Walks in ACT, NSW and other places

Walks Index
A list of walks I have done in recent years with access to some pictures, gps files (gpx, gdb, kmz/kml)

Mt Ainslie and Mt Majura in the ACT- area tracks and routes This is a special page that outlines various tracks and routes in these two locations in Canberra

Hall Village Walk. This is a 4Km circumnavigation of the village using pads through farmland and some nice walking tracks

Valentines Falls track in Kosciuszko National Park

Snowy Plains Huts just outside Kosciuszko National Park

Bonnum Pic - Nattai National Park

Tasmanian Overland Track 8-15 Nov 2014

Exploring the Jagungal Wilderness : A bushwalkers guide to Kosciuszko National Park by Robert Green

GreenBookThis book was published in late 2015 providing useful insights & information about the eastern part of the Jagungal wilderness area of the park. It covers the area from Tin Hut in the south to Mackays Hut in the north & Daveys Hut in the east. It is generally east of the AAWT along the Valentine & Grey Mare Trails. It covers many of the tracks & routes I have walked since 1990 & Robert has drawn on some of my information as well as those of the older horsemen and graziers. It should be emphasised the area is rugged & on the Great Divide & associated ranges like the Kerries and Mt Jagungal it can get to 2000m of higher. Conditions can change rapidly and walkers need to be properly equipped. Mobile phone reception is poor although there is some reception from Mt Jagungal, OKeefes Hut & near Tin Hut.

Information on where to buy the book is in the attached pdf document with some samples from the book.

Exploring GPS - A GPS Users Guide by NSW Department of Lands

Comprehensive guide to the technology of GPS, purchasing a GPS receiver, and how to use it. Published Dec 2007

Pretty Plain Hut Rebuilt and Opened

Some great pictures of the rebuilding. The reopening of the hut with pictures from 2010 In Kosciuszko National Park

Hume and Hovell Track Adventures

A group of old fellas walk along part of this track in NSW 2007 and 2008

Should Kosciusko really should have no 'z' in its spelling?

The naming of Mt Kosciusko and why it should or should not be spelt with a 'z' in the name

If we can protect the historic culture and relics of the Snowy Mountains and other places, we should be protecting the spelling of locations which is arguably part of the cultural history. There does seem to be a trend by the political correct to alter names for reasons of international or ethnic sensitivity. Even the Americans who use z much more than us have not used it in their spelling of Kosciusko for a town & county. And Kosciuszko was an American Civil War General !!!

The Bushwalkers Guide to the Galaxy - Alan Sheehan's useful guide to Improvised Navigation - How to navigate the Surface of the Earth with less than a GPS or Compass

Useful Information

Lessons from Bushwalking and Searching for Tracks and Sites

There are several lessons I have learned from many walks and a long time of walking and camping:

* Australian topographic maps are not always correct. There are examples of mountain hut sites being shown incorrectly even out by 200m or more ie Kidmans, Boltons on the Finn in Kosciuszko NP

* Others who profess to know where the site or route is are not always correct either

* Collect all data available and assess the range of information. Within data there is often some truth

* Hut sites are mostly located on fairly level ground and close to water. Usually they do not face west or south and are shielded by ridges or hills

* Tracks and routes tend to follow high ground or ridge lines

* Old photos can help especially in showing the landscape and the background hills etc.

* Once you have your data try and create a circle or similar in which to search. Looking for hut site or sign or marker use 100m x 100m search grids or similar.

Don’t think you can find it the first time. You have to keep at it.

GPS Readings and Maps

Note I use UTM readings with Eastings and Northing. These are the accepted format for bushwalkers as you can directly relate the figures with co-ordinates on the latest 1:25000 map series which use datum GDA94. This is close enough to WGS84 which is what you need to set most GPS units to.

