Bushfold Flats Hut
This hut sits quietly in a bushland valley between the back of Mt Tennent and Booroomba Rocks. A real ACT bushwalk, pleasant and a beautifully peaceful location (Image 1).
Walk Rating: Medium. The walk is around nine kilometres return journey. The majority of the walk to the hut is downhill, meaning that the majority of the walk back to the carpark is uphill. There are some reasonably steep uphill sections on the return that really get the lungs working!
Directions: To get to the hut, you drive to Tharwa. Once over the bridge, swing left onto Naas Road. From here, drive along Naas Road for 10.6 kilometres until the intersection with Apollo Road. Turn right onto Apollo Road and follow the road 5.5 kilometres and about 300 metres before you get to the Honeysuckle Campground, you will see a turn-off to the right, which is the road to the Booroomba Rocks carpark. The turn-off is also signposted. Take caution on this road as it is narrow in sections and you need to be watchful of vehicles coming in the opposite direction (remember that not all people take the same care as you do on blind bends). Also be aware that Apollo Road is a popular bicycle ride, so be cautious on the drive.
The commencement of the walk is situated to the north-west of the Booroomba Rocks carpark and is marked by an Australian Alps Walk marker (Image 2).
The Walk: After parking in the Booroomba Rocks carpark, we commenced south along the Australian Alps Walking Track. It was a beautiful morning and the sun was shining through the dense tree canopies, light refracting through various branches and undergrowth, creating a golden ambience to the surrounds (Image 3).
The walking track is clearly defined and from the moment we stepped off, we were under the cover of trees, which meant we remained protected from the heat of the rising sun. Although damaged by the 2003 Canberra bushfires, many of the trees remained untouched, and this is evident as the eucalypts towered up into the sky, seemingly thriving in this post-fire environment (Image 4). I always marvel at the survivors of the 2003 bushfire. Whilst so much of the native flora perished, it is incredible how a lone tree here and there has not only survived but survived untouched! One of the mysteries of nature (fires in Australia being part of the natural landscape for thousands of years).
The surrounding forrest on the walking track created an enchanting atmosphere. There were many species of native birdlife and wallabies to accompany us, and although getting relatively late in the season, there was still an abundance of native wildflowers and various shrubs in flower (although at the later stages). I'd come across some delicious looking berries but, having left my field guide at home, dare not try them in case it (literally) backfired on me (Image 5)!
Image 2 - The start of the walking track with the track marker. This section is also part of the Australian Alps Walking Trail.
Image 1 - Bushfold Flats Hut
Image 3 (right) - The golden ambience of sunlight filtering through the tree leaves
Image 4 - Towering snowgum Eucalypt. One of the flourishing survivors of the 2003 Canberra bushfires.
Image 6 - The tranquil surrounds of the Bushfold Flats walk, surrounded by beautiful Australian flora
We arrived at the hut and, after dropping our packs, we explored the immediate surrounds. The hut itself was almost completely destroyed by the 2003 Canberra bushfires but once again, thanks to the fabulous people of the Kosciuszko Huts Association, has been carefully and lovingly restored. These people are a constant source of my admiration. They give selflessly of themselves in order to preserve huts for others to enjoy. If it weren't for their efforts, I'm almost certain that local government would not have restored the hut and it would have disappeared for all time (Images 8 and 9).
At this location we boiled the billy and sat back to enjoy a coffee (for some) and a tea (for the other half of the group). Whilst munching on some delicious pieces of fruit cake that my wife had brought along, I read through the hut visitors book. Some people are extremely creative in their writings and visitors books always make for interesting and humorous reading! It inspired me to write more than the standed one-liner, which usually includes an announcment to nobody in particular that Steve, Nerida, Daz and Tracey visited the hut on this particular day. I came up with a line that I heard in a song recently and it really struck a chord with me as I think it best describes my constant burning desire to go bushwalking, to explore and to experience new locations away from the hustle of the city crowds.
'What's the use of living the life you've been given if all you do is stand in one place.'
Anyway, after finishing our cuppas (Daz and I went for a second) we motivated ourselves to commence the trek back, knowing full well that it was almost all up-hill. The return journey quickly shakes off any post-lunch fatigue you may have. After a physically exerting 4.5 kilometres, we arrived back at Booroomba Rocks carpark.
All in all, this is another great walk and another great hut in Namadgi National Park. I thoroughly recommend it.
Above - Native wildflowers were still in abundance along the walking track. Right - The beautiful surrounds that are there to enjoy during the walk.
Image 5 - Commonly known as Coffee Bean, this plant grows in damp and higher altitude areas
We pushed on through the enchanting surroundings, enveloped not only by the Eucalypt 'forrest', but also by the intense and refreshing scent of Eucalypt (Image 6).
At about the 3.5 kilometre mark, we came out of the 'forrest' and onto an opening, which was surrounded by much lower growing tea tree shrubs. This turned out to be the start of Bushfold Flats. Soon after, we came to a complete opening and the well-defined walking track dissapeared, with the only clue left as to its existence - an Australian Alps Walking Track marker. I used my map and worked out that if we continued heading north, we would intersect with an old farming dam, which, after about a kilometre, we did (Image 7).
As we passed the dam to rejoin the walking track (on the northern side) we were extra vigilant for snakes, particularly the red bellied black variety, which thrive in and around water sources. The thick shoreline glades made it extra tense (Image 7)!
After rejoining the walking track (which was still not very well defined) we saw in the diatnce that the track interesected with a firetrail. This is the Bushfold Flats Fire Trail, and a right turn at this location takes you another 500 metres, where you arrive at the hut.
Image 7 - The old farm dam. Popular with the local snakes, I'm sure!
Image 8 (above) and Image 9 (below) - Bushfold Flats Hut interior.