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A forum for discussing the Australian Alps Walking Track. This is a 655 km long track from Walhalla (Vic) to Tharwa (ACT)
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AAWT between Walhalla, Howitt and Hotham

Wed 02 Dec, 2015 12:11 pm

These three stickies are for AAWT facts, no discussion, please.

Re: AAWT between Walhalla, Howitt and Hotham

Tue 22 Dec, 2015 3:48 pm

Just finished AAWT SoBo - I found nice water in two soaks just north of Low Saddle on the road at 513689 and at 510680. Makes camping at Low Saddle a great option.

Re: AAWT between Walhalla, Howitt and Hotham

Tue 22 Dec, 2015 6:05 pm

Correction to previous - should read GR 513679 - apologies - other one correct

Re: AAWT between Walhalla, Howitt and Hotham

Sat 26 Dec, 2015 7:23 pm

Well done for your great solo walk. I did it a year ago with some friends and found no water where you did this year. No drama though - we walked about 15 mins along the fire trail to the west and found a nice stream. I guess the lesson is that water is not necessarily reliable from year to year.

Re: AAWT between Walhalla, Howitt and Hotham

Thu 14 Jan, 2016 4:36 pm

There is was a good flowing creek about 1 km North along the Low Saddle Road about to weeks ago.

We had to go a fair way South down the Knobs track to get water.

The Mt Selwyn South water tank is of very good construction with an enclosed gutter. Clear water and we drank it having grown up on farm tank water. It also beside a lovely campsite.
the East Riley Road tank is well made but doesn't have an enclosed gutter. the water is not bad but a bit brown. Only place to camp is on the Selwyn track.

The Barry Saddle tank is in a bad state with dark water that had an aroma. We treated it. Its a pity because there is a nice campsite nearby.


Re: AAWT between Walhalla, Howitt and Hotham

Fri 15 Jan, 2016 3:15 pm

I can confirm there's a spring just off the slopes of Mt Clear. 1km west of the AAWT along Mt Clear Track there's a fairly nice campsite in a saddle then 500m south along an overgrown vehicle track until you reach a major gully, where the creek cuts through the old track. We had to descend another 50m or so to find a spot with a decent enough flow to refill our bottles. It was just a trickle but clear and odourless. There was a little bit of rain the week before so I'm not sure if it dries out completely during drier times.

Re: AAWT between Walhalla, Howitt and Hotham

Tue 19 Jan, 2016 4:42 pm

I carried a lot of water from my food drop at Rumpf Saddle to half way to Mt McKinty where I dumped it because I then decided to collect water from the creek east of Mt Sunday. Getting to that creek was a mission which probably took close to an hour once I had a wash in the stream. There's no track.

Once I got to Low Saddle there were quite a few puddles around that I could have filtered. Since I had enough water I didn't venture north of Low Saddle.

This was early Jan 2015.

Re: AAWT between Walhalla, Howitt and Hotham

Mon 23 Oct, 2017 12:55 pm

Just a quick note to say that as of this weekend (21/22 October 2017) there was drinking water on the Nobs Track down from where that Track meets the AAWT, 3.5km east of Mt McDonald.

I walked South West down Nobs Track from the ridge and found a good source of flowing water about 1km down. Coming off the ridge (that the AAWT follows) this is the first spot on the SV map that shows a creek crossing the track. From the map there also appears to be a more reliable source another 500m or so on, but I did not need to investigate that.

Hopefully this will be helpful to those luck enough to have recently departed on the full AAWT walk.



