Long Gully Camp to Cooyoyo Camp, Budawang National Park

Sunday 30th May 2021

We had a lovely night by the fire at Blue Gum Flat Campground in the Morton National Park, a great sleep on our new Sea to Summit thick mattresses and were quite surprised how quiet our young camp mates were. After a nice breakfast and cup of tea Alice, Ange and I went for a walk down to the Clyde River where we saw the results of the latest floods. The debris was up in the trees at least 4 metres and it is really amazing to see and hard to believe the water can rise this high. We saw an amazing tree and an incredible wombat tunnel and hole.

We took our time getting organised, checking we had everything, making decisions again about which warm gear to take or leave behind, ensuring we were ready to go!. It always amazes me how you think you are ready when you leave home but still spend more time getting ready again before you take off. We weren’t in a rush as we knew we only had a 7km hike in to Cooyoyo camp. Little did we know that it was going to take us 4.5 hours to walk such a short distance.

We finally set out at 12.08pm for what we knew was a good uphill climb. The first 3km only took us an hour so we were thinking that we would only have an hour or two to get to camp, so we had a leisurely lunch, where we found out from some fellow hikers that Monday was a public holiday in Canberra which unfortunately meant there would be more overnight campers at our camp tonight. So much for our special planning to avoid the crowds. We the got started again, little did we know that the terrain was going to get very tough, over rocks, under trees, over trees, squeezing through caverns between rocks and boulders and the track went up and up and up. We did great, just kept soldiering on and on and on. Yay team!

At about 4pm after walking for almost 4 hours we came to the cross intersection to our camp, only 500m to go. Luckily it was all down hill, but as we went down, down, down – all I could think of was that tomorrow that meant we had to start with 500m up, up, up. Oh well, as the saying goes want goes up must go down and vice a versa.

Anyway, we arrived at camp, quickly chose a site in a very crowded campground and went out to the ridge to enjoy the sunset. After enjoying the sunset, we setup camp, started a fire and enjoyed our first night in the remote camp. We met some lovely young hikers from Canberra who were going to Uni through the Navy. They had some really interesting stories and had travelled extensively considering their young ages of 21-23.

We all went off to bed about 9.30ish for a well deserved sleep. It was a very cold night and unfortunately I struggled with this having made a wrong decision on my thermals. Oh well, maybe tomorrow night will be better.

Distance hiked today –  7.2km, 4 hours 42mins, 595m up, 100m down to an altitude of 664m above sea level. What an amazing day!