2015 Budawangs - Wog Wog to Styles Creek

summary: Great challenge this trip with a lot of back country walking between Burumbeet valley and Styles creek valley.
date: 14-17 May 2015
distance: 58kms
plan: BUDAWANGS - WOG WOG TO STYLES CREEK
tags: HIKE - REPORT - BUDAS - WOGWOG - STYLES - BURUMBEET - TARN - HAUGHTON - 2015
views: 1605

CHALLENGE

Having The Budawangs so close can sometimes mean I take this amazing park for granted. Its easy to get to from home or work, and so I quite often go down there without too much of a challenging plan. This time was different. I've decided to do some night walking to start with, followed with a full day out to Styles Creek, then turn around and come back.

Night Hiking (12kms)

I've hiked at night many times down in Kosciuszko, which is a wide open place with mostly fire trail tracks. The Budawangs is quite different. Even in the daylight it can be a navigational challenge! So heading out late afternoon on Thursday had me a little nervous.

Leaving Wog Wog carpark around 3:00pm there was still plenty of light left in the day. I was planning on walking about 12kms to the camp on Canowie Brook, just bellow Corang Arch. I made good ground, and decided I wanted to get to Corang Peak before the night set in as once I was here, most of the walking was going to open up a little.

I was delayed a little by the amazing sunset going on behind me! I couldnt help but stop every few minutes, turn and point the camera at the orange glow that was happening to the West. It was worth the delays though as the photos and video I managed to get were amazing. And the delays meant I got as far as Korra Hill before it got so dark I needed to get the light out - and so cold I needed a jumper!

I took the low road around Corang Peak, which had recently been upgraded with a new board walk, and trimmed vegetation which was great! And before long, I hit the ridge line of the Corang range. It was at the end of the range I took the most time. Dropping off the end of the range into the valley bellow took plenty of time to get the right spot. Just a few metres in the wrong direction and I could spend the rest of the night trying to find my way back to the track!

As it turned out, I dropped off a little early, but still managed to pick up with the top of the stairs into the valley bellow. In future, you basically go right to the end, and you can actually see the top of the stairs from the drop off before climbing down.

I made it to camp around 7:00pm, so really did manage a good pace. There was plenty of fire wood around here too since it is not a place many people camp.

LONG DAY TO STYLES (15kms)

I was up early in the morning as I knew today was going to be a long one. The temperature was nice and fresh, at about -1 degrees and a nice crispy frost all around. It didnt slow me down there, as I was still full of energy and excitement with todays plan. The weather was looking great too, a little windy but clear skies as I left camp at 8:00am and headed towards Burumbeet valley.

Leaving camp behind me, I filled up with water at Canowie Brook before climbing the hill to the East and then descended into the Burubmeet Valley. It was a great day, and very quiet since it was still only Friday and most people were still stuck at work :) There were some amazing views as I made my way over to Bibbenluke area, and the day was so clear I could see all the way to the ocean.

I did eventually bump into a couple of guys though. When they saw we, they were not surprised and said they saw my light last night as I came over Corang. They thought it was a car it was that bright!

I was soon at the Bibbenluke camp site which is where I will return in a couple of days. I dropped pack here for a while and sorted myself out for the climp up Mount Tarn which loomed above me to the North. I couldnt find the short cut track from the camp site, so I went back out to the main trail and on to the main turn off (short cut starts a couple of metres north of the water source at the back of the camp). It wasnt long before the climb up to Mount Tarn started getting difficult. Despite the steepness, it was the overgrown track that was causing a problem. Being unable to see your feet is a real problem in this terrain!

I did eventually make it to the cliff line at the top though, as once through the lower levels of overgrown track, it did open up a bit. From here the track was quite easy to follow as you continue to the East along the cliff line as long as you can until another very large cliff face appears, at which point you turn to the North and clamber up on to the top of Mount Tarn. There has been some clearing done up here too, with the first section being opened up quite a lot so there is no more crawling on hands and knees through the wombat tracks!

I eventually arrived at the centre of Mount Tarn where I climbed up onto one of the rocky spires for a lunch break, and to admire the views.

After lunch, I continued on the Mount Tarn crossing until finally I arrived at the saddle to Mount Haughton. This is another one of those tracks that is easy to get lost on, but if you keep thinking about where you are trying to get, then there is no problem. There are some amazing things to see once across the saddle to Mount Haughton. From here though, we continued around the cliff line again passing many camping caves and tree fern grottos. Some of this track is overgrown and difficult to pass, but I kept at it and eventually got to the end. Unfortunately, I missed the markers to signify the drop off into Styles Creek and I tried to continue along the cliff line. I managed to get 100 metres or so before giving up and retreating to the safety of the previous cave, and a marker!

So following the marker down the hill into styles creek it wasnt long before I was back out into the open again. I followed the track all the way around the swamp, bellow Pagoda Rocks and then right into the creek - Ok I stopped before getting by feet wet but it was a little strange the track leads you right into the water. It wasnt too hard through to go around the water and then find the main trail into Styles Creek camp site.

I arrived at nearly 4:00pm, so it had been a solid day of walking. And I was feeling pretty exhausted by this stage so was very glad to arrive at camp. Once again, fire wood was laying about for me, so a nice fire was on the agenda for tonight.

