CONTENT S. Tollongambie Wanderings. - Pat Harrison 2. 7ol1ongambio Wallowings - Lyrebird 4, The Half Yearly General Meeting - Jim Brown. 6. PciAdy's AL 7. “A Sling-Off” - Sydnoyite. 10. Mountain Equipment Ad. 11. Two Fires - Bill Gill. 12. The Oolong Caves - Nancyc Alderson. 15. Notes from The President. 17. Jottings. 18.
A monthly bulletin of matters of interest .
to the Sydney Bushwalkers, Northcote Buildings, Reiby Place, Circular Quay, Sydney. Postal Address : Box 4476, G.P.O. Sydney. EDITOR s Ross WYborn, 2H-3,'.rd8 Stree-; Pgwka: BUSINESS MANAGER Bill Burke, Coral Tree Drive, C'ford, 2118. TYPIST : Shirley Dean, 30 Hannah Street, Beocroft. 2119. SALES AND SUBS s Ramon U'Brion, 61 Nidkson St., Surry Hills, 2010. 2. The Sydney Bushwalkor October, 1968
WOLLANGAMBIE WANDERINGS Pat Harrison.
The more mention of Wollangambie Creek is enough to bring up an image of an interesting bushwalking trip, but when the words “car swop” are added to the description you have the ingredients necessary to keep you in doubt about the outcome until you are actually home and hosed. By the way, the Wollangambie is a classic example of the haphazard naming of our streams Ettreme Brook is another one, for the Wollangambie is a river or it is nothing.
The leaders had not been able to get much information about our route; in fact, nothing more explicit than that it would be rough: hence we would be traversing unknown country, and most of us came prepared to swim deep pools flanked by impassable cliffs. However, we were able to go all the way without getting our feet wet.
The Friday night rendezvous was at Wheeny Creek on the road to Upper Colo, and when Bill Burke arrived about 10 p.m. with Ross Hughes, 70i1f Deck, Shirley Dean and yours truly. We found Doono Wyborn, Dave Ricketts, Peter McIntosh and Ramon O'Brian already there and rolled out in their bags. The night being still early, a cup of tea (the first of the many during the weekend) was called for. Firewood is as scarce as hen's teeth in this well used area and we had to fossick around a lot for it, but the fire was well and truly alight before the remaining two cars arrived. Our Party of 17 was now completed by Margaret and Ross Wyborn, Joan and Frank Rigby, David Russell, Don Finch, Roger Lockwood and Victor Poulos.
We awoke on Saturday morning to a pleasant scene. Gigantic Blue Gums, Wattle in bloom, the creek winding around the bend, and the attractive sandstone formations and vegetation that are usual in the Hawkesbury country. We broke camp at Wheeny Creek at 7.25 a.m., two cars going to Drip Rock off the Putty Road and two to Itchenstoke at Mount Tootie. Our leg was Mount Tootie and the party was Joan, Shirley, Frank, Bill, Ross, Roger, Ramon, Wilf and me.
A bitter west wind was blowing as we left the cars at the start of the long driveway and scurried up to the home near the top of Tootie. This property has been much beautified with Old World trees which were just bursting into life again while underneath them masses of Daffodills had already peered forth to show that Spring had come.
Beyond Little Tootie at GR509674 we left the road and followed a good ridge to Bowens Creek at GR505707. There was very little scrub on this ridge and thus we were able to admire the Boronias and Granny's Bonnets and Grevilleas and Wedding Bush that bloomed along the way. The bushland this year has been particularly beautiful with Boronia. There were also clumps of Christmas Bush that put to shame the poor miserable things that pass for such in suburban gardens.
The few final feet above the creek interposed the expected cliff, but we negotiated this obstacle by traversing a little way back into the side creek. Bowen's Creek carries a lot of water (I'd hate to do it in a season of average rainfall) and at this stage I was reconciled to frequent and cold immersions during the afternoon. Away we went, rock hopping and dodging in, out and around the water Gums which grew everywhere and which were, as everyone knows, as strong as canes. Even those long dead resist any attempt to break them. From time to time there were fine Turpentines, and occasionally Myrtles and Blueberry Ash, but the abiding memory is of Water Gums all the way, in the rocks, on the rocks, and through the rocks.
Where Bowen's Creek has a pronounced bend at GR524737 the rocks of the gorge begin to look impressive, culminating at the Wollangambie junction in a tremendous sheer wall of rock hundreds of feet high. The Wollangambie is a big stream much more water than Bowen's nd at the junction there was one of those deep still pools so common to this river.
Camp sites had been few and far between on Bowen's, and Joan had decreed that we camp at the first suitable spot on or after the junction. Well, it was 4.45 p.m. when we reached the Wollongambie, there was a splendid camp site with unlimited firewood and 4 three forked cliff line around us, so that was it for the day. Some of the men had a plunge in the refrigerator, but the ladies had far too much sense to indulge in such nonsense at that time and place.
