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. The present clubroom is the upper hall of the Cahill .Community Centre, 34 Falcon Street, Crow's Nest. Enquiries concerning the Club should be referred to Ann Ravn, telephone 798 8607.
|EDITOR:||Evelyn Walker, 158 Evans Street, Rozelle, 2039, Telephone 827 3695.|
|BUSINESS MANAGER:||Bill Burke, 3 Coral Tree Drive, Carlingford, 2118, Telephone 871 1207.|
|PRODUCTION MANAGER:||Helen Gray.|
|DUPLICATOR OPERATOR:||Phil Butt.|
|Mount Cameron to Bell||by David Rostron||2|
|Social Notes for August||Jo Van Sommers||4|
|Vale - Richard James Croker - 6.5.1982||L.G. Harrison||5|
|The Balmain Historical Stroll||Wal Liddle||8|
|Doris Allden||L.G. Harrison||9|
|Advertisement - Eastwood Camping Centre||10|
|“Gamble's Bambol” Up the Dart and Down the Rees||John Newman||11|
|Bushwalker Recipes - No 3||Marcia Shalopert||14|
|Mt. Kaputar National Park Trip||Ainslie Morris||15|
|The June General Meeting||Barry Wallace||17|
|Conservation Investment Fund|
|Amendments to the Constitution|
MOUNT CAMERON TO BELL
by David Rostron
A study of maps is possibly the best way to become inspired about a new route (for us). This resulted in the programmed car swap trip for lst and 2nd May, from Mount Cameron to Mount Tootie with Don Finch and I leading the respectable “legs”. However, after learning of the experience of others on the 30km ridge section, over the Maiden and Mt. Mistake to the Colo (thick scrub, no views, 13 ridge junctions and one-mile-an-hour country) we decided to proceed as per programme only if the area had been burnt in the 1979 fires. When subsequently travelling by plane to Dubbo on two occasions I determined that the area had not been burnt and it was obvious that the trip would be “hard work”. I walk to enjoy myself and I believe this is also Don's philosophy. Not for us the foolish belief quoted by many: “The greater the suffering, the greater the trip”. Don readily agreed to a change of route - from Mt. Cameron to Mt. Wilson - but later considered Mt. Cameron to Bell would be the ideal trip. He felt the crossings of the canyons and creeks would provide sufficient “sport”.
On the Wednesday night before the trip we had eight starters, but then Tony Marshall dropped out with a virus and Pat Harrison didn't appreciate the route change. So David Martin, Bob Hodgson, Don Finch, Spiro Hajinakitas, Barrie Murdoch and I, plus three vehicles, convened at Bell at 8.30 pm on Friday night. One vehicle was left at Bell, and we headed off along the maze of roads on the Newnes Plateau. After more than a few false leads (Don, of course, was navigating at this stage - allegedly on reliable information) we found the Mt. Cameron fire trail. After a few km we were stopped by a badly rutted hill.
We had known it was not possible to drive past Natural Bridge, but this meant a further 2km on the 9km we had intended to walk that night. For me it was two hours of mental torment along a fire trail we did not know and with partial moon for only the first hour. I had the sensation of being on a treadmill - our surroundings didn't seem to change. After two hours we began the slight climb to the basalt cap of Mt. Cameron. With the change in vegetation there was a different aroma evident. There was the usual luxuriant grass on the cap which provided an ideal campsite.
The next morning we were up at 5.45 am and away by 7.05 am. We followed the fire trail over the cap until it turned east and we then headed south-west.
The map indicated a perfect route down to Nayook Creek at 535117 and an easy ridge up the other side. When 400m away the route down and up looked ideal. However, when almost on the creek 15-20 metre cliffs on both sides were evident. We headed west for 300m but there were no apparent routes. So it was back to the ridge top and along a SW ridge for a possible crossing opposite a creek at 524107. Again the map indicated the route as feasible.
When dropping off the ridge we had to negotiate a rocky ramp and then a causeway 40m long and 2m wide at 524112. We were able to drop off the causeway but when above the creek there were still 15m cliffs. We eventually found a gully down at 523108 and then a route through the cliffs on the other side. However, the diversions had cost us 1.5 hours, so it was head down and tail up for the next 6km and 1.5 hours south across the plateau.
We carried water for lunch and this was enjoyed at 507076 with extensive views to the south. Mt. Wilson was visible, many km to the SE. Lunch was a brief affair of 35 minutes and then it was west for 1 km across the ridge top before heading south again towards Derailment Hill and, we hoped, a route to North Bungleboori Creek.
After passing over Derailment Hill the route ahead had the appearance of a bushwalkers' minefield - cliffs, gendarmes, etc. We decided to descend to the creek to the west and follow it south to Bungleboori Creek. However, it was about an hour later that we finally reached the first creek after negotiating gulleys, chimneys and faces as well as exploring about four other possible routes.
The floor of the valley was slow going with heavy growth, but eventually we crossed Bungleboori at 493045 and then had afternoon tea. We decided to carry water just in case we didn't make South Bungleboori Creek before nightfall. We headed south up the ridge to reach a firetrail at 491035. David Martin had been troubled by a knee problem and decided to retire at this point - to try to find his car via the fire trail maze.
