Loggers Lane Loop, Warby RangesMay 17, 2020
Exploring Waterfalls, Mount Buffalo National Park
Here we are once again, back on the road getting out in the wild!. It has been way to long between visits. After my last entry from the Warby ranges back in May I believe. Well we have had a second lockdown lasting 4 months, Then we were let out for a month over Christmas, how kind. Then Victoria decided to have a turn and lock out New South Wales, So its just been ping ponging backward and forward for the last few months, who knows how long this will last.
But we are open again (kind of) for some exploring, and todays target "Mount Buffalo." I have read in a few places that Mount Buffalo is the home to some of the most adventurous geocaches out there, and yeah they were not wrong. In fact abit to adventurous for even me. Because screw hanging 300 meters from a cliff face over a raging waterfall with nothing but death down below, and if somehow you were able to survive that (which you wont) you would probably drown, and then if not probably just die from infection from all your broken bones. Anyway what am i crapping on about get to the story!.
So I left nice and early in the morning for a big day, and took me almost an hour and a half to get to the base of the mountain from Corowa in New South Wales. I didn't really know what I would be doing or where I was going to visit, I knew that last night we had a huge downpour of rain, and for sure some waterfalls would be in flood, so that was really my destination and then just pick up what ever geocaches I find along the way.
As I was coming into the park I had my UHF scanner switched on listening to stuff as i usually do. And I overheard some people taking about how awesome "Eurobin Falls" were and also mention just how crowded the carparks were. I had never really heard of these falls before, all I knew about was the main Crystal Brook falls. So of I headed to check out Eurobin Falls.
I got closer I saw a few signs saying there are multiple waterfalls within the same area, These being "Upper Eurobin Falls", "Lower Eurobin Falls" and "Ladies Bath Falls". *Spoiler Alert* - Upper Eurobin falls are the best!
Upper Eurobin Falls in the distance
Eurobin River, Right at the Falls Carpark
Carparking wasn't as bad as it sounded over the radio, there were plenty of carparks with plenty of kids on the roads (Groan). And even if you couldnt get a park, just make your own like some 4x4 cars did and have them hanging off the edge of the road!.
First stop along the 1.5km track was "Ladies Bath Falls" On looking at it now, Ladies bath falls is from a different river and not connected to the Eurobin Creek like the other falls on this track are, The Ladies bath falls come from the Crystal Brook Creek when come plummeting off the top of the mountain in a 300 meter drop, which I talk about later in this blog. The Ladies bath falls are nothing really to major, just a simple 3 meter water drop off into a pool below the viewing platform. Lots of families stopped here to show the kiddies the waterfall because going up the falls is a little bit of a feat, which id imagine not many kids would enjoy.
But I'm here for adventure so I carried on to the Lower Falls, which sucked really, the overgrowth was pretty bad which blocked most of the view while walking alongside of it, So unless you were one of the lucky ones standing on the Viewing platform, then there were not much to see here.
Moving along after the Lower Falls the track really started to pick up, and transition from a medium gradient steepness track to one with granite stone steps which were great for breaking ankles!. I twisted mine twice! WINNER!.. This climb wasn't the hardest I've done, but it was enough to keep the kids away!, From this point no kids were seen and this is where the dad's hung out I guess. Three Quarters of the way up the climb you could see and even feel the presence of the Upper Falls as they came crashing down the stone face, The ground had a special kind of rumble to it, one that was similar to when I was at Mackenzie falls in the Grampians a few years ago. It just makes you stop and go WOAH and imagine the power of the water slamming through.
As you got to the top of the Upper Falls the sheer power of the water was forcing water spray and its own wind tunnel right there on the viewing platform. It didn't take long until myself and the other adventurers were all soaking wet, But after that climb it was quite welcome. I helped some Chinese couple take some selfie shots which they were quite grateful for, I found another guy pissing in the bushes, kind of scared him as I came running around the corner!. So I took some photos (Not of the pissing guy lol!), and even a soggy selfie which is pretty rare for me. Even with my half-sweat half-waterfall juice hair on display.
Once photos were done everyone had left the viewing area and I decided to do the same, Figured it would be safer if someone was to fall on these crappy quarts rocks which are so slippery. Made it back to the carpark in pretty quick time, as for some reason almost everyone had moved on? and all the visitors were no longer there, But getting back to the carpark all the cars were still in their places. So I have no idea where everybody went, maybe they drowned who knows.
