The Cascades would be a good place to cool off on a hot day. Photo: Don Hitchcock, November The start of the next section of track, the last leg towards Boundary Creek Campsite, on the edge of the Mulligans Hut Campgrounds. Hibbertia acicularis , Prickly Guinea Flower, a small, low shrub with stiff straight leaves with a sharp point, and bright acid yellow flowers. Flowers in Spring.
There I was, walking along, minding my own business, headed towards Surveyors Creek, when I registered a movement on the track. Then I saw the snake, and jumped back. The big fat snake with a tiny tail hidden here by grass I wasn't about to ask it to pose for a better photo! It is one of the most venomous land snakes in Australia and the world, and is consistently listed in the top ten of the most deadly snakes.
Common Death Adders eat small mammals and birds as a primary diet. Unlike other snakes, the Common Death Adder lies in wait for its prey often for many days until a meal passes. It covers itself with leaves - making itself inconspicuous - and lies coiled in ambush, twitching its yellowish grub-like tail close to its head as a lure. When an animal approaches to investigate the movement, the death adder quickly strikes, injecting its venom and then waits for the victim to die before eating it. This ambush hunting makes the death adder more of a threat to humans.
Unlike most snakes, Death Adders produce litters of live young. In the late summer, a female Death Adder will produce a litter of live babies, approximately 10 to 20, however over 30 young have been recorded in a single litter.
Questions & Answers
The Common Death Adder venom contains highly toxic neurotoxin which can cause paralysis. It can deliver the fastest strike among all venomous snakes recorded in Australia. The last time I had seen a Death Adder was when I was a teenager in Brisbane, and was walking between holes on a golf course, and almost stepped on a nest of ten or fifteen small death adders.
I did a Donald Duck or Wiley Coyote impersonation, the sort of thing where Donald walks off a cliff onto thin air, realises where he is, and walks carefully back again, still treading on thin air. I swear I spun around in mid air above the death adders and went back the way I came! That's my memory of the encounter, and I'm sticking to it. The older I get, the better I used to be….
Bridge across Little Dandahra Creek. The track continues along the Dandahra Creek valley, though not always right beside the creek.
A group of beautiful grass trees, the trunks burnt black by a bushfire about eighteen months previously, but with lush new growth. The whole area along the track from here to the highway was burnt in the fire, but is regenerating well. Little Dandahra Creek is a beautiful part of the world. Large granite tors are sprinkled along its length like beads on a cord.
Directions to Mulligan's Flat Nature Reserve (Throsby) with public transport
Some of the granite rocks are balanced precariously on others. I couldn't work out why this large flat area had been mowed beside the track, but perhaps it was to set up a large tent for maintenance workers for shelter or overnight accommodation as needed when doing track work. The track is superbly maintained, and even kept mowed. A few minutes later you arrive at this bridge across Surveyors Creek which joins the Dandahra not far downstream to make the track to Dandahra Picnic Area on the Gwydir Highway accessible.
A few kilometres later you come out of the open forest and begin to traverse swampy ground, just before crossing the vehicular road to Mulligans Hut Campgrounds. Here the track meets the vehicular road to Mulligans Hut, Mulligans Drive, and crosses it. There are two parallel tracks towards Boundary Creek at this point, but the Surveyors Creek track was closed where the orange plastic can be seen, and so I chose the slightly longer Dandahra Crags Track, accessed via the Dandahra Crags Car Park.
Surveyors Creek Track has been closed for some time, but this sign now indicates that it is open for those who are suitably prepared for the journey. The track which has been cleared and mowed to Dandahra Crags Car Park, metres away from the track junction, passes by a swampy area on the right. This is a side walk to Dandahra Crags, and it is worth going along the track a short distance to get a good view of the Crags.
Looking down the long swamp between the two tracks. This swamp would be a mass of hundreds of thousands of Christmas Bells a few weeks after this photo was taken. There are many swamps like this on the top of the Northern Tablelands, and I believe they are former snowfields left over from the last ice age, when snow and ice covered much of the higher parts of the area for most if not all the year, though so far as I know there was never any glaciation as such.
