A Journal devoted to matters of interest to Members of the Sydney Bush Walkers, Sydney, New South Wales.
Misses Marjorie Hill, (Editor), Dorothy Lawry, Brenda White, Rene Browne and Mr. Myles Dunphy.
“The Bushwalker” extends a hearty welcome to the new committee, - may their meetings continue to be happy and hectic as in the past.
Just a reminder for Club Members, prospective members and others – the Annual Sports Meeting will be held at Lilyvale on 17th July - the trip is marked “eas” on the programme, which does not refer to the events - so get into training right away; and if we can stage a blonding contest, look out for yourselves, as the Bargers have been having intensive training in this direction on a certain stockyard fence, not far from the Bluegum Forest.
Eric found he could move much more quickly when carrying·a large and rusty shovel, but was just beaten by champion Bill Purnell. Bill, as we all know, can move with mighty speed in the water, but shades of all departed grasshoppers, you should see him blonding a fence.
Another who is very slick on his feet, especially on the wobbly rails, is Norm Rodd - he brushed through obstructing greenery as if it was not there, and did not once tread on the “washing”.
Are they having an eating contest at the Sports? If so, I can name several runners-up, but fear of being more seriously damaged than I was in the train prevents me mentioning names.
Jan. Feb. 1931.
When a man acquires a small family and still is afflicted with bush mania he has to pause frequently during his family-sustaining activities and cogitate furiously about what to do with the wife and nipper. Of course he could say quite brassily “I'm off with the blokes, deah. I'll take care of myself and see that I'm not a total loss to you. Bye-bye!” He could toss his 60 pounds swag daintily, twirl a billycan round his index finger and swagger off relieved at having shed his worries, responsibilities and family definitely with a thud. So long as he does not look back and see the beautiful eyes of his understanding wife mist over with the tears of disappointment, and provided he shuts his ears to his young son's pertinent “We goin' camping, daddy?” he is reasonably safe and should have a good time. He does have a good time, for there's nothing like a good buck party in the bush, where blokes can be wire-haired terriers, vociferously insulting to each other, crude, rude and not too blurry particular about anything. It's a great life, – but being married somehow makes the difference to a fellow. His wife does, anyway; and young junior does his unconscious or conscious best.
Well, about this perambulator trip. It was something different, believe me; I've got a backache yet. First I roused the district. There is nothing like publicity; sometimes it produces results. I advertised as follows: “Wanted, a good, strong, commodious pram. for country roads. Twins' size preferred. URGENT. Replies to Footslogger, “Express” office, Hurstville.” The young lady in the office giggled, so there must have been something funny somewhere. Being in a hurry (a necessary concomitant of my existence) I called for the replies too early and so got none. I did not bother to call again because Satan, for my sins, guided me to a second-hand dump at Rockdale and introduced me to the only pram. for the job ever pupped, and a mild-mannered man who had charge of it and gladly put it through its paces. That pram. could do everything but eat and propel itself. It even had nice, red tassels around it, but I found a pair of scissors later and gave it a jazz cut. I suspect that mild-mannered man saw me coming. He thought me a goat, and pitied my child, and wished he could see the works when the child's mother's eyes lit upon that antiquated Pharaoh's chariot. I bought the springless, squat, long-handled, wide, box-like, be-tasselled, heavy iron framed, 40 pound insult to the pram. family, then lugged it to a Henry Ford joint, got new tyres, spares and split pins, and pitched it into the train, where a lot of people looked at it so earnestly that it folded itself up in a new way that neither the mild-mannered man nor myself knew about. Having paid good money for it I felt inclined to pity the resurrected atrocity, but after carrying it home on my shoulder in the form of a hamper (one of its Jekyll and Hyde phases) I gave it a private, unmentionable and blistering cognomen.
Margaret (that's the wife) viewed the thing with amazement then laughed quite rudely. I did the works for her and this time the contraption folded up into a baby's cradle on rockers. We straightened it out again and changed it to a pram. (mountain climbing, caper satanii sp. probably. A scientist might be able to correct me if I'm wrong). Young Milo - our 20 months old curiosity box - climbed on top whilst I held it firmly to prevent it biting or kicking or folding up some other way, then we went for a preliminary tour all around the yard. It yawed, wombled and was quite conversational about the axles, but otherwise behaved itself and Milo was delighted. I hadn't the heart to tell·him he would probably have to walk. That kid has one fault in particular: he takes too much for granted.
We were horribly stuck for time, - that is to say we had plenty of time, but the bush was calling and the kid and the wife were handling their camp gear about every half hour. When they get like that there is only one thing to do, so actually we were stuck for time. How to make the contraption hold a lot of gear and the boy too, was a problem. I placed this cross between a harvesting machine and a billycart before me, sat on a box, peeled two bananas and ate them slowly whilst I studied the problem. Bananas are excellent food, if somewhat slippery to the teeth. I got a great idea, - a really brilliant idea, because it enabled me to put plenty of weight onto the pram in a quick, effective and economical manner. The fact that I had to push it made it doubly interesting; anyway, the problem was solved.
Assisted by Milo (he insisted) I fitted two canvas boxes at the sides, slung from little hardwood booms fitted across the pram. Another box was fitted to the front (or back; who knows which end of a pram. is the front?), new washers were added to the axles to reduce the womble, and some other removable improvements were made. Then blimey! there stood the Kanangra Limited (speed and springs) Express, nearly as wide as a sulky, replete with awning, stays, billycan box, side tucker and gear boxes, foot rest for the passenger, rifle carrier, and new tyres. No other nipper ever had a go-cart like this one. Dismantled, packed and leg-roped so that it couldn't do any tricks it weighed 62 pounds, which included a lot of gear stowed inside. First, we pushed it to the local railway, consigned it to Oberon, and with that fine, large holiday spirit for which we are famous we allowed ourselves to be stung freight rate plus 50 per cent. because the pram was packed, thereby reducing handling by everyone concerned. Returning jauntily to our home we packed our swag and knapsack, packed something sustaining into Milo and ourselves, wiped the boy's nose, turned off the gas and entrained for Oberon.
The kid's education really began from the time we left Central Station. It was “trains” that end and “bunny rabbits” at the Tarana-Oberon end. Instead of being sleepy he was wide awake when we reached Oberon at 4.30 p.m. Everything was fair to look upon. Lovely afternoon; beautiful colour; bracing atmosphere; haymaking and pea-picking; pleasant people, and all that. It wasn't raining; that was the main thing. Getting the pram. onto the road we did no fitting-up but just sat Milo on top, hoisted our packs, and whilst Marg. steadied the kiddie on his perch with one hand I shoved off along the Caves Road for the Fish River Bridge, about a mile and a half distant. No doubt that local people thought us an out-of-work unit shifting camp. The road near the bridge was rough and bumpy, and finding a camp spot and outfitting place was not easy, but finally, round about 6 p.m., we were fixed for the night.
