Table of Contents
The Sydney Bushwalker.
Established June 1931.
A monthly bulletin of matters of interest to the Sydney Bush Walkers, Box 4476, G.P.O., Sydney, 2001. Club meetings are held every Wednesday evening from 7.30 pm at the Wireless Institute Building, 14 Atchison Street, St. Leonards. Enquiries concerning the Club should be referred to Ann Ravn, Telephone 798,8607.
|Evelyn Walker, 158 Evans Street, Rozelle, 2039. Telephone 827,3695.
|Bill Burke, 3 Coral Tree Drive, Carlingford, 2118. Telephone 871,1207.
In This Issue:
|Ian A. Malcolm
|Bushwalker Recipes - No.1
|Carnarvon National Park & Gorge
|The Smallest Prospective We Know
|The April General Meeting
|Social Notes for June
|Jo Van Sommers
|The Great Zig-Zag - Lithgow Valley
|Eastwood Camping Centre
by Ian A. Malcolm.
If you have seen the bushland breathe
When it blossoms after rain;
If you have heard the lyre-bird call,
And have not heard in vain;
Then why do you walk the pavements grey -
You, who the call have heard?
For the hills call, and the winds call,
And oh, the call of a bird!
If you have watched the wood-smoke curl
Among the river-trees;
If you have felt the soft caress
Of the grasses on your knees;
Then why do you walk the pavement grey -
You, who have heard the cry?
For the trees call, and the rivers call,
And oh, the call of the sky!
If you have trod the mountain track
At the breaking of the day;
If you have climbed the craggy peak,
And watched the stars at play;
Then tarry you not in the city street,
But answer the call as you must;
For there's no rest like the hills and the sky
To the man who has Wanderlast.
This poem was tracked down in the 1940 annual of the New South Wales Federation of Bushwalking Clubs. It was written by Ian A. (Scotty) Malcolm who joined the S.B.W. in 1923 and was very active before the War, not only in walking but also in writing and acting revues and sketches. Although he and his wife resigned their membership when they went to live in the country, they are both foundation members of the Dungalla Club and now live in Sydney. The poem is published here with his permission. Editor.
by Dot Butler.
Easter 1981 in the Bendethera area under the combined leadership of Don Finch and Doone Wyborn had been such a fantastic trip even though they had led us a 15 km fire-trail bash with 3,000 ft of ups and downs the first day, that when another trip with the same leaders was programmed for Easter 1982 there were 27 starters.
Cars arrived at the Thursday night's campsite at Currumbene Creek at times varying from 4 pm (Bob Younger, retired, with all day to do it in) to the last arrivals around 2 am Friday. A hazard for this car driver was the sight of a green bundle pegged down in the middle of the road. Could it be young Steve under his flysheet not expecting anyone else, or else oblivious to the fact that the lovely piece of flat ground he had found unoccupied was in fact the road?
We were all up early Friday morning and breakfasted by 7.30 am. Then all the cars took off, to be parked at Jim Dempsey's which was to be the finishing point of our walk - a very clever arrangement. But the really clever part was that Don had arranged for the school bus to bring all the drivers back again to join their party who meanwhile had walked on to the farm at Emu Flat and spent a pleasant hour talking to the owner and his wife. When the bus was spied approaching Joan Rigby sprinted across and opened the gate for them, so they arrived in our midst like the V.I.P. party they were.
So now we were away, across the grassy flats of Snowball's Boggy Flat and so an to lunch at Breakfast Creek. Then we followed Breakfast Creek downstream as it dropped very rapidly through a whole series of waterfalls. Joan, following her map, found herself followed by half the party. They finished up half a kilometre up a side creek with a very steep drop below them. The other half, urged along by Don with the stockwhip, sidled around waterfalls and ended up at the junction of Breakfast Creek and Joan's side Creek. Much shouting ensued to collect the party together so they could be counted by Don for the umpteenth time. Loud grizzles from the mob who had been brought down from their height just to be counted, because actually we now had to go on up their side creek. Here we were to find an alleged large open campsite south of Mt. Dampier. It proved to be certainly large and open but there were complaints that it was not a campsite. We had all carried water but here we found some in a little gully up on a ridge. Future parties should note this. It was a great night, and we even had a sing-song of sorts.
