Upper Yarra Track Section Seven: Mushroom Rocks Carpark to Phillack Saddle:

This is a beautiful easy section comprising widely varying vegetation and topography, the spectacular ‘Mushroom Rocks’, the ruin of the Talbot Peak hut, Mt St Phillack, the highest point on the Baw Baws, and a delightful camp at Phillack Saddle. Side trips can be taken to Mt St Gwinear and Baw Baw Alpine Village.

It is about 20 minutes walk from the car park (toilets, water, scenic side-trip) to the Mushroom Rocks where there is scout hut accommodation if you have arranged it. It is another hour to Talbot Peak hut site (each way). From there it is about 2.5 hours to the St Gwinear turn-off and about another half hour to the Phillack Saddle and and the Baw Baw turn-off and a further 1-1.5 hours to the Baw Baw Village. Say about 5.5 hours from the car park to the Village each way. You can stay at the village, even have a meal, so you could do this walk overnight with just day packs.

16402_794338730622576_6533631802237558874_n

Some parts of the track are even board-walked. You won’t get your shoes dirty as far as Mushroom Rocks at least.

DSC00075

Lots of lovely smells to interest the dogs who wondered which generation (of dogs) was this all being ‘saved’ for. Well, this one apparently!

DSC00087

10612703_794338703955912_2143015264622194153_n

DSC00074

DSC00077

The Mushroom Rocks loom before you…

10734192_794339557289160_6391313663983284070_n

IMGP2371

Mushroom Rocks shelter, There is another (one person) at the St Gwinear turn-off.

10525630_794339647289151_5276234651035623449_n

10403693_794340803955702_7360704115160530068_n

You can see why they are named ‘mushroom rocks’.

10689963_794339927289123_2428788247159444256_n

These alpine meadows are delightful.

DSC00117

DSC00085

10433131_794340013955781_9171700404337881336_n

DSC00115

DSC00091

There is a small steepish section.

DSC00100

Water often collects in hollows in rocks or weeps out from underneath them. Tiny slakes her thirst.

IMGP2374

Mt Erica summit.

DSC00097

Suddenly you break out into an entirely different landscape.

DSC00105comp

The dogs were as puzzled as we were by where the stream at Talbot Peak was flowing from!

IMGP2375

Remains of the old Talbot Peak hut, quite a pleasant campsite with a delightful mountain stream nearby.

DSC00111

An old sign at Talbot Peak still in miles! Signage used to be better in the past – usually reflective so you could even find your way in the dark as well you might need to in an area which can be beset by blizzard conditions at any time of the year!

DSC00096

IMGP2373

6261_794341937288922_2352548601149318586_n

The plateau is easy walking. Surprisingly flat, in fact.

IMGP2372

The path is wide and well maintained. Many places two can walk abreast.

10653274_794340967289019_7437024682930128171_n

Here and there are small clearings inviting solitary camps if you have thought to carry enough water from the last supply.

10425472_794340190622430_7876254682350243805_n

Huge granite boulders are common all over the plateau. It would not have been so pleasant on the day they were falling from the sky!

10389540_794342253955557_2426139824513187165_n

10411146_794340573955725_5626218686621151921_n

In many places the terrain and vegetation are clearly windswept. It us a good walk to carry a few extra tent pegs.

10389248_794340550622394_5278253834488539579_n

There are many lovely scenes to greet the eye.

10399440_794342330622216_349851884531286004_n

10625095_794342223955560_562919601523568312_n

1966946_794340990622350_5486639859768115716_n

1463753_794341430622306_2981384522607179744_n

As you cross the plateau you get only occasional glimpses of what would be a magnificent view if only they would cut all the wretched trees down!

IMGP2376

One wet night I camped right across the track in my hammock. It rained during the night turning the track into a stream 150mm deep. Yet I stayed dry – one of the advantages of hammock camping. During the night it was so humid that a light rain fell under my hammock tarp. The DWR on my sleeping bag handled it fine.

IMGP2381

Mt St Gwinear track intersection looking towards Mt St Gwinear.

IMGP2380

View towards Mt St Gwinear from the track intersection. Water can be obtained from the North Cascade Creek below.