Sign at the entry reads "This track leads through mountain forest of Narrow Leaf Peppermint, Manna Gum and Tree-ferns to the charming Ladies Bath Falls.
A short track continues past Ladies bath Falls to the Lower Eurobin Falls Lookout revealing the impressive cascades of Eurobin Falls, spilling over broad granite rocks.
A steeper track continues to Upper Eurobin Falls Lookout, providing views up to the top of the falls."
Next adventure was Rollason's Falls, which the falls not being a favorite with the tourists for some reason?. Maybe that being because it is a significantly more difficult track to navigate down to the falls. Difficult in not only being steep but not really having a formed track and heaps of loose crumbly slate at your feet made it a difficult hike down and even more so on the way back. The track was advertised as 2.2km long but i would call it more of 3km once you look at the Upper and Lower Falls, This time i recommend the Lower Rollason's Falls.
The Upper Falls were okay but there wasn't all the much to see really, you saw the river (This time called Buffalo Creek) coming in over the top of granite rocks and splashing around before making the plummet of about 15 meters into the pool below. I guess this would make a good selfie shot as there is a boulder right on the edge which you can stand and look over from, just be careful its slippery and you might fall in!.
I stayed here for about 20 minutes taking in the scenery before I moved down to the lower falls, I was expecting something to be going on down there as I heard laughing and shouting coming from the area on the way to the Upper falls, So I ventured down to the Lower falls to find a group of 6 Guys and Girls probably about in their early 30's literally using the waterfall as a waterslide. I got to admit this looked fun as heck and was quite tempted to jump in myself!.. I asked them if they are sure its safe? And they replied that they were locals and had been to the falls when they were dry and know that the granite below had been polished by the water and was nice and smooth, and therefore safe to ride. The area spanded about 30 meters and had some little 1 meter jumps where you would fall off into a pool and popup again, which then they grabbed a tree branch before actually going down the lower falls, in itself wouldn't be too dangerous but still would probably smash your head and probably die.
After checking these guys out and playing photographer for them it was time to get back to the car and move along up the mountain to see what else was in store for me!. The climb back up wasn't all that fun, but not crazy difficult either. Going up approximately half-way I passed a family with their kids, one who was in tears because her legs were hurting, Mind you she wasn't the skinniest on the planet. I kind of felt bad for her, knowing that she is going to have to come back up this hill again!. Poor bugger.
Upper Rollasons Falls - Off the Edge!
Lower Rollasons Falls Slippery Slide
Lower Rollasons Falls- Plunge
Once back to the car it was time for some scenic driving, The next space followed a zigzagging road going for about 15 kilometers, This trip pulled the total elevation of the climb from 500 meters AHD to roughly 1,300 meters AHD. But on the journey up I found some Geocaches as you do, which gave me a break from the dizzying roads. This side track wasn't too long at about a 3km round trip with 5 Geocaches enroute, So off I set collecting one after another. All seemed to be going well until the last cache, I was signing the log and stupid me was standing in a Solder Ant nest, I didn't realize it until one of the bastards bit my leg, Through my heavy duty bamboo socks mind you, I looked down and saw a swam of them on my shoe.
So off I went like a jack in a box ninja kicking ants everywhere, something Jackie Chan would be proud of, Jumped off a 2 meter ledge to the wet ground below kicked off my shoes, and did a somewhat amusing wiggle dance. Lucky nobody was around to watch the show unfold, After getting all the itchy bitchy scratchy feelings off my back it was time to set on back to the car to complete the rest of the journey,
Example of the Winding Road
Second last stop for the day was probably the best of the waterfalls as far as the view goes, This waterfall is called "Crystal Brook Falls" and is located right in the meaty part of Mount Buffalo. Getting there is easy, a carpark is right out the front on the side of the road, or you can continue driving for another 200 meters and park into the main carpark outside of the Chalet and walk down.
These falls dont really have much information about them, as everything is more focused on the gorge that it goes through, and quite a gorge it is. You can see it on the main photograph of this article, there are straight cliffs dropping down 300 meters into the canopy below, Dizzying heights, I read a sign along the track saying that this is a popular place for rockclimbing, and that climbing the rockface can take participants on average 3 days to complete? .. I dont understand how people are able to sleep hanging from a rope 300 meters above a canyon. Maybe i have rope trust issues or something?.
