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Published by the Sydney Bush Walkers, 5 Hamilton Street, Sydney. No, 3 PRICE - - - I/- NOVEMBER, 1936

Edited by Marie B. Byles Assisted by Dinah Hearfield

r Publishing Committee: Doris Allden, Dot English, Ada Frost, A. W. Page, lan Malcolm. Sketches by Dot English and lan Malcolm. 5 Design for cover by Alan Rigby. ° i CONTENTS

} Public Activities of the Club and the Federation …. …. Beh alae (ae 4 First Ascent of ane peut aaa Warrumbungies, by Dot. i Tinglish |…) s5) 2s 6 i| Upper Kowmung, Morons, Kanangra, Gangerang, by Win Dun-
combe cent hee 15 j The Walker’s Day, verse, Me Tan Malcolm 19 1 As Others See Us, by A School-Teacher, Warned-i in-Time ae 20 The Pre-Historie History of the rind District, Ma Grace age } combe, B.Se. …. …. 22 1 Colour Filters In oudeoe ‘Phbtperavh, by I R. W. gee) faa 24

i Lord Howe Island, by R. W. Savage …. Basie mga alain ‘ees, | OS i| Warragamba Memories, by Les. Douglas …. 0.0 0. ee ee ee ee BL

i) Personal Notes… …. 35 i! Breaking Into New Gountey by J Jeane Travis and Gordon Mannell 36 i

Page The Lower Kowmung River, by Win Duncombe …. … … wu. 1 Lord Howe Island, by R. W. Savage… … .. BMGs hceessr, WAS liees , The Split Rock, Warrumbungles, by Marie B. ‘Bylen Ra aie lly sgan ORE y} Rock Climbing, Warrumbungles, by Marie B. Byles… … … .. U1 Map of the Warrumbungles, by F. Freeguard … … 2… … 12 Sunrise Over Lord Howe Island, by R. W. Savage … 2.00… 29 Warragamba Gorge, by R. W. Savage …00 wn. eo ee ee BO At the Annual Re-union Camp, by C. T. Walker… 2.0 2. uo 80 The Deua River Valley, by Gordon Mannell .. Eat ake 39 Glimpses of oe oe Re Noel Turnbull and amare 4 B. Byles + a BM Pas. 4

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President: Mr. M. L. BERRY. Vice-Presidents: Miss R. D, BROWNE, Mr. V. THORSEN. Miss M. B. BYLES, Messrs. E. E. AUSTEN and J. V. TURNER.

Committee: Misses J. TRIMBLE, G. LAWRIE, L. DUMMER, Messrs. M. J. DUNPHY, J. W. MULLINS, C. WALKER.


Hon. Walks Secretary and Recorder: Hon. Treasurer: Mr. C, PRYDE Mr. T. KENNY-ROYAL

Hon. Social Secretary: Hon, Auditor: Mrs. JEAN AUSTEN Mr. E. E. MORONEY

Hon. Secretary: Miss D. LAWRY, 24 Iredale Avenue, Cremorne. “Phones: Y 2442 and Mas 326.

Hon. Assistant Secretary: Mr. R. CROKER, 117 Albert Road, Homebush. “Phones: UM7896 and FXII5I


The Sydney Bush Walkers were founded in 1927 primarily as a recreational club; but gradually and inevitably we began to indulge in “good works,” simply because we could not sit idly by and see the bushlands, the very means of that recreation, despoiled or taken away from us. Thus the protection of wild flora and fauna, the reservation of parklands, and propaganda in such matters, became part of our ordinary routine work and generally occupied more time at our meet- ings than matters of domestic concern,

Among the greater of the “good works” we saw the reservation of the Blue Gum Forest, and among the lesser the placing of the cabbage tree palm on the list of protected plants.

Then the Federation of Bush Walking Clubs was formed, and the greater number of the “good works” were taken over by it, but for all that the Club cannot, even now, be purely recreational, because the work of the Federation needs our whole-hearted support. In so far as we have given that support we can claim that its work is our work, and that the reservation of Garawarra and Bouddi Natural Park in previous years stands to our credit.

This year no fresh parklands have been added, but much has been done by the Federation to consolidate the work already accomplished and lay the ground for the future.

Three trustees were nominated for Bouddi Natural Park, near Maitland Bay, and together with the three representatives of Erina Shire, they have set about trying to enlarge the park by the addition of the gullies at the back of Maitland Bay.

At Garawarra the Crown Land Leases still stand as a blot at the source of the chief water supply, but the Federation is working for resumption with compensation and does not despair of ultimate suc- cess,

Partly as a result of the representation of the Federation the hut in Blue Gum Forest has been removed, for it was admitted that it was both unsightly and an inducement to undesirables to make a permanent camp in the park.

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NY Sing ee ne


The next parklands we are hoping to see reserved are Narrow Neck Peninsula and the Grose River Valley, both of which we claim should be left as primitive areas. These form part of the wider Blue Mountains National Park for which the National Parks and Primitive Areas Council has been working long and hard. When this is achieved we shall have a national park fit to rival some of those in America, but we had better hesitate to make any proud boasts, for we have a long way to go in this direction before we are even within distant coo-ee of America’s achievements.

In the fleld of propaganda the Federation published a leaflet on National Parks and Primitive Areas which created a distinct impres- sion and was favourably reviewed from as far away as New York. It also arranged for an exhibit at the Bushland Exhibition, which was the means of making the Federation's activities more widely known.

Perhaps the most useful work this year has been the founding of a topographical section under Mr. Ninian Melville's direction, The result has been the making of several excellent maps, the surveying of paths, and, in the case of an aeroplane accident, the location of the lost fliers.

Another matter which has engaged the attention of the Federation has been the drafting of a new constitution. At the time of going to press this has not been placed before all the clubs for acceptance, put the Sydney Bush Walkers have already given their approval to the innovation of associate membership which is provided for in the constitution as drafted, and by which it is hoped to obtain the moral support for the Federation of all bush-walkers who cannot or will not join clubs.

The only social activity of the Federation has been the Annual Ball, which as usual, was a great success. As the Secretary, Mr. Theo Atkinson, managed to persuade the authorities of the good work done by the Federation, the proceeds were exempted from Amusement Tax, and now form part of the general funds to back up the work that lies ahead of us next year.

Altogether it is a record of a year’s activities which must give satisfaction to all, and we wish the Federation the best of success in the ensuing year.


To amalgamate those who esteem walking as a means of recrea- tion.

To form an institution of mutual aid in regard to routes, and ways and means of appreciating the great outdoors.

To establish a regard for the welfare and preservation of the wild life and natural beauty of this country.

To help others appreciate these natural gifts.

To promote social activity amongst members.

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Australia is a land of paradoxes. Our magpies are not magpies, nor our pee-wees pee-wees, nor even our wagtails wagtails; and during Parlia- mentary elections each aspiring member of the Opposition hastens to assure us that the Hon- ourable Members of the House are not honour- able.

Having had our childhood faith shattered in 80 many directions, it will come as no shock to be told that our mountains are not mountains, that they are merely plateaux fissured by deep gullies—inverted peaks if you like—quite an up- side-down arrangement.

When you realise that these disconcerting facts are continually being dinned into the brain by every would-be ornithological, political and geo- logical expert, it is small wonder that one comes at last to believe them. So it is a pleasant surprise to discover that rising 2,500 feet from the plains of the flat western slopes, some 200 miles north west of Sydney, loom the Warrumbungle Ranges, whose summits, although only 4,000 feet high, can be definitely termed mountains in the true sense of the word, some of them being stark, rocky peaks, rising naked above the forest lands.

They are very arid mountains, for the streams seldom flow except when in flood, and the so-called “springs” are generally merely seeps of water which collect in rocky basins, utilised by the eagles as bath- rooms, and consequently not particularly inviting to mountaineers.

Still, arid or not, they are mountains, and our party of six had made its way towards them via Gilgandra and Tooraweanah (two of us being kindly driven out from Gilgandra by the father of our Club member, Evelyn Higinbotham), and pitched camp on a clearing at the foot of the western face of Split. Rock, whose sheer, trachyte walls towered 1,500 feet or more above our tents, which, by the way, were situated a ten minutes’ walk from the nearest “spring.”

This mountain, one of the few remaining unclimbed peaks in this land of ours, was to be the victim of our serious attack, and it had on the whole, quite formidable opponents.

There was Dr. Eric Dark, valiant President and sole survivor of the Katoomba Suicide Club, whose members considered it a recrea- tion to crawl up and down the decayed, sandstone faces of the Blue Mountain cliffs, in such precarious spots as no-one without suicidal tendencies would ever dream of attempting.

Next comes Marie Byles, who can claim to her credit numerous virgin peaks scaled in other lands, having mountaineered in Scot- land, Norway, Canada and New Zealand. All these achievements were, however, merely a background as far as I was concerned; to me she was a voice crying in the cold, pale dawn, while the stars still snapped in the quiet heavens, “Time to get up!”

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Then there was Mr. Paszek (pronounced “Parshek”). We called him Pan (“a” as in half). He was Polish, and had spent much of his youth climbing in the Dolomites and the Swiss Alps, as a member of the Tatra Mountaineering Club. Pan was a beautiful thing, with lean, picturesque figure surmounted by a silver halo of hair and with long, artistic fingers.

