Into the Gully
Green Gully Track Day 2: Saturday December 22, 2018
Birds Nest Hut to Green Gully Hut – 15km
Hailstones and torrential rain thundering on the tin roof of the hut woke us up through the night. Flashes of lightening lit up the sky outside. While inside, Hammers torchlight scanned the ceiling of the hut for possible leaks. No leaks were found, but he did see a small Antichinus – a native mouse – exploring the spare bunk beds.
The storm passed after about an hour and we went back to sleep – warm and dry.
The morning dawned, cool temperature and clear blue sky. Todays section of the hike is described as being the hardest. And knowing it was going to be a warm day we decided to make another early start.
It was beautiful hiking temperature as we left the hut.The sun was still low on the horizon and had not reached our valley. It was a gentle uphill on single file trail for the hour it took us to to reach our first milestone – the trig station. The trailside vegetation was spiky with hard leaves that cut across the legs as we passed. We were glad to be in long trousers which reduced the sting. The trig station is no longer in use, and the trees have grown around it so there were no views from the top.
For the next couple of hours we followed a grassy management trail which made for easy hiking. Highlight of this section of trail was the Green Gully Lookout. From rhe lookout, grass trees framed the rocky outcrop providing views of the canyon through which Green Gully River flows. The nearby The Rocks Lookout provided similar views of the canyon but had greater tree cover near the outcrop which obscured some of the views.
By the time we left the managament trail and started our ridgetop descent to Green Gully the sun was out in force and there wasn’t a lot of tree cover. Surprisinly despite the heat, cicada song was almost absent. Birdsong was occasionaly overtaken by a hum of cicadas but it was brief and did not persist. We both found this quite unusual as we are so used to the drilling hum of cicadas in the heat of the Australian summer. It was a punishing steep 5km descent to reach Brumby Creek. The soil was loose and the steep slope made it hard to get firm footing. Lucky not to have had a fall in this section. The grass trees were prolific in this section as well as stands of She Oak saplings which we had not seen along earlier sections of the trail.
It was a relief to get off the steep slope and walk the last 1.5km along the banks of Brumby Creek. The creek banks were lush as expected. Previous cattle disturbance was evident by many weed species, including stinging nettle, lining the creek banks. We crossed the creek numerous times by rockhopping untill the last crossing before the hut, on which we had to get our feet wet.
We made Green Gully Hut five hours after leaving Birds Nest Hut this morning. We had lunch followed by a swim in the creek to cool off. And similar to yesterday, we spent the afternoon sitting in the shade and reading a book.