Australian Alps Walking Track
Track Updates - 4th edition

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This page will detail major updates to the 2009 guide book - it will not contain all minor corrections but will have all important ones needed for walking the track  Some of the notes below will detail recent track clearing - unfortunately we expect some parts of  the track will need to be cleared two or three times over the next 10 years after a fire. Fire regrowth is prolific so expect changes in scrub cover. As an example, since the 2003 fire,  T Spur on Mt Bogong has been cleared three times and is still overgrowing!.

NOTE - some have become confused because the track alignment on our maps and other maps do not always agree. We provide maps in the book for navigation on the AAWT as they are the only maps that show the correct location of the track. Many other maps have errors as to the tracks location - we recommend you carry and also use other maps as they show more area than a book page can. They are very useful if you lose the track, need to leave the track early or want to identify points of nearby interest such as mountains. All this has been stated on page 32 in the first paragraph on maps.

The 2009 4th edition is sold out. We have re-walked as much of the track as possible (some parts were closed) in preparation for doing the new edition. We had planned to do that work in spring 2020 but the Covid lockdown prevented that so we checked short sections over the summer and autumn as fire, weather and Covid restrictions allowed. We completed checking in late May, the one major bit we did not re-walk was the Johnnies Top section. It was closed due to fire damage and while we know some had walked through anyway, we work with the rangers and did not want to risk annoying those who we work with on committees and also they support us when we do some track clearing.

The 5th edition is at the printer There are many little changes such as the length of 8 sections have altered, the overall length of the route we describe is now 661km. We do not have a complete list of all changes, once we start editing we change the  main text as we find things and do not keep a list of minor changes, that would just take too long. So yes there are more changes than those below and in fact some of the ones below are not very relevant and things have altered since those updates were first posted. I have done a rough editof the list below to update it but cannot guarantee it will contain all the changes that appear in the new edition.

NOTE - you will need to also need add in any updates for the 5th edition as well, we are not going to repeat those updates here so add them from the 5th edition update page.

Once the new edition is available in December 2021, we will retain this page for the 4th editin for a while but will not maintain it and will delete it after the new edition has been on sale for a while. We try to provide an up-to-date list of  updates for the current edition only, thats hard enough to do.

