Hume & Hovell Multi-Day Hike | Talbingo to Henry Angel Trackhead Near Tumbarumba | 54km
Every time I walk a section of the Hume and Hovell track, I am left humbled and impressed. The Hume and Hovell track has you completely immersed in the Australian bush, climbing over, under and around the landscape. You can walk for days without seeing a single soul, which is solitude at its best. The section between Talbingo and Tumbarumba is no exception to this rule. While I am yet to walk the entirety of the track, I am fairly certain that this particular section will always be one of my favourites. It has everything I love about hiking; ever-changing topography, an abundance of native flora and fauna, a lack of other people, spectacular scenery to admire like Buddong Falls and campsites where you don’t need to leave your sleeping bag to enjoy the view.
Filmed and edited by Pat Ryan.
The Hume and Hovell track is one of Australia's lesser-known thru-hikes, winding itself some 426km through Australian colonial and indigenous history between Yass and Albury. Perhaps, it's the quiet, unassuming space that the track fills, running itself alongside the esteemed mountains of the Great Dividing Range, that leaves this walk undervalued. The track passes through state forest, crown land, private farmland, national parks and nature reserves with a mix of single track, fire trails, boardwalks and quiet back-country roads. So, as you can imagine, no two days are the same and the ever-changing environment will keep you on your toes.
Day 1: Yellowin Access Road (Near Talbingo) to Buddong Falls Campground | 13km
Day 1 sees a frosty start as we descend from where the Hume and Hovell track meets Yellowin Access Road down towards Jounama Dam. The first stop for the day is the foreshore of Jounama Dam, with a view across to the Talbingo township. The track then winds itself along the banks of Jounama into some farmland with cows for company. The pipes, actually called penstocks, of T3 Power Station, the first and largest power station in the Snowy Scheme come in and out of view for the remainder of the day. A gentle, gradual climb leads the track to Buddong Creek and up to Buddong Falls.
Day 2: Buddong Falls Campground to Paddys River Dam | 14km
The walk from Buddong Falls to Paddys River Dam is my favourite section of this hike. A few kilometres into the day, walking along to the soundtrack of Buddong Creek, Buddong Hut appeared through the towering gum trees. This little bush hut and the surrounding Alpine Ash (also known as Woollybut) miraculously survived the 19/20 bushfires that tore through the area. The remainder of the day is spent gradually winding up to the highest point of the track at 1230m and down through the sclerophyll forest to Paddys River Dam. There are a few campgrounds to choose from at Paddys River Dam, including a walk-in-only area. The choice of campsites was ours with not another soul to be seen. The best spot was secured, with a flat grassy patch right beside the water, a table and a fireplace. Perfect camping!
Day 3: Paddys River Dam to Henry Angel Trackhead (Near Tumbarumba) | 27km
Day 3 was the longest in this section kilometre-wise but also all downhill or flat, so easy walking-wise. The morning is spent crunching through the frost beneath the varying eucalyptus trees, including Red Stringybark and Peppermint Box. The scenery transforms into a wet sclerophyll forest as many creeks are crossed amongst lush ferns. A fun fact for you, the Hume and Hovell track has over 100 footbridges! Following a brief stop at the Junction Campsite, the last few kilometres are spent walking alongside the pretty Burra Creek and eventually back into farmland before arriving at our final destination, the Henry Angel Trackhead.
Honestly, the Hume and Hovell is by no means a spectacular walk when compared to the ‘bucket list’ walks of the Kosciuszko Main Range, Tasmania’s Overland track or the Larapinta, and it never will be. However, the Hume and Hovell track is, in my humble opinion, spectacular by its own means. The track represents the simplicity of multi-day hiking, wake up, walk, eat, pitch your tent, eat again, sleep and repeat. It’s a basic track with basic facilities. It doesn’t have the Instagram-worthiness of its ‘Great Walk’ relatives but if you truly love falling into the rhythm of multi-day hiking with solitude and pure immersion in the Australian bush, then you’ll love the Hume and Hovell.
Written by Chloe Symons