Next morning I visited Oberon for additional tucker and 2 week's supply of apples and oranges for Milo. Back at camp, we fitted up and packed things into working order, and when ready for the road we found we had 199 lbs. gross load to push, haul and carry. It did not appear possible. The pram. complete weighed 135 lbs. (including Milo 26 lbs.). Marg's swag went 28 and my knapsack 36 lbs. Our food supply weighed 68 lbs. including the apples and oranges, some grapes and 1 doz. eggs. Also there were a rifle, torch, small axe, tent and rope, cans and the rest of the usual gear, together with some unusual but very necessary gear. I had heavy, hob-nailed boots and my idea was to carry the knapsack to help weight my feet down and so enable me to push the heavy pram. without skidding on the ground. It worked.
The start-off was not as auspicious as it was conspicuous, because the hill onward from Fish River is very steep and several miles long; in fact, it was, is, and always will be a fair cow. We rigged a tow-rope and Marg hauled on it whilst she humped her swag also. I don't think it possible for a woman to do harder manual work than that. The ascent was a great sight for passing local residents and occasional motorists. We really needed Lazarus Pura and his celebrated Volga Boat Song. That theme is the nearest approach to our sustained epic effort, but does not transcend it in any way. In fact the heaving effort and the grade were so lengthy that I'm afraid Maestro Lazarus would have been articulating in Chinese towards the end, for the sake of better wind and shorter words. When the grade eased to its normal steepness we shipped the tow-line and then the fellow of the party had to show himself no mean pusher. Out in the open one becomes of the earth, earthy. We did. No parents ever slaved for their offspring as we did for our little Question Box, sitting comfortably behind his green mosquito-netting fly screen. The flies were a curse, of course. We were very scantily clad but the sweat trickled down into our boots, for all that. At length the top of the range was attained, also a widened view and another respite. Then came half a mile of sharp, loose ballast that chewed chunks of rubber from the little, half inch tyres and rattled Milo's teeth. This stretch did more damage to the tyres than the rest of the trip's bad places put together, except Kanangra Pass. About the middle of the afternoon we had to stop and give Milo a rest from the constant shaking. At times he must have felt like a blancmange in an earth tremor. About 6 o'clock we camped on Factory Creek reasonably satisfied with the afternoon's experiment. We were learning points about grade and road texture not thought of in either road-walking or motoring.
Next day opened fine and hot and saw Milo and ourselves in our element about camp. An old bloke breezed up with a nice horse, two friendly dogs and a most impressive caution about tiger snakes. Persistent inquiry elicited the facts that one had been killed hereabout the previous year and another 6 or 7 years before that. Anyway, Milo thought the horse belonged to Daddy Christmas. Young hopeful took to camp life with avidity, enjoyed his bath in the creek and spent much time building little dud cook-fires.
The next half day went merrily enough and we lunched near Duckmaloi Bridge, interrupted by minor observations and disturbances of the ever active and curious infant. The overturned skeleton of an old sulky was “gate” or “pram” according to his changing views. He learned about “crow” and “ko-bra” and other things, including “nakes”. Prunes and rice, bread, butter and cocoa filled his little tummy. He definitely drew the line about both condensed milk and lactogen right from the start and could never be enticed to drink either just as they were, warm or cold, but our accidental discovery that a tinge of cocoa in either quite overcame his scruples solved the drink problem.
Whilst we lunched we had the Edith Hill in sight before us. It is a boomer for everything on wheels or feet, so we had to consider a plan of action. First I went a mile onward up the hill with all I could carry, including rifle, water and Marg's swag. Returning, Marg. was put onto the tow-rope, the brat made comfortable, then I set my hobnails firmly into Australia and pushed - and pushed. An old lady we got some milk from reckoned it the hardest kind of holiday she ever heard of. She was more than ever entitled to her opinion after she had watched us out of sight on the upgrade. The long ascent of the Great Dividing Range was arduous work in the hot sun and had to be done slowly, during which time the infant had a good sleep. Much later he got sick of everything, started to holler, had to be given orange juice and allowed to walk. On the right, about 1/2 mile short of the Ginkin Road, we made camp not far from the summit and were comfortably warm despite a sudden cool change and mist.
Next day the mist changed to fairly heavy rain but being very well fitted and glad of the cool change we preferred to push along to the Kanangra turnoff. The rain gradually eased off leaving everything deliciously cool and damp. Then we started the traverse of the six mountain tops to Cunnynghame's “Upper Farm” on Budthingeroo Creek. At about a mile we had a pleasant lunch, after which the real work began, for with the exception of a few good but short stretches, the going was sheer tribulation and hard work. The uphill bits were corkers, Marg. having to take her pack on ahead, dump it, return, hop into the tow-line and haul. I wonder how many other women would do the same thing gladly? The little bloke had to walk at the worst bits. The fact is he wanted to walk quite a lot, but between his slow pace and his desire to collect and play with the countless stones - a play paradise quite new to him - he kept us back; so when we could, we dumped him and his collection of stones and sticks aboard and made the pace. - Persistent effort got us over this rough switchback in time and the last half mile was pleasant and easy, the only really good piece of track in the whole 20 miles of Kanangra track. We just reached my favourite camp spot short of the huts when heavy rain began. All we wanted was 10 minutes grace and we wanted it badly, so I swore at the rain and behold, it eased right off for 30 minutes, then resuming, closed in wet for the night. We were very snug; so was the old pram, under its waterproof cover; and between the four wheels was a good stock of dry wood. We decided to remain in camp next day and have a rest.
Next day was misty and cool and raining off and on. With our small but efficient camp fire and snug quarters we enjoyed it. It was a great environment for the little bloke and a certain amount of wild life filled his day with interest, and we had time to tell him about it. Old Mr. Cunnynghame left his little hut and its column of blue-white wood smoke and came along for a lengthy yarn. He did not know what to think about the pram; he was staggered; it was too much for him, but he appreciated company. He must lead a very lonely existence on this roof of the mountains. Mr. Don Wallace and two mates drifted along, bound on their first adventure into these big hills. They allowed themselves to be persuaded about certain things along the Kanangra-Gingra route by a sticky-beaking old timer (not Cunnynghame), and the day closed with a rabbit shoot, some pleasant discussion and a camp in common. The old timer learned something about packs and packing. As for our venture, we had covered what I considered to be the most difficult part of the way and success appeared possible.
Next day we pushed off for Boyd Creek, 7 miles away. The first 2 miles were difficult and had to be taken slowly. At the head of Little Morong Creek I got water from the secret spring and we had lunch at the side of the road. After lunch we hit the granite and some more teeth-rattling going for awhile, then the downhill section to the Boyd was comparatively easy. Arrived in good time and fixed a comfortable camp. The creek was not running; there was plenty of water in the rock holes but it had dried up several inches so far. By this time we realized our pram was a wonderful vehicle indeed. An ordinary pram. would have fallen to bits long before this. The advantages of the solid iron frame were now obvious. The two-way spring system as fitted to ordinary prams. would have thrown boy and load out on many an occasion or upset the pram. Nothing had gone wrong except that 3 tyres were worn, - torn is a better word. The fourth tyre was not natural; nothing had happened to it. The little 10 inch wheels were miracles of strength. Plenty of oil in the bearings eased the pushing business and prevented undue wear on the hubs. So far so good. Under her load Marg. was toughening up quite well and was enjoying the venture. As for myself I had developed quite a decent rearward action about the legs. Without the pram. I was inclined to scratch gravel too heartily and fall on my nose. The 4 pound boots with their ground-gripping hobnails were right good friends. Although nearly new, the middles of the heavy soles (they were American Army boots) were beginning to wear away. These boots were extraordinary articles; no other boots would have stood up to the work so well.
Next day we set off on the last stage and managed well until near Rocky Top where the pram. had to be hauled up the rough ascent to it, whilst Milo walked (I forgot to state we planted some reserve tucker in a cache cairn of stones near the Boyd Crossing. This eased the general load somewhat). Lunched on top in the sun because the pleasant day was cool at this altitude of 4160 feet. The descent of the Kanangra Pass onward was a “touch and go” bit of business. I felt sure it would be the graveyard of the little bus. For a short distance Milo walked but the large, loose stones were too rough for the little chap so we put Marg's swag in the pram. whilst she carried him. The whole downhill stretch of nearly a mile and a half was done by walking backwards whilst pulling and easing the wheels between and over the rocks. I never realised just how rough the track is until I found myself on this stunt. It was a wander that the thing with its 120 pounds on four narrow, little wheels did not fall to pieces when being hauled and thumped over the gibbers of this rare track. I began to respect that pram. and its makers also, for they certainly knew their onions when they designed it. I had an idea that the next and final stretch to Kanangra would be easy, as certainly it is when walking with a pack, but it wasn't. Whilst two wheels ran easily along one of the ruts the other two we:re forced to bump over grass-tree roots, grass clumps, stones and sticks. Really it was a very rough passage. The pram. was no place for the boy; his brains would have been churned up, so Marg's swag and he changed places. At length Inglis's mud house came into view and the big prospect south lifted into sight. Time 2.30 p.m. We were there, - and there stood the perambulator at Kanangra. Having to cut down weight I had no camera so the memorable event was not recorded pictorially. Pity, because it was a rare sight. Since the pram. had proved itself so indestructible I felt no compunction in proceeding to heave it along the track behind the mud house to our camp spot near the creek. The rocks stopped us for awhile but finally it was done. We realized that it could never be wheeled back to Rocky Top; it would have to be carried there. Really I felt like leaving it there by the camp for good.
We spent four happy days at Kanangra exploring the various plateaux: Mounts Seymour, Maxwell and Brennan to the east; Mounts Pindari, Bungin and the Wallaby Pass on the way to Mount Colboyd; also we went west over Kittani to Mount Banthe and had a swim in one of the pools of the Thurat Rivulet just above the great Kanangra Falls.
At 10 past 5 one afternoon I left Marg. and Milo at the camp and set off for Rocky Top with the packed pram (62 lbs.) on my back. It was a back-bruising and difficult load which I could neither rest under nor slip off, because had I done so I could not have hoisted it again. Arrived at Rocky Top I thought I had better take it on to Boyd Crossing, so continued. Some men who were rounding up and half-hoppling a number of horses asked me to wait awhile, so for 10 minutes I stood under the stress then moved on after them. At the Boyd I placed the pram. at the camp spot, then shot back to Kanangra at a great pace and reached camp and tea at 10 past 8, having done the job in 3 hours.
Next day we walked out with our normal loads (2 swags this time), Milo walking and being carried by turns, and camped the whole afternoon on the Boyd. The waterholes were noticeably lower. Next day we reached Cunnynghame's and spent the following day there. Three very sick-looking tyres were wired to the wheels at 2 inch intervals, but the fourth tyre was still going strong, being only a little worn. Next day the 9 miles journey back to our camp near the Ginkin turnoff on the Oberon Road was hard work, even with the lessened load and cool weather. At camp, first thing junior did was pile wood on the fireplace, even to pulling up the fireplace crotches and adding them to the pile. It was lucky I made a practice of using very thick and short, square-topped tent pegs in case he ever fell upon one, for this evening he ran towards me, tripped on a small clump of snow grass and fell fair on the big end peg. It struck his mouth and luckily his teeth were shut together so that the blow was spread over them. His underlip was split and at first we thought he was badly damaged, but fortunately it was not nearly as bad as it appeared.
The following day we scooted down the long hill to Edith, 8 miles from Oberon, and camped by the roadside. The miraculously good tyre fell off as we mounted the bank to the site. We reckoned there was no point in finishing the Oberon stretch with its two uphill lengths of loose metal, so 'phoned for a car to pick us up next day. Four events happened this night and just how far they were connected with each other it is impossible to say. About 8.30, I think it was, a magnificent meteor fell about west of us. I was outside and saw it plainly and I never saw a better one. It fell very low down to the horizon and if it hit the ground there was no apparent report. Now for the next. About an hour and a half or two hours later there occurred a single and peculiarly sharp detonation, obviously at a distance but very loud. It had a kind of rocketting quality as if the hills obstructed some of the sound waves. I remarked to Marg. that it was a great explosion and that something remarkable had happened and also that it could hardly be connected with the meteor because of the long interval between. So much for what we saw and heard. Next day when we returned to Sydney we discovered that the initial fall of the great Dog Face Rock avalanche at Katoomba happened this same night, at 9.30 I believe. Several days later I learned that a marked earth shake had occurred over a limited area of swampy country (I think it was) somewhere south of Bathurst!! The name of the district was given me but I have forgotten it. Now, what do you make of that?
Anyway, we established the fact that the type of strong “hamper-pram.” such as ours and fitted much the same way is quite the thing for ordinary roads, but the thicker kind of tyres would be better, no doubt. The Kanangra road is too rough for any perambulator and we advise other couples with a bairn not to attempt this back-breaking enterprise but to cut down weight as much as possible and walk there, no matter how slowly. Legs are better than wheels on such a track. Still, young Milo Kanangra reached the place he was named after (maybe the first kiddie to get there) and my pal Margaret enjoyed her first visit to the magnificent scenery which cannot possibly be seen in a stay of less than three days; a week is not too long. I lost a lot of weight because of the dinkum hard work. No doubt ours is the first perambulator to be shoved to Kanangra, and I think it will be the last until a better road is made - and I hope that never happens anyway. Next time we walk.
Myles J. Dunphy. Perambulatourist (for once).
An English Railway Company has just introduced a method of popularising hiking which at the same time has increased Railway revenue. On Good Friday a train left Paddington with “sealed orders”. None of the passengers, not even the driver, fireman or guard, knew its destination until after it left the station. When it arrived at its destination, passengers were given itineraries showing them convenient “rambles” for the day.
In U.S.A. the ““Boston & Maine” adopted much the same procedure, conducting “snowbird” excursion which proved most popular. There the trains carried enthusiasts into parts of the country where snow abounded and left them for the day.
Since some of our members boasted more than a passing acquaintance with Mr. Cleary, it is regrettable that Mr. Cleary is no longer Chief Commissioner of Railways, otherwise we could perhaps expect something of the same sort in N.S.W.
One of the finest walks from the point of view of the scenic attractions and privations (attributes dear to the heart of every Bush Walker) is that from Katoomba to Katoomba via Cox Valley and Clear Hill. The alternating grandeur of mountain peak and mist-filled valley contrasts strongly with the colourful serenity of the placid riverscapes, the whole combining to form a picture wonderful to see but difficult to describe. The privations, as privations usually are, were also positively unspeakable.
We two essayed this walk on the last Anzac week-end and give hereunder our experiences which we trust will prove an adequate deterrent to all young walkers who contemplate emulating our endeavours at any time in the future.
The method of procedure is first to choose your train. We did this without discrimination and discovered too late that a very early precursor of Stephenson's Rocket was attached to the front carriage. After reaching Valley Heights this super-annuated old timer began to feel its age very keenly and finally landed us at Katoomba one and a quarter hours late.
To the tyro I would say buy your lunch before entraining. We failed to do this, and when the pangs began to gnaw, made our way to the buffet which we discovered was presided over by a genial soul who had sold out of practically everything. After negotiations he sold us a meat pie of cold and dank character, rather like a corpse's caress. We ate this, (the pie, not the caress,) drank his red hot weak tea, didn't buy any fruit, paid him the 4/- and got back to our carriage more dead than alive and slept it off.
Arrived at Katoomba at long last, and it was raining very heavily, we walked out of the subway, ignored the snickers of the by-standers, turned to the right and after two false starts proceeded along the Great Western Road past the Shell Depot until we came to the Explorers' Tree. Here we turned off sharp to the left along a partly made vehicular track and after much travail negotiated the slippery sloppiness of Nelly's Glen. This is a delightful prank of nature, almost passable in broad daylight.
From Nelly's Glen the walk along Megalong Valley is delightful in comparison. A dry sandy track, a creek on the right most of the way and undulating treed country making the walking almost enjoyable. Arrived at the Church on the top of the hill, we spurned that section of the country over which we had passed before, and cunningly sneaked away to the left along a steadily rising track, our intention being to get into the Cox Valley down the gulley of Breakfast Creek. By this time night had fallen, and probably hurt itself in the process, because it was very black and gloomy, and after some four miles we noticed a twinkling light in the Settler's Hut and discovered on enquiry that it was one Duncan, a man who knew all about the country but nothing about the track we should have taken to go to Breakfast Creek. After one hour's wasted consultation with him, we took what we thought were his directions and walked in a wide circle, eventually bringing up at the point where the track leads down Black Jerry to the Cox River. This was a frightful disappointment and we almost decided to turn back, but as the obstacles we had surmounted loomed as great as those which we thought we were going to encounter we decided to push on. By this time, of course, the walk had been robbed of all its enjoyment and we were cold, hungry and wet.
The mountain at this point drops down in a grade of about two in one, and care must be taken by the walker to ensure that he does not bump the back of his head on his heels as he negotiates the descent. At long last, represented chronologically by 11.30 p.m. we made camp by the Cox.
The next morning, after breakfast of skilly called by some “Three Minute Meal” and by others sheer rubbish, we set off to keep an appointment which we had with the Bargers for 10 a.m. at the junction of Breakfast Creek and Cox River. This part of the walk scenically is very fine and though the river views are restricted, represent same of nature's finest efforts. It was three and a half miles from Black Jerry to Breakfast Creek, and we would have kept our appointment but for the fact that we discovered an interesting creature under a rock which after a quarter of an hour's investigation emerged into the sunlight and revealed itself as a man. We exhausted his knowledge of the country before moving on, and arrived at Breakfast Creek a mere quarter of an hour after the main party had moved on, this fact being impressed on us by a notice pinned to a river oak. At this point we gave ourselves over to morbid contemplation of the futility of human endeavour, particularly in its application to bush walking, but were spurred to greater efforts by the recollection that Burke & Wills had been similarly situated and had ultimately come to a bad end. We, therefore, shouldered our packs again and moved off, halooing loudly along the river reaches to attract the attention of the main party. Though they had only a quarter of an hour's start, we walked ourselves into a physical decline before catching them up at about one o'clock, and we had no sooner tottered into their company - they were seated in a grassy plot at the time - than they rose and cheerily mentioning something about lunch three miles further on, walked gaily away and left us to our fate.
After a decent interval we moved on and discovered them just completing their lunch at Kanangaroo River. We had just commenced our lunch when the main party rose and bidding us good-bye disappeared until next morning. After attending to the wants of the inner man, we set off again, following the reaches of the River for some seven miles. Our objective that night was Black Dog but the onrush of darkness caught us unawares, and after fruitlessly crossing and recrossing the river about eight times to discover a non-existent track we decided to camp for the night.
In this particular locality sharp high rocks seemed to abound, and despite our best endeavours to locate a suitable camping ground, we were faced with the necessity of taking into our tent a large pointed piece of granite which entertained us throughout the night. It was raining slightly and a fire was difficult to build, but our experience had this good effect that we discovered a real use for a certain comic American periodical which, though yielding us no literary satisfaction before, engendered a feeling of physical well-being by actually persuading the fire to burn.
Next morning we pushed on the two or three miles necessary to pick up the main party at the foot of the Black Dog Track and after breakfast and a swim we prepared for the ascent of Clear Hill. The track rises sheer from opposite Black Dog Rock, and after half an hour's heavy climbing we were really quite fit for nothing but the much needed rest which we took at the first break in the scarp. Thereafter we pushed on along an ever rising track, sometimes steep and sometimes steeper, until we really felt that it might after all be better to lie down and die quietly rather than torture ourselves further in an ascent which gave positively no prospects at that stage of bringing us out anywhere. We pushed on, however, and from a grassy or sparsely scrubbed country we emerged at last into a succession of rocky moraines which marked the summit of Clear Hill. Here the going became infinitely more difficult and it was a very worn and exhausted party which emerged at the summit. The extra mile's walk to Glen Raphael Creek was an absolute torture, but dinner was a meal of unsurpassable excellence.
After lunch and an hour's rest we felt partly restored and the ten mile walk into Katoomba seemed, in its early stages at any rate, in particularly pleasant contrast to our late hill climbing efforts. The track was well marked and led through scrubby and grass country until within three or four miles of our destination, when rocky outcrops and deep gullies succeeded the former easy walking country, and to add to our troubles a keen westerley gale sprang up which almost blew us off the top of each ridge. The country here was very poor, supporting little vegetable growth and practically no fauna with the exception of an odd wallaby.
At last we emerged at Narrow Neck and inspected the broken cliff face at Dog Face Rock. From here the walk into Katoomba, about one and a half miles, was along a made vehicular road and we arrived at seven o'clock on the Monday night more dead than alive but conscious like Longfellow's Blacksmith of “something attempted, something done.”
Eric Moroney and Chas. Harland.
If you frequent the haunts of the Bush Walkers you are sure to hear quite a lot about “the Kowmung”, - and there are some members of the Club who really do know something of that strangely-named river. They have watched its beauty unwinding for mile after mile, and day after day, as they clambered over its rocks, forced their way through its thornbushes and nettles, waded backwards and forwards across its shallows, bathed in its pools, and rested on its banks. They know the grandeur and wildness of its youth, as well as the peaceful beauty of its lower reaches, and the soft comfort of its cattle-tracks.
There is nothing tame or insipid about any part of the Kowmung, but if you want rugged beauty and rough country, they are waiting to test you out - on the Upper Kowmung. But don't attempt to make your way down the river from Jenolan to Yerranderie unless you have stout hearts, strong boots, and plenty of experience in walking and bushcraft as well as lots of self-reliance. There are no traffic cops in that country.
Well, yes, the members of the few parties that have done the trip are inclined to give themselves airs, but as they will tell you, anyone who has been through that country has won his, or her, spurs as a Bush Walker. So far as we know, the latest party to come through was the first “hen party” to tackle it, and they have now adopted as their family name, “Hell's Belles”. Meet them:
Dorothy Lawry (leader}, Win Lewis (“doctor”), Frances Ramsay (cook), Jean Austen (trail-breaker), and Marj. Hill (axe-woman).
There not being any scales very obvious at the Sawmill, the exact weight of their packs when they set off on Monday morning, 16th May, 1932, will never be known, but they averaged about 40-lbs each. The leader thought they “might possibly” get through to Yerranderie in 7 days, but the party was amply rationed for 8 days, so that their food could be made to stretch over a period of 9 or 10 days if necessary. Dorothy and Win. had been through that country before - as members of Harold Chardon's party in May 1930 - the others knew they had been invited to go on a rough trip, but they did not realise how rough.
We started out in mist and a drizzle that lasted most of the day. Instead of following the usual route down Council Chambers Creek, we tried a new one, which proved itself longer and rougher. We followed the Kanangra Track as far as Ned. Cunninghame's, turned to the right along his boundary fence, and then struck diagonally across to the Budthingeroo Creek as he told us it was most unlikely we could pick up the track over the hills to the Hollanders River, but did not start until you were about a mile off the Kanangra Track. Had the weather been clear, we should probably have made a liar of him, but owing to the heavy mist we agreed with him and headed straight for the creek. The Budthingeroo is a twisty, rocky, little creek which we followed for most of the afternoon (Jean, Marj. and Frances thinking they were having a rough trip, and the other two smiling to themselves) till we reached a granite rock-bar through which the creek has cut its way, and over which we had to climb. However, on the other side was a wide, flat valley extending for about 3/4 mile to the Hollanders River. We camped slightly above the junction.
While washing up after breakfast next morning, we looked up from a discussion of the affairs of the nation to see a young man approaching with wonder in his eyes. He and another trapper were camped about 200 yards away, on the river, and had been surprised to see a campfire on the creek the night before, so when he started round his traps he came over to see who owned the tents, and how they had arrived without passing the other camp. Imagine his surprise at finding 5 women, who had not used the good track from Ginkin, but had come down Budthingeroo Creek, and who said they were going through to Yerranderie. He was the last person we saw till we reached that town. We had a good rabbit stew for tea that night.
The Hollander is a pleasant, upland, trout-stream with many limestone outcrops, one of which we investigated without being able to get far inside any of the holes. At 2.35 p.m. we saw granite cliffs ahead, so knew we were approaching the impassable gorge through which the Hollander flows for the last 1/4-mile before reaching the Kowmung. We wasted no time in trying to get through, but turned to our right up Bull Ant Ridge (about 700 ft.), and over to the Tuglow River, which we followed down to the Tuglow Falls, reaching them at 3.30 p.m., and camping another mile down the Kowmung.
Next day (Wednesday} we reached the start of the great granite gorge at 10.45 a.m. and made the 2 1/4 miles to Morong Falls at various levels, reaching a point right opposite the Falls (and about 1,000 ft. above the river) at 2.45 p.m. Our luncheon stop had been from 12.20 p.m. to 1.40 p.m. so we were doing about 1 mile per hour.
In spite of its being a bleak, grey day, Dorothy managed to get a good photo of the upper part of the Falls. The total drop of this series of falls and cascades is 1,600 ft. from Boyd Range to river in a distance of about 1/4-mile or less, the last 500ft. or 600ft. being hidden by a jutting spur when one is opposite the main fall.
About 1/4-mile further downstream we made our way down to about 280 ft. above the river, where we found a good place to camp, not very steeply sloping, which had evidently been visited by others before us, for we found an aboriginal chisel (which Win brought home) and saw 3 trees which had been chopped down within the last 3 or 4 years. The next visitors to this spot will be interested in the flat Jean and Dorothy excavated for their tent.
Marj. had quite an adventure. She went down for water, and on nearing the river found herself in a wonderful and awe-inspiring place. A series of three waterfalls fell 50 ft. or 60 ft. into a huge granite bowl about 30 yds wide and 50 yds long, with sheer walls of polished red granite rising same 80 ft. to 100 ft. from the water level. The water looked tremendously deep.
Between the second and third falls was a much smaller pool in a bowl with sides only about 40 ft. high. Somehow Marjorie got down and filled her billies at this pool. Then she could not get out with the 3 full billies. Eventually she managed to climb out, but lost all the water in the process, and had to get down to the river again at a more accessible place further upstream to refill the billies. She was an unexpectedly long time away from camp, so Jean set off to help her up with the water - and found her toiling up the next spur upstream.
A good look at the river when bathing next morning convinced us it would be wise to continue along the mountainside, so on we went between 800 ft, and 1,200 ft. up. Once there was a scream from Jean (who was leading). As she went to step on a stone, it scuttled off downhill from almost under her foot. It will never be the same wombat again.
By 2 p.m we thought it would be a pleasant change to walk on the flat of our feet, so edged our way up to the top of the next spur, from which point there was a wonderful view down the river - and a survey mark, and several blazed trees. This was on the right bank of the river, and immediately downstream quite a large “bay” had been carved from the mountainside, and towards the far side a considerable waterfall was coming down between rocks like a trough. Jean saw it first and, as the parish map had left it anonymous, we called it “Jean's Waterfall”, and creek, however Myles Dunphy has since told us that the latter was named some years ago “Peatfield's Creek”.
As we set off along the top of the spur away from the river, the rain started and the mists enshrouded the ranges, so Dorothy took no risks, but kept well over to the left of the ridge so that the ground was always falling away to the river from a few yards away. The rain and mist lightened, but still shut out all distant landmarks, and so, after crossing Peatfield's Creek, we got out on the spurs bordering the river, instead of following this Happy Trailer Range right down to Werong Creek. The country on top of the range is very pretty, but had we camped at about 3.30 p.m. on Peatfield' s Creek and followed the range out next day we would certainly have missed an adventure, as well as a mile of very beautiful river scenery.
After some wandering among spurs and edging along the side of ridges, at 4 p.m. we started slithering down for the river and a camp spot. It was still raining steadily and heavily. At about 5 p.m. we found an eyrie large enough, and flat enough, for the 2 tents, but we were still some 800 ft. or 900 ft. above the river, so it was a waterless camp, except for the few mouthfuls of rain we collected in billies and plates. After midnight the rain stopped and by 2 a.m. there was a wonderful view down the river to Mt. Colong, with the valley full of mist beneath us. During the morning we actually had some sunlight for a while, and we certainly needed it.
Having dried the tents, etc., and shared a minute quantity of chocolate, we started to climb down to the river - and breakfast. Immediately beneath our camp-site a small creek (from the left) joined a larger, and rather precipitous creek (on our right), beyond which was a tumble of granite crags some 800ft. or 900ft. high, stretching from well above us to about 200 ft. above river level. Below them was a stretch of broken country, and then more granite to the water's edge. They were not sheer cliffs but broken crags, still, they did not look at all inviting. This left the spur on our left which, so far as we could see, was falling steeply to the river and showing fairly frequent granite outcrops. Fearing granite crags or cliffs, we headed down into the creeks, got well mixed up in a luxuriant growth of nettles, and then were forced out into the crags on the right by a sheer drop in the creek bed. At that point we could not get any lower, so had to climb up among the crags a hundred feet or so; worked downstream 10 yards or so; saw an apparently easy way to the top, but were stopped half-way by a 6 ft. wide slope of granite without a toe or finger hold of any kind. Eventually we managed to work our way down to the broken country at the bottom, crossing which Jean turned a double-somersault over a rock, and Win. (hastening to see if she was hurt) fell on top of her. Fortunately Jean was only grazed and bruised, and we reached the river safely at 11.30 a.m. As you may guess, we had a good bathe and lunch before moving on downstream.
Once over the next point, we were out of the great gorge, and a mile of walking and wading brought us to the mouth of Werong Creek. John Venn is supposed to have a 40-acre clearing at the south side of this junction, but it has been allowed to go to ruin, and a tangle of bracken and nettles has to be negotiated to the ford at the foot of Misery Ridge. We camped on a good spot on the left bank of the river, having progressed downstream 1 3/4 miles for the day. We were now a day behind the “7-day” schedule, but not worrying.
The next 8 miles were absolutely unknown to the whole party, but were said to be rough, and one part was named Rudder's Rift. Then there were 3 miles of easy going to Lannigan's Creek, and Dorothy had estimated that we should be able to get there by the end of the second day. However, as Marj said: “It's only 11 miles, wouldn't it be good if we could do it in one day?” We said: “Yes, if we could”, and set out to see how much of it we could.
In the morning the weather was doubtful to fine, with a high wind and some sunlight. At lunchtime it rained, then we had a little more sunlight, and then the rain set in steadily, and really spoiled the view. This part of the river is very wild, but very beautiful. The first time we saw cliffs rising on both sides of the river we went over the top, but then decided we were tired of climbing and would try some wading for a change and only climb as a last resource. For the rest of the morning we forded the river every 1/4 mile or so; in the afternoon, every 10 yards or so. However, we camped on the right bank, 7 miles downstream and well-satisfied with our progress, but very disgusted with the weather.
Last May when Harold Chardon and party (Win. and Dorothy and Frances included) were turned back by floods, they took a day to get from the Kowmung at Lannigan's Creek to Yerranderie via Billy's Ridge, the Colong Caves Track, and the Slip-rails Track. We proposed to go in by the same route, but were still 4 miles up the river, with the first mile still “rough-stuff”. There were many flat places on the way in to Yerranderie, but water was the trouble so we felt that probably we would have to camp at Lannigan's, and dawdled so much over breakfast that it was 10.55 a.m. when we left camp. Still, Sunday is a day of rest. (?)
It was still cloudy, but clearing. Within 1/4 mile we reached the spot where three of us had endured 36-hours' rain last year - and that meant that Dorothy had “done” the whole of the Kowmung River; Win. still had from the Cedar Road to the Cox to do; and Frances that part plus the five miles from Lannigan's to Church Creek. Jean and Marjorie knew the river very well from Lannigan's down to the Cox, so still had nearly 4 miles to do to complete the whole river.
At 12.50 p.m. we reached Lannigan's Creek, and decided to get through lunch as quickly as possible and make a dash far the Tonalli, or at least the Colong Swamps. Starting off again at 2 p.m., we noticed that water was even scarcer than usual, so “stepped it out”, and reached the Tonalli at 5.20 p.m.; camped near the Beehives; and did the last half-hour's walk into Yerranderie on Monday morning. Had there been any attraction, we could have got into the town on the Sunday evening, so really we did complete the trip in 7 days from The Sawmill - as planned.
Came Easter, and with it longings to be free of the dust of cities.
Thus it was that on a Friday evening the gathering call of the Ourangutangs were ringing down the tall timbers of George St., it awakened the echoes at the Quay - yea it shook the foundations of one great edifice at Rushcutters Bay.
The call was heeded and so to the Nattai - three good men and each with a batman.
At Mittagong we gathered and here met one - Chardon - and with him a bell tent and three others. So that no evil might befall them that night, we allowed them to camp neath our protection and grateful they were no doubt.
A frosty morn - plaguey chilly - up betimes too cold to stay abed.
Porritch we had and with it much good coffee to warm the cockles of the heart. Then came steak - red and thick and juicy - but some there were who ate but eggs alone. Next, of course, a course of fragrant weed - ah. surely the world is place worth living in.
To Gap Creek and lunch on the Nattai, this was our objective, and of course we made it.
But stay, there is one thing we've forgotten - a matter most serious. All left the track and cut cross country, Ourangutangs always do, and in such perigrination came across a waterfall, in fact you could say two. Here we drank of the nectar of the Gods and “Mandelberg” lost his pipe.
Oh woe is me, woe is me, moan. moan. moan.
We offered him a smell of ours, a home made fag - if he supplied the bacca - but nothing wouUld soothe that grief stricken soul. Food we gave him, aye and plenty more, but he seemed to feel his loss the keener thereat.
Down the Nattai past beetline crag and rugged hill, rock-hopping or crawling midst tall timbers where nettles or a thorn or two lent colour (lurid) to the landscape.
Surely glorious country this, beautiful in its very ruggedness. Always calling one onwards to solve the mystery of the next bend. Never does it permit the flagging of one's interest, as each succeeding reach has interest all its own - altered shading in the trees, towering crags so unlike those you've pasted and gurgling stream that always sings a different tune.
Here ends my rhapsody for 'tis tea time.
A sandy patch whereon to pitch the tents, an inviting pool in which to swim, a blazing fire to warm us thereafter.
Tales were told, around that camp fire, tall ones, risky ones and tales of snakes and fish, told twixt pipes of fragrant weed and many chantings of the Kowmung song. Ah, surely 'tis a wondrous world, and a pleasure to live therein.
On next day through more intriguing country and so to that haven of the Gods - MacArthur's Flat -
Where peace and beauty mingle so
That in this world 'tis hard to find
Another place where you can go
And find such wondrous place of mind.
Surely the Master hand fashioned this delightful spot - large stretches of springy turf, a tree-lined, slow flowing river with swimming pools aplenty, acres of waving ferns wherein the elusive rabbit plays at hide and seek, and all this ringed with mighty hills capped with crags of figured sandstone.
Here we tarried until the last, it was far too good to leave. A campfire we had each night, and many more tales of snakes and fish, and one of Ladysmith.
Rabbits? Of course, and a damper, the fame of which will live for ever. Food we had in quantity - more than mortal man cou1d eat, but we were super men and did our best.
On then to Hilltop with many a sigh, but happy in memories of good times spent.
(Tune: “Come to The Fair!”)
Being an Adaptation by L.G. Harrison & D. Lawry of J. Hirst's version, “Come to The Fells” published in “Songs by the “Way”.
The sun is a-shining on valley and hill,
Heigho! Come to the Bush.
Of toiling in cities we've all had our fill,
Heigho! Come to the Bush.
Let the seaside frequenters recline at their ease,
We've work for our hands and our feet and our knees!
Come then, maidens and men, we'll be out on the hills in the morning,
So don your short shorts and prepare for the day,
Come, came, come to the Bush.
There are cart tracks for horses with hikers galore,
Heigho! Come to the Bush.
And tracks that have seldom been traversed before,
Heigho! Come to the Bush.
There are places with landmarks for new-chum and scout,
And “super-severes” with the landmarks left out,
Come then, maidens and men, we'll be out on the hills in the morning,
So don your short shorts and prepare for the day,
Come, come, come to the Bush.
There are rivers for swimming and beaches for surf,
Heigho! Come to the Bush.
And camp-sites all covered with bracken or turf,
Heigho! Come to the Bush.
There are fresh eggs and bacon for breakfast at eight,
And plenty of porridge, so bring a deep plate,
Come then, maidens and men, we'll be out on the hills in the morning,
So rout out your rucksacks and run for the train.
Come then, maidens and men, maidens and men,
Make for the hills in the morning!
Come, come, come to the Bush.
On Sunday the 29th May V. Thorsen and his party of twelve took possession of Leumeah Station in the name of the Sydney Bush Walkers.
After performing the usual ceremonies they set forth to conquer fresh fields in the direction of Badjelly Mt. To reach this objective sundry foothills had to be negotiated and fences scaled.
The technique at the first fence was disgraceful, but after several hours intensive practice the party became quite expert at percolating through these obstacles. Being individuals each developed a distinctive method. Brenda burrowed underneath, Vic pulled them to pieces, Alf Gallagher went through pack first, Mrs. Pallin toe first, another head first and so on.
The country dipped and rose like a sine curve then began a steady ascent to the crest of Badjelly. Campbelltown district with Sugarloaf Mountain, Westview Convent and the old windmill tower lay in the middle distance and merged into bushland obscuring the George's River. To the West Narellan, Camden and the Nepean River's course were plainly visible, whilst at our feet the water race from Prospect dived underground into the Badjelly tunnel.
Descending to the water race the party made up for earlier evaporation by taking copious draughts, then set off, much refreshed along the race.
Shortly after the Camden branch line was intercepted near Kenny Hill station. Crossing the road at right angles we penetrated a field on the opposite side and beheld a series of cows with sagging backs, sharp horns and sawn off front legs. They were equally interested in our bizarre appearance.
The inner man becoming clamorous in more than one member meanwhile, a unanimous vote declared in favour of dining instantly. In a twinkling packs disgorged prodiguous quantities of comestibles and they as quickly disappeared. Surprising to say, Alf Gallagher did not sleep!!
After a snappy lunch eaten in truly unbushwalkian haste we set off for Mt. Annah. Prickly pears being ripe members sampled them and gory exteriors became fashionable. From Mt. Annah looking South we had a more intimate view of the Nepean than before, whilst the sinuous railway line piercing the distance and bounded either side by variated paddocks dotted with tree clumps and dissected by roads, made a fascinating picture.
Scaring a flock of sheep, we passed quite close to an old-style homestead then through a field of angular stalked weeds with purple tops to the Nepean.
A tree covered entirely with spikes some 2” long was discovered near the river by the simple process of bumping into it - took samples and continued.
The river though somewhat turbid in appearance proved irresistable to many of the party. We did not stay in long for fear of scratching ourselves on icicles and jumped out feeling greatly refreshed.
Continuing up-stream we discovered a Chinese garden which announced itself some distance off. Skirting this obstacle we followed the river and made easy going to N. Menangle where we stopped to refuel near the vehicular bridge over the Nepean.
