On this trip, we venture into Savage River National Park to try to find Atlas Creek Falls.
I have been eying this waterfall of for a couple of years now and we made a half-hearted attempt about a year ago but soon gave up as the bush was very thick myrtle regrowth and it was soaking wet. So instead of trying to find it in summer when the bush would be nice and dry, we for some reason decided to try to find it now at the end of Autumn. Luckily though everything was still relatively dry.
After a couple of hours driving we came to the start of the track which leads down to the old Atlas mine where there are 3 adits and the commodity was Lead and Silver. It was first leased in 1892. It was lost but later rediscovered by Mr B. Farquhar in the early to mid 70ies. (Info) Unfortunately, we never rediscovered the 3 small adits as the myrtle regrowth in this area was just about impenetrable.
After seeing how thick the regrowth was we were beginning to think that maybe this wasn’t a good idea to continue as it was extremely hard to keep your bearings but we marked the way in with pink streamers so we could get out if need be. When the Myrtle regrowth ended the thick Horizontal started but luckily it was patchy and we finally made our way down to a little creek for a reprieve. Of course whilst we were enjoying the space the creek provided I found some fungi.
After enjoying a breather and a bit of space we checked the map and realised we still had a bit of a way to go but thankfully the bush was manageable now so we climbed up a spur then down the other side and up another and came across a pretty good view. This view also showed us exactly where we had to go… Right back down into the valley. So as the picture faces we went right and followed the spur down into the main valley. This was the only practical way down as the two valleys either side where all but cliff faces and where also very teasing as we could hear what sounded like reasonable waterfalls on either side but we stayed focused and eventually scrambled down Atlas creek and no sooner did we get to the creek we came across the first little waterfall. At this stage, we still had about 3 to 400m to cover and as the valley was practically a gully we decided to walk the creek. About another 100m up we came across another little waterfall. All but another 100 or so meters up we came across yet another little waterfall and a creek junction.
At this stage, I wasn’t sure if we had seen the marked fall or not as the falls we had already seen where pretty good but we decided to trust my waypoint on the map and kept on following the creek downstream. The rocks were like ice they where that slippery and at this stage I was thinking to myself ‘gee Jacinta has done well not to fall over or in the creek yet’. No sooner had I thought that I heard a bellow of cursing and thought… There it is… haha. After the wet feet incident it was only about another 60 or so meters and we finally made it to the top of Atlas Creek falls, it was a bit bigger than what we thought and the bottom was looking out of reach as the banks around the falls were extremely steep but I couldn’t come this far and not get a decent shot so I scaled around and found a rather precarious way down. In my haste to get down the bottom and get some photo’s I didn’t pay any attention to how I actually got down there and couldn’t find or pick a route to get back up and for a brief second felt an urge of panic come over me as I was in a rather precarious position but I kept my calm and managed to scale my way back to the top of the falls. From here we slowly made our way back and stopped nearly every couple of meters for more fungi shots.
Even come across some we have never seen before.
This one looked like it was something out of star wars.
And a couple of my favourites.
and then a purple one to finish off
Overall this would have had to have been one of the hardest adventures we have tackled although the return trip was only 3.8km it took us nearly 6 hours and the bush particularly the regrowth Myrtle made you feel rather claustrophobic and disoriented it was well worth the reward in the end.
Hope you enjoyed.
An amazing adventure. Well done you two. You sure find some fantastic places (and fungi).