Carey’s Peak, Barrington Tops
The trip up to Carey’s Peak was a bit of hard yakka, but more than worth the effort, with views all the way back to Newcastle. Spending three days in the cool, fresh air with good people was top shelf.
It was a Friday morning in the middle of Winter, late June 2012, when Clare, Matt, Carmen, Heidi, Brody and Theaker stopped in at Macca’s for our last taste of deep fried salt and sugar for the next few days. By the time we’d reached the dirt road up toward Lagoon Pinch, turned right at the fork in the road onto Allyn River Rd (not Upper Allyn River Rd, which came earlier) and followed it all the way to a closed gate and the sign for the start of the hike, it was 9:30am.
The hike is an immediate uphill, with only a few flat sections. Fairly difficult, but manageable for even the first time hikers amongst us. The landscape on the way up was beautiful, and even became quite rainforest like.
With a short break for morning tea, but setting a pretty good pace, we reached a secret side trail to Selby Alley Hut by 12:30. The track was pretty well covered by scrub at it’s entry which is along side a big, white tree stump on the right on the track. It wound its way down to a beautiful waterfall and small, quite dingy hut.
We continued onward and upward for another couple hours, following the signs at any junctions to the Peak. In the saddle just below the peak was a really nice little camp ground with an old hut and fire place to keep us warm and dry. The views from the top were pretty special too.
The following day we had decided to do a bit of a circuit down to Junction Pools and then back via Black Stump. It had a double benefit being able to see the sites, but also meant we could leave the tents set-up and hide our packs in the scrub near the camp site to lighten the load.
Heading back down from Carey’s Peak we took the first left, which was sign posted to Junction Pools. A few hundred meters down this track their was a small timber sign-post sending us to the right along Edwards Walking Track (apparently if you miss this, you can just follow the main track around though). It soon joined a 4wd track and wound its way up and over a large swampy marshland.
Eventually we reached a gate and a fairly deep creek, which Brody thought he could cross with shoes on. He was horribly mistaken. Once we crossed the creek and made our way along its bank up the hill we turned right onto a more pronounced 4wd track down to Junstion Pools by 12:30pm. It was a fantastic place, and somewhere we would love to drive to and camp again.
Walking through the campsite we crossed the creek and followed a very light walking trail up the hill beyond onto Aeroplane Track. From here it was a 4km gentle uphill to Black Stump, where we took a right hand turn at the track junction, crossed a small creek and continued for another few km back to camp. The boys took a slight detour back down to Wombat Creek to refill the bladders and bottles before we all headed back up the Peak to watch the sunset. Watching shooting stars from the hut by the fire sipping on port and jim beam was pretty special.
That night was pretty cold, close to zero, which made sleeping pretty difficult. As soon as we were up we packed up and made for the car, as a large windy cold front continued moving in. The trip back down was a breeze and we reached the car by 1pm and headed straight to Maitland for a pub lunch, passing a particularly interesting fence along the way.