The Mistake left and Cardinals Cap right. The Jacky Lizard, Amphibolurus muricatus , is pale grey to dark brown above.
It has a series of large black angular patches along the middle of the back bordered by a pale grey stripe from neck to tail. The pale stripe may be broken into rounded rectangle shapes or diamond shapes. It is 10 cm long excluding the tail, and eats insects and other small invertebrates.
At this junction, you may take a short path to the highway, or continue to the left along a track with some superb waratahs and other flora. The waratahs are superb. A steel mesh walkway has been put across this hanging swamp to both provide easy access and to protect the swamp itself.
- XS AND Ys of Algebra For Adults.
- A long walk for Mr Mulligan.
- Walking Tours in Dublin, Ireland.
- Mulligans Hut to Boundary Creek - World Heritage Walk.
- Graduate Job Search (Century business).
- Trip via Surveyors Creek Trail to Mulligans Hut and return, 2009.
I was amazed to find Waratah seedlings coming up in the middle of the track! The end or start of the Surveyors Creek Track on the left, and the start of the track to Boundary Creek on the right, on the other side of the Gwydir Highway. I don't know if this was a controlled burn or not. Patersonia glabrata , or Leafy Purple Flag. There were many of them at this point on the track. Some Grass Trees were starting to shoot again, they are almost immune to bush fires.
Not long after this the heavens opened, and I was drenched on the way to the car when I delayed getting out my raincoat until it was bucketing down. I stripped off and changed into dry clothes in a shelter at Boundary Creek, and drove home. It was a great trip. Not far from the picnic area, I came across these 'match heads' or Comesperma ericinum.
Comesperma ericinum , commonly known as Heath Milkwort, pink matchheads or Pyramid Flower, is a slender shrub of the family Polygalaceae. It grows to between 1 and 1. The leaves are 5 to 25 mm long and 1 to 4 mm wide. Purple, lilac-pink or white 'winged' flowers are produced in clusters at the end of the stems from October to January. One of the great things about the circuit is the signage, which is very well done. It is hard to get lost on this trip! Petrophile canescens This is one of the Conesticks, and is a shrub 0. The cone shaped fruit are eaten by parrots.
The crest of the ridge, with the track now dipping down to meet Tin Ore Creek. Leptospermum sp.
Friends of Mulligans Flat
Another Petrophile canescens , this time with a number of flower heads arranged terminally on a stalk, with one floret completely open. Middle section after Crockbrack is pretty soggy in places along the fence line. A walk worth completing and one to bag in the Sperrins. In previous weeks there had been snow and there were remnants of this along the walk. No matter where you start you will have a steep climb to the top of Crockbrack- pretty well signposted just keep an eye out for the styles and marker posts.
Pretty boggy at points and one small valley that you have to climb down into could be easily avoided without going too far off track. Looking forward to doing this walk again on a warm summers day! I like the quiet Irish Sperrins. This walk was fantastik. Another question: Is the Mulligan Pub still open? When I was there, it was closed! It's a sustained climb on farm tracks and an open mountain section which is grand in any weather before descending on farm tracks.
I'd be careful if the forecast isn't the best though as the open mountain section could be treacherous if you weren't confident in low visibility. Take a flask and enjoy the views when you reach the stile at the top! Definitely one I'd do again and again. Excellent walk with quiet country roads and panoramic views to delight the senses. The signage is a model of its kind - clear, well-positioned and at sensible intervals.
In contrast to the other commenters, I found the latter half of the walk quite soggy and boggy, but we had just experienced several days of unseasonably persistent rain. I can't compare the trail to any of the other Sperrin walks as it was my first - but definitely not my last. Well-marked and well thought out route, thank you. Great walk with flowery lanes before you get to the tops and then huge views. Firm paths most of the way.