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The Sydney Bushwalker

September, 1996

The Sydney Bushwalker is a monthly bulletin of matters of interest to The Sydney Bush Walkers Inc., Box 4476 GPO, Sydney, 2001. To advertise in this magazine, please contact the Business Manager.

Editor:George Mawer42 Lincoln Road, Georges Hall 2198Telephone 707 1343
Business Manager:Jan Roberts5 Sharland Ave, Chatswood 2067Telephone 411 5517 (H) 9925 4000 (B)
Production Manager:Fran Holland
Editorial Team:George Mawer, Jan Roberts & Barbara Bruce
Printers:Kenn Clacher, Tom Wenman, Barrie Murdoch, Margaret Niven & Les Powell
Clubroom Reporter:Jan Roberts

THE SYDNEY BUSH WALKERS INCORPORATED was founded in 1927. Club meetings are held every Wednesday evening at 8 pm at Kirribilli Neighbourhood Centre, 16 Fitzroy Street, Kirribilli (near Milsons Point Railway Station). Visitors and prospective members are welcome any Wednesday.

President:Tony Holgate
Vice-President:Peter Miller
Public Officer:Fran Holland
Treasurer:Greta James
Secretary:Michele Powell
Walks Secretary:Eddy Giacomel
Social Secretary:Jan Roberts
Membership Secretary:Barry Wallace
New Members Secretary:Miriam Kirwan
Conservation Secretary:Alex Colley
Magazine Editor:George Mawer
Committee Members:Marie Ward & Jennifer Trevor-Roberts
Delegates to Confederation:Ken Smith and Jim Callaway
In This IssuePage
A Family Walk to HinchinbrookChristine Austin2
Spring Comes to CoolanaJoan Rigby4
It's Delicous Darl'Elwin Morris4
Ettrema EntrancesMaurice Smith5
About GPS UnitsGeoff Mac6-7
Come to CairnsJohn Hogan9
The August General MeetingBarry Wallace11
More General Notices12
First Aid NotesPatrick James13
Willis Walkabouts3
Eastwood Camping Centre10
Paddy Palin15

A family walk to Hinchinbrook Island

by Christine Austin

As our boat snaked through the mangrove channels of missionary bay and the cloudless vista of Mt. Bowen appeared, my fears of bringing my innocent children to this island of ill repute began to fade. A short walk followed through the mangroves and sand dunes and we arrived at Ramsay Bay, to commence the Thorsborne Track, travelling north to south.

The other walking parties had vanished, but we remained on the beach, slapping on sunburn cream and admiring nearby Nina Peak with Mt. Bowen towering above us. Maybe its shield of cloud would return tomorrow and this would be our last glimpse….

It was rather hot, a sharp change from Sydney in July, so our climb up Nina Peak was enervating. The stunning view north to Missionary Bay and Gould Island and south towards Zoe Bay made this climb memorable. Directly below us beckoned our first camp site - Nina Bay, where we arrived an hour later.

The alluring sight of coconuts littering the beach was enough to convince a pair of southern bred teenagers that here was the right place to spend the afternoon. However the smashing noises that followed made little difference to the coconuts…. It was easier to buy them from the shops. I preferred to roam the beach and forest to examine all the unfamiliar species.. the Cardwell cabbage (Scaevola Taccacia) and the great spreading branches of the Calophillum inopyllum making welcome shade at the back of the beach.

Night arrived, our first on Hinchinbrook Island. Of our two potential foes, described to us in vivid detail in the track notes, one, the rat, was temporarily foiled by a rat proof food box. We were to meet these friendly little creatures later.

“The mosquitoes are appalling on Hinchinbrook,” says everyone. At dusk, with this nagging reminder, we collect our absurd quantities of repellent, our gloves, our mosquito proof face masks and place ourselves on defence. There followed an occasional sharp rebuke from Noni to anyone who left the tent zipper open a millimetre. We lit our stove (no fires on the island) and settled down to wait.

Morning arrived with a glorious sunrise seen from the tent door. Those terrible mosquitoes, where were they? Packing our gear to head to Banksia Bay, we mused that we had indeed been very lucky.

