Green Gully Track is a four-day hut to hut loop walk in Oxley Wild Rivers National Park, with a day spent walking in the Green Gully creek. It is a remote and moderately challenging walk, deep in the heart of the Apsley Mcleay Ranges that showcases both the environmental beauty of the region and the tenacity of the pastoralists who ran cattle here before the National Parks bought the property.
Day 1: Cedar Creek Cottage to Birds Nest Hut (21.5km)
Our eager party of five crosses the paddocks where the kangaroos are grazing in a soft mist that soon clears. We follow Kunderang trail across the ridgeline, looking at the blackened trees from the fierce 2017 fires. They are now wonderfully hairy with their fresh growth. New grass is growing across the forest floor, shot through with the purple of hardenbergia and occasional yellow tiger orchids. We can see down into the valley, and across to Kemps Pinnacle.
The path eventually descends to Birds Nest Hut, made from galvanised iron and local timber, with rammed earth floors. Nearby are stockyards and a blossoming fruit tree on the creek. Six camp chairs and stretchers are provided, and we soon have dinner cooking on the gas stove. Outside there is a firepit, and we love the quaint accommodation. The visitor’s book warns of marauding mice and Dingo Dave. We see neither.
Day 2: Birds Nest Hut to Green Gully Hut (17.5km)
We rise with the dawn chorus, and are soon ready to start the off-track climb to Birds Nest Trig, the high point of the walk. Later we take a couple of detours to the Lookout and the Rocks, with views across the wooded ranges. Then we descend steeply, endlessly down the ridge, with jelly legs and some interesting pack throwing by Mary.
After passing through Brumbys Pass, under watchful eyes of a family of brush tail rock wallabies, we arrive at Green Gully Hut and cool our feet in the creek, before indulging in a hot outdoor shower. Luxury! We enjoy the firepit despite some drizzling rain and praise Justine’s woodchopping and firemaking skills.
Day 3: Green Gully Hut to Colwells Hut (14km)
The third day is wet feet day, as we work our way up the river – sometimes in the river, other times on the banks. The water in the Gorge is not too deep and not too cold. Some of us prefer the bank but some of us choose to get seriously wet and enjoy the slow pace of wading through the creek – this is after all supposedly the highlight of this trip. It’s a tad cold today with some light sprinkles, but spirits are good as we finish the final 5km on the management trail playing the PIZZA game.
We make a fire in the pit, but the rain seems to overwhelm our attempts, so we eat inside and dry out our gear. Colwells Hut is tiny, so two of us sleep outside, listening to the calls of the powerful owls and a tawny frogmouth. Surprisingly it is warmer in the lean-to than inside the hut.
Day 4: Colwells Hut to Cedar Creek Lodge (18km)
Our final walking day is a relentless day of steep uphill beginning with a 600m climb in the first 3km. As if that isn’t enough, there isanother 400m of hills to climb on the rest of the walk out, so we are glad for the hot shower and clean clothes when we finally reach Cedar Creek Lodge.
We meet the other Sole Sisters group along the way after a well-earned morning tea at the junction. To pass time, there is a lot of singing today – some are more keen on their voices than others!
Bookings for Green Gully can be made through NSW National Parks. A maximum of 6 walkers are permitted on any one day, and you won’t be sharing with anyone you haven’t booked with. We would recommend no more than 5 walkers although 4 would be optimum. It would be a great walk to do with your kids as it isn’t too hard and navigation is relatively straightforward being mainly management trails. Also great for couples.
Temperatures after mid October would make this walk hard to do in summer, and we were happy with our decision to walk in September when it wasn’t too cold.