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Yarra Falls and Baw Baw Track help needed

Discussion in 'Backcountry' started by Bogong, Dec 25, 2006.

  1. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    I have "a friend" who plans to visit Yarra Falls near the source of the Yarra River next year. Has anyone done the trip from the Upper Yarra Dam wall to Mt Baw Baw? Are there any traces of the original track left, or is it mostly road and scrub bashing?

    "My friend" is planning to do the trip in three days, is this a bit ambitious? Yes, he knows the trip will involve a little trespassing, but I can't persuade him not to do the walk.
     
  2. JAM

    JAM Hard Yards

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    Bogong,
    "A friend" tried to find Yarra Falls about 23 years ago, and found neither track nor falls (due to not enough time). Doing a through trip in 3 days probably is a bit too ambitious. Also, I understand that there is some traffic on the 4wd tracks by the Melbourne Water workers on account of the better than average fishing.

    PM me if your friend wants company because my friend could easily be talked into another trip.

    JAM
     
  3. legend

    legend One of Us

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    take care & good luck - big fines apply - security is now constantly patrolling all melbourne water areas (fire & terrorism)
     
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  4. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    #4 Bogong, Dec 28, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 14, 2013
  5. mr [on holidays]

    mr [on holidays] First Runs

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  6. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    #6 Bogong, Dec 28, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 14, 2013
  7. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Are the co-ords of Yarra Falls 146.6.15E 37.45.11S?
    Zooming in on the DSE Catchment Info Mapper, the nearest road is less than 800m away (Forty Mile Break) so your friend would need to be careful.

    And I do know someone who has been there. Bogong PM me for more info if your friend wants to talk to him.
     
  8. sidetrack

    sidetrack One of Us

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    Any one got a pic?
     
  9. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    [​IMG]
     
    #9 teckel, Dec 28, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  10. sidetrack

    sidetrack One of Us

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    Thanks teckel. Anyone got a bigger pic? :p
     
  11. sidetrack

    sidetrack One of Us

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    Looks easy lads. 860m from the rd, mmm how much is the fine??

    [​IMG]
     
    #11 sidetrack, Dec 28, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  12. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Sidetrack. I knew an old bloke who parked his car on the Woods Point Road (on northern side of Melb Water closed catchment), next to the gate nearest to the Yarra Falls.

    When he returned in the late afternoon, a Melb Water para-military was sitting in a folding chair, waiting for him and his three chums to arrive. He issued each of them with a fine (I think it was c.$300) He said that he drove past the car in the early morning and knew exactly why they were parked there. On his way home, he just parked for an hour and read a book while waiting for them. $1200 revenue for just waiting for an hour! Melb Water sure cleaned up financially on that one!

    So if you go, don't park your car right next to the locked Melb Water gate, park if a few hundrd metres away at least!
     
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  13. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Or if you do it that way, don't emerge onto the road from Melb Water land. Come out a couple of hundred metres front or rear, cross into the bush and scrub-bash to your car. Let em prove you were on their land. They couldn't, even though they know for certain you were there.
     
  14. Spew

    Spew Hard Yards

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    I might know someone who knows someone etc who has been into these falls many times over the last 15 years. The upper falls have five tiers to them with a possible drop of 100 + metres. The main falls are a further 750m down stream they are a single drop of 25m. Access to these falls is harder as the drop into the falls is very steep and the surface is very loose.

    The fines are huge however I would only recommend this trip as a day trip only and during summer only. Access via road is now very easy. Enter via the Toorongo Rd, Rd No 3 at grid point 195203 (Toorongo 1:25000) a new log track heads due east for 750m then swings north and for 400m it hits the main 40 mile break (road 20) at 204206.

    Good luck! Take plenty of rope and have heaps of fun.
     
  15. Mr Bent Knee

    Mr Bent Knee First Runs

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    Sounds like a nice summer retreat...
     