Saturday morning, breakfast completed, Donny puts the question loudly and clearly “ARE YOU ALL HAPPY?” Everyone, just as loudly agreed that they were, so we scampered up to the divide between the Deua River and Woila Creek (1 km and 1,800 ft). Then the drop down the ridge to Jilliga Creek for lunch in a delightful pristine site with little grassy flats and tree ferns.
The walk along Jilliga Creek was a delight, spoilt only when we came across the first 4-wheel drive vehicles at the junction of Jilliga Creek and the Deua. Here were horse riders and pack-horses and of course the O.R.V. fumes. It was sad to see that the old homestead of Bendethera had been pulled down and the place taken over by 4-wheel drives. In 1964 the S.B.W. had been prepared to bid for it at auction when the owner was selling out but we failed to raise enough money. Now it is National Park property. Doone, who has geologised in the area, says that once you hit the narrow section downstream from Bendethera the river becomes enriched with fluorine from the volcanic rocks; this is very rare for S.E. Australia. So don't take your fluoride tablets.
We camped that night on a clearing out of range of the vehicles, or so we thought, but when we were bedding down for the night we saw headlights approaching across our paddock. From the look of things someone was out spotlighting. Our leaders rushed out waving torches in warning and came back with the information that, as far as they could gather through the alcohol fumes, the drivers had no guns and were just out for a drive to see where the track went.
On Sunday morning we divided into two parties. The flyers, consisting of Don, Doone, Tony Marshall, Bob Hodgson and Bob Milne, Gordon Lee, John Redfern, Spiro and Barry Wallace departed at high speed in a no-handicap, no-holds-barred sprint to the top of Flash Jack's Peak, while the remainder were to make their leisurely way downstream. The worst part, as reported by the greyhounds, was running from the camp down river to the base of the mountain. The first casualty we followers found was a dazed John Redfern. “I took a wrong track for less than half a minute and when I came back they were nowhere to be seen.” So John joined the “picnic-party” group. The next two were Spiro and Bob Milne. “Donny offered to wait for us,” said Spiro, “but we waved him on.” So that was that. At the base of the mountain, as pre-arranged, they left Barry as watchman to check when the slow party should come through.
For ordinary mortals who nevertheless like to know what the gods are capable of, let me tell you that they climbed 1,800 ft in 47 minutes. The whole up and down trip (including 25 minutes on top) took 1 hour 50 minutes. At the top of the mountain they yelled “Day-O” and heard Barry return the call. We others took up the yelling but they didn't hear us, nor did they hear Fazeley's whistle which just shows that a Day-O has better penetration than a whistle. When Fazeley later on was told this she was hurt. “I can't understand why it wasn't heard. In the past when I have whistled I have had instant response.”
Despite all the commotion from the down-unders, Barry heard nothing, nor did he see any one of the numerous stragglers mooching by. As a result the flyers spent three hours waiting for us. “Actually,” said Doone, “we were so buggered we didn't care.” Donny went back upstream to Conollie looking for tracks. In the hut book he found names of all the party and realised we had all gone through, so the flyers, getting back to their 4 m.p.h. speed, set off in pursuit at 3.30 to do a half day's walk, which they did in two hours. When the main party had left the track to cut down to the agreed campsite on Wyanbene Creek we had made a large S.B.W. sign on an antbed with a stick and a couple of arrows to show our route, and the time. Sad to relate, Gordon and Tony were going so fast in front they didn't see this and carried on along the track. Don and Doone and Bob, a little way behind, watched with a wicked gleam in their eyes and didn't whistle them back till they had thrashed on some distance, which meant that these two leading the field now arrived back at camp a few micro-seconds behind their mates. “You bastard, Finch!” gritted Tony. (You wouldn't have expected such language from the President).
Donny had come down the mountain with a prize: In a Glaxo Glucose tin in the cairn on Flash Jack's he found a piece of paper dated 29/4/39 signed by Len Scotland and Marion and Harry Ellis. Don plans to have this photocopied. A copy will be returned to the cairn and the original will go to the Mitchell Library; it would be a shame to have it destroyed by some unthinking person.
Sunday night's campsite was very nice - green grass next to the river, ideal for 10 or 15 but a bit crowded with 27, though Fazeley found herself a choice bit of real estate a short distance off. It was a beaut friendly campfire. Barbara was drunk on the environment, with a bit of help from friends. Barry and Phil kept a grip on her wrists so she wouldn't collapse in the fire. This happened to be Bob Older's birthday, so we sang him the usual “Happy Birthday”. “You're looking Younger every day,” we told him.
