The forecast this weekend was pretty much the same as our last walk. Clearing showers etc. So we prepped for the same type of weather. Two layers of clothing plus our wet weather gear. So far so good when we arrived. It was cold but the sun was shining. The wind however seemed a little stronger than the forecast of 12 km per hour. Felt a tad more like 20+. We set off from Dust Hole Creek road heading West along Dare’s Hill Summit road. We were nice and early this day, after our last walk mishap, we wanted plenty of day light this time. Oh and I have a new friend. A Gamin hand held GPS. I very nearly bought an EPIRB as well, but thought that was being a bit over dramatic.
Although the sun was shining, the wind felt like it was coming straight off the Antarctic, and the cloud front looming large over the mountain did look ominous of things to come. No sooner had we set a good pace that we stopped for a look at the old Mt Byran school house, which is now a hut for weary travellers. Pretty well equipped, I must add. Cosy rooms with open fire places and a wood stove in the kitchen, and from the look of some of the empty bottles, some had enjoyed themselves there recently.
Not far from here is the house where Sir Hubert Wilkins was born and spent his early years, as well as going to the school we were just in. Anyone know who he is? Worth a read I suggest. The most famous unknown South Australian.
Another few kms on good roads saw us at the base of Mount Bryan. The wind had not yet abated as we had hoped upon reaching the leeward side. In fact it seemed to be worse. The cold air rushing down the steep slope to meet us head on. The track was narrow but good, and although we appeared to miss a trail marker, we ended up in the right place half way up at a fence. The map said we were in the right place, but there was no steps over the fence. Anyway, trudging on up the steeper section of Bryan didn’t seem too challenging, except for the ever present wind. We found a bit of respite just before the peak, where we had a short break.
The summit is quite broad and had a nice little stone chair to survey “the realm before you”! But no time to waste, especially in “gale” force winds. The trail follows the fence off the summit, and once again it is not well marked, so keep your wits about you and your map handy.
Pretty easy going from here heading down Bryan. Just the bitter wind, and rain annoying us to no end, just like that last dinner guest who refuses to leave. My trusty Gamin kept us on course though, in the thick fog with visibility down to 10 metres or so. The landscape soon opened up to gentle slopes and broad valleys just as the weather improved. Probably because we were off the mountain and out of the clouds. The last few kms of day one were on dirt roads heading into Hallett, and very pleasant walking.
Day two started out very wet, very cold, and generally miserable. The rain looked like it had set in for the day, so we opted for a slightly shorter walk, stopping just short of the Brown Hill ranges.
The Hallett Railway Station, which has been converted to a cottage was well maintained. In fact all of the huts we have encountered have been more than adequate for a stay. We have however, opted for more comfortable lodgings with comfortable beds and hot showers so far. Burra has become our home away from home over the last half dozen walks. Gonna miss the Black Sheep and the Burra pub, but we must press on to new pastures.
Not a lot to see in the rain and the fog today and the landscape is quite benign, so pictures are few. It did clear up towards the end of this walk. Just in time for us to finish up and head back through the Barossa to pick up some supplies at Kalleske Wines in Greenock. Not enough time though, to drop into MSV (Murray Street Vineyards) to say hello. Last time we spent quite a few hours there. Some really nice Shiraz, I have to say.
Anyway see what pictures I did take below. Ciao for now.
In Short :
The Walk :Cnr of Dust Hole Creek rd and Dare’s Hill Summit rd to the Old Hallett Railway station.
Distance : 20 kms
Duration : 4 hours
Pace : 5 km per hour
Terrain : Gentle slopes on roads and tracks. Oh yes and a fricken big mountain.
Best Bit : (and the worst) Mount Bryan of course!
The Walk : Old Hallett Railway station to Parker road near Booborowie.
Distance : 18.4 kms
Duration : 3 hours 18 minutes
Pace : 5.6 km per hour
Terrain : Mostly roads and a couple of fields. Pretty flat with easy slopes.
Best Bit : Great view of the windmills at the end of the walk
The rest in Pictures