Strath Creek Walk - 20th February 2005
This has been one of my favourite walks, and I'd like to return here again. There was a mix of some very steep climbing, and walking along unmarked trails which makes for a most interesting, challenging and enjoyable walk. The walk we followed is as per the guide notes in Day Walks Victoria.
Our walk started at the car park near Strath Creek Falls, which only had a little water flowing over it. It had been quite dry in the weeks preceeding our walk, which was good considering we would be walking through the creek beds along a good portion of this adventure.
We descended to the top of the falls where we climbed over the safety rail and crossed Strath Creek.
From the creek, we climbed quite steeply up the ridge to McMahons Road
The walk along the road was nice and flat, and gave us a chance to recover from the steep climb. We followed the road to Diggers Gully Road, which wound it's way across the top of the range.
We followed a walking track along the ridge. It wasn't clear at which point we were to descend the gully so we back tracked a little before turning down the hill.
The descent was extremely steep and there was no track.
Yes it was steep; it was quite difficult to keep upright!
It was easy enough to be sure we would end up in the right place though, with Diggers Gully Falls on our right as we continued down the 45 degree slope.
Down the bottom of Diggers Gully was quite picturesque, with cool clear waters to sit and relax by as we took pride in our safe arrival and could confirm we were back on track.
Oiyee, Ada and myself continued up stream to Margaret Falls, which had only a small amount of water trickling over. It was evident however that quite a lot of water had flowed through here a few weeks before when Melbourne had the torrential rains, with large trees down across the river.
We returned to the remainder of our group and made our way down Diggers Gully, walking along the creek past scenic rock pools, which helped to keep us cool on the warm day.
Eventually the creek dried up completely, any water running below the rocky surface.
A large fallen tree proved no obstacle for Oiyee who made it over in a single bound!
Time was eluding us, so we decided to abandon the walk upstream to Tunnel Falls given the lack of water and continued down Diggers Gully. We missed the track climb up the ridge to the road, instead walking directly up the steep ridge.
Missing the track however proved fortuitous as we discovered some old mine shafts in the hillside.
We walked along the boundary to a private residence down to Strath Creek; the green and shade a contrast to the open and very dry forests we had just passed through.
It was very nice to be walking along water again; some very lovely and cool rock pools where very inviting.
The rocky creek bed required a constant watch to avoid tripping, however this distracted from the other risks of low lying branches...
We came across a web full of tiny baby spiders, who must have numbered into the thousands. The slightest touch of the tree housing them resulted in a furious scrambling of the spiderous mass, which expanded and then slowly contracted as the imagined threat had passed.
As we continued further up the creek, the walls of the valley closed in further until we came to a lovely fern filled ravine.
Little Strath Falls was definetly little, though it marked the place at which we needed to look for our exit out of the valley back up to the road.
The point of exit up the ridge was not clear, and we walked past Rebecca Creek a little to be sure we were heading in the right direction. Basically we had to climb an unmarked goat track along a small ridge just past the creek. We clambered up and past Rebecca Falls up some of the steepest ground we had covered on the walk. Various animal tracks zig-zagged up the ridge, and not only did we feel like mountain goats, but we could also hear a mountain goat!
When we had climbed high enough, we were able to spot the little critter on the other side of the valley, who happily answered our imitation goat calls!
Clambering up the last steep section through some more open forest we spotted a Mountain Dragon sunning himself on a rock, happy to suffer our inspection.
Finally we made it back to the road which we followed to the picnic area where we had left our car. We enjoyed a lazy relax and rewarded ourselves for having completed a difficult but extremely enjoyable walk. All the more special considering for two of us it was their first real day walk!
Click here to see a map image of where we walked on this trip.