We were up at 5.38 a.m. and away at 7.10 a.m. on Sunday, dancing our way over the clean largo boulders which littered the bed of the river. The Wollangambie hereabouts is really a very obliging stream, for these great boulders wore placed just right to keep our feet dry. We passed many good campsites and at 8.10 a.m. came upon the other leg still having breakfast, clustered around an untidy fire. Bush hospitality was not extended to us in the form of a cup of tea, nay, on the contrary, we were besought to provide them with bread. Anyway, half an hour soon went by before we jogged off again to reach the really magnificent Colo junction at 9.40 a.m.
Sand beaches, a groat towering cliff, the river as big as a lake, flowering gums perched among the cliffs, a swim, a fire and a cup of tea, and an hour had passed away. Then down the Colo, hopping over boulders and through the Water Gums, to cross about an hour later near the foot of the spur which goes up to Island Trig. I somehow think we were lucky on this trip, for it has been a very dry season and many of the smaller rocks that gave us a dry crossing would disappear with another few inches of water, the level of which seemed to be about a foot down.
It is 1,600 feet up to Island Trig; it is a steep rocky scramble for about 900 feet; and when the Mountain Holly ceased to plague us the Mountain Devils took over, to say nothing of such minor annoyances as Dillwynia and Prickly Moses: but the view was worth it, and it is only from such vantage points as this that any idea is really gained of the overall rugged nature of the Wollangambie Colo country.
We descended in a northerly direction over the saddle, around the next bump, then down into Boo-Book Crook. There was one place on the descent where the rocks became an are-be and we had to hand the packs down. It would also be better to drop straight down into the creek from the saddle, for we followed the dry stream down to the good pool at the junction at GR589784. This pool is permanent and apparently is foc,a by the eastern arm. There is suitable camping near this water, and there is also a cairned route up through the rocks to the east, but we lost it half way up and were at an impasse for a while; however, after some illuminating dialogue we found it again and were on top at 5 p.m.
The next hour was a scratchy walk to the fire trail, and another hour later at 7 p.m. we were back at the cars, having sauntered along in the gloaming with the white road gleaming ahead of us and the thronging blossoms of yellow Dillwynia acting as guide lines on each side.
One indisputable fact emerged from this trip - Roger Lockwood has the largest Drinking Bowl (I couldn't call it by the usual but less polite name given to such utensils, for witness the way Roger met everyone with a drink of Apple juice as they hauled themselves up on to Island Trig) ever seen. It is big enough to put your head into.
WOLLANGAMBIE 7MLL(TINGS. (The Other Story). by “Lyrebird”.
Moony Creek crossing was the Friday night meeting place for the two parties in the Car Swop Trip. The two leaders, Fon-Don and Joan Rigby agreed upon their midway rendezvous which was to be the Colo-7ollongambie junction on Saturday night. None of us thought it would be possible, highly improbable I'd sayl Saturday morning found us swopping cars and piling ourselves in these strange cars. Three others and myself jumped into Bill Burke's automatic. She went like a beauty on tarred road, but on dirt road - hopeless! Arriving at the end of the road, we parked the cars and started off along a fire trail from Drip-2ing Rock. Two hundred years further, “Is this the right ridge?” “Looks like it.” “Its big enough.” Doono started to climb a tree as our leader came into view. “Onwards!” This is not the ridge you blunderers.“
Four hundred yards later we scrambled down a much smaller ridge (70o type) and ended up in a choked up creek with lawyer vines and other unmentionable scrub. Grumbles and groans were heard as one of the party found a eary old fire trail alongside the creek.
Angowarra Creek is an easy creek, to walk along; large rock shelves, few bushes in the creek itself with a wee bit of boulder hopping. It was hot fun, being at least 80F in between the shade and the sun. But the huge pools must have been a glorious 33 F.
Lunch was declared on the Colo Angowarra Crook junction. A perfect lunch spot. It included.2 flat, hot rocks to lay on, a two foot deep pool- . at your foot and a cliff for wind protection, and lots of sand. w.Hoving off in 2i- minutos” the leader yelled. 'e jumped up . to attention and packed up. Thc Colo is 'a very slow going river for walking at this point. Hugo pools (as in the Shoalhaven Blockup) edged in by cliffs, at the base of which are boulders, hold togethoT by that infuriating tea tree, that always points the wrong way. Took us 2-i; hours to .1.o two miles.
Not mooting the othcr half at the Colo-7ollangaMbie Creek. junction we moved upstream, continuously boulder hopping. Most of us felt very energetic whereas WC managod to scramble for another hour (li- miles) bcfore we pickod a sand and rock campsite. Pen Don having plenty of spare energy, dawdled upstream to sec if he could find thc other team. Ho did not find them. Having forgotten our moat and most of our other food we managed to bludge some off that new prospective. Now hero is a hint to light weight walkers. Take this chap along as he usually brings at least 40 lb pack stacked with tins of all sorts, and he only eats half of it, o.g. sweetened condensed mi1k, fresh eggs, bread, tins and tins of meat etc., are easily bludged from him. After eating an unforgettable meal, you sang the night away.
