The Green Gully Track is a remote and challenging walk, deep in the heart of the Apsley Mcleay Ranges. It showcases both the environmental beauty of the region and the tenacity of the pastoralists who ran cattle here before the National Parks bought the property.
The 5 night Green Gully experience includes a night at Cedar Creek Cottage before we start, and a night after we finish at the fancier Cedar Lodge. We arrive at the Cottage on a rainy day at dusk, and quickly have a fire burning in the open fireplace in the cosy kitchen.
Day 1: Cedar Creek Cottage to Birds Nest Hut
Our eager party of five crosses the paddocks where the kangaroos are grazing in a soft mist that soon clears. We will have good weather for our whole walk. We follow Kunderang trail across the ridgeline, looking at the blackened trees from the fierce 2019 fires. New grass is growing across the forest floor, shot through with the purple of hardenbergia and occasional yellow tiger orchids. We can see down into the valley, and across to Kemps Pinnacle.
The path eventually descends down to Birds Nest Hut, made from galvanised iron and local timber, with rammed earth floors. Nearby are stockyards and a blossoming fruit tree on the creek. Six camp chairs and stretchers are provided, and we soon have dinner cooking on the gas stove. The visitor’s book warns of marauding mice and Dingo Dave. We see neither.
Day 2: Birds Nest Hut to Green Gully Hut
We rise with the dawn chorus, make coffee in the espresso pot, and are soon ready to start the off-track climb to Birds Nest Trig, the high point of the walk. Later we take a couple of detours to the Lookout and the Rocks, with views across the wooded ranges. Then we descend steeply, endlessly down the ridge, with a lunch stop half way down to admire the view and give our muscles a break.
After passing through Brumbys Pass, under watchful eyes of a family of brush tail rock wallabies, we arrive at Green Gully Hut and cool our feet in the creek, before indulging in a hot outdoor shower. Luxury! The Milky Way and stars are very bright tonight.
NPWS have set up a brush-tailed rock-wallaby camera, so you can peek into their world without having to slog your way down to Green Gully. Watch them scratch an itch, snooze or hop about.
Day 3: Green Gully Hut to Colwells Hut
The third day is wet feet day, as we work our way up the river – sometimes in the river, other times on the banks. The water in the Gorge is not too deep, so I don’t get too wet – until I fall in at the end of the day! We see two snakes and lots of butterflies.
We make a fire in the pit, and enjoy dinner outside. Colwells Hut is tiny, so three of us enjoy sleeping outside, listening to the calls of three powerful owls and a tawny frogmouth.
Day 4: Colwells Hut to Cedar Creek Lodge
The climb out the Gully is steep and unrelenting, but we take it at our pace with rest stops as needed, and everyone gets to the top.
We spy some tadpoles in the creek, have morning tea at the junction, say hello to a new group walking in on the range, and all too soon are back at the Lodge. Another wonderful walk with a bunch of fit, friendly women.