Monday morning. Finchy's sergeant-major shout “IS EVERYBODY HAPPY?” did not produce the hoped-for enthusiasm. The reason? Blisters. Many were the sufferers. Spiro's last batch of bargain shoes shrink. Even Dot Butler's rhinoceros-hide heels had to be doctored by Gordon Lee with sticking plaster. Eventually her problem was solved by Doone producing a sharp knife and amputating a quarter of an inch at the back of the heels (of her shoes, that is).
Soon all 27 were away. First 1,000 ft ascent right in Wyanbene Creek. Then another 800 ft up a side ridge, plus another 800 ft up the main ridge to the top of the divide between the Deua and the Shoalhaven. Somewhere along the way Spiro took a group photo during a morning tea stop. We crossed the scrubby tops, then straight down the other side to the creek, where we got water for lunch. At this stage we realised it would take too long to include the Big Hole so the plan was altered and we followed Wyanbene Caves Creek fire trail back towards the cars, thereby shortening the trip by about 4 km.
We had walked about 8 km when we came upon Jim Dempsey with a neighbour collecting firewood. They offered us a lift back to our cars in their cattle truck. All the packs were loaded into the neighbour's lorry and it was wonderful to see a truckload of walkers masquerading as Santa Gertrudis cattle. Back at the cars Spiro took a photo of the truck with its human freight. It should go down on record that every president between the years 1967-1983 (with the sole exception of Helen Gray) was represented on this trip. The sinister photo of them all peering through the bars of the cattle truck like felons will give future viewers food for thought.
That should rightly be the end of a very happy trip but the sad news is that Geoff Wagg has lost his car keys. He bends off a length of fencing wire from Jim Dempsey's fence. He has left the car window open about an inch and in 20 seconds flat Donny has manipulated the catch and the car is open. Another few minutes and the motor is running. “If you keep her going in a straight line you'll get home,” says Barry. You've guessed. The steering is locked. So the mechanics borrowed a hacksaw from the farmer and Geoff watched in anguish as the lock was sawn off. There's nothing our mechanics can't do when their blood is up. So the day was saved and we all headed for home with a stop off at the nearest pub and eating house to fortify the inner man. Geoffo tells us that back home he selo-taped the steering lock back on and it works as well as ever.
When a trip like this is over and, blisters forgotten, one thinks back on it, one finds it is not so much the scenery as the personalities one remembers - their different styles of walking, sleeping, eating, reacting to stress. You hear Tony saying, “You can't win. I put wood on the fire and people whinged so I stopped. Then new arrivals complain 'What a stingy little fire!”. There's Doone loping ahead, saying, “I'm only the track finder. I don't have to bother about you people; that's Finchy's responsibility - he's the Manager in charge of Personnel”. And Joan: “Will everyone note I left the bottom of Apple Tree Mountain behind Gordon Lee and I got to the saddle ahead of him. This is unbelievable”. (In fact Gordon, Bob and Spiro took a wrong ridge on Don's recommendation. When they rejoined us we hear Donny telling them, “It was all an honest mistake”.) During a lunch stop Bob is passing around his triscuits. “Actually they are twice-baked biscuits. I am going to put peanut butter on mine but I know not to open the jar labelled peanut butter because it's Milo”. And Phil Butt is telling us, “In normal situations you don't travel normal to the track”. Spiro offers something to Barbara. She is told, “Don't trust a Greek bearing his gift.” (You won't get that into the magazine if you write it up, Dot,“ says Spiro. Do right and fear no man; don't write and fear no editress.)
Well there it is, the freedom, the fun, the laughter, the happy companionship. And Easter 1983 is only 12 months away.
Bushwalker Recipes. No.1.
Place sunflower seeds on a dry tin in an oven at about 350° for 15 minutes (or over a campfire, swishing them about). Then add a few drops of soy sauce. Very good for filling up - or for mixing in a salad, to which they give an interesting smoky, nutty flavour.
“Mouldy” Harrison advises that Doris Alder, an old S.B.W. member who now lives in London, is now in Sydney on a visit. Old members may like to get in touch.
Carnarvon National Park & Gorge.
A week with the birds flora and other fauna.
by Joe Turner.
