2009 Budawangs - Sassafras to Wog Wog

summary: Our first 'cross Budawangs' hike took us through Styles creek valley and over Mount Tarn to the Burumbeet valley, then on to Wog Wog. A great trip, with the surprise highlight of the Haughton Hillton!
date: May 1 to May 3 2009
region: Budawangs National Park
distance: 40 kms
duration: 3 days 3 nights
people: Graham, Doug, Eddy, Karren
difficulty: Not too hard, but lots of walking up and down
views: 2284

We've spent plenty of time in the Budawangs, but never done a North to South trip. We were expecting that this trip might be quite difficult since its an area we thought wasn't visited very often - we were a little mistaken! The track was well marked, easy enough to follow, and some pretty amazing things to see.

Day 0 - Thursday

On Thursday night, we camped at the Wog Wog camp site, arriving at around 7:00pm. Camp was set up, and the pot of chilli put onto the fire. We then waited for Doug to arrive, and waited, and waited! At 11:30pm, Doug finally turned up after getting lost by following Googles directions! Fortunately Eddy knew about the Google directional problems in this area, so we avoided the same fate earlier in the evening!

Day 1 - Friday (16kms 6 hours)

We were up early on Friday morning (before 7am) for a hearty breakfast of bacon and egg camp muffins, yes they are far better than Ronalds variety! After the camp was packed up, we piled all our gear into Dougs little Peugot and headed for the Sassafras track. We were treated like royalty when we passed through the road works, with an escort taking us through the busy sections. We arrived at Sassafras, and began walking shortly after 9:45am.

The weather was perfect, with a cool temperature with clear skies. We pushed on quite hard, trying to toughen up Karen on her first hike with us. We stopped for a break just before the Follys Point turn off at 11:30am. Lunch was taken at the entry to The Vines, were Doug pulled out a Subway Sandwich, something we are all likely to do in future!!

The walk through The Vines was a good one, with the usual stops along the way including The Log Of Death. We eventually arrived at Styles Creek at 4:00pm. It was a little too late to try and push across the valley to Mount Haughton, so we decided to camp here for the night.

We had a great night at Styles Creek, with a nice clear sky and a mild night. Karen had survived her first day of walking with only minor gripes. Taking on raw salt at our morning stop may have helped to get her to the day one finish line in one piece!

Day 2 - Saturday (12kms 8 hours)

There was some debate in the morning on wether we should try and find the trail beneath Pagoda Rocks, or follow our old trail into the swamp. In the end we decided the devil you know is always the best choice, so we headed into the swamp. To our surprise, the swamp was pretty dry, and we quickly came out the other side. We continued following some animal trails to the South East for a while, before turning South and heading into the forest, looking for the ridge to Mount Haughton. In retrospect, we would have been better continuing in the open until we reached the ridge to the West, this would have helped us eliminate so rough stuff!

Once we hit the ridge line, Eddy managed to find a very well defined track - which was very unexpected! The track took us all the way to the camping caves at the base of the cliff line which took us less than an hour from Styles Creek. The caves here were very good, with some great overhangs and plenty of shelter.

From the first cave, we headed around to the South of Mount Haughton. There were heaps more camping caves along the cliff line which would easily sleep a large crowd. We eventually arrived at The Haughton Hilton which was an amazing tri-level arrangement, with a great fire place and timber seating. Kudos for the campers that have set this up, its great!

There was not a lot of water around here, until we reached a great waterfall about half way along the cliff line. The track was well marked all the way along the cliff line, but the going was still pretty slow. We reached a very large tree and rock, followed by this very cool large crevice where we also found a marker to head across the saddle to Mount Tarn.

Mount Tarn was easily reached as the track was still very well marked. We stopped at a great little rock ledge for lunch at 1:00pm. After that we continued following the track into the heart of Mount Tarn. We located the high point of the mountain and we all climbed to the top to be treated to some pretty spectacular 360 degree views. We could even see The Anvil to the West, which we took some photos of. There was even a series of duck-boards across the top of the mountain which was quite a surprise.

From the high point, the track continued to be well marked along to the South where we eventually started to descend into the Bibbenluke Valley. We picked up the trail down to the valley which also contained several NP steps to make the walking easier. Once again, the views coming down here were pretty spectacular was we could see all the way to Mount Cole/Owen in the East.

We found a short cut towards the bottom which cut out about 1/2 km, which led us to a great little water source and nice little camp site. We pushed on though, despite it being 3:00pm already. We were already in the shadow of the mountains around us, but continued on to Burrumbeet Valley. We arrived at the first Burrumbeet camp site just after 5:00pm.

We collected up some fire wood and sat back and relaxed as the cloud came and went.

Day 3 - Sunday (12kms 6 hours)

The final morning was perfect weather again, and we set off at 9:00am after making use of the very clean facilities!

We passed the first other hikers this morning, at the Canowie Brook campsite there was a couple just packing up camp. We headed to the top of cliff to admire the views back along the Burrumbeet Valley before spending some time at Corang Arch.

We decided to avoid the hike up to the top of Corang peak, instead passing along the newly cleared track around the peak. We had a long rest in the sun overlooking Snedden Pass at 11:00, before pushing on for a lunch break at "The Conglomerate". At this point we met yet another two hikers, these guys apparently doing the reverse of what we were just completing! Not only that, but another group of 8 hikers were just starting the same walk from Sassafras! So much for us thinking this was a track less traveled :)

We eventually made it back to Wog Wog camp site at around 2:30, were Karen spotted the first snake for the weekend! A well deserved beer was cracked by all, before heading back out to Sassafras to pick up Doug's car and head back to civilisation.

Google Maps

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