|Toyota Land Cruiser 60-Series|
Our group included two Land Cruisers – an old 60-series, and slightly younger 80-Series - both powered by diesel engines. The two newest vehicles in the fleet included a Jeep Rubicon, neatly kitted with many accessories and a Nissan Navara double cab.
My 1996 Land Rover Discovery, in its unmodified factory condition, felt tiny compared to the other vehicles and was the only automatic on the trip.
|80-Series, Navara, Rubicon & 60-Series|
A quick packup and we were on the road for the final drive to the Abercrombie National Park via Jenolan Caves.
Entering from the Eastern side of the Park, we traced our digital footprint using the Memory-Map Android application and the NSW Topographical 25k maps. The firetrails in the area had interesting names – “Felled Timber” ; “Little Bald Hill” ; "Brass Walls”. The campsites, “Silent Creek”, “The Beach” and “The Sink” enticed us to visit each one.
Abercombie NP is well known for its steep ascents and descents, plus being limited to dry weather only. As a result of the gradients, our travel time was slow which meant that the journey time to our Saturday evening campsite took over 4hours to travel the 29km in the park - excluding time for lunch and track negotiation.
|Photo courtesy of D&R|
|Land Rover Discovery - Ascending Brass Walls Fire Trail|
There are a number of campsites scattered around the park. Our destination on Saturday was the Silent Creek campsite. This is a large grassed campsite parallel to the creek (which was flowing but is named Silent Creek for often looking dry).
|Silent Creek Campsite, Abercrombie NP|
It did not take long for the fire to be roaring, flames lifting to the stars and the sound of content conversation echoing around.
On Day-2 (Sunday) we visited two alternative campsites, namely, The Beach and The Sink.
For our group, Silent Creek was the best option for us compared to the other campsites we visited.
The Beach campsite consisted of river pebbles and followed the banks of the river.
|The Beach Campsite|
|The Sink, Abercrombie NP|
The fire trails are in very good condition with good traction in dry weather and plenty of warnings that certain trails are dry weather only.
Recovery was swift as the Nissan Navara was fitted with a 12,000lbs winch. We used a couple of d-shackles and a Snatch Block to assist with the recovery. Within a few minutes the Discovery was pulled out backwards and an alternative route around the water hole was followed. (Additional reading: Basic Guide to Winching)
|Photo courtesy of D&R|
We spotted quite a few kangaroo's and Wallabies with a highlight being a Wombat and a drove of feral pigs (of which there are over 23million in Australia!).
We were very aware that most of the tracks were Dry Weather only so when a light drizzle rain started whilst having lunch, we quickly packing our gear and enjoyed a damp last few Km's on the Link Fire Trail.
Interested in following our route? You can download the GPS tracks from Dropbox:
Day 1 & Day 2 (GPX). Be sure to allow yourself a full day to complete the first part of the trail. Day 2 offers quicker travel times.
A final thanks to my fellow 'Winter Camping' enthusiasts for making the weekend enjoyable.
Abercrombie River National Park was a nice surprise. It surpassed my driving expectations with its gradients which left me pleasantly surprised.
Two vehicles used Memory-Map on a Google Nexus 7 (inbuilt GPS) and Apple Ipad (external GPS) as the primary navigation device. The NSW 25K topographical maps were detailed and accurate.
As expected, there was no mobile coverage.
I used 4x4 Earth as a starting point for the tracks so as to get an understanding of the various routes.
My Land Rover Discovery 300Tdi averaged 13.07L/100km of which 60km (around the park) was spent in low range.