Day 4 – Forest Camp to Melaleuca
Walking difficulty: Medium
Date walked: 14 March 2012
My parents were flying into Melaleuca, so we decided to make the jump and stay the night in one of Melaleuca’s cabins.
In order to do so, we got up early.
The walk to Farrell Point is about 6km away through undulating lands. The walking was easy and only took a couple of hours. There are a few hills to walk up and down, but the views are magnificent. There’s a side trip here you can do if you want (we didn’t do it, but it’s on some of the maps).
After getting around Lindsay Hill, you get a brilliant view right down into the Bathurst Narrows, which you have to cross by boat.
If you want to stay here, you’ve got a choice of campsites. Either Farrell Point (this side) or Joan Point (other side of the narrows). I didn’t get to check out Farrell Point’s campsite, but Joan Point’s was nice. Wouldn’t have been a bad night. Though there’s no obvious water around so it could be a bit of a search.
The weather probably gets to decide where you stay. If it’s dangerous looking, stay at Farrell Point until it’s safe to go. If it’s nice weather, cross and stay at Joan Point. That way if it turns nasty overnight, you don’t get stuck.
Crossing the Bathhurst Narrows is a bit of fun too.
We crossed easily (there was a strong current), and had lunch on the rocks of Joan Point. We saw several boats passing through it, and one man pulled up in his tinny. It was the first person we’d seen in days.
Launching the plastic boat was easy. The fibre glass boat was not. I have no idea how you’d get this into the sea if you were by yourself. There were actually three boats when we were there. I think one of the fibre glass boats had a hole in it.
After lunch, it was a 10km+ walk into Melaleuca. It didn’t seem to take that long. We were moving pretty fast. It took us about four hours. We had a walking style by now. Walk hard for one hour, then have a five-minute break.
We saw the runway about 30 minutes out from Melaleuca. It was very exciting. We ambled into Melaleuca by 3:30pm. Heaps of time to spare and explore. Melaleuca is a fascinating place.
We grabbed our new supplies from the hut (we had the food for the South Coast Track flown in), and staggered up to the huts.
We stayed the night in one of the huts. We dried out all our stuff. We had a think mattress. It was luxurious and bliss. There was no one else around either. So we had the hut to ourselves.
As the sun went down, we finished the fourth day – and the first leg – of the trip. We were ahead of schedule, and had heaps more food than we needed. The great weather helped significantly.
The total distance walked in the last four days was 76.80km, according to my GPS. In “moving time”, (when the GPS was moving), it took us 21 hours and 29 minutes. So we averaged 3.6 km per hour for the Port Davey Track.