Outings: Deep Creek National Park

Tuesday 7 May - Deep Creek National Park
Tuesday 7 May - Deep Creek National Park

After a busy day in the garden (K) and shed (me) on Monday, Tuesday was a good day to continue exploring our new neighbourhood. Deep Creek National Park was on our list, so we identified two potential circuit walks. The first of these was the 6km Arron Creek Circuit Hike. As this was listed as grade 3, we decided to walk this in the morning and, if we survived, we would tackle the second, the 4.7km grade 1 Spring Wildflower Walk, in the afternoon.

The weather during the past two weeks had been very settled with clear blue skies, no wind and temperatures around 20 degrees – perfect for bushwalking. Tuesday was no exception!

Aaron Creek Circuit Hike

The drive to the start of the Aaron Creek hike took us about one hour, just in time for a quick coffee before setting off at 09:45. The first section of the track was a well graded track through a large revegetation area, fenced off from the many marauding kangaroos. The low shrubs gave us a good views across the landscape until we entered a section prolific with some very large grass trees and quite a few kangaroos. This section was relatively flat until we reached Goondooloo Ridge Lookout where we lingered to enjoy the view across to Kangaroo Island.

Kangaroo Island on the horizon
Kangaroo Island on the horizon

From the lookout, the ground dropped into a deep gully, where we suspected we would be walking down into – we weren’t wrong. This section reduced to a single track with some steep and rocky parts – time for getting out the walking poles. At the bottom the track followed the path of Aaron Creek and at one point crossed the top of the almost dry waterfall. Readers will know that I am keen on photographing waterfalls, usually when there is water flowing. Unfortunately, this is a part-time waterfall with flows only after rain, which we have had precious little of recently. Also worth mentioning is that about 2 km of this section forms part of the Wild South Coast Way on the Heysen Trail.

Rocky track
The dry waterfall
The dry waterfall

Along the gully formed by the creek we walked along the narrow, at times rough, track through tall trees and low shrubs until it was time to leave the Heysen Trail, making the turn to head back to the start. from here the track widened to become more like a 4WD.gravel road surface, making it easier walking conditions.

The highlight on the return leg was stopping at the Eagle Waterhole Campsite. This is one of the campsites along the Wild South Coast Way – it is well set up with decks for pitching tents, toilets and a covered communal area. One of the attractions listed for this campsite that attracted K was the possibility of spotting Superb Fairy Wrens and the elusive Firetail. Unfortunately, neither of these chose to delight her.

Great signage along the track
Great signage along the track
Eagle Waterhole Campsite
Eagle Waterhole Campsite

We had a steep climb back to the top where it levelled off before returning to the start of the circuit, the car park and lunch.

Due to the number of bird spotting stops and other breaks, this walk took us about 3 hours 15 minutes, slightly longer than the estimated 3 hours. There were short sections that we reckoned were more like grade 4, but grade 3 was a good classification making it a walk we would be pleased to complete again (for me after some rain to photograph the waterfall with water flowing).

Spring Wildflower Walk

After a relatively strenuous morning, we thought that an easy grade 1 2.5 hour walk would be a good way to complete the day. A short 12 km drive back towards home, took us the start of the 4.7km Spring Wildflower Walk at the Stringybark Campground. The route features a circuit with a short entry/exit stretch and being grade 1, our expectation was that it would be relatively flat. However, it was not to be. The start down the entry/exit section was a long steady downwards slope until we came to very steep short drop to a creek and a steep climb back up.

Once past this, the track became a lot easier with long steady slopes up and down. Shortly after leaving the creek, K’s disappointment of not seeing any birds of note during the morning was compensated by a few Red Robins that were very accommodating by posing on nearby branches and the surface of the track. Otherwise, this walk was uneventful.

The tracks were mainly wide gravel ‘roads’, therefore easy to walk on. We would have categorised this as grade 2 on account of the long up and down, and at times steep, slopes. However, including the bird spotting stops, it only took us 1 hour 45 minutes. Although enjoyable, this is not one of our walks that I would rush back to do again.

The more we are getting out to explore, the more we are discovering there is to do – there is quite a variety in the types, lengths and durations of walks in the area which we are very much looking forward to complete in the future.

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