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. 315 March 1961 Price 1/-
|Editor||Don Matthews, 33 Pomona Street, Pennant Hills. WJ3514|
|Business Manager||Brian Harvey|
|Sales & Subs.||Eileen Taylor|
|Typed by||Jean Harvey|
|Whither or Wither? - Editorial||1|
|The Annual Reunion||2|
|Around the Wollangambe Northern Blue Mountains||A. Round||3|
|The Kowmung Commandos||“Sybarite”||4|
|Day Walks||David Ingram||5|
|Plateau Plodding||Frank Mort (Reprint)||6|
|The Car Trial||David Ingram||11|
|National Parks Association Outings||14|
|Watch Out For the Indians (Concluded)||Keith Renwick||15|
|Are You Walking?||Eric Adcock||16|
|Walking Guide - Weekends||17|
|A Troppo Bush Walker||R.C.||18|
|Sanitarium Health Food||7|
|Hatswell's Taxi & Tourist Service||9|
Whither Or Wither?
Referring of coarse to Bushwalkers, who, at the start of the new Club year, may now examine their pals to find the answer to questions such as “Does the Committee need me?” (and how!) or, “What Walks can I put on the Walks Programme?” (just ask the Walks Secretary, you'll soon find out), or “How cat I help secure more National Parks and better National Parks Service?” (Join the N.P.A!)
At this time of the year, the Editor doesn't know whither but is certainly withered (Editorially speaking in both cases) and can only be revived by large doses of new literary blood from the new and old talent at present lying dormant. To these he throws out a challenge for 1961-62. To the Old Hands who kept the presses rolling (and thumped the typewriter and stapled the pages and collected the shillings) he expresses his profound thanks and admiration for a job well done.
The Annual Reunion.
Date: 11th-12th March. Location: Wood's Creek (On Grose River).
Train: 1.09 p.m. from Central on Saturday - arrives Richmond 2.51 p.m. Private transport will be used to take train travellers to Wood's Creek. If you can't organise a lift for yourself OR If you can provide transport far one or two… Please contact The Transport Organiser, Eric Adcock. 'Phone: UA3257.
Note: If rivers are flooded, Reunion will be held at Long Angle Gully.
If you can sing, dance, play the mouth organ, recite, stand on your head, or in any other may amuse your fellow Reunioners, please contact Malcolm McGregor, JX1400, or see him at the Reunion!
The Walks Secretary needs Leaders for the next Walks Programme (May - August). Recommended routes available for those who can't think where to go. Other inspiration available in Past Programmes in the old issues of the Sydney Bushwalker, and in the Club Map Collection.
During January Keith Renwick and Bill Gillam gave illustrated talks on America and Mt. Isa respectively - both were informative and entertaining and drew capacity audiences.
On February 15th Mr. Waterhouse talked on “Australian Birds” limiting his slides to birds found within 30 miles radius of Sydney. Of 350 species in Australia half that number can be found in the area discussed.
He dealt with birds of the Sandstones, Shales, Scrubs, Lakes and Seashores. The slides were excellent and opened a new field of nature observation to many of the audience. Mr. Waterhouse also spoke briefly on the technique of photographing birds and showed slides of the gear used.
Around The Wollangambe - Northern Blue Mountains.
- Alan Round
(To follow the route taken on this trip, see Katoomba and Wallerawang Military Maps.)
From Bell, on a damp misty Saturday morning, four walkers set out a few hundred yards alongside the railway line towards Newnes Junction, then headed off along a track into the bush for breakfast. Then we climbed to a ridge between the headwater tributaries of Wollangambe Creek and negotiated this ridge eastwards by map and compass to a point overlooking the small basin-shaped valley on the other side of Wollangambe Creek called “The Crater”. In this area we were constantly entertained by the bright show put on by Waratahs, Boronia and Ti-tree, in full bloom.
Lunch was had where “The Crater” joins Wollangambe Creek and we explored some of the rocky gorge a little downstream.
After lunch we climbed a subsidiary ridge heading North, then travelled approximately east along the main ridge between Wollangambe and Yarramun Creeks.
The navigation all the way was ably handled by Reg and Paul while Frank and Alan looked on. About this stage Alan said he thought that negotiating along this way was a navigator's nightmare. Frank said that in future he would not tell anyone to “go and get lost”, but would direct them to the ridges in this area. Constant looking at the compass was necessary or we would have gone off course.
At about four thirty we began to look for a way down North to the Yarramun Creek gorge and finally by about five thirty we had found a small flat alongside the creek to camp on.
The dense tree growth and six or more inches of leaf mould on the ground in the bottom of the gorge reminded Paul of New Guinea. It was a noisy place at night. Some animals, possibly wombats, made a lot of noise stamping through the undergrowth, night birds kept calling, while frogs and insects put in a chorus, but we all slept well. Earlier in the evening we had almost caught an eel in the creek, but the fishing line was too weak and the fisherman too excited, so it got away. Large red crayfish are very plentiful in this creek and a couple went into the billy can.