Next day after breakfast we were just about to move off when these jokers from the other tribe arrived. Of course we sat down and started to eat and talk to them. We finally moved off after that pleasant mooting (bludging, exchanging news of how difficult the terrain was to be etc.) at 9 a.m. An hour later we walked up Bowan Creek. More boulder hopping. The scrub was really pointing our way bore. I poked an eye twice, and couldn't see for the next ton minutes. Must remember to wear my classes next time I go up that Colo type scrub. A pool plus 4 flat rocks were sighted and lunch was declared. beforethe leader came into sight. Somo one built a fire and other beds just flaked out on pointy looking rocks. And they stayed flaked out. 'moll lad“, a read head said, “don't just lay there. Haven't you got any food to eat?” “Yes,” “roll, share it around then!” 7ords from a well known bludger.
As the sun slowly sank in the west we continued boulder hopping up and through the bushes. We left Bowen Crook and started walking up a side crook in order to reach the road (4 wheeler) in double quick time. We all ended up going up too early in the creek and reaching a cliff line which loomed above us. Ross :tInd Doone.cmcmed on to find a way up. Ross who was within ear shot said that he had found a way up. A rope was needed as a safety line for some as it was a break in the cliff.
Ten minutes later Doono came from above and said he had walked up. So much for that effort. Even though we could have walked up to the top of the ridge, the rock scramble made the trip extra exciting: On top of the ridge we had a sit down. Two of us sat in a corner, opened a hugo tine of pineapple and Orange juice and guzzled it down. Thank goodness no-ono saw us. All those bludgers are a problem! far 7-e didn't have to walk/as we saw a flagpole with a white flag tied onto it. (The Army has boon hero tool) 7c soon found a four wheel drive track. At 8.30 p.m. we all arrived at the two cars after getting ourselves lost on the circular roads of Mt. Tootie, we all jumped into the cars in a hurry and rushed off to the nearest Chinese dhoppers,
THE ELLF 173ARLY GENERAL MEETING. Jim Brown.
In a meeting at which matters of considerable weight were to be considered, 70 sot out with a very small crew - about 30 - at 7.50 p.m. Later the gathering appreciated, but probably aid not exceed 50 financial members at any time.
Brian Griffiths was welcomed, the Minutes for August wore confirmed, and we broke straight into Inward Correspondence, which contained a letter from National Parks Assocn, socking to form a bush fire fighting organisation, advice from the Australian Conservation Foundation regarding its annual meeting in October, and from the Nature Conservation Council concerning its agenda for the Conference on 21st September.
The President said at least two items from the ILC.C. agenda had some controversial aspects. One motion opposed the taking of any animal or fish from reserves except under the control of the Parks and “lid Life Authority. The other authorised the Executive to admit hunting and fishing bodies to membership if satisfied they supported preservation of wild creatures and their habitats.
Alex Colley promptly moved in opposition to both proposals, saying that the allowance of over controlled hunting would diminish the prospects of securing areas whore complete Protection existed. Other speakers felt, however, that both resolutions were reasonable, and that admission of hunting clubs to the N.C.C. would assist marksmen to appreciate conservation and control of wild life. Finally both items as outlined in the agenda were supported by the Club's vote. The Treasurer reported that about 60 subscriptions were unpaid, including 40 for active () members, and the current account stood at %608 ii i. 1 ..41:…, ….z…. …_ ….. .–…2\……….
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at 31st August. He drew attention to the Magazine account and the fact that unfinancial members had received issues over six months, and the magazine may show a loss over the year's operations. Frank Ashdown considered unfinancial members were being treated too liberally in this direction.
Don Finch recorded that Roger Uckwood's trip out from Yalwal had 12 people plus violent, windy weather that Alex Colley's Gunyah Bay trip on 8th August was reasonably well attended, while a car swop Instructional trip run by Snow Brown and himself in the Corang River country brought out 26 starters. Bill Gillam's Snow Instructional struck very turbulent weather, resulting in an early return, and Ivy Painter's trip in the EraPolona Brook country had three prospective. Joan Rigby did some pioneering in Allum River, wit:- a party of 11, but one member suffered a heavy fall, .which caused some alteration of Plans. Esme Biddulph had car parking bother on a trip in Kuringgai Chase (7est Head area).
Frank Ashdown pointed out that by lighting of luncheon fires in Kuringgai Chase and parking cars in forbidden areas we were getting a bad reputation, and should mend our ways.
There was no Federation Report, rInd only one site (7oods Creek) proposed for the Annual Reunion. For the Convenor,' Bob Younger was- appointed. Going on to other appointments, N.n. Bourke became Auditor, Jack Gentle volunteered for Substitute Federation Delegate, and Phil Hall was elected delegate to the Nature Conservation COuncii.