Re: AAWT between Walhalla, Howitt and Hotham

Sat 04 Nov, 2017 4:09 pm

Got into Hotham yesterday, these are the water points that I used or noticed:-

Tyers River at O'Sheas - plenty of cool clear water.
Creeks running across Mt Erica Road - numerous spots.
Creek at Talbot Hut Site - reliable source.
Creek on the Mt Saint Gwinear side track - reliable source.
Creek just below the Whitelaw Hut Site - looks fairly reliable.
Creek just east of Stronachs Camp - reliable source
Creek just north of Thomson Valley Road on the 'new' section of trk- looks fairly reliable and is a good option if not camping at Stronachs.
Thomson River - obviously!
Jordan River - ditto.
Black River - some of the best water on the section.
Creeks draining of the ridge above Middle Ridge Road - two that look reliable and another couple that will dry out over summer.
Soak north of Rumpff Saddle at 480576 - looks like it would try quickly.
Soaks along Mt McKinty Road - will last awhile but water is of very dubious quality - emergency only I reckon.
Creek north of Low Saddle along Low Saddle Road at the first decent gully - looks like it'll dry out.
Two rills of water flowing across Mt Sunday Road b/w Low Saddle and the turnoff to Mt MacDonald - looked more reliable than the creek on Low Saddle Road in my eyes?
Creek in first gully down Nobs trk at 547733 - this one was pretty crappy but I couldn't be bothered descending further to a more reliable source!
Spring at Chesters Yard - the best water b/w Walhalla and Hotham imho.
Spring just before the saddle below King Billy 2 - looks reliable.
Macalister Springs.
Camp Creek off Mt Spec.
Soak to the east of Catherine Saddle on the old Wonnangatta trk - looks like it'll dry up quickly.
Creek to the north-east of Viking Saddle about 150 mtrs down - small pools that you'll have to hunt for - will dry out soon without rain.
Tank at Barry Saddle - tank's full but treat the water.
Tank just west of the AAWT and East Riley Road junction - good water and full.
Tank on Mt Selwyn South - good water and full (nice camping too).
Soak on Twins Jeep trk at around 006014 - will dry up.
Tank on saddle west of The Twins - good water and full.
Creek across Twins Jeep trk at 053029 - looks pretty reliable.
Above 1600 metres there still a bit of snow about as well, but obviously that won't last long.

Track condition wise these were the spots that I noticed :-
The short section (maybe 500 metres) parallel a logging coupe south of Upper Thomson Road has a lot of fallen timber to climb through - it's not far but it's slow going.
Thomson River wade near campsite was mid thigh deep - there are shallower options but require an exit through blackberries.
Black River section is hard going but reasonably well defined, there are two log crossings and one knee deep wade.
The AAWT up to Skene Lookout is very overgrown with regrowth - it's easier just to use Middle Ridge Road and pick up some water on the way through.
High Cone sidle is indistinct and it's almost easier to go over the top.
Square Top has a cut and marked track over the top - the sidle looked like very hard going.
Regrowth around Mt Buggery is starting to crowd the trk in spots.
Fallen trees climbing Mt Despair are slow going.
The Razor is now as good as I've seen it (still *&%$#! hard though!)
The section from The Razor to Viking Saddle is very slow going due to regrowth and fallen trees.
The climb up the Viking is now well defined, the rope is in the chimney but the exit is blocked by a fallen tree! I climbed a buttress a couple of metres to the north of the chimney (but it's a fairly committed scramble), apparently the next gully to the south is a bit easier.
The descent to Barry Saddle off the Viking is reasonably well defined with track markers and tape, just don't miss the spot where you drop down the steep gully through the cliff line - if you don't see any signs of a route for awhile retrace until you find a clue.
Selwyn Track between Van Dammes trk and East Riley Road is overgrown and fairly slow going.
The track off Mt Selwyn is also slow going with regrowth - particularly lower down.
Twins trk from Murrays Hut site has a lot of fallen timber and regrowth.

Overall I'd say that the Walhalla to Mt Hotham section is in reasonably good condition, it was better than I feared it may have been :D
Last edited by bigkev on Sun 05 Nov, 2017 5:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Re: AAWT between Walhalla, Howitt and Hotham

Sun 05 Nov, 2017 7:30 am

Spectacular update on conditions, thanks Kev! I hope I catch you in Thredbo...I owe you a beer or 2.

Re: AAWT between Walhalla, Howitt and Hotham

Sun 05 Nov, 2017 8:21 am

Thanks for the update Big Kev. This is really useful info for me and 2 others as we head off from Walhalla on Nov 24 bound for Mt Hotham. All the best for the rest of your trip.

Re: AAWT between Walhalla, Howitt and Hotham

Tue 07 Nov, 2017 7:15 am

for anyone not wanting/able to wade at the Thompson crossing we went via the dam and found our own route up to the track rather than bush bashing along the creek edge, the river was quite high when we got there. Walk up the road to the eastern portal and through the gate on the right to cross the river at the foot bridge. If you then follow the river downstream across the grass you cross a small muddy creek coming in from your left(we threw some smalls logs across to help anyone coming behind us). The easiest way we found from there is to walk another 15-20 metres over one small fallen log and you will see a tree broken in half at right angles next to the creek. To the left of that spot is a side saddle which once you sidle up through the scrub at the bottom opens up to a nice climb up to meet the track at the top. It was easy going. Just follow the native cherry ballart trees up the middle.

