Tabletop Track – Day 1

Monday early morning my alarm clock run shortly after 5 o’clock. I had some breakfast and finally checked my backpack. I prepared the walk the best I could do, even got some gpx tracks from another travel blog. Janet my travel mate decided on short notice not to join me on the hike. Hence, I went by myself. The last time I had network connection I also checked the latest news on the official NT national park website. We called them also a few days ago to make sure we don’t need a permit, as this is sometimes the case from September on. It took me about one hour to walk the link from the car park across the camping area all the way up to the actual tabletop track. It’s a round track, that means it has at least 4 links from where you can start the hike. And if you’ve a driver you could even just do a section of the overall track. The first part it was a bit rocky, and I already reached the highest point of the overall track. On top of the tabletop the landscape changed and it was more easy to make some kilometres. I crossed a lot of creeks, but all of them were already dried out, as well as also the landscape around. After about 3.5 hours I reached the campsite at Tjenya Falls. The nearby creek already dried out and just left a billabong behind. I had my second breakfast here. As it starts going hot pretty quickly I decided not to rest to long, but to proceed. After maybe 2 km I crossed another creek. And like a miracle there was still water flowing. I was so happy to found water in this dry environment. I already had a Plan B, if I don’t manage to find a good water source. But luckily I filled up all my bottles and had also a quick wash. I declined to have a swim in the pool down, as it was already late morning. Additionally, 3 kilometres later or so I reached Wangi Creek, which was actually also flowing. I just filled up again my bottle, before I continued. The place is really awesome, with a lot of shade and some kind of micro climate. Nevertheless, I decided to walk another 4 kilometres to the campground. This was pretty rough, as I stumped across several boulders shortly after noon, when the sun is almost on top of you with no shade to escape. Then just a few hundred metres before the campsite, I missed also the track and walked for almost 100 metres in the wrong direction. At about 14 o’clock I arrived at the campsite. As the creek which I was following was already dry before, I didn’t anticipate to find flowing water, but as there was a swimming sign on the map I hoped at least for a billabong. And indeed there was some water left. The backup would be to walk back to the main Wangi Creek about 2 km, and get some water from there. I rested in the shade, at least in what the dried leafs could provide for the next two hours. Then I saw a large cloud of smoke pretty nearby. The bearing of this bushfire was in NNE, so not really where I want to go, but it was hard to guess a distance. I observed the smoke the next hours. In the evening there was also smoke from East. That’s not so good, as it’s the direction where I wanted to go. During dusk I pitched up the tent und had something to eat, before I lay down early. Even after sunset I could see some light from the bushfire. I wasn’t scared about that at the moment, because the area where I was, was just recently burnt. But nevertheless, I thought about several alternative options and plans of how to proceed.

Shortly after sunset I arrived at the start of the Tabletop Track from Walker Creek
The landscape changes pretty fast…
…but is throughout dry during this time of the year.
The Tjenya Falls already dried out and just left a billabong behind
But like a miracle, the next creek was still flowing and a decent refreshment in this harsh environment
Sweating but pretty happy to walk along this track
Also the Wangi Creek was still flowing on the Tabletop
In the afternoon suddenly clouds of smoke from bushfire appeared pretty close
At the campground there was only a billabong left, but no water was flowing
Me camping alone in the nature. There was nobody around for kilometres, just the skies above me.

One thought on “Tabletop Track – Day 1

  1. Thanks for the reference to my post (https://hikingtheworld.blog/2018/07/15/tabletop-track-litchfield-national-park/) – hope the tracks were useful. Surprised you could do the walk if there were active bushfires – I had to get a permit and there only say a few smouldering remains along the track.

    Interesting to read your post as a solo hiker; I found it a bit stressful at times not being able to find any GPX tracks or a detailed topo map before setting out… I enjoyed the circuit but was also relieved to finish the walk!

    Looking foward to rading your next instalment…

    Like

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