Suzanne Reichard was an added attraction to the landscape, with powder-blue shorts, soft, clear skin and baby dimples in her legs. What she may have lacked in climbing technique, she made up in perseverance. When I explain that her father is an Alsatian, you can trace the origin of this trait.

Concerning Frank Freeguard, he openly and honestly made no claim to being a climber. His presence in the party was justified by the fact that he was a photographer, and also, incidentally, a walking Baedeker of the locality. “What's that peak over there?” asks someone, pointing out a faint, blue smudge on the horizon, crowded by numerous other faint smudges; and forthwith Frank gives its name and history, past, present and to come.

Since we are becoming personal, it would perhaps be as well to bring myself into the picture. As the Society page of the “Warrun- bungle Weekly” put it: “She work a ducky little pair of shorts, cutely fashioned from the dust-cover of a taxi, picked up one night in Hyde Park, dyed khaki, artistically slashed and gored, and patched on the seat.”

This depicts only my outward appearance; inwardly I came armed in the knowledge that I had been the best of our gang as kids in climbing trees, telegraph poles, flagpoles, railway embankments, excavation works, underground sewer-holes, brick-kiln chimneys and sea cliffs, and strong in the faith that “Nothing is Impossible.”

I could go on for hours telling you of the members of the party, but that’s not what I’m here for. I have to tell you how we climbed the Split Rock, so enough!

The first two days we did a little test climbing up the Bluff and the Needle, so as to get used to the feeling of being roped together. Believe me, at first it didn’t appeal to me in the slightest, this being ineseapably tethered to one end of a rope, and thereby having my fate linked, willy-nilly, to that of whatever reckless or careless brother climber might be on the other end. I was as suspicious as a cat whenever I noticed my partner on the rope contemplating a risky climb; you bet I was thinking of my own safety as much as his. However, as a knowledge of the prowess of my partners increased, I became more or less reconciled to being tied up to them, but a com- paratively restful mind was only the result of eternal vigilance.

Before attempting the Split Rock, we circumambulated it num- erous times and surveyed it from all angles, bringing the spy glasses to bear on such spots as seemed to offer likely foot and hand holds to the summit.

Until you have rock-climbed, you have no idea how deceptive heights can be. What look like reasonable steps when viewed from below, turn out to be huge blocks 15 or 20 feet high, quite impossible to surmount.

We tackled the northern face first, and spent half a day in reach- ing a spot about a quarter way up, which we finally had to abandon as impracticable. Failure? Perhaps—but you weren’t there to see the place for yourself, so how can you judge us?

The next day Doc., Pan and I, after lengthy deliberation and ponderous calculation, cast a vote in favour of the western face.

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Although this is by far the greatest height, the slope of the rocks seemed to be in our favour, being comparatively free from the over- hangs which spoilt our chances on the south and east faces.

We waited till about 10 o’clock for the sun to rise sufficiently to warm the atmosphere, for our experience on the shady side of the Needle, in the chill of the late afternoon, had taught us that it is only adding an extra handicap to try to climb in a refrigerated atmosphere on cold rocks, with an icy wind trying to whip you off your perch, and your fingers so stiff and blue with the cold that it takes fully a minute to straighten them out after relinquishing one grasp for another.

Setting out with 200 feet of rope, we found the first five or six hundred feet easy—a “walk-up” as we say in professional circles—and we hardly had to use the rope at all. But having reached that height, it then became necessary to traverse sideways before we could continue our upward climb. We had agreed that when there were vertical up and down climbs to be done, I was to lead the way, being the most ape-like, and when it was a question of sideways tra- verses the Doc. would go first on the rope, as he was a specialist in this form of progression. Accordingly we took up our positions, with the Doc. leading me in the middle and Pan on the other end. Now, Pan had reached that age of discretion when a man knows his limita- tions, and after a good look at the place we intended to cross, told us to go on alone, as he didn’t think he wanted to go any further. So he waited there, on one end of the 100 foot rope, while we two of lesser caution set out to traverse a very dangerous 200 feet of cliff face.

If I took as long to tell you about it as it took to do it, you would be reading for hours, Inch by inch we edged along, clinging to scarce- ly perceptible ledges of grey, lichen-covered rock, feeling our way in those places where we couldn’t turn to see for fear of upsetting our balance by a frac- tion of an inch, pausing now and then on some relatively safe ledge to draw a deep breath, for the suspense kept us so tense we hardly dared to breathe, and then on again, high above the giant Eucalyptus which, in the valley below, appeared to our wide-open eyes no bigger than match sticks; and always the huge eagles, wheeling aloft, surveying us from their untamed heights with fierce, contemptuous eyes, If they chose to attack us as we clung like limpets to that stark rock face, we knew who would come off best.

About two thirds of the distance across brought us to a narrow slit in the rock face, not more than a foot wide, into which I wedged the lower part of my anatomy while I collected my breath, the Doc. meanwhile draping himself over a jutting piece of loose rock, which, in contrast to the dizzy ledges just passed, was as safe as the Bank of England.

Here we stuck, body half attached and half free, like exploring leeches, while we took in the next stretch of our journey and discussed our prospects. Could we go on, or ought we call it a day? I don’t

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know what the Doc.’s thoughts on the subject were, but mine were “Tm damned if I’m going back the way we've come!” I would have preferred to take a flying leap into space, in the hope of gliding gracefully down to the base of the mountain, rather than retrace my steps along those hair-raising ledges.

We must have perched there for a quarter of an hour. The sun was shining on us, and it was so nice and warm that I didn’t care if we never went on. However, the Doc., who has the true spirit of a mountaineer, soon tired of ignoble inaction and was eager to be off again, As I happened to be somewhat in front, it was decided that I should now lead the way, for it would have been risky to attempt changing places on the rope, so accordingly I set off along the verticle wall of rock, clinging to what faint markings I could, while the Doc. held the rope belayed around his wretched loose boulder. I can’t say I went any more carefully because of the fact that the boulder was loose—having already reached the limit of utmost caution —but I knew perfectly well that if I slipped, my sudden weight on the rope would dislodge the rock and Doc., and that we should accom- pany it, with a wild crash, into the valley below.

Even as I’m writing this, my heart is going thump, thump, thump, my breath is trembling and I’m biting furiously at my finger nails. I wouldn’t mind betting there are a few more pints of adrenalin coursing through the system than normally.

With infinite caution, I proceeded to a bulging shoulder of rock which had been blocking our further view. What lay on the other side would determine whether we went on or not. I flattened on to it and peered round the corner, with bulging eyes, while the Doc. called, with suppressed excitement, “What about it? Can you go on?”

“Oh, yes, it’s easy,” said I with a laugh that was meant to be reassuring, but which sounded more like the uneasy laugh a man gives when he is pretending he isn’t afraid; so after I had belayed our life line over an embossed knob an inch or so high, the Doc. traversed across and was soon by my side.

“Would you like me to go first?” he asked, You might be in- clined to pass this over lightly as being just an ordinary example of masculine chivalry, but believe me, it meant more to me than I can ever express. The true heroism of a man’s character shows itself when life is at stake. Doubtless I would have gone on if this outlet had not been offered me, but if so I swear I would not be here now to tell the tale.

It was necessary to change places on the rope, other- wise it would not have run through the belay, so we crouched on a couple of ledges along which even a lizard would have thought twice about passing, while we carefully untied the few knots which lay between us and the Hereafter, and swapped places. Let it be known, to my eternal discredit, that I had privately thought I was the better climber of the two, but when the Doc., without a moment’s hesitation, prepared to round that corner, I knew all the humiliation of pricked self-conceit.

Crouching there, with my back turned, the ledge be- ing too narrow to reverse my position, swearing softly under my breath, and with my little finger clutching frantically the stem of a struggling piece of mountain vegetation, hardly as thick as a lead pencil, I screwed my head over my shoulder and glued my eyes on the rope, sinuously sliding over the belay.

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My companion had spread eagled himself over the surface of a huge mass of overhanging rock, grey with loose, dry lichen, and was clawing his way over with finger nails and toes, like a cat trying to take a corner at full speed on a polished floor.

He is out of sight now over the top. What lies on the other side? God knows. There may be a sheer drop away. If so, this is the end—that little knob of rock won’t stand the strain of a sudden jerk. Be strong, little rock, be strong!

Is there anything more discouraging than the deceit of a friend? Although it was such a frail support to depend upon, we were relying on that little rock, and right at the critical moment, it let our rope slip off.

Novelists tell us that when people are facing utter destruction, they pray or begin a review of their lives—no doubt a hurried col- lecting together of their good qualities so as to have them at their finger tips when St. Peter calls for reasons why they should not be forever damned. I cannot claim any such experiences. It would appear that we fear death till it is almost upon us, and then we be- come quite calm; after all, it would be a great adventure to die. The first shock over in a second, I pictured us dropping down through the hot, scented air, which blew cool in our faces in our swift descent. The tree-covered slopes far below looked so soft and cushiony that it was ridiculous to think we would hurt ourselves if we fell on them. Still, even if we were not borne up by unseen hands before hitting the bottom, we would be soon after, so what did it matter anyhow?

