Report: Budawangs - Wog Wog to Styles Creek

summary: A great walk from the Western end of the Budawangs through Burumbeet valley and up to Styles Creek with Edwin, Kelly and for the first time Jack!
distance: 50kms
views: 1997

Trip Summary

Many trips to the Budawangs have resulted in similar feelings from those that participate. The Budawangs is a difficult place to hike, even the simple trails can be difficult. This trip was never going to be easy, but all challenges are worth the reward.

Off to BibBenluke (19kms)

I hadnt been hiking for a while, nor had Kelly and Edwin, Jack has never been overnight hiking so it was going to be a good experience for all of us. We arrived at Wog Wog campground after dark and it already looked quite busy with cars, caravans and some tents scattered around. There is usually plenty of room though, and it wasnt long before we had camp setup and dinner warming up.

We didnt wake too early, and were not to quick around camp in the morning because we were not expecting too taxing a day - I forgot about this being The Budawangs!

The first couple of hours of the day is always very pleasant. We are all keen on getting out into the wilderness, all have plenty of energy, and with the perfect weather today, nothing could stop us. It wasnt long after this though that I realised we were not making great time, and in fact the planned track for today was longer than I remembered. Some slight modifications to our planned stops, and we kept on going.

Our first stop for the day was on top of Corang Peak. The walk up to the peak is slow and steady, and in the heat it was very slow and steady! It was so worth it though, with amazing views all around of the valleys bellow us. We sent up the drone too which flew out over Burumbeet valley and all around us.

After soaking up the amazing views on top of Corang Peak, we descended down to Corang Arch where we stopped for lunch. The sun was still shining on us, but we were all ready for a good rest before the afternoon push.

After lunch we scurried down the cliff face and down into the valley, crossing Canowie brook where we topped up our water supplies (those of us not carrying six litres already!) and then pushed on toward Burumbeet valley.

As we arrived at Burumbeet campground I started to feel like this was enough for me today! Not having hiked for a while, and carrying a much heavier than normal pack, my hips were starting to complain for loudly. We pushed on though, because tomorrow would be very tough if we didnt get closer to Mount Tarn. Then we hit the stairway to hell, which once again made me feel like it wasnt so hard afterall, until I realised again that it is made of two parts! The lookout at Yurnga is only half way!

So we continued to trudge up the hill one step at a time until we started to finally drop down into the Bibbenluke valley. At this stage, Edwin was very excited as he found a map lieing on the ground! Some more hiker is now trying to navigate in this park without a map which would not work well at all.

Fortunately another couple of kms down the trail and we hear a voice from the bushes - "did any of you find a map!". Apparently this guy had dropped it without realising, continued on as far as he could before becoming too exhausted to go any further and then setup camp in what was probably a campsite ten years ago! Now it was quite heavily overgrown, but once you cant go any further, nothing more you can do. We had a quick chat, and I explained that the main camp is probably only half a kilometre down the trail...He said he might pack up and come down, not sure if he tried but we never saw him again.

It was getting late now - towards 5pm, and we were all tired - and thats when you make mistakes. We managed to walk straight past the track to the campsite and continue on towards Mount Owen. Fortunately I started questioning our position before we got too far off course. We ended up about half a kilometre past our camp before we turned around and found a beautiful empty campsite!

The evening was great, although not fire here so we were not up late. The leeches also started to show themselves which Edwin and Kelly were not happy with! Fortunately tonight, I was the only one to be bitten!

So we didnt quite meet our target today, which was the camping caves on Mount Tarn - which we could see from our camp! Tomorrow we would see what we missed out on.

Bush Bashing (7kms)

Today was always going to be a bit of a bush bash. I had explained to the others that today would be quite easy, but only in distance - not sure if they heard that bit!

Climbing up to Mount Tarn was the first challenge as the track is very overgrown, and with large steps to negotiate, you need to take it very slowly. Once up though, everyone was impressed by the amazing camping caves! Perhaps we will make it next time.

From here the track is quite amazing as you navigate around the cliff face around to the East of Mount Tarn, before climbing up onto the top.

NOTE: Never think it is ok to scramble up through the creek and under bushes at the first obvious crevice - always go to the next crevice which has a very easy and well maintained trail!

So this was our first challenge for the day as we chose the wrong crevice to scramble up which ended up with us dragging packs along the ground for several hundred metres, clambering through low scrub on our hands and knees, and once again getting attached by leeches (Jacks turn). We did eventually pop out on the main trail though, which then made the walking much easier.

The trail is still overgrown though on top of Mount Tarn, but it you are careful, you can follow it quite easily all the way across - and hopefully keep you feet dry too.

We stopped for an early lunch on a rocky outcrop where once again we got amazing views.

After lunch, the slow traverse along the narrow track continued. We did make it to the other side of Mount Tarn in good time though. And from here we dropped down to the saddle and quickly crossed to Mount Haughton. I love this section of Mount Haughton as its all very grand, and straight out of jurassic park! We stopped here for a while to rest.

Traversing around Mount Haughton is much like that of Mount Tarn, just a bit longer - about an hour total to get to the drop off point at the top of Styles Plain. And once again, we were getting the later afternoon blues. With the bush bashing earlier in the morning, we had very little energy left, but at least the next section was all down hill.

