Party: Jonno Downes, Paul Griffiths, Katy Wilkins
Leader: Jonno Downes
Today, a small group set out along Rocky Knob Ridge today (Kings Tableland), The intention was to take the old logging road out to the end of the ridge, drop down to Rocky Knob Point, follow Erskine Creek downstream for a few KM then ascend to Mt Hall (aka Euroka Trig) then back along Erskine Range to the car.
We did not succeed in our primary objective, but we did gather some useful intel for anyone who may wish to plan their own trip out into this seldom visited part of the Blue Labyrinth. Specifically, “Don’t”.
The route started out well enough, with recent evidence of track maintenance. That evidence disappeared shortly after the bifurcation around the knoll at 622500. From there one, what had once been a road had been replaced with a very successful acacia and casuarina nursery, albeit one clearly defined by embankment cuttings, a corridor of trees, and the odd rusty metal artefact. At what felt like a brisk pace, our rate of progress was less than 2KM per hour once we left the maintained road.
We persevered across the saddle, then took the right hand fork at 626500. By this stage we had abandoned reaching Erskine creek, but still thought we might be able to descend Kiara creek a little and still hit Hall Ridge, possibly even getting to the trig. But when we reached the end of the ‘road’ at 635495 and started dropping down into vines, ferns and sodden ground cover, a quick conference established the combination of the hours until sunset, our current rate of descent towards the creek, and the fact the vegetation on the other side was likely to be just as rampant meant continuing on was (in the words of Sir Humphrey) “most courageous, minister”.
So time for a discrete retreat, followed by lunch on a grand rock platform. Returning to the fork at 626500 we confirmed the other arm was initially a little clearer but soon degraded to the same acacia and casuarina scunge. On the upside, hardly any vines.
When we eventually arrived back at the junction with the W5 firetrail at Rocky Knob there was still a few hours of daylight left so we decided to hit at least 1 creek for the day so took the ridge down to the north. The creek was full of mossy boulders and initially easy to follow upstream but eventually we hit a patch of heavy vegetation and pools of water so decided to climb up the ridge, hitting another old road at 619500. In keeping with the theme of the day, the road could only be detected by an absence of larger trees, until we reached the power line tower.
On the drive back we made a side trip to Harris Hill trig to see the sunset, making the short trip back down to the car via torch light.