We are now at the Warrumbungles National Park for four nights. The weather is clearing up for us and is promising three days of no rain, but cloudy skies with sunshine from time to time.
Leaving Coonamble we had to back track a little, on sealed roads, through Baradine, then Coonabarabran and finally the Bungles. We still had water over the road on this route, nothing dramatic, half wheel height at most and not flowing. Our original route was to take us to the Bungles on some gravel. However, the wet weather has closed all the gravel roads in the shire.
The National Park has also been closed, but opened in time for our arrival. It seems the water over the small causeway into the park had to drop before opening up. Timing is everything it seems.
Had some snags on the BBQ for dinner, watched on by a cunning Currawong.
We have not been to the Bungles before, apart from driving through them a year or so after the big fire of 2013. The park has recovered significantly since then. Many species have made a come back and indeed some new ones, previously not identified, have appeared. Unlike the fire, this sort of news doesn’t make the 6 O’clock news.
Allthego has a bucket list objective in the Bungles and that is to complete the Grand High Tops walk. Unfortunately, the complete circuit of 14.5 km is closed for maintenance of part of the track.
The 6km section that takes one to ‘the top’ with views of the Breadknife and other features is open, just have to go back the same way. It took Allthego just on 7 hours, Homealone remained at home.
Allthego returned somewhat stiff and foot sore, but some amazing scenery compensated. Wildflowers were out in abundance, particularly the wattle. Unfortunately, there are some goats in the park that are difficult to eliminate.
The cloudy day made photos a bit moody, sun and blue sky can make things a bit chocolate boxy. Unable to use a drone here as well without permission and then only in one place, a little disappointing for drone people. Apparently, a reason is that eagles attack them and quite a number have been lost as a consequence. National Park bureaucracy perhaps another, drones probably frighten wildlife , except eagles of course.
The track follows a creek for a couple of kilometres before starting to rise, there is a long section of brick pavers making the onwards and ever upwards easier. Then the steel steps start. Ten or twelve flights of them, upwards of twenty steps a flight, Allthego lost count. Seemingly, near the top there are more steps but only 600 metres to go. In parts this was a bit of a scramble, but the top was eventually reached.
Like being on top of the world, gazing out over the remnants of the great old shield volcano that was active 13-18 million years ago. Awe inspiring!
The walk back down was a little easier on the heart rate, more pressure on the knees though! The sun came out with some patches of blue sky, gave a different perspective to the vegetation and landforms.
Upon return to camp it was straight into a hot shower to sooth the muscles and sore feet. An earlier than usual night too!