Rhyolite Track—Woolshed Creek Hut—Coalmine Track

Sunday 3 November 2019

Expecting a 30°C day and after a late-night watching rugby, members stayed away in droves, but a car-load of intrepid trampers headed for Woolshed Creek car park. Off by 10:15am, our leader Norman chose to go up the Rhyolite track in the relative cool of the day. It must have been a mere 29°C then!

We passed a lot of people walking down. They told us the Woolshed Creek Hut was fully booked on Saturday night. A climb of 470m got us to the volcanic rock overhang/cave known and sign-posted as the BUS STOP. Darcy and Norman had prior knowledge that it had been vandalised with marker pens, so they were on a mission to clean the sign. Out came meths and turps to erase most of the graffiti. A job well done.

A three-minute detour at Tri-Falls Stream got us to a superb waterfall with its cooling fine spray. Little detours from the track to Woolshed Creek Hut allowed us to see other waterfalls, then we crossed the suspension bridge and walked on to the hut. The breeze outside the hut was preferable to the warmth indoors, but Kerry ventured inside and started a game of chess with an eight-year-old Japanese boy. It was going badly for Kerry after 15 minutes but Norman came to the rescue. “Time to go”. A face-saving exit for the elder player. The glass chess set lives at the hut but lacks a black king and black knight.

Woolshed Creek Hut. Photo courtesy of Norman Burden

We climbed up and along the sunny Coalmine Track, stopping a few times to read the signs or rest in the shade and got back to the car at 5pm. We drove past the Mt Somers shop in favour of the Staveley Store. Alas the store was closed, so next stop was the Chalk house in West Melton. Many thanks to Norman for his guidance on this reminder of what summer tramping can be like.

At the end of the day Norman Burden (leader), Darcy Mawson, Gavin Chalk and Kerry Moore thought the effort was well rewarded. Note that the Mt Somers Walkway Huts need to be booked in the warmer months. (KM)