There are two ways guaranteed to get your feet wet when walking – walking just about anywhere in Tasmania and the walk to Victoria’s Lake Tali Karng along the Wellington River.
The lake is in the Alpine National Park and is a bit of a mission to reach. The route I took involved 16 crossings of the Wellington River. Hence the guarantee of wet feet.
My experience of walking in Tasmania – which usually involves sloshing through bogs and shallow streams or in the rain – has made me comfortable with stepping into water and wet boots.
So instead of stopping to unlace my boots and going barefoot into each river crossing on my way to Tali Karng, I merrily plunged into the calmly flowing clear water.
I did this walk in summer – just after Christmas – and had spectacular, warm weather.
I started at the bridge over the Wellington River on Tamboritha Rd, past the outpost of Licola, about a four-hour drive east of Melbourne.
The track was easy to follow and the scenery typical Australian bush. The warm temperature had the cicadas screeching extremely loudly for much of the daytime.
There were plenty of campsites along the river and I chose a spot at the base of Riggalls Spur Track for my first night.
The climb up the spur was long and steep and took me above Tali Karng and to the junction with Gillios Track, which I followed steeply down to reach the lake.
When I got there I found I had the lake to myself, and the pick of the campsites on its shore.
The walk out followed the Wellington River again, which is fed by the lake.
I had one challenging moment when I crossed the river at one crossing and couldn’t find the track on the other side. It just disappeared into a tangle of nettle bushes. I spent about half and hour wandering around looking for the track and contemplated going off-track in the hope I would find it.
But I figured that was not a good idea (and my wife would kill me if I got lost and had to fire up my epirb) so instead I sloshed down the river until I reached another crossing and rejoined the track.
Then it was an easy walk back to the car for the loooonnngggg drive home.