“The song is gone: the dance
Is secret with the dancers in the earth,
The ritual useless and the tribal story
Lost in an alien tale
Only the grass stands up
To mark the dancing ring, the apple-gums
Posture and mine a past corroboree,
Murmur a broken chant.
The hunter is gone: the spear
Is splintered underground; the painted bodies
A dream the world breathed, sleeping and forgot.
The nomad feet are still.”
Part of “Bora Ring” by Judith Wright.
Such is the preamble to Duncan McDermant's book “Carnarvon Gorge”. It certainly sets the scene, as it were, for those who visit this beautiful area and give some thought to its first inhabitants. They surely must have loved this place, an oasis, as it were, a last fertile valley caught between and overlooked by high sandstone walls through which flow the cool clear waters of Carnarvon Creek whose banks are lined with moisture-loving growth such as cabbage tree palms, macrozamias, river she-oaks and straight eucalypts. At any rate, that is how Huldah and I felt when we first visited it last year, and learning of a “Bird Week” to be conducted there in February, promptly booked ourselves in if, as we were warned, there was room to accommodate us and the members of the Ornithologists Society of Queensland, who, of course, had priority. We were delighted when informed we could be squeezed in!! So, off we set, I (a dedicated terra-firma-ist) by train, Huldah by plane. It took me two and a bit days - Huldah was there in a matter of hours!!
Our accommodation was most comfortable in one of the many large (12'x 12') tents wooden-floored and carpeted, with necessary furniture. Alternatively we could have had a hut but the tents, set among the trees and beside a creek, savoured more of the bush. A short walk only to the amenities and a few yards extra to the lounge and dining quarters - drinks and food par excellence. At least, where we were located enabled us the better to appreciate this lovely spot and, we hope, the better to understand (if that is possible!) the feelings of the Aborigines whose occupancy of the area until about 50 years ago when the white man took the place over, extended back, it has been confirmed, a period of 3600 years. However it is stated that in the adjacent ranges, there is evidence that Aborigines were there at least 19,000 years ago!!
It is impossible to say just what are Huldah's and my happiest memories of our short stay at Carnarvon - maybe the knowledge of what, and how, the Aborigines felt while allowed free enjoyment of it until “forcibly ejected” from a place occupied by them and their forefathers for so many centuries. Perhaps I should say that might have been the happiest memory but…. Certainly the whole place is a delight and to be able to wander around the grounds surrounding the Hostel and practically trip over the grazing wallabies and their young-uns without their batting an eyelid, to have birds (of which there is a recorded total of about 160 different species) almost land on your shoulder, to view (if you are lucky and quiet enough) the platypus - that is farther afield than the grounds of the Hostel, of course - then to explore the various small gorges and chasms giving into the main gorge; all these things, I say, contribute to impressing upon one's mind the glory and beauty of this place.
Perhaps we were lucky to have as fellow guests people with minds and hearts much akin to our own (I've never experienced such enthusiasm - up before dawn almost!!) and then when not out searching the trees with torches, the nights were occupied with slide-viewing of birds, animals and scenery - not an uninteresting slide among them - altogether a most rewarding and interesting seven days and nights.
For those interested in knowing exactly where this “wonderland” is, Carnarvon is approximately 450 miles north-west of Brisbane; most people fly there. Otherwise train must be taken to Roma from where special arrangements have to be made for road transport, north towards Rolleston to what is known as the Wyseby (station property) turn-off, thence west through Rewan property. Development road (part under reconstruction) mostly bitumen leads from Rona to Wyseby, thence track and partly-formed road - quite good except one could experience problems in wet weather. Best time of the year, I would say, would be September or October.
by Dot Butler.
On the Bendethera trip Easter 1981 Bill Burke testified in the presence of numerous witnesses that he would bet a $100 that no one over 40 could complete the Three Peaks Trip (even the modified Cox to Cox version) in less than 24 hours.
Rumour has it that this has now been accomplished by Gordon Lee and Bill Capon, both over 40.
Club members wait with bated breath to see the outcome of this bet, especially the Coolana Committee, as the winners have promised the proceeds of the bet to Coolana funds. You will read all about the marathon in a forthcoming issue of the magazine.
Eastwood Camping Centre.
Lightweight Tents - Sleeping Bags - Rucksacks - Climbing & Caving Gear - Maps - Clothing - Boots - Food.