Re: AAWT between Walhalla, Howitt and Hotham

Thu 09 Nov, 2017 9:06 am

Thanks for that AWTtrekker, this looks like a good option. I was planning on camping at Thompson River, but depending upon how I feel I may take this 'shortcut' across the dam & up and camp at Blue Jacket instead.

Re: AAWT between Walhalla, Howitt and Hotham

Fri 10 Nov, 2017 5:36 am

I will say that was one our hardest days. We were trashed by the time we got to Thompson. Wouldn't have wanted to walk further. The track down to the road is covered in fallen timber and it was slow going having to climb over or under large logs every few meters the whole way down. The track can also he hard to follow in places. There was a couple in there who got lost when we were there and we called to them for a while to help them get back on track.

Re: AAWT between Walhalla, Howitt and Hotham

Sun 12 Nov, 2017 6:45 pm

Thanks Big Kev. The track from Thredbo to Tharwa will be a breeze. I didn't go over the Main Range due to unstable snow drifts, but it should be good by the time you get here. Water won't be a problem until you get to Honeysuckles but filling up there will get you to the finish line. Hope to see you out there. anne.

Re: AAWT between Walhalla, Howitt and Hotham

Fri 17 Nov, 2017 5:27 pm

Thanks AWTrekker. A friend mentioned the bridge at the dam rather than wading the river. We'll take the bridge crossing and follow your route up the hill.

Re: AAWT between Walhalla, Howitt and Hotham

Sat 16 Dec, 2017 5:52 pm

Completed the section between Walhalla and Hotham. So here's an update on water sources and some general comments about track conditions.

We got hammered by the big weather event in early December and were forced to bunker down at Rumpff Saddle for a couple of days. The bonus was that water wasn't too hard to find after that.

O'Sheas Mill site - water from the river. We treated it.
Talbot Hut site - lovely water from the nearby creek
Stronachs Camp - water from the creek that crosses Thompson Valley Rd a few hundred metres to the east. Water was muddy so we treated it.
Thompson River - plenty of water here.
Blue Jacket - good water from the Jordan river
Fiddlers Green - we had a water dump at Mt Victor so carried it in.
Black River - good water here.
Rumpff Saddle - we had a food and water dump here but the place was awash. Plenty of water in gullies crossing the Middle Ridge rd.
Low Saddle - we followed Low Saddle Rd north for nearly a km. There was a pink marker where a creek crossed the road. Good water here.
Nobs Track - we found water a few hundred metres down the road leading to the Barkly River.
Chester Yards - plenty of good water in the nearby creek.
Macalister Springs - good water from the spring.
Catherine Springs - there was water flowing a hundred metres or so across the overgrown vehicle track but some cretin had defecated in it! So we went a bit further and found good water seeping out of a small cliff line.
Viking Saddle - we found good water a few hundred metres to the NE from a creek.
Barry Saddle - tank full. Water a bit brown and had wrigglers in it but otherwise OK.
East Riley Rd - tank near here was full with good water (apart from a few wrigglers).
Canyon Road - we carried water in. Topped up from the Selwyn South tank next morning.
Murrays Hut site - didn't need to hunt for water as we cadged some of a generous 4WD bloke.
Twins Saddle - small waterfall next to the Twins Track about a km before you get to the saddle. Best water of the trip.

And here are comments on the track condition.

- Endorse comments about fallen logs on the section north of Stronachs. We stopped counting at 100 and had to go off track a few times to get round them.
- Black River to Mt Shillinglaw. OK at first but becomes overgrown and log strewn up near Shillinglaw.
- Descent off Mt Sunday. Section before Low Saddle has a lot of fallen timber.
- Square Top - we attempted to sidle on the north side but the track is hard to follow. We ended up heading to the ridge top to find the main track. Suggest sticking to the ridge top.
- Mt Howitt to Murrays Hut site. Track is in pretty good condition. There has been of work with chainsaws and brush cutters to clear the track.
- The Viking - we faffed around a bit finding the right route to descend off the mountain. Just have to be patient.
- North of Murrays Hut site - track deteriorates and is overgrown and has a lot of fallen timber. Expect a slow pace.

