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  1. #1
    Senior Member Wentworth's Avatar
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    5 Day Australian Hammock Adventure

    Hi All,
    just returned back from a trip with Hitchiking and Dan, one of our ground dwelling friends.

    Day1:
    We were treated to a fairly killer uphill section of firetrail straight off the bat, with rewards of spectacular views of the Nattai region from the top. I think at this stage we were all marveling at just how incredibly heavy 6L of water and 7 days of food can make a pack.


    Next came the km or so of full on bushbashing to join the Nattai River. This was fairly slow going, but we found some interesting animal bones along the way and were treated to some beautiful terraced waterfalls.
    After reaching the river, we sat down for lunch, where Dan found his girlfriend had hidden nearly half a kg of easter eggs in his pack. Happy to distribute the weight, he shared them out.

    Our progress was slowed down to about 1km/hr which was fairly dispiriting. We decided to make camp around 5pm and came to a nice spot with four good hammock trees and a flat spot for Dan's tent. He was feeling fairly crook, probably the combination of smoking nearly a pack of smokes on the walk (after having given up) and the exertion coupled with a heavy pack.

    Day 2: We continued slowly along the Nattai, but fortunately found some trail markers fixed to trees. No actual trail to speak of though. These were helpful and helped us find the easiest route along the river. Dan jumped off a long onto rocks below and rolled his ankle, probably due to the 21kg on his back. Cursing, he hobbled on, refusing to allow anyone to help.
    Shortly after, Hitchhiking also rolled his ankle, a result of his 27kg (!) pack, towering above his head.


    That night our hammock trees, a little on the thin side, lowered us precariously close to the ground. I was toasty in my warbonnet, yeti and JRB stealth, though the bowing trees brought my maccat down onto the ridgeline of the hammock.

    Hitch was using his warbonnet along with DIY sewn through top quilt and DIY karo step underquilt/ DIY tyvek tarp combo.

    Early in the morning Dan got up for a toilet break. Not bothering to put on shoes, he trod barefoot on an animal bone, which sliced open his heel. Since his feet were already prune like from having to cross the river, the damage was fairly bad. It resulted in him limping, rolled ankle on one leg, sliced heel on the other.


    Day 3:
    We stared up the steep pass as the trail petered out to nothing. Every now and again we would catch a glimpse of a trail marker, but our route quickly turned into another all out bushbash. When we finally reached the top, a break in the cliffs, we were treated to breathtaking views of the Wollondilly river snaking out below us. Very nearly worth the climb! There was a log book on top which we signed.



    We crossed the Wollondilly and marched the 13km to the boundary, which we reached around 7pm. It was all we could do to cross the fence and set up camp, exhausted after having covered 30+km, much of which was bushbashing.


    Luckily we found a very pretty grassy meadow with perfect hammock trees and all slept like logs, except Dan, who found that he had injured his shoulders with his pack and couldn't raise his arms above a certain point.

    Day 4: The 7km hike into Yerranderie, an old silver mining ghost town was slow, due to one of our party being crippled in numerous ways. When we arrived, we found a family that was willing to take him out of the bush so he could get his feet sorted out. I was feeling fairly daunted about the 60+km of unbroken firetrail that lay before us, but Hitchhiking's enthusiasm talked me into continuing. We offloaded unneeded gear onto Dan and continued on our way.

    We met another walker coming the opposite direction with a massive pack. He had sticks strapped to the side and I asked him if he was going to try fire by friction. He stated that he was and had planned to give the hand drill a go tonight. The walker (Peter) had sewn a silnylon tipi and was testing it out on this trip. He was interested in the camping hammock concept and said that he might try one next. Dan hadn't packed the last two maps needed to complete the walk, so Peter allowed us to take a photo of the relevant sections.
    Hitchhiking and I continued to march until dark, when we cooked dinner and walked on into the night. We camped in the rain ontop of Bran Jan Hill, having covered another 30+km today.

    Day 5: After a quick 5km hike, we arrived at a Catholic Bushwalkers Club hut, which they permanently leave open incase of lost walkers. Sodden and stinky, we walked to the door and were greeted by an elderly walker with "G'day, come inside for a cuppa tea". They were very friendly and helpful. The hut itself was amazing. Wood floorboards and walls with cast iron urn, kettle and dutch over over a wood stove.
    After chatting for about half an hour over a cup, the rain eased and we continued on our way to Mt Cookem. We took the steep footpad down to the Coxs River, the start of which was fortunately marked with a rock cairn.