Five of us then followed fire trails for 3 km - first SW and then SE and turned off south at 492018. Bob had walked along this part of the route before and was confident about finding a pass down to South Bungleboori Creek. We traversed a ridge to a cliff top about 100m above the creek at 496004 and then tried a number of gullies before finally reaching the creek just on dusk.
First impressions of the creek were that there would be no 5-star campsite that night. Bob was optimistic about a possible site 200m downstream, but to reach it took another 10 minutes. Well - it was about half-star rating. We had to clear sites for adjoining flies and then the fire on sand amongst fallen trees. The location was typical of the creeks in this area - 40m cliffs on both sides.
Next morning saw a later start at 7.30 am and then it was up ledges and cracks at 497003 with some rope work to emerge on top of the Western Arthurs (named by Bob on a previous trip). These are rocky tors extending over 2 km and provided some interesting scrambling and route-finding with good views. We headed west over these tops for about lkm and then it was south again over a high valley to the next ridge top. We crossed this and followed a ridge south - more scrambling - and then it was down a pass at 490985 which Bob had used before. We followed the creek south to North Dumbano Creek, which we crossed at 493978. It was then time for morning tea. Dumbano Creek at this point has only small cliff lines - 5m to 10m with numerous breaks.
We had contemplated visiting Wollongambe Crater but the ridge from Wollongambe River to Bell - about 7 km - was still an unknown quantity. We decided to continue by the easiest route to the river. We crossed the marshy area of South Dumbano Creek at 498966 and then followed a ridge SW to the Schay Ridge Fire Trail. A gallop along the trail for 4 km to the end was followed by open ridge walking and then a drop of about 100m to the Wollongambe. This was reached by a series of ledges and gullies at 505928.
The lunch that followed was the most relaxed meal of the trip. We had the luxury of a fire in cool sunshine. The route up the other side looked reasonable and, from what we could see of the ridge to the Bell Road, our hopes for a easy final 10 km were rising.
The ridge proved to be delightful. It comprised rocky tors and large areas of heath-type vegetation - the formula for expansive views and relaxed walking. The view from a height of 994 m was probably the best of the trip. Later, among the low eucalypts, the waratahs were prolific.
As we neared the road Don pushed to the front and began a none-too subtle increase of pace. From a flowing, relaxed pace there developed an urgent panting stride. Spiro was heard to remark “Anyone would think it's Carlon's horses heading for home”.
Then we were on the road on the north side of the rail line with 3 km to Bell. Foolishly we let Don set the pace. Whereas normal fit walkers are capable of 5,000 rpm Don appears to have 6,000 rpm available. With my longer legs I was just able to match his walking speed, but Spiro and Bob were periodically jogging whilst Barrie jogged all the way to keep up.
I think we all hoped to put on a final spurt for the last 150m up a hill to Bell, and overtake Don, but he started running before we did and all we could do was chew his dust. It was 4.15 pm and the end of a great exploratory trip.
I should add that the area around Mt. Cameron was not burnt in the 1979 fires. These fires apparently extended to Nayook Creek, about 3 km south of Mt. Cameron. There has been considerable regrowth since but the walking through most of the area is straightforward - there is no dense scrub to push through. Views are mainly restricted by low eucalypts which have recovered to an amazing degree. Throughout the area the waratahs, compared to most parts of the mountains, are prolific. An early spring walk would be a delight.
SOCIAL NOTES FOR AUGUST
by Jo van Sommers.
August 18 - BUSH DANCE. Caller: Lance Green.
Dinner before the meeting at Chehades Lebanese Restaurant, 270 Pacific Highway, Crow's Nest at 6.30 pm.
August 25 - CONSERVATION FILMS from the State Film Library.
Wilderness. Made by the National Parks and Wildlife Service in the Kosciusko National Park.
The Things we Want to Keep. Made for the Australian Heritage Commission to publicise the sites and buildings chosen for preservation as part of the national estate.
Making Tracks. A short film about the use of off-road vehicles OR -
Noise Annoys - Short and funny film about noise pollution.
OR Our National Heritage. Mungo National Park in SW of N.S.W., Booligal Swamps waterfowl and Lord Howe Island woodhen.
VALE - RICHARD JAMES CROKER - 6.5.1982.
by L. G. Harrison.
In the '30s' one of the best known walkers was Richard Croker, a tall young man with a cheerful outlook and considerable strength. He was employed in the Accounts Department of British Australia Tobacco Company, and lived with his family in Strathfield. He was an active committeeman and secretary for a couple of years, and President of the Club from March '39 to March '41.
It was during the 30s that the Sydney Bushwalkers held one of their best concerts ever in the Savoy Theatre in the city. Jean Austen had arranged a splendid reproduction of the Swan Lake ballet. Richard Croker Wilbut Morris, Jock Kaske and others were revealed in white tutus in the classic opening pose of the ballet. The stage was suffused with blue moonlight.
It was greeted with sounds of applause which turned to hilarious laughter when the group unfolded and it was seen that all the members were clad in their best walking boots: Richard also appeared in one or two of the skits. He was a prodigious worker for the Club, and as a consequence made many friends.
In 1937 he married Marjorie Adams, and instead of taking a trip overseas, they together purchased a home and proceeded to establish it. They had two girls, Diana, now Mrs. Graham Lloyd, and Caroline, now Mrs. Roy George, both living in England.
At the end of the War when there were a great number of migrants coming to Australia, many of them were billeted at Bradfield Park, only a couple of miles from the Crokers' home at Spencer Road, Killara. Richard and Marjorie knew the feeling of homesickness that can occur, and so they arranged for monthly gatherings in their home for several years. Many of the migrant families made their first contact with Australian- domestic life in this way. A solid core, mainly of bushwalkers, used to help Richard and Marjorie in preparing the supper etc. Rene Brown would play the piano for songs. It was a very practical contribution, and an extension of their church activity.
After Richard retired from B.A.T. he took an active interest in St. Martins Church, Killara. One of his outstanding contributions was the embroidered kneelers for the communion rail. He worked the design from patterns he had collected from churches whilst living in England. He established a team of embroiderers who used to come regularly, and over about 15 months embroidered the complete set. They picked up and repeated the colours from the church windows.
During one of his visits to England Richard became ill and was in hospital for months, but owing to good medical attention and a strong constitution he pulled round and lived for many years afterwards.
Marjorie Croker still lives at 6/657 Pacific Highway, Killara. She was comforted at the funeral service by a strong representation of older members of the S.B.W.
Richard will be remembered as a good and faithful friend to many members.
(From a talk given by David Rostron & Craig Austin)
Notes taken by Barry Murdoch.
At the Club meeting on 26th May David Rostron and Craig Austin gave an excellent session on cross-country skiing. For my own purposes, I took some notes and was apparently observed doing so by Ainslie Morris, who spoke to Evelyn Walker, who spoke to me. The upshot of this process is the contribution below. I have attempted to ensure accuracy by submitting my notes to David and Craig for approval before publication. Their additional comments are included.
WHAT TO TAKE (David Rostron).
In general the intending cross-country skier should attempt to keep the total pack weight down to 20-25 pounds for trips of 3-4 days' duration.
- Closed cell foam sleeping mat at least 1.45 m long.
- Pack, the weight of which should be 1-2 pounds and should be frameless.
- Ski parka (not quilted)
- Extra wool singlet if very cold conditions are expected.
- Nylon over-pants
- Light jumper (preferably zipped)
- Shirt (wool or flannel)
- Long johns or tights for use after skiing. They are too hot to use while skiing.
- Long ski socks
- Two pairs of gloves or mitts - one pair of woollen mitts and one pair of over-mitts.
- Stove (1 stove for 3-4 people). The stove should be one using white spirit or methylated spirits, not gas.
- Fuel bottle
- Matches, candle and torch
- Sleeping bag. A bag rated to at least minus 10 degrees Celsius is desirable.
- First Sid Kit
- Wine cask inner bag (it is far better to dig for water through the snow cover over creeks rather than to attempt the slow process of melting snow).
- Plastic bags for feet (these are worn over the socks and inside the boots, because almost all boots leak).
- Bivvy bag
- Spare socks
- Spare ski tip
- Trousers - knickers (on windless days you will be skiing in shirt and trousers only).
- Goggles or sunglasses (goggles are too hot in fine weather).
- Map and compass
EQUIPMENT (Craig Austin)
Skis: Waxless skis are probably preferable for Australian conditions where temperatures are often around 0 degrees Celsius at which temperature choosing a correct wax for waxable skis is extremely difficult. There is considerable variation in the gripping surface of waxless skis. Avoid mohair. Prefer patterns incised into sole rather than raised above the surface of the sole. Metal edges are very useful when dealing with ice but require some skill to use with advantage.
Waxless recommended for beginners. The exhilaration of running fast over a good snow surface on waxed skis cannot be matched on-slower waxless skis. Waxless skis remove the greatest fun as well as the greatest hassles from skiing. As this excitement of moving rapidly on the flat or downhill requires reasonable technique it is not achievable by beginners - hence the recommendation for waxless skis.
Length of skis is measured by holding the skis vertically to the wrist of your arm outstretched above your head. Cross-country racing skis have a width of about 45 to 47 millimetres. They are very light and fragile.
Light touring skis, 48 to 51 millimetres wide, are recommended as suitable for Australian conditions. Test skis for camber suitable to you by using the paper test. The obvious effect of pack weight on camber may be ignored. In recent times side cut has been introduced for cross-country skis. This assists making the ski track better, helps in holding a turn and providing stability, the main advantage is ease of turning.
Bindings: Three pin bindings appear to be suitable for conditions in New South Wales. The heavier cable bindings are favoured in Victoria but make skiing more tiring and render a Telemark turn more difficult. It is an advantage to have fitted to your skis a heel device which allows free heel lift for flat striding and lateral locking of your heel into a “V” for down-hill descents.
Boots: A light ankle boot similar to the Suveren is recommended. A. completely water-proof boot has yet to be invented.
Stocks: Cane stocks with circular baskets are recommended. So far as baskets are concerned the fancy shapes have proved to be failures.
LEARNING (David Rostron).
Having got the feel of cross-country skis during a weekend go for a week's downhill skiing and take lessons. This is a very effective method of overcoming the problems of downhill progress during cross-country skiing and dramatically reduces the time taken in learning to cross-country ski.
