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T MACLBOTTGU 0402200/6591580 ASL230 via Oven Camp Ridge to OVENCRIDG7 ASL 1002 8.2 km

370 minutes



1: 25000 Map


(AGD 66)

Waypoint Name Zone Eastings Northings



Winterbourne UTM MACLBOTTGU 56J 0402200 6591580


Winterbourne UTM OVENCRIDG2 56J 401330 6590100


Winterbourne UTM OVENCRIDG3 56J 400500 6588750


Winterbourne UTM OVENCRIDG4 56J 0399500 6588450


Winterbourne UTM OVENCRIDG5 56J 0397825 6589024


Winterbourne UTM OVENCRIDG6 56J 0397125 6588575


Winterbourne UTM OVENCRIDG7 56J 396338 6588437


This is one of the hardest routes out of the Macleay. The option taken in these notes – starting at Bottom Gully- appears to be the best of a difficult lot. That section is steep, and thereafter the rollercoaster nature of the ridges, the ease with which one could take a wrong turn, and the thick undergrowth in the last bit, makes for taxing walking. It is hard to believe that this was a regular route for taking stock from the riverflats to the tablelands. There exists (p. 34- Bark Hut Oxley Wild Rivers NP 2008 Andrew Messner – Published by NPWS) a description of such a drive with the sheep “winding up the immense acclivity, feeding as they went, and seemingly unconscious of what a mountain they were ascending”. I’ll bet you won’t be ‘unconscious’ of your climb! However, there are some wonderful views to compensate.

Looking directly up the Macleay towards Blue Nobby, but as we are still low down in the valley the big ridge above Blue Mountain Creek obscures Blue Nobby Mountain itself.

The mists are a feature of these deep valleys- they’re usually gone 2 hours after sun-up.


In the foreground Kerosene Creek Ridge sweeps down from the Cocks Comb, while Blue Nobby Mountain is the bump on the horizon at the top left.

(Photo Don Hitchcock)

The Cocks Comb, with Tabletop Mountain rising well above it to the right. (Photo Don Hitchcock)


You can tell the age of an Echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus) by the sharpness of the quills- this one is fairly young. Few things disturb them- foxes are very patient, and will wait till the echidna relaxes its grip on the ground and roll them over. (Photo Don Hitchcock)

There are remarkably few gentle saddles like this one on Oven Camp Ridge- it’s a roller-coaster. We climbed up 1220 metres, and down 340, in this section.


Our last view of the Cocks Comb for the day. Tabletop Mountain is very obvious behind it in this photo.

The flat bit of ridge, and a recent lunch, probably explains the happy smiles. Starting to wear it down! (Photo Pieter van Haeff)

The New England Blackbutts had a very thick understorey of Fringed Wattle (Acacia fimbriata) on the final kilometre of the trip, that had sprung up after a fire a couple of years ago.

We had placed the ribbon on the way down, and now are removing it. A very welcome sight! Apparently the ridge was kept open by the people bringing sheep and cattle up from the Macleay. We all developed a healthy respect for the pioneers who could handle stock in this country after doing Oven Camp Ridge.