On Sunday we travelled up Yarramun Creek about two miles. After making a right angle bend the gorge gradually narrows down to a chasm about fifteen feet wide and one hundred feet deep, along which we mostly had to swim in the icy water for about half an hour. At a point where a small side creek came in from the right, we took the opportunity to thaw out and climb out of the gorge to the top of the main ridge between Yarramun and Dumbano Creeks. We then travelled west giving us a course made up of plenty of easy rock scrambling to reach the saddles in the ridge then generally over or round a large, rocky outcrop in the middle of the saddle before ascending the other side of the saddle. Most alteration in levels in terrain here are marked by some rock faces or rock outcrops like huge warts all over the country, with Boronia and a type of ti-tree with a flower as big as a halfpenny growing around the base of rocky outcrops and ledges. A white Boronia was spotted in one place along here.
One member of the party suddenly remembered there was a packet of salted peanuts he had forgotten to remove from the outside pocket of his pack before swimming up the creek and was discarding the unstuck cellophane packet on a rock when the other three members of the party soon taught him by example that they were possibly all the better for being well soaked when eaten on a dry ridge, as the sun, which had been hidden most of the weekend, began to shine quite strongly and the wind was warm from the West.
After lunch we changed course to across the headwaters of a tributary of Dumbano Creek to the next ridge, which was really a chain of three nearly separate hills from which we went to a road on a large ridge which led us to the old Newnes Railway line at Bald, which is a large clear hill with a concrete trig-like structure on it, visible for miles.
From Bald we followed the old Newnes Rail Track into Newnes Junction, disturbing a few 'roos and a large wombat on the way.
Most of the trip was done in a fairly leisurely fashion, but the last six or eight miles over road and rail track were done at fairly fast pace in an effort to catch the last train and we got there with about three minutes to spare.
Walkers could make some new and interesting trips in this area.
The Kowmung Commandos.
There were twelve starters on Colin Putt's trip - more accurately there were 10 starters and 2 observers, the latter comprising a small party not subscribing to sleeping-bagless slumber, but nevertheless willing to contribute to and share in the communal food bucket.
Despite the leader's threats to heretics the observers claimed editorial immunity and took their sleeping bags and air pillows to ensure sufficient rest to keep their wits active for observation.
It was fairly evident that the more experienced Commandos were leaving nothing to chance as they staved away a hearty breakfast (high protein content) early on Saturday morning, and were seen to secrete tins of provender in the Puttmobile for Sunday night…
As we moved off at 0730, the misty morning gradually cleared to perfect Kowmung weather.
A side steep off the Landrigans Ridge brought us to the river about halfway between Morong Falls and Hanrahan's Creek (otherwise known as Landrigans Creek), and to an afternoon of pleasant scrambling are swimming through the mighty Granite Canyons. Camp was made early on a perfect spot about half a mile before Hanrahan's'Creek. Then the tin buckets were brought forth and filled with huge quantities of meat and rice and numerous minor additives supplied by the leader, including one cubic centimetre of garlic. This great heap of stew laid the party flat, except for two well known vocalists who pursued an endless argument about anything until sleep overcame them. It appears that sleep did not overcome all the party, because the observers, who had a comfortable night, observed a certain amount of complaint from those who tossed and turned and who swore that never again would they go forth into the bush bagless. (Two other sleeping bags were noticed - some people have no conscience!)
There had been talk of going through Rudder's Rift and then up onto the Boyd Range, but a general lethargy and realisation of the distance to be covered resulted in several hours spinebash at a sandy pool below Werong Creek junction, and an early afternoon retreat up Misery Ridge and back to the Boyd crossing. This was probably just as well, because a storm came upon us which was good for climbing bit not for swimming, and anyhow it was only a two-day trip.
The S.B.W. Musical Society, Brass Section, has increased its numbers, though still possesSing but one instrument, are by no means faces oblivion as Stuart Brooks would have us believe. Its melodious notes served the party well in rousing flagging energy, announcing grub time and in providing an overwhelming accompaniment to the S.B.W.M.S. Vocal Section. It also saved several lives at the Boyd Crossing where a picnic party was indulging in rifle practice.
Note, too, that it's music is never more enchanting than when accompanied by the roar of Kowmung Cascades.
- David Ingram.
March 26th. Helensburgh - Burning Palms - Werong - Otford. 10 miles. Plenty of ups and downs on this one with a rock hop around under the cliffs between Burning Palms and Werong. Follows the now almost overgrown “Burgh” track for the first few miles. 8.38 a.m. Steam Train from Central to Helensburgh. Tickets: Otford Return at 7/8d. Map: Port Hacking Tourist. Leader: Jim Brown.