Overall we had a great trip but the weather was the main hurdle.

Re: AAWT between Walhalla, Howitt and Hotham

Tue 13 Feb, 2018 11:28 am

The spring that crosses the TWINS jeep track was flowing well and cold when we were there on 26.1.18.
We scouted out The Twins as a day trip loop walk from the Mt. Hotham road.
The water runs across The Twins Jeep track at 053029 .It was the best spring water I have drunk in the Vic. alps this green season.It means camping on the saddle besides the Twins jeep track is viable all year round.The track up the Twins coming from Mt. St. Bernard is not really there. It is a compass direction. There are a few old logs that have been chainsawed to clear the way long ago . Someone has tied some tape onto a bush where the AAWT route leaves the Jeep track coming from Mt. St. Benard. We popped out on top right where the AAWT snow pole marker is located, above the treeline.
The descent is marked by a short post with an yellow arrow heading towards Mt. Murray. The route down to the next saddle is easy to follow but is equally steep as the ascent is and it almost meets the 4 WD track.
I could XC ski the terrain from each TWINS summit and back but the steep slopes are black diamond runs :-0 in my estimation and you'd need good skills and proper Alpine Touring gear.

Re: AAWT between Walhalla, Howitt and Hotham

Fri 13 Apr, 2018 11:05 am

There's an alternative to The General at Hotham for overnight and food drops. Asgaard is opposite the Police Station on Davenport Drive, $60 a night. See

Re: AAWT between Walhalla, Howitt and Hotham

Mon 02 Jul, 2018 4:55 pm

It's great to see so many people walking the AAWT. We had done several sections of the track either as day walks or shorter overnight walks in Victoria, ACT and NSW but we always reckon that tackling the complete walk in one 44 day effort was the best and worst thing we have ever done. And we are still getting very encouraging feedback about out track notes, transport options, water points and possible food drop points. If you can spare the time to do it in one hit - just go for it!

Re: AAWT between Walhalla, Howitt and Hotham

Sun 11 Nov, 2018 1:29 pm

I will be walking from Mt. McDonald to Hell's Window on the AAWT this Dec. 2018 and I shall report back.

Re: AAWT between Walhalla, Howitt and Hotham

Thu 15 Nov, 2018 3:42 pm

Did an out and back fastpack training run from Walhalla to Blue Jacket and back last Sunday / Monday.

Found the AAWT well defined and easy to follow (perhaps with a bit more concentration necessary for parts of the 'new' track north of Stronachs). Also note that if camping at Stronachs there is a good flow of water that crosses the AAWT around 300m north of Thomson Valley Rd.

The walking along the Baw Baw Plateau was the highlight.

Plenty of water around with all 'reliable' water spots flowing nicely.

Only past 2 other walkers doing the full AAWT.

Plan is to fastpack the whole AAWT leaving on 4 December.



Re: AAWT between Walhalla, Howitt and Hotham

Thu 15 Nov, 2018 5:58 pm

Ta for the info John, the bit across the Baw Baw is nice for sure.
How far to Bluejacket would you say it is from Mt Erica carpark, 50ks ?

Re: AAWT between Walhalla, Howitt and Hotham

Mon 19 Nov, 2018 9:18 am

Hi Lamont

Perhaps a little less than 50km. More like 47 to 48km, particularly if you take the Basalt Hill Track down to the Thomson River campsite, rather than Trig Point Track.



Re: AAWT between Walhalla, Howitt and Hotham

Fri 21 Dec, 2018 11:37 pm

Camp Creek was gushing with water on 18 th of December 2018 . The area is quite wet and water is at present easily found .