So to Constitutional AMendments, and in the words of Omar Khayyan “Nor all thy piety nor wit, shall lure it back to cancel half a line, nor all thy tears wash out a word of it.” First Phil Butt occupied the Chair while President Frank Rigby moved that a simple majority should suffice to amend the Constitution. This w-s opposed by Gordon Redmond, who Quoted from the Company's Act to show that the basic rules of a Company required a majority for change. Nan Bourke suggested a company, which seldom had a general meeting of shareholders, was on somewhat different grounds to the Club. Jack Gentle said -the high .proportion of votes needed for an amendment made for a desirable stability in Club legislation. However it was Joss Martin who threw the bombshell, by asking if the Charitable Collections.Act, under which the Club is registered, required a majority. No one could say, and the amendment was lost.
Don Finch, put forward a good case for two overnight test walks and found quite a lot of support, but, in.the absence of a simple majority verdict, the amendment was lost 23 to 11.
Next Brian Harvey submitted that the finance part of the Constitution should be varied so that unfinancial members were crossed off after two months, without allowing discretion to Committee. Even the a. October, 1968, The Sydney Bushwalker 9 z Treasurer felt this was rather strong medicine while opinion generally favoured allowinL Conmittee to consider individual cases, and preferred that members should not be delete,d and later readmitted with twice the work. Lost. .However, there was completely universal support for elimination of the “Half” yearly audit. (Subsequently your reporter discovered some evidence supported by Jess Martin that the offending word “half” was deleted several years ago, but reprinted in error in the present copy of the Constitution). The next item called for a “complete audit” of the Club finances whenever any officer handling the Club's funds vacated office. After some initial debate, Kath Brown asked if this meant that a full.audit would have to be done if an officer in possession of a small advance quitted. It appeared that this was not really the intention of the mover or the seconder (the Treasurer) and the motion was withdrawn to bo reshaped and presented in proper phrasing at a later date. Finally to the 'Bylaws” motion, of which only subsection (a), providing that resolutions of continuing effect be treated as bylaws, was presented. After some discussion, which adduced the fact that resolutions of some permanency were being extracted from the Minute books, the motion was lost and the rest of the subclauses lapsed, Now a resolution was carried that, in addition to our contribution to the Oolong Fund, we subscribed to the aims of the Committee to resist limestone mining. In answer to Betty .Farquhar's enquiry. whether a children's treat weis to be part of the 1969 Reunion, the President pointed out that the Reunion Committee had only just got of the ground, but some decisions should be available shortly. Len Scotland was,concerned as to the future of the old railway dam near,Brooklyn and the rumour that Kuringgai Chase would inherit.it, and the Conservation Secretart indicated some enquiries would be made. Finally, there was a motion that, since the Dungalla Club was understood to be a derivative in some respects of the S.B.7, the Club should sock advice of its constitution and officebearers. By the time this was carried, and announcements made, it was high time for our meeting to be closed, which it was, at 10.28 p.m. LILO ON THE COLO NOV. 15-16-17, Bush fires permitting, this should be as good a chance to get sunburnt and scratched as you'll find on the current programme. After leaving the fire trail there is about a mile and half of.scrub-bashing but, to avoid the worser stuff on Island Trig, the party will then go down the unnamed creek to the Cola). FirSt hand reports describe this as reasonable scrambling with two good waterfalls (if it rains). Then about five miles of the Colo and certainly the middle of the river Ls. the most attractive route. Make sure you can swim, bring your sunburn creo,n, lilo patches and eelline and .come along. JOAN RIGBY. 392741 (H). Tho Sydney. BuS, October, 10. .
'“A SLING OPF”.. “Sydney ten Then I finally received the September edition of the S.D.'. Magazine, after the folks at home Ind_ road it, I thought perhaps you wculd like to hoar of my weekend camping trip with the Melbourne Bushwalkers. The Federal 17okend was hold. at Anakie, 18 miles this.siao 'of Geelong. To celebrate this woo:1=d a barndance was arranged.. At 5 p.n. Saturday afternoon, two of us wore picked up at Batn:an Avenue in the city. Instead of doing straight to the .campsite, we had to make a detour to the
Dandenongs. Ono of the passeniers had to pick up a sleeping bag which was left at home. After discovering that the driver was a little vague on the direction to Anakie, we meandered int. the deSerted spot at.ten o'clock. Needless to say the barn dance was in full swing, but we felt we could not stay and swing because our strength had to be preserved in order to erect our tent.