April 9th. Waterfall - Mt. Westmacott - Heathcote Creek - Scouter's Mt. - Engadine. 13 miles. More ups and downs on this one. Mt. Westmacott is 889 ft. above sea level. Pleasant creek walking on Heathcote Creek. A stiff climb on to Scouter's Mountain, where the recently constructed access roads for the new transmission line could prove interesting. 8.20 a.m. electric train Central to Sutherland, where change for rail motor to Waterfall. Tickets: Waterfall Return at 5/9d. Maps: Camden Military or Port Hacking Tourist. Leader: Greg Grennan.
April 16th. Manly - bus to Church Point - Lovett Bay - Salvation Creek - The Duck Hole - Mona Vale. 12 miles. Two ferry trips on this outing - Circular Quay to Manly and Church Point to Lovett Bay. Some lovely views of Pittwater from The Lookout. Most of the walk is through the Eastern part of Kuringai Chase. 8.30 a.m. boat from Circular Quay to Manly. 9.10 a.m. bus Manly to Church Point (Route No.157). Fares will total about 9/4d. Map: Broken Bay Military or Hawkesbury River Tourist. Leader: Irene Pridham.
The Kanangra Tops area has always fascinated Bushwalkers, but too often it serves only as a starting place for walking trips, and some of the best of these (e.g. the many creek trips on the North side) have been neglected in recent years, whilst the Southern side provides routes to and from the Kowmung but is itself little explored. To show the possibilities of the area we are reprinting an article written by Frank Mort and first published in the Sydney Bushwalker in 1932.
The map particularly recommended for reference is Myles Dunphy's 'Kanangra Tops and Environs' which gives a wealth of historical information as well as being an excellent guide.
See also the same compiler's 'Gangerang Map' and the 'Blue Mountains and Burragorang Tourist Map'.
- Frank Mort.
One December evening, in the wilds of Ultimo, 'Myles Dunphy chanted magical words such as Guouogang, Budthingeroo, Whengee-Whungee , Wooglemai, to seven very interested youths.
As a result of these incantations, on Monday the 21st December, seven of our party, tuckered for ten days, invaded the Caves Express with 50-65 lb. packs.
At Katoomba, Don Wallace and a touring car awaited us and we did the 58 miles to the Kanangra turn-off in record time, arriving at 3.45 p.m. At 6.45 we sighted, and shortly after camped within view of, Cunningham's Hut. Old Cunningham seemed quite pleased to see us, and after paddling in the Budthingeroo Creek running through his selection, we cut bedding, swatted spiders, and by eleven o'clock were s'endormix profondement.
Next morning, without packs, we made cur may to “Green Hillock”, 4,300' and took prismatic bearings to all the prominent points. The Paralyser, Cyclops and Baldy Harry on the Thurat Range were facing us, whilst Gangerang, Guouogang (Goo-wo-wo-gang) and Mount Jenolan were plainly visible.
Roly Whalan's old selection and the Swamps heading Mumbedah and Kanangaroo Creeks lay below us. Descending we made our may to the place where the Kanangaroo dives over the divide, but a dense fog obscured the scene and its persistence lost us a fine view.
Rather than retrace our steps through the Swamps we followed a quartz ridge separating Gap Camp and. the Kanangaroo Creeks. This ridge right angles the Kanangra track, which we shortly after intercepted.
A rock cairn and a three bell blaze mark the spot, a half mile North of Sally Camp, from which the range strikes off at 5 degrees South of East.
From Sally Camp we struck west to the Emperor Pin and followed an unmapped main ridge out for a half mile aid returned to camp via the Kanangra track.
Our mileage was 15 for the day and our boots sopping wet.
On Wednesday we broke camp and moved four miles ahead to Little Morong Creek which flows past Pfeffer's Selection and there set up camp. The range found the night before then claimed our attention. It terminated in Box Creek, which we decided to follow down to what Myles calls “Dungalla Falls”. This granite boulder-strewn country is truly weird and seems to be a sanctuary for spiders.
We pushed on till nightfall which, however, prevented a thorough view of the Cascades. “Teaing” at 8 p.m. we sat round a cheery fire till 10.30 with a six mile walk still ahead of us. Having but one torch with us we made slow progress back, arriving at 1.30 a.m. Mileage 18.
Thursday: Myles discovered that he had left his camera case and maps somewhere along the last night's route. We decided to retrace our steps, but to search for an object of less than one cubic foot capacity in more than 10 square miles of country seemed futile.
The Dungalla Falls were magnificent and are built up of three cascades.
Whilst returning, Myles remembered leaving the case on a boulder and subsequently located amid prolonged cheering.
The return journey was more difficult than the previous night's, for there was no moon to help us. Luther's slash blazed dray track, very ill-defined, proved a godsend and with much relief we again set our feet on the Kanangra Track (12 miles with short cuts).
Friday: Breaking camp early, we set off for the “T” (Thurat) tree from which we reblazed the track to the Upper Morong or Boyd Creek, and camped at the first water. We all felt tired, but set out lightheartedly enough for Gentle's Sheerdown, after lunch. At the Thurat Trig we found a message left by Max Gentle in a syrup tin and shortly after topped the Thurat Range.
