Table of Contents
The Sydney Bushwalker
A monthly bulletin of matters of interest to the Sydney Bush Walkers. The N.S.W. Nurses' Association Rooms, “Northcote Building”, Reiby Place, Sydney. Box No.4476 G.P.O. Sydney. Phone JW1462.
No.297 September 1959 Price 1/-
|Editor||Don Matthews, 33 Pomona Street, Pennant Hills. W3514|
|Sales & Subs||Audrey Kenway|
|Business Manager||Brian Harvey|
|Editorial - In Spring the Young Man's Fancy…||1|
|Interested in Wildflowers?||2|
|Blankety-Blank on the Map||Geof Nagg||3|
|Social Program||Edna Garrad||4|
|Who's Going Cruising?||Clarice Morris||5|
|Hatswell's Taxi and Tourist Service||Advert.||7|
|Lamington - Non Edible||M. Bacon||8|
|The Sanitarium Health Food Shop||Advert.||9|
|You Can Easily be Caught||The Bush Lawyer (Vine)||10|
|The Twelfth Day||Jim Brown||11|
|Federation Report for August||David Ingram||14|
In Spring The Young Man's Fancy
will probably turn to the conquest of Ettrema or Danae Brook or Davies' Canyon or whatever else can threw out a satisfying challenge.
The not-so-young man's fancy might, well turn to those peaceful rambles along the Cox's and the more moderate creeks leading into it, with plenty of pauses to enjoy the granite gorges of Megalong and Galong, or the waterfalls of Glen Alan.
Think of the stretch of Cox's between White Dog and Megalong Creek; the beauty of Kanangaroo, The Grand Bluffs, the water races above Gibraltar Junction. (Just the shot for the Walking Trial!) Don't pine for distant exciting (?) places; go out and take a closer look at the old haunts.
Interested in Wildflowers?
On September 13th Len Fall will lead a party to join a wildflower walk with the N.P.A.
Train: 8.50 a m. Electric from Central. Change at Sutherland for Engadine or Meet at the entrance to Royal National Park, east side Engadine Station at 9.45 a m.
Visit Engadine Falls and Heathcote Waratah forest, see Creek, Heath and Woodland flora. Over 100 species to be seen. Easy walking mostly on tracks. For further information contact Len Fall JA5959.
September 20th. Heathcote - Kangaroo Creek - Audley - Pleasant track and creek walking. Wildflowers. Leader - Edna Garrad.
September 26-27th Wynyard bus to Palm Beach- Mackeral Beach - Whitehorse Bay - The Basin - Palm Beach . Easy walking, panoramas of Hawkesbury and Pittwater. Leader Jess Martin.
September 27th. Heathcote Uloola Falls - Flat Rock Crossing - South West Arm Creek - Audley.
Medium Track and Creek walking - waterfalls and pools. Includes a part of the Park (South West Arm Creek) not very often visited by walkers. Wildflowers galore.
Leader - David Ingram.
A handy map for the National Park area is the Department of Lands Tourist Map of the Port Hacking District.
Worthwhile reading: “Australian Wild Life”.
(Journal of the Wild Life Preservation Society of Australia). Fiftieth Anniversary Number Vol.4. No.4 June 1959. On page 80, “Flowering Plants of the Uloola Track, Royal National Park.” Part 2 of a comprehensive account of the ecology of this well known walking area, with a list of plants to be found there.
Blankety-Blank on the Map
The other evening Grace and I were sitting having tea when Snowy Brown came in as he often does. “I've got all the clues for finding Tuglow Caves”, he said. “I was talking to a bloke who was out there last weekend”.
“Did he find them?” asked Grace.
“Well – no; but he reckoned he knew where he went wrong. Apparently he got on to this high point near the Kanangra road —”
“Was that Queen Pin?” I interrupted.
“Queen Pin's on the Shoalhaven”, said Grace.
“I don't think he mentioned the name of it” said Snow.
“No, that's King Pin on the Shoalhaven” I put in. “There's a King Pin up on the Kanangra Road as weIl as a Queen Pin.”
“I don't think—” said Snow.
“Yes there is, I've got it here on a map. I'll prove it:” “But —” said Snow. “Won't take a moment”, I said, pulling out the map box.
Well, it did take quite a while because I just couldn't seem to find our new Blue Mountains and Burragorang Tourist Sheet. (Snow said he'd just go and turn his chops over under the griller and come back), which he did, and by then I'd given up hope of finding the new map and settled for the old one.
This was a veteran of innumerable trips, battered by wind and weather, furry and dog-eared through roughing it around the bush, and altogether hardly an authoritative looking document. As well as this, either for convenience or through constant use, it had become torn along some of the many folds into a number of strips and irregular shaped sections until the whole thing resembled a kind of flimsy jig-saw puzzle.
We got to work with this on the kitchen floor and bye and bye had it assembled. The general effect was rather spoiled by the ragged extremities of the map where sections of the less frequented country had been removed far the purposes of fire lighting, etc. yet by far the worst was the large section of kitchen floor showing in the centre of the map. Inspection proved the missing section included the area under discussion.
I was a bit disconcerted by this until I recalled some years ago having cut out the piece around the Kowmung River and pasted it on cloth and waterproofed it so that it might withstand the rigours of a swimming trip. Thus I dived once more into the map box. Snow said he'd better go and have another look at his chops, but this time he didn't come back.
I found it I found it: I was quite on the job, but here at last was the map - “Rudolph's Tourist Guide to the Kowmung River and Environs”. Clutching it I burst into Mrs. Stitt's dining room. Snow was eating his tea and looked resigned as I entered.
“I found it!” I shouted in his ear, and spread out the map. Snow moved his plate until he could see the sausages again and went on quietly eating. “Nowhere we are”, I said, jabbing at the map with a finger. “From Thurat Trig here, you follow back along this low ridge until —”. There was silence. Snow's curiosity was roused and he glanced at the spot where my finger had come to rest. A small triangular section of map was missing at the corner of a fold - not a big piece - less than a square inch in area, and yet.
At the brink of this awful chasm my ridge vanished, reappearing about l map miles further on, and you can believe me (or as Snow pointed out, you can believe me not) but in that missing corner is a Queen Pin and a King Pin too. The way Snow laughed I could tell he thought I was beaten. Not quite though, because a little further down from where the ridge reappeared I'd spotted an “Emperor” Pin and any person with the average knowledge of Myles Dunphy's tastes in nomenclature will realise that he's not the person to have an Emperor Pin all alone and lonely on a ridge by itself. So you see, I still cherish a hope that one day I'll find my new Blue Mountains and Burragorang Tourist Sheet, and when at last I gaze at that elusive little piece of map, I'll see not only a King Pin and a Queen Pin, but Princes and Princesses, maybe even a footman, and then — then it'll be Snow Brown who owes ME a milkshake!
SEPTEMBER 16 Dr. John Bunt - illustrated talk on Antartic.
SEPTEMBER 23 Debate - “The older members are of greater benefit to the Club”. This will be good - don't miss it.
SEPTEMBER 25 See David Ingram regarding the Federation Ball at the Paddington Town Hall. As Federation Delegate he is arranging the S.B.W. party with Ed Stretton as hostess. David has the tickets. If you prefer to arrange a private party - that, is all right with David too, but we hope there will be an appropriate S.B.W roll up.
OCTOBER 21 Scenic Colour Slide Competition. All photographic enthusiasts should have entries in this competition as we all do scenic work. Please sort out your slides and let us have your very best efforts for this competition. Limit 6 slides per member. Hand to me before or on 30th September.
OCTOBER 28 Prospective Members Night. First aid lecture is to be held at 7.15 p m. This experiment is being carried out as it is felt that the three lectures have always been rather much to absorb on the Field Weekend.
Who's Going Cruising?
Even if you haven't been invited to join Princess Alexandra's exclusive Barrier Reef party on Lindeman Island, by this time of the year you've probably begun to dream of tropic isles where the icy westerlies never blow and instead of frost-tipped blue gums outside your tent door, you glimpse waving coconut palms.
If such is your choice, then a cruise up and down the Whitsunday Passage, is the ideal solution. Not that you entrust yourself to the travel pamphlet charms of the young man behind the Queensland Tourist Bureau counter and travel deluxe from Pinchgut to South Male; you can be a bit more hardy and adventurous, and walk all the way (time permitting) or less you can be a little less comfortable and go second class, sitting up all night from Sydney to Prosperpine, maybe more than one night. When I went north last January we took a week to reach Cannonvale the point of departure for the Passage, but we camped out each night and averaged little over 200 miles per day. Not that this need be monotonous because in the height of summer the snakes come out of the cane fields quite often, one even took a flying tackle over my fruit salad, while I was sitting on a ground sheet. If you are sensitive to a few hundred mosquitoes at a time, you can always practise the Highland Fling or else wear everything you possess, to blunt their stings.
There are people who avoid all these challenges provided by Nature and travel north in spring or summer, but they are not in the best bushwalking tradition, the harder the better. If you are determined to take up the gauntlet and explore Whitsunday Passage in summer, then you need at least a week to become acclimatised to the wildlife. A launch of your own or one hired for your party can be arranged with one of the professional launch owners, and hey presto, its almost like “once aboard the lugger”, only you have to make camp each night on a different island.
This is not far the ordinary tourist, but for the extraordinary tropic island lovers, we Fomenkos, who want to get away from it all. The Queensland National Parks Association will grant permission to an accredited body of people, Nature lovers who are also experienced campers, to stay overnight on the islands. Nothing is guaranteed, not even water, though Whitsunday Island at Cid Harbour has a well running supply of fresh water. Food must be taken with you from the last shopping centre; don't count on shopping at Hayman Island, the prices are for millionaires.
The islands of the Passage are not true coral islands such as are Heron and Green Islands; they are really part of the mainland granite formation. The Passage has intervened and the island peaks are really the summits of coastal mountains. These are mostly covered with tropical foliage, particularly Boarder, Whitsunday and Hook Islands, but there are others, Dent, Daydream and tiny Henning, that are heavily timbered with tall Hoop Pines.
The evenings sitting round the campfires on the beach, with the clear starry skies above were wonderful, if you could forget gimlet borings of the mossies. The early morning swims close into the shore in the mild waters were exhilarating as long as you kept moving and did not meet too many sea lice, spot a shark or a stingray.