An easy morning followed around headlands and through forests to Banksia Bay, where the afternoon was again spent exploring. Alas, there was no rat proof box here. At dusk, though the mosquitoes were few, Melomys cervinipes came scurrying from the bushes, running over our feet and crossing the dangerous terrain of the groundsheet. We had better take those pack hanging instructions very seriously.

Using a weird collection of yoghurt containers, lids, rope and fishing wire, we left our architectural monstrosity swinging fiendishly from the trees and retired, somewhat nervously, to bed. I was first up to discover cake crumbs carelessly spilling from a hole in Dane's pack. As we had followed the instructions exactly, we could only assume they were inadequate or that the Melomys was a great jumper. We settled for the latter. After all, he is a mosaic-tailed tree rat.

We left early this day for we had heard glowing reports of Zoe Bay and its waterfall and we wished to enjoy some swimming. After a short climb to a saddle, we descended to the extensive rainforest which abuts Zoe Bay. There were many beautiful tributaries of North Zoe Creek to cross and as we travelled through the forest, its colours so attractive and unfamiliar, we caught the occasional “wallock-a-woo” call of the elusive wampoo fruit dove. The loveliest tree was Dillenia alata (red beech) with maroon red paper bark and large glossy leaves.

At morning tea, the estuarine crocodile warning sign at North Zoe Creek was strongly discouraging, though its emerald green waters beckoned us enticingly. In fact the track has recently been diverted from the estuary of North Zoe Creek because of the extreme danger. There was no danger, however, at South Zoe Creek, and, after traversing the beach, we spent the afternoon floating in its pools. Here the clarity of the water was surpassable and a pair of goggles revealed the jungle perch whose home was the enormous pool at Zoe Creek waterfall.

Settling down to our minimal impact camping area, we again mounted our rat fortifications. We would use an older, more decrepit pack this time. There were plenty of noises in the forest this night, but the rats left our pack alone. Maybe the rats found my hourly torch shining activities unsettling. Minimal impact though this camp was, there was nothing minimal about its beauty. The surrounding trees were festooned with orchids, birds nest and elkhorn ferns, whilst lianas and other vines swung haphazardly over our tents.

Our last night was spent at Mulligan Falls, another glorious swimming spot, although the water here, as at Zoe, was cold. A meeting with the ranger revealed that we had experienced a cold snap, which explained the lack of mosquitoes. At Mulligan Falls our food was again secure in the rat proof box. We had no more concerns about finishing the walk early due to greedy rats, as had happened to some people.

As if to spite all predictions, the cloudless summits of Diamantina and Straloch revealed themselves on the last section along the beach to George Point. Five days of clear weather! our luck was unbelievable! At Georges Point we left Hinchinbrook, our boat crossing the Hinchinbrook channel and arriving in Dungeness on the mainland ten minutes later. After two hours by hire car, we arrived in Townsville at 5pm, to be back in bed at Beecroft, Sydney, that night. I knew the place I'd prefer to be sleeping!

Facts about the Thorsborne Track

Named after two Hinchinbrook enthusiasts, it is an easy, five day walk (four nights). It is a walk of major scenic and wilderness value. There are potential threats to it from the island resort and the recently publicised Oyster point development near Cardwell. For visiting in July (the optimum time) or anytime, it is advisable to book well in advance as there is a forty persons numbers limit. The island is managed as a minimal impact area and is a fuel stove area only. Despite our experience, I believe that the insects are appalling most of the time and that one should be prepared.

Trek the Tropical Summer

Enjoy Kakadu and the Kimberley at their lush, green, magnificent best. Feast your senses on the flowing creeks, swollen rivers, thundering waterfalls, carpets of flowers, spectacular storms, cozy rock shelters and the warm rains that make bushwalking in the tropical summer such a delight.

Join us on an 18-day expedition deep into the wild heart of the park and enjoy the incredible views of Jim Jim and Twin Falls at their monsoonal best.

If that sounds too strenuous, join us on a series of short 3-5 day walks, highlighting beautiful areas that will remain forever unknown to the average tourist.

Be a part of our first wet season expedition to the Mitchell Plateau, two strenuous weeks of pure magic. If you don't want to carry two weeks' food, try our new Mt Hart - lsdell River trip, two walks separated by a night in homestead accommodation.

