The Green Gully Track // Hut Hiking in Northern NSW

“Hut-to-hut” hiking might conjure up images of Tasmania and New Zealand, but you don’t even have to leave New South Wales! The Green Gully Track in Oxley Wild Rivers National Park links 5 restored stockman huts for a top shelf multi-day hiking experience without the shoulder strain. Katie Marston took a long weekend to check it out.

Photos by Benny Littlejohn

Highlights

  • Four days of trekking in a World Heritage-listed forest
  • Not seeing any other humans for three days
  • Five individual heritage huts equipped with camp beds, stoves, fire wood
  • An abundance of wildlife, powerful owls, snakes, dingos
  • 5 kilometres of walking and wading along the magical Green Gully

The Lowdown

Taking advantage of two bank holiday days, we escaped our desks and headed North to the Oxley Wild Rivers National Park. The Green Gully Track is a fair old drive from Sydney (8 hours) but worth every minute.

The late night arrival along 40km of track was surreal and we were given a taster of the beautiful wildlife we were to see over the next four days.

Each hut stayed was different, basic but well considered and made the experience an adventure rather than a survival mission. We didn’t have to carry tents, sleeping mats, stoves and cutlery, a wonderful gift from the National Parks and Wildlife service.

The huts each tell the story of their history and are restored with some original artefacts. They come equipped with everything you could need, firewood, inside and outside fire pits, drop toilets and toilet roll. The third hut even has a hot shower!

Each of the four hiking days took us through different terrain, ranging from forestry fire tracks, steep descents through beautiful forests or walking up a river (The Green Gully). The circular route means you’re unlikely to see any other humans on days two, three and four. Add panoramic views of untouched flora and enjoy the feeling of being totally alone.

I relished the solitude until we heard the dingoes howl and crossed paths with no less than five snakes.  It would be foolish to not take a satellite phone or PLB with you in case of an emergency.

The distances varied from 13.5 km to 18km but were different enough in terrain that you felt ready for the next. The track is sympathetically marked, enough to keep you on your toes but not requiring navigation as such. My Fitbit was pretty handy for gauging the distance between the markers, 5km along a river takes much longer than you’d anticipate.

Essential Gear

  • A booking
  • Sturdy walking shoes which are good in water. Second pair for evenings if you don’t want wet feet
  • Long trousers
  • Warm clothes/ beanie
  • Sleeping bag
  • Head torch
  • Emergency personal locator beacon
  • First Aid kit
  • Water purifying equipment
  • Dry/plastic bags for river crossing

How To Get There

The Green Gully track is at Cedar Creek, 37km north-east of the Oxley Highway between Walcha and Port Macquarie, along well-maintained gravel roads that are suitable for two-wheel-drive. It is a solid 8-hour drive from Sydney – Get petrol before you leave the A1 as you still have a couple of hours to drive.

Skill Level

Intermediate – you need to be fairly fit to carry your pack for long, steep sections and be ready to walk in thigh-high water for most of the third day.

Activities

  • Hiking
  • Wading up rivers
  • Nature spotting
  • Campfires
  • Star-gazing
  • Dreaming

Distance Covered / Duration

The trek is 65 km split over 4 days ranging from 14km to 19km a day. There are some steep descents: 900m on your second day, river crossings and wading on your third day and a healthy dollop of up and down on your final leg. All in preparation for the BBQ and feast you left at hut five!

 


Get Prepared:

5 P’s for Multi Day Bushwalks

Eat Like A Backcountry King

While you’re close:

A Wet Monday Morning In Dorrigo National Park

Fairy Tale Forests at New England National Park