Large Tents - Stoves - Lamps - Folding Furniture.
Paddymade - Karrimor - Berghaus - Hallmark - Bergans - Caribee - Fairydown - Silva - Primus - Companion - and all leading brands.
Proprietors: Jack & Nancy Fox. Sales Manager: David Fox.
Eastwood Canvas Good & Camping Supplies.
3 Trelawney St., Eastwood, NSW, 2122. Phone 858 2775.
The Smallest Prospective We Know.
by Christine Austin.
A well known member in her recent article wrote “when the children like walking, are fit, interested and don't complain, it is a delight.” These words made me reminisce all about taking children walking and their reactions to it. Because I, at age ten or so, loathed the idea of it. Why would anybody walk when there were cars available? And as for oohing and ahhing at views and wildflowers. We11, really! This must have rather disappointed and horrified my parents who regarded bushwalking with the same enthusiasm as I do now. Anyway, several incidents come to mind.
One day, about twenty years ago, we climbed to the top of Mt.Kaputar in the Nandewars. While my parents admired the sun setting over the western plains, all I could do was ask, “Could I have my pocket money, please, Daddy?” Another time I was asked what was the best part of the Warrumbungles trip - “The meat pies at Gulgong,” I replied. And so, if you have enthusiastic bushwalking children, it must be just pot luck. Some six or seven years after these events took place I changed my ideas about bushwalking and I've ever since enjoyed it very much.
Now that Craig and I have a little boy, we feel it's necessary to keep these past events in mind. Maybe Dane won't want to go bushwalking. Maybe he'll want to play football, or, worse still, ride trail bikes. I guess, like any reasonable parents, we'll have to let him do what he wants. So, the idea, we felt, was to do the maximum number of walks now while he's still incapable of protesting and laying down the law (his law). Now, at age one, he's covered a fair bit of ground, including some walks in Queensland.
Our most recent excursion was a delightful week's camping in some of our state's northern national parks. What was so amazing was that though it poured in Sydney, we didn't have a drop of rain.
Our first park was to be Werrikimbie on the upper Hastings River. This proved to be too long a drive in one day with babies (with us was my friend Jane, her daughter Amy and my father). Around five on the first day we began looking for a campsite near Wingham, but due to recent heavy rain, all potential spots were infested by mosquitoes. Agreeing that the idea of camping low was unbearable, we climbed higher, up on to the beautiful Comboyne Plateau. However, no campsites were to be seen, the area being covered by dense rainforest. Soon appeared the first farm on the plateau and the farmer allowed us to camp on his land. Mosquitoes were about, but not in droves.
The next day, after consuming a delicious Devonshire tea at the Comboyne tea shop (fresh cream from the dairy) we drove to Werrikimbie. Moorabach Creek, our campsite, was thirty five km (or so) from the Oxley Highway. Here we camped in a delightfully secluded, snow-grassed area, complete with gurgling stream at our back door. It was down this stream we walked the next day. Although called Moorabach Creek at our campsite, it is really the main tributary of the Hastings River and it is most unusual country. For several kilometres downstream the area was typically sub-alpine, then quite suddenly it became drier and grass trees appeared. Most peculiar!
A sketch map was all we had of the area, so we rather underestimated the distance to be covered. Twenty five kilometres later and babies becoming extremely restless, we staggered into camp at 7.30 pm, the only witnesses to our exhaustion being the silent kangaroos. The real victors of the day were my father (aged late sixties and he won't mind my revealing that) and Jane (several months pregnant and carrying eighteen month Amy). It was a great day and I enjoyed walking in completely new country. Dane tolerated his postponed dinner with great equanimity until he was unloaded from his papoose. Then the commotion began…
Our next park was New England, and like Werrikimbie, very well managed. Here we were treated to the luxury of camping beside the little Styx River with soft comfortable grass for our beds. Early in the morning we again loaded babies and walked around the base of the cliffs which form Point Lookout. The Bellinger valley lay before us, perfect, except for the occasional logging road.
Dad and Jane, feeling a little tired after their tremendous efforts of the previous day, rested in the afternoon. Still feeling reasonably refreshed, Craig and I carried Dane over to Wright's Lookout, a heath covered plateau below the main cliffline. Indeed the whole plateau was very much a miniature Kanangra Walls, an oddity for this area.