Perhaps you'd like a variety of destinations. Our Green Kimberley trip lets you canoe the Ord, helicopter into and out of Keep River National Park, fly to the Cockburn Range, take a boat across lake Argyle and walk through the almost unknown southern range of the Carr Boyds.

Spring has come to Coolana

by Joan Rigby

The river flats are bright with wattle, the smoke from our fires catches the sun and the Tree Violets, one of the “pioneer” rainforest trees now visible on the river flats, are in full and fragrant flower. As we work we get glimpses of the river, running clear and full. It is wonderful how removal of much of the strangling Moth Vine has opened up our views. Paul and Laurie have cleared and are burning the big privets (poisoned last autumn by Robin and George) by the swimming hole, and the sandy beach looks inviting but only Laurie will chance the cold water. But come the Reunion it should be just right.

Don and I are burning bracken clumps, around remaining logs. Mostly a cosmetic activity, there is so much open space already that we can walk at will across the flats. We spread the hot ashes over surrounding ground, perhaps it will suppress weed regrowth.

Yes, though we have worked hard all winter, the spring and summer will need a sustained effort to maintain our advantage. Don and I spent the morning spraying hemlock and nettle regrowth and tomorrow I will tackle the Mist Flower, just beginning to show its pretty white blossoms along the river banks. Tonight we will enjoy a pleasant dinner at the Valley pub.

Of course the other weeds will regrow - but with the rubbish cleared we have a chance to reduce seeding and slowly win the battle. Monthly programmed visits will continue and independent visits are welcome. Hemlock (the one that looks like a large carrot plant) can have flower heads broken off as they form; lunch fires can be lit on nettle patches (though I would be wary of camping under the wattles); Thistles may be chipped out with the hoe and tools and spray made available for general attacks. A casual stroll, hand - pulling flowering weeds can be very effective.

Tools? Well, there are two bush saws, two rakes and a hoe in the Hut. Spray and sprayers are usually available on programmed work weekends; we don't LIKE using it, but necessity demands it. (information on areas sprayed will be found in the Hut log book)

We would very much like to obtain old but working lawh mowers for the river flats - is anyone moving into a Home Unit or upgrading to a Ride-on? We need to consider buying rather than hiring a brush-cutter, and if anyone has in their garden shed an unwanted spray outfit which we can keep at Coolana it would be most welcome-: currently we borrow George Gray's.

We own a beautiful asset in Coolana, I have been enjoying it regularly for two years now. I wish I had realised its variety as bush experience, other than walking, earlier. Let's not waste it.

17 - 19 August: Don Brooks, Paul Crook, Laurie Quaken, Joan Rigby.

Delicious Dahl

by Elwin Morris

For something quick, cheap, filling, lightweight, versatile and nutritionally perfect, it's hard to beat my curried Indian dahl. This recipe didn't win the club night bushwalk cooking contest, but people kept coming back for more.

375g packet of red lentils (costs around a dollar). Unlike brown lentils, these don't need soaking and cook fast to a mush.

Pre-mix one tablespoon each of 1) powdered cumin 2) powdered 3) Ayam satay seasoning (a great Malaysian canned powder, in big supermarkets) 4) Vegeta seasoning (a marvellous cheap Croatian product including dehydrated vegetables, distributed by Marco Polo Foods, Campsie) 5) cardamom seeds 6) dried parsley or basil 7) chopped fresh ginger 8) chopped fresh garlic.

Add three times as much water; simmer for 20 to 30 minutes; stir to stop bottom burning; add more water if needed.

EATING IT - Serve with rice or any other carbohydrate, plus optional vegetables, fish or meat. For soup, add more water. For lunch, spread on bread, toast or crackers.

This amount fills two starving walkers, it's tasty, yet has no fat whatsoever - a rare combination! Those not watching their weight or cholesterol can add oil to help spreading on bread, mix in fried extras like onions, or roll into balls and fry like felafel, with an optional sauce.

Ettrema entrances

by Maurice Smith

Once again I was making my way along a section of the beautiful Ettrema Creek, enjoying all that the creek has to offer. The offerings include crystal clear water, spectacular gorges, interesting side creeks and a basic unspoiled wilderness.

Just to the west of the Ettrema and Jones Creeks junction the walls narrow in. A 30 metre long knee deep wade is required unless one has mountain goat genes and a very strong desire to maintain dry feet.