10425505_794341310622318_2121181660295839995_n

Mt St Phillack (cairn) the highest point on the plateau.

DSCN1257

Phillack Saddle just before the turn-off to Baw Baw is a fine place for an overnight camp. Water on the South side.

10689600_794341540622295_2429418539097995860_n

This is the real turn-off to Baw Baw a hundred metres or so past Phillack Saddle heading West. The old track exited right at the saddle but is unmaintained and well-nigh impassable today (though scenic). Whereas it takes about 1.5 hours to walk across the new route it takes twice as long on the old.

PS: My thanks to Gerard White for some of the preceding photos.

Telstra NextG mobile phone works most places across the Plateau.

Maps for this section:

Mostly Walhalla North T8122-2-N and part of WalhallaSouth T8122-2-S and Avenza Pdf App.

See also:

http://www.finnsheep.com/THE%20UPPER%20YARRA%20WALKING%20TRACK.htm

http://www.finnsheep.com/Track%20Instructions.htm

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/upper-yarra-track-update-section-one-moe-yallourn-rail-trail/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/upper-yarra-track-update-section-two-yallourn-north-to-wirilda-park/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/upper-yarra-track-update-section-three-wirilda-to-moondarra/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/upper-yarra-track-section-four-moondarra-to-erica/

See also Upper Yarra Track Winter Route:

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/western-tyers-river-great-for-crays/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/the-western-tyers/

http://www.finnsheep.com/THE%20UPPER%20YARRA%20WALKING%20TRACK.htm

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/upper-yarra-track-update-section-one-moe-yallourn-rail-trail/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/upper-yarra-track-update-section-three-wirilda-to-moondarra/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/upper-yarra-track-section-four-moondarra-to-erica/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/upper-yarra-track-section-five-erica-to-walhalla/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/upper-yarra-track-st-gwinear-track-junction-to-whitelaws-hut/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/upper-yarra-track-summary-cumulative-distancestimes/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/upper-yarra-track-osheas-mill/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/a-beautiful-world/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/upper-yarra-track-winter-route-caringal-scout-camp-tyers-junction/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/upper-yarra-track-winter-route-western-tyers-morgans-mill-skinners-camp/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/upper-yarra-track-winter-route-western-tyers-to-tanjil-bren/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/kirchubel-if-you-go-nowhere-else-in-the-world-at-least-go-here/

http://www.theultralighthiker.com/upper-yarra-track-winter-route-downey-to-newlands/

6 Responses

  1. I do wish people would respect the flora and fauna in National Parks. Your walk was within the Baw Baw National Park. Seems you missed the ‘NO DOGS OR CATS ALLOWED’ signs. Please do not emulate the ultra light hiker. Do your homework before you take your pets.

    • Cheers, to you too! They pulled down and devoured several other hikers and a swag of large native animals too! Such rules are as stupid and unnecessary as is the existence of National Parks themselves – land which is managed only for widespread destruction by wildfire, weeds and pest animals.There is a better way.

  2. Wow, just wow. It’s about respect and your response shows you have absolutely none. Good luck to you.

    • What’s about ‘respect’? Your coming onto my website to bully me? I walked and hunted (with hounds) all over the Baw Baws long before they became a National Park – something which I would like to see abolished, as they fail to protect the bush I love. So do my two Jack Russells who can’t wait for another lifetime to have these absurd rules changed. At nearly 70 nor can I. We will pay our fines if they are ever issued. In reality we encounter no-one on our walks, certainly not Parks employees who do no work. You fail to appreciate the immense amount of work I have done to create this resource and the Upper Yarra Track pages, a track completely neglected by those employed to maintain it. All you can do is be a spiteful critic: you deserve no respect. You may notice I have not taken issue with you on the ‘Tips’ page as that is not my page. Nor have I deleted your unpleasant and unwanted comments here.

  3. There will always be a Brooke babbling somewhere… Kudos to your ultralight philosophy bro- at least you operate a Jack Russell or two, and not Alaskan Malamutes…although a couple would be handy in winter!

Leave a comment? I appreciate your feedback!