WHERE TO GO (David)
Perisher is good but it is difficult to drive up to the snowfields. Thredbo is subject to the problem that you have to go to the top on the chair-lift to find suitable cross-country skiing territory. For beginners Kiandra and Selwyn quarry are excellent. The country around Dead Horse Gap is also very good.
(Craig comments) Guthega - good starting point for easy runs along the Snowy River - or harder trips onto the Main Range. Excellent camping on snow grass late in the season above Guthega.
Mungang - Schlink Pass very popular for beginners' weekend trips but huts usually crowded and long climb up road before any flat skiing possible.
(David comments) If you want to enjoy your skiing to the utmost only go for 2 or 3 day weekends when there is a good weather report. The weather in the Alps rarely remains clear for more than 2 to 3 days at a time.
(Craig) As experienced skiers appeara reluctant to programme beginners/ trips the beat way to get started is to organize 2 or 3 other people ready to leave at short notice, wait for a promising weather forecast, then camp below the snowline (Sawpit Creek, Rutledges Hut, Adaminaby, Island Bend) and do day trips.
It is not necessary to have an experienced skier in the party - basic bushwalking skills are sufficient.
THE BALFUN HISTORICAL STROLL.
by N'al Lid-die.
Thirty walkers met at the Darling Street Wharf on a sunny Saturday afternoon. Darling Street runs approximately 3 miles from the Rozelle shopping centre to Darling Harbour. The city of Sydney is only 10 minutes away by ferry.
The four guides supplied by the Balmain Association then explained some of the history of the area.
Originally the whole of the area was covered by bush and the only access was by water (McKenzie the waterman ferried passengers to Jack-the-Miller's Point in the early 1800s). Later tracks were cut through the bush to connect with the Main western road at the toll gate which was situated near Sydney University.
The first iand grant was given to Dr. Balmain, a naval surgeon. He sold the land “half a 1000” acres to Mr. Gilchrist for five shillings. After the death of Gilchrist the land was substantially sub-divided for building blocks (in the 1850s) leading to the present urban development.
The guides then led us up the hill to No.10 Darling Street, a two-storey building with a pitched iron roof. This building was originally the Dolphin Hotel built in 1844 and featured in the theme picture of the T.V. series “My Name's McGooley” (in the 1970s). From here we proceeded to the original two-storey sandstone cottages in Little Edward Street which were built in 1844/1850. These cottages overlook the water near Peacock Point and originally would have housed fishermen, boat builders and their families. A glimpse through-one of the front doors showed the original sandstone floors.
Next we visited Illoura Reserve, a delightful park right on the Water's edge. The reserve was originally Perdriau's, and Henry Beattie's Shipyard and was bought in 1973 by the Planning and Environment Department who converted it to its present day use. The reserve overlooks Jubilee Bay which was the site of a floating dock and was previously known as Steam Ferry Bay because of the steam ferries that left the wharves at the bottom of Ternen and Killeen Streets.
Our next stop was at number 10 Pearson Street, a two-storey stone cottage, with lace ironwork verandah embellishments, built by Captain Pearson in 1844. Although the house is now hemmed in by other houses, the captain's family would have had a magnificent view of the headland and harbour in the 1840s.
Other points of interest on the walk were:-
(a) The Waterman's Cottage No.12 Darling Street. Built of large sandstone blocks and double square windows in 1841. It was used as the Waterman's Cottage from 1845-1882 and is not completed (i.e. blocks sticking out at end of one wall).
(b) “Cahermore”, 50 Darling Street, a two-starey sandstone building which was built in 1846 and was originally called the “Marquis of Waterford” and “The Waterford Arms”. The word “Cahermore” can still be seen in the original leadlight above one of the main entry doors.
© Morts Bay - named after Thomas Mort who built a huge dry dock there in 1854 and which became the centre of the shipbuilding, ship repairing industry of Sydney around the turn of the century.
Our walk terminated at the Balmain Watch House which was the site of the original watch house (police station) in 1854. The original Blackett-designed sandstone building is still standing but with added additions (1881). A tour of the watch house. revealed the prisoners' cellblock and original sandstone privy (outside toilet).
One of the pictures hanging in an upper room of the Watch House is a portrait of Jacob Garrard, the Mayor of Balmain in 1880. Garrard was apprenticed to an engineer in 1861 and worked at Marts Dock. He was a leader of the trade union movement in the 1870s, and was in the forefront of the strikes in 1873-1874 which won the eight-hour day for iron trades Workers.
Our afternoon finished with devonshire tea, which was much appreciated by all present.
The Watch House (179 Darling Street) has been saved from demolition by the Balmain Association and is open to the general public every Sunday afternoon (2 to 4). Admission is free and pamphlets can be obtained an the historical walks in the area.
by L.G. Harrison.
Some of the older walkers will remember Doris Allden. Doris, 29 years ago, moved to London. There she is a centre for the older members of the S.B.L. to call and exchange “Do you remember's”. Doris came to Sydney in May to organise and attend her mother's birthday celebrations on the 1st June. On this day she is 100 years old. Doris had a lot of business to do in Melbourne, including sorting out trunks of personal effects which had been stored. However, due to the ravages of water and time practically everything was destroyed. If we think for a moment of all the changes that have taken place in Sydney over the last thirty years, some idea will be gained of the shock that Doris got upon her arrival. She has been able to see a few of her old friends, but unfortunately it was not practical to arrange a big gathering in Sydney for her.