The view was most comprehensive and beggars description by its vastness. Crossing Danae Creek we followed down a ridge through thick jungle growth to Gentle's Sheerdown, reached by crossing a narrow neck with a sheer drop either side.
A fine view of the Kanangra Gorge and the Spires with Big Misty and Thurat in the background made camera fiends jump with glee.
After building a rock cairn we reluctantly left just as the sun was setting. The jungle presented a little difficulty but a fog which blew along later was a veritable nuisance.
We arrived at the Thurat Trig at 7 p.m. and one of the party exercised his artistic taste by drawing up a document headed:- “Dunphy's Mongrels”, with the names of members of the party, destination and date, to be placed in the above-mentioned tin.
The fog meanwhile got very thick so it was necessary to walk caterpillar fashion after our leader. Myles' bump of location pulled us through and a compass course brought us in a direct line for the tents. Mileage 13.
Next day we broke camp and made far Roly Whalan's Swamp. His hut was deserted and in complete disorder, so after brief inspection we hunted rabbits with many explosions, but few mortalities. Our party had rabbit stew for dinner, which latter was a sumptuous affair taking fully an hour. We had each a pint and a half of rabbit, then superimposed a layer of stewed fruit, and finally held that in position with a layer of trail cocoa. Slept well. Mileage 4.
On Sunday we decided to visit Gallop's Lookout, so made our way to Rocky Top, which was to serve as a departure. This country is a veritable maze; there are no definite ridges and a series of swamps with similar characteristics prove confusing. It was necessary to back blaze as our parish map, the latest survey (1899) had but a single traverse on it, the rest being left entirely to one's imagination.
We followed approximately the above traverse and after lunch made the Boyd Range. Here prismatic readings to Mt. Goondel, Mt. Wallarra and the centre of Burns' Gap were taken.
Retracing our steps we saw a diamond blaze of the S.B.W. at the head of Mathieson's Creek, put there by Bob Savage and his brother. We later discerned a C97 survey blaze on a Black Butt. From this point a short range leaves Wooglemai Creek at right angles and leads one direct to Gallop's Lookout. From this rocky outcrop an intimate view of the country is obtainable. Mt. Colong, Mt. Shivering, Spring Range, Misery Ridge and the Boyd Range are only a few of the features visible. (More prismatic readings whilst camera fiends curse the sun.)
It was easy work following the blazes back, but even then we arrived in camp, feeling very tired, at 8 p.m. (12 miles).
Monday: S'reveilla 5 a.m. and broke camp shortly after. From Rocky Top we plowed through a Sally jungle and followed a quartz ridge leading to Mt. Wallarra. The going was rough and got steadily worse, culminating with a sadden drop into Margaret Creek. (Wallarra Rivulet? .. Ed.)
The water was delightful and hard to leave. We had about a 200' direct climb to get out of the gorge and found ourselves on Mt. Wallarra's flat top facing Barallier's Crown. We could not find a suitable place to drop off into Christy's Creek down which we had hoped to force a way to the Kowmung River, so decided to take Myles' short cut from the Jingera track by moonlight.
We struck back to the Creek, dined, climbed out and walked Northerly to the Mud Hut. The point at which we struck the Kananagra track was blazed for it gives ready access to Mt. Wallarra.
Leaving the vicinity of the hut at 9.30 p.m. we negotiated the ladders to Mt. Maxwell in complete darkness, for the moon was not due till 11 p.m. The Kanangra Gorge was but a deep shadow in the general murkiness. Finding the track across this plateau was difficulty itself, but the start of the Jingera track had us sorely puzzled for some time. At every stop one or more of the party fell sound asleep so at 1.30 a.m., still on the Jingera track, we decided to stop. I have never slept so soundly before or since, and was quite peeved on being awakened at 5 a.m. next morning after our 21 1/2 hours effort.
Myles' short cut was like walking down the hypotenuse of a right-angled triangle for we dropped some 2,500' in less than 2 miles and hit the Kowmung near Orange Bluff too tired even to swim. During the day the heat grew intolerable - birthday suits became fashionable. Mileage 16.
Wednesday: Broke camp again and reluctantly moved upstream to the Bulga-Denis Canyon. The going was at first difficult till the third natural water gate had been passed. Thence onward the job was simple - one had merely to imitate a sponge and become alternately wet and dry. After lunch we swam in a fine pool near Blue Bush Point, then commenced wading again - a kind of busman's holiday.
Sunrise then Sunset Bluff were passed and we were once more in typical Kowmung country, much relieved, for although impressive the Canyon rather dampens one's enthusiasm. 4 miles.
