Hidden Valley (March 2018)

It’s always nice to explore a new area – no one on the trip had been into this area of Morton National Park before. The first challenge was finding the Sassafras entrance and driving along the road.


The gate at the turn-off on Braidwood Road


At the NP entrance

That successfully negotiated we then had a long and fairly boring fire trail bash, though Dee and Alex did manage to have a ‘swim’ in a small creek we passed along the way. Things started getting more interesting when we got nearer to The Vines and the vegetation changed from low heath to rainforest.


Clive in the forest (trying to avoid leeches!)


As usual a plume of smoke follows Alex around


Alex surveying the land at lunch

It was nice to be on a track rather than fire trail as we headed down to the Hidden Valley turnoff.


Hidden Valley turn off

Five of us headed into Hidden Valley, visiting Dark Brothers Cave and scrambling up onto Sturgiss Mountain where we enjoyed wonderful views.


Dark Brothers Cave (I presume?)


Views from Sturgiss Mountain – Pigeon House unmistakeable in the distance


Descending Sturgiss Mountain, views over Styles Plain


Clive on a scrambling section of the descent

Returning to our packs at the Hidden Valley turnoff we headed to Styles Creek where I was hoping we’d find a campsite. Fortunately there was – quite a luxurious one at that! Having been in Eucalypt forest for much of the walk it was great to come out onto the flats where there were great views of the surrounding features.


The team at camp


Sturgiss Mountain at sunset


Quiltys Mountain overlooking Styles Creek

The temperatures indicated we’d tipped into Autumn with most of us slightly under done on the warmth front overnight. There was a lot of dew but my borrowed bivvy bag did a good job of keeping me dry.


Breakfast time

The second day we just had a retrace of our route (minus the Hidden Valley excursion) from Saturday.


Alex crossing a side creek. Is the log an old bridge?

It was a long, hot walk back along the fire trail.


The long, hot fire trail bash back to the cars

We were all very happy to get to the pub in Nowra for a beer and dinner!

A great walk to get a feel for the area and start planning some further walks.