The actual campsito was 2 miles from the hall. Missing the Sydney Bushwalkors help in those circumstances, we erected the tent without anyone offerirg assistance. In the morning the two of us overheard our driver-say, “That tent over there, has a definite sag.” Refraining from “spitting in his eye” we made for the fire to cook breakfast. Only twentyfive of the H.B.7.'s wore at the camp, which was a complete contrast from a day walk I went on when thirtyone attended. An organised walk was planned at ton o'clock but the two of us wanted to take a look at Geelong, so we were dropped off at the nearest crossroads where the walk was. T7e hitched 18 miles to Geelong and I can understand Why people call it “The Sleepy Hollow”. It was midday when we arrived. there in a uto. After discovering that we missed a train back to Melbourne by five hours, and aid. not want to wait around for another train, we decided to hitch badk. Only three trains ran into Melbourne that day, Sunday, and we didn't sight a bus. By two o'clock and 44 miles later we arrived. in Melbourne, after gaining a lift straight through. Then we caught a train home. The day walk I went on to Healesvill was a 10 miler and as I - stated before, was attended by thirtyone walkers, was a very pleasant u troll. In ardor to get out to the Healesville area, 47 miles from the city, we all boarded a hired furniture van at Batman Avenue. Two weeks before, we paid Oideposit and a further 70 cents at the end of the walk, visitors, like me, paid an extra ten cents. The reason for the hire of a van, is because the trains don't start running until 9.00 a.m. on Sunday, which is a bit late for a walk, and trams only go a certain distance in the metropolitan area. The Victorian countryside is indeed picturesque (even after the drought they suffered) but the N.S.'. countryside is by far the best in my mind. I was very surprised to hear that no firstaid or mapping tests are made to complete membership, maybe they already know it? (S.B.r.'s name is withheld).
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A truck could come this far but with searching for a track and then turning in the trees it would tgko twice as long as walking. And if tho truck was stuck? The Old the F00i Fire Control Officer, exalted by statutory authority, didn't lika trucks to be burnt 3 Nick had soon one burnt, the tyros still flickering black cbscenities, hours afterwards, the alloy of the pump motor soft powdery ash, the chassis around the petrol tank failed and deflected from the intense heat. The swamp, the track and the dry land where the trees began would barely be Tia0 enough. A truck c(,uld well and truly b:30E10 stuck. They sat now along the track in the clean sweet air. Nick lay in the springy heath of the swamp with his head cradled by his helmet. The wind might freshen now, he thought, blowing off the warm land to the sea. If the predicted change came it would be all right. Teak with some showers. The change was somewhere around. In the low clouds he had seen? In the static on the Civil Defense radio. With a drop in temperature and some rain, or oven dew after the hot afternoon the fire would die down. Enough to step through the fire and work from the burnt ground with hand tools. They halin't done that in a long time. Awful work, but safe if you discounted the smoke and the blistered foot and the glowing twigs that went straight through clothing. The others wouldn't worry about snakes on that side of the fire. That swamp growth is damn near man high, Nick marvelled. And burning as steadily, as evenly and as fiercely, as completely as a furance like a man painting black over white. Or over green. We can't cut it. Not with a hundred man could we'cut it. With a lot of men we could snuff it piece by piece across the swamp and find a cliff line on either side. From the pool there were cliff lines all around. I won't let anyone go over the cliff in the dark. Someone can come out in the morning and go clown the cliff line. The Park patrol, perhaps. we'll wait. That's all we can do. wait. For the predicted change. For the dew. For some more men to come out and then we will go across the swamp. Nick said to the radio operator “I'll tell the old Man.” He spoke slowly and clearly, listening to the Civil Defense radio repeating his report, sentence. by sentence, to the P.C.. on the other radio. The CD sets were light and powerful and weren't restricted to line of sight as the Talkie talkies were, when the report was made and he had the FC0's grudging assent to wait for more men the radio operator listened to other CD organisation up and down the coast. They were having a busy night. Nick lay back in the heath ard watched the fire. October, 1968 The Sydney Bushkrialkor 13. Therd wore a lot of spring flowers out. Nativerose back on the rocky ridge and now all the oricas and opacris of the swamp were open. Very of-ton the others would bring flowers or cvta loaves and seed cases for Nick to identify. Tholymitras and Diurus, the ground orchids, Eriostomons and boronias, many Grovilloas and Pulteneas. Once in the Park, ho had found R large patch of Streholia, the “fie corners”, and they had forgotten the fire while they filled their pockets with the sweet fruit. Sometimes he took the seed cases home, germinated the seeds and gave the 'plants back to whoever had given him the seeds. He had taken home, a lot of native rose, but the cuttings had never struck. Neither ha a any mint- bush. Banksias and Gymea lilies grew easily from seed. Now they all burnt uLJ slowly and steadily and still too hot to fight. Now and then Nick walked over towards the fire but each time he couldn't approach with the hoeshaped hand tool. They moved back steadily just keeping out of the smoke and the falling condors. The radio reported more men coming out along the track. Then they were due Nick hung a red flashing torch in a tree. About nine o'dlock a dozen men came laughing and stumbling down the track. They had oncehot pies and sandwiches with them. VThile the food was being attacked the sky clouded over and a few drops of rain fell. Tho wind had stopped. Nick stood Up and stretched. Quickly they rsn through the flames and stood in the burnt ground. It was vary hot. They began 'boating the fire down with the flat of the hand tools. Then the burning heath was pushed down and str..mped on, it didn't reignite. They walked slowly along the front waiting where it was fierce for a moment then stamping the flames out, resting often, working on a small area then leapfrogging through the burnt area to stamp out more. Just after midnight they came onto dry ground and worked more quickly in the thinner scrub. Then, magically, the fire was all out, the fierce bright light gone. They walked on to the cliff lino and looked down into Kangaroo Crock. The fire burnt slowly, in pockets, a few old de P:a trees glowed and dropped firefibs. In the dark the cliff line was menacing. The fire wouldn't come round it. Not until the heat of the c17. Someone else can worry then, Nick thought. Tell the old Nan we are coming out. And to send a shiny bright Headquarters truck to carry us. PART II. GREYS POINT. . The truck slid down the trail with the drive pumping the fading brakes. aapi, In the aim headlir ts the shadows of rocks and the broken trail were enormous. Shettering. Nick -Lc driver hit the roof, the doors and the dash of the cabin. A frantic tide of reports flooded the radio. Nick Said Pull up when you can. Stop. They jumped a nut and skidded, wheels locked, then the driver swung into the bush, the truck whipping saplings out of sight. They stopped. Nick found the trail marked on the map “.” 14. The Sydney Bushwalkor October, 1968. and ran his finger along its length. His oyes, smarting from eight hours of smoke, flinched in the hand bright load - light from the dash. Nick turned down the hysterical radio. - The Old Man's got the tuitchos tonight. 7e're not on the right trail. The trail, Florence Drive I've never heard of it until .no, goes along a ridge. This one is in a gully. 7-To missed the right one somewhere, probably when 70 filled LoftUs tender. They wouldn't toll you if you're – was on fire. Its their territory. run ahead and check it.out Thie light.como on slowly, blinking red to stop. Take it easy and no one on the truck.- . Nick jumped down and called the others from the truck. They were spashed-and, cold. 7ater was running freely from the front filling patch. Small cinders :drifted past and larger ones settled, in the undergrowth.. Behind them there was a huge glow and at the head of tho gully there were flames in the tops of trees and Whole trees going up. He ran dc,wn the trail.. Away from the truck and the radio noise he could think more. clearly. It Was a part of the park he had never boon in. The radio said it was ten, eleven years since it had been burnt. If this wasn't the trail, and obviously it wasn't, what was it? It could be blind, petering out in a tangled mess of pushed over trees ahead of them or deliberately obstructed to stop traffic. Assuming thoydidn't blow something. The truck had scraped and almost rolled
already and he trail looked steeper ahead. A fork. 'Nick signalled to stop and the truck answered with blinking light. He ran along the right fork-, the uphill side. Tho track finished against a rock face. There wat household rubbish dumped among fallen trees, a stripped motor body, tyros. As he ran back to the fork the motor body, bare -and ugly whore it was lying, *stuck in his mind.
The glow wqs closer now and to the south it had swept past him and there were trees burning in spot fires in tho.gully almost down to the truck. Tho rubbish and tho-car moans something, Nick thOught. Ho.signalled the truck 'to com down slowly .It came on lowly and hOditantly, arabbinc with tho weight of water. The headlights shone in great cones of smoke, raroly focussing on the tradk..;That does the garbage moan? 'Te.need to got out of this quick. Of course; That .people can.drive'this far from the bitumen, in their cars and little trailers.; the capacity to dump rubbish carefully bal-nced against possible damago to their shiny oars. Nick welved the truck down. It came on more quickly. 7hen it stopped he counted heads knowing he should have done this hours before. Seven on the.back, two in the cab. Nick said to the driver - Cars can come this far; it should be 'easier. They are houselights just ahead but they might still be on dirt roads. when you come to them, start the klaxon but don't stop. vre have to go to Anglo Road and the school. Do you know whore that is? - No Never boon here. - The map dhows it at the and of the fire trail, the trlPfire trail, so it must be on our. right. The fire is well ahead of us there. At the October, 1968 . The Sydney Bushwalker 15. school there is an oval. 'a should be first there doe ire this and drive straight across the oval to where tho fire is closest to tho school. Start pumping and a Board tanker will pump into us. I'll be on the nozzle, you'll a stay on the radio and yell for the tanker. 70'11 pull out hose and than you . can back up in case we have to go in a hurry.. That's likely. Got all that. Yes, what if it gets among the houses.
