Living with intent, social engagement, learning, growing, giving
Today we reveled in a day together without children and embarked on a strenuous bush walk that would have been too difficult for our children. We drove to Namadgi Visitor Centre in Namadgi National Park, had a quick chat with the ranger and set off to climb Mount Tennent. The visitor centre is nicely laid out with informative signs, a live carpet python, and a shop. We passed a Woodlands loop track that would be easy for children and elderly people to traverse and has a shed with more informative signs inside. We continued to the road crossing and registered for the walk then began the ascent.
The track is well sign-posted and steep in parts but never difficult in terms of footing. There are a few wooden seats along the way and Cypress Lookout makes a nice break after the first short ascent. When we reached the lookout we encountered a group of about fourteen teenage boys with Outward Bound guides who were on their 5th day of a 7 day hike. The head guide was friendly and showed us on his map where we were to go next. The boys responded promptly when the head guide told them it was time to move on and shouldered their heavy packs without complaint. We then passed them again about 2 hours later as we descended and they made their slow way towards the summit. We also passed a group of friendly teenage girls on an Outward Bound hike and shared cheerful greetings and jokes about their packs.
At a few points along the track we had lovely vistas of the forest and the valley.
The vegetation changes from dry eucalypt forest near the visitor centre to tall stands of beautiful gums with grasses underneath and some snow gums near the summit. The rock formations are beautiful with granite full of phenocrysts and mineralised joints and some tors.
We encountered many different reptiles from a brown snake that thankfully slithered away from us, to many types of lizards and a goanna that decided to stay put as we descended and almost walked upon it. I had such a fright from the goanna that my legs wobbled vigorously even though it clearly had no interest in us! We saw a few types of ants, a few kangaroos, some galahs nesting in a tree but not many other animals. We encountered two other walkers besides the two groups of teenagers.
Most of the walk is on a narrow rock trail but 1km from the summit the trail opens onto a fire-trail that gives access to the fire lookout tower on the summit (closed to the public).
We enjoyed the view at the summit and briefly it felt like we were the only people around. Visibility was imperfect perhaps due to bush-fire smoke and also the thunderstorm that was rolling in from the south.
We walked fast worried that we wouldn’t complete the hike in time to pick up our children from school but ended up finishing the walk one hour earlier than the expected 5 hours. Just as we climbed into the car the thunderstorm reached us and we drove slowly through torrential rain with plenty of time to spare. It was a lovely walk that we will do again.
More information in other posts on Mount Tennent: