23 September 2019

On the Tarlinton Bridle Trail – Scott's 'Epic Super Adventure' from Braidwood to Cobargo

| Alex Rea
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Scott Page and friends depart Braidwood early Saturday morning. Photo: Supplied

Ultra marathon runner Scott Page has spent the last year researching, trekking and riding on horseback preparing for an ‘Epic Super Adventure’ that started yesterday (September 21) at Braidwood.

Scott and friends have embarked on a five day journey, running from Braidwood to Cobargo following the historic Tarlinton Bridle Trail.

The track takes in 200 km and about 50 river and creek crossings. The Tarlington Track is named after Scott’s Great Great Great Great Grandfather, William Duggan Tarlinton.

In the 1800’s three Aboriginal trackers showed William the pathway from the tablelands to the Bega Valley, a track that went on to became the major thoroughfare linking the fertile lands of the Monaro with the coast.

The Tarlinton Track now runs directly through The Deua and Wadbilliga National Parks and declared Wilderness Areas.

William Duggan Tarlington.

Traditionally, local horse-riding groups maintained the track by way of use, but with restrictions now on this land, the last 20 years has seen a decline in use and as a result, a degradation of the track.

“As a descendant of the great pioneers I have decided to take an amazing group of ultra-athletes and run/trek this great track from Braidwood to Cobargo this September,” Scotts says.

“This is to bring awareness to the track and the possibilities of multi-use for the future.

“My motivation is to get people using the tracks so they will always be there.”

Scott has visited the area three times and has connected with local bushmen and landholders, who have taken him out on horseback to blaze the track using local knowledge and GPS technology.

Last year the National Parks and Wildlife Service released a book – ‘Tracks in the Wilderness’ which recognises and celebrates the importance this track (and others) have to many generations. On the front cover is a photo of Scott’s Grandfather, WG “Super” Sutherland, the last of the bushmen to use these tracks as part of his livelihood up until the 1980s.

WG Sutherland

Scott says “Our adventure will pass through some truly wild areas – from the head of the Shoalhaven River to Woila Creek, Tuross and Wandella.”

Each night will be spent camping at significant spots that are directly linked to the pioneering days.

“[It’s a] great history that should not be forgotten, this is a group of mates and descendants getting together and having some fun.”

The ‘Epic Super Adventure’ is also raising money for the children’s charity 4ASD Kids which supports families living with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Donations can be made HERE.

Map of the Epic Super Adventure. Photo:Supplied

Epic Super Adventure Itinerary:

3.30 am September 21, Day 1: Braidwood to Breakfast Creek:

Distance: 85km(approx) Time: 9-12hrs.

Course: Bitumen, Good dirt Road, Fire Trail. Undulating

Highlights: All Clarke gang Bushranger country. Lunch at Tarlinton’s original landholding.

Support: 1-2 mobile vehicles all day. Lunch stop with all the Super Support crew.

6.30 am September 22, Day 2: Breakfast Creek to Original Belowra Hut:

Distance: 32km (approx) Time: 5-7hrs.

Course: Mostly downhill technical with many creek crossings.No real track, just blazes in trees going back to the 1800’s. Then Dirt road, bush scramble and a paddock bash to finish. Plenty of creek crossings.

Highlights: A true Wilderness experience. The original Cattle runs of the Tarlintons and Sutherlands. Super’s secret Spring Mountain Hut. Camping the night at Belowra hut.

Support: Mobile support checkpoint manned (on horseback) by the O’brien Family.

Top-up checkpoint vehicle at Wolia Ck Crossing, Belowra.

8 am September 23, Day 3: Belowra Hut to Super’s Plaque:

Distance: 18km Time: 4-5hrs

Course: Good dirt road, one big hill, some river crossings. Bridle track.

Support: No support on course today.

Highlights: Tuross River crossing (could be a swim). We detour off the Tarlinton Track and onto Supers Bridle Track that he used for many years. Keep your eye out for his rock cairns where he put a stone on a stone every time he stopped there.

6.30 am September 24, Day 4: Super’s Plaque to Neddy’s Grave:

Distance: 27km Time: ?

Course: Fire-Trail, two Big Hills, and a lot of old Bridle Track. Plenty of River crossings.

Highlights: The many Tuross River Crossings. Camping at Port Phillip Neddys Grave.

6.30 am September 25, Day 5: Neddy’s Grave to Cobargo:

Distance: 35km (We think!) Time: 5-7 hrs.

Course: Bridle Track, Original Gazetted Road,Dirt Road, Bitumen.

Highlights: Coming into the Wandella Valley and witnessing for the first time, as WD Tarlinton did, the fertile lands. Running the last 1500m with all the kids from the Cobargo Primary school.

Ultra Marathon runner Scott Page. Photo: Supplied

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Veronica Coen11:06 am 22 Sep 19

A terrific expedition- good luck Scott and team.

I’m also keen on learning more about the Aboriginal cultural history. I knew that Aboriginal people guided Tarlington to the Cobargo area. However, there is little known about the tribal movements and purposes for travel before European historical records.

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