Washing clothes and individuals was simple too as long as you'd remembered to bring a goodly supply of Seagull soap, if you hadn't, your hair soon looked like seaweed and tasted like it too.
For castaways there is a healthy supply of cocoanut palms on Shaw Island where one can recline under Casuarina trees and look across to hot little Seaforth Island where the Queen halted far a sizzling picnic, or across to green, palm-fringed Lindeman Island (airstrip provided). If you have someone like Jack Perry with you then you're assured of a palm tree climber of vast experience. For those who fancy a little goat meat to vary the menu, there's a thriving community on Hamilton Island, especially for the more adventurous.
But for all and sundry, bushwalkers and glamour girls, there's a wonderful surprise up in the Islands in summer. Its a dead dark secret; they even have them on Hayman Island, though of course the travel agencies never let on. It's that vast invasion of dark dynamic March flies that rise about 4.30 a m. and bite, buzz and plague you until dark, when the mosquitoes take over.
On one memorable occasion we landed on a gleaming curve of sand, true pirates come to land on a most romantic beach. No sooner had we swung our rucksacks up under the jungle fringe, when out of the thick undergrowth, battalion after battalion of aggressive March flies came to torment us. In the end we were driven to take refuge in the water and keep submerged, right up to our ears!
Some of the most lovely colour shots can be had off the edge of Daydream Island, white coral strand, magenta bougainvillea and pandanus point starkly to the sky all lost except to the offbeat explorer because when Hayman Island became a tourist centre, the installations on Daydream Island were purposely destroyed. Not so bad for a lover of untrammelled beauty, but the water tanks were also destroyed, and unless you take your own drinking water, its impossible to stay the night and explore the inshore coral reefs at low tide.
Nevertheless, its worth the effort, March flies and all, to camp on the Whitsunday Islands, at least it puts you alongside Captain Cook who cruised and camped on the islands long before pink-tiled American plumbing was considered essential to a holiday.
THE DATE OF THE BUSH WALKERS' BALL IS COMING CLOSE TIMM ARE SPILLING 1NELL. IT'S NOW OR NEVER!
DATE: FRIDAY, 25TH SEPTEMBER, 1959.
PLACE: PADDINGTON TOWN HALL,
TICKETS: Ll. 1. 0 each. DANCING: From 8.30 p m.
Early application for tickets is essential. See Edna Stretton or David Ingram who have all details. Come along and make this a prelude to our own festivities early in December.
Letter from Bob O'Hara
I am kept posted of Club's doings by receiving the “Mag” and it is a comfort to me in this cold hole they call Melbourne to read the accounts of the different trips and their experiences. Although I am six hundred miles from you, I still feel I have a little corner in S.B. that I may be able to fit into again some day.
In the Classified Ads section of S.B.W. Pink Pages I may be called “inactive” but I have been active in a different sort of way and really haven't time for any walking down here; the thought of spending a night out in the bush in this cold weather is too much. I have changed my address again and am now boarding in Essendon. I have found it gives me more free time to myself and no more of this business of cooking for yourself every night. To use the well known phrase from an equally well known source “You can have it all and not get hooked” (well nearly all anyway).
“I was very pleased to hear the new Club Rooms are a success and I wish you all health and prosperity and hope I can see you all again soon.”
Congratulations to Enid and Clem Hallstrom. A daughter (Alison) on 22nd August.
Lamington - Non-Edible
M. Bacon. which with the Author's permission we sub-title NATURE or NURTURE?
Twenty five years ago Arthur Groom established a Christmas Camp at Binnaburra. The tents withstood the torrential rain for most of the time but there were a couple of accidents and some members of the party got thoroughly soaked. However, this upset did not dampen their enthusiasm for next year they came along again and prepared themselves for further excursions into the bush under the leadership of Arthur Groom. Year by improvements have been made until now a properly formed road takes you right up to the high peak of Binnaburra on the edge of Lamington National Park.
Here is established a Central Block with dining and recreation room, kitchen, small shop and staff quarters. Nearby are the ablution blocks equipped with scalding hot water available 24 hours of the day. On ledges a little lower down are a series of slab bungalows connected together by a covered concrete pathway. Inside, the rooms are simply furnished but the mattresses are of the innerspring variety and the sheets scrupulously clean.
The essentials for many walkers apart from interesting walking country are lots of hot water, clean comfortable beds and good home cooked food. The food is quite a feature at Binnaburra. Breakfast consists of porridge or Cornflakes etc. followed by chops, sausages or the like and lots of marmalade and bread and butter. Lunch is nearly always eaten away from the Lodge and dinner is served at 6.00 p m. You queue up for soup and take it to your place at the table and then go back for more or put your plate in at the special window to be washed up. You then step smartly to the next window and choose from three or four different roasts and take away a generous helping with several varies of vegetables. Returns are encouraged. Having absorbed sufficient proteins you then rise from the table, put the dirty plate in for washing and step smartly to the serving window and have a dish of one of the five varieties of sweets. One is appropriately labelled “Yes please”. This intrigued us but we soon found out that it consisted of a generous portion of the other four topped with a large spoonful of thick cream. Then comes coffee. In the winter time the front of the log fire is a splendid spot to digest - in the summertime seats out on the lawn under the stars are equally attractive. Away in the distance a thin line of twinkling lights dhows where the Seekers of Synthetic Pleasures are spending their pounds on the Gold Coast of Queensland.