However, all this expenditure of thought was unnecessary, for I soon heard a voice calling from the other side that there was an excellent ledge there, and all was well. It didn’t take many moments for me to reach his side;—a rope around the waist, held by a comrade with a cool head and a steady hand, plus the knowledge that there is a safe haven round the bend, gives one amazing confidence.

The remaining hundreds of feet to the summit were so easy in comparison that they can be dismissed with brief mention, We were now on a broad highway several yards wide, overgrown with vegetation and bearing some quite tall eucalytpus, up one of which we climbed to the next level. There were a few more craggy ledges to crawl round, and the dry course of a waterfall to climb up, polished to a black smoothness, but not so slippery as it looked, being honey- combed with innumerable small pit marks,

We were making for that wide split in the mountain side which gives the rock its name. This was soon reached, and gazing through it, what a sight met our eager eyes! A huge, hollow crater, luxuriously carpented with thick green grass, knee deep in which one lone silver- barked tree stood like a guardian sentinel. Rising till they lost them- selves in the blue heaven, were a dozen or so magnificent, rugged peaks whose heaped, stratified grandeur made one think that so the Earth’s surface must have appeared to the eyes of our prehistoric forebears. To think that we were, without doubt, the first people to set foot in that place which had lain undisturbed for so many millions of years in ageless silence under the hot summer sun, or reverberating to the hollow crash and roar of thunder pealing through its vaults! We felt we had obtained a glimpse of some far away, dimly-remembered period in the days when the world was young.

Flowing round the bases of these jagged peaks swept a glacier- like river of miniature tree ferns, which extended in thick, glossy green formation for some 800 feet right from the summit as far down as the entrance to the cleft. This solved our problem as to how we were to reach the top. Although the glacier fell almost vertically in places, it was quite a simple matter to climb up it, holding on to the ferns.

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While resting by a tumbled avalanche of the sharp, igneous rock, I found, growing in a thimbleful of earth, a cluster of delicately- marked toadstools—such dainty, pretty, fairy things; they seemed too little to be left alone in that vast, forbidding, prehistoric crater. I would tell Pan about them and he would come up in the morning and look after them, and then they wouldn't feel lonely or frightened any more. Pan spoke their language and understood them, as he understood what the birds said. It was he who heard the music of the night, and saw the little fairy folk among the trees in the moonlight, peeping curiously from the dusky shadows at the red glow of our camp fire. They might have come over to talk to us if we had asked them, but they are very shy and don’t come unless they are asked.

Here comes the Doc., and off we go again on our upward climb. Our excitement increased as we approached the top, and at length we skipped out into the bright sunlight and knew we had achieved our goal.

We stood on a narrow, grass-grown rim, rough with piled rocks, among which grew a few small bushes. Buzzing around these were a number of golden wasps with glittering wings. “You're high up in the world, little ones.”

Sitting on a heap of rocks, munching chocolate and dates, we felt like knights of old surveying our wide domain from the turrets and battlements of our castle. Extending to the far horizon in all directions stretched a wrinkled sea of green. Far away a bluér line marked the beginning of the Pilliga scrub of the far west. Close about us the varied peaks of the Warrumbungle Range displayed their bizarre, distinctive shapes, and overhead was a sky as brightly blue as the shallows of the sea on a blue day. Floating on this, fairy islands of cloud lay over the plains in ever increasing circles; but the eagles which, earlier in the day, had watched our laborious efforts to reach the heights to which they soared so effortlessly, were nowhere to be seen,

The Doc. had a box of matches in his pocket, which gave us the inspiration to light a fire in the hope that the folk in the township of Tooraweena, some ten miles away would see it and rejoice with us, and also to set the minds of the others of our party at rest, for none of them knew how we had progressed since we had left Pan, hours ago, with the 100 foot rope, to see himself down to our base camp as best he could.

So we set fire to a heaped pile of dry grass and sticks, and threw on green branches from the near-by bushes, which produced a dense white smoke, making the mountain seem like a volcano in eruption.

Leaving the fire to attend to itself, we descended a small dip and climbed a point of rock a yard or so higher than the one we were on. Here we erected a cairn of stones, for all true mountaineers thus leave their mark on virgin peaks conquered. Some five minutes later, when we turned our attention to the fire once more, we found it had assumed much larger proportions—in fact it had spread to such an extent that we were now cut off by the flames and had to perch, marooned, on top of our cairn till the blaze died down. Even then it was necessary to wait some time longer for the heat to leave the ashes, as I didn’t know how invulnerable the hide on my bare feet (I always climb bare-footed) might be to red-hot embers. It would have looked funny to the gods who watch over the doings of man if the Doc. had had to piggyback me over the glowing embers and smoke along that narrow rim of mountain top; but luckily it wasn’t necessary.

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The sun was now westering, so we made haste to descend, as we didn’t quite know how or where we were going to get down. I own I felt a bit uneasy as I thought of those traverses, now in the cold shade, with 2 nothing at all to recommend them and everything pe to condemn them. We slid down the green glacier as down a slippery dip, and gained much amusement thereby. The Doc. slid on his seat and I went head first, as my pants, already in the final stages of dis- integration, would not have stood up to any harsh treatment.

On reaching the waterfall again, we turned our attention to the south instead of the north, and hoped for the best. It proved to be an excellent move, and we soon found ourselves on a ledge overlooking a drop of a mere 200 feet to the hillside below, only 100 of which was difficult climbing. We already had 100 feet of rope, and if we could get the other 100 it would be a simple matter to descend. So we hollered for Pan and eventually got a reply. He brought along the 100 foot rope and climbed up as far as he could with it, while I climbed down as far as I could on our rope. Holding on to the end of this, I stuck my leg out while Pan did the cowboy stunt and eventually succeeded in lassoing my foot. I then climbed back with this rope, and by means of the two of them, we descended once more to terra firma, after six hours on the mountain.

We left the ropes tied there, and next day Pan and I brought Suzanne and Marie up that way. It seemed a very easy performance to me after those awful traverses, but Marie informs me that accord- ing to New Zealand and Canadian mountaineering standards, it would not be considered an easy rock-climb by any means, even with the

fixed ropes.

Well, there you are folks; thus ends my tale!

As an incentive to prospective climbers of this mountain, let me add that after we had safely taken the party up and down again on the following day—only possible by means of the fixed ropes—we flicked these from round the rocks that were holding them, and as they fell at our feet we saluted the grim giant saying, gloatingly, “That’s the last time anyone will get up you… . unless it’s by aero- plane.” Such is our conceit. It's an open challenge!


All the advertisers in this journal are-recommended,

Please give them your support—Ed.

Page Fourteen




By Win Duncombe

On the evening of the 20th December, 1935, Joan, Rene, Jack and I, after dining at the Club, hied us to Central station to catch the 7.55 train for Tarana.

Accompanied by our send-off party, Mum, Roxy, Jean Trimble, Doreen and Thelma Walker—we were able to fool the public into keeping out of our compartment until the train pulled out.

We were joined by Thel, Harry and Jim at Strathfield and before long things began to get lively. Joan got rid of some of her exuberance by fighting Jim for a newspaper advertisement for “Kintho”—a patent freckle remover—about which the boys were tormenting her. By the time we reached Tarana she had a bump on her head as big as an egg.

We arrived at Tarana at 1.15 on a cold and frosty morning, and hunted around for somewhere to sleep. The Station Master very kindly told us that he didn’t mind us sleeping in an empty carriage that happened to be there, if we left it as clean as we found it; so we distributed ourselves over three compartments, and had a very com- fortable first night with cushioned beds, plenty of room and all modern conveniences.

Awakening fairly early, we boiled the billy by the railway line, and had a light meal of cornflakes, bread and jam and tea. Before 1ong our two cars arrived, and we tumbled in and left Tarana at 8.20 a.m. The drive was terribly cold, and we had to stop along the road to get Jim’s blankets out. At Hazelgrove we bought some steak for lunch. As we drove along the road, Thel sorted letters out of the mail-bag, and the driver slowed up near the letter boxes and threw them in.

We arrived at Oberon at 9 o’clock and had to wait 40 minutes in the bitter cold for the Post Office to open, so that I might ’phone my employer and ask for two extra days’ leave. a)

At Ginkin, the end of our car journey, it was so cold that we had to lie flat on the ground to keep out of the wind while Jim and Jock unpacked the cars. A good track took us down the hill to the Tuglow River, and there we had lunch, after which we climbed up on the other side till we reached the summit of the mountain over Tuglow Caves. From here we could look down the Kowmung Valley and see the top of the Morong Falls.

Sliding down the steep, shaley hillside under the shade of immense gum trees, and through knee-high sheets of flowers changing from mauve to pinky-mauve and then to red, we reached Horse Gully Creek and looked round for Thel and Rene. After a while Thel arrived with the news that Rene had lost her jumper. The boys organised a search party, but without effect, and at 3.30 p.m. we pushed on.

Following a faint track over a saddle, we came to Tuglow Hole Creek and walked down until we reached a lovely little camp spot near the mouth—shaded by two wattle trees, and just big enough for three tents.

Here we decided to celebrate Christmas in advance. We had for our Christmas dinner, roast fowl, fresh beans, plum pudding with brandy sauce, cake and nuts, and a bottle of wine. Afterwards Joan started letting off crackers, and there was a general scramble for safety. A good campfire and sing-song finished off a very happy celebration,

Page Fifteen


We were up at 4.30 in the morning and away at 7 o'clock. Enter- ing the Kowmung Canyon, we skirted Trailer's Mountain at a height of about 400 or 500 feet above the river. The mountain-side was very steep and gravelly, with plenty of prickly bushes, and we went along very carefully. Jim amused himself with one of his favourite pastimes —rolling boulders down the hillside. The first one gave Jock, who was just below, the fright of his life, for he thought it was Jim himself crashing down the slope. We kept up high until we got to within 300 or 400 yards of the falls, and then descended to the river and followed it down, The others went in for a swim below the Falls, but The] and I decided that it was too cold,

We had forgotten to check the aneroid barometer before we started, but it registered 850 feet at the foot of the Falls. About a hundred yards downstream we started to climb, working diagon- ally back upstream. Crossing the Falls, we climbed up the spur to the top of the big fall, where we stopped for a rest. The mountain- side across the Falls was literally moving with wallabies, and when Jim started rolling more boulders over the top I'll bet they thought the world was coming to an end.

We reached the top at 11.5 am., followed the Boyd for about two miles and then stopped for lunch. It was terribly hot up there, but the

quite level, and free from un- dergrowth. We arrived at Whalan’s Hut and the Kanangra track at 3.10 p.m. The an- eroid Tegis- going was 2,350 feet, but good the — + we knew it ground being should have been 4,160. Taking our time along the track, we arrived at the mud hut at 4.55 p.m., and, accompanied by perfect weather, made our camp.

Jock made a stew for his food party (which included Thel and Joan) out of Paddy’s dried meat powder—which smelled like blood and bone dust—and dried vegetables—which never did taste any good, anyway. He also had to de-grub the sultanas—and he said that his water bucket was just freshly proofed so the water didn’t taste too good, but the food party did their best by the meal.

We had a lovely camp fire and sing-song before we went to bed.

Up at 430 a.m. on the morrow, the 23rd December, we left at 7.25 am., filled our water buckets and containers at the Kanangra dance platform and followed the plateau around to Smith’s Pass, At the foot of the Pass we walked around the walls to the left, and then turned right along the Kilpatrick Causeway. Forgetting to keep to the highest ground at one place, we had to retrace our steps for a short distance. There were marvellous views of Kanangra Gorge on one side and Gingra Creek on the other.

At the commencement of Craft's Walls we had a rest and about a quarter of a cup of water each. Missing Jim after a while, Harry went to look for him and found him busy rolling stones down into the Kanangra Gorge. We followed a wallaby track up the cliffs and along the top, but couldn’t find anywhere to get down again. Harry, Jim and Jock eventually found what they called a way down, over a rock at an angle of goodness knows what; almost straight down for about 15 feet—with a sheer drop of about 200 feet on one side and a long slide on the other—till it touched the knife edge of the opposite rock, from where one slid down another ten feet to a ledge. With the aid of the rope and a grass tree for anchorage we managed all

Page Sixteen


right, and after negotiating another drop of about eight or ten feet #through a hole in the rocks, continued on along the base of the cliffs. Here Jim was unlucky enough to trip and spill a billyful of water.

It was now noon and we started downhill through thick gum saplings, leaving the cliffs behind. The undergrowth was very thick, and we had to push our way through gum saplings and wild holly. Like the Man from Snowy River, “cleared the fallen timber in our stride” landing in Gabie’s Gap, hot and thirsty at 1.20 p.m. We had no water except a container full, which we were keeping for emerg- ency, so Jock went down the Western side looking for water, while Jim, Harry and Joan tried the opposite side. Jock went down about 300 feet, but could see there was no chance of any water being there and returned. After a while the others staggered in, exhausted, with a bucket of muddy fluid which looked to us like champagne. They had climbed up and down about 400 feet through thick undergrowth and blackberries.

We strained the water through a handkerchief, made tea and had lunch, then started to climb High and Mighty, with the remainder of the water, in the form of weak tea, in the water-bag. At 3.35 p.m. the aneroid registered 3,200 feet. At the top of Stormbreaker it was 3,525 feet and High and Mighty 3,550 feet.

The whole of the mountain tops were composed of loose chunks of rock, like blue metal, with sharp edges and wild holly growing be- tween, making the walking terrible.

Turning to the right, we started up for the crest of Cloudmaker, up Rip 3,525; Roar, 3,700; and Rumble 3,800, with numerous rests and occasional sips of tea. We had to keep to the top of the ridge— which was never more than about 12 feet wide and dropped sharply away on either side all the way, and the sharp stones cut our shoes to pieces and made our feet ache. Rene, in particular, had a bad time with blistered toes.

At 7 o’clock the top was reached and the last drop of tea drunk. In the gathering gloom we headed for Dex Creek, and after about half a mile came to a dry, rocky gully which we thought might be Dex Creek. Following it down for about a quarter of a mile, we came to a little pool of water, which we promptly drank dry. A little farther on was a tiny trickle of water, so we decided to camp there in the rocky creek bed, in a space about ten feet square. While we girls cooked the tea, the boys scouted around for a flat place on which to sleep. About 100 yards downstream, Jock found a fallen tree, and decided that the space where the roots had been would be the girls’ bedroom. It was just large enough for the four of us to sleep in, very close together, with our heads up against a rock, Joan’s and Rene’s legs hanging over the edge and Thel’s and mine up on the roots of the tree. (I was the only one in that bedroom who slept). The boys found a bedroom on the other side of the creek about a quarter of a mile away, and told us that they slept well.

In the morning we found that we were on Ti Willa Creek, and when we climbed back up the hill, the aneroid read 3,680 feet. Con- tinuing through thick timber, we reached the edge of the plateau and Dex Creek, where the water bags were filled. We then climbed up to the left of Mount Bolwarra, where three spurs run off. Unfortunately we got on to Moorilla Spur instead of Koorie Kirra, and after about two miles of dense undergrowth, crossed a narrow neck and climbed a hill, and there, across to the right, was Mount Koorie Kirra—on which we were supposed to be. The party was tired and we were short of water, so Harry, Jock and I decided to try to get down Moorilla Creek rather than go back. So round to the head of the creek we walked, then followed it down, over enormous waterfalls, which increased in size as we got farther down; the last one before lunch, making us call for the aid of the rope.

Page Seventeen


The next fall was too much for us, so we decided to climb round the mountain side and get on to a spur. To do this we had to cross one or two minor spurs, and hang on by the skin of our teeth all the way. Then we got on to a steep looking thing that we thought might be all right, and slid down it. It was so steep that every minute we thought it would end in a cliff; but when we got to the edge we found we could get still farther down, and at last, at 6.10 p.m., slithered down the last 50 feet into the creek bed. Upstream 100 yards there was a trickle of water, and we filled our bags and drank deeply. Presently Jock, who had gone downstream to look for water, returned with two billies full, which he had carried two miles along the creek bed. When he heard that we had found water 100 yards away, he said a bad word—loudly and feelingly.

We walked about three miles before we came to the Cox’s River at 7.35 p.m. Jock and Jim had hurried on to get the fires going.

It had been a terribly trying day, and our feet were so sore and tired that we couldn’t stand on the river stones; but how we enjoyed that swim! Several of the party had nightmares that night—Christmas Eve.

Up at 4.30 again on Christmas morning, we went leisurely along the Cox, enjoying the easy walking and beautiful river scenery. Harry killed two snakes on the way, and we lunched just before we reached the Black Dog Range.

At the Black Dog Track we said au revoir to Rene, who was going down to meet Dorothy Lawry and party at Moody’s, and started our hot climb up the Track, Believe me, I nearly expired going up there. A thunderstorm overtook us on the way to Debert’s Knob; but there wasn’t much rain. About half way there we found a heap of provisions piled neatly on the track—bread, biscuits, prunes and flour, to which, except the flour, we helped ourselves, wondering who was the fairy godmother.

At Glen Raphael we met Taro ‘and Laz Pura, who were surprised to see us, and thought we looked tired out. But they told us that no matter what we had been through, it was a Sunday School picnic compared with their experiences, and promised to tell the tale after tea.

Joan and I concocted tea out of everything we had left. We made @ weird and wonderful curry out of meat extract, dried vegetables, tomato soup sausage, pea soup sausage, macaroni, sultanas, curry, apple and the remains of Jock’s smoked leg of mutton. Everyone agreed it was “hot stuff.”

As for Taro’s tale of woe, it appeared that they had set sail for the Cox and Gangerang from Clear Hill, with about 60 lbs. each, intend- ing to go down the White Dog Range, Changing their minds, they headed for the Black Dog, lost the track, couldn’t find water any- where, and after making several attempts to get past the cliffs to the river, made a dry camp. In the morning they tried again, but had to give up. Thirst had made them so weak, that they had to dump a lot of their provisions before trying to get back to Glen Raphael, which they eventually made in a more or less dead tondition. They decided to spend the rest of their holidays at the Swamp.

We were on the way again at 7.50 in the morning to catch the 11 o'clock train at Katoomba. Going along the Narrow Neck, Jim amused us by expounding some ideas of his to make bush-walking more comfortable, ie., a Salvation Army music stand fastened in front to hold a map as we walked along; a headlight for night walk- ing, with a generator attached to the ankles, to supply electricity as ankles brushed together; another set of shoulders to slip up into the

Page Eighteen


place of the tired ones; a gun loaded with a parachute with a long rope attached, to be fired into the valley, and when the ‘chute opened, one would swing gently down through space to the lower level.

We arrived at 10.45 a.m. and were disappointed to find that the 11 o'clock train had been cut out. The next one left at 2.45 p.m., so after a big dinner of grilled steak, sausages, eggs, etc., at a restaurant, we adjourned to “The Paragon” and had parfaits and iced drinks, then wandered round reading all the post cards in the shop windows until the train came.

With the 245 returned a tired, but jubilant party, including the first women to cross Gangerang.


Tell me,

Have you ever wakened in the snapping chill of dawn And listened to the kookaburra’s call?

Have you sniffed the acrid wood-smoke in the morning pale and wan, Stirred your senses to the beauty of it all?

Have you felt the pulsing vigour of a roving life and free As you set out on the winding, sandy track?

Have you seen the shy bush-creatures that alone the bush-folk see? Placed another mountain peak “within your pack?”

Have you come out on the hill-top, when its summit you have won All breathless with the keening of the breeze?

Have you watched the golden glory of the swiftly-setting sun, While the purple shadows lengthened o’er the trees?

Have you sat beside the camp-fire when the evening meal was o’er, Watched the lamp of Venus sinking ‘neath the dune?

Have you heard the long, low thunder of the breakers on the shore, As they crashed their mighty chorus to the moon?

Have you sensed the vast serenity of peaceful eventide, Felt the nearness of the solemn twisted trees?

Have you lived those precious silences—your best friend at your side, As you drowsed away the evening at your ease?

If you've done these things, you'll realise there's so much more in living Than rotting in the City’s ceaseless din,

And your garnered store of riches is more precious and life-giving Than treasures that the City-dwellers win.

Page Nineteen


By A School-Teacher, Warned-in-Time.

I had been thinking of joining the Sydney Bush Walkers myself. In fact I had even gone so far as to put in an appearance at the Club rooms one Friday night and be introduced to the Secretary. Then, a few days later Molly reeled into the school staff room, clutch- ing her middle, and sank pitiably on to the sofa.

“Gi’ me a hot-water bag!” she implored, as we gathered sym- pathetically round her.

“Why Molly, what is the matter?” I asked.

“Matter?” she groaned, “Bushwalking!”

“Why, did you have an accident?” The questioner was genuinely anxious.

“Accident! Accident! It was all accident! It’s that woman, Maria; she said it would be an easy walk, not a test walk, whatever that is— just an easy walk!” Her voice became almost tearful. “Is someone getting me that hot-water bag?”

We were all very anxious to hear just what had happened, because Molly does not make a fuss over nothing, but someone did go and put the kettle on.

“She seems just about to have killed you,” put in another.

“She just about has, and do you know, my dears?” Molly sat up in her excited indignation, “she told me she had hurt her knee, and did not know how she was going to manage the walk, so she asked me to pretend every half hour or so that I was feeling tired and tell her I wanted to rest, so that she could rest her knee, too. Tell her! Ye gods! I never saw the woman all day long.” And Molly sank back on the cushions with another groan.

“And did you have to find your own way? How callous! And after asking you out herself!”

“Well, not exactly, but she was leading, you see—miles and miles ahead! And you should just see the sort of country we had to go over—absolutely untrodden. We scaled vertical cliffs, we fell down precipices, we struggled through impenetrable jungle! My skirt was torn to ribbons, my stockings ceased to exist! And all the while Maria, the weakling, the invalid, the deceiver, gleamed like a will ’o the wisp on the horizon.”

“What, didn’t she wait for you?”

“Oh! she used to wait every so often for people to catch up, but she was off again like the wind long before I got there. Sore knee indeed, and to think she asked me to pretend I was tired, so that she could rest it! I wouldn't have needed to pretend, but I never got a chance of telling her.”

“And you were behind the others all the time? ‘Well, I call it a jolly shame.”

“Yes, all the time. There was only one sympathetic human being} in the whole mad party. All the rest were Amazons or Bush-hogs! - But where is that hot-water-bag?”

Reluctantly I left the group in quest of the kettle. When I re- turned, someone was saying—

“Well, that’s finished you for bush-walking, I take it.”

“Oh, no!” And Molly forgot the hot water-bag for the moment. “Tt was great fun—up hill and down dale, no footpath or anything— it was just great. You bet I’m going again. . . . Oh heavens!” the last referring to sudden pains in misused muscles as she put the hot-water bag into place.

We all have our own ideas as to what is fun and what is not, and some people do kiss the rod that chastised them, but not for me, thank you! If ever I felt tempted to join the Sydney Bush Walkers, I should recall that vision of Molly clutching the hot water- bag to her middle and groaning every time she moved.

t Probably Peter Page, who so often undertakes the thankless task of whipper-in of the laggards.

Page Twenty


Page Twenty-one




“The Earth’s crust is the Geology Professor's Daily Bread,” or, to be more precise, his daily sandwich, a four-decker effect, with the oldest rocks at the bottom. Needless to say, the lower layers can’t be seen unless the “sandwich” is tilted. As regards the Sydney area, only the two central layers, the Palaeozoic or older, and Mesozoic or younger, are to be found,

In case you should have a passion for antiques, the oldest Palaeozoic rocks we can provide are to be found in the Shoalhaven Gorge, below Badgery’s Crossing, where you can see really grandfatherly slates, folded and up-ended in a most exciting manner—because, like an apple, the older a rock the more wrinkled it is. Those wrinkles are on a pretty large scale, a single fold may be hundreds of feet in depth; so that you can see it must have been quite a time since they were laid down, as mud, in a nice, quiet sea full of—well, things like jelly-fish and blue-bottles. Pretty tough on surfers, if there had been any surfers. How do we know there were any such animals? The expert will answer, with lofty scorn, that there are fossil remains, At this point the unregenerate friend usually remarks that he can produce a better-looking fossil with a Piece of slate and a penci!—and what is worse, he does. But, if you yearn for a gen-u-ine 100% graptolite, there are some to be found in the blue grey slaty rocks around the Jenolan River—Cox’s) River Junction.

These folded slates, then, were once all the rocks we had. The climate grew warmer, coral reefs flourished, and volcanoes were strewn around the landscape; in fact, it was all too picturesque and tropical for words. It was during this period (which rejoices in the name “Silurian”) that the limestone for the Jenolan, Wombeyan, Colong—and any other caves in the area—was formed by the coral reefs, while from the volcanoes came the molten rock which now forms the rugged country along the upper Jenolan River.

In the course of time the coral reefs became somewhat less im- portant and the volcanoes more so, especially during what is called the Devonian period. These volcanic rocks are usually very fine-grained and tough—some of them are called “tuffs”; but probably not for that reason. Since they are comparatively older, and hard, you will usually find them in the lower, more rugged parts of our mountain valleys— in the Tonalli River at Yerranderie, in Jooriland Creek to the south and in Cox’s River above Hartley.

Before finally disposing of these particular rocks, I must mention something else that happened to them, From deep down in the earth came masses of molten rock, which never reached the surface, but eventually solidified, forming an enormous area of crystalline rocks— granite and its friends and relations—easily recognisable by their “spotted dog” appearance, Bathurst, Hartley, Rydal, part of Megalong and the Upper Cox are all situated on or near this granite mass.

At this stage, the whole area had been worn down to a level plain. Then Sydney—pardon, I mean the future site of Sydney—became the centre of a depression. Just a little one at first, but it “growed,” just like Topsy, and formed a huge basin-shaped sea, in which hundreds of feet of sand were deposited, coal was formed, and submarine vol- canoes were probably active. The coal measures appear on the sur- face as a huge semi-circle swinging from Newcastle, through Lithgow,

Page Twenty-two



to Bulli. The volcanoes are responsible for the open, fertile country round Kiama and Gerringong, and for the ridges of Saddleback and Cambewarra; incidentally these dark “basalts” and “andesites” pro- vide something extra special in the way of slippery mud in wet weather.

Finally comes the Mesozoic, the third decker of the sandwich, and the upper three layers of this “basin” which were formed from muds and sands deposited in fresh water. The lowest, the Narrabeen shales, appear on the north, and, strange to say, at Narrabeen; and on the south, between Era and Stanwell Park, Their most noticeable feature is the chocolate-coloured shale, on which the cabbage-palm flourishes. Above the Narrabeen beds, filling most of the centre of the “basin,” and producing our most characteristic mountain scenery, is our Hawkesbury sandstone—by no means confined to the Hawkesbury River—but everywhere forming those vertical walls of extraordinarily uniform golden-coloured rock which constitute our “mountains,” with their level tops. These are only interrupted where a volcano (they seem to have been laid on) left sheets of basalt, the remnants of which form Mounts Hay, King George, Tomah, Wilson, Colong, and the Far Peak.

Eventually, river systems, the Cox, Wollondilly, Nepean, and the Grose, carved valleys for themselves out of the four thousand foot tableland, and produced our present day scenery, which fortunately is beautiful enough to survive even the geological (and other) remarks I have been making about it.

Page Twenty-three



The past few years have seen many improvements in cameras and photographic equipment, and among the most useful to the Bush- walker photographer are various new types of film and colour-filter.

For many years the only form of film procurable for use in roll- film cameras was comparatively slow in speed and not particularly sensitive to colours other than blue and ultra violet. The human eye cannot see the ultra violet light and is more sensitive to green light than blue. It should be mentioned here that the colour sensations of light are produced by different wave-lengths, and if the colours of the visible spectrum are taken it will be found that the shortest wave-length is violet, increasing through the blue, green, yellow and orange, until the longest wave-length, red, is reached. Beyond violet is a shorter wave-length, ultra-violet, and beyond red there is a longer wave-length, infra-red, but neither of these can be seen by the human eye.

Photographic emulsions sensitive to all colours are known as panchromatic and have long been available in plates, Fut it is only over the past few years that they have been available in roll-films and so of use to walking camera-enthusiasts. Another variety of film also colour-sensitive but only to the blue-green-yellow end of the spectrum, is known as orthochromatic and the best examples of this are the well-known Kodak Verichrome, Agfa Isochrome and Selo- chrome. These particular films also have the advantage of being multi-coated, which compensates for errors in exposure and so pro- duces a better result. Although the films I have mentioned are sensitive to the various colours, they are all influenced to a greater degree by the ultra-violet and blue rays, and to obtain a properly balanced effect it is necessary to cut out part of this light so that the result in the picture will more nearly approach that seen by the eye. The method of doing this is to place a properly-coloured piece of glass or gelatine either in front of, between, or behind the lens and depending upon the colour used, this will eliminate the unwanted rays. A light yellow filter will cut out the ultra-violet and some of the violet and blue rays, whilst a deep yellow will not permit either the ultra-violet or blue rays to pass. A yellow-green filter will in addition cut out some red rays, whilst a red filter will allow only the rays of longest wave-length to pass through the lens.

The outdoor photographer uses light-filters for three purposes: (a) to obtain correct colour-rendering; (b) to permit white clouds against a blue sky to register on a negative; and © to cut out blue haze in distant photographs.

The first and second of these objects are attained by using a medium yellow-filter on orthochromatic, and a yellow-green filter on panchromatic, emulsions. The result is always a more pleasing pic- ture. Distant landscape photography is, however, more difficult. How many walkers looking from a vantage point in the mountains with the row after row of clear-cut, distant hills, have been disappointed to find their photograph rendered the scene flat and without detail! This is caused by the shorter wave-length lights, especially the ultra- violet, being scattered by water particles in the atmosphere and so not producing a sharp picture. The longer wave-lengths are not so susceptible to this action, and if all the shorter wave-length rays are eliminated and only the longer wave-lengths permitted to register, the result will be sharper in the distant portions of the picture. For this reason a deep yellow or red filter is recommended to obtain the

(Continued on page twenty-six)

Page Twenty-four


Page Twenty-five


best result, but it should be noted that red filters may be used only with panchromatic films,

A further use for filters is in snow-photography, and the writer found that a light-yellow gelatine filter, permanently fitted between the lens, was of great assistance at Koscuisko. The resulting pictures did not have the whitewash effect so often seen in snow-photographs, and the permanent nature of the filter did not prevent a deeper one being used in addition for distant photographs.

It will be realised that, when some light is retarded, a longer exposure is necessary to permit the remaining light to register the picture on the negative. This increased exposure is termed the factor and may vary between two times for a light-yellow filter to ten times for a red filter. A medium yellow having a factor of <4 on ortho- chromatic film or X 2 on panchromatic film, is a good all-round filter.

In conclusion, buy your filter from the same maker as the film you are accustomed to using for this combination will give the best results, In this regard, however, it should be noted that the picture of Lord Howe Island on page 2 was made by holding a pair of ordinary yellow glare-glasses in front of the lens!

JOURNEY By Reece Caterson

The long road slid before us to the brow

Of that far hill, but twisted many ways

To peep upon our going, as the day’s

Sweet morning lit to red the crowning bough

Of all the gums. And stilly; even now,

The quiet of the river fills my gaze,

Where their charmed heads the willows would not raise One instant from the peace it could endow.

And we were silent. Yet the uplands knew

The gustiness of laughter on their wind

As salt, it stung the nostril, and the sea

Threw north and south the largeness of its blue. But, evening come, there always slept behind Our weariness that valley, shadowy.

Page Twenty-six



There comes a time in the lives of most Bush Walkers when the urge is felt to have a civilised holiday—with service and prepared meals. Some, on these occasions, go to the extreme and taste the “feshpots” of cruising on luxury liners; but for a holiday which gives plenty of walking, diversity of scenery, and swimming ad lib., Lord Howe Island is hard to beat. This fact seems to be well known to a section of the Sydney Bush Walkers, for over a dozen of our members have, at some time or an- other, journeyed to the isle which so aptly fits in with Kiplings words:

“Where the sea egg flames on the coral And the long-backed breakers croon Their endless ocean legends To the land-locked lagoon.”

Lord Howe Islatid is about 400 miles to the north-east of Sydney, roughly in the same latitude as Port Macquarie. A warm ocean cur- rent, however, gives it the benefit of a sub-tropical vegetation, in- cluding the Howea and Pandanus palm and the Banyan tree. For- tunately, snakes and scorpions are non-existent, and the only spider there, a nasty looking specimen, is harmless.

Although only seven miles in length, with an average width of under a mile, the island is composed of three mountain groups, con- nected by level ground only a few feet above high water level. The southern group (which can be seen in the photograph, p. 2) rises to almost 3,000 feet; the centre group to 400 feet and the northern group to 700 feet. The settled areas, which carry a permanent island population averaging 1€0 persons and a floating tourist population averaging 50 people, are mostly on the low lying ground fronting the lagoon, and on the slopes of the middle hill feature. The entire island is a botanical reserve under the jurisdiction of the N.S.W. Govern- ment, and the residents hold land on a permissive occupancy basis. They fully realise the tourist value of their flora, and consequently preserve it,

The walking facilities vary from a gentle stroll through the palms along the beach road, to climbing Mt. Lidgbird, which is so difficult that only a few persons have conquered it. Practically no facilities exist for camping, and the only walking gear required is a frame- less rucksack for carrying lunch, swimming togs, etc., walking boots or shoes, map (Lands Dept—i/-) and a water bottle. The hills are steep and water runs away very quickly, so most of the streams are generally dry water-courses.

Hours can be spent at the rock pools along the eastern coast, and at the coral reef and coral gardens off the western shore, which although not so brilliant in colouring as those at the Barrier Reef, are well worth visiting. Incidentally, this is the most southern coral in the world.

For them ‘as likes it,” deep sea fishing, launch picnics, dancing, tennis and even golf, fill in the time.

In conclusion, Lord Howe Island is a photographer's paradise, and if you are that way inclined, go well prepared with negative material. (Illustrations pages 2 and 29),

Page Twenty-eight

Page Twenty-nine

Page Thirty

tee, a ae



We were resting at Bimlow, Bur- ragorang Valley, having been walk- ing and camping for ten days, and now at the end of two days’ spell, were sitting round our evening camp fire, pipes going, whilst we yarned with one of the local far- mers.

Naturally we seized the opportun- ity to ask about the Warragamba Gorge, for it lies very close to Bimlow, whereas Picton and_ the Nattai River, our original route, lay a goodly distance away, and we were not averse to taking the shorter route if it were practicable.

The map was produced, and our visitor pointed out with his pipe stem the River and Gorge under discussion, stating that in the hey- dey of his youth he had often taken horse, ridden through the Gorge as far as Monkey Creek for a day's fishing, and returned on the same day. This seemed to us a bit tall, but he laughed to scorn the Map Maker’s legend “very rough,” so, bowing to his superior know- ledge, we decided it would be Warragamba on the morrow, and at once commenced to check our food supplies so that we might replenish where necessary from the local store.

Immediately after breakfast on the following day we called at the store, a small farm, to purchase what was necessary. Returning to the camp we commenced packing, only to be interrupted by a heavy storm which lasted till noon, when, deeming it wisest to have lunch where we were, we put off our departure, hoping that the sun, which was now shining brilliantly, would dry out our tent.

About 2 p.m. we were ready but the weather was changing, great clouds packing in from the South, and we had to move very smartly to get into shelter before another torrential downpour. This lost an- other hour, which brought us close to 4 p.m. before we eventually crossed the Wollondilly River, headed North for Warragamba Gorge.

The Warragamba River lies about five miles from Bimlow, and is the connecting link between the river systems of the Burragorang and Nepean Valleys. At the Burragorang end is the junction of the Cox and Wollondilly Rivers, which lose their individuality in the War- ragamba, and here the Valley is at its widest.

Some three miles from the Junction is the Bend, and at this point the river enters the Gorge—and it. is a real Gorge—for with the exception of one break, Monkey Creek, which enters from the right about eight miles down, it is never much wider than a hundred yards, while as it turns slightly north of east in a gentle curve, the walker’s view, if he is fortunate enough to obtain one through the tangle of scrub, is restricted to little more than a mile. Z

All of this we were to learn later. In the meantime, we had arrived on the river not far from the Bend, and, as it was fairly low, we had no difficulty in wading across. Following downstream, we came to a sandspit with a nice, grassy flat where it joined the bank, an ideal camp site, and here we spent a comfortable night.

We were away bright and early the next morning, as we hoped to reach Norton’s Basin, on the Nepean River, by nightfall, and for quite a while our prospects looked bright. We covered six miles before

Page Thirty-one


lunch, taking things easily, and stopping at blackberry bushes which were growing in profusion, and literally laden with delicious ripe fruit.

More by accident than by design, we stopped for lunch at the last open space where there happened to be a little grass, with a deep pool handy ,and while one prepared the lunch, the other two swam and sunbaked.

Lunch was a light, but leisurely meal, after which we packed and started off, to plunge at once into dense scrub with no sign of a track, not even an animal pad, and our troubles commenced in earnest.

For the benefit of likely triers, let me say now that nothing short of a brushhook will get you through. As mentioned before, the average width of the gorge is a hundred yards, made up of fifty yards of river in the centre and a platform about twenty-five yards on either side, stretching from the river to the foot of the hills, which rise to over a thousand feet—a platform covered with a veritable tangle of scrub interlaced with lawyer vines of a particularly vicious type, whilst waist high is a continuous growth of stinging nettle.

Move five yards from your companions and you will lose sight of them so you must keep touch by continually calling, though you cannot stray, for the river is now too deep to cross and the hills too steep to climb. Forward is your only salvation.

‘And forward we went. At times the means of progress was to turn our backs on the scrub, then lean against it and push hard with the feet. Eventually it gave way and we picked ourselves up, going on again until it was necessary to repeat the performance.

Apparently, when it rains the water comes down the steep hill- sides in torrents, cutting away the soft earth to reach the river, leav- ing small gulches quite twenty feet deep with one side bare of vege- tation. These were easy enough to descend, but the scramble across the bottom in thick, black mud and the consequent upward fight through bushes and nettles, with the soil crumbling underfoot, was heart-breaking.

We tried all means of getting along. The river bank, besides being covered with slippery rocks, is too steep, so it was abandoned. We worked back against the hillside, but found that what apparently was reasonable going eventually led us into trouble, for several times we had to retrace our steps to enable us to get past cliff faces which were unclimbable.

Thoroughly fed up, we battled forward. It was nothing short of a battle for us, covered with leeches, stung by nettles, bleeding pro- fusely through contact with lawyer vines, and with our shirts and shorts badly torn.

Once or twice, coming to an open space, we had a respite, gener- ally brought about by a big blue gum demanding room to grow, and in these clearings we would rest for a few minutes—in one of these clearings, incidentally, we rested on a nest of Bull Dog Ants, the black and blue variety. These cunning creatures have a habit of crawling up the legs, until quite a few have established their position, then at a given signal, all sting at once. The resultant pain can only be described as exquisite, and any onlooker would gain the impression that he was watching a strange type of war dance, accompanied by much forceful language, after which the dancers set off through the bush at a terrific rate with renewed strength.

In one of these clearings we came upon a very interesting tree. Growing to a height of about fourteen feet and covered with large pink and white blossoms, it looked so unusual in these surroundings that we went to considerable trouble to inspect it closely, and found the blossoms opening and closing like hands. We soon saw the reason, for should an insect land on the blossom it would close im- mediately, There must have been something very attractive to the

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insects, for each blossom was covered with their dead bodies, but try as we would with twigs and pieces of leaves, the blossoms refused to close for anything save insects.

The afternoon was now drawing in to evening; the sun had left the Gorge, and we pushed on, having abandoned the idea of reach- ing the Nepean by nightfall, and feeling that we would be satisfied to reach Monkey Creek, for there appeared no possibility of camping until then, but as yet we had seen no sign of a break in the hills opposite.

Tired out, with our clothes and hair covered with dead leaves and dirt from the bushes, we decided that if there was no sign of the creek before 6 p.m., we would clear a spot and camp.

It was useless to try to pick our position from the map, for there were no land marks, and not till 5.30 p.m., did we see any signs of the longed for break in the hills opposite. When we did see it, we cracked on all the pace we were capable of, so that shortly after 6 p.m. we were level with the break, which proved to be a deep gorge running far back into the hills.

The sound of running water cheered us immensely, and we forced our way through the scrub to the river's edge, taking twenty minutes to cover a distance of less than fifty yards. The effort was well repaid, for directly opposite was Monkey Creek tumbling over a small fall into the Warragamba River.

The camping didn’t look very good, but then it had no need to be good to be better than the best on our side, so we set out to cross.

The river narrowed just below the Creek, with several huge boulders in the centre, whilst jammed across the widest gap was a dead sapling, as narrow a bridge as we had ever tried, in fact an impossible one for us, loaded as we were with packs and rifles, and it was necessary for one of us to swing over part of the way, take each pack separately, place it on the rock then swing back for the next.

Eventually we were over, then hey for a swim in the clear creek water. Then we settled down for tea, tired, but not unhappy, for we were out of the wood and could leave the gorge by a track leading up the hill and thence to Silverdale.

We turned in immediately after tea, but as the ground did not allow of the tent being pitched, we used it as an envelope, sleeping on and in it. Even then the gorge had not finished with us, for we woke at dawn covered with small slugs, the ground on which we were sleeping being very damp.

At the time of buying our food we had allowed for five meals only, and now, after breakfast, were left with only tea, sugar and chocolate. We had no option but to make for Silverdale, arriving there in time for lunch, after which we had only a few miles of road walking to reach Wallacia and Norton’s Basin, where we camped that night.

Whilst camped at the Basin, we entered the Gorge from the Nepean end, to discover that the nature of the country is the same to within a few hundred yards of the Nepean River. It was, there- fore, just as well that we left the Gorge when we did, for the remain- ing few miles would have meant a full day’s trip, as it took us slightly more than four hours to cover a distance of two miles on the previous day.

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The S.B.W. has, during the eight or more years of its existence, become more than a walking club. The joys of walking have be- come allied to the kindred delights of exploring, climbing, camping and canoeing, each of which claims its special devotees.

During the year, our members go their separate ways, some following the well trodden and well loved tracks to places of known delight and interest; others fighting their toilsome way following the trackless range of restless endeavour, through bush and briar to more inaccessible beauty spots; still more are to be found in little tents under huge trees, cooking contentedly round small fires as evening approaches; sleeping quietly throughout the peaceful night; awakening joyously to the sound of the magpie or kooka- burra in the bright morning sunshine.

Lately, some of us have taken to ourselves still another phase of outdoor life—the canoe has become a comrade and the river the great adventure.

Of necessity, these various modes of outdoor enjoyment separate us, each one going his particular way to heaven. True, the club room on Friday nights finds us greeting friends, old and new, com- paring photographs and yarning of trips, past, present and to come. But is any club room, however congenial, the right place for walkers to meet? The true reunion of kindred souls such as ours must be, can only be “under the wide and starry sky,” the glow- ing camp fire—ever the symbol of good fellowship—at our feet, and in our ears the music of the voices of those we love.

That is why this reunion business is always the most sincere and most successful event of our year, and this year was no excep- tion.

Black clouds, ominous and gloomy, threatened us as darkness fell, but we gathered on the sloping turf which forms our auditorium on the banks of the Nepean River, eagerly awaiting the pageant about to be presented. The proceedings commenced with a fanfare of trumpets from the heralds; then the High Priest of the Fire chanted a most impressive incantation, invoking the blessing of the sacred flame on the assemblage gathered below, when suddenly a dark form appeared on top of the unlighted fire. It was the foul spirit of Hooey pouring down maledictions and abuse. The High Priest then called upon the powerful spirit Kerobenzino Plus a Da Matcheo from its lofty heights, to send down the purging flame, consume the imp of Hooey and kindle anew the spirit of campfire comradeship. Immediately a bolt of fire burst from a nearby tree, and the foul spirit of Hooey disappeared in the purifying flames of the great camp fire. The audience burst into song: “Fire’s burn- ing, Fire’s burning,—come sing and be merry,” their cheery faces glowing bright to the ever growing flame.

Now appeared a solemn procession—the newly appointed officials and committee—clothed in robes of purest white, each bearing a snow-white lily. Slowly they filed in front of the fire and were introduced in the following terms:—

“Here are the dear selected few;

Here's the Committee appointed by you, In purest white and with lilies too,

The gift of a 'nonymous member.”

Naturally, such an introduction called for a suitable response, so the white-robed figures who looked like ghosts, replied:—

“Pure, pure, and righteous are we, Pure, pure, and wowsery:

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The fairest blossom on the tree, Is not so pure as this Committee.”

The various officials were then introduced in similar strain; the President swore the Committee to be faithful to their offices, and they departed dolefully chanting their “theme song.”

