After a failed attempt the first time to Mt Stewart this time we weren’t giving up until we got there.
The Second Attempt
So on Sunday, we were up early as per usual and on our way. We met up with Bradley Heidi, Dirk & Blake at Waratah and headed for the start of the Mt Stewart track again… and again we worked on the same old fallen Myrtle that was in our road last time but this time we come prepared with chainsaws…..
the problem was the big one was only just sharp enough to cut through butter but it did the job slowly. This allowed us to get the zooks through without much effort but unfortunately, it was still a little too tight for the Hilux so we parked that up and kept on moving.
The next obstacle we knew about had already been cut out a bit more so we didn’t have to worry too much about it but it was at this point where Bradley said he had no Brakes in the Zook.
Unfortunately, our bush mechanic skills couldn’t help us out and it was to early in the day to pull out so we decided to push on and make use of the dual transfer case low-range to keep the Zook slow and steady.
Not much further down we came across Mine and Jacinta’s Archnemesis…. The Whyte River…. where I nearly lost my camera last time haha.
This time though even though the weather was horribly the river was a lot lower and a fair bit calmer.
The ‘Slug’ made it through with not much trouble at all this time thankfully but the zooks struggled a little on the opposite bank as it is steep loose rocks and Bradley didn’t have any brake’s but with a little winching and some strap work we were up and away once again.
After getting through the Whyte River it is a short scramble through some muddy swampy land then up and over a hill to the Castray River.
At this point, we thought we might be on foot for the rest of the way but Blake volunteered to strip off and walk it to check depth and the bottom to see how soft it was. the good news was the bottom was hard, the bad news was it was about ball sack height and the other side was a nearly vertical step close to a meter in height so straight away that eliminated the ‘Slug’ from fording so we decided to stop and have an early lunch and get ready for the walk ahead of us.
After lunch, though we all got a bit more adventuress and decided to try the barge out that is here. First up Bradley and Blake went across which was all good until Blake fell through one of the gaps and got his knee stuck and a boot full of water.
So this was our first recovery mission for the day After prizing Blake’s leg free and seeing how well the Barge floated we decided to try to get the ‘Slug’ up onto it and float it across.
Unfortunately, this didn’t this didn’t go to plan as we couldn’t quite get the balance right and no one was really keen to get into the freezing cold water to balance the barge. I was still determined though so I thought I would ride downstream a bit to see if it got shallower all I managed to do was get myself bogged so this led to our second recovery of the day.
After this, I decided to park the ‘slug’ up for the rest of the trip but we still weren’t finished yet by this stage Bradley had decided to give the crossing a crack in the Zook. (can be seen here) He had some success after a quick winch. Dirk wasn’t as keen as his Zook is a bit lower but we still managed to get a vehicle across. So after shipping a couple of beers across and the rest of us we were on our way again.
Although we only had 2.5km to go until we were at Mt Stewart it took about 3 hours to get there as it was extremely overgrown and there was a hell of a lot of trees over the road to clear away.
So after a mammoth effort by everyone clearing the track, we finally made it to Mt Stewart Mine. Mt Stewart mine was a Lead, Silver and Zinc mine that operated from 1890 to 1912 which produced on average 90 ounces of silver per ton of ore removed (more info here). We found a couple of collapsed shafts some ruins of possibly the old crushing plant and a few shafts.
We were a bit keen getting into this Adit as it looked like it could collapse at any time but couldn’t help ourselves had to have a look and were disappointed as it unfortunately only went for about 20m before there was another cave in.
This was located directly above the adit. Further, into the bush we found old tram-line
and a massive hole in the ground.
Not convinced we had found everything we were looking for we decided to head a bit further down the track
and found more ruins in an Alluvial that was full of volcanic rock which turned out to be Tunbridge and Kellys Alluvial workings which were worked for platinoid, Osmium-Iridium (more info here) which was located and also diverted Stewart’s Creek.
From here after a massive day out we headed back to the vehicle’s to load up and also decided there will be a Mt Stewart Part 3 in the near future as there was so much we missed in the area on this trip and we can’t leave any stone unturned.
Hope you enjoyed
Full Video here