With christmas done and dusted for another year, Cara and I packed the family, and loaded the Ute with our camping gear and headed away for some quality R&R. It was from here that we would set up camp and set about doing some exploring.
With summer storms passing over us we would awake to an overcast, yet still warm and humid morning. With our 2 kids running around camp playing and doing whatever kids do, us adults, some would say big kids, set about filling in our morning playing UNO, hows that for a blast from the past. If you have kids of your own, have you ever noticed that the moment you want to do something they stop playing and want to do whatever it is that you are doing? With the kids hanging off of us, UNO was a hit, with all involved, with laughter ringing through the valley like a riot of Kookaburras. We then decided to up the ante and gave UNO Jenga a go, I didn’t even know there was such a game, with the kids getting restless and bumping the table, that game didn’t get much table time.
“Who wants to go for a bushwalk?” was the question, stupidly asked. Now to take, sorry i should rephrase that, to carry a 4 year old and a 2 year old for a bit of a hike, on a quite warm, humid day mind you, as well as bringing our 2 dogs and our mates bringing their doggo with them, well it sounded like a fantastic idea at the time. Heck any family time is good so why not torture ourselves at the same time.
After having a bite to eat for lunch, we let some air out of the tyres, loaded the kids and dogs into the Utes and headed for the nearby hills for some adventure. Nestled in the foothills of the Strathbogie Ranges we made the Lima Valley our playground for the afternoon. From our camp we passed through the reasonably sized Mt. Lindsay campground, normally popular with 4 wheel drivers and dirt bike riders alike. We were surprised to see only one small camp setup there, which could have been an indication of the rather warm weather we had been having.
Our first challenge was to travel up the Mt. Albert Track and make our way up to the Rocky Ned Lookout. As you near the top of the Mt. Albert Track, there is an old WW2 plane crash site from the early 1940’s, an incident that unfortunately had no survivors. Although we didn’t visit the crash site this time round, it is sign posted and worth a visit if you are into a little bit of history. The Mt. Albert Track is by no means a hard track in the dry weather, although some sections are a little on the steeper and slippery side.
From there we continued across to the Rocky Ned Track, which near the beginning is a rock face that you drive across, which is a fun and interesting stretch, I think the reaction Cara gave me was “We don’t have to drive across there do we?” “Yes dear, yes we do.” Not too much further down the track it was time to park the vehicles and take the 1.7km return walk to the Rocky Ned Lookout. This would normally be a reasonably easy walk, however dragging a couple of dogs and carrying 2 kids, certainly increased the difficulty of the walk.
The climb to the lookout is fairly straight forward, although it does snake its’ way up the hillside, through some beautiful native bushland. A moderate level of fitness would be advised before attempting this walk, especially with young kids in tow. The Rocky Ned Lookout itself, sits atop the Rocky Ned peak which is about 700m above sea level. It is a large rocky lookout, in which a safety barrier has been erected for obvious reasons. The lookout has easterly pointing views reaching almost 180 degrees from North to South, towards the Lightning Ridge. The Lightning Ridge hides views of the refreshing Lake Nillahcootie.
It is a fairly easy descent back down, from the lookout, to the car park, easy enough that even the kids were eager to walk back down for most of the track, well at least until my daughter Cailin slipped on some leaves on the track and fell over.
Even though I have spent the best part of the last 20 years riding motorbikes and driving 4 wheel drives in this area, I was unaware of the Rocky Ned Lookout. It was a nice little walk, with amazing views at the top that i would highly recommend anyone who is in the area to do, even if it means you need to carry the kids up there. It is definitely worth the effort.