It was dark before this serious operation was complete so a campfire suggested itself spontaneously.
We would have stayed all night but for Vic tearing us away as there was still six miles to walk to Campbelltown.
The road went at right angles to our direction at Sth. Menangle Station so we took to the railway line with much gusto.
The going was quite easy except for cunningly placed wires and bars with knobs on, set to trip unwary travellers.
All went well and we were just beginning to despise viaducts when we came to one like the North Shore Bridge itself. It was a skeleton bridge a good 50-80 feet above creek level. The prospect of a goods train turning up made it the more interesting.
Our next port of call was a deep cutting which seemed interminably long and with several possible mincemeat corners.
About a mile further on we left the line and but a few minutes later a Sydney bound train clattered through.
The rest of the trip was uneventful, though the peaceful Campbelltownians seemed to think otherwise.
This walk of approximately 17 miles though punctuated by numerous fences is one we can commend to others.
He loved to walk alone … to find companionship with hill and cloud and Nature's wide expanse. Today he stood gazing at the shadow of a peach-tree against a red brick wall, a shadow which accorded with his thoughts … half-wild, unformed.
Tomorrow he must leave this fertile, happy district .. and journey West. His mind was thronged with memories. There was the night he crossed the dewy paddocks to the Colonial home nearby, and while the unsuspecting owners were asleep, stood in the courtyard, in the misty moonlight, and tried to reconstruct the past.
He saw creaking covered drays come lumbering up, laden with rough tools and all the paraphernalia which pioneers took with them on their quest for that wondrous Eldorado which lay beyond the setting of the sun. He saw the grim, lean faces of the men; the set, tired faces of the women; the curious faces of the children. Sometimes a dandy would drive up in flashing curricle, to spend the night, and stride inside with hearty oath and quaff the home-made brew or slyly kiss the kitchen-maid. And a miserable wretch in leg-irons would sneak past outside … and curse. When the moon was very full and dew lay on the grass, a faun would sit beside the well .. and Naiads would glide slyly from the shadows of the shrubs and hold their spritely revels. And the poor kitchen-maid, hearing the goat-foot's soft and haunting note would steal from her hard cot and on the morrow they would find her, limp and still, in the shallow water at the river's edge.
The young man pulled himself together. Tomorrow he was leaving! In a few years, no doubt, he would be appointed Manager … with just a callow junior to keep him company in some lonely office. Long years of heat and dust … a wife and bairns … and after long and faithful service, in the autumn of his years … retirement!
He would buy a little farm … perhaps in this very district. It would be good to come back here and spend his last days quietly among the hills, and clouds, and bees.
He sighed and turned away, with aching heart. A farmer, watching him go slowly home across the paddock turned to his wife and said, “Some blokes are lucky! I watched that feller from the Bank for half an hour and all he done was stand there starin' at the wall.”
Planned by Richard Croker and Jean Trimble.
Route: Leumeah, Bushwalkers' Basin, Punchbowl Creek, across to junction Pheasants' and O'Hares' creeks, the Woolwash, Campbelltown.
Party: Win Ashton, Bill Purnell, Jean Trimble, Richard Croker, Phil Brewster.
We left Central by 9.29 p.m. Friday night and reached Bushwalkers' Basin about 12.30. We left Bushwalkers' Basin at 9.45 a.m. Saturday morning and followed Punchbowl Creek until 4.15 p.m. with a break of an hour and a half for lunch. This brought us about opposite the junction of Pheasants' and O'Hares' creeks on the map. There is an excellent cave on the right-hand side of the creek there, which saved the erecting of tents. Camp sites are few and far between.
Punchbowl creek is very rough, similar to O'Hares' creek, with very much closer scrub. It is impossible to travel along the creek itself, and the way must be made on an average of thirty yards above the creek bed. Seven miles only were covered on Saturday, with steady going all the day.
On Sunday morning we struck up over the spur, south-south-east, through dense scrubby country, and kept round the head of several small gullies until the old track along the top from the old ruin was reached, then again south-south-east until we picked up a deep gulley running east and west. This is an un-named creek running into O'Hares' creek just above Pheasants' creek, “only on the other side”, (your pardon, Jean). We had lunch and a swim at one o'clock at the junction of Pheasants' and O'Hares' creeks.
The going across the top is not too bad, as long as one does not go down into the gullies too far. The drop on to O'Hares' is most precipitous, and covered with giant lilies and thick scrub, but quite accessible with care and agility.
We left Pheasants' cave at 2.15 and made out way down O'Hares' creek to the Woolwash, and from there by road to Campbelltown.
It is an excellent trip, but needs two full days, an energetic party, light packs and good walking weather.
Jean she was a swimmer, but now she's Ernie's wife,
With housework and with cooking, she leads a busy life.
But Ernie is a Cave-man, and treats her like a squaw,
But Jean keeps nice and happy by flirting as before.
You all know that Esme on her feet is not too slick,
In point of fact they play her many a nasty trick.
While lunching by the Hacking, we heard an awful crash,
And there was Esme in the flood a kicking up a splash.
Our Lawry is a poet, but wants to be a cook,
She asks us all for recipes and writes them in a book.
I saw her make a pancake and toss it on a plate,
You should have seen the bags of food our poet laureate!
The Ourang-outangs and Hippos to Kanangra went one day,
They meant to reach the Kowmung, but they couldn't find the way,
Oh, yes, they reached the Kowmung, and that with many a groan,
But don't attempt to follow them, that way is all their own.
Now Rene is our Social Sec. and leader of the band.
The songs she sings, the things she cooks are voted simply grand.
She always tends the rearguard when leading any walk,
But forward to the vanguard drift snatches of her talk.
When Ilma goes out walking, she thunders on ahead,
She tramples on the saplings, and trees fall over dead.
The rocks begin to quiver and the ground begins to shake,
You'd think that all the country-side was in a mighty 'quake.
The Duncombe woman brought along some turtle soup for tea,
But Arthur didn't like it so he tied it to a tree.
The Walkers sitting eating began to sniff the air,
And their appetites deserted them, that scent was far too rare.
The thanks of the Club are due to Mr. and Mrs. Austen for the great hospitality they extend each year to the members. This year sixty-one accepted their kind invitation and a great afternoon and evening resulted. There was singing and there was dancing, together with two one-act plays, so that the evening passed all too quickly.
There was a charge of 2/- each on behalf of the Blue Gum Forest Fund, which, with a raffle for a lottery ticket, made a total profit of £9:2:3, a very satisfactory result.
The social committee intend to make further attempts to assist in clearing the debt off the Blue Gums.
Rene D. Browne, Hon. Soc. Sec.