Page 32 - Food Drops - Regarding hiding food drops, they should be placed well away from roads and tracks, we suggest at least 100m and preferably 200m away to reduce risk of discovery. Do not leave them inside or underneath obvious places like huts or buildings. Parks have requested that drops not be dug into the ground, rather hide them inside scrub or in natural hollows buried with leaf and forest litter. Do not mark them with tape, flags or other markers, instead draw a small map for yourself with bearings and distances so you dont have to remember its location. If you can see the drop from a distance then others can as well!
Page 42 – 4.8 to 8.5km A detour is in place while the Poverty Point bridge is being repaired. Descend Mormon Town Track, cross road bridge then follow the west side of the river north.m - described in the new edition
Page 51 - see map, Southbound on Casper Creek Track, turn left onto Easton Track, there is a gate and blackberies but no markers or signpost for track name
Page 53-54 - Camping is now banned at Red Jacket, camp at Blue Jacket., water is a long unpleasant walk through blackberries, do it once only
Page 59 - Champion Spur, due to fires, roads have significantly changed, the road no longer divides. From 86,5km, just follow the road, turnoff to Black River Track has a marker on a knoll on right. Its easier to continue straight ahead, then at the next two junctions turn right to descend to the campsite at the start of the short walking track to the log crosing over the Black River at 95.5km.
Page 63 - Black River to Mt Shillinglaw, currentl;y an unmarked walking track can be followed most of the way, it becomes indistinct at the start of the snowgum country but 200m further on becomes better defined.
Page 64 map - water west of Rumpff Saddle difficult to access, water beside road south of saddle is a better choice.
Page 74 - Low Saddle water, small puddle is now hard to find, an alternative is to follow the road north for 900m to the obvious creek
Page 76 - fire regrowth has made it hard to follow the sidles of Square Top, at present easier to simply follow ridge crest, parks intend to clear this soon
Page 88 - Viking Saddle, from early summer, carry water to camp here as the local water supplies are usually then dry.
Page 92 - at 838942 ensure you swing north to avoid a very old closed track to the south. Barry Saddle tank has been replaced.
Page 93 - Barry Mountains Water Tank no longer works. New water tank placed 2km north at 848967. Also another new tank on Selwyn South at GR 907995
Page 98 - on 2nd last line in Southbound, 'turn east' should be 'turn west'
Page 100 - new water tank on ridge top west of The Twins at GR 036019 (installed June 2010), no water tank at Diamantina Hut
Page 101 - line 5, from Diamantina Hut its south-east not south-west
Page 107 - near Dibbins Hut, new tent platforms (fees apply) and toilet in side gully on north side of river
Page 110 - Tent platforms (fees apply) have been erected near Cope Hut. Also AAWT has been rerouted from the saddle west of Cope Hut direct to Wallaces Hut. This was the original route when the track was first opened in 1970. Also camping is not allowed near Wallaces Hut.
Page 119 - the chain across Big River is currently broken.
Page 126 - 5th line, the Mitta Mitta is the lowest point north of the Baw Baws (the Thomson River is actually the lowest point on the track)
Page 138 - Johnnies Top, new communication tower with generator has been added to the summit. Suggest to not camp close to tower
Page 141 - 362.4 to 364.4km, most walkers follow the road instead of the overgrown ridge crest
Page 144 -145 map, the track from Macs Creek Track to Dead Horse Creek was realigned and cleared in early 2017 (we did some of the work). Parts were moved by several hundred metres, ignore the map alignment and follow the markers.
Page 160 - bottom of page, old fence has vanished and tiny side track to Cascade Hut is easily missed..
Page 180 – 458.0km, 1.7km of the track past Mt Lee has been re-routed to the western side of the ridge crest to avoid an environmentally sensitive area
Page 186, GR 240807, due to scrub regrowth, steel reinforcement in saddle is no longer visible. From the saddle, a faint track with the odd cairn leads to the old track which can then be followed to Whites River
Page 188, Whites River Hut, collect water upstream from the hut. Its a popular camp site and it should be obvious that water below the toilet is polluted.
Page 189, old pad leading to Mawsons Hut no longer visible
Page 198 - O'Keefes Hut has been rebuilt, has three rooms
Page 200 - 516.5km - line 1 south-west should be south-east, 4th line north-west should be north-east.
Page 203, Happys Hut to Boltons Hill Train Junction, follow the spur through snowgums as on the map on page 202, not the scrubby gully which some are doing, Happs Hut has been burnt
Page 207 - Four Mile Hut has been burnt, instead many stay at Broken Dam Hut
Page 216 - dont try to follow the 'old fire track' shown on the map as its becoming overgrown. It was put on the map so walkers would realise it was not the AAWT. Unmarked route across Dairymans Creek marked in 2015, there is no track, only occasional markers.
Page 222 - The campsite on the grassy flat near Blue Waterholes has been closed, instead a new campsite has been opened near the locked gate and toilet.
Page 224 map - the toilet at Pocket Hut has been closed
Page 226 - sidetrack to Pocket Hut now has a signpost.
Page 229 - 614.3km - line 5, A steep descent then leads 'westward' should say 'eastward'
Page 233: track now goes through Honeysuckle Creek,
Page 234 - signposts at Link Track/Orroral Road junction have changed
Page 236 - map, grid markings for eastings should range from 82 to 87 (not 62 to 67)

General – In Kosciuszko National Park - Fences have been erected on some open areas. These fence off areas of weeds and are designed to keep walkers on the track to prevent weed seeds being spread into new areas.

Transport - No regular public transport, charters with private operators may be possible. For Walhalla, try the Star Hotel or the general store, they can sometimes help. For Mt Hotham and the Bogong High Plains try the taxi at Bright (tel 0408 589370) or the taxi at Mt Beauty (tel 0409 573909), for access from Omeo to Omeo Highway, Benambra-Corryong Road and Buenba Hut try O'Connells Bus Services (tel 03-5159 1377), for access from Cooma to Perisher, Guthega and Kiandra try Hummingbird Charters (tel 02-6456 4425).
Track break - Mt Hotham. During summer not much is open at Mt Hotham. For many, a better alternative is to continue 26.6km further to Langfords Gap then leave the AAWT and follow either the Bogong High Plains Road or Heathy Spur for about 5km to Falls Creek. Falls Creek is also a winter ski village but has many more facilities such as a small supermarket, accommodation and restuarants open during summer.

