Thursday 21 May 2015
We had a couple of waypoints, taken off the map, but did not have any knowledge of the majority of the vehicle tracks within the area, so a likely looking track was picked that headed roughly in the direction of the closest waypoint. This point was at the junction of two tracks that were marked on the 1:25k map but the track we had been following did a turn away when about 250 metres from the waypoint. I went off to check but could not find this track although must have walked over it. All this took 20 minutes and was compounded by going in the wrong direction until the GPS was consulted. While this was going on the others had morning tea so we didn’t lose much time and headed up through the bush towards Den Hill. After a short distanced we came upon the old track which was fairly indistinct but certainly followable. A more pronounced track was met some 600 metres on and that eventually joined an even bigger one that took us to within 280 metres of the top. The top of Den Hill, however was surrounded by bush and there were no distant views.
The cool air did not encourage a long lunch and 40 minutes later we were on the return walk, but this time we kept to the clear tracks and found ourselves back at the cars one hour later. We did make one dogleg that could have been avoided had we been aware that a track going in the wrong direction had a branch turning directly to the where we needed to go.
On the side we approached Den Hill (western) it is surrounded by eucalypt plantations but once beyond that and in the reserve there are old gums and quite a lot of grass and sags. As drizzle and light rain had fallen in the hours prior to the walk, this ground cover caused boots to get quite wet and it didn’t take long for my socks to take on a drenched feeling. Towards the top of this 859 metre hill the large trees gave way to smaller but thickly growing eucalypts, although they appeared to be quite a few years old. There were clear signs of many of the bigger trees up here having been cut and removed in the not so distant past, and in fact we could heara chainsaw not that far away. Part of the hill is private land so it was hard to know if the woodhookers were on public land.
It was 5k up and took 1:50, whereas the return was 1 hour and 3k.
Place name information
Den Hill Conservation Area and was previously known as Den Hill Forest Reserve.
Mentioned several times in Clyde Company Papers. Historical Note: Spelt Denne Hillby S Spurling Junior in article Trip to Frenchmans Cap.
Lunch time on Den Hill. Adrian, Christine, Dave and Dave.
Gums on the top of Den Hill
Forest on the lower slopes
Below is the route taken - red = first part to morning tea and the meandering searching for an old track. black = second part to the summit and blue = return route
Close up of the track search meandering below, the red line from “Rest Stop” and back. The black line is the route taken from there to the top.