Next morning we moved to Church Creek and made a prolonged stay at the famous Mulberry Tree, then spent the rest of the day cave hunting. The vicinity of the caves is protected by every variety of prickly plant conceivable. Bathurst Burrs, Prickly Pear and other Cactus plants, thistles, nettles, thorn trees and even a stinging tree occur. The last named, like a giant stinging nettle, had a trunk about 4' in diameter and large leaves covered with fine hairs, contact with which I found surprisingly painful.
Camping near Venn's, sometimes Hayter's Hut, that night, we made an assault on the pseudo caves again next day with negative result. Our food being at a low ebb, for we were one day overdue already, we decided to leave Church Creek, and did so that night. We climbed 2,000' in one mile and crossed Scott's Main Range in pitch darkness with two torches between eight of us.
A Bandy-bandy or Ring snake, semi poisonous, went through some graceful hip exercises for our special benefit, and Shortly after we struck Water Gully. We arrived at 11.30, camped at the forking of Scott's main track and the Kowmung track, and after light refreshments were to bed by 1.30 a.m. Mileage 4, but rough.
Saturday: Sundry articles of food being conspicuous by their absence, we had a patchy meal and scooted for Yerranderie. The whole township was discovered sitting on the verandah of Golding's General Store awaiting the mail car. The township stared fixedly at us, and seemingly held their breath so to our relief the store opened its mouth and swallowed us. Once inside, we proceeded with much gusto to swallow the store.
The party split tip at this stage, four went to Katoomba via the Scott's Range, and Clear Hill, the remainder by mail car to Camden. The driver of this vehicle uses only two wheels at a time and has an offsider to hold things on. Speed is everything in this service and the offsider, when not acrobating on the trailer, was busy promenading the running board, presumably to prevent useful appliances such as the battery box from falling off. We had a most interesting 50-mile journey, and if I were a small boy I would still be deciding whether to be a bread thrower and acrobat or a grimly determined mail car driver.
Those comprising the party were :- Myles Dunphy (Leader), Len Bourne, Herman (Norm) Colton, Herbert Freeman, Norm. Hodges, Jack Osborne, Don Wallace, Frank Mort.
The Car Trial.
- David Ingram.
When the current Walks Programme was being prepared last November, there were several weekends during January and February when no walks or excursions of any kind had been volunteered by leaders. In an effort to help, Jim Brown and I, remembering that it was 2 years since the Club had had a Car Trial, decided that 11th-12th February would be a suitable date for this type of function.
Three weeks before that date, we co-opted the services of the tireless Admiral“ Anderson and spent 11 hours and travelled about 150 miles getting clues for suitable questions, writing up route directions, reading notices on historical places and buildings, inspecting camping and picnic sites and interviewing the owners. Actually we had a most enjoyable (if strenuous) day. Then Jim spent about 4 hours or so writing up suitable questions and directors for the instruction sheets. Next, Jess Martin spent a couple of hours typing the stencils. Then Jess, Denise Hull and I had a bit of a struggle with the Club's duplicator to produce the instruction sheets.
All was now ready, so we sat back to see whether we could snare anybody in our net. By Wednesday 8th, there were 8 cars, their drivers and teams of enthusiastic quizz kids, who had notified that they would be competing. Unfortunately, at least two members who wished to come were unable to find accommodation owing to the small number of cars competing. On the great day, Saturday 11th, a final tally of 7 cars with their teams of competitors and 2 control cars lined up for the start, which was delayed slightly owing to missed train connections and late running on the Western line.
By 1.30 p.m. all cars had left Strathfield Station and were travelling along Parramatta Road with the observers busy solving the questions in the instruction sheets. Passing under the pedestrian overbridge at North Auburn, unusually heavy pedestrian traffic was noticed on the structure. They could have been counting the number of steps on each side. At Harris Park, Kevin Ardill was noticed streaking across a paddock adjacent to Elizabeth Farm. He could have been seeking the old town boundary stone, which, even if slightly overgrown, still stands beside the kerb in Alfred Street.
On through Parramatta to Northmead where most competitors evinced great interest in a cactus garden. Then to Baulkam Hills, Castle Hill and Dural, where the numerous signs erected by Charley and Clayton, Estate Agents, caused a little confusion, and a sign advertising virgin acres for sale set off a search for 9 other signs containing the word “acres”. At Kenthurst, a standpipe provided water for afternoon tea, as well as the answer to two questions. Then on to McClymont's Road, where the President's party had arrived before the checkers. Here, opportunity was provided for short relaxation and time to gather the required open seed pod of Lambertia formosa and an empty beer bottle, to be filled later with water from a certain creek. When submitted after tea that night for analysis by the checkers, some of the water gave a result suspiciously like washing up water. Obviously somebody forgot to fill the bottle as required.
At Cataract Creek Bridge, we got the message “Ban the Blurtaphone” written on the post, and at Maraylya a few competitors were in difficulty following around a circular route in the village. Then on to Windsor with a stop at Oakville to answer a few questions. Out on to the Putty Road, where we found the cost of a ton of sand, then through Wilberforce and a quick run to the Colo River Bridge, where a left hand turn and a couple of miles travel brought us to the Somerset Camping Ground.