Every brigade in the Shire will be there by then. It won't get among the .houses, They were on the bitumen with the klaxon piercing the night, the siren screminj., falling, rising, echoing from houses, fr,,Jm troos., echoing in his own head, screaming above the screaming engine. The road twisted and climbed always towards the glow. On the narrow road the siren cowered cars against the curve. The wheel spun in the driver's hands. Ahead a cluster of flashing police lirhts, a blinking red light on a headquarters jeep, a signboard on which Nick read "Angl --" before it swept past, the bulk of the school building-with the glow coming through every window, an ambulance, already Nick thought, a clear smoke filled area that's the oval and then flames. Immense, solid flames. Fierce, rolling like surf, pulsating, jumping, liquid horrible flames. Driving at them, fascinated, the heat coming through the . windscreen, beginning to crack lips, door open, stop, jump, get the nozzle, pull out a long loop of live hose, water, lie down, everyone lie down, more hose. Up and run in closer. Lips cracked, eyes crying, skin stretching, helmet in front of face, lie down. "ho's with mo, Good. wave it round a bit, the spray coming back hot, ashheavy and bitter, the oval's wide. Everything's sweet. That was a rough track, Smoky.
- 7bre we lost?
Hopelessly. They call it delayed.
They could hear a sriren, then other sirens.. Nick looked over his shoulder and saw red flashing lights come to the edge of the oval. He said to no one in particular.
My stomach's growling. I hope we get a feed.
THE OOLONG CAVES.
The caves are of limestone origin, and the outcrop extends over
a distance of five miles, being about 500 ft. in width and resembling Jenolan. Numerous fossil corals found there load one to the theory that they were part of a barrier reef, of which Jonolan and 7ombeyan would also be part. Scientists tell us that it has undergone many changes since those days of the Silurian age, sometimes being under the sea and sometimes above it, each ago leaving its covering of sediment. 16. The Sydney Bushwalker October, 1968. These caves were first reported by a Mr. Oliver Trickett in 1899, ana were named after Mount Oolong, a large mountain a mile distant. There are many beautiful caves, but they can be seen only by those daring enough to climb about and wriggle along narrow passages, sometimes only wide enough a for a man to squeeze through. Lannigan's Cave, which is situated above a largo entrance cavern called the Arch Cave, is remarkable for its “Torch and Candle” and perfectly folded and grained shawl. A narrow squeeze hole leads to King Solomon's Temple, Which contains five large flutea and terraced columns about forty foot high, Whilst beneath one group is a glorious crystalline amber-tinted stalagmite called The Alter. Overhead a sparkling white stalactitic group combines to make a grandly inspiring scene. The Water Cave, next to this one, is of entrancing beauty. Hosts of stalagmites can be seen in the bed of the river, whose waters are of the palest green. Passing on to the Terraces, one finds a series of crystalline basins edged with delicate frillea rims; viewed from below they seam to be marble steps leading up to a showcase beyond, whilst above arc magnificent Shawls hanging like curtains arawn back to reveal the stage beyond. These basins extend back for 80 feet. The Onslow Cave, . which is entered. by a narrow tunnel-like passage thirty feet above the creek, is noted for its gorgeous shawls. Those massive formations, hanging twelve foot down from the roof, sparkle and glitter like jewels. Passing through the squeeze-hole, almost blocked_ by a cluster of tinted stalactites, one comes to the main cave, Whose floor is composea of petrified glacier. The most beautiful formation of the caves is the Hot House. Glittering shawls hang from the roof; a massive formation of stalagmites, some terracea with a mass of basins, resembles a garden of clipped shrubs, which surround one perfect white stalagmite in the centre called_ the 7hite Rose of York. This marvellous chamber is decorated for its entire length, some 200 feet, with alluring shawls and stalactites. There are also many “mystery” formations of delicate, structure and wax-like appearance, clinging to the roof like a network of frozen roots. The Mystery Cave contains a delicate formation with a network of sprays that are quite oval in shape. The Coral Cave is ornamented with coral-like growths, and the Red Cave contains pretty crystalline formations tinted red. There are many caves not yet explored., ana it is to be hopeithat some day those caves will ho opened up and their beauties Unfolded to the public. They are only 90 miles from Sydney, and are sot amidst a glaxy of scenic wonders. As published in “The Sydney Mail” 1964, submitted by Nancye Alderson. October, 1968 The Sydney Bushwalker 1(a). THE NATIONAL PARKS ASSOCIATION OF NEW SOUTH WALES APPLICATION FORM FOR VOLUNTEERS TO FIRE FIGHTING FORCE Volunteers are badly needed to fight fires in National and State Parks, Nature Reserves and other natural bushland, both near Sydney and beyond. The N.P.A, is conducting a drive to recruit those, and place them at the disposal of the National Parks and Wildlife Service, or other Authorities concerned with bushfircs. We want YOUR name on the list, as one who intends helping when he or she can.