On our return to camp we found that little Amy had been thoroughly cleaned and scoured by her mother, which left only our dirty boy to deal with. It certainly evoked the pioneering spirit to heat up bath water on the fire, wedge the bath comfortably on the ground and dump the baby in.
Dorrigo was the third highlands park we intended to visit. Feeling that babies might be wearying of being carted around on backs, we all remained at the magnificent picnic area at Dorrigo, while Craig raced around some of the tracks. The park contains many fine stands of timber - rosewood and hoop pine, to name a few. Indeed, towering over us at the picnic area, were three of the tallest brush box I have ever seen. Dorrigo had only been a day trip from New England and so, rain looking imminent, we literally tore back to our camp site. I'm afraid to admit it wasn't food we wanted, nor even a cup of tea - but to take the precious clothes off the line. Such is the state with babies that wet clothes will just not do.
Our week was nearly over, so we thought a quick look at a coastal park would be a suitable finale. After a spectacular drive along the Macleay River (wonderful for future canoe trips) we reached Crowdy Bay National Park. Unfortunately arrival at the coast and recent rains had brought a rise in humidity. It was a rather uncomfortable night and Dane obviously thought so too. After a great deal of restlessness, he woke at four at and pounded and bashed his parents until morning. By now I'd developed the “I want to go home” syndrome and anyway, lack of fresh water and filthy clothes were beginning to bug me. We had a little time to admire the park that morning. Although mining has taken place, these areas are not obvious and the park is most attractive, with a beautiful long white beach. Generally we felt all the parks we visited were well maintained and represented some of the beautiful scenery of our state.
Well, we arrive home, the adults having enjoyed themselves and the babies too… I think. If they could speak for themselves, I wonder whether they would say the best part was the food.
The April General Meeting.
by Barry Wallace.
The meeting began at 2018 with about 30 people present and the new President in the chair.
There were six new members to welcome in the usual way, Diedre Brady, Margaret Conley, Judith Mehaffey, Ted Kelly, Dick Pike and one no-show from a previous meeting, Don Newland. Minutes were read and received, and the prospectives' fees were set at $3.00 as the only business arising.
Correspondence brought notice of a new Mountain Equipment branch in the city, a letter of resignation from Liz Newman, letters to new members and a letter from Joe Turner offering a donation of $500.00 for investment, the proceeds to go to an annual award or some other purpose within the Club. A letter of thanks has been sent to Joe. The meeting voted to defer a decision on the use to which the proceeds should be put until the May General Meeting.
The Treasurer's Report brought news that we began the month with a balance of $880.47 and closed with $1499.47. The Coolana Account had a closing balance of $157.15.
Federation Report indicated that there had been extensive discussions between a delegation from the C.M.W. Club and F.B.W. The re-union attracted 102 people from 14 clubs and is reported to have gone well. Gordon Lee is once again to act as ball convenor and a new venue is to be sought. S. & R. has issued a caution to clubs to avoid abseiling trips in any canyon when there is a possibility of flooding. N.P.W.S. has advised that action has been taken to eliminate cattle from the Cox/Kowmung area, but a road accident with a truck load of cattle had set efforts back somewhat.
The Walks Report began with the President reporting on the Re-union. It is said that it was a pleasant evening and that all went well. Brian Bolton led 16 people on a walk from Bundeena to Otford that same weekend, and got rained on for his trouble.
During the week following the Re-union Alex Colley led a party of six people on a beach hopping walk from Long Beach to Tabourie Lake. The walk went well but the weather was only “just O.K.”.
For those who worked during the week there were six walks programmed for the following weekend of 19,20,21 March. George Walkon had 3 members and 2 visitors on his Mt. Solitary, Ruined Castle walk. Tony Marshall and his 13 starters found the going in Doris Creek harder than expected on his Kanangra trip, Gordon Lee's Kanangra area abseiling trip was cancelled due to wet weather and there was no report of Peter Christian's Govett's Leap to Victoria Falls trip. Ralph Pengliss had 6 people on a Bundeena coastal walk in miserable misty conditions and Roy Braithwaite had more of the same for the 10 people on his Cowan to Brooklyn walk.
Bill Hall's Wednesday walk from Waterfall to Waterfall attracted 6 members and one visitor, and reported the tea-trees of the area rich with blossom.