Here, by prior arrangement, tent poles, fire wood and fire places, also picnic tables and seats, were waiting. This made the setting up of camps a fairly quick business. There was plenty of water in the Colo River and the cool, wet sand inspired one competitor to bury a couple of bottles of beer in it. Unfortunately, he didn't know that there is a considerable rise in the water level at the tide rises further down the river, with the result next morning that the bottles couldn't be located even after numerous diving attempts.
The morning was foggy, but soon cleared to a lovely late Summer day. Several competitors enjoyed an early morning dip and were ready soon after 9 a.m. to resume the jaunt. The course followed the Colo River in a Westerly direction along river flats where ripening melons, pumpkins and corn, also orange trees laden with young fruit were in abundance.
Just at the entrance of the so called “horror stretch” the car conveying Reg Meakins and party was delayed by carburettor trouble. By midday we were all on the road again for Wheeney Creek and Lower Kurrajong. The “horror stretch” consisted of about 3 miles of hilly, stoney road easily negotiable with care and in low gear. The scenery in this locality is really good and was much admired.
Back on good roads after the climb out of Meeney Creek, an old type “N” type tram car in a paddock caused a bit of head scratching to arrive at the correct answer. Without wasting any time, on to Richmond where the answers to four questions were plainly shown on the Railway Station. St. Matthew's Church and Parsonage and the recently restored Court House at Windsor, all dating from around 1820, were all fruitful sources for answers to the contents of the question sheets. Last stop was Caddie Picnic Ground at Cattai Creek for a late lunch, a swim in the Hawkesbury River and the weighing of the stone of 7 1/2 lbs., Which had to be picked up during the morning, on a set of scales that could have been in use not so long after 1820.
In true Bushwalker fashion, the urge to return home set in, and by 3.30 p.m. on a lovely afternoon all except one car had departed on the homeward journey. All agreed, prior to departure, that they had had a most enjoyable trip in an area which is not generally as well known as it should be. In fact, several competitors were keen enough to inquire when we could have another outing of this nature. However, Jim and I both feel that, even though we had a lot of fun organising the trial, the response did not justify the hours we and our helpers put into it. When one sees the number of members' cars leaving the vicinity of the Club room on Wednesday evening, our efforts to induce the car owners to travel off the beaten track by car seem to have been unsuccessful.
|Bob Binks' Party||92 Points|
|Colin Ferguson's Party||90 Points|
|Reg Meakins' Party||90 Points|
Put your best foot forward and step down to Paddy's for some Easter shopping, for we have a whole shop full of gear for you.
Something new and worthy of your inspection, in fact what you have been looking for for years:-
A superlightweight, proofed nylon, knee 1ength, parka type jacket. A mere 8 ozs. of rugged protection and very good value at £6.17.6d.
A new shipment of reliable primus 'choofa' petrol stoves. These are always news when they arrive so don't miss out - 59/- will make you the proud owner.
Another growing favourite: Norwegian string singlets at 21/-. These are really wonderful - ask the person who owns one.
Did you know that you can now buy dehydrated citrus pure fruit powder? Well, you can. Umpteen lemons and lime for only 3/9d.
If you need any repairs to your equipment before Easter let us have it now.
Prospective purchasers of new gear will find it best to shop before MAY.
Paddy Pallin Pty. Ltd. Lightweight Camp Gear. 201 Castlereagh St, Sydney, BM2685
National Parks Association Outings.
Quarterly General Meeting: Monday, March 13th, at 7.30 p.m. Meeting Room is on the Seventh Floor, G.U.O.O.F. Building, 149 Castlereagh Street, Sydney. Members bring slides of areas visited over Christmas Break.
The long Weekend, 28-30th january. Twenty four members and children attended the N.P.A. Outing to Colo River at Central Colo.
A very suitable camp site was selected right on the bank of the Colo, and owing to the heat (it was 106 degrees in Sydney on the Sunday) swimming was the chief pastime throughout the weekend. An interesting fact is that the river at Central Colo, though fresh and drinkable, rises and falls several feet with the tide.
Some short side excursions were done during the weekend, including trips to Gee's Lagoon, Ferrari Farm Sanctuary and the scenic and historic Parr's Brush Road. There is still a need for more reserves for Public Recreation in the Colo Valley.
As a result of the Outing, we were pleased to welcome to N.P.A. Membership Mr. H. Fitzgerald, owner of “Shady Acres”, Picnic Park and Sanctuary.
Easter: March 31 - April 1, 2, 3rd – Endrick River near Nerriga. Suggested Route: Princes Highway through Nowra to Tomerong where Nerriga-Braidwood Road turns off on right. Follow this road up the Turpentine Range over the Sassafras Mountain for thirty five miles to campsite about two hundred yards short of the Endrick River Bridge. Campsite will be established in Travelling Stock Reserve (T.S.R) about one hundred (100) yards off road to right. A call at Tianjara Falls leaves road near notice advising road liable to flooding and about fifty (50) yards before splash crossing. Return could be made through Braidwood, Goulburn or Marulen, if desired.
