12 Hike Challenge: Brooklyn Dam Night Hike

I had intended this last walk of the year to be an overnighter but it turned into an “in the nighter”. The country was in the grip of a heatwave so walking in the daytime heat was unwise. The remaining hike in my 12 Hike Challenge for 2018 was an overnight walk so I tried to find a short walk to a pretty, secluded campsite. Brooklyn Dam, on the Great North Walk, seemed perfect.

I set out at 6pm, as the temperatures began to fall. There was two and a half hours of daylight left and it was only a 3km walk. After a very steep climb the track levelled out. I ducked through the bush every now and then when there was the promise of a good view. I was well rewarded.

Upon reaching the dam I set up in a perfect spot. From the door of my tent I had a lovely view of lily pads floating on the water and I looked forward to this being my morning view. I had intended to set up without my fly but the cicadas were so loud I needed something to block them out. I explored the dam a little, called my children to wish them a good night, then settled into my steaming hot tent.

Just as I was starting to relax, I heard music and a large amount of hollering heading my way. It was a huge group of teens or twenty somethings and they immediately began setting up for a boozy night right behind my tent. I popped my head out and said hello. They were speaking a different language although there was some English here and there. Fires were not permitted at this campsite and there was a heatwave anyway, but they lit a massive campfire anyway.

I had a choice now. I could pop over and maybe join in the festivities, or I could find somewhere else to set up. As I have become, and really always have been, an old fuddy duddy, I chose the latter. Once I’d packed up (in record time!) I headed off with the intention of setting up on the other side of the dam at the small secondary campsite. But as I got going, the light from my headlamp showed me just how little light was left. I called it a night. The kids could have the campsite, they’d have more fun if they didn’t have to consider disturbing someone anyway.

There was still a faint glow of daylight tinting the sky so I walked as quick as I could. My headlight shined on the new Great North Walk trail markers and I appreciated the new design. They stood out incredibly well in the lamplight. When night had fully descended I started eying off the bush every time I heard a rustle. At one point I disturbed a wallaby and I could hear it bounding through the bush. There was one section that felt very strange so I picked up the pace. I do love night hiking! You experience the world in a light beam and fill in the blanks with the noises from the bush. It was fantastic!

I reached the train station with a minute to spare. Even though I didn’t stay overnight I still had a lovely walking experience and was able to experience some night hiking, which I’ve only done twice before.


9 thoughts on “12 Hike Challenge: Brooklyn Dam Night Hike

  1. Oh that’s awful, l haven’t had that happen to me yet, l did have one couple set up their tent right next to mine with over 10 other tent pads to choose from 🙄 but loud music and a fire when you shouldn’t be having a fire is just plain rude. I think l would of packed up as well and let them have it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would have just been uncomfortable all night, either trying to ignore them or fake socialising. Nothing to keep me there. I could have gone to the second site but in reality it was way too hot in that tent so it was better to leave.
      I still had fun though.


      1. Also you probably would still be able to hear them over the lake, sound travels so well when you don’t want to hear it lol

        Liked by 1 person

      2. When I’m in nature I’m trying to get away from those things so it would never be entertaining to me. I guess everyone is different though. So glad l haven’t had that experience

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Modern tents are so quick to put up and take down! This is something to be grateful for when in a situation like yours 😀 I hope you had a good Christmas, Nathan and best wishes for a happy, healthy and successful new year xx


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