Birdwood Lakes
A lonely unmaintained trail to two beautiful alpine tarns and a pass with an awesome view.

We originally intended to traverse across to Burstall Pass, but lost too much time with misdirection in the morning.
This was still an excellently worthwhile hike.


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The trail properly starts at Mount Engadine Lodge, but you can lose about 3km by bushwhacking some 300m across a swamp.
We brought sandals specifically for this, but unfortunately, we weren't able to locate the proper entrance to the forest on the other side.
This left us bushwhacking for over two hours, before we found the Commonwealth Creek and the trail running along it.
Once we were on the trail, it was an easy enough walk through first forest, then meadow, then scree, until we crosses Smuts Pass and had a view of two beautifully undisturbed mountain lakes.

Jen, Laurier, and Rachel crossing one of the many swamp channels.

Meadows below Mount Birdwood.

Upper Birdwood lake and unnamed peak above

Lower Birdwood lake and its cirque.

Continuing past the upper lake, you reach a col overlooking the Birdwood creek drainage to West.
We started to traverse a ways past the pass, but turned back after deciding we didn't have the time to make it to Burstall.

View from Smuts Pass back down the Commonwealth Creek valley. Mount Galatea is the prominent peak at centre, The Tower to its left. Rummel Lake and Pass are tucked in between these two. Hidden behind Galatea is Gusty Peak.

Birdwood Pass and valley below from traverse beyond the col.
Whistling Rock Ridge is visible through the pass.

View from the col; Rachel raptly comparing with map at right.
(l-r) Whistling Rock Ridge through Birdwood Pass, Snow peak (large foreground), and Mounts Leval, Vavasour, and Warre across Spray river valley.

The way back was much easier - knowing our way this time - interrupted only by the discovery of a pretty waterfall.
On the crossing to get out of the swamp, I managed to get a good shot of the proper entrance to the trees - this will be much help next time!

Jen and Ella and the waterfall cascade.

Laurier and Rachel.

Ella hanging on while Jen dips her head in the stream to cool off.

Ella crossing a large creeklet on the way out.

The clearing you must head for.
***If you do this hike, study this photo carefully!***
The trail starts in the clearing behind the rocky bit shown - there are other, incorrect rocky bits.

Photos taken by Jen and Rachel

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