Current Conditions

With the recent 2019-2020 fires, there will undoubtedly be some significant changes to conditions on parts of the track for many years.

Johnnies Top 346.1km to Thredbo 447.1km is closed (we hope this will open soon)
Murray Gap 614.2km to Tharwa (track end) 659.6km is closed.

When will all parts of the track be reopened. While staff cannot give definite dates, it is planned to reopen the closed sections in autumn 2021, in other words in the next 2 to 3 months. For when tracks have been re-opened, refer to each parks website.

All buildings at Kiandra including the old court house (page 210-211) plus Happys Hut and Four Mile Hut were all burnt. They might be replaced but not quickly. The court house now has a new roof.

Mt Baw Baw plateau - over the last three years most of the plateau has been cleared of scrub by both volunteers and park staff, most of it is now better than the photo on page 49
Black River to Mt Macdonald (95.5km to 134.4km) - all of this section was cleared in 2012 by DCE staff , its mostly easy to follow but expect some patches of light scrub on Mt Shillinglaw and treefall.
Mt Sunday to Low Saddle - logs have been pushed over the entrances to the track, it seems this was a result of road clearing!
Catherine Saddle to Barry Saddle -This has been cleared several times. It was very heavily burnt in fires and will take decades before the forest recovers and the scrub reduces. Treefall is often a major problem on this section..
Barry Saddle to Harry Shepherds Track - burnt in 2003 fires, old track currently overgrowing and scrubby. Barry Saddle water tank replaced with a new tank.
Van Damme Track to East Riley Road - burnt in 2003 fires, lightly overgrown with some treefall - slow going, improved recently but expect to take longer.
Murray Hut Site to The Twins (216.4km to 222.4km) - most of the track along the ridge has been recently cleared of 2003 regrowth and has been burnt again in 2020, currently easy to follow but will get scrubby.
Mt Hotham to The Park - this section has had a major upgrade in standard, steps have been installed on steep sections, stepping stones and bridges across wet sections and rubber matting used in some areas to reduce track braiding. Tent platforms have been put at some sites, fees apply to their use, its free to camp elsewhere.
Mt Bogong - Duane and T-Spur have both been cleared three times since the 2003 fire. The track keeps overgrowing and this is a common problem in many of the fire effected areas.
Mt Wills to Omeo Highway - burnt in 2003 fires, cleared and marked in January 2012 by volunteers, track has been straightened and now easier to follow but expect blackberry regrowth between Mt Wills South and the Omeo Highway
Gill Creek - page 130, track has been cleared and easy to follow
Johnnies Top to Buenba Creek: heavily burnt in 2019-20 fires, expect thick regrownth in coming years. Currently grass is very tall along Buenba Creek.
Buenba Hut Site to Dead Horse Creek (page 140 to 146) was cleared in 2011 b ut burnt in 2020 fires, currently closed, status unknown.
Misery Trail to Cowombat Flat Track - (page 146 to 151) - cleared and remarked in March 2016, some by volunteers and some by contractors. Some burnt in 2020 fires.
North of Kiandra. Snowy 2 has not changed the track as most work so far is west of the track. No real effect for AAWT walkers.

Note - the volunteers are members of Bushwalking Victoria (Monica and myself are two of the volunteers and we try to spend at least one weekend each year doing track work)

Road Access

page 66 - Rumpff Saddle, during winter each year the Mt Skene Road and the side road to Rumpff Saddle road is closed to all vehicles, curently Mt Skene Road is very rough, the Mt Victor Road is currently in good conditon and better for food drops.
The 4wd tracks often have tree fall - a result of fires and recent wind storms. A chainsaw (and the skill to use it) is a must if using 4wd tracks for food drops.

Volunteer track clearings - Bushwalking Victoria organises voluntary clearing of many tracks including the AAWT. In recent years they (we often participate ourselves) have cleared Deadhorse Creek, Thomson River area, Baw Baw Plateau, Mt Wills and in 2021 Whitelaw Hut to Stronachs Camp. Its mainly the same group of people who come along and we really do need more to participate. Instead of complaining about overgrown tracks, why not assist!.
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Last updated : November 24th 2021