None the less i continued around the falls and followed a trail which leads off to a viewing platform in which i cannot for the life of me remember what the name of it was. But it was a much better location to view the falls in its entirety, Unlike the standard viewing area which didnt show the falls very well. Up here i could see where the climbers anchor their rigging gear. Hmm to cut the rope or not cut the rope?
After this location is was time to move along to the next viewpoint, This one was called "Reeds Lookout", which was just basically a plateau of granite outcrops overlooking the western side of the ranges, it was fun rock hopping around for awhile picking up the caches in the area. The trail here was very overgrown, showing not too much people activity which was a blessing from all the traffic i have seen so far today. The location was nice and the wind wasnt too bad either!.
Heading back towards the car i decided to detour as always to check out this "Chalet" building. Yeah its a building, no idea what its used for, everything is closed and doesnt look anything like a shop if thats what its supposed to be. It was so uneventful i didnt even bother taking a photo of it. So, moving on!.
The view from the Unknown Named Lookout
Well the day was starting to get old, and my feet were starting to hurt, (Seriously). But Mount Buffalo had 1 more adventure for me, and that was to get to its highest peak, Its highest peak being called "The Horn" which is a pretty fitting name being the mountians name is a Buffalo, The drive up to this location was another great one, Heck the whole drive of this place is just amazing, Upon leaving that stupid Chalet house thing, a few kilometers up you will come across the VicRoads Depo on the right, im assuming thats where they keep all the snowplows and stuff for winter time. A few more kilometers up you come to the turn off for the Monolith, which is something i planned to visit today, but time was taken away so quickly i will have to come back and check this out.
Little bit up the road is Lake Catani, a small pond type thing which you can swim and take kayaks to ride on, Also here is a rather large camping ground, i had a drive through here to check it out, and got lost. This place snakes around everywhere with 1 way roads, ughh don't go here haha. I made it out eventually and back onto the main road.
Going up further is a stop called "Leviathan" this intrigued me as i thought the name was pretty cool, Once parked you follow the track down to this big massive granite rock wedged on 4 other rocks, lifting it out of the ground, you can walk under it which gives you a small cave type feel which is pretty awesome. There's a geocache here to i picked up that one rather quickly. Then headed back to the car to contine the journey.
Little further up are the turnoffs for "The Hump" and "The Cathedral" which are Mount Buffalo's 2nd and 3rd highest points.
Continuing on we came to Cresta Valley, this place is kinda cool as it has chair lifts which dont really seem to be going anywhere, There is a slope, but it looks more like a toboggan one.
Finally we get to the end of the road, well almost. We get to a seasonal closure gate where the council closes the area off to people trying to get to the Horn which makes sense as the road is dirt and wouldn't last very long with snow covering it, And the driving slope starts to steepen up also which would make it difficult for even a 4x4 to get up safely.
None the less i make it up to the carpark at 1,610 AHD which is the end of the road, And all that stops me from reaching the top of Mount Buffalo at a height of 1,723 AHD is a steep as buggery star climb, My legs are already screaming after todays adventures so it was time to put them out of their mystery, And up i traveled, the trail was only a total of 1.1km long but the elevation is what made it difficult, climbing under and around rocks to gain height was all part of the fun. Mind you it was all safe as there were hand rails where they needed to be, holes cut out of the rock for footing holes. and bridges put in to cover large jumps.
Eventually after and hour and a half of rock climbing i made it to the peak of Mount Buffalo!!!. And boy was it cold and windy, My sports watch detected a temperature of 11c and where it was 28c down at ground level. Its quite interesting how elevation changes temperatures so easily. I had a good look around and took some photos. I did a quick Facebook live video which you guys can check out, And then i came back down. I was feeling abit woozy from the height for some reason, i think it was because of the clouds what were buzzing past, and blowing up through the valleys. It literally left like i was in the clouds.
Also felt like an apocalypse due to the recent bushfires which affected the top of the mountain, and basically took out all of the plant life, a few new shrubs were going, but still along way from become anything larger!. So down I came, and back to the car. and set off home. Another exciting day done and dusted.
Thanks for reading guys, leave a comment if you so wish to do so!
One of the obstacles to get to the top!
The Trig-Point right at the top
Quite the View to wake up to
Coming up to the Horn (From Cresta Valley Carpark)