The first day after our arrival at Binnaburra we three S.B.W's collected our luncheon and went to the Arthur Groom Memorial which is a simple stone monument flanked on either side by rough timber seats, the whole set in a well kept springy lawn. To the left a four feet track leads off through the trees and almost immediately enters the rain forest. Birds twitter and sing or chase the many flying insects, the path is dappled with sunlight, the grade is very gently sloping and invites one to go on. Soon you pass the Cathedral Tree which is an old giant that has had a fig tree seed deposited hight up by a bird. The roots have grown down and surrounded the tree trunk with a network of strongly supporting energy. It has finally held the tree so tightly that the sap has been stopped and the tree died in its clutches. It has quickly rotted, and now you can stand inside the fig tree looking up for 50 or more feet where once the forest giant stood. The fig tree branches now take the place of its one time accommodating host.
Going along the track, from time to time there are little lookouts on to the Numenbah Valley. Soon the track descends more steeply but still very easily into Palm Valley. This is filled with Arctinophoenix palms with heads of long waving plumes. Into this Valley a waterfall of purest white plunges in front of extremely black wet rocks. The stream continues on so clear and transparent as to be almost non-existent. Here, the track at the side under the palms is covered with mosses and ferns. The jungle is thick and reminded me very much of some mountainous streams I have seen in Ceylon. It only needed a few elephants to complete the picture. Palm Valley is also known as the Hidden, Valley for just as abruptly the path turns up again and leads into open country with not a suggestion of the lushness and richness of the Palm Valley below.
Our track led us round into the open on the edge of a high narrow ledge with beautiful views into the valleys below and a good view of Egg Rock. This curious egg shaped dome rises almost directly from the floor, of the valley and stands apart from the other hills. Soon it was clear to us why the route was known as Ships Stern for the track goes around the end of the peninsula and with a hairpin bend returns on the opposite side of the ledge. You might, quite easily, be walking around the stern of a cruiser. The track goes for a mile or so through open park-like country before it again plunges into the rain forest.
Near the junction of the “Ship's Stern Track” and the Border Track which runs along the Queensland/New South Wales border, we paused for a moment. Here was a photographer with a camera and tripod capturing an elfin city of fungi on a giant fallen log. The delicate groupings of the creamy yellow and brown fungi were just like a minute capital. Somehow this seemed to breathe the essence of Binnaburra. A joy in natural beauty and a desire to absorb it and share it with others. The simple things are the enduring things and yet within a few days its beauty will have changed. Nature is supreme at Binnaburra and one really feels close to God and it so much beauty and so much of His handy work in the stillness and silence, without any sense of loneliness.
We came upon another group and quickly exchanged with them the highlights of our trips and together laughing and joking we made our may back to hot water, the good food, and the comfortable beds. For the Old and Bold and the Young and Healthy, Binnaburra has something to offer for all.
You Can Easily Be Caught
By the Bush Lawyer (Vine).
The title, at first glance, may lead the reader into the belief that this maybe a warning against being snared into the bonds of matrimony, but actually it alludes to something worse - caught for money - and big time at that, too.
As we hurry along, through the busy city, or blithely through the bush, with our rucksack on our powerful shoulders, we are creating a potential liability for ourselves at Common Law, with particular regard to Negligence. All the big Court Awards one reads about in connection with motor car accidents where the driver is proved guilty of negligent driving, arise out of Common Law procedures. Sums of L16,000 and the like are mentioned lightly, awarded by same kindhearted and sympathetic jury who don't have to foot the bill, and couldn't care less where the jolly greenbacks come from, because they know insurance will take care of it. So, Mr Bushwalker, this could be serious for you if you received a debit note in the post, on the familiar blue paper the Courts just love, saying just how many noughts there were on the end of the amount you owed someone you had wronged by Negligence whilst walking. People who perform negligent acts, or conversely, fail to perform a reasonably expected act to ensure safety, and as a result of which another person suffers injury (or death) or damage to his property or interference with his livelihood, can get the axe in the Courts, and are deemed liable at Common Law.
There are a variety of ways in which the modest Bushwalker can bring trouble on his head by carrying weight on his shoulders through the propulsion of his feet. He can be dashing madly across the concourse at Central Station to catch his train, bump into some old lady, who falls and breaks her hip and, by virtue of her age, won't walk again. This involves medical expenses, compensation for pain and suffering, and nursing for the rest of her life. If you survived the hazards of Central, you have carelessly placed your rucksack on the luggage rack when, at the first lurch out of Redfern, it falls on the head of an unoffending traveller, smashing his spectacles which gash his cheek, spattering his going away suit with ruddigore. Maybe you were lucky, and made Katoomba Unharmed, where you repaired to the well-known AB Cafe for a cuppa hot coffee, depositing your pack in the middle of the aisle between the logues. In comes another customer who trips over it, and his collarbone is gone in a flash, and he's gashed his forehead on the edge of the seat and is concussed.