I wade in and find out how cold the water is in July. Bracing, biting, bitter, brisk, brass monkeyish, all come to my mind to describe the water. Half of the group do it my way, the other half show their mountain goat heritage finding a tricky up and down climb to avoid the water.

On the morning of Saturday 10 August we had started just to the north of Quiera Clearing in fine weather and made our way across to Pardon Point. After morning nibbles on the escarpment overlooking the Ettrema gorge we made our way down Transportation Spur to arrive on Ettrema Creek. Right near the bottom of the Spur we had several close encounters with stinging trees. Fortunately, we weren't required to demonstrate our first aid knowledge of how to handle stings from these trees.

At lunch time on the Creek one of our party made a brief foray into the water for a swim. Refreshing was the description supplied by the swimmer. After dipping hands into the water various other members muttered words like “mad”, “nuts” to describe the swimmer. We slowly made our way upstream frequently stopping to admire the superb pools. In due course we found a superb campsite on a sandy bank of the creek.

The usual camp fire discussions solve the problems of the world. One of the party was heard making snoring type noises as he lay on the ground near the fire. However, a few minutes later he assured me that he was wide awake. I had my doubts shortly after when I heard the same noise from the same member.

Up and away from the camp site the next moming saw us arrive at the Ettrema and Jones Creek junction referred to above. As we approached that junction we met another party of about eight bushwalkers heading in the opposite direction. They had spent the night at the campsite at the junction.

Those readers who have been there may remember that the junction campsite is quite small. When we saw their campsite I was quite disappointed with their standard of bushcraft. A campfire had been left smouldering and it had been placed in one of the few good tent sites. We quickly smothered the fire and went on our way.

Shortly after the wade/climb we came to one of most beautiful pools on the creek. Another hardy member had a very quick swim. After assuring us that he was used to swimming in very cold water we continued on our way up to the junction of Ettrema and Myall Creeks. The day was one of those superb sunny winter's days that we have. As we made our way up the creek we basked in the warmth of the sun. Some sun drenched rocks surrounding a pool provided a site for our lunch. As might be expected our first hardy swimmer could not pass up the opportunity and had a brief swim.

In due course we arrived back at the cars and so to home ending a great weekend. Thanks to all the group members who were: Margaret Carey, Steve Graham, Stephen Lilloija, Michele Morgan, John Nagy, Jan Pieters, David Sheppard and Maurice Smith (leader).

Coolana - Noxious weeds and other 'invasive' species

by Geoff Spencer, District Manager, Nowra NPWS

I list hereunder a number of species which the service believes are invasive and several of them are probably a significant threat to natural areas especially rainforest. One species Coriopsis Lanceolata (yellow roadside daisy) is spreading at an extraordinary rate along dry roadsides and disturbed areas particularly on lateritic soils. However whether the plants would be accepted as “Noxious” is another matter given that this term for legal reasons is mostly applied to species which can economically be managed.

Roadside daisy - Coreopsis lanceolata
Potato vine - Andredera cordifolia
Lantana - Lantana camara
Turkey Rhubarb - Acetosa sagitata
Wandering Jew - Tradescantia spp
Moth Vine - Araugia hortorum
Morning Glory - Ipomoia indica
Asparagus Fern - Protosparagus plumosus
Black Eyed Susan - Thunbergia alata
Passionfruit - Passaflora spp

GPS Units

by Bill Metzenthen, Melbourne Bushwalking Club

My name was mentioned in the May news in connection with GPS (Global Positioning System) units. I have gathered some information on these devices which I think will be of interest to members who have heard of these but have not had the time to look more deeply. I should mention that I have never used one of these devices so some of the following is based upon experiences reported by others.

The units operate by receiving radio wave signals from satellites. The frequencies used are such that they are significantly affected by moisture. Some units are not useable in forests due to the attenuation of the signals by moisture in the leaves. It may be necessary to find a clearing in order to get a positive reading. Similarly, rain or falling snow can effect the ability of the units to operate correctly.

Other objects may attenuate, reflect or otherwise impair the signals. For bushwalking this may be difficult or impossible to obtain a meaningful position reading if you are in a valley, gully, hut or similar situation.