The weekend of 26,27,28 March saw Barry Murdoch and his troop of 7 struggling somewhat, with some breakdowns and the resultant pack sharing on his Boyd Trail to East Christy's Creek (sic) walk. Fiona Moyes reported 10 people on a pleasant, if at times somewhat fragmented, walk from Victoria Falls to Grand Canyon. Of the day walks David (call me fuehrer) Ingram led 28 people through rain and disused railway tunnels on his Bell to Lithgow via the tracks walk, and Jo Van Sommers managed to get the 6 members and 5 prospectives on her Currawong to The Basin walk back to the ferry before the rains came.
Gordon Lee had three people on his Axehead Range walk for the weekend of 2,3,4 April. The views were somewhat spoilt by rain and low cloud on the Sunday. Bill Capon had 10 starters reporting slow going on his Budawangs walk that same weekend. Hans Stichter re-arranged his Mt.Hay Road to Bluegiam trip somewhat… they went to Katoomba, to Mt. Solitary in fact, all 14 of them. Roy Braithwaite had 26 people out that same day an his Bundeena to Audley walk.
Meryl Watman's Wednesday walk had 8 starters with only sandflies to spoil an otherwise pleasant walk.
Over the Easter Weekend Don Finch and Doone Wyborn (Doone who?) led a party of 27 in almost perfect weather from Pikes Saddle to Emu Flat. At least some of the party began the walk in a school bus and completed it in a cattle truck, both, as it turned out, supplied by the same farmer. Tony Denham tried to kill off his Wolgan/Capertee River walk, but it refused to lie down and ended up being led by Denise Shaw who reported 2 members, 2 prospectives and a good trip. Here endeth the Walks Report - Amen!
Of General Business there was none, so after the announcements of both walks and cancellations the meeting closed at 2100.
Social Notes For June.
by Jo Van Sommers.
June 16th: Members' Slides.
Theme “Winter Walking Hot & Cold”. Bring along your slides and describe that trip when the snow lay on the tents, or that mid-winter walk where everyone got sunburnt. Prospective members please join in.
Dinner before the meeting will be held at Chehades Lebanese Restaurant, 270 Pacific Highway, Crow's Nest at 6.30 pm.
June 23rd: Mid-Winter Party.
This Wednesday is the shortest day of the year. We will celebrate the turning point with a Mid-Winter Feast. Please bring along a plate of Northern Christmas type food, and also photographic prints of “your darkest hour”. The Club will provide comforting drinks.
June 30th: Slides of Rural Europe.
Ainslie Morris will lead off with her slides on “Doing the Continent” the hard way. Other slides of walking, cycling, sliding and climbing in Europe invited.
The Great Zig-Zag - Lithgow Valley.
by David Ingram.
The trip: Bell, Newnes Junction, Clarence, Great Zig-zag Railway, Lithgow.
Attendance: 14 members, 6 prospective members, 8 visitors - total 28.
Upon arrival at Bell it was a pleasure to meet Heather and John White, who had driven up from Mt. Tomah. We were joined by my friend, Keith Robinson, a local resident, who was able to answer many questions about railway and coal mining matters.
The proliferation of waratah bushes between Bell and Newnes Junction was noted - the area is famous for their blooms in October. The weather was threatening rain which commenced later during the day for the third Sunday in sequence - 15 points was the local registration.
At Newnes Junction, the junction of the abandoned Newnes Line with the now abandoned Main Western Line was inspected with abandon, and the abandoned Main Line followed to the abandoned Clarence Station and abandoned Clarence Tunnel (1,600 ft.) which proved a great thrill for the three children in the party. Lunch was taken at the tunnel entrance as shelter from the drizzling rain.
The formation of the Great Zig-zag of the old Western Line was followed to Top Points, whence a steam-operated railway runs down the mountain side to the present Main Line. The obvious thing to do was to ride on the train on its 1 in 42 descent down, up and down again. Than we followed the main railway line into Lithgow for refreshment and the 5.35 pm train to Sydney.
The expressions of appreciation for an interesting and unusual outing were a surprise. Even the TV addicts didn't complain about missing their usual viewing, and instead enjoyed the brilliant sunset and rainbow on the retreating rain clouds. Only one young lady, aged 8, hoped that she'd be home in time for “Disneyland”. Tough luck!
There were several requests to repeat the walk - well, maybe on a Saturday when the train timetable allows more time to explore the gems of this area.
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