The Lerderdeg River has cut a 300 metre deep gorge through the sandstone rock of the Great Dividing Range between Blackwood & Bacchus Marsh. Most of the country in this area is dry & open eucalypt forest with a fairly solid undergrowth.
This was another of my very early walks (1970’s) and was a lesson in why it is important to read up on the track notes and understand the local environment before charging out into the bush.
Our plan was to walk from near Blackwood, down the river to McKenzies Flat. This was a distance of a little over 30 kilometres. (Not too far for a couple of fit 20 year olds – we thought). With a car shuttle required, we left a car at each end of the walk.
On the first day, we followed a fairly well defined track along the river and enjoyed the scenery of the area, camping at O’Briens Crossing. It was here that we realised that we probably ‘bitten of more that we could chew’ as we were nowhere near half way along our proposed route. However, on the following day we pushed on through more of the gorge until we ran out of track and the river was far too full for us to be able to walk along it or traverse it.
Looking for an escape route, we decided simply to climb a spur to the north where we should come cross O’Briens Road. After a lot of hard going and heavy bush bashing we eventually found the road and fortunately picked up a ride with a bloke in a ute back to our car at the beginning of the walk.
Some good lessons learnt!