The current practical accuracy of GPS for bushwalking under good conditions is about 100 metres horizontally, and much worse vertically. There are more accurate alternatives such as differential UPS (of which there are two basic kinds) and GLONASS (the Russian system which is roughly similar to GPS). You can buy receivers for these systems but they are much more expensive and/or currently impractical for our bushwalking use. For various reasons this will probably remain the case for the next couple of years.

To give you position, the GPS needs to gather information from several satellites (at least three to give a position without height information). Better accuracy is obtained if more satellites are used (under ideal conditions more than 12 are possible, but 5 or 6 are probably more typical in good locations). Most of the cheaper GPS units process the signals one satellite at a time. Some units are capable of processing several signals simultaneously. The advantage of this approach is that it enables the unit to give good results on poorer signals. For the bushwalker, this means that these units are much more likely to be useable in forests, valleys, etc.

GPS units get data from the satellites at a low data rate (50 bits per second). It normally takes 12.5 minutes for a satellite to transmit its whole message. To avoid having to wait this time, GPS units store information even when they are turned off. This way, it can take as little as 15 seconds or so for a GPS unit to give you a reading when you turn it on. It will take longer, perhaps several minutes, if the information it contains is not sufficiently accurate or is stale.

You can leave the GPS unit switched on and get a continuous reading of your position as you walk along. However, a new set of batteries will be drained in less than 10 hours (perhaps as little as 2 hours by some GPS units when used this way.

The GPS unit keeps very accurate time, which can be used by the UPS receiver to give you a very accurate clock. However, this information may not be accurately displayed while the GPS unit is performing position calculations. The price of GPS units is becoming more attractive. It is claimed that it is currently possible to buy a small hand held unit (250 g with batteries) for $250 Australian.

The usefulness of GPS units in Australian bushwalking is not well established. Anecdotal evidence ranges from somewhat useful to almost useless. Considering the relatively low price of some units, it might be worthwhile for the Club to consider purchasing a unit for our navigators to evaluate.

If you want to use a GPS unit as a navigational aid when bushwalking then you will want to use the unit in conjunction with maps. To avoid some pitfalls when purchasing or setting up a GPS unit, you should be aware of one or two basic facts:

1. The earth is not spherical. The mapping authorities model the earth with an object called a spheroid. Different spheroids are used for different regions of the earth. The spheroid, in combination with other information gives a datum which is used when making maps. A consequence is that the latitude and longitude of a given place depends upon which datum is used. In Australia the maps we use for bushwalking are based on the Australian Geodetic Datum 1996 (AGD66) or the later version (AGD84).

2. With the datum, you get to latitude and longitude. For bushwalking we seldom bother with latitude and longitude. Instead we use the more useful map grid (which is based on the datum). A GPS unit which does not give your position in map grid coordinates will be of limited use to you.

If you purchase a GPS unit you should make sure that it supports either A0D66 or AGD84 datum (the difference between these wont matter to you, look for the words Australian, datum and 1966 or 1984). If your unit doesn't have these then you could use the standard WGS80 datum which is used internationally by the GPS systems, but your position readings (latitude, longitude and grid -coordinates) will have an additional error of about 200 metres. In addition to the correct datum, you will want the unit to be able to give you Australian map grid coordinates but the manual for your GPS unit probably wont mention the Australian map grid, however it will hopefully mention UTM (Universal Transverse Mercator) which is the projection used for the Australian map grid. In summary, the magic words to look for are Australian datum for 1966 or 1984, and UTM…

Once you have purchased your GPS unit and set it up, you can probably safely forget all of this, at least for the next few years (however, see below).

Australia is currently shifting to a new mapping datum called GDA94. On the good side, this is for our purposes identical to the WGS84 now will be able to give horizontal position with the new datum. On the bad side, the new datum gives positions which differ horizontally from the old by about 200 metres (a different datum is used for height). This means that when maps are produced using the new datum you will find that all the features on them will have shifted by this 200 metre amount. The target date for implementation is the year 2000, but in fact the new datum will be phased in as new maps are issued. There are interesting times ahead.

