GH” Pic 57. I am not 100% convinced it’s a dam but it does have some elements of a small dam with a seemingly unnatural bank facing the creek. The Creek is adjacent to its north Pic 58. There might have been a flume or pipe across the Creek. GPS Map Pic 119.
Race Starts 636859 6017630. The race then become fairly obvious in less than 100m. From then on the race is totally obvious all the way to where it crosses the Tabletop Track and joins the southern race.
Initially the race is very wet as it enters the tree line east of Tabletop and several creeks enter and leave the race. Pic 60.
The race does turn east out on a ridgeline and then cuts across this ridge in fairly open country. They have dug out a fairly deep channel and lined each side with metre high embankments. Pics 61-64. Here is the deepest part of the race. In the spot I GPS’d I used a stick to estimate around 10 feet to the top of the embankment, with the stick about 9” in the water.
Race Cutting 636816 6018489 3m (10’) deep
It was a tough slow job following this race in less than perfect weather. Fallen trees were a constant menace, thus the race track wobbles a bit. Some growth is also thick. Pic 66.
Where the race crosses the Tabletop FT is just north of the mountain.
Tabletop North race Crosses Tabletop Track 635183 6018474. Pics 9-10
Tabletop North and South Races join 635170 6018465 less than 20m west of above
I did not follow the combined race to Nine Mile Dam. More later. GPS Map Pic 118.
Tabletop South (or West) Race. I followed Tabletop South race south and around the western side of Tabletop. Pics 67-69. The going was similar to the North race. GPS Map Pic 120.
Near where it enters an open space (Waypoint 9MR4) Pic 70 below the Tabletop Hut site there is considerable water flowing in the race for a couple of hundred metres before its broken away into the valley below.
This water comes down from a large swamp that covers the area below the huts site right down to the race. Across the bottom there is an embankment that forms the western wall of the race that continues across the valley for about 80m. Pics 71-72. Then the race finished but a significant flow of water enters it from a small creek coming down the southern edge of the swamp from above. Pic 73.
Creek Takeon 636324 6017092 (also Southern Race end). I looked around for any signs of races joining and walked up the hill which was fairly open but could see nothing. I also looked for any race that might cut across the Tabletop-Temperance Track but saw nothing. (I later found out the race continued but from further up the side creek)
I then went back to Temperance Ck by way of that track and followed it right through to a high tributary of the creek Waypoint T14 Ck Xg 637196 6014945. This point is only about 200m from Boltons Hill track.
Due to fog coming in and it being late that was my end for the day. However I checked the area whilst walking along the Bolton Hill Track the next morning. There is no obvious extension to that track.
Did 14.1Km this day.
Day 4 – Thur 21st April
Did 22.9Km this day.
It started with rain overnight and until breakfast was finished. I started walking with wet gear on. I headed south to the Boltons Hill track and took it to its junction with the Tabletop FT which is marked by two signs. Pics 77-78.
Then I headed north for Tabletop Mountain. I stopped and did a recce west into the headwaters of Temperance Ck tributary that I had marked with a WY “Where does race go?? DS” that DS had shown on a Google Earth track as a possible race extension from the Tabletop South race. I noted earlier I could not see any races heading this way. Pics 80-81. I could not see any indications of a race in this area. The creek coming from the swampy area does drop away quickly as its heads west. The Tabletop-Temperance old bridle track actually crosses this creek further downstream.
The weather can be seen in Pic 82 with clouds scudding across Tabletop. Near here I saw a large grey roo cross the track. At that time and altitude, i.e. 1700m I thought that it was odd. I rarely see such macropods above 1500m.
While I did not follow any further the Tabletop race I did walk down from the Junction with the Four Mile FT and check out the race. The ridgeline out is fairly flat but then drops sharply to the race. Pics 83-84
Tabletop Race below 4Mile FT Jn (9MR1) 634632 6018729
Tabletop race Enters Header Dam 634093 6018930, Pic 87-88, 90
The Header Dam is fairly large. In the centre 634070 6018948, Pics 7, 8, 86, 89. GPS Map Pic 121.