May 6-7th Bungonia. Camp on the Bungonia Caves Reserve. Take Hume Highway to point about two miles south of Marulan, take road marked “Bungonia, 11 miles” turn left at junction of Goulburn Road, cross bridge, take first turn left and proceed six miles to Reserve. As tank at Reserve is unreliable (punctured with bullet holes) it would be wise to carry some drinking water.
Watch Out For The Indians.
- Keith Renwick.
There are different tours leaving all the time, but we went on the first one of the day at 8.30 a.m. (3 1/2 hours for $1.50). Contrasting with other cave systems, where they go to great lengths to prevent people taking photos, here they encourage it. So much so that they have special tours on for Photographers on which you can't go unless you have got a camera! Altogether the number of visitors per year runs into the millions mark.
The natural entrance into the cave, which was the way we were going in, was only a hundred yards or so to the side of the main building and it was here that our “party” gathered, only about 100 this time, it being early in the morning! The guide, one of three or four with the part, then yapped for about 5 minutes on the rigours of the trail, how long it took, what to expect and time and time again said that if anyone was at all dubious about going, to drop behind now and they can go back to the ticket office and change their tickets for a less strenuous expedition. After all, this was the longest and hardest trip they had to offer. All 1 3/4 miles of down hill, tar seal, hand rail encrusted track.
We move on two hundred yards and sit down on rows of picnic-like benches. Another guide and another discourse, this time the usual on cave formation finishing up with a minute or so lecture to parents on keeping control of their children who apparently, apart from breaking off formations and jumping into bottomless pits, are also guilty of chalking rude slogans on the wall, biting other tourists on the ankles, and scaring the living daylights out of people with weak hearts. The contrast between the children of Americans and the children of some of the other countries is really an eye-opener. In places where life doesn't come so easily they really appreciate life and other people's feelings, but where everything is provided for them they appreciate nothing and are thoroughly bored with life. (Most certainly not all Americans are like this, but the groups you meet in crowds often are.)
The guides did a good job with the descriptions of caves and their formation and once again made as much educational use as possible of the natural scenery. They even have a Ranger who wanders back and forth along the line so that the people can ask him questions instead of trying to get up to the front of the line to ask the guide there. I'm afraid I asked too many awkward ones and he moved on as soon as he could.
After about a mile we came to the escape route. Here he went all over the rigmarole again and some more felt they had done too much, so they took the short cut to the lunch room. They missed the best part of the trip, because now we came into the chambers which had formations in then. The formations were good but dry. We did a circular tour of these, then back to the lunch room where you could buy practically anything - at a price - and then into the Big Room which as caves go is pretty big, and well filled with formation (also dry). It has a relatively level floor and is about 2,000' long, 400' wide and 200' high.
Then back to the lunch room for the big lift. They really shove the people through this cave in vast quantities. There isn't just one lift to the surface, there are four, each carrying 25 people 800' through solid rock in 3 minutes up (2 minutes down) and that adds up to about 100 people in five minutes, and that's moving people - as far as caves are concerned!
Carlsbad Caves was the turning point and now it was back to San Francisco by another round about route. This called for a look over Hoover (Boulder) Dam 724 feet high. What a hunk of concrete! One of the police chaps there said he'd have to stop the bus for me, as he did, otherwise they wouldn't have stopped thinking I was only a hitchhiker. Through Las Vegas with its forest of flashing Neons to Reno. Here I took to gambling in a big way. I loaded 5 cents into one of them there one armed bandit things and pulled the lever. Fastly the fruit whizzed round and round. First one stopped, then the second one stopped - oh, the suspense was killing - then the third one stopped but, nothing happened. I didn't even get my 5 cents back so I reckoned the game wasn't fair and didn't play any more.
Well, you know how people like to collect souvenirs from each place they visit, typical of that place. I thought perhaps I might be able to get in Reno a commodity which is really typical of the area - a divorce. Now divorces are easy to get in Reno as you've no doubt read, but unfortunately I wasn't able to satisfy my desire, because - you have to be married first!
Are You Walking?
- Eric Adcock.
The suggestion at the last general meeting that the members of the Committee each prepare a black book of their recipes seems to me a veiled hint that we are like the lesser parts in Macbeth. Education is our only defence to this thinking. Even a black book in a filing cabinet containing what, when, and how is not going to be sufficient to let a prospective committee member know what he is in for. There is a need far an even more general education. This could be considered a disadvantage in some cases but in the case of the Walks Secretary…
The job of Walks Secretary is a very obvious one. Three times a year the Walks Programme has to be filled with the results of blackmail and extortion. In each case, for a period of about six weeks previous to the appropriate committee member, one has to flit around the Club alighting on unsuspecting people and closing one's talons before they have a chance to escape.
