Demandering Hut & Horse Gully Hut
Image 1 - Demandering Hut
Image 2 - Horse Gully Hut
This ACT bushwalk takes in the scenic views of the Mt Clear surrounds and you are rewarded with a visit to two of the area's well preserved huts.
Walk Rating: Easy to moderate. This is a walk that basically undulates from start to finish. There are some reasonably steep sections but they are not lengthy and you are soon back on the flat or heading downhill again. If you have a moderate level of fitness, you shouldn't have any troubles.
Directions to Walk
To get to the hut, drive to Tharwa. Once over the bridge, swing left onto Naas Road, which turns into Boboyan Road. From Tharwa it's around 49.3kilometres to the turn-off to the Mt Clear campground and parking area.
Please note that, after 36 kilometres, the road changes to dirt. It is a well-maintained dirt road but does get affected by the weather conditions from time to time, particularly during the winter months. Generally, a two-wheel drive vehicle will have no problems, but occasionally the road is closed or only open to four-wheel drives.
Once you turn into the access road to Mt Clear, you travel a few hundred metres, where you come to a fork in the road. The left fork takes you to the Mt Clear campground and the right fork takes you to the carpark at the start of the walking track. The track commencement is clearly signposted (Image 3).
At the start of the walk there are a number of signs that give distances to certain locations. Horse Gully Hut is sign posted as 7 km. You will also see one sign providing a distance to Caloolla Farm as 25km, and then about 20 metres further down the track another sign says that its 28km to Caloolla Farm!
I have my doubts about the signposted distance to the Horse Gully Hut as I used a GPS device which tracked the distance at around 8.2km, so make sure you give yourself a little extra time for the walk.
The walk itself is on a well-defined 4WD access road (Image 4) and, if you're interested, a short distance into the walk you can veer off to the left (on a less defined access track) and this will take you to the old cattle yard. At this location there is a designated stopover point for those who are riding horses through the area.
You quickly come from the opn track into the treed area and, after an ascent of a few hundred metres, you begin to descend into the open wetlands, where there is a very healthy population of eastern grey kangaroos (Images 5 and 6).
Image 3 - Commencement point of the walk
Image 4 - The well-defined track at the commencement of the walk
Image 5 - One of the many beautiful wetland areas you will come across during the walk. This photo was taken later in the afteroon as the sun was setting.
Image 6 - One of the many Eastern Grey kangaroos that can be found in the area.
Image 7 - A lucky break! Crossing the Naas Creek thanks to a recently fallen ghost gum.
Image 8 - The turn-off to Demandering Hut.
The walk to Horse Gully Hut was another 2.5 kilometres. It was another well- preserved hut (Image 13). larger than Demandering Hut and also with the convenience of a fairly newly constructed pit toilet (which Demandering Hut does not have).
We spent some more time sitting and relaxing at the hut, as it was such a beautiful day. I began to think that the hut would be a great place to camp for the night, but, alas, no camping gear with me, so I had to go through the same process of re-motivating myself for the next leg of the walk! Images 14 and 15 show the interior of Horse Gully Hut.
Image 13 - Horse Gully Hut
Image 14 and 15 - Interior of Horse Gully Hut
After walking through the first wetland area, we came across the first of three creek crossings. Although the map describes the waterway through the area as the Naas 'creek', don't be fooled. This was more like a river and was flowing very well and was fairly deep at the crossing points. We had read that, if this occurred, you could take a detour to the right, which three of us did. My wife, however, thought we were wooses and took her shoes and socks off and waded to the other side. She reported that the water was extremely icy and I suspect spent the next 10 or so minutes getting feeling back in her feet whilst we took the detour (she would'nt admit it though)!
The detour to the right basically traverses the bend in the creek line and you follow it around in a u-shape, which brings you out on the other side of the second creek crossing. It added about a kilometre to the journey.
Whilst this was occurring, my wife came to the second crossing and discovered that it was way too deep to even attempt to cross on foot. Thankfully, one of the ghost gums had recently fallen from the bank on one side and came to rest on the opposite side. On the return journey of the walk, we all took this option to cross, with the only surprising aspect that at least one of us didn't fall into the creek! (Image 7)
The day of our walk was the first truly Spring day of the year with blue skies, sun shining and around 22 degrees. We had been so used to the winter walking conditions that it took us a little effort to get used to the conditions.
We made it through the third of the creek crossings, which I'm pleased to say didn't cause us any problems, and carried on towards Demandering Hut. This section of the walk is particularly relaxing as on the right you have the beautiful array of Snow Gums, Red Box Gums and Scraggy Bark Gums and, on the left, you have the tranquil sound of the flowing Naas Creek.
We arrived at the turn-off to the Demandering Hut, which is well signposted and easy to find (Image 8). From here it is about 200 metres to the hut (Image 9 and 10) where we stopped for a cuppa and some relaxation time. The Demandering Hut is a very well-preserved hut, largely thanks to the efforts of the volunteers of the Koscisuko Huts Association (Image 10, 11 and 12). It is nestled in the surrounds of various native gumtrees and other flora. It is a very quiet and peaceful location. A \fter enjoying a cuppa and sitting in the warm sun for a while, it was a real challenge to pack our things and continue on our journey!
Image 9 - The walk to Demandering Hut, which is about 200 metres from the turn-off.
Image 10 - Arriving at Demandering Hut
Images 11 and 12 - The well preserved and cared for interior of Demandering Hut.
By the time we commenced our return journey, it was starting to get into late afternoon. We had spent a lot of time at the huts as they were so peaceful and relaxing. The track soon came out of the elevation and back down onto the flatter area, where it was once again joined by the Naas River, which seemd to be an accompanying buddy to the walking track (Image 16 and 17).
After successfully re-navigating the three creek crossings, we arrived back at the car just as the sun was beginning to drop down behind the Brindabella Mountains. It was great walk and a really great day out. The highlight of walks at this time of year is, without a doubt, the flowering wattles, which enhance an already beautiful landscape with their smatterings of bright yellow for all to see (Image 18). During the next two months, the native flora will begin to flower. A great spot to see this is the walking track to Mt Franklin.
Image 16 - The return trek across the wetlands.
Image 17 - The Naas Creek flowing next to the walking track.
Image 18 - The local wattle trees turn a brilliant yellow during the flowering season. They are prolific throught Namadgi National Park