Loss of wages, more suffering, headaches, etc. And then you'll be concussed, too! But you're careful, you've avoided all these pitfalls, giving everything you do a second thought, making sure. You are at the base of the Warrumbungles and it's a VERY windy day. Your fire gets away and burns out the nearest homestead, a paddock of prize sheep, a tractor, the hay shed and next year's grass. A cool (or hot) L10,000. Or perhaps you were the leader of the party which left closed a gate they had found open, and the livestock perished because they couldn't get down to the creek.
By this time you are flat broke and mortally afraid to venture on any more trips, but you lead a climbing-down-the-waterfall one in Davies' Canyon. The rope you brought without testing didn't hold his 14-stone, and he crashed down, to be paralysed for the rest of his life. A nurse at L18 a week, and his wages.
Yes folks, the games fraught with danger, but whether bushwalker or not, our daily life even if you are like me in the Lower Income Bracket and don't own a car, opens the door (not the car's) to all sorts of unforeseen legal liabilities of this sort, which can be taken care of, as in the case of the motorist, by proper insurance. But, as remarked earlier, we can't stop you getting caught in the lawyer-vines of matrimony!
The Twelth Day
You know some of the words we sing to favoured camp fires songs are pure drivel. It's a fact. They're nearly as bad as most popular music and, if you could understand all of it, probably just as sickly mawkish, quite as banal.
Let's take one literally. It's the Twelfth Day of Christmas and old Earl Montmorency has summoned his beloved daughter to his presence. He says - “Look. I've had it, Fair dinkum, I can't stick it any longer. What kind of festering peasant is this boy friend of yours? What right has he got to unload all this junk on me? Where did he get it? Did he pick a box or something —”
“But Daddy —s'
“I've just made a catalogue. First day - he sends a partridge in a pear tree. That's all right - silly sort of present, but these young gentry often have crackpot ideas. Now, I don't mind a bit of roast partridge. But am I allowed to wring its neck? Not on your life. The bird has to sit in the tree, so I delegate a gardener to plant the tree, and there the silly fowl sits, preening itself.
“Right. Day Two. Two turtle doves. Useless things, gooing and cooing and messing up the battlements. Nice sentiment, though, I expect. But - another partridge and another pear tree. Struth.
“Next day - three French hens. So all my cockerels haven't looked at a decent little Orpington or Leghorn for a week or more, chasing those French hussies. Then two more doves, another partridge, another pear tree. Hell:
“Next four calling birds, chattering inanely, all day: three more French hens, two more doves, and strike me lucky whaddyouknow - another partridge and pear tree.””
“Well, on the fifth day, I thought we were getting someplace - five gold rings. After the spate of feathered friends, that was a turn for the better. But the idiot sends along another consignment of calling birds, hens, doves - and another rotten partridge.
“After that he cut loose but to date he's sent us -
Eleven Twenty Twenty Thirty Thirty Thirty Thirty
Thirty Twenty, Twenty Eleven
partridges and eleven pear trees turtle doves
seven French hens, two calling birds, five gold rings, six geese a laying, five swans swimming
two maids a milking, seven ladies dancing
lords a leaping pipers playing altogether.
I'm not going through it day by day,
“What do you think of all that rubbish? Oh no, never a jar of tobacco or a bottle of whiskey for me. Oh no Just look out in the yard - listen to that uproar. Just look at the mess -
“Eleven pipers playing. and down, up and down. I hate bagpipes. Wheezing and groaning and walking up
“Twenty lords a leaping: Bounce, bounce, bounce, up and end - the one whose breeches are going to fall down anytime”.
Blimey. Just get a load of the idiots, will you? down, up and down. Cop that funny little cove. Makes you seasick to look at 'em.
'Twenty seven ladies dancing - and not a good sort in the lot. Where did he get that collection of bags?
“Thirty-two maids at milking. Well, they would be if he'd sent the cows as well. Instead they're eating me out of house and home - well, them and the ladies and lords and pipers - all ninety of 'em.
“Then the moat's chock full of swans, and in the fowl run we've got thirty six geese and twenty seven French hens. Just as well we're getting a few eggs from 'em. I've bad to pawn the gold rings to feed the mob.
And look at the orchard - full of pear trees, each with a stupid partridge squatting dismally in it.
“I tell you, he's driving me mad. Just as well it's the Twelfth Day. i I'd like to know what fresh horror he's got in store —– What's that rumbling noise? ”
“Oh Daddy, it's the present for today! Isn't he a pet - just look out”.
“NO, no, I daren't. Tell me. I'm not game to look.”
“Twelve lovely boys in gold tunics and red hose, all with drums.”
“Eleven more pipers”
“Ten more lords —”
“All right! All right: And right at the end. Is there - ? Is it - ? Not another, please, please not another.”
“Yes, Daddy, a partridge in a pear tree.”
Federation Report for August
BOB DUNCAN RESCUE FUND. Federation feels that some financial assistance should be offered to Bob Duncan to defray part of the expenses resulting from his accident in the Federation Peak area of Tasmania at Christmas time. The Search and Rescue Executive will act as organising committee. The matter will be referred to affiliated Clubs. As was pointed out at the meeting, such an accident could happen to any bushwalker, including you. Therefore, a generous response is requested.