  16. joestime

    joestime First Runs

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    Look up a book by Annie Yoffa at the State Library called "The Real Thing Adventures in the Australian bush". Annie printed it herself, there were only 600 copies. She walked by herself from Warburton to Walhalla circa 1930. She was a female medical doctor and was hacked to death by a madman in the Dandenongs in the mid 1950s. Also there will be a display of the Baw Baws walk in early March 2007 at the Warburton Mechanics Institute. Also look up a book by Luke Stenhuis on Secret Places of the Upper Yarra. There is also a book by Val Smith with many pictures taken of Yarra Falls. I have alot more information if you want it.
     
  17. sidetrack

    sidetrack One of Us

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    Book? Library? I dont understand, more info please
     
  18. Charlie

    Charlie Still the most depraved poster here Ski Pass: Gold

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    A bunch of young people calling themselves the Yarra Walkers did the trip from Williamstown to the Yarra source a few years ago, they are doing a book on it!
    The only bit of the trip they missed was the catchment, couldn't get permission to enter, and were warned about prosecution if they tried!
     
  19. joestime

    joestime First Runs

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    Sidetrack more info on book

    Annie Yoffa wrote a rare book of the walk from Warburton to Yarra Falls, Mt Baw Baw and Walhalla. It is a very good book. She talks of sleeping overnight at McViegh's and the people who were staying ther. McViegh's is now under the waters of the Upper Yarra reservoir at the junction of Damper Creek and the Yarra River. Annie progressed on to the hut at Yarra Falls and also gives a good description of that. She visited the falls and then became lost......


    fast forward to 1959

    Page 1 The Herald

    Woman doctor battered to death

    Lived Hermits life in the hills

    Annie Yoffa, a brilliant 68-year-old doctor and philosopher, was dragged from her hermit's tent at The Basin today, and battered to death.
    For seven years she had lived a strange life close to nature - eating frugally, and studying "the effect of environment and mind over matter."

    Is there a moral here for visitors to Yarra Falls? Of course it was legal to visit them in her day and she mentions that she took many pictures while on the walk. If only those pictures could be found now because in 1939 the hut and forest were completely burnt out.

    Now that I have my thinking cap on there is also a book called "The scroginn eaters" that tells of Yarra Falls.

    Finally the maps of Yarra Falls are only half the picture, because on the otherside of the map is a full description on how to undertake the walk.
     
  20. Charlie

    Charlie Still the most depraved poster here Ski Pass: Gold

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    Hmmmm, a "friend"
    How hard have you tried to dissuade him?

    :p

    Edit:
    Will your "friend" post pics here?
     
    #20 Charlie, Jan 20, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2013
  21. skifree

    skifree grey Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Aren't friends good. [​IMG]
     
    #21 skifree, Jan 20, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  22. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    I was speaking to Bogong the other day. He said the only thing he had convinced his friend to do, was to spend a night at Kellys at Baw Baw.
     
  23. Kellys

    Kellys First Runs

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  24. Kellys

    Kellys First Runs

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    Seeing we're discussing tracks
    Has any one been on the Australian Alpine Track lately? I've heard reports that it's hopelessly overgrown from Baw Baw towards Canberra, walkers have had to force their way through undergrowth!
     
  25. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Kelly's near you, it has always been a jungle between Stronach's Camp - Mt Easton - Blue Jacket town site. Various schemes by D.S.E. and Federation of Walking Clubs to clear it. Unsure if anything has been done, other than the recent fires.

    P.S. IF I broke the law and did the Baw Baw Track, (not that I ever would [​IMG] ). I'd probably drive home that night. Sorry, Teckel is having a lend of you.

    Joestime. Thanks for info on the Smith and Yoffa books. Depending on whether the inevitable bureaucratic 100th aniversary booklet is any good, I may write a brief history of the track too. If I can't get paid for it, I'll put it up on the wikiski history section and the hut profiles on the KHA website. In any case i'll send you what info I've gathered.
     