There you have it. GPS Units are available, at prices which aren't outrageous. They are potentially useful as a bushwalking aid to navigation, but not as a substitute to navigate with a map and compass. Care needs to be taken before making a purchase, for example one unit with one of the best reputations for use in bushwalkng-type conditions (because it can process several signals simultaneously) lacks the UTM transformation and hence is difficult to use with maps.

On a related topic, AUSLIG has released its Australia Unfolded CDROM for $99.95. However it is reported to have “no useful elevation detail to speak of at finer scales ie contours, mountains, etc” and is therefore “no good for bushwalking”. Even with the addition of 3 kg of computer it wont replace your maps!

From the June 1996 issue of the Melbourne Bushwalking Club newsletter.

Internet Access

You can now submit articles for the magazine via the intenet to email address -

Supply text in either Winword6 or ascii format please. Upload graphics as WMF. No tabs. Two spaces between sentences. One line of space between paragraphs. No hard returns at line endings, just let the lines wrap. A full page takes about 650 words.

Our printing machine has limitations for reproducing pictures. Best results are obtained from black and white photographs sketches and drawings.


by Peter Miller

For some strange reason I changed Dennis Morgan's name to Dennis Wilson in the August issue of the magazine. I would like it known that Dennis Morgan never was and never will be Dennis Wilson and I humbly apologise to Dennis and Sheila and all those who went on the ballooning trip in case they think they were being led by an imposter.

The October Magazine

Will be edited and prepared by Peter Miller (well he did such a good job with the August issue and found it so enjoyable that he wanted to do it again) so please give him your support and get your copy to him early. By Tuesday October 1.

Magazine Input

There is never enough copy for the magazine. Input need not be limited to trip stories. There is an almost inexhaustible number of subjects to choose from.

Some examples: Abseiling, Bums, Campcraft, Danger, Equipment, Fires, Group food/cooking, Hygiene, Injuries, Jumping, Knots, Leadership, Maps, Navigation, Overpants, Pace, Questions, Rockhopping, Stoves, Tents, Underwear, Vitamins, Water, X=??, Yourself, Zippers.

I'm sure you can think of any number of subjects under every letter of the alphabet.

Why not make a start now. Thanks. Ed

From Peter Dyce

I think that the August copy of the magazine was very good. As far as the cover is concerned, an option is to use the old cover a number of times per year and various appropriate scenes at other times. This would be a compromise which would please both the traditionalists and those wishing for a change.

Advertisement - Alpsport

Come to Cairns

by John Hogan

Greetings from sunny F.N.Q. to my friends at S.B.W. As you may have guessed it is rather great to skip a winter (although the locals still call it winter and dig out their woollies).

As many of you know my reason for coming to Cairns is to gain experience as a tour guide and this I am certainly doing. My initiation has been pretty torrid, almost daunting but at the same time very rewarding. I am currently working for only one company, “The Adventure Company” but I am negotiating with a couple of others to fill in the gaps.

The Adventure Company runs sea kayak trips off the coast to some beautiful coral islands, canoe trips down the Mulgrave River, mountain bike rides on the lovely Atherton Tablelands and four wheel drive safari's into The Cape region. My main involvement to date has been with the mountain bike trips. The Tablelands are at about 1000 metres elevation up the twisting Gilles Highway. Temperatures vary by up to 10°C from the coast and indeed it can get really cold of a night so at the Lake Eacham Hotel at Yungaburra we are usually greeted by a very welcoming open fire. I get fed so well all the time that it's a wonder I haven't put on a heap of weight.

Cairns is a growing city, there is building work going on everywhere. I understand there are more hotel rooms per capita then anywhere else in the world and I can believe it! There are masses of tourists, many of them from overseas, and most of them on a whirlwind visit. For instance many of those who come through “The Adventure Company” arrive on Sunday, canoe the Mulgrave on Monday, then we take them directly to The Tablelands for two days of mountain bike cycling. Next they spend two days trekking (as it is known up here) in the rainforest along the Little Mulgrave River, sleeping in string hammocks. Before they have a chance to recover from that they are off to the reef for a couple of days snorkelling and diving. Then by Monday or Tuesday they are on the plane on their way home.

