Snowy Bluff – Mt Darling Wilderness

Wilderness: Just spent a couple of days with Spot in the heart of the Snowy Bluff-Mt Darling Wilderness (around 1500 metres). The ‘easy’ way in is to follow the old ‘Carey Rd’ (closed 20 years ago) 200 metres on the right before Dimmicks lookout (off the Howitt Rd above Licola). It deteriorates to (virtually) impenetrable thickets occasioned by wildfire regrowth (especially after the Mt Darling Gap – which would make a reasonable day walk), but it represents a reasonable ‘line’ to take.

There is an old hunter’s camp at the first crossing of that Mount Darling Creek (which is a tributary of the Carey), but it has been unvisited for a long time (just too thick to hunt) and still very short on wildlife after that devastating fire event. Just before the second crossing of the creek you break out onto a pleasant snowgrass plain/valley which is the last water on the ‘track’ to Mt Darling. We camped here but did not have a fire due to the flammability of the poa tussock.

Spent hours trying to fight our way up the ridge towards Mt Darling. I guess we turned back just before the Billabong (mountain – weird name). Just so many dead-falls of fire-killed snow gums and heath regrowth which wear you out stepping over them. I was not carrying enough water to camp at Mt Darling. It was a hot day (despite BOM predictions – yet they know what it will be like in a century!) and I turned back when we had consumed half the three litres I was carrying.

WARNING: water could be a problem. There was one small trickle on the side of the track @ half way to the first crossing of Mt Darling Creek (3 hours). I’d guess water is pretty reliable there but might dry up at the head (another hour) in the summer. After that: nothing!

Head of Mt Darling Creek (Carey River Tributary)
Head of Mt Darling Creek (Carey River Tributary)
Spot enjoying himself at the Mt Darling Gap.
Spot enjoying himself at the Mt Darling Gap.
Mt Darling Track: the sign reads, 'Track Closed' !
Mt Darling Track: the sign reads, ‘Track Closed’ !
Mt Darling 'Track'
Mt Darling ‘Track’
Lots of pretty purple wildflowers on the snow grass plains, but not a patch on Della's roses!
Lots of pretty purple wildflowers on the snow grass plains, but not a patch on Della’s roses!
Carey 'Road' (falsely) promised easy going.
Carey ‘Road’ (falsely) promised easy going.
The road to: Bennison Lookout.
The road to: Bennison Lookout.
The road to: the Devil's Elbow.
The road to: the Devil’s Elbow.

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3 thoughts on “Snowy Bluff – Mt Darling Wilderness”

  1. Hello, great read, I’m looking to go the same route out to my darling, did you have a gps file for Carey Rd, I have just started hiking and love remote areas like this
    Thank you

    1. Hi Steve, I don’t own a GPS I’m sorry. I use a Phone App called ‘pdf maps’. I have done a post about how to load the original version of this App so it will open an infinite number of maps. I used the relevant Vicmaps (Moroka North) for the area and had no trouble. It is easy to find the Carey Rd. It is on the right just before you get to Dimmicks and is clearly marked ‘Road Closed – Management Vehicles only’ etc. You have to be alert at the Mt Darling Saddle as the Road does an unexpected switchback rather than going straight ahead across the saddle. You will see what I mean. I am hoping to take my wife there over the summer if my back heals well.There may still be a hut along the other (eastern) side of the Mount Creek downstream of the crossing but after you start seeing the creek from the track. Let me know if you find it. Go there after rain – you will need there to be water in the Mount Creek. The earlier version of the map is more useful as it shows the roads/tracks. I can email you a copy but I have not figured out how to georeference it. Cheers, Steve.

  2. You’ve got a great blog here, will spend some time perusing!
    When I climbed Snowy Bluff about two years ago, I went up from the Moroka Valley, through moderately dense rainforest! It was one of my first off-track experiences, but certainly not the last! Spectacular part of the world.
    Thanks for following Mountains of Australia!

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