Z is for Z-shaped Buffalo Plateau Circuit

posted in: Alphabet Challenge | 0

Written by Caroline

Let’s start by saying that Z is a pretty challenging letter to plan a trip around! Since I really wanted to do an overnight hike, and couldn’t find anything starting with Z, I got creative, did some brainstorming (with a lot of help from Katka!) and came up with some creative ways to incorporate the letter Z into our overnight hike – the Buffalo Plateau Circuit, on 17-18 March.

Buffalo Plateau Circuit – we started at Lake Catani (since we camped there Friday night) and headed west, skipping the north east loop.

So, this hike included the following Z-related things:

  • a Z shape in the track

  • catching ZZZ’s (we deserved it!)
  • the zzzz sound of mosquitos (we were hoping to avoid those, but alas, there were many!)
  • the zipping of tents, sleeping bags, packs…
  • zen meditation
  • zero complaining hour
  • zero falling over hour
  • zero getting lost hour
  • zero stopping hour
  • zucchini fritters
  • zebra stripes and zebra print clothing
  • Zoe the zebra puppet
  • zigzagging.

I drove down during the day on Friday and got in a couple of short day walks – Ladies Bath Falls, Eurobin Falls and Chalwell Galleries.

Eurobin Falls (not much water but still spectacular rock!)
View from Chalwell Galleries

I set up everyone’s tents at Lake Catani Campground, cooked dinner and read an entire book, and attempted to sleep but was kept awake by rowdy campers at another site. At 1am Jens, Vanessa, Jon & Louise arrived and we all eventually managed to sleep.

Day 1 – Lake Catani to Rocky Creek Campsite

Vanessa, Jens, Jon, Louise & Caro at the start of the hike – Lake Catani
Zoe the Zebra is ready to hike.

We set off pretty late but it was a beautiful day. We started out following the Lakeside track at Lake Catani, heading towards Mt Dunn. We were pleased to see the sign at the turn off towards the Mt Dunn side trip made note of the zig-zag track to come.

Zig-zag track to Mt Dunn

The views were pretty stunning and we enjoyed lunch at the top in perfect weather.

Panorama from Mt Dunn

Jon and Vanessa put in a solid effort at making Z shapes with their bodies.

Vanessa making a Z on Mt Dunn
Jon making a Z on Mt Dunn

‘Zero complaining hour’ and ‘zero falling over hour’ were both a huge success (mind you, there was plenty of falling over prior to and immediately following ‘zero falling over hour!’).

Unfortunately ‘zero getting lost hour’ didn’t work out so well… somewhere around Og, Gog & Magog we went a bit wrong, missed a left turn (because it was unsignposted) and wound up walking an extra hour or so. We did get to explore Og, Gog & Magog while we were at it though, and saw some spectacular views from another unnamed location.

Jens, Louise, Vanessa & Jon at Og, Gog & Magog
Views from an unnamed location, across to an unidentified lake – possibly The Reservoir, which we kept skirting around but never walked to.

Jens and Louise opted of at the next side trip up to Eagle Point (just past ‘The Sarcophagus’ and ‘Biscuit and Cheese!’ Jon, Vanessa & I can’t resist a side trip so off we went. More stunning views, some crazy steep stairs/ladders, and a bit of Jon climbing up rocks he probably shouldn’t, much to Vanessa’s alarm ;-).

Jon at Eagle Point

We started ‘no stopping hour’ to try to make up the time we’d lost on our big detour, however this only lasted about 45 minutes when we just had to stop for snacks as we were ravenous, and getting quickly exhausted. Everyone talked me out of taking the detour out to Mollison Galleries, which turned out to be a fabulous idea, considering the daylight was quickly fading and the next section, from the Mollison Galleries turn off to the campsite, was pretty overgrown and steep downhill and pretty challenging! We were all pretty exhausted, but made it into the campsite with enough time to fill up water, set up tents and prepare dinner before it got dark.

Rocky Creek Campsite
Eating zucchini fritters in zebra patterns
Zucchini fritters
Wearing zebra prints and stripes with Zoe the Zebra

We did a short bit of zen meditation and then fell into bed at around… 8.30pm!

Day 2 – Rocky Creek Campsite to Lake Catani

(via the Rocky Creek Track)

We were all relieved to wake up alive after an insanely hot, windy night where we all lay awake waiting for trees to fall on our tents. They didn’t. Though our Hubba Hubba sadly suffered a small hole from a branch :(.

We were also relieved that the first section of today’s walking trail was along the Rocky Creek Track, which is a fire trail. This meant no bushbashing, though we did start with a fairly sold uphill, and were drenched in sweat pretty quickly. The temperature soon cooled down, and we all headed out on a side trip to Mac’s Point, thus completing the Z shape in the trail.

Mac’s Point rewarded us with somewhat cloudy views over the Great Dividing Range.

Jon, Vanessa & I then left Louise & Jens at another junction, and we headed out on a confusing and unsatisfying side trip attempt to Split Rocks and the Drill Hole. We’re not really sure what happened here, but we did see some signs that appeared to have been there for decades (they showed miles!) and what we think was The Cathedral.

The Cathedral?
Lake Catani – 2.5 miles!

The rest of the hike was relatively easy and we smashed it out, Team Steamroller style. Sadly the weather had cooled right down when we got back to Lake Catani, so we didn’t get to have a dip in the lake, but we did go and explore Chalwell Galleries on a short hike.

Vanessa, Louise & Jon heading up to Chalwell Galleries
Vanessa between a rock and a hard place
Jens at Chalwell Galleries
Vanessa & Louise

Then we jumped in the car for the four-hour (!!!!) drive back to Melbourne, satisfied with an awesome weekend. Big shout out to Louise for smashing her first overnight hike!