At home I have Garmin Mapsource on my PC with OzTopo Maps v5 installed, plus also Oziexplorer with various maps including TopoView 2006 & Ozraster (NSW and other States) digital topo Maps from OzTopo). You can also of course use Garmin Basecamp as Mapsource is an old product and is not being updated. How to get Mapsource and install it. Using Open Street Maps (OSM) for urban walking & cycling is useful as they show local paths quite well. How to load an OSM img file into Mapsource or Basecamp

Maps Produced

These are produced using Oziexplorer and screen captured using IrfanView. The base maps used with Oziexplorer are either from Topoview with NSW Land and Property Information (was Land and Property Management Authority) approval for display. Others can copy for personal use but need permission to publish, or using OzRaster Map with permission of © BKK Enterprises Pty Ltd, http://www.gpsoz.com.au

Food Used (overnight backpacks)

I use my own home made muesli mixture for breakfast and nothing else. This largely consisted of one cup in a plastic bag (freezer bag) of oats, wheat germ, barely flakes, millet flakes, some commercial muesli, raw sugar and powered milk. I am now trying Soy powered milk. You can get the Bonvit variety at some health food stores.

For lunch I take one packet of Mountain Bread (8 pieces) and added pre-packaged cheese cubes, vegemite from a tube plus some peanut butter and honey mixture in a small plastic bottle.

For dinner I use for 2 nights half a packet of crunchy noddles (just add hot water) plus a 100g aluminium packet of Safcol Salmon spiced with some cous cous and deb powered potato. The other 2 nights I would use a freeze dried dinner pack from Back Country Foods of NZ 1 person serve about 90g (add boiling water and let stand for 10 mins) also spiced with some cous cous and deb powered potato. I also add a small packet of soup per night as an entrée.

I also drink coffee and tea. Some instant coffee but I am now hooked on Robert Timms Italian Expresso coffee bag that my daughter introduced me to. These are much nicer than the instant. My tea bags were mostly Twinings Lemon/Ginger.

I also carry some munchy bars mostly the Wallaby Yoghurt bars and some energy satchels or energy bars and Coles Trail Mix.

I also drink water a lot mostly from the local streams. In the high country its usually quite fine to drink straight. Just make sure what’s upstream.

Equipment (overnight backpacks)

Stove: In 2014 I bought a new Kovea Titanium piezo ignition (no matches required) small isobutane-propane stove. It’s was about $90 maybe cheaper on EBay.
I used to use a MSR Pocket Rocket small isobutane-propane stove. In 4-5 nights and mornings of use I would use most of one 230g gas canister. This latter unit requires a match to light it.
Cooking equipment: Minimal: one small aluminium billy, one spoon, one polycarbonate knife, one spondonicals (old Paddy Pallin classic billy grips), one flexible plastic plate (polycarbonate one might do). One stainless steel pad for cleaning the billy if required and small plastic container with detergent (reuse hotel bottle)
The spondonical (old Paddy Palin classic billy grips) or pair of spondonacles (or spondonicles?) was designed by early bushwalkers in NSW Australia. Paddy Pallin in NSW used to sell a metal one and I have used one since the early 1970's. I still use it. I suspect this predates the Trangia concepts. I actually call mine spondonicals or spondonicles. See also
Slurp Tube: small length ie about 750mm of plastic tubing of dia 7mm internal and 10mm external. Used for placing into creeks of cliff cracks to drain out water, also used to blow concentrated oxygen into fires to get them going well. Works well with damp and wet wood
Lights: One small LED from Kathmandu that uses 2 CR2032 batteries (very light), one large LED with 3+ LEDs and three AAA batteries (good for reading)
Pack: I have a Macpac Glissade Pack with size 3 frame. It’s now 13 years old but is still going.
Boots: I have 3 years old boots now La Scapa leather with gortex lining. Size 45
Gaiters: Velcro gaiters from Kathmandu (also leather strap under to hold in place). I have also bought Macpac Velcro gaiters with stainless steel strap under
Tent: MSR Hubba HP 1 man (very expensive)
Airbed: Self inflating Prolite 3 - full length, now several years old
Raincoat: New 2013 Macpac Hollyford eVent jacket. Macpac eVent fabric alternative to Gortex
Overpants: new Mountain Designs gortex. Expensive but great in bad weather
Sleeping Bag: Fairly old Paddy Palin Gingera mummy bag. It’s still effective and warm down to maybe -10C
Sleeping Sheet: Expensive $60 silk inner liner. Great for warmth and keeping the bag clean
Camera: Panazonic TZ10 (with one spare battery if longer than one day). April 2015 I acquired a Panzonic TZ70 (battery charges through AV port) 9M pixels in 16:9. I have also used my new Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Phone (16M pixels). My new Oregon GPS also has a camera but I keep it as a backup
PLB: RescuMe PLB1 made by Ocean Signal of the UK. Its only 50mmW x 75mmH x 35mmD Weight: 115 g or 164g inc Pouch (Used to use a MTE 406Mhz GPS equipped personal EPIRB. It expired in 2016)
GPS: Garmin Oregon 650 (with spare batteries) GPS Maps: GPS Oztopo v5, plus OSM Garmin img version for NSW
Maps: Old Jagungal sketch map, Khancoban 1:50,000 old topo for Jagungal area. For other places the latest and appropriate 1:25,000 topographic maps
Reading Material: Well if you in a tent or hut for several hours per day a good book is useful. I now use my Kindle Paperwhite with inbuilt light for up to 6 nights. I have found it amazingly useful and can be easily read with no lights