ROAD TO BIBBENLUKE (12kms)

Waking up at Styles Creek is always a pleasure - unless its raining - as the views around the valley are stunning.

Today should have been a relatively easy day, just retracing my steps back to the Bibbenluke camp site. However, the day got off to a pretty poor start. The first challenge was to get across the bog of Styles Creek. this should have been easy as I crossed it yesterday without fuss. However, I quickly lost my way and spent the first hour of the day knee deep in mud! After several attempts to cross the bug, I returned back to the camp site to have another go. This time I took out my GPS and re-traced my steps from yesterday. Within about five minutes I was over the bog, on the track and no more mud in my boots!

From here I started the climb up to Mount Haughton, which was pretty easy to follow. Again, you are going up hill on the spine of the ridge so its hard to get it wrong. I spent a little more time traversing around Mount Haughton today, taking more photos and spending some time absorbing the environment - which was spectacular. I managed to get up on the top of Mount Tarn again for lunch, but with the body fading fast I didnt climb to the top of the same peak today, but was satisfied with a much lower lunch spot.

Dropping back off Mount Tarn was also easy enough, but with the difficulty of the overgrown track again, which was more of a concern when heading down hill. Eventually though, I popped out of the undergrowth to an amazing view to the valley bellow. Continuing down hill, it wasnt long before I found the short cut track down to the camp site which I was very glad to arrive at shortly before 3:30pm.

I had another great evening here at camp. Weather was still perfect, with clear skies and views of the amazing Milky Way above me - which also signified a cold night ahead.

HOME TIME (20kms)

Once again, the morning was encased in an icy crust. This gave me a chance to get some great photos of spider webs, and the mist rising from the ground as the sun started to penetrate into the valley. I was packed up and out of camp by 8:30am as today was another long one - longer than expected as I find out later.

I get back on to the main track and head back towards Wog Wog as the morning starts to warm up. Today is looking like the best weather of all, no wind, no clouds, and no people...Until I bump into a couple of girls heading in the other direction. I wasnt quite sure what they had been up to, they said they were doing the circuit walk - to Wog Wog car park and back - back to where? Long Gully? Thats a bloody long walk! Anyway, they were happy enough, and we had a chat for a few minutes and then were off in opposite directions. I took a short stop at the Burumbeet toilet which was about 1 1/2 hours from camp. Then it was back through the valley to Canowie Brook again where it was time to turn off the main track.

The camp site I started at three nights ago has a small track leading off to the North which is the track I took. This meandered through the bog of Canowie Brook for a while before turning into a more solid track that followed the creek through a small gorge. There were a few great camp sites along here, with great water access, camping area and fire wood. I continued along the trail which was quite well marked most of the way until I reached a bit of a dead end - or at least the track out from the amazing water hole was not obvious to me. I thought about it for a while and decided to turn back and head back over Corang to get home. On my way back out, I bumped into another couple of people that were also trying to find the Corang River track. We chatted for a few minutes and they decided to continue on and try and find the trail. Last words as we parted were "See who gets to the car park first...".

Climbing up to the top of Corang was not as hard as I remembered, and before long I was sitting at Corang Arch having lunch. After lunch, I now had a chance to climb Corang Peak and check out the views - which were amazing! Today was so clear I could see every little detail of the ranges below, and I could even see all the way to what I am sure was Pagoda Rocks in the Styles River valley!

After admiring the views for a while, it was time to just knuckle down and push myself on to the car park as quickly as I could. I stopped at Korra hill to check out the views just down the track a little as they were also pretty amazing - I later found that the track here is probably the one out to Admiration Point which will need to be checked out next time I'm out this way.

Pushing hard back to the car park (this was training after all) I managed to get back at 3:30pm, just a few minutes before the other couple arrived :) Turns out they DID manage to find the track to Corang river, although the track they took was a little tough there was an easier track that climbs over the ridge just before the water hole for next time.

In summary, I had an amazing weekend, challenged myself beyond what I though was possible and came home without any serious injury!


LIVE HIKING LOG

2015-05-14 14:51:13 Getting underway from Wog Wog carpark. Cool but sunny right now, let's hope it stays this way for a while :)

2015-05-14 19:21:24 Made it to camp about half hour ago. All set up now ready for dinner. Hiking over the plateau with the sun setting behind me was breathtaking!

2015-05-15 06:51:13 up early this morning, certainly a cold one with a layer of ice over the tent. Great looking day though, just trying to warm up :)

2015-05-15 12:45:31 Lunchtime on top of mt tarn. Great day so far, some very overgrown tracks and amazing views.

2015-05-15 16:13:13 made it to styles creek camp site. Was a long day, but glad I did it. Weather is cooling off, need to prepare for another cold one tonight.

2015-05-16 15:26:42 end of another hard day. Struggled getting over styles bog this morning, but rest of day went well. Lovely sunshine here at camp for drying boots

2015-05-17 08:05:20 all thumbs this morning with freezing temps. Beautiful day coming up though with the long walk back via Corang river.

2015-05-17 12:25:20 Corang river track was too overgrown, so heading back over Corang peak. Great day, bumped into more people than I expected.

2015-05-17 16:06:47 Safely back at the car. Feet are already out of the wet soggy boots. Time to return to civilization.


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