Some go on and do a three or seven days sea kayak trip off the coast. The seven day run takes them from Cape Tribulation to Cooktown, a distance of about 100 km. You just make sure you stay well out to sea near the river estuaries to avoid any “yawning logs” which can cause some discomfort if touched. This area is renowned for the fact that the rainforest actually meets the reef. There is so much to see and do here that it is a shame so many people have such constraints on their time. The World Heritage rain forests with their variety of plants, birds and animals are always a delight. We have giant strangler figs estimated to be over 450 years old which form cathedrals, etc. Just south of the city are the two highest mountains in Queensland at about 1600 metres. They are Bellenden Ker and Bartle Frere, both very rugged and begging to be climbed.

A little farther south is the famous Hinchinbrook Island, a very popular walking venue for a number of S.B.W. members. (have a look before Keith Williams puts his blot on it). West of Cairns are The Tablelands with their spectacular waterfalls, Crater Lakes and crisp fresh air. Farther west is the old mining town of Chillagoe featuring rugged limestone outcrops and magnificent caves.

And of course there is the reef - despite the thousands who make the pilgrimage out there every day it is still a magic place. From here one can see the very best of it.

Finally the big temptation is to go north up The Cape to “The Tip”. I am currently looking for an opportunity to do just that so if you are interested please let me know and I'm sure I can work something out.

As you may have guessed I am missing you guys a whole lot so if you feel like coming up for a visit you will be very welcome. Let me know before you book anything as I can arrange some excellent deals from this end (except airfares).

My address in Cairns is: 286 Gatton Street, Westcourt 4870. My phone number is 015 066 870.

Good walking.

The August 1996 General Meeting

by Barry Wallace

The president called the 18 or so members present to order and began the meeting at around 2008. There was a complete dearth of apologies, most unusual! New members Nick Bertsos, Yvonne Brading, Aiison Clegg, Christine O'Sullivan and Nigel Palmer were welcomed into membership with constitution, membership list, badge and applause.

The minutes of the July general meeting were read and received with no matters arising.

Correspondence for the month was comprised of a letter from Robert Pallin advising us that May Pallin has passed away, from a Michael Murphy, an artist, seeking locations of spectacular or unusual rock formations, from Confederation providing information on their recent AGM, from the Australia Day Council offering us the opportunity of nominating people for the young achievers award, from Sunny Yee seeking to offer sleeping bag liners to our membership and from the National Trust inviting us to a heritage festival. We mailed letters to our new members and Alex Colley sent two letters as Conservation Secretary, one to the Federal Environment Minister seeking assurances that the world heritage values of Hinchinbrook Island and the nearby channel will be preserved in conditions attached to any developthent approval in the area, and one to Sydney Water Corporation regarding access for bushwalkers to the proposed Kanangra Boyd wilderness area.

The treasurer indicated the following details for the month. We began with a balance of $13,147, received income of $881.00, spent $526.00 and closed with a balance of $13,502.00.

The walks report began at the weekend of 13,14 July with no details for Kenn Clacher's two day cross country ski touring trip. Ian Wolfe's three day ski touring trip was much the same only longer. Eddy reported a party of 9 enjoying a good weekend on his Megalong Valley, Coxs River walk. There were no details for Peter Miller's Wondabyne walk but there was a firmly held belief that it went. Tony Manes had 20 out on a beautiful day for his Waterfall to Sutherland Sunday walk and Ken Cheng led 9 starters on his “afternoon in my backyard” walk from Epping. They were also able to visit Ken's workplace where he conducts investigations into the private lives of bees. Wilf Hilder had 8 or was it 9 on whatever segment of the disputed circumnavigation of Port Jackson is current, and they caught the early ferry, so there!

Paul McCann's walk from 6 to 21 July was reputed to have gone but there were no details.

Ian Debert's walk over the weekend 19,20,21 July had a party of either 11, 12 or 15 depending on whose report we are to believe. It is unanimously agreed that conditions were cool, with drizzle and rain on Saturday and snow or almost snow on the Sunday afternoon as they returned to the cars at around 1700. (A closer examination of the walks secretary's notes seems to indicate that Ian may have asked Eddy to lodge his apology for non attendance. Maybe there really should have been an apology at the commencement of the meeting. Alas, the moving finger has writ.)

