Sunday, January 26, 2014

Andrew Hill, Kinglake National Park - Jan 2014 (Day-hike)

It's been over 3 months since I had hip surgery.  I will blog about the details of that separately.  For now, I just want to say that the core recovery from a hip replacement is very quick - you can be walking around normally within 4-5 weeks.  Full recovery takes a few months and a common trap for folks with newly replaced hips is to go too hard, too soon.  Bad shit can happen, like getting a cracked femur.  (ugh).  So, despite the fact that I reeeeeeally miss getting out into the Victorian alps, I've had to bide my time, while the full healing occurs.

Apart from the usual bunch of exercises from the Physio [Side note: Physios must surely be the most frustrated healthcare professionals.  I mean, does anybody ever stick with their recommended exercises?], I have been adding a bunch of exercises to build back my strength - squats mostly - and doing lots of walking.  To build up for the multi-day hikes, I have started doing a few day hikes. This was the first one.

Kinglake National Park is only 40 minutes drive from my home in Melbourne's NE suburbs, so it was a good option for my first forays back into the bush.   To beat the summer heat I headed off early on the Saturday morning, parking my car at the Gums Camping Area.  Nice spot for a night or so for a couple or a young family. Most of the camping sites were occupied.

Sign at the entrance to the Gums Camping Area.  It's a lovely little camping area.  Most of the dozen or so sites have a car and camping space plus a fire pit, with hot plate.  

The walk starts on the main road, opposite the entrance to the camp site.   It follows a well-graded track (you could just about take a 2WD up it in dry weather) that grows increasingly steep. I reached the summit of Andrew Hill after 40 mins.
Andrew Hill Track.  

No caption necessary!

The author, enjoying the self-referencing location
The descent to Mountain Creek Track went through some really beautiful, tranquil forest surrounds.
Descending the southern end of Andrew Hill Track

Mountain Creek Track

Mountain Creek Track

Ant feast

The 'hill' bit of the walk ends around the 10 km point, where I reached Island Creek Picnic Area.  From there it was a very pleasant half hour walk back to the Gums Camping Ground, following Island Creek.

Island Creek

This was a nice walk and I would recommend it. You can do it as a stroll or you can step it up and turn it into a decent workout.  It would also be a a good trail run.

As for the hip? It was a little sore after the walk, but this went away after a day or so.  So, a successful start back onto the trails.

The key facts:

Distance: 11.5 km
Time: 3 hours
   "Daywalks Around Melbourne" Glenn Tempest. Walk #57. Avail. from Open Spaces Publishing;
   Parks Victoria page for Kinglake National Park.
Navigation: The trail is along well maintained tracks with good signage
Challenge level:  Those with moderate fitness should knock this over in 3-3.5 hours. If you're a slow walker or you are taking younger children, you should allow 4-4.5 hours.
Phone reception: Good reception on the summit of Andrew Hill and in most of the trail.
Water: From Island Creek


  1. This is a nice walk in wetter weather too.

  2. I thought I'd write a comment in Hungarian or Japanese to stir you ....๐Ÿ˜œ๐Ÿ˜then I thought nah .... Just send some emicons ๐Ÿ˜„⚠️
    Seems like you are not alone ...... I'm glad you are spending time walking and blogging ..... This way I can enjoy your trips I was there myself. Kids would drive me nuts asking 234567875576 questions about the ants feast ....I can just imagine Haru : why are ants eating in groups ..... Why do they work for the queen?!! Etc etc....
    Akira would just love a play in the creek .... You didn't mention ....about the water.... Is it cold or just nice .... Nice enough to refresh wash your face ?! Or take a dip ?!?! Look after those hips of yours ! Regarding your feet turning inwards .....and preventing you from walking in circles ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ˜„ there are a few walking excercises you could try ..... One is walking backwards .....placing feet consciously diagonally one after the other.... It's quiet difficult to do so 10 even 5 minutes of it is enough ..... Doing it on your track also relieves tension in the joints .....
    It's so good to read your lines..... Keep us ( your fans ) posted on your future adventures !

  3. Hey Journeyman. Reckon you'd be right there. Though, living in Victoria as I believe we both do, we don't get walk in the wet too often, eh?

  4. Hi Edina. Great to hear from you and that you are enjoying the blog. I don't get a lot of comments in Hungarian (or Japanese), so please feel free to have a go. I didn't actually go into the water, but I'm guessing it was quite nice. I will try your suggested therapy for the hips - it will be fun explaining my behaviour to any walkers I pass (or bump into).


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