"GAMBLE'S GAMBOL" - UP THE DART AND DOWN THE RUES.
Mount Aspiring National Park - South Island, New Zealand.
WALK N0.1. by John Newman.
A party of seven S.B.W. members have recently completed a month's tramping in the Mount Aspiring and Nelson Lakes National Parks (12.3.82 to 12.4.82), during which three walks, each of seven days, were undertaken. The leader, ex-Kiwi Bill Gamble, had spent considerable time in organizing and planning details for travel, accommodation, van hire, food lists, finance needs, and of course, the most important items - the nature and distances for daily tramping, hut accommodation and/or tent sites that each walk would entail. The peregrinators to accompany this flightless bird were Stan Madden, Keith Docherty, Ian Debert, Joy Hines, Lorraine Bloomfield and John Newman - definitely not a gaggle but certainly a weird mob.
The flight on Friday, 12th March, from Sydney to Christchurch was made in near perfect weather and afforded extensive views of the snow-capped Southern Alps and the Canterbury Plains now showing a “browning” effect from a dry summer and approaching autumn. Disembarkation procedures and quarantine requirements were lengthy but understandable considering the large number of tourists arriving on our flight, but after clearance and picking up our van we were soon installed in the nearby Russelly Motel.
Provisioning for the first walk entailed a foray to a suburban supermarket for “late night” shopping, our only chance, as most shops and businesses are closed from Friday night to Monday morning. Some difficulties in selection and availability of suitable foodstuffs were experienced and prices produced quite a few shocks despite the favourable exchange. Heavily laden we returned to our motel and set about apportioning the food for the next seven days - no easy task - but finally we were packed and ready for the next stage - Christchurch to Mount Cook and on to Queenstown.
Assuming the role of tourists we enjoyed sitting back and taking in the sights on our 660 km “road bash” with overnight stopovers at motor camps. Firstly near Lake Pukaki after visiting the Hermitage to see Mt. Cook in beautiful clear sunny skies, then secondly in Queenstown, the mecca for tourists and trampers as it provides an ideal starting point for several popular walks in nearby national parks.
Monday morning allowed sufficient time for final preparations and last minute purchases prior to setting out for Glenorchy at the head of Lake Wakatipu where we were to register our intentions with respect to our walk with the local Ranger Station. This procedure has lots of merit and I assume is observed by all thinking trampers as it provides unobtrusive control information. National Parks personnel proved on this and subsequent walks to be most helpful, courteous and cheerful, and made us welcome. I feel sure that experienced members of Australian Bushwalking Clubs receive kinship treatment.
After crossing the Rees River and lunching on the banks of Earnslaw Burn, we arrived mid-afternoon at Paradise trailhead, parked the van securely for our eight days' absence, and then set off on the big N.Z. adventure. Our first campsite, Chinaman's Flat, lay some three hours' walking distance across Mill Flat, through beech forest and several creek crossings, finally emerging on to Dan's Paddock, a well grassed flat bordering the Dart River.
Sandflies were quick to greet us, cunningly allowing us enough time to commit ourselves to the campsite before attacking in force. What an introduction to such beautiful surroundings these inescapable insects provide and to think these abominations were to be our constant companions for the next month, forever lying in wait to feed on us at rest stops. Give me good ol' Aussie snakes, leeches, ticks, spiders, bull-ants, hairy caterpillars, sea lice, blue bottles, blowflies, bush flies, scorpions, even sharks, ANYTHING but N.Z. sandflies.
Our leader had quickly slipped into N.Z. time zone and unlike the Aussies, was awake, up and doing in the darkness of early morning; a pattern he so - cheerfully followed for the rest of our walks. (Some Kiwis are nocturnal in their feeding habits!) We were soon to learn that unlike Australia, New Zealand has water everywhere one can drink, and wood that is difficult to burn, and with low B.T.U. rating, small liquid fuel stoves are essential at most camp sites and huts.
Our first morning was cold, damp and the grass heavy with dew, which gave impetus to breakfasting and breaking camp, eager to start. The day's walk along the Dart Valley unfolded views of distant snow-capped peaks feeding the numerous waterfalls cascading down through beech forests to swell the sparkling, rushing waters of this magnificent river. The foot track skirted the river alternately passing through knee-height grassed flats, gravel stretches and forested bluffs until the first hut at Daley's Flat was reached after some 8-10 hours' walking, the easy-medium grade 26 km from trail head at Paradise Station.
For those not familiar with N.Z. National Parks huts, a pleasant surprise awaits you; there is no “mine host” but facilities are more than adequate by comparison with Australian bushwalking standards - almost bordering on luxury. Huts in which we stayed provided double tiered bunks equipped with foam sponge or innerspring mattresses, an open fireplace or pot-bellied stove, tables and stools, sinks. (some even with running water). Fuel supplied varied from wood to coal and in larger or more popular huts even gas rigns with L.P.G. and Tilley lamps. You can expect to share but accommodation with trampers - of all ages and from such countries as Canada, U.S.A., Sweden, Germany, France, UK., Japan, other Australians and of course New Zealanders. A perusal of the HUT BOOK is a must to discover origin and interesting comments offered by the previous “guests”.
