AAWT Day 16 – Johnnies Top to Mitta Mitta River

This morning was warm, the night and rest were serene, we were all so sleepy and tired. I woke the gang at 5.30 but everyone requested 5, so it was a hesitant start to the day. We had all felt so strong yesterday, we viewed the climb as a challenge and were so proud and pleased with ourselves when we got to the top. Today was the day after and everyone, even Meg, was feeling sore.

After coffee we started off down the jeep track in a relatively gentle descent. We had covered 10km by 9.30am and nearly half our days hike, but that was before we hit the steep bit! Which was the final 300m of knee and ankle crunching descent before we hit the Benambra/Corryong Rd. The pain was there, and so where the wild flowers, purple fringed lilies, white and yellow orchids. The bush was open, grass long, trees big and it was and enchanting place to stop…but we still had kms to walk.

We descended further out of the enchanted bush and into the colonised Morass Creek Gully. We ate lunch in prickles by the creek, which was brown with hopefully tannins but probably run off pollution from farmland nearby. We poo-pooed it. It was humid and we sat in the hot windless gully in dwindling shade dreaming off the mighty and clean Mitta Mitta (fed by Big River which runs below Mt Bogong our final destination).

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Morass? Photo Mia Schoen

We crossed Morass Creek after lunch and proceeded to climb 200m steeply out of the gully on the most unloved track of all time. The track in many parts was crumbling away and was overhung with dense regrowth that we had to push against with every step. It the heat it was like being in a warm stuffy tunnel and we were all a bit delirious and covered in sweat and leaves when we finally reached the top. We call the track bad names, said goodbye and moved on to walk through the Fraser Tablelands, on cleared roads through some of the most picturesque farm scenery; rolling hills, lush green grass, wonky hay sheds, goats to pat.

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Country road, take me home, pls. Photo Meg Wettenhall

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Cute and wonky, Photo Meg Wettenhall

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New gang members, Photo Mia Schoen

Well after we were all sick of walking on such hard surfaces we reached the Mitta Mitta, and who should we see but Bill! After having walked from Buemba Hut Site to the Mitta Mitta in one day (insane) he had a day off to recoup and swim off the heat (smart). We scared off a local family with our hiker tang on arrival, which was lucky as we all promptly fulfilled our days wish (long sweaty trail fantasy) and went swimming. Mia of course went off adventuring and floated 100m down river, getting back upstream looked challenging.

We were all feeling tired but sated with todays hard work, we got some excellent views of Bogong covered in snow this morning, and we are really looking forward to getting there and the high alpine country again in a few days time.

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