Green Gully Track Day 3: Sunday December 23, 2018
Green Gully Hut to Calwells Hut – 13.5km
After a very restful 10 hours sleep, we woke enthused and energised for today’s section of the trail. It promised to be a challenging but spectecular day walking through the Green Gully Creek canyon. The sky was clear and it looked like it would be another perfect summers day.
As we were deep in the valley it would be a few hours before the sun would reach us. The first of the 35 creek crossings occurred as soon as well left the hut. We are so pleased to be doing this in summer, it was warm and walking in wet shoes would not be a problem. The water temperature was comfortable and refreshing.
We walked upstream crossing the creek multiple times. When the sunlight eventually lit up the creek bed, it illuminated the water flowing over the rocks making the water look like flowing silver. It looked quite magical.
The water crossings were not too bad, the shallowest being ankle deep and the deepest being thigh high on me. The water flow was mostly gentle so no worries about being washed away. The slippery rocks and turbid water were the main concerns, making for a few tricky traverses. We had a surpising encounter with a shiny black brumby which pranced ahead of us about 10 minutes as we made our way up the creek. Hammer thought the brumby had escaped from an equestrian training center. It looked like it had an unusual practiced canter style.
An hour after leaving the hut we reached a sign indicating that for the next 5km there was no trail and we had to find our way up the creek. Where vegetation and/or topography made it possible we could walk along the creek bank otherwise we walked the creek bed. This made for slow progress. We stopped a few times hoping to see the endangered brush- tailed rock wallaby on the surrounding slopes, but had no luck. We saw magestic eagles overhead, one being chased by a magpie.
We reached the canyon proper without realising it at first. We had expected steeper walls and a longer walk through the canyon walls. It was the most spectecular section of the creek traverse. We stopped here for a break and admired the healthy looking birds nest ferns growing up the canyon walls.
Soon after leaving the canyon, the rough unmade creekbed walking was over and we were on a bulldozed management trail for the next 4km before reaching Calwells Hut. It was along this section that we had a brief glimpse of the endangered Brush- tailed Rock-wallaby as it moved along. It looked so cute, with its bushy red and black fur giving it quite a distinct appearance.
It was disappointing to see fresh cow droppings indicating that cattle are still present in parts of this creek system. National Parks removed cattle and horses from this area when they acquired the land in 2004. There was also evidence of feral pig activity along the creek, altough it was a limited area of disturbance. I guess like other National Parks in the state, managing feral animals is a work in progress.
At one creek crossing Hammer spotted a large Red-bellied Black snake sunning itself on the bank where we were to exit the creek. It slid away into the vegetation before we got into the water. I was relieved it went into the vegetation as apparently they are good swimmers.
We made it to Caldwells Hut by lunchtime. We had plenty of time and sunshine to dry our wet shoes before tomorrows hike out. We spent a very leisurely afternoon out of heat of the sun, being serenaded by beautiful birdsong and reading.