DAVID NALLIS SEARCH AT EAST GORDON. The Search and Rescue detailing the efforts David Wallis who is missing from his home at East Gordon search, it was felt that, if David Wallis was still in the area, he was not lying injured, but was dead. On the weekend of the search, the over to Search and Rescue by the Police Authorities. Section submitted a report made to locate 16 year old As a result of the intense
Organisation was handed
BOUDDI NATURAL PARK TRUST. Mr. F. Hersey was nominated to fill a vacancy on the Park Trust.
ANNUAL BALL 1958 realised a profit of nearly L59. The Annual Ball for 1959 will be held on Friday 25th September 1959 at Paddington Town Hall.
MINUTE SECRETARY. The position of Minute Secretary was not filled. Miss Hamilton has agreed to carry on as such for the time being, but it is not fair to expect her to continue indefinitely.
Federation meets on the 3rd Tuesday of each month at 6.30 p m. Grace Wagg is the only S.B.W. representative on the Executive at present. Surely we can supply another member to do this comparatively easy task.
TRANSPORT INSURANCE POLICY. Inquiry revealed that all Clubs were not at present unanimous about this matter. It is now proposed that Search and Rescue Section will prepare a draft policy and report back to Federation.
CAMP SPOTS. Small portions of land adjacent to public transport, railway stations, etc. and suitable for transitory camping far walkers is a matter which the Conservation Bureau wishes to take up. If you know of any likely spots, please advise Club Delegates.
OFFICE BEARERS. The Election of Officers in July resulted thus: President: Mr. K. Stewart Vice-Presidents: Messrs. S. Cottier and J. Porter Secretary: Miss G. Hamilton Treasurer: Mr. Colin Watson Assistant Secretary: Mrs. G. Wagg. Minute Secretary: URGENTLY REQUIRED.
Colin Putt praised Ettrema in the July issue and organised a track clearing trip on the first weekend in August. There were nineteen starters, and those who hadn't seen it before were impressed by the grandeur of the Gorge, and intrigued by glimpses of the creek far below and by the falls and cascades of Cinch Creek.
To introduce the area we can't beat Wal Roots' story of the early exploration by the “Old Buffers” (first printed June 1952)
“The Prologue: Recently a young chap named Bob, in discussing bushwalking with Paddy said in tones just reeking with the condescension of the young and virile to the old and bold - “These days, Paddy, I suppose you only tackle the easy trips.” “Yes”, said Paddy, “I guess that's about right.” There was a twinkle in Paddy's eye for he had plans. These plans have since matured, and so I tell the story of Paddy's Easter Gamble of 1952.
“The Build-up: For the sake of posterity, let me record that the party consisted of Paddy Pallin, Fred King, Norm White, Ken Brown, Paul Howard and the Scribe. The idea of the trip was to traverse the country from Yalwal, westward to the Shoalhaven just to see what lay in between. Paddy and Paul had made a trip down that way a year or two before but flood conditions had upset calculations and rrevented penetration to any depth.
On that trip, however, they had learned from the locals of the “impenetrable” gorge which lay to the westward. “Ettrema it's called, it's terrific, you can't get into it - cliffs for miles, and if you get in you won't get out. Give it a miss or you will finish up breaking your ruddy necks.” With this challenge ringing in their ears for two years, is it any wonder Paddy and Paul lead us back that way?
There is no published military map of this area, in fact, no maps at all, but Paul has influence and managed to dig up something taken from aerial surveys, and in addition was able to study the sterioscopic photos of the area. The photos fully backed up the locals' opinion of Ettrema and served to whet appetites already as keen as a westerly on Clear Hill. From the photos Paul worked out a plan of attack; there was a point here which had distinct possibilities and if that failed, this creek was a cinch. So we have two new names for the maps in future - Point Possibility and Cinch Creek. And now to the story.
“The Story: Thursday night found us camping in a drizzle at Saltwater Creek some seven miles out of Nowra. This was as far as we could go by transport as the bridge had been wrecked in a flood a fortnight before. Fortunately, there lived on the other side of the busted bridge a blitz buggy and driver, and in the morning we climbed aboard (after helping to ferry the cream cans across the remnants of the bridge) and were duly deposited in that picturesque old mining town of Yalwal.
We told our driver what we had in mind and whilst he was most polite, he nevertheless left with us the impression that he thought anyone who wasn't a bushman who went playing around in that country was nuts. You won't get through: The cliffs on Ettrema extend as far as you can see - I'll keep an eye open for you on your way back.”
From Yalwal, we followed up the Creek past the old battery and cyanide tanks (Paul panned some dirt from the battery - no luck) and lunched prior to making the climb over the ridge and into Bundundah Creek. It is a very pleasant climb of 1,500 feet or so to a classic gap, and then an easy drop down to a lovely little creek and a beautiful campsite.
