Upper Murray weekend : October 25-27

This very enjoyable weekend started off with base camp being set up at the Tallangatta caravan park on Friday afternoon.

After some enjoyable yarning on a balmy evening, we headed to the tents, ready for a leisurely start on the High Country Rail Trail the next morning.

There was a quick foray to the town centre for newspapers, coffee and donuts, and the eight of us then headed off for Shelley Railway Station at about 9.30am, dropping off a shuttle car near the Koetong Hotel.

The weather forecast wasn’t the best, and all of the predictions came true, but we headed off from the Station in high spirits, and we were soon amongst the fern glades and trestle bridges for our 14km walk.

Once at the Murray Valley Highway, we recovered the cars from the start, then completed a five kilometre walk (2.5km each way) to the historic Darbyshire bridge.

This was where all those weather predictions came true; we had already seen some drizzle, and some gusty winds, but now the sky went from blue to grey to black, and we were battered by horizontal hail, and intimidated by distant thunder and lighting.

There was talk of making a u-turn back to the cars, but after seeking shelter under the remains of a trestle bridge (where else) we finally made it to the Darbyshire bridge, and then back to the cars.

Saturday night was spent reminiscing about trestle bridges (all six of them) and enjoying a great meal at the Tallangatta Hotel.

On Sunday morning (which was brilliantly sunny) we were joined by Lynn from Beechworth, and set off for the former gold mining township of Granya.

Once at the nearby Cottontree Creek picnic/camping area (250m), we set off on the 5.2km walk to Mount Granya (840m). The early parts of the walk lead past the historic scout hut (1937) and then past the rocky Granya Falls.

Expectedly, the Falls were almost dry, and from here it was a relentless climb to a ‘plateau’, and then on to the final climb (the last 1.8km) to the summit of Mount Granya.

Great views, and lunch, were enjoyed at the summit and, after a relentless descent, we were all back at Cottontree Creek at 3.30pm.

Many bird calls were heard throughout the walk, and two lyrebirds were spotted on the descent.

Highlights of the weekend were great friendship; a sky that went blue – grey – black; Sandi’s new tent; horizontal hail; six trestle bridges, a great meal at the Tallangatta Hotel; great views from Mount Granya, and the donuts from Teddy’s Café in Tallangatta.


PS. For the cyclists among us, the High Country Rail Trail now runs all the way from Shelley Railway Station to Tallangatta, and then through to Ebden. The ‘missing link’ was officially opened on October 13 – see highcountryrailtrail.org.au and/or tallangatta-sc.vic.edu.au/tallangatta-herald for more details.

Coming Events . . .

Cup Day: Tuesday, 5th November.  The Big Kaluna, Wangaratta. [AWTGS-2] Rod, 0409 215 286    An easy walk or nature ramble at Kaluna Park, a 5.2ha remnant of River Red Gum riverine bushland, a haven for birdlife, flora & fauna close to the King River, at the edge of Wangaratta’s CBD, and visiting some local historic sites.  Followed by a BYO BBQ lunch at Merriwa Park.  And of course, being Cup Day, we will have cup cakes for the race.  

Saturday, 9th November.  Tawonga Gap to Freeburgh. [AWTGS-4] 
Bob, 5766 2773  A hard walk of approx 18k on 4WD track following the ridge from Tawonga Gap through mountain ash forests to Simmonds Gap, and onto Freeburgh.  Climbing from 890m to 1,130m, and descending to about 500m.  Views to Mts Bogong, Fainter, Feathertop and Big Hill.

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