Great South West Walk Day 2

Forest: Cubbys Camp to Cut Out Camp (15km)

That morning I got up before sunrise, when the first birds started to chirp. I was in no hurry to pack up and leave, so I took my time and enjoyed a quiet morning without the slightest bit of wind. Only the birds could be heard.

I was just about to leave when I saw a 4WD coming towards the campsite. All the campsites are accessible by car, but usually only for Parks Victoria and maintenance staff. It turned out to be Gordon, the walking coordinator for the Great South West Walk. He was driving from camp to camp with his partner to install new information boards for walkers at each shelter. Funny enough I did actually call him a few weeks before I started the walk, to ask a few questions regarding the walk, and he remembered me calling.

I watched them install the info board (designed by Parks Victoria) while I packed up my gear. Around 9.30am I left the camp.

Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo
Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo

The morning is usually the best time to see wildlife, and during the first two hours or so, I did plenty of stops to watch and photograph kangaroos and cockatoos. I spotted some Gang Gang Cockatoos, which I had never seen anywhere else before. The forest walk was truly beautiful, and the track well maintained.

Forest
Forest

While having a break on the side of a forest road, I met some guys from the Heywood Fire Brigade. They told me they were planning to do burn-offs in the area soon. Somehow I got the feeling they weren’t expecting to see walkers at that time of the year, or maybe it was just not common to attempt the whole walk solo.

A little bit later I arrived at a large timber bridge, after which it was only a short walk up the hill to Cut Out Camp. Again, I was the only person there. Another beautiful quiet camp in the middle of the forest.

Bridge before Cut Out Camp
Bridge before Cut Out Camp

Usually I drink the water from the rainwater tanks without treatment and I never had any problems. At Cut Out Camp however I noticed tiny insects swimming in the water. I decided to treat the water from now on, but to my disappointment it seemed I had forgotten my water treatment pills at home. (A few days later I actually found them in a secret pocket of my toiletry bag, but until then it meant boiling the water. Which meant using more gas than planned…)

Cut Out Camp
Cut Out Camp

I started a campfire but the first attempt using pieces of hardwood didn’t go too well. Later I tried again and discovered how much easier it is to light a fire when you throw in plenty of dry eucalyptus leaves. Makes sense really, given all the oil that is inside the leaves. I just love how much you can discover and learn when you go bushwalking.

Campfire
Campfire

Wildlife seen: Eastern Grey Kangaroo, Crimson Rosella, Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Long-billed Corella, Gang Gang Cockatoo, Fan-tailed Cuckoo.