Tali Karng

Hike six of 2019

This year is all about ticking those hikes off that l have wanted to do in the last two years. There are a few on there but I’ve set dates for most of them so l should get them done.

Lake Tali Karng is a fresh water lake in the Australian Alps that you can only get to by walking in (love that cars can’t get there).

It is believed to of formed 1,500 years ago by a landslide that collapsed into what is now known as the Valley of Destruction cutting off the flow of the wellington river. There are two creeks that run into the lake, Snowden Creek and Nigothoruk Creek. Which are both feed by melting snow that comes from up on the Wellington Plains. Apparently the water stays cold all year round but while we were there is was nice and warm. I guess if you venture further into the lake it may get cooler as the lake does have a depth of up to 50 metres. So if you go on a hot day then take a floaty. It wasn’t hot enough for me to venture into it’s depths.

We started our hike on the 26th of January (three day long weekend for us Aussies) at McFarlane Saddle, which you can camp at if you choose to, it also now has a drop toilet (a hole in the ground to go to the loo). The road up to McFarlane Saddle is a dirt road but well maintained and you don’t need a 4wd.

The loo at McFarlane Saddle

The hike across the Wellington Plains was hard because of the weather on this day, it was hot, very hot, no shade and lots of flies (take a headnet) but l still enjoyed the walk.

It took us just under four hours which is pretty slow but l wasn’t in a rush to get to camp, l was trying to enjoy the journey as much as the flies were trying to enjoy me. It is only 8.5km to Nyimba camp, which most could easily do in three hours. The track can be hard to see in spots but if you have a map and good direction then you should be fine. Just make sure you backtrack if you are unsure.

When we first walked into the camp we could only see maybe one spot to put our four tents but l decided to go see if there was more because that one spot had no shade and it was extremely hot.

Nearer to the toilet there are better spots to put your tents up and one large area has plenty of shade. In the colder months you can also have a fire in the fire pits provided. But please don’t do it in summer on those extremely hot days as we do have total fire ban days in Australia during summer.

There is also a small water tank but don’t rely on it having water in it as it is only small, we are lucky that it had water so we didn’t have to go look for the creek to fill up our bottles, we did still filter the water though and I’m glad l did because l flushed out my filter when l got home and it was an awful amount of gunk.

It was nice to know those pesky flies on the Wellington Plains didn’t follow us into camp. I had all good intentions to go check out Millers hut which is only 1.5km from camp one way but my feet were killing me and all l wanted to do was set up camp and relax.

Over night it rained quite heavily and l woke up with a pool of water in my tent. Not impressed with my msr hubba hubba tent atm, everytime it rains l get water inside. Worked out that the water is running off the fly straight onto my footprint, so water is pooling between the base of the tent and the footprint, then coming up through the base of the tent. I’ve sent an email off to snowys (bought it online through them) to see what l can do about it as the tent cost quite a bit of money and shouldn’t be doing this. Will definitely let you know of the outcome.

After breakie and trying to soak up the water in my tent we headed off for the track down to Tali Karng. There are two ways to get down to the lake, a very hard track and a extremely hard track ๐Ÿ˜. Please believe me on this, l didn’t when l read a review on the hike, l thought it can’t be that hard, can it? Well it is.

The extremely hard track (called Gillios track) is only 4km to the lake but has a steep elevation loss (all the way) of 600 metres, of course l don’t actually know this because l went the other way ๐Ÿ˜ (smart girl here), but l have been told.

The other track (Riggal Spur track which then turns into Echo Point track) is a gradual decline until you turn onto Echo Point, this has a few hard spots that we basically sat on our bottoms and slid down ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿคฃ and it is another 4km, so a total of 8km to get to the lake.

The scenery on the walk down to the lake is a lot different to what we saw up on the Wellington Plains, there are a lot more trees and ferns, and a lot more bugs, which l love spotting.

We were so excited when we spotted the lake between the trees but it was still a steep drop to get there.

By the time we made it to the lake my knees were screaming at me but it was totally worth the pain.

Lake Tali Karng is a sacred place to the Gunaikurnai people but they have given permission for people to visit there provided they donโ€™t camp by the lake. Which some people think doesn’t include them ๐Ÿ™„.

On this day there were people camping there and they also had a fire going (yep it was a total fireban). We actually even told these guys at the start of the hike that you are not allowed to camp at the lake and the reason why but they did anyway.

The lake is so peaceful but the same guys had their boombox going so we definitely knew we weren’t the only ones there, they did turn it off eventually which was nice ๐Ÿ™„. We sure didn’t let it spoil our day. I don’t think anything could of spoilt the beautiful view we had of the lake while having lunch, it is definitely magical.

After a relaxing lunch we had the hard climb back up Echo Point track, what made it even harder were the eight horses coming down the track ๐Ÿ˜ฎ. They sure churned up the track to make it harder, but those were some beautiful horses and how are they meant to get down to the lake if not by that track. So we really didn’t mind.

Once we got to the top of Echo Point track l sat for a breather and in doing so must of dropped my cord to charge my fitbit ๐Ÿ˜. When l realised that l had dropped it we were 3kms away and there was no way l was going to go back to find it.

It actually didn’t take as long to walk back to the camp as it did to get down to the lake, l guess climbing is a lot easier when it’s steep.

On the walk back to camp we all took our time and ended up hiking our own hike (love doing this because then you don’t feel like you are holding everyone up), apparently there was a snake on the track that of course l didn’t notice but the hiker in front of me did see it and the hiker behind me said she saw the same snake in the same spot, so as usual I didn’t notice any snakes but I can always notice the bugs, yep weird.

Back at camp l checked my tent and it was finally dry, woohoo. For dinner l tried one of my Back Country meals, seriously l need to buy a dehydrator so l can do my own meals, and make them tasty. Those Back Country meals are like chewing on rubber.

Day three we woke up earlier to make our way back to the cars and a four hour drive home. And I finally saw the hut that we missed on the way to camp on day one.

I had the best time on this hike, even though it was a great hike next time l think l would go along the Wellington River track, to see some different scenery.

This is one hike I would do again, I don’t say that about many hikes.

The only thing I would change would be to leave for the lake earlier so you get more time to relax by the water.

A few of the beautiful wildflowers we saw.


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