After the Reunion Song had been sung, the induction of the new President took place. The ceremony was in two distinct parts— the first humorous, and the second serious. According to the best traditions of Bush Walker ritual, Ex-President Herbert welcomed President Roots, charged him to perform faithfully the various duties and responsibilities of his high office, and finally handed over the “bone” which is our mace and symbol of office. The inauguration over, the President was congratulated, in a graceful speech by Frank Duncan, on behalf of past Presidents, and he welcomed Tom Herbert to that small and select band.

More singing followed and the customary counting of members took place, each one standing and calling out number and name, Over 100 answered the roll. Another method of introducing was then carried out, the grouping of members in their various years of membership, commencing with foundation members, of whom a surprising number were present.

So the night passed in song and story, in laughter and the gay comradeship of the open air. The threatening rain fell, but not heavily, only a few seeking the shelter of their tents, and when morning came, some were still to be found round the dying embers of our reunion camp fire.


The Club suffers a severe loss this year in the departure of the President, Mr. Wal Roots, who was also President of the Federation, and of Mrs, Phil Roots, the Social Secretary. They have gone to Brisbane and we cannot help hoping they will take care of themselves when they get among the rock-climbers of the Glass House Mountains there. For four years they faithfully carried on the secretaryship of our Club which was continuously increasing its activities. In 1935 they took a well-earned rest and became ordinary members, but this year they again took office, and the Club will have difficulty in replac- ing them.

Mr. Les Douglas has also gone off to Brisbane; Mr. Noel Turnbull has departed for Newcastle, and Miss Suzanne Reichard, our champion swimmer, for New York, where she is to take up post graduate work in psychology.

People who have gone abroad for temporary visits, either on pleasure or on business, are Mr. L. G. Harrison (Mouldy), Misses Frances Ramsay, Vera Phillips, Flo Allsworth and Mrs. Hilda Stod- dart. All these have been entertained by clubs overseas, and we in return have had the pleasure of meeting several members of the Melbourne Walking Club, Mr. Peter Macpherson of the Tararua Tramping Club, Miss Desbrisay of the Canadian Alpine Club, Miss Roberts of the New Zealand Alpine Club and Miss Olga Cassrels of the Alpine Sports Club of Auckland, New Zealand, while a few of our members had the honour of meeting Mr. Bryant of the 1935 Everest Expedition. These meetings with people from overseas can bring nothing but pleasure, and we do ask everyone, whether here or abroad, to let us know when overseas’ trampers, ramblers, climbers or hikers are in Sydney, for even if they do not call themselves bushwalkers, they are still kindred spirits.

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By Jeane Travis & Gordon Mannell

It was whilst at Braidwood in March, 1935, that the co-author, Gordon, first conceived the idea of visiting Bendethera and the upper Deua River. Originally, we had five starters, but, eventually, only three were available, viz., Jeane Travis, Jessie Martin and Gordon Man- nell. On March 7th, 1936 we boarded the 9.5 a.m. train for Nowra, with our packs laden

Becaning New CountRy¥, with gear and food supplies for ten days, it being our intention to re-stock at Araluen for the remaining four days.

The run by service car from Nowra to Moruya, a distance of about 105 miles, was both delightful and interesting, but we were more than happy to alight at Moruya and begin the great trek.

The first section of our journey was from Moruya to Burra Creek, being about eight miles inland along the picturesque Araluen Road, which winds lazily across the Kiaora Bridge over the lower portion of the Deua River, and thence through the little township of Kiaora, a noted cheese centre. From Kiaora the road passes through a thick belt of forest in which birds abound, and then gradually descends to the junction of Burra Creek and the Deua.

Leaving the road at Burra Creek, we waded the Deua, and, after gaining some valuable information from a local resident, proceeded along Burra Creek for about one and a half miles. Wattle trees and blackberry bushes line the banks of this crystal-clear stream, while frequent patches of grassy sward afford excellent camping. We were astonished by the innumerable species of birds, whose songs seemed to forecast good things to come.

After leaving Burra Creek, the most difficult part of the trip com- menced, the ascent into the mountainous country, across steep granite ridges, thickly timbered, by way of George's pack track, to Cooren- della, used by Mr. George as a “halfway house” when he is droving cattle from Moruya to Bendethera. The track, which is very faint in places, follows a line of ridges. From these there are marvellous views of the coastline fifteen miles away, stretching on the North from Bateman’s Bay as far South as Bega, and of the surrounding country inland.

After leaving the ridges, we dropped steeply down rough mountain slopes into Diamond Creek, on the beauty of which we cannot elabor- ate too much, Just below where we first struck it, it falls over a drop of about 60 feet, but owing to the denseness of the timber we were unable to catch more than a glimpse of the fall. Keeping the creep on our right, we wended our way along to the junction of Coorendella Creek, and, following up this, were amazed at the pro- fusion of tree-ferns which grew along the banks. The track followed the creek bed and was quite difficult. We had to wade most of the way, often paddling through green weed, knee deep. However, after about a mile, we began the long, arduous climb over the Black Moun- tain, which, on top, is very similar to Mt. Solitary, being a long, flat tableland. From the summit we obtained our first sight of the upper Deua and Bendethera, and were impatient to begin the descent to the river.

Arriving at Bendethera, we were given a very hearty welcome by Mr. George, who had ridden over from Moruya two days previously

Page Thirty-six


to inspect his cattle. The ruins of Bendethera homestead are situated at the junction of Con Creek and the Deua, and here we spent a very enjoyable day and a half, wandering over the vast green flats, which, when we looked down on them from the Black Mountain, made such an inspiring sight. The first evening we went fishing and man- aged to land a beauty, two pounds, which was a very welcome addition to the food supplies. Near our camp grew apple and quince trees, so, of course, stewed fruit was on the menu, too. At night we visited Randolph George, who, until midnight, excited our imagination with stories—true ones—of the bushrangers who roamed the district when he was a boy. The following morning we visited the little known Bendethera Caves, which are supposed to be more extensive than Jenolan. However, the ladders were not too secure, so we did not attempt to explore the vast depths. Lunch over, a farewell was said to our old friend and this glorious spot where once the George family had their home.

Although we had many crossings to make, owing to the tortuous course the river takes whilst trying to free itself from the clutches of the steep mountains which hem it in, the going was easy. We

through groves of wattle trees, carpets of ferns, forests of blue gums and past patches of corn, from which arose myriads of parrots of won- derful hues. Never on any of our excur- sions in Nature’s

followed a cattle track which lazily wound its way along the river down to the friends — galahs, ro- Many crossings, then sellas, white cocka- up the other bank, = toos—flocks of them, not forgetting the innumerable small birds which seemed to issue from every bush and tree as we passed.

There are three families of the real pioneer type who have their homes on the Deua River, and we had the opportunity of enjoying the wonderful hospitality which these people show to strangers.

At Neringla Creek we reluctantly said “Au Revoir” to the un- rivalled Deua, on which we spent such happy days, alas all too few, amidst surroundings so profusely endowed with Nature’s treasures. Heavy rain caused us to delay our journey a day, which day we spent at “Yang Yalley” homestead. Leaving Neringla Creek, on which “Yang Yalley” is situated, we crossed several small valleys, carpeted with luscious grasses, on which herds of Hereford cattle grazed.

Coming to a rise overlooking the beautiful Araluen Valley, we viewed with eager eyes the inspiring panorama spread out before us Gradually we wended our way down the road across the new Araluen Bridge into the straggling little town of Araluen, famous for its gold- fields. Araluen is, of course, also famous on account of the poet Kendall, who lived there and called it “Land of Dreams.” After we had restocked at Araluen’s local store and posted some letters home, Cheerio was said to it and its amused inhabitants,

A mile out of town we left the main Braidwood road and took that which leads to another famous goldfield, Major’s Creek. After passing numerous little farms and orchards, we commenced the climb up the winding, picturesque Major's Creek mountain road. Looking back through the trees, the valley invitingly begged us to linger awhile and enjoy its entrancing beauty, but time was pressing.

Major's Creek—more supplies—and then the local publican took us in hand and drove us out to inspect the Great Star Goldmine,

strongholds have we encountered so many of our feathered

Page Thirty-seven


Despite requests to stay awhile, blueys were humped, and a course was set for the Shoalhaven River, some eight miles distant, The Shoalhaven at this part we found very disappointing, being barren and depressing, especially after the beautiful Deua, and also after having heard such glowing reports of it from numerous Club mem- bers. We followed it for about a mile, and then were glad to abandon it for the Braidwood Road, which comes through from Cooma.

After visiting some friends, we had an encounter with a black bull whilst crossing a paddock, and black bulls (to one member of the party) always seem worse than others. This one made the situation truly alarming by racing across the paddock in our direction, We rushed for shelter behind a gum tree, but, much to our surprise, the pull then stopped to eat. After due consideration we decided that the next paddock looked better than this, even though our adversary was only eating, and we accordingly made for the nearest fence, After this the “Three Musketeers” reached Braidwood, where they had another escapade, this time from a limb of the law, So, after a fortnight of wandering in a unique and fascinating land, we took the car to Tarago, where we boarded the Cooma Mail, and arrived back in the “Big Smoke” with memories and snaps of the best holiday


Page Thirty-eight

Photo by G. Mannell


Burn and bury all your rubbish and your tins,

And hide your bottles as you would your sins.

Page Thirty-nine

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193611.txt · Last modified: 2024/03/15 16:34 by

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