Our third day allowed a sidetrip, crossing the river by a swinging suspension bridge, and on through thick beech forest with an abundance of mosses, ferns and fungi to Dredge Burn - an “exploratory walk” returning about 4pm.
Day 4 saw us on our way to Dart Hut, approximately 8 hours and 22 km upstream. Passing through more beech-covered bluffs and the 4 km long grassy clearing of Cattle Flat, then climbing almost to the snow line to Dart Hut, owned by the N.Z. Alpine Club. The 50 km stretch of river valley and mountain slopes is said to have yielded over 7,000 deer during the “clean up”, and now, apart from one hare and several rabbits, no other animals were seen. Birds, once plentiful before the introduction of predatory mammals, are rarely seen or heard, but varieties encountered included Paradise ducks, fantails, rifleman and bellbirds.
Day 5 proved to be the highlight of the walk with a side trip to the river source, the Dart Glacier and the Cascade Saddle.
The weather was perfect with clear blue skies and warm sunshine as we made our way through snowgrass along the gravel-strewn glacial floor with its multi-coloured mosses and lichens and scattered rubble and boulders. Overhead on our left towered the Hess Glacier and ahead the iceface of the Dart Glacier, and beyond, its snowfield source.
It was here that we witnessed the thunderlike sounds of an avalanche and its tumbling ice like a shortlived waterfall. Recent slips made a large scree slope potentially dangerous and caused us to abandon our goal - the Cascade Saddle. It was an elated group that returned to the Dart Hut that evening, truly this had been a memorable experience.
Day 6 greeted us mistily with a chill in the air as we crossed Snowy Creek by the suspension bridge above the Dart Hut and headed for the Rees Saddle (1447 m ASL). Our path sidled the lower slopes of Mt. Headlong and after recrossing the Snowy, climbed steadily through tussock terraces to the Saddle from where expansive views of the Forbes Range, with snowcapped Mountains Clarke, Ozonac and Head stood sentinel-like above the Rees Valley. One last look back down the Snowy to the Dart Glacier and we began the sharp descent to the headwaters of the Rees,and on through scrub and grassy slopes dotted with rock cairns towards Shelter Rock Hut and a welcoming committee of keas.
Day 7 - Rising early in the half-darkness of the hut, we breakfasted then assembled at the edge of the river to make an icy crossing, and after drying off made our way downstream through long grass white with frost. The track descended through bush along the river banks now branching into many streams and gravel flats and eventually opening out into a wide valley floor. The majestic peaks of East Earnslaw and Sir ihiam dominated the range, feeding the Earnslaw and Frances Glaciers and the Lennox Falls..
After crossing Twenty-Five Mile Creek and climbing 60 metres above the Rees River we had arrived at a primitive shelter owned by the Otago Tramping Club, but for us on our last night out it was as welcome as a suite at the Sheraton. Six rough-bunks surrounding a dining table facing an open fire was ample for our needs, and had proved the same according to the Hut Book for many trampers taking refuge in bad weather.
Final - Day 8 - Stan Madden and Keith Docherty made an early dash down river and across country to where we had left the van and to return to a block up on the river for a pick up of the remainder of the party, who were now walking carefree to our meeting place, arriving at about midday.
It was a great way to end a walk. After loading our packs we climbed aboard and headed for Queenstown, with thoughts of fresh food, fruit, meat, hot showers, clean clothes and for some, a beer or two.
by Sandy Johnson.
Crossing the Hawkesbury River on a vehicular ferry, just past Wisemen's Ferry, 75 kilometres north of Sydney, you are confronted with a high, impressive line of sandstone bluffs. Behind them is a plateau which has been deeply dissected by creeks to form a complex system of radiating ridges. This is Dharug National Park, over 149,000 hectares in extent and only slightly smaller than Ku-Ring-Gai Chase.
When you leave the ferry and turn to the right along a sealed road alongside the river you could drive on to Peat's Ridge. But you don't, for after only 5.5 kilometres you have turned left along a dirt road and only 2.5 kilometres along this finds you in the Mill Creek picnic area. Had you done all this on sunny Sunday, June 13, you would have found yourself near one of 13 vehicles containing 28 starters, over half prospective members of the S.B.W., ready to begin a day walk.
About 9 am the group could be seen passing the adjacent camping area and walking up a creek flowing from the south. Then after three-quarters of an hour, they left the tranquility of the creek to grapple past “Wait-a-Whilee” and storm a bluff beyond. Working up and past the 244 metre high Starkey Trig, you would have sighted them forty five minutes further on enjoying a morning tea break sitting on a rock outcrop and enjoying an extensive view over One Tree Reach on the Hawkesbury River.
The happy band then crossed a saddle and followed along Starkey Ridge enjoying vistas northward over Byamee Creek and south-east towards Gunderman Creek. The luncheon spot, reached at 12.30 pm, was once a sacred place of the Dharug Aborigines. There are said to be 165 engravings, most only visible under artificial light, some between 5,000 and 8,000 years of age. Reported first in 1895, a four hectare reserve was gazetted for their protection in 1914, but depredations by unconscionable visitors have been such as to necessitate restriction of access only to those who have been authorized by the N.P. & W.S.
After 2.30 the team set forth again, this time continuing their circular walk in a north-westerly direction along the Matthew's Ridge. Where the Boronia Ridge joined it they changed to a south-westerly course until they met up with the end section of a N.P. & W.S. walking trail. This led them comfortably down a gully toward their waiting vehicles. Pleasantly tired, the happy, group were soon mounted and by 4.30 were riding homeward into the setting sun.
BUSHWALKER RECIPES - No.3.
BRAN SULTANA BREAD
from Marcia Shappert.
Mix all ingredients except flour. Let stand 1 hour or overnight. Add flour and mix well. Put in greased bread pan and bake for I' hour at 350F.
1 cup bran
1 cup mixed fruit
1 cup sugar
1.5 cups milk
l.5 cups S.R. flour
MT KAPUTAR NATIONAL PARK
by Ainslie Morris.
This distant national park makes a great little holiday for a family with small children who have four days available. I went with my not so small sons, Anton and Marc, aged 19 and 12, and we met several families there. We also met members of Western Suburbs Bushwalking Club who were setting out on a 4-day pack walk. More about that aspect later.
How distant? Narrabri is 514 km from Sydney, and the National Park 56 km by good, though steep and winding gravel road from Narrabri. Give yourselves nine hours if you go via Newcastle and Willow Tree, turning off the New England Highway there for Gunnedah. As you approach, it rises in blue volcanic plugs out of the flat yellow plain, very similar to the Warrumbungles. You can camp at your car either at Bark Hut, or at Dawsons Spring which is higher up but much more convenient, as it is the starting point of several easy short walks. Be prepared for a cold breeze at night as you camp at nearly 1500 metres, and it can snow in winter. But the days in May were warm and sunny, and it would be too hot for comfortable walking in summer.
After a hot shower, we sat around our camp fire “with the information sheet on the walks which can be found in a box behind the shower block. By the way, you need to take all supplies as there is no shop closer than Narrabri. Also, don't count on finding the Ranger there, so write if you want more details on walks.
We did a few short walks and a lot, of lazing in the sun over the two days. Mt. Kaputar is only 1.5 hours return - or an even quicker drive - on a graded wide track. There are very few wildflowers out in autumn, but yellow daisies added colour to the rocky lookouts, and fungi to the cool forest floor.
Views are what you go for, and these are of different types of sandstone to our Sydney ones. Cliffs drop to smooth valleys clothed in dense eucalypt forests, which are of snow gums on the heights. Spectacular exposed rock of igneous material makes a refreshing change for us too. This is seen well on a steep but not hard walk to the Yullubunida Crater, which is really a circular dyke. We were rewarded as we sat on top by the sight of soaring wedge-tailed eagles. After an hour there they could not resist a closer inspection and hovered overhead. Binoculars added to our pleasure in watching wildlife.
Delightful also was the easy little nature walk. The information sheet explained the heath plants and trees, and right where there were supposed to be kangaroos, there they were right in front of us: We saw wallabies on another track to Mt. Lindsay which gave us unusual views to the east of rock pillars lit by a setting sun.
All the short 2 to 4 hour walks can be done in two days, or less if you don't laze around. There is a one-day walk of 19 km on which you need to carry water and a topographic map, which we may do next time.
For overnight walks you'll need maps which must be bought in Sydney, and the detailed information on where to find water that I mentioned you could write to the Ranger for.: Address your enquiry to:- National Parks and Wildlife Service, Narrabri District Office, 55 Maitland Street, Narrabri. 2390.
If you want to book a cabin, send $6 deposit well in advance. For camping, there's plenty of room as so few people seem to get there, so the few who do get quite chummy. Which brings me back to the bushwalkers we met, I had walked years ago with their leader when his club was called Mt. Druitt, Anyway, some of our members have gone out for several days.
As we had a week, we drove on from Narrabri to Lightning Ridge, which takes less than a day. We camped there for three nights as there is plenty to see and do. The family camped next to us found an $80 opal after fossicking for fifteen minutes! (I bought one.)
It took one day, leaving at 10.30 am and arriving home at 3.30 at night, to drive the 735 km via Gilgandra and Madgee, an easy and very lovely way to come back.
BUNDANOON YOUTH HOSTEL WEEKEND - August 7/8.
Further information for those who booked with Ainslie Morris by July 24 (see last magazine). The cost is $5 per adult and per child (now permitted under seven years of age). It's not necessary to be a Y.H.A. member, as our Club is an Associate Member. This will allow us to use the hostel during the day on Saturday, so you may arrive early and go for a bike ride (hire shop in town close to hostel) or horse ride. The first WALK leaves at 2 pm.
Bring sheets and pillow case or hire them for 1 (no sleeping bags) and your own FOOD.
TEENAGERS coming on their own should contact Ainslie Morris for transport at the Club or at 45 Austin Street, Lane Cove, 2066. Phone 428,3178.
North Sydney Opera Centre presents
FAUST and TI-MI MAGIC FLUTE at 8 pm in the Bailey Hall, Victoria Avenue, Chatswood:
Magic Flute: Fri.July 23, Sat.July 24, Fri.July 30, Sat.July 31.
Faust: Fri.Aug. 6, Sat.Aug. 7, Fri.Aug. 13, Sat.Aug. 14. in the Balgowlah High School, Maretimo Street. Magic Flute: Friday August 27.