    #25 Bogong, Jan 20, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  26. joestime

    joestime First Runs

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    Yarra Falls was also known as Campbell (might what to check the spelling on that name) Falls after an early photographr who took many photos of the area above Warbuton. His archive is now held at the Museum of Victoria. You could also look up Melbourne Water's Magazine 'The Source' because a few editions back they had an article with old photos about him.
    There are also a number of hidden water falls in the closed catchments that are even less visited than Yarra Falls, Upper and Lower Mathinna Falls in the Maroondah catchment, Watts River Falls also in the Maroondah catchment and a 100 ft waterfall in the O'Shannassy catchment that is shown on old maps, they might be worthwhile for your 'friend' to rediscover.
    I keep remembering things I have read over the years and there is also another book circa 1915 issued by Victorian Railways called 'Picturesque Victoria and How to get there' which had descriptions of many walks in the Victorian Alps of which one was several pages on the walk to Yarra Falls and the Baw Baw, but back in those days they also used horses to carry their luggage.
     
  27. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Okay, it’s time for pictures and a brief illustrated history. The Baw Baw Track was cut in 1907 with the intention of showcasing Victoria’s natural beauty. Accomodation huts were built for the comfort of hikers. It was very much like a pre war version of Tasmania’s Overland Track. Typically walkers would take a train to Warburton and then a hire car to McVeigh’s Hotel at the start of the track. McVeigh’s was located on the Woods Point Road, a few km upstream of today’s Upper Yarra Dam. The walk ended at Walhalla, although the railway to that town wasn’t completed until 1910.

    The track was burnt in the Black Friday fires of 1939 and although McVeigh’s and one hut (Talbot from memory) survived, they both burnt down in small fires within a couple of years. World War II broke out in 1939 and the whole country was mobilized for six years, so the track and huts were not rebuilt. After the war Melbourne Water’s predecessor was sniffing around the area for closed catchment water supply, putting an end to the Baw Baw track.

    [​IMG]
    Hikers about to traverse the Baw Baw Track in 1919. They are outside the legendary McVeigh’s Hotel on the road to Woods Point. Everything in this picture is now submerged beneath the Upper Yarra Dam.

    [​IMG]
    The accommodation hut near Yarra Falls.

    [​IMG]
    The Yarra Falls in 1997.

    [​IMG]
    Originally, it was intended for walkers to reach this hut at the northern end of the Baw Baw Plateau between Good Views Rocks and Mt Whitelaw on the second night.

    However it was found that it was too far for most walkers because they wanted to do the sidetrip to Yarra Falls, so an extra hut was built on the Yarra – Thomson watershed to break the walk into easier sections. It was probably built in the mid 1920’s. (I’m still researching this bit, no photo of the Thomson Hut yet.)

    [​IMG]
    The summit cairn at Mt Baw Baw in 1904.

    [​IMG]
    The fourth day of the walk traversed the length of the Baw Baw Plateau to a Talbot Peak hut near Mt Erica. Something happened to the hut (storm damage from memory) and it was rebuilt. The concrete floor and chimney of the rebuilt hut can still be seen.

    [​IMG]
    Descending the mountain, walkers passed Mushroom Rocks.

    [​IMG]
    The track ended at Walhalla. When the track opened 1907 the town was already in decline (the last mine closed in 1914) and in later years some walkers diverted to Erica railway station instead.
     
    #27 Bogong, Jan 22, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  28. sidetrack

    sidetrack One of Us

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    Thanks Bogong :thumbs:
     
  29. joestime

    joestime First Runs

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    More info on the Warburton to Walhalla walk, via Yarra Falls, has come to hand. The Yarra Forests Walks Inc. Invites you to their exhibition to mark the 'Centenary of the walk by the Govenor of Victoria and his entourage from Warburton to Walhalla on the Baw Baw Track'.
    The display includes photos from the historic A.J. Campbell collection, maps, diaries and memorabilia
    Venue : Library Room Warburton Mechanics Hall Main Rd Warburton.
    Date:March 4th -11th 2007.

    Tammy Lobato MP - Member for Gembrook will launch the display at 2.30pm on March 4th. Light refreshments available. All Welcome.
     
  30. joestime

    joestime First Runs

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    A word of warning.

    An item in yesterdays Age and todays Age got my attention. The first was a letter in the business section about how somebody's son received a substantial fine by a Melbourne Water officer when they became lost on an overgrown Morley's track and found themselves "by mistake" in a restricted access part of the Yarra Ranges National Park. The other item in todays newspaper was how police used information on an information board such as this one to prosecute someone. So to everyone out there. Beware of what you write and how you write it on the internet. The question is, is it really worth the trouble to visit Yarra Falls?
     