On Saturday, we were up betimes - beat the old Sol by plenty - for this was the BIG day, the day on which we were to conquer Ettrema (we hoped) and we weren't so sure of ourselves as to risk a late start. A glorious day this, clear and crisp and with woolly clouds floating lazily in an azure sky blue distance with purple shadows in the gullies, and flecks of red where the prolific Burrawongs had cast their fruit. There was no hardship in the climb, although it was steep in places, and by nine o'clock we were on the plateau and headed towards Pt. Possibility. We followed height of land through scrub covered country (poor visibility) until reaching an eminence (unnamed) which seems to be the central feature of this plateau.
There we had an early lunch prior to making a bee line for Pt. Possibility. A change was coming over our glorious day and we arrived at P.P. just ten minutes prior to a rain squall, which the roar of camera shutters made sound like a thunderstorm. Ettrema Gorge - this was it. The unknown - the unconquerable - the great challenge: We stood in awe and looked in wonderment at a seemingly unbroken line of cliffs extending as far as the eye could see, with a secondary and sometimes a tertiary cliff line below.
The talus slopes were at angle of repose and after mentally jumping the cliff face (some 300 feet or more) the question arose as to whether it would be best to use triple hobs or butter. The scene was one of untamed grandeur and thrills raced up and down our spines as we gazed into the blue depths. For this was new country - untrodden by all but one or two - a challenging new playground for bushwalkers to explore.
Even more mysterious became our gorge as the rain storm draped its gossamer veil - we could better understand its legend of impenetrability, seeing it thus. Before long, we started looking for ways down and ways up to the other side. We would see two possible ways up - Paul picked one (Howard's Pass) and the Scribe was dead keen on another (you've guessed it - Roots' Route), but first we had to get down. Pt. Possibility we found was wrongly named, it should have been Impossibility. You'd need to be a hybrid octopus to get down there. So we turned our attention to Cinch Creek and what did we find? A rift vying in sheer magnificence with Kanangra Gorge and just as inviting as a possible route to the valley floor. Believe me, Cinch Creek is terrific - the sort of place that mountain goats and rock wallabies class as mile-a-day country.
The rim rocks were continuous and we could detect not one place where a possibility of descent existed. It looked as if our trip was over for we were two days out on a four day trip and most of us commenced adjusting our mental processes to this thought - but not Paul. Paul conducted a rock by rock search and finally located a split in a cliff, some 18 inches wide, through which we were able to climb down to the talus slope. Packs had to be roped down as they could not be wangled through the cleft, Then it was a case of down, down and down. Down through the rain forest, sliding on the moss, crashing through the rotting timber and skidding en the greasy rocks. Down and down at a hell of an angle, missing the stinging Gympies by grace of God, frightening the devil out of the wallabies and lyre birds.
The daylight was still with us when we reached the waters of Cinch Creek and it remained while we scrambled down a mile or so, until we came to the only level patch we had seen for hours. We camped and how we slept! An hour after our “crack of dawn start found us on Ettrema Creek, looking up and wondering whether our climb out would be as spectacular as the descent.
Ettrema is delightful, a sort of young Kowmung but with a personality of its own. Here are tall casuarinas, and some find old cedars, mysterious deep rock pools (with whopping big perch, I'll bet) and some lovely camp sites. What a thrill it would be to spend a week following this lovely stream down to its junction with the Shoalhaven - I wonder who will be able to say “I was the first one through”. We could only enjoy it for less than an hour while we argued Howard's Pass or Roots' Route, Paul put up the best case so up we went, plugging away in the blasted rain and cursing because of the view we were missing.
Howard's Pass is really a cinch (though I still believe Roots' Route is better, mark you) and to get up through the rim rocks is no trouble at all. We paused at the top and looked back into the mist and rain filled gorge we had left. We had confounded the locals, we had crossed their uncrossable Ettrema and it had been a grand experience.
The rest of the trip was uneventful - that is if you disregard hour after hour of scrub barging on a compass course in continuous teeming rain, the swimming of the racing Shoalhaven in a twelve foot flood and a hair raising ride in a utility into Goulburn. And that is the end of the story - all that remains is the challenge.
“The Challenge. We six has beens - old and bold - or what have you, pass along to you youngsters this challenge from one we have come to respect and to love, from Ettrema herself. All you who glory in your ability to climb, to explore, to map, and who love wild and untamed places, here is a new thrill worthy of the best of you. See what you can do about taming this one. But don't think I've painted the lily, that the old boys have forgotten what toughness is. Put an extra day's tucker in the rucksack and a hundred feet of rope.
The Putt party divided into three groups. One was to rock climb and potter about the second was to follow the North ridge which might lead to a negotiable spur (they ran out of time before finding anything definite) and the third group ….
As was arranged before we left Yalwal, our expedition split into more mobile groups to explore the area of the Ettrema Rim. Our group of 8 moved south to the watershed of Monkey and Cinch Creeks. Originally we had hoped to move south along the plateau to the Sassafras Road but as time had run into late Saturday, we decided on a descent of Cinch Creek.
Cinch and Monkey Creeks had been traversed by a party in Easter 1958 from Bunbundah Creek up the falls of Monkey Creek on to the plateau and Nanning saddle, thence into the watershed of Cinch Creek and then down its large falls to Ettrema Gorge below Point Possibility. A small amount of rope work had been done in the climb of Monkey Creek but Cinch was an easy conquest.
