Mt Kooyoora, Kooyoora State Park

Look out, I’m back again. Remember the footnote in my last post? How I was going on a five day wander? Well, I did as stated and believe it or not, I returned with all of my limbs intact. Quite a remarkable turn of events.

Strolling the Wilderness Coast from Mallacoota along the Croajingolong National Park and up through the Nadgee Nature Reserve to Wonbyn, has more than enough large words for one sentence. There were many interesting sights, such as whales, dolphins, pond water, ticks, Alpha males and more. Should I write about that trip or detail this one, which I did with Smuffin on a bleak, freezing couple of days in the Kooyoora State Park?

Okay, you don’t win any prizes for what I’ve selected to do, as there’s a slight giveaway by the title. This entry has sat on the back burner for a while and I might as well knock it off now. Mind you, it caused a bit of angst as not a lot happened, the photos were a mixed bag and really, Mt Kooyoora is quite a smallish hill, which we knocked off in a few hours. Mm…

Anyway, I sat down a few days ago to quickly tap out the post, but it seems to be jinxed. It all started the other day when a mattress suddenly arrived at the front door. Don’t you hate that? I’d just typed in the title when the light in my lounge room was dimmed by a mattress suddenly blocking the window. Stepping outside, I thought the best thing I could do was drag the springy beast inside. The trouble was, within 0.2 seconds of lifting I felt my spine implode and have been left with a sore lower back. Writing is hard when your back has detonated and I’ve got some words of advice. Warm up before you lift any marauding mattresses.

After a few days, the back slowly returned to its normal level of creakiness. So, I sat down again to write this infernal post, but as I did so I spotted a sink full of dishes. Out the corner of my eye, they were bothering me, so I downed my keyboard tool and decided to quickly whip those filthy plates into shape. Guess what happened? Within 0.2 seconds of cleaning a glass, it shattered into a million pieces leaving me battling spurting blood, which besides hurting, also stained my soapy bubbles. It really was annoying and as I was sure no one would believe me, I took a photo. Here I am losing blood outside (too dark inside for a photo). Does the blood make my hand look tanned?


A few days have now passed and the hand is feeling better, so I’m resuming writing this cursed entry. Hopefully I can finish it now, but you never know, I may drop dead before the end. Who says hiking can be dangerous? As I’ve clearly shown, I’m under more threat sitting at home.

What about the walk? I’d read about it in a few different books and took track notes from GT’s book, ‘Daywalks Around Victoria’. Initially I considered Mt Kooyoora as an overnighter, until I realised the entire hike is only 10 km and the elevation gain is about six inches. Instead, we decided to set-up the Smuffin base camp caravan and just do the whole thing as a day walk. How do you think we went?

I guess selecting July was not ideal? Not the warmest of months? Anyway, we headed up and propped at the Melville Caves Camping Area. A word has been invented for what we felt when we arrived. It’s called ‘freezing’. In fact, for the evening, I don’t think we saw each others faces, due enormous clouds of condensation that enveloped our heads every time we spoke.

We spent a few hours checking out the nearby Melville Caves, which really aren’t caves at all. I’m considering a separate post on them though, as they’re quite interesting and there’s also some of the worst font I’d ever seen for a number of years on display.

Returning to the camp ground, a cold, wet night ensued. Smuffin had to endure sleeping in a caravan, whilst I had the better option. A tent being buffeted by wind and rain with a touch of water ingress, combined with escalating profanities was clearly the best choice.

Come morning, the weather was bleak, but at least the rain had stopped. A quick inhalation of food and we were off and racing. In the car. There’s no point walking from where we’d set up, so we drove up to the White Swan Carpark and kicked off from there.

It’s interesting to see areas, which had been been mined up to 150 years ago, still look shithouse. Who would have guessed, turning the earth upside down would do that? I hopped down into the old mine to examine an interesting looking tree root, clinging to the earth bank…


…but little did I know I was under surveillance.


Once under way, the bush was damp from the recent rain…


…and Mt Kooyoora was nowhere to be seen. Enveloped in low cloud, it was out there somewhere.


Do you see Mt Kooyoora? It’s Just behind the tree

Oh, we actually got lost approximately 15 feet from the car, but enacted the oldest trick in the book to find our way again. Just keep walking uphill.

It wasn’t too bad either, as we found a ridge, which led us all the way to the top. It sounds like I’ve fast tracked a bit, haven’t I? Well, I have. I guess this is the result of not having many photos to choose from and not a lot was going on. The clouds did clear on the way up though, as we weaved our way around boulders…


…until reaching the top. I must say, it’s a mighty impressive looking area to camp, with large areas of grass on flat ground. We decided to come back at some point to do that, but maybe not now, as the warmer months would probably bring out all sorts of lunatics. Actually, I’d like to show you these grassy areas, but I seem to have forgotten to take those pesky things called pictures.

One thing of note is there must have been a long removed structure on top of a boulder. Was it the official summit rock? Mm… An old metal piece was visible from down below…


…so I elected to clamber up for a look. Using the little known ‘arse ascent via crack attack’ method, I began…

…and stopped. Are you kidding me? One has to know their limitations. Yes, I may have been able to get to the top, as it’s only about 10 feet high, but there was every possibility I’d tumble down and spear head first into the ground. When you weigh 120 kg, you’ve got to take this sort of crap into consideration.

It was a now a matter of strolling west towards West Peak, which is quite an interesting name. Views were to be had…


…of the farmland surrounding the mountain.


The walking had a mixture of rocks…


…and more rocks. No, Smuffin isn’t praying to the rock gods, but rather, using his own crack attack to move forward.


It’s quite a strange landscape of boulders…


…dotted across the top in intervals.


Some needed to be climbed…


…before emerging onto open areas…


…surrounded by pools of water from the recent rain.


Talk about a photographic nightmare. Staring into the sun with its accompanying washed out white sky was a little tricky. What you’re seeing is the best I could come up in the conditions.

Mind you, looking in the other direction, the light was a little more favourable…


…whilst again, I noted we were under surveillance.


I enjoyed the large sections of grass, which made for comfortable walking…


…not to mention the always intriguing boulders laying around.


On our way down off West Peak (is that really its name?) I noticed a spot on my map called ‘Mushroom Rock’. I wandered off to have a look and duly found it. I guess it looks mushroom-like? Then again, maybe it’s more like a nicely risen soufflé?


Post-soufflé, I’ve got nothing to add, as we hit Mount View Road and honestly, if someone can give you a lift here, you’d take it. Quite a tedious stroll, which rubs in the whole experience by being slightly uphill for its length. The following photo is how it looks and really, this is as good as it’s going to look.


Before we knew it we were back at the car and done for the day. Oh, there’s Melville ‘Crap Font’ Caves, which was interesting at sunset, but otherwise our work was done. A quick pack up and we were whizzing back to the big smoke.

Is that it? I think so. I was going to link the GPS track, but I couldn’t be stuffed, as the kettle is on. Don’t you hate that? Oh, did you notice one thing? I survived at home long enough to finish this off. Anyway, roll on the next saga…