  31. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    "Melbourne Water on the wrong track
    MIRKO Bagaric's excellent piece on the plethora of infringement notices struck a chord with me. However, the remedy is not quite as simple as he makes out, as my son's recent experience illustrates. Two years ago, he was bushwalking with a friend on Morley's Track (just north-east of Healesville) when the track became overgrown. They unknowingly strayed on to an inadequately signed restricted-access track and were apprehended by an unsympathetic and officious Melbourne Water officer. They were issued with infringement notices and a penalty of over $200 each, a not inconsiderable sum given their financial situation at the time. Within weeks of the incident, Parks Victoria cleared Morley's Track and Melbourne Water upgraded the restricted-access signage. Yet neither body showed any interest in rescinding the infringement notices.(Culpability and shame are not their strong points.)
    Bob Briggs, Ringwood North"
    From The Age
     
    #31 teckel, Feb 22, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 14, 2013
  32. joestime

    joestime First Runs

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    There's a great display of Yarra Falls and the Warburton to Walhalla walk on now at the Warburton Mechanics Insitute. I went to the opening of it today and a 96 year old man who had done the walk helped to open it. There are lots of maps, dozens of photos and much Information about McVeigh's and Yarra Falls. I was amazed by a very large display of photos of a group of cyclists that had riden the track in 1910. Anyone who is interested in a historic Victorian walk do yourself a favour and go have a look.
     
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  33. Furgutt3

    Furgutt3 Hard Yards

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    I have been going into the falls for many years, got to the main fall and found the hut remains and blazed trees in 2011. Several ways in but all difficult due to thick bush and steep country. See comparative shots 1910 and 2011.
     
  34. Dubz

    Dubz First Runs

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    I doubt this forum is still active....
    but, i'm gonna give it a crack anyways.

    I recently came across these hidden waterfalls in the Upper Yarra such as Mathinna and Yarra Falls, and was wondering whether anyone had any info on them? I've located Mathinna Falls, and as for Yarra Falls,I've done a lot of research and have narrowed it down to a 900m radius off Forty Mile Break where Rd No3 and Rd No12 almost meet. Am I close? also has anyone paid a visit to there recently?

    (The links to maps posted here ages ago don't work anymore, and the co-ords don't work either.)
     
  35. skifree

    skifree grey Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Holy thread resurrections.

    Yes the forum is still slightly active.

    You should have more constructive feedback than mine over the next few days.
     
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  36. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Give me until tomorrow when I'm at work, and I'll give you the co-ordinates of as many falls as you want (within easy distance of Melbourne).
     
  37. Chaeron

    Chaeron One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Someone I know has visited it recently - I’ll ask them for more info - evidently the route is marked - the exact location is indicated on the Vic govt forestry online maps....
     
  38. Chaeron

    Chaeron One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    my friend can confirm you are close.
     
  39. Chaeron

    Chaeron One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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  40. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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  41. Chaeron

    Chaeron One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    General advice for that kind of rough remote terrain: either don’t do it alone, or make sure you carry a GPS and also a PLB.

    Thick bush, lots of fallen trees, steep slopes with loose ground.

    Blackberries can be a problem.
     
    #42 Chaeron, Oct 6, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2019
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  42. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    @Dubz
    Yarra Falls: 420855E 5821369S
    Five Falls (the ones referred to by Spew in post #14): 4210098E 5821202S
     
  43. neilmny

    neilmny Addicted

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    Interesting thing is that the falls are on Falls Creek not the actual Yarra River.
    Big fines and possibly worse for trespassing on water reserves these days....
     
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  44. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    Worse than incurring fines would be being beset upon by legions of leeches too.
     
  45. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Melbourne Water would be far better off issuing a limited number of permits to visit per annum - and charging for the privilege.
     
  46. Chaeron

    Chaeron One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    A friend shared these images with me.

    Yarra Falls



    Five Falls

     
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