With this fact in mind our party sidled into the upper reaches of Cinch to find a camping cave for the night. Our arrival was heralded by the local lyre birds. several nests were seen and many cries were heard during the day. Over night the white ants did some plotting and by morning departure the group again split. Some not keen on creek high jinks decided to cross on to the isolated plateau to the west of Cinch and gaze into the depths of Ettrema about 1,900 below.
Four of us (Lindsey, Gwen, Snow and myself) pressed on downstream. After 1 hour of real creek hopping we came to a picturesque fall of 45'. The face was scared by broken ledges dipping right (high) to left and the way damn appeared tricky. The actual descent is just the reverse. Using the natural dip of the ledges and the seat of your pants you slide under the face of the fall all the time remembering the old fable “he who hesitates gets thoroughly drenched”.
The last drop to the creek floor was about 20' along similar ledges. The face also presents several other easy descent routes. The creek now approached the rim of the plateau and its narrowness became less pronounced. When the rim was reached a magnificent sight was before us. Across the valley, Point Possibility stood up above us, the right hand walls of the plateau rose up to 300' over us, at our feet a magnificent fall of over 100' cascaded straight down into a deep green pool below. Truly a time and place for a rest and, as the walls protected us from the mind, a sunbake. (Putt's mob climbing on Point Possibility were suffering the cooling effects of a 25 mph. July westerly.)
Again it seemed we were to be thwarted but fortunately to our right a long scree slope clothed in brambles afforded an easy and simple descent to the creek again. The pool below was circled by Lilli Pilli's in full crop and haloed by a full rainbow. For the next mile, the creek wound its tortuous way through numerous small falls, block ups, water races, rapids and cascades, each flowed one upon the other until by 10.45 we passed the entrance of Dog Ledge Creek and then turned right into Gympie Creek and began to climb back to Dog Ledge Pass. We did not know this creek was named Gympie until we had progressed up for some distance (20 yards) then Powie: we were surrounded. Not having gloves or ”'longuns” we looked favourably at the bramble covered ridge and finally reached the cliff line much later than we hoped.
Luckily, Putt had waited for us and hauled our packs up Dog Ledge Pass or else four bods would be still wedged in this crevasse. It is a truly wonderful find and can only be seen to be believed as it so simply overcomes a 45' (plus) cliff drop. After a spot of scran we made haste for Yalwal.
Party Times: Yalwal to Bunbundah Creek (via Danjera Gap) 2.5 hours, Bunbundah Creek to Dog Ledge Pass lhour, Monkey Creek Cinch Creek Ettrema Creek 8 hours.
The challenge is still there! It's a mighty piece of rugged country; go and have a look!
NEAT : You missed the S.B.W. Amateur Hour? “An Amateur Hour with a difference” we advertised, and it sure was.
Grace Jolly came down from Wentworth Falls to join the play reading group in Sacha Guitry's “Villa for Sale”, and with Singing Commercials, Graham “Strongman” Nelson's lifting act (Hey, that's not spinach, thats a Monstera Deliciosa.) Spiro's (Bill's) violin, Graham Cowell's magic tricks, Kevin Dean's and Bob Duncan's singing and Taro's acts (gee, is there anyone we've missed) it was a mighty night. Compered and kicked along by McGregor and Wagg.
Of Millibars and Things
Alex Colley has a sure-fire method of ensuring fine weather for his walking trips. Going down on the Nowra train on the Friday night to commence his nine days in the Corang-Mt. Renwick-The Castle Area in May, he spied the “Mirror” weather map and tore it out; “This will do us” cried Alex “just look at that huge belt of high pressure right over the entire continent with a forecast for fine weather - it can't rain for a week. We'll take this with us and we'll be right!” The stars twinkled down from a clear sky as he stowed the weather map away in his wallet. The party beamed with expectancy, having had dark thoughts about their wet Easter trip in the same area.
“How will the weather be today, Alex?” we asked the next morning. “Fine of course” says Alex, consulting his beaut map and forecast, “It works - it works:”
Monday morning - beaut.
Tuesday morning - beaut.
But his face is still red trying to explain why he had to take refuge in a cave on the next three successive nights because of the RAIN.
The latest in explosives - The Butler Bomb. Best used in areas of high population density, e g. around a cooking fire in the cave under Point Possibility (Ettrema). Place tin in fire, don't tell anyone, and forget about it until ten minutes after someone stokes up the fire when it will explode violently with heavy blast within three feet and considerable fall out up to fifteen feet. This clears the area around the fire and the sausages can then be cooked in comfort while the victims are decontaminating themselves.
GOLD AND SILVER WALK. On David Ingram's recent ramble along Cattai Creek, the display of golden wattles was the best ever encountered in this area. Not to be outdone, Phyllis Ratcliffe produced a silver coloured teapot at lunchtime and Thelma Phillips used a genuine silver spoon for stirring her tea. Full marks to these ladies for introducing a little extra “couth” to our day walks. P.S. Yes, Phyllis actually made tea in the pot, it wasn't just for show.'
Required: One large tin of meat stew and some sausages.
For Pedants only: Yes, Tennyson has been misquoted on Page 1. We claim that “In spring” sounds better than “In the spring” and accordingly used Editorial license.