Dave Byrnes' Adventures

Hume & Hovell Walking Track - 2013

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Day: 007

Monday, 13 May 2013


Thomas Boyd Trackhead


Snowy Mountains Highway

Daily Kilometres:


Total Kilometres:



Rain all day of varying intensity with the wind rising in the afternoon.


Motel in Tumut.


Breakfast:  Muesli
Lunch:  Just some snacks during the day.
Dinner:  Pizza and ice-cream. 



Pictures: Here
GPS Track: Here

I slept badly initially as I was sleeping on a table in the BBQ shelter and there were some small biting insects.  Eventually, I gave in around midnight and found some insect repellant and rubbed it on my exposed skin.  Thereafter I slept well until woken by a rain shower around 4am and by 6:30am, when I got up, it was raining steadily.  I celebrated my good judgment in choosing to sleep in the shelter.

I breakfasted and packed up and then hid my supply drum, and took a GPS location, in nearby bush.  I will pick it up on my next trip to Melbourne.  The rain was steady, although not heavy, as I set out along the road.  I was making a detour from the official Hume & Hovell route because a footbridge had been washed out further downstream.  The detour didn't involve extra distance, but did require walking along a country road.  There was almost no traffic and the scenery was autumnal with the occasional bright yellow tree and mist hanging on the sides of the surrounding mountains.  Very pleasant.

After an hour I rejoined the official route which then turned down a farm road that followed a rural valley upstream for about 6 kilometres.  There were more autumn colours, a babbling creek and open pastures populated with cattle, sheep and kangaroos.  The grade was easy, I had the place to myself and it was easy to ignore the continual rain.  I passed the remnants of an old logging mill and other rusting machinery and soon after reached the end of the valley and began zig-zagging up the side of a steep mountain through dense brush which was wet and overhanging the trail.  Before long I was sodden and getting a bit cold.  Higher up, the trail emerged from the brush and followed the mountain contours, weaving between huge mossy boulders in a majestic eucalypt forest.  Still raining and I sat on a rock, huddled from the weather, and had my first and only break and snack for the day, having walked for three hours.

After the break the trail left the forest and began crossing some precipitous open pasture land.  I had to follow either fence lines or the ubiquitous white Hume & Hovell market posts that were visible at long distances.  This was the pattern for the rest of the afternoon.  The grass in the pastureland was short so the walking was easy apart from the steep ups and downs.  The wind was becoming noticeable on the ridges and I was bordering on cold but didn't want to stop and get any more gear out as there was no shelter and things would get wet.

Around 2pm I descended to the Snowy Mountains Highway.  The Hume & Hovell Track continued on the other side of the Highway, after following it for a kilometre, but I had decided to go into the town of Tumut, 10km further down the highway, and get a motel room for the night.  I had washing to do and batteries to recharge and the thought of a hot shower was icing on the cake.  I thought about calling a taxi, but didn't want to risk getting my phone wet and the rain was now pouring down.  I knew that there would be a school bus coming along later in the afternoon, but there was nowhere dry to wait so I decided I might as well walk towards town.  I would be there in two hours and it would keep me warm.  I didn't hitch-hike, but thought there was a good chance someone would pick me up and, sure enough, the third car along stopped and offered me a ride in their luxury SUV.  Very apologetically, I dumped my saturated pack on the back seat and sat my sodden butt on the front seat for the short ride into town from the friendly local.

He dropped me in the centre of Tumut and, after some quick consideration, I decided the motel across the road would do me fine and went to Reception.  As soon as they saw I was a hiker, they said Warwick Hull, the Hume & Hovell Trail Coordinator had just been in looking for me!  They helpfully organised a washing machine and dryer for my gear.  I showered, put on a load of laundry, and called Warwick.  He was still in town (he works in Wagga Wagga) and we arranged to have a cup of coffee nearby.  His colleague Peter was with him and we had a really nice chat about the Hume & Hovell Track, other hikes and running for an hour or so.  Warwick had actually intended to give me a lift from the trailhead into town, but I wasn't answering my phone.

So, another day has ended on a good note, due largely to the help and kindness of strangers.  I called the school bus company and they will pick me up at 6:45am in the morning from near the motel and return me to the trail for $2!

I bought pizza for dinner from across the road and a few batteries I needed from the adjacent supermarket and then updated my diary after dinner and packed ready for an early departure tomorrow.



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