When we went: July 26 – 27 July 2015
How we got there: we drove to Kiata campground from Melbourne, it’s about 4 hours by car. The nearest town is Nhill.
Activity summary: camped overnight, short nature walk (20 minutes or so?)
What we did (the details):
Well: We went to Little Desert intending to walk the full 4 day desert discovery walk. We’d been watching the weather for weeks looking for the right window, and we thought this was it… but it was unseasonably cold and windy the night we camped. We decided that our 3 season gear wasn’t up to the conditions, so we just spent the one night there and returned home the next day. We’re now deep in re-planning and re-equipping mode. Time to buy some 4 season stuff so we can do this properly. So the bad weather was unfortunate, but it was good that we learnt some of the limits of our gear and can now regroup.
We arrived at Kiata campground around 3pm and there were waves of rainy weather moving across constantly from the west. We set up camp in a break between squalls and then retreated back to the car as a wild spell of strong wind and cold rain hit us. After what seemed to be the end of the rain, we escaped from the car and re-oriented the tent for the incoming weather. We then wandered around the camp site a bit, admiring the bird life and taking photos before deciding to walk the short Red gum walk around the camp area.
The Redgum walk sets out on a clean white sandy track, skirting around the camp area and into the bush. The vegetation was really interesting and unique, and we saw (and heard) lots of birds.
Back to camp as the sun was setting, we cooked up dinner (Red curry beef!) and sat in the tent reading as it got dark. We went for a night time wander and enjoyed the clear bright sky, then bedded down for the night with a milo (and ginger cake, yum!). The night was very cold, sleep was difficult as I never really warmed up.
When we arose the next day, the car was coated in ice and there was frost all around. I’ve slept in the desert before, so I know desert nights get very cold, but our gear didn’t really cope. We conferred and decided it was probably safest if we called it and returned home to rethink.
We shall return.
Birds we saw:
- white winged choughs (lots),
- brown treecreepers (lots),
- emus (a pair wandered through the camp site in the early morning),
- galahs (lots and lots), white browed babblers (lots!),
- red rumped parrots (quite a few)
We also heard two birds of prey calling back and forwards, early in the morning – maybe swamp harrier?
We also so lots of roos, and heard some unknown growly animals making lots of noise early in the morning. But they went all quiet and/or fled when the birds of prey flew over, so we didn’t get to see them. We suspect probably possums.
Books: This walk is described in Take a Walk in Victoria’s National Parks by John and Lyn Daly. Of course, we haven’t done the walk yet 😦
- Park notes for Little Desert National park: http://parkweb.vic.gov.au/explore/parks/little-desert-national-park