Re: AAWT between Walhalla, Howitt and Hotham

Tue 01 Jan, 2019 9:52 am

Date 27th Dec. - Dec. 31st 2018
There is water , a trickle , enough to fill a bottle, in Hellfire creek. I was up there this week[29.12.18]. We camped up at that saddle.
The recent extra rain will keep it going for another week or so .There is water in the headwaters of Clear Creek on the upper Mt. Clear Spur track. It is flowing well. Finding the track to the water is a matter of locating an old south facing bench cut track that must have been used for logging 30 + years ago. It is a 10 minute scrub bash through regrowth , saplings and fallen logs, flowering shrubs etc. to locate and retrieve the water. This is the most reliable water for the Mt. Clear area.
The water flowing across the track near Chester's Yard was flowing well. There is also a spring flowing about 500 M. before the gate on the Mt. Clear 4WD track where it terminates near the King Billy No. 2 trail head for AAWT walkers.
We looked for water on the eastern side of King Billy 1 saddle just before the AAWT junction veers off towards Mt. Magdala. There was a miniscule trickle in the bushy scrub in a gully full of lush growth suggesting a soak.
A few very hot days soon and it will be gone but it does have a nice campsite nearby. Timbertop School seemed to have marked the clear foot pad down this way with a thingy or two hanging from a tree branch.

Re: AAWT between Walhalla, Howitt and Hotham

Sun 13 Jan, 2019 4:13 pm

We managed to walk a short section before bailing out (for a couple of reasons), but our notes from 2nd - 7th January:

Rumpff Saddle - We didn't check the source at Rumpff Saddle, as we intended to camp at the alternative site 1.5km further along. The camp site at the intersection of Middle Ridge Road and the short road (heading east) was good. Water can be found 250m along this short road (look on the downhill side for a 35cm steel pipe). It was flowing at about 1L per min. Note - there were cattle in the area, wandering the road and they had also discovered this water.

Low Saddle - We attempted to locate the water halfway down from Mt Sunday (on the sharp bend), but turned back. There are a number of red and pink pieces of flagging tape, which seemed to end in a sharp drop. We walked north along Low Saddle road for 1km but the creeks came up dry. In the end, we hiked up and camped at the start of the Mt MacDonald climb (there's a space large enough for a tent), then with day packs, hiked down Mt Sunday road to the Barkly River West branch. There was a track through the blackberries to the river. Excellent water and a reasonable walk (35min down, 45min up).

The Nobs / Nobs Track - Deciding that permanent water supplies were a better option, we headed down to Clear Creek. The first 0.5km is easy, then it plummets. 50min down, 1.5hr up. Plenty of water, and I carried a 2L zip lock bag to drink on the way back. After long day, the water was great, but expect a hard walk.

Mt Clear - We didn't notice any water on this section, simply because it was raining.

Chesters Yard - Gushing out and across the road. Can't miss it.

King Billy 2 - 500m before the gate and intersection with Brooks Road, water was flowing across the road. Easy to collect.

Mt Magdala camp site - Barely a trickle. Would be a struggle to collect. We pushed onto Mac Springs.

Re: AAWT between Walhalla, Howitt and Hotham

Sat 23 Nov, 2019 2:23 pm

I was walking the AAWT this week between The Nobs Track and Mt. Clear. The water at the Clear Creek headwaters was gushing , cold and fresh. Oh what a relief !.There were a couple of rain pools on Mt. Clear but they will dry up quick smart. Other than that there is no obvious water source out along that segment of the AAWT. I found going over the Summits of The Nobs, High Cone, Square top and Mt Clear to be the best route. The yellow AAWT track markers on trees generally follow the high route out along those peaks.

Re: AAWT between Walhalla, Howitt and Hotham

Thu 02 Jan, 2020 8:12 am

Due to fires in the area the AAWT from Mt. McDonald to Mt. Speculation is closed. Many 4WD tracks in the area are now shut too.
The following roads and tracks are closed indefinitely due to current fire activity in the area:

Brocks Road from 8 Mile Gap through to King Billy intersection
Bluff Link Road
16 Mile Jeep Track
Bluff Track
Refrigerator Gap Track
Cairn Creek Track
Nobs Track
King Billy Track
No access to Brocks Road from Low Saddle Road

The following walking tracks are closed indefinitely:
Australian Alps Walking Track from Mt McDonald through to Mt Speculation (walkers to be aware of other fires in the landscape)
Bluff walking track
Helicopter Spur
Howqua Feeder Track
Queen Spur
Stanley Name Spur
8 Mile Spur

The following camping areas are closed indefinitely:
Bluff Hut
Lovicks Hut
Ritchies Hut
Pikes Flat
Bindaree Flat
Upper Howqua
Sites within Upper Jamieson State Forest
Upper Jamison Hut.
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