Faust: Saturday August 28.
a North Sydney R.S.L. Anzac Club. Faust: Saturday August 21, TICKETS '4.00 and $2.50 (concession). Ring Peter Miller (phone 952639) who cannot get along to the Club on Wednesday nights because he is rehearsing a part in the back row of the chorus in “Faust”.
SAYS JIK BROWN: . How appropriate it is that in the TV year of !IBrideshead” we have as Editor - Evelyn Waugh-lker.
THE JUNE GENERAL MEETING.
by Barry Wallace.
The night was cold, and only a single heater and about 35 member-bodies struggled feebly to warm the hall as the President called for order at 2020 and began the meeting.
There were three new members called for welcome to the ranks, but only Mary Ritchie and Jim Sternhill were there to answer. Geoff Broome, it seems, must wait for another sweep.
The Minutes were read and received with no business arising. Correspondence brought a letter from Kath McInnes advising a change of status and address for her not-so-little girl, Debbie, from an American couple, Stan and Kathy Foil's who would be interested in walking with us during a future visit to this country, from Peter Dyce complaining of the non-receipt of his Walks Programme, from the advising that the roof was about to be auctioned off from above our heads, and from a firm of solicitors notifying the Club of a bequest of $1,000 from the estate of the late Fred Kennedy.
All of which left us with two matters outstanding. On the matter of Club premises, the committee has booked a hall at the North Sydney Community Centre and the meeting resolved to meet there commencing 30th June. The meeting also resolved to invest the $1,000 bequest, with the proceeds to be used for conservation projects or organisations.
The Treasurer then reported on-Matters financial. We begin the month with $2,157.44, our income was $2,l92.20 and ended the month with $3,502.10. The Coolana account closing balance was $171.77.
Federation report indicated that planning for a celebration Of Bluegum's 50th Birthday is under way, that Outward Bound has applied for membership of F.B.W., that the Kamerukas have reported that the chains at Splendour Rock are still O.K. and that S. & R. will conduct “Safety in the Bush” sessions for beginners. The Nature Conservation Council have advised that no definitive statements on logging have appeared in recent policy statements by the State Government and there is some concern that this is being quietly dropped as an issue. The Goulburn River National Park has been dedicated at last, and the C.M.A. Mapping Seminar had little of interest for walkers. Federation requests that clubs write direct to the Lands Department about access problems on the Six Foot Track.
So the, oh joy! it was time for the Walks Reports. Peter Harris had 4 people on his Tassie trip and reported cold, wet and snowy conditions. Peter Mtller on the other hand had about 17 people on his Kanangra, Kowmung, Gingra Creek walk over the weekend of 14,15,16 May. Of the two day walks that weekend John Newman had 29 starters on a trip slightly modified by a train which did not stop and Ken Gould had his 15 or 19 (choose one) starters back to the station just on dusk.
Over the weekend of 21,22,23 May Jim Vatiliotis led a party of 12 members, one visitor and one prospective on his Kanangra-Cloudmaker classic crawl, reporting the second day as somewhat hard (they took two days??). Jim Percy reported 10 people on a “nice trip” for his Long Point, Shoalhaven River walk and Gordon Lee (“Lasher Lee” as they call him in the ranks) led 20 people in superb weather through the refuse heaps of Glenbrook Gorge on the Sunday. Brian Bolton's Royal National Park walk attracted 17 people in much the same weather.
There was no report of Jim Laing's Red Rocks ramble for the 28,29,30 May but Don and Jenny Cornell reported 11 people and good weather on their Badgery's Lookout, Shoalhaven River trip that same weekend. Of the two day walks, David Ingram had 22 people on his Bobbin Head trip and Bill Capon had 18 starters enjoying cool but fine weather on the Govett's Leap-Junction Rock circuit.
The following weekend, 4,5,6 June saw Don and Jenny Cornell leading a group of three along the Wollondilly in good weather. Gordon Lee cancelled his rockclimbing and abseiling instructional that weekend, but the two day walks went in fine weather. Ainslie Morris had 4 people on her Girrakool to Pearl Beach car swap and Ken Gould pronounced his Mountain Lagoon to Colo River trip as “interesting” on behalf of the 8 people who attended. Here endeth the Walks Report.
In General Business the meeting resolved that S.B.W. take up membership of Y.H.A. So that was it, all over bar the announcements and the gong. All over at 2110.
CONSERVATION INVESTVENT FUND.
Instant response to Alex Colley's appeal!
As soon as they read Alex Colley's article “Conservation Finance” in last month's magazine, Maurice and Doreen Berry phoned from Bateau Bay, promising a contribution of $100 to the new fund.
Maurie and Doreen (Tuggie) are, of course well known to older members of the Club, but it may be added that Maurie, like Joe Turner whose donation initiated the new fund, became a member in the earliest days of the Club. Both were enthusiastic conservationists, Joe Turner being one of the original trustees of Blue Gum Forest, with Maurie also taking a place on the Trust in 1935. Maurie held office as President of S.B.W. from July 1936 to March 1939, and was very active as a walker over many years - you will find his name perpetuated in Morriberri Buttress and Pass at the top left corner of the Bimlow map.
AMMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION
for consideration at the Half-Yearly General Meeting, should be submitted to the Secretary by no later than 11th August General Meeting.