Sunday 11th January 1998
Geehi’s head to Pedens and Townsend Hut, near Tantangara Dam
After parking the cars at the Circuits Hut track head, we walked up the Circuits Hut trail to the Pedens Hut fire trail, which heads north east across the Gulf Plain to the Little Gulf Cree and a good spot for morning tea. From here you can make out Townsend Hut, on the western side of the Murrumbidgee River, with views up to Gulf Plain towards Circuits Hut. From the Little Gulf Creek the trail leaves the open plain and heads into the tree line and the next valley, down to a small creek, where a faint trail leads up the valley to Pedens Hut.
The original hut was built in 1917 for Arch Peden and was part of his Gulf grazing lease. Today’s hut is a small, one room iron hut built by Bill Adams in 1929 or 1930 using some of the material from the original hut. While Andrew and I walked off towards the Murrumbidgee River for a look, the rest of the group had lunch and a rest in front of the hut. By the time we returned, everyone had had enough of the flies and were ready to leave so Andrew and I had to eat on the run (or rather, walk). We decided to follow a track past the hut in the hope that it would bring us back to the trail a few kilometres from along the fire trail, which it did.
We followed the Pedens Hut fire trail until we came into sight of Gulf Plain and Little Gulf Creek. Here we turned west along the ridge towards Townsend Hut, first crossing the Murrumbidgee River. Alex Deerson sprinted across while the rest pf us waded through in a more sedate manner. From the river it is only a short walk to the hut through a field of wildflowers. Townsend Hut was built in 1940 by Charles Townsend for grazing, but sadly now it has fallen into disrepair. It is an L shaped hut with a number of rooms.
From Townsends Hut we headed down the valley on the western side of the river until it got too steep, where we had an interesting river crossing (except for Lyn and Jack who had taken the opportunity to cross further upstream.) From there it was across the bend in the river and the last ford where Alex again sprinted across while the rest of us waded through the thigh-high (or for some people, bottom-high) water.
It was then only a short walk back to the cars and the finish of an energetic walk.