    Eventually we continued the 10km to the carpark, having rung Annette to pick us up. after at least 40km covered today, including two offtrack ridge climbs, we were beyond spent.

    Overall a tough walk, but having completed a 7 day walk in 5 days certainly left us with a sense of pride.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Senior Member moski's Avatar
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    Awsome landscape !
    Only about 70 km from Sydney , right?
    I would loved packrafting that river.

    I'm sorry to read about your misfortunes,
    injuries and so on.
    But it sounds like a nice trip!

    I was down working in Sydney back in 1989 as an electrician.
    I did the mistake of having a look at the first pages in your phone book
    and saw all the information about nasty crawlers out in the bush.
    Snakes , spiders, you name it!

    Common Death Adder
    Death adders have relatively large fangs and toxic venom and, before the introduction of antivenom, about 60% of bites to humans were fatal.

    Eastern Brown Snake
    The Eastern Brown Snake is one of Australia's most dangerous reptiles. It is fast-moving and aggressive.

    Red-bellied Black Snake
    Venomous and potentially dangerous.

    Sydney Funnel-web Spider
    Probably the most notorious of all spiders, Sydney Funnel-webs have a fearsome reputation. Most of this is deserved, but some is exaggerated.

    Redback SpiderThey can cause serious illness and have caused deaths.

    I avoided grass for weeks after that reading

    But, i couldn't stay away from the ocean, i dived a lot at that time.
    And it´s even more poisonous stuff in the water.

    Oz, surly is a exciting part of the world.

    The must dangerous thing we got over here in Sweden is rabbits and deer


    Ps, Great report and thanks for sharing.
    What temps are we talking there now ? (day/night).
    Moski, who no longer feels the Secret Ninja Ski emptiness..............
    B/C he got them now

  3. #3
    Senior Member ikemouser's Avatar
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    i am so freakin jealous

  4. #4
    gargoyle's Avatar
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    Nice views, and some crazy long miles. Hope everyone gets healed up. Thanks for sharing your trip.
    Ambulo tua ambulo.

  5. #5
    Senior Member HitchHiking's Avatar
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    yeah it was a tough go no doubt. Well done on the reprot Wentworth. Just dropped my boots in at the cobblers to get them patched up ready next time!
    www.terrarosagear.com

    Australian made tarps and custom gear.

  6. #6
    mbiraman's Avatar
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    Great report and pics. sounds like it was a trying but satisfying walk. When i looked at the pics of the waterfall in the pool of water i just wanted to jump in but then i thought " was it croc free??". Carrying water is a drag but i guess its something you have to get use to there what with such a dry climate. I look forward to hearing of more adventures and pics from down under. Thanks for sharing.
    " The mind creates the abyss, the heart crosses it."

    “The measure of your life will not be in what you accumulate, but in what you give away.” ~Wayne Dyer

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  7. #7
    Senior Member KerMegan's Avatar
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    so, was Dan the only damaged one??
    (sounds like somebody to keep handy when the zombies come; they'll go for him first..)

  8. #8
    Dutch's Avatar
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    Next time invite me
    Peace Dutch
    GA>ME 2003


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  9. #9
    Senior Member Wentworth's Avatar
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    Hi mosi: We started out in Mittagong and ended up in Katoomba, which is indeed about 70km from Sydney. Lots of poisonous stuff here, but I like to kid myself that because it's Autumn here that I'll never see any of it.

    mbiraman: No crocs round here luckily. Coupled with the snakes that might just put me off walking

    Kermegan: Yeah Dan was the only truly damaged one, apart from Hitchhiking and I getting majorly cut up and leach bitten. Definite zombie bait!

    Thankyou all for the comments, as we've said before, if any of you decide to come for a trip down under, let us know and we'll organise a hang.

    Hitchhiking and I were saying that only one day after we got back, the exhausting aspect of the trip was being forgotten. Funny how you only remember the good stuff!

  10. #10
    New Member alienjeff650's Avatar
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    Outstanding read x 2. So so jealous
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