(This does not carry an obligation to attend fires). In the event of a bushfire at which our help is needed, key members of the organisation will be notified. These Will set in motion a contacting systm which is designed to alert large numbers of volunteers quickly. lh member list will be divided into regions and those living in the region of a fire will usually be phoned first. Transport, rendezvous etc. are arranged then. Fire fighting is hard work, and volunteers should be in good health and reasonable fitness. ThosE who cannot or do not wish to fight fires directly can be of valuable service in the Support Force. This body backs up fire fighters by preparing food and drink, providing first aid, transport etc. These =bars may also care to volunteer for patrolling. (For fuller details, read the circular “A Now Bushfirc Fighting Force” on the Sal Clubroom notice Board). Please enter me on the 11.P.A!s List of Volunteers Fire Fighting/ Support Force (cross out which is inapplicable). NAME ( Mr, Mrs, Miss ) …… ……………………………… ADDRESS0000000000000000,0000 …… 0 ……. 00000000000000000000000 PHONE NUMBERS: HOME WORK ………………. AGE (optional ) HAVE YOU ANY SPECIAL QUALIrICATIOFS(e.g. nursing, first-aid, radio etc? AREA YOU WISH TO SERVE IN …………………………… …… TIMES YOU MAY BE AVAILABIE(unlimited or restricted - week-ends, week days, nights?) ………… ………. ………………. HAVE YOU A CAR? ……WhAT SIZE UT TYPE? ….. ……. ……. WILL YOU GIVE LIFTS TO FIRES? ……LICENCE CLASSIFICATION? ANY EXPERIENCE IN FIRE FIGHTING? …….. …… ANY EXPERIENCE IN BUSELALKING? ……… …… …….. PLEASE Slin TO Ni A. Catford, 21 Kingsford Avenue, 449- 1658) SOUTH TURRAMURRA, N.S.W. 2074. October, 1968. The Sydney.Bushwalker 17. A NOTE FROM YOUR PRESIDENT BUSHFIRES' The annual bushfire season is with us again. Already, serious fires have occurred in the Royal, Brisbane Waters and -Euringai - Chase National Parks and there is everyindication that this spring and summer will carry an extremely high fire risk. For the bushwalker particularly, there is nothing more depressing than to see our beautiful wilderness areas reduced to black ashes. Of course, prevention is always better than cure and I would hate to think that any bushwalker ever bore the responsibility for starting a bushfire. However, we live in a community where careless attitudes towards the preservation of our bushland are all too frequent; given these attitudes and our climate in combination, bushfires will be inevitable. While we cannot always prevent such fires, at least we can assist in extinguishing or controlling them. It is very much in our own interests to'do so. To this end, The Itional Parks Association is organising a volunteer Fire Fighting Force, details of which are given in the circ-aler accompanying this magazine. I strongly urge all members, if they care for their natural heritage at all, to support this scheme by filling up the form and sending it along as requested. Your help is needed badly. Meanwhile, we must be careful to keep our on house in order. Bach year, from October 1st to March 31st, certain restrictions automatically apply to the lighting of fires in the open. The Chief Secretary's Department lists relevant restrictions as follows: 1. Camp fires are to be lit in a properly-constructed fireplace. 2. T7nere must be at least five feet of cleared ground all around the fire. 3. Fires must never be lit within f5Tfteen feet of alog or stump. ( 1. is mainly intended for thp general public; bushwalkers may construct fireplaces if they can and wish, but in our case the Departments interpretation is that common sense and caution should be the important considerations). I could also add plenty of water should always be handy before lighting your fire, the fire should never be loft urattended and before leaving camp, make thoroughly sure that the fire has been put out completely with water and that the ashes arc cold. Frank Rigby, President. 18. The Sydney Bushwalk'er 'October, 1968. TWELVE WAYS TO RUIN A MEETING . (With apknowlodgements to “The COUNTRY WOMAN” and expressing our thanks for permission to reprint). 1. Don't come to the meotings, but if you do, come late, and if the weather doesn't suit, don't think of coming. . 2. If you do attend the meetings, find fault with the work of the officers and other members. 3. Never accept office - it is easier to grouse than do things. 4. Novertheless, get cross if you are not elected to the Committee; but if you are, do not attend the Committee mcctings, 5. If asked by the President to give your opinion on some important matter, have nothing to say. 6. After themeeting tell everyone how things ought to be done. 7. Do nothing more than is absolutely nccessary, but whenOthor. members willingly use their ability to help things along, say - the Club is run by a clique. 8. Sit at the back and chat throughout the business, then ask to have various items repeated. 9. Don't bother getting new members or talking to them - let the Membership Sccrotary do that. 10. When you have anything to say, addross your omarks to your neighbour instead of the Chair. 11. Chain-smoke, and bring your knitting. 12. If you fail to carry out yourobligations, blame the Committee and say the Club is no good. Don Hatthows, GLof Wagg and Frank Rigby recently did their first fair-dinkum ski tour - watch for their story next month; who's cooking up an exciting talk about an exciting walk for the Social Programme? should be any amount of scope there - November 20th is the date; did you know the Editor and Margaret spent their honeymoon in Pine Valley and at Frenchman's Cap in Tassie - never a moment wasted in enjoying the groat outdoors, but of course it was wintur time. HOW LONG IS IT SINCE YOU PUT A WALK ON THE PROGRAMME? Refer to No. 12 above and then sec or write to DON FINCH or DOONE WYBORE WITHOUT DELAY. THE DEADLINE IS NOVEMBER 6TH.