Hume & Hovell Multi-Day Hike | Fitzpatrick to Thomas Boyd Trackhead | 58km
We're back on track with another multi-day section of Australia's most underrated thru-hike, the Hume and Hovell Track. This time, we started near Wee Jasper at the Fitzpatrick Trackhead, finishing 58km and three days later at the Thomas Boyd Trackhead by the Goobarragandra River. Once again, I am left feeling in awe of the simplicity of the beauty of the Australian bush. And, once again, we don't see another soul for the entire three days.
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 with the ever-changing environment keeping you on your toes.
Day 1: Fitzpatrick Trackhead to Log Bridge Campsite | 12.1km
The launch pad for our three-day hike is the Fitzpatrick Trackhead in the Wee Jasper area. This well-equipped campground, along with three other reserves, can be booked for camping with Reflections Holiday Parks. The Fitzpatrick Trackhead is one of three trackheads on the track. Here, you have access to toilets, hot showers (!) and a secret cave/hole/rock wall. Not far from the Fitzpatrick Trackhead is Careys Cave, the Goodradigbee River, Micalong Creek and the Wee Jasper Gin Distillery.
From the Fitzpatrick Trackhead, we make our way on a mix of single track through native forest and fire trails through pine forests to the summit of Mt. Wee Jasper. The Brindabella Ranges come in and out of view as we cross multiple small streams and small waterfalls. From the peak of Mt. Wee Jasper, it is just 4km down to Log Bridge Campsite. Log Bridge Creek Campsite is one of my favourites on the track. This campsite has excellent facilities including a shelter, picnic tables, a long-drop, fireplaces, a water tank and a refreshing creek that feels wonderful on sore feet.
Day 2: Log Bridge Creek Campsite to Barrois Campsite 19.3km | 8.5 hrs
The second day was a tough one. While the landscapes we passed through included hidden waterfalls, secret gorges and impressive rock formations (the Pompey Pillar!), the blisters on my feet were also impressive. Blisters mixed with the reoccurrence of an old injury meant that I was pretty grumpy (sorry Pat) and struggled to enjoy the wonderful environment I found myself in. The day was brightened with lunch by Micalong Creek at Micalong Creek Campsite. I wish we spent the night here at this beautiful wide section of the creek, surrounded by towering eucalyptus and moss-covered rocks.
Micalong Creek Campsite is 6.8 km from Barrois Campsite, our home for the second night of the hike. Once again, I was impressed by the facilities of Barrois Campsite, with a long drop, shelter, picnic tables, Micalong Creek nearby and plenty of scribbly gum to admire.
Day 3: Barrois Campsite to Thomas Boyd Trackhead 24.7km | 9.5 hrs
In keeping with the theme of this section of the Hume and Hovell, the third and final day was yet again a mixture of fire trails through pine forest and single track through native forest. But also, the first few kilometres of the day were spent wandering through and around the largest montane swamp in mainland Australia, Micalong Swamp! The swamp is more than 5km long and up to half a kilometre wide. The area is also home to the endangered Northern Corroboree Frog.
Another notable landmark of the day is 'The Hole', where the McNamara family lived in the late 1800s. A small lean-to structure remains surrounded by elm trees. From here, we further descend 6km into the Goobarragandra Valley to our final destination, the Thomas Boyd Trackhead. The trackhead is a peaceful haven beside the Goobarragandra Valley and can be booked for camping here. From the trackhead, you can continue the Hume and Hovell Track along the Goobarragandra River, crossing the Norm Harris Bridge.
Despite the blisters (the size of my heel!) and unwelcome old injuries, I really did love this section of the Hume and Hovell. It was hard not to enjoy well-equipped campsites with dappled light coming in through the varying eucalyptus species, the air filled with the smell of blooming wattle and never being far from a burbling creek. If you love falling into the rhythm of multi-day hiking and pure immersion in the Australian bush, then you’ll love the Hume and Hovell. Watch and read about the section from Talbingo to the Henry Angel Trackhead near Tumbarumba here.
Written by Chloe Symons
Use the Hume and Hovell website to plan your walk here.