Once we got down to Styles Plain, we started the walk around to the creek - which is still quite a distance. I thought a few times of just calling it a day and camping on the plain, as there are some clearings on the Eastern side overlooking Hollands Gorge. But we pushed on, and eventually got to the last obstacle for the day.

We followed the obvious trail deep into the bog that comes from Hidden Valley. In future I need to remember to break off the main trail a hundred or so metres earlier which will help to avoid some of the really heavy bush. We did manage to negotiate the bog quite well though, with mostly dry feet but probably too many crossings of the creek! Eventually we popped out onto a track which we followed all the way to camp.

There were already a couple of tents here, and four people setting up for the night. Lovely people all of them, and with a pile of firewood at their disposal, tonight was going to be a good one!

The Return Journey (12kms)

We decided today needed to be an early start as we needed to return along the same track as yesterday, and then another four or five kilometres to Burumbeet.

So of course the first challenge was getting back over the bog, which was easier this time as we followed our gps track from the day before - minus the diversion at the end into the heavy scrub.

Once that was done we continued across the plain, stopping to chat to a number of other hikers going in the opposite direction having spent that night in the Haughton Hilton. We slowly plodded up the hill to Mount Haughton, with the top not coming soon enough - seemed like such an easy walk downhill yesterday!

From here we were just re-tracing our steps from yesterday so I let Edwin and Kelly lead the way so that I could rest my navigational brain for a while as it had become quite weary over the past few days. We had no issues though, its pretty easy returning along the same path and after a short break at jurassic park, we headed back to the infamous Mount Tarn.

Getting onto Mount Tarn from this side is easy. And once on the top we were very slow and methodical to ensure we stayed on track, all was going well until Kelly managed to step off the board walk - one wet foot. And then with the next couple of steps, off again with the other foot!!

We stopped again - for an early lunch - at the rocky outcrop from the day before. We had time to pop the drone up this time and fly it out over Hollands Gorge which was amazing! Even tested out the automatic return to home function once the battery got low.

As we still had quite some distance to go today, our lunch break was short and we were off again. This time we were hoping to avoid the hands and knees scrambling, and take the main trail all the way off the mountain - it is so much easier!

We continued on to the caves, where we did another leech check before dropping back into the valley to the Bibbenluke camping area. We filled up with water and then head off back to Burumbeet.

Again by the end of the day we were pretty tired, at least there wasnt quite so much scrambling today, but still a bit of distance. At camp there was a little drama with another group having been split up, now a group of five was a group of two and a group of three. There was also quite a lot more people around this afternoon, with campers in the caves and other Burumbeet campground. We were alone again though, and with a very small amount of firewood, we managed to sty up until about 8:0pm! At this stage it was dark, cold and bed was the best place for us.

We were expecting Mark and Becc to arrive at our camp this afternoon, but they had been delayed by some questionable navigation - so they were camping the night on Mount Tarn and catching up with us in the morning.

The Final Leg (12kms)

Today would be our final day here in The Budawangs Wilderness. So rather than head off early, we waited around for Mark and Becc to arrive after running from Mount Tarn. They arrived at about 9:00am, rather sweaty! We exchanged storries, examined wounds and then eventually head off towards the Corang River.

We break from the main trail at the campground of Canowie Brook - the trail starts up at the back of the campground. Most of the track is dry at this stage with a few muddy sections, before it winds up into a small valley. It is at this point that we needed to start watching out for the track up and over the ridge line, which is what I missed last time I was here. Turns out I must have been quite blind! The track was marked with a rock cairn, and quite easy to follow - at this point!

The track does get a bit difficult as it climbs over the ridge, some rock scrambling needs to be done to get over the top, which can be difficult with a large pack - but we all made it over safely. Once the track opens up more, you need to be really careful that you stay on the trail! It is at this point that we were not careful enough, and before long we found ourselves to be bush bashing again. We weren't lost as we knew we needed to parallel the river, but the going was quite tough, and after three tough days already I was hoping today would be a little easier! So we continued to follow Mark as he bashed his way through the bush, until we eventually heard the cry "found the track"!

Lunch was had at the Corang river, which is much closer than I remember to the campground. And the campground is much bigger than I remember too, its amazing and well worth another trip out here.

But even the temptation of a quick swim didnt keep us here for too long, Becc and Mark jumped in for a moment while we ate lunch and prepared for the final leg.

As always, the final leg back to the car always seems to take forever. We eventually got back to the main trail after a short break at the beautiful Goodsell Creek. And then the long plod back to the car.


In the end, we had an amazing weekend. The weather was perfect, the tracks were just difficult enough to keep us interested, and the company as always was impeccable.

Fortunately for Jack on the way home, we managed to stop at KFC while we waited for the Easter traffic to reduce. Finally arriving home just before 7:00pm.

Live Hiking Log

2017-04-16 16:04:20 Another typical day bush bashing in the budawangs. All still in high spirits

2017-04-16 11:24:20 On top of mount tarn again with perfect weather

2017-04-15 12:20:38 Tough scramble to top of mount Tarn

2017-04-15 06:50:19 Missed turn off for camp last night which made a hard day harder! Skies clearing for another sunny day

2017-04-14 18:06:01 Tough day today. Budawangs beat us again

2017-04-13 21:50:15 Beginning of another budawangs adventure

Google Maps

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