Samil Lagoon/ Lake – Mt Kumgang

En route back to our hotel from a spectacular hike to the Kuryong Falls we made a stop for a short walk to a viewing platform over Samil Lake.  

Samil Lake is an 80 hectare freshwater lake, 9-13 metres deep, within the Mount Kumgang Tourist Region, in the south-eastern part of North Korea. It sits about 2 kilometres from the coast of the East Sea of Korea ( the Sea of Japan to non-Koreans) and 9 kilometres north-west of the border with South Korea. 

Continue reading “Samil Lagoon/ Lake – Mt Kumgang”

Kuryong Falls – Mt Kumgang Walk

Mount Kumgang, or the Kumgang Mountains, is a spectacular and stunningly beautiful mountain range, also referred to as the diamond or the thousand peak mountains. The mountains are located in the South East corner of North Korea, bordering with South Korea, on the other side of the infamous demilitarised zone. Between 2002 and 2008 hundreds of thousands of tourists from South Korea, in particular, visited the area. Since then it has very much reverted back the ‘the unseen North Korea’ visited by very few international tourists. While the mountains are a hikers delight and one could easily spend weeks here we were limited to an afternoon’s hiking to Kuryong Falls and a short visit to the Samilpo Lake (see seperate review) – but what a delightful afternoon it was.

Continue reading “Kuryong Falls – Mt Kumgang Walk”

Shoreline Walk – Return via Western Foreshores Walk (part) – Googong Foreshores

The Shoreline Walk is a popular and easy four kilometres return lineal walk along part of the western foreshore of the Googong reservoir, within the Googong Foreshores reserve. Rather than return via the same route I continued along Shannons Inlet (otherwise the turnaround point) until I connected with the management track and the Western Foreshores walk and used that track to complete my walk. This added nearly a kilometre to the walk’s length and sightly increased its difficulty but it let me walk through, and enjoy, an area of open grassland with sweeping views of the countryside, the reservoir and the Queanbeyan escarpment to the east. It also gave me a less picturesque view of suburbia housing in Googong village, off to my left, as I approached the end of the walk. Give yourself at least an hour and a half to enjoy this walk.

Continue reading “Shoreline Walk – Return via Western Foreshores Walk (part) – Googong Foreshores”

Bradleys Creek Walk – Googong Foreshores

Bradleys Creek walk, at 14.2 kms return, is the longest and most difficult walk in the northern section of the Googong Foreshores reserve. It is also one of the most rewarding in terms of views and in getting a good cardio work-out. It requires a reasonable level of fitness and, with that, will take around four hours (plus stops) to complete.

Continue reading “Bradleys Creek Walk – Googong Foreshores”

The Black Wallaby Loop Track and Googong Lookout – Googong Foreshores

The Black Wallaby Loop Track is a relatively easy 2.6 kms loop walk within Googong Foreshores reserve and for me has the largest bang for buck, in terms of scenery, of all the walks in the reserve. This bang for buck can be increased if you vary the walk slightly to include a visit to the Googong Lookout and return via the tail end of the Bradleys Creek walk, rather than returning via the bitumen road, as outlined in the reserve’s brochure. Opting for this variation (covered in this post) will add 1.8 kms to the walk making it 4.4 kms, without increasing the walk’s difficulty rating. Allow at least 1.5 hrs for the extended walk.

Continue reading “The Black Wallaby Loop Track and Googong Lookout – Googong Foreshores”

An Evening Promenade – Jongdok Islet, Wonsan

Wonsan has been an important port since it was established in around 1880, primarily for trade with Japan. In 1919, during their occupation of the Korean Peninsula, the Japanese further developed the port and built a causeway/breakwater out to Jangdok Islet on which they built a lighthouse – for the protection of the harbour and shipping, mainly their own.

Continue reading “An Evening Promenade – Jongdok Islet, Wonsan”

The Honyong-Cotter Track, Cotter Reserve

Having completed the Mt McDonald Summit walk by just after 11am my plan was an early lunch break by the Cotter River, down by the Dam, and then to do the slightly longer Bullen Track walk to the Cotter Caves which, due to vandalism, I had heard were no longer open to the public, but thinking that the walk would still be worthwhile.

Continue reading “The Honyong-Cotter Track, Cotter Reserve”

Mt McDonald and the Cotter Catchment Lookout Walk

On a recent walk into the former Sherwood Homestead I had views of Mt McDonald in the distance – one such view depicted below. This reminded me that while I had walked part-way up the mountain, to the Cotter Catchment Lookout, I had not yet visited the top. To-day’s early spring walk would put that right and I would make a slight deviation on the return to re-visit the dam/catchment lookout. As it turned out, this was one of the best walks with the best views for the effort required that I have done in a while – highly recommended.

Continue reading “Mt McDonald and the Cotter Catchment Lookout Walk”

Tin Hut Dam Walk – Googong Foreshore

At around 1.5 kilometres (or just over two kilometres if take a short side trip for a look at the Queanbeyan River and the lower reaches of the Googong Reservoir as I did) the walk around Tin Hut Dam is one of the shortest and easiest walks in the Googong Foreshore reserve. While there is no defined path along the western side of the dam, rather you walk through open reserve close to the bank of the dam, you cannot get lost.

Continue reading “Tin Hut Dam Walk – Googong Foreshore”