Hume and Hovell Walking Track

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Introduction

This is a 440 km track running across southern New South Wales from the dividing range at Yass to the inland town of Albury.

The track itself varies from being well marked and easy to follow to long sections with minimal markers. Eighteen campsites with clearings, pit toilets, water and tables have been established along the route. Distance between campsites varies from 6 to 30 kilometres and camping (no facilities) is also allowed in between the established sites. There are also three special trackheads along the route (about 100 kilometres apart) with hot water and showers and electric cooking plates amongst the facilities.

The track commemorates the overland journey made by Hume and Hovell in 1824-25 from the settlement in New South Wales to sea in Victoria. Where possible, the track follows the original route as far as the New South Wales border. Hence it skirts around the high mountain ranges and crosses some farming country and forestry lands. About half the track is along roads or forestry vehicle tracks.

History

The first suggestion of this track was made at the Centenary Celebrations in 1925 in Victoria. It was also suggested again by the Federation of Victorian Bushwalking Clubs in the 1970's. On behalf of the Federation, Ken McInnes did much work to rediscover the original route and even organised a walk along it but while it appeared to have both government and public support the idea languished due to a lack of finance.

In the late 1970's, John Eggleston and Warwick Hull from the New South Wales Department of Lands began investigations to rediscover the original Hume and Hovell route for a walking track. By 1982, investigations of the route had finished and construction began although there were very few funds available. It again looked like the track might not eventuate. Fortunately, a well written proposal to the Australian Bicentennial Committee resulted in a A$1.3 million grant and the track became a reality.

In 1988, 300 km of track was completed and opened for walking. Since then, progress on the remaining sections of track have continued, and the last two sections were completed in 1999. An official first walk along the track was held as part of the opening celebrations.

As far as New South Wales are concerned the track will then be finished. Maybe, it might eventually be extended through Victoria to Port Philip Bay and follow the full length of Hume and Hovell's original route. Ken McInnes has identified a suitable route through Victoria that closely follows the explorers original route.

Location

The track runs from Yass, which is located north of Canberra, south-west across New South Wales to the town of Albury on the Victorian border.

Access

There are many roads that cross the track. Public transport by bus or rail is available to both ends of the track at Yass and Albury. Buses also operate to Tumut and Tumbarumba - these are small towns close to the track.

Maps and Track Notes

The 'Hume and Hovell Walking Track Guidebook' by Harry Hill was published in 1993 and is very helpful but out of print. The book covers most of the track except for the two recent extensions in 1999. The guide is excellent and explains reasons for some of the track's location as well as combining the history into the notes.

Strip maps to the entire track are also available from Department of Lands in New South Wales for $22. Currently there are 6 maps for the entire track. If you have the guide book and the maps there should be no need to obtain other maps.

Permits

None are needed to walk this track.

Note

This is one of the two long distance tracks on this web site for which I do not have personal knowledge. The information is supplied from friends who have either walked it or been involved in the planning and construction work.

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Last updated : June 10th 2006