View of Empress Sluice Gully 634028 6018965, Pics 5, 6, 91, 92
Passing 9 Mile Diggings area I went into some of it just where the FT turns west and downhill.
There are some significant gullies and piles of rocks here largely hidden from the track but worth checking out in the future. Pics 93-95
Four Mile Hut 633365 6022831
I took a side trip east to this old hut. There are significant diggings along the north south valley just east of the hut and some in the valley to west that you pass though on the way here. I expect most of the side creek have been picked over. Pics 96-104.
Some of the HJ sites are nearly impossible to decide if the information on their locations is valid. It’s impossible to know if DS’s HJ4 is more accurate than the KHA option. Also HJ 6, 7 listed from Gatis Gregors (GG) work are both suspicious. Both seemed superfluous and why would you have one at HK Township. The site just north of Brooks also listed by GG looks invalid. Some of his others may be of similar category including Cesjacks 4 (more on that elsewhere).
I believe the routes of the Tabletop-Temperance Ck track is now fairly clear, as are the races from Tabletop to the Nine Mile Header dam. I didn’t GPS the Tabletop race from where it cross the track to the Header dam although I took waypoints on the track crossing, below 4Mile Track junction and at the header Dam. It does seem to closely match the Google Earth track David Scott provide me.
The site of Tabletop Hut is quite clear as is the race along Temperance Ck.
The Diggings at Temperance were quite minor and I believe it was largely an open cut above the creek.
The site of the Comms facility on Bolton Hill is clear and cab seen easily on GE.
David Scott’s new sites: Site 38? Near Waterhole Flat approx 638043 6016651, Site 41? east of Tabletop and north of the FT on Waterhole Ck approx 637986 6018099 need checking.
Bolton Hill hut site I could not find but probably could on another try.
The Mulligans Ck No2 diggings also need more checking as does the race that comes down from Boltons Ck way. There could be more diggings below the large gully I did not go down into. Also why is it called Mulligans Ck No 2. There must be some historical linkage as its nowhere near Mulligans Ck and in fact is part of the Bolton’s Ck system.
I don’t see much advantage in checking Mulligans Ck No1 Diggings as they are fairly minor in extent. However they are easily accessed off the Bolton’s Hill track and not that far from the Tabletop Track.
Clear Hill sites referred to by David Scott in an email with two portion maps were in fact way south and just North of Crooks Racecourse and just east to the Grey Mare FT. Might be checked on a further trip to check out the race near Mackays, and the Gatis Gregors unknown site on Barneys Ck, 638113 6009084 from KHA GR. The portion 1 site near point b looks to be GPS UTM 637345 6006572 on Old Adaminaby. Portion 2 site “Applicants Camp” looks to be about 639066 6008312. It just east of that portion on a ridgeline.
In addition one could check out the Yards David Scott has placed on his map near Dr Phillips 639029 6010546 (approx), and also the Sheepyards & Dip on the Tabletop Track near The Dip 640516 6013728 (approx)
Diagrams and Pictures Available
Pictures of this trip are available on Google Photos were uploaded as 1600 pixels wide and if you download them you will get that size. The original pictures are all ~4320 x 2432, 16:9, 10.5 Megapixels, ~ 5Mbytes. The sketch/maps are either 1600, 1800 or 2000 pixels wide.
It includes several special sketches and scans:
- Three sketches/map extracts covering the Bolton’s Hill area
- Two sketch maps and one GPS map showing the Tabletop races
- One sketch map showing the 9 Mile Header Dam
- One GPS map showing Bolton Hill Track
- One GPS map showing Tabletop to Temperance Ck Track and the Temperance Ck races
- Two GPS maps and sketches showing Mulligans Ck 2 Diggings and Races
- 10 x GPS Topo map extracts showing my daily routes and the overall trip
A Google Drive folder contains the following:
- One Google earth kmz file covering the trip but not extra routes
- One GPX file covering the trip data and other data used
- Separate file on short report of this trip and an excel file KNP Apr11 Important Location from 18-21 Apr 2011 Trip.xlsx
Greg Hutchison, 7 June 2011 [Updated 18 Nov 2017]