Care

Please note the areas mentioned in this list may be in a wild or wilderness area of a National Park. Much of it is may be remote and can become dangerous with a variety of weather conditions including snow. Mobile phone reception is variable at best. Walkers should be prepared and carry a PLB.

Snakes

Whilst uncommon, the alpine environment has snakes. The two that you are most likely to come across are the White-Lipped Snake (Drysdalia coronoides) (often referred to as a Whip Snake) and the Highlands or Alpine Copperhead (Austrelaps ramsayi). While snakes can look innocuous and quaint as little things less than a foot long and very skinny. However they are poisonous. Copperheads tend to be not aggressive however they are highly poisonous thus avoid.

Snake Protection The best protection is avoidance. However if your paranoid about these critters then good boots and gaiters may give you piece of mind. You might like to read this: Snake Facts Which You Probably Didn’t Know | Now here is a pdf brochure I found | Here is a YouTube video on the product | These Protex Snake gaiters look well made but may cost around $144. Availability of these gaiters is through safety places such as Protector Alsafe, Unit 1, 80-82 Kembla St, Fyshwick 6290 0155, or Fyshwick Outdoor Power Centre, 6 Wiluna St 6280 5203. Normal gaiters can be sourced through Macpac | Paddy Pallin | Mountain Designs all of Lonsdale St, Braddon; or Camping World, Flemington Rd, Mitchell, 6255 0085; BCF, 47 Newcastle St, Fyshwick, 6280 8888, now also at Nettlefold St, Belconnen, Anaconda, 36 Iron Knob St, Fyshwick, 6123 3600; Kathmandu, Belconnen Mall, 6251 7678. Yes these are all Canberra address but most of the companies are Aust wide

Protection of Culture and History

Please note the huts of the Snowy Mountains, Namadgi, Victoria and Tasmania should be respected and cared for. Any hut ruins or historic sites and relics should also be respected and not disturbed. The Snowy Mountains and Namadgi huts may be maintained by KHA in association with NPWS and TAMS (ACT Parks & Wildlife Service) and should only be used for emergency purposes

Diagrams and Pictures Available

My pictures of trips are still available on Picasa. Since the move by Google to Google Photos archive links to Picasa scramble all the Picasa albums so they are not in order. Better quality pictures are on Google Photos but I can only link to photos or albums. The original pictures were all ~4320 x 2432, 16:9, 10.5 Megapixels, ~ 5Mbytes; from May 2015 4000x2248, 16:9, 9 Megapixels, ~4 MBytes. The GPS map extracts are about 1800-2000 pixels wide.

Shared Google Drive folder with gpx, gdb, kmz and some jpg map pictures. Currently doesnt work. Will be reactivated on new blog

Google earth kmz files cover a trip available on Google Drive. Note opening this link will go the Google Drive and open the trip file in Google Earth; you do not have to install Google Earth. You also have the option to download the file or view in Google Maps. Put your mouse over and click on a waypoint and it will bring up a small description.

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