15 May 2012 A search for ... McKeahnies Hut site, plus Rendezvous Creek

Mt Herlt to Mt Mavis above Rendezvous Creek

Map: Rendezvous Creek 1:25000

Getting There

This walk was organised and led by me as an irregular CBC Tuesday walk, with master guidance by Matthew Higgins:

Tuesday 15 May - McKeahnies Hut site and Rendezvous Creek - L/E-M,ptX. Join the region's preeminent historian, Matthew Higgins, in a trip from Nursery Swamp car park across the footpad to Rendezvous Creek. We'll head down the creek to McKeahnies Hut site then, after a further 3km, out onto the open part of the valley. An opportunity to visit other sites. We'll finish via the new Rendezvous Creek Walk. Around 17km and 550m climb. Map: Rendezvous Creek. Leader: John Evans - jevans@pcug.org.au, 0417 436 877. Transport: ~$12 per person. Car shuttle required.

15 of us drove in 4 cars to the Nursery Swamp car park.


You can access all photographs here.


Track maps: thumbnails are active - click for a larger picture
Track overview Track 1 Track 2 Track 3 Track 4

Dropping our precious cargo, the 4 cars drove to the new Rendezvous Creek car park. On the way, just up the hill from Glendale Crossing, a magnificent wedge-tailed eagle would not leave his warm road kill breakfast, even as the cars stopped, then drove past him. We left 3 cars there and the drivers came back in 1 car to the Nursery swamp car park. The hardest part of the day for me was organising the logistics. Note to self - on car shuttles, remind all walkers to have any extra gear in cars at the end of the walk.

An uneventful stroll to the fireplace on the far side of Rendezvous Creek. I only lost the footpad 3 times (although 2 of the times were significant losses and this is very embarrassing when you have a party containing many living legend navigators). 5.2km in 1hr 30mins. Morning tea was taken.

Then down the mid Rendezvous Creek old vehicle track to the N end of the open area beneath Mt Mavis and Mt Herlt (both these local CBC names). Tremendous views up to these tops. Then a wander back and forth searching for the McKeahnie Hut site. No joy. No wonder, as our guide was last here 20 years ago and had recorded the location with a dot on his map (the only method available - no GPS back then). Matthew's later comments were:

The pic was taken in Nov 1992, not 1994, so it was 20 years ago that I visited the site! My photo of the ruin shows a substantial pile of hearth stones, an iron wash tub, a rectangular kero tin with wire handle and what looks like a fallen timber post (eg corner post) of the hut. The only background clue is the creek in the distance - it's about the distance we were generally from it during our search, plus saplings round about. Judging by the size of the pile of stones (larger than the Tom Brayshaw site that we visited toward the end of the walk) I am sure we will find it on a return visit.

I hadn't been down the creek from here, so some new country for me. We walked to the end of the open flats, in parts via an indistinct old vehicle track, then through timbered country for a kilometre or so, again using footpad, animal tracks and, at times, the old vehicle track. Lunch was demanded by certain alpha females, so I agreed to the first of 1pm or the top of the main open area. The latter came first.

After eats, a further wander down the open valley. Visited a site, then on to Rowleys Rendezvous Creek Hut site and T Brayshaw (or J Greenfields) Hut site. Matthew added further 'face' to the site by telling us of the death of a Brayshaw in the hut.

My poor choice to continue to parallel the creek from here, rather than returning to the well defined vehicle track. A plethora of swampy side streams to cross, interspersed with dryer areas of thistles and burrs. Still, the walk had been too easy to this point.

A short pause at the bench, then via the new Rendezvous Creek Walk (which is being extended) to the cars. More difficulty sorting out transport details and driver payment (I'm sure some drivers were short, but they were very gracious), then away. At least 15 walkers finished and all cars were retrieved.

A day for raptors, with a pair of wedge-tailed eagles rising from the road close in front of us on the trip home, plus 3 smaller raptors during the day.

2 Lyrebirds streamed across the road at another point, but we didn't see a Lyrebird mound on any of our tracks, footpads, creek grasslands or bit of bush all day.

A nice walk, even if we have to go back. Some new country down part of Rendezvous Creek for me. Thanks Matthew H. And thanks to Mike B, Karen C, Peter C and Linda G, Rene D, Eric G, Stewart J, Adam L, Mike M, Wayne P, Max S, Phillip S and Ken W.

Distance: 19km Climb: 400m. Time: 9.05am - 3.45pm (6hrs 40mins), with 40mins of breaks.
Grading: L/M,ptX; M(10)

KMZ file for Google Earth/Maps: McKeahnies Hut site and Rendezvous Creek

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This page last updated 30Aug22