Tawonga Gap to Back Germantown Road

Tawonga Gap to Back Germantown Rd (5km from Bright) – Walk report from 30.4.2016 Ten walkers thought they were in for a day of 90% chance of 20 to 40 mm of rain. So everyone was equipped with their most effective wet weather gear. Instead they were pleasantly surprised. There were even sitings of lyrebirds (5), wallabies (3) and a huge flock of gang-gangs.

Apex Park in Wangaratta, then drove to the Bright area. Two cars travelled to Deep Creek track on the Back Germantown Rd on the south side of Bright and on the east side of the Ovens River. This group then travelled in one car to the start of the walk at Tawonga Gap.

9. 15 Am. Started walking along the Smart Creek/Tawonga gap track in a northerly direction from an altitude of 880m. Walkers knew that walking along this ridgeline meant that there were fifteen major hills to climb along the length of this 19 km track so the walk certainly justified its hard grading. The 4wd track went uphill to a height of over 1000m and the track stayed above 1000m for over 10km. If the mist had cleared there were panoramic views of the following mountains – Bogong, Feathertop, the Fainters, Buffalo, Porepunkah and Mt. Emu. This part of the walk was largely in mist and fog, but there were many sitings of wildlife even though there had been an extensive burn off on the east and north sides of the track.

11.15am – morning tea stop at about 1140m. in altitude near the junction with the German Creek track off to the south.. Then continued to walk in this sub-alpine forest until we reached the turnoff where the Tawonga Gap track veered off to the northwest.

1.15pm. Lunch close to the intersection of the Tawonga Gap track and the Hill Plantation/ Deep Creek track. The track then started to descend slightly but the hill climbs continued to confront us as we proceeded west. Views of Porepunkah and Bright started to emerge as we continued to descend.

2.30pm. reached a decision point where a steep fire track veered off to the south and the track turned to the north towards our destination. The track then started to descend steeply and we descended some 600m. in height through some pine forests called Hill Plantation, almost to the floor of the Ovens Valley where our car(s) were waiting at around 3.45pm.

3.45pm. After a welcome cuppa the drivers were ferried back to Tawonga Gap, these cars then returned to our destination to pick up all the walks and we were all back in Wangaratta before 6.00pm.

Some details –

Date 30.4.2016 No of walkers – 10 Leader – Bob Shaw Location of starting point – Tawonga Gap Location of end point – Deep Creek, back Germantown Rod, 5km south of Bright. Distance of walk – 19 km Degree of Difficulty – Hard Grade

Problems – there were potential problems of someone injuring themselves on the steep descents or ascents. Hence it was essential to possess the E-Pirb and multiple mobile phones. Walking poles were of great assistance to most walkers, to keep them from falling/slipping.

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