You hint, suggest, ask, urge, entreat, threaten and if need be, batter, people into submission. Finally they sign their name or put their mark and promise a walk - one down and fortynine to go. It is fortunate indeed that there are members of the Club who lead more than their share of walks and actually volunteer their names. As Confucius once misquoted “May their tribe increase”.
Persuasion, or sheer persistence, can be helped considerably with a little plotting. Approach and surround the victim, holding up a sworn statement that he had during a moment of pressure before the Committee said he would become a leader of walks! A display of the Walks Secretary's professional tools - thumb screws, rack, noose and branding irons is often enough to clinch the matter.
An office such as this ideally suits the members of the fairer sex! It represents a chance for them to exercise their added persuasive powers as well as their innate vocal advantages developed from generations of practice. It is interesting to note that the aborigines have a legend describing how the two gods, the Moon and the Crow, combine their efforts to make people. It is the crow that predominates in the making of females.
The other major duty of the Walks Secretary is to report at the Club each month all the interesting “goings on” in the last four or five weeks. The obtaining of all this information is again often a reason for producing the thumbscrews. Even the official sheets that should be turned in by all leaders do not give the interesting snippets - those peculiar happenings on trips, or people lost, or shot, as they were too maimed or weak to return under their own steam, or people left for the betterment of mankind.
Like the removal of a heavy pack, it is a wonderful feeling of relief when the programme is handed over for the final typing and printing. This feeling of elation is only marred by the odd blanks representing the weekends that are friendless and leaderless. That night you are relaxing when the 'phone rings. “You wish to lead a walk!” “No”. “Two”.
It happens, not once, but twice, sometimes more, until you become a lump of quivering jelly. Next time you will rope up each person in turn and …
(See also Day Walks…)
|March 24-25-26||Yalwal, Bunbundah Creek - Point Possibility - Ettrema Rim - Ettrema Trig - Yalmal. A trip for the energetic. Unspoiled creek and gorge scenery. Spectacular cliffs and sheer dropdowns at Point Possibility… Car to Yalwal - see the remains of the old Gold workings. Some rock hopping and scrambling up Danjera Creek, over the pass into Bunbundah Creek and up onto the Ettrema plateau. See the views from the Point and along the cliffline - look down into Ettrema Creek. Circuit the tops and return to Yalwal. Map: Yalwal Military. Leader: Wilf Hilder (See leader early re transport.)|
|March 25-26||Instructional. Otford - Burning Palms - Lilyvale. Easy pleasant walking, good camping. Coastal scenery, swimming. Map: Port Hacking Tourist. Leader: Dick Child.|
|March 29-30-April 1-2-3||Easter. Jerricknora Creek - Mt. Renwick - The Castle and return (2 week's notice for Transport arrangements). Route is along the Yadbora rim with views of Currockbilly, Pigeon House and coastal country. Easy climb onto Mt. Renwick from there magnificent views of The Castle and surrounding area can be had. For the intrepid, more magnificent views from The Castle. This is fascinating country. Be in it! Leader: John White.|
|April 7-8-9||Leura - Lockleys Pylon - Blue Gum - Blackheath. Road and track walk to Lockley's. Views across and down the Grose (Mts. Hay, King George, Tomah…). Steep descent to Blue Gun - good camping in forest of stately gums. Then mostly pleasant track climb to Blackheath, probably through the scenic Grand Canyon. Map: Katoomba Military. Leader : Frank Young.|
Would readers please note that although Robert (Strawberry) Jones attended the recent Commando trip clad only in underpants and a boiler suit (and boots, of coarse), there is no move afoot to start a new fashion for S.B.W's. Nor should the word ICI, written over his heart, be allowed any Gaelic significance. Force of circumstances demanded the borrowing of this all purpose garment.
Roy Craggs has had to return home earlier than expected, and regrets that he will not be able to lead the previously advertised Kokoda Trail Walk.
A Troppo Bush Walker.
Saturday morning, a beautiful morning, but than they always are in Port Moresby. What shall I do this weekend? I went swimming last weekend and fishing the one before. Perhaps I could go for a walk in the hills.
The small dull ember deep in my breast (which is Bush Walking) fans to a small flame. Is there some hope? With sudden zeal I pack my neglected rucksack - it's gone a bit mouldy since I last used it, but never mind, the sun and fresh air will fix that.
“It's going to be very hot walking in the hills”, said the little devil. “Ignore him”, cried the Bush Walker; “what are you, a man or a mouse?” “I am a man” squeaked I, and throwing on my pack set off full of determination.
By great misfortune my path took me by the “Four Mile Toilers' Tavern”. From its interior drifted sounds of clinking glasses, air conditioning and ripples of laughter.
“Make it a Schooner Joe, I've gab an ember to extinguish.”
Don't forget the Federation Reunion. March 18th-19th. (See Notice Board for details.)