Image 1 - The spectacular view from the peak of Mt Namadgi
If you are considering doing one of Namadgi National Parks toughest walks, do so with the upmost respect for this significant cultural Indigenous site. Shortly after completing this walk, I wrote these words, which I believe reflect my own experience of that trip, but also my own growing self-awareness of our local ancient historical cultural and spiritual landscape.
It’s a long tough walk to get to the top of Mt Namadgi and I couldn’t help but reflect on the cultural significance of the stone arrangements. This spiritual place sits atop a windswept mountain top, battered by the ravages of weather and time, and surrounded by panoramic views of this ancient land, a view that will stay with me forever.
As the clouds rolled by and the wind swept passed, bringing that icy chill that you get in these high area pf Namdgi, it felt like such a lonely spot, even though I was surrounded by the warmness and good nature of the walking group. In a way, the location felt surreal, significant and yes, spiritual. But, it also seemed one removed from our group, significant evidence of a past spiritual practice from a people who must have gone to great lengths to not only travel to this mountain top, but to recognise and maintain its significance and spiritual meaning to them.
Now, after thousands of years of culture, here was our small group visiting this sacred place. A relic of the past? Perhaps it should never have been interfered with. In a way, I felt like a trespasser and I really don’t hesitate to admit, I felt as if I should have gained permission to be there, that I needed the blessing of the Ngunnawal or perhaps the Ngarigo people, or both.
Perhaps the feeling of one removed is a reflection of the current political state in Australia. A genuine and meaningful treaty with the Aboriginal people seems just that, one removed. I hope not, and I hope to see the day that a meaningful treaty is reached in my lifetime. Such is the impact that a visit to Mt Namadgi has.
Although I couldn't see it at the time, I now feel like I really found the Namadgi Trail.
Walk Rating: Hard. This is an overnight walk. The majority is not on a walking track and you have to pick your way through the scrub. You will need a map and compass and the ability to navigate.
Directions: To get to the Yankee Hat car park, you drive to Tharwa. Once over the bridge, swing left onto Naas Road. From here it's around 32 kilometres,so enjoy the beautiful picturesque scenery and the wonderful mountains!
Continue on Naas Road until you pass the interesection with Apollo Road (leads to the old Honeysuckle Creek Tracking Station - another beautiful spot). From this point, Naas Road ends and Boboyan Road starts. Follow Boboyan Road and pass the turn-off to Orroral Valley and a little further on you will pass the Glendale Depot. This is a National Parks depot and services the needs of the rangers and Parks personnel with upkeep and maintenance of roads and infrastructure.
Continue past the depot and go past the car park at Rendezvous Creek. From here it is only a little further. Keep an eye out for the small sign (Old Boboyan Road) on the right side of the road. If the road changes from tar to dirt, you have gone too far!
Turn off to the right and the well-maintained dirt road will take you to the Yankee Hat car park. There are two small weirs to cross, but generally there are no problems with a two-wheel drive (except when the creek is in flood of course).
From the Old Boboyan Road turn-off to the Yankee Hat car park is around 3.5 kilometres.
Image 2 (above) - The walking group crossing the grasslands with Mt Namadgi in the distance and Image 3 (below) - The start of the hard slog.
The Walk: This was the first time I'd been on a walk with a group of other walkers and the first time that I'd shared a walk with well known bush walker - JohnnyBoy. I've done other tough walks, but be warned about this walk. It is deceptive, as you can see Mt Namadgi from the car park and it really doesn't look that far. But once you hit the scrub and get off the defined walking track, the going is tough and the climb towards Big Creamy Flats (at the base of Mt Namadgi) is relentless.
After introductions to the group, we all slung our packs (quiet an array of gear I might add) and headed off across the open plains of the Yankee Hat grasslands. The first part of this walk is to cross the beautiful Gudgenby Creek grasslands. In the open plains, surrounded by Eastern Grey Kangaroos with the mountains shadowing us in the background with the sun shining, it really was a great day.
After , we arrived at the Aboriginal Rock Shelter, where we stopped for a quick break and rehydration.