Greg Bridge led 18 on his Lockleys Pylon, Fortress Hill walk. There were strong, cold winds most of the day and one of the features of walking ridges is the degree of unimpeded enjoyment of such winds that is to be had. Nancye Alderson had 17 on her Linden to Hazelbrook Saturday walk. They also reported the cool wind along the ridges and thought they detected traces of sleet. Laurie Bore was farther north in milder temperatures on a fine sunny Sunday. The party of 16 still encountered strong winds all day but reported a good walk with some problems getting all the starters to the same finishing point at the same time. We are assured they all got together before darkness fell. Geoff Dowsett's Sunday Blue Mountains cycle/bushwalk went, but there were no details.

July 26,27,28 saw Jan Mohandas with a party of 17 on his Talaterang Mountain walk with rain late on the Saturday and then dense fog to enhance the views. The lack of view stops saw the party out at the cars by 1600. Bill Capon's Widden Brook trip that same weekend had 13 starters in wet, wet conditions. The scenery was described as stunning, but whether this was the reason Bill left his sleeping bag at home, in order not to waste time with his eyes closed, is not known. Morag Ryder led 12 on her Junction Rock walk on the Saturday. The morning was fine but conditions became cold and rainy as the day progressed. There was no report for Geoff Dowsett's harbourside walk on the Sunday. Errol Sheedy scrubbed his Heathcote to Sutherland walk due to train problems and Wilf cancelled his bicycle ride from Parrarnatta to Tempe.

Paul McCann postponed his walk in Wollemi National Park over the weekend of 2,3,4,5 August. Check the current program for the deferred dates. Greta James led 13 on her weekend trip in Megalong Valley in fine but windy conditions. Jim Calloway's Sunday walk from Cronulla to Heathcote attracted 14 walkers to enjoy the pink Boronia blossom which Jim, not usually given to hyperbole, described as glorious. There was general agreement that the number of walkers on David Trinder's trip from Victoria Falls to Evans Lookout exceeded 10 but that was as far as we got. Elwyn Morris started her Spit to Milsons Head walk with 17 but despite the lovely sunny day there was some attrition as the walk went on.

The weekend of 9,10,11 August saw Maurice Smith leading a party of 8 on his weekend trip in the Ettrema. Of the day walks, Sandy Johnson had 12 on his Ku-Ring-Gai Chase walk on the Saturday, Don Brooks described the day as glorious for the party of 10 on his Six Foot Track walk, Eddy described the Sunday as lovely for the 9 on his Evans Lookout to Perrys Lookdown walk and Wilf, perhaps wearied by dissent and argument about circumwhatevers, rerouted his walk to go from the City to Bondi Beach. The party of 6 travelled at a smart clip in company with numerous others and was astonished at the degree of attention received. If you didn't recognise the City to Surf in there somewhere it may be best if we end the walks reports right here. Come to think about it, we will anyway.

Conservation report included discussion of a letter received pointing out the extensive pig damage becoming apparent along the Kowmung River and in other parts of the Blue Mountains National Park. Alex will write to Sydney Water Corporation and copy the relevant NSW minister.

Confederation report concerned notice of their coming AGM and the proposed review of the constitution. A letter has been sent to Tasmania requesting details of the plan to require permits for entry to the World Heritage areas. Our own NPWS have applied for funds to establish monitoring of track usage in the Blue mountains.

There was no general business so the meeting proceeded to the announcements and closed at 2133.


Some Enchanted Evening - Thursday October 17

The best of Rogers and Hammerstein. Join us to experience the Mosman Musical Society's latest production starring our own George Carter for this evening of musical greats. Call Jan Roberts for more details and to book.

Plan Ahead - November 27

Calling all talented members. Make sure you plan to be part of this years SBW concert and contact Jan Roberts, so we can put you on the program to 'strut your stuff'.

Abseiling Training

There are two separate but complimentary abseiling activities listed in the Spring program. One in October and one in November.

The abseiling instructional for people who wish to learn to abseil is on October 20th. All are welcome, particularly beginners. The practice day on November 10 is mainly for prussiking practice. It is a desirable skill for abseilers. Again, everyone is welcome, but if you have never abseiled before, you will not get the chance to participate in the usual structured process to teach you to abseil on this day.

For more details: Kenn Clacher 9954 9708 (home work & fax)

On the first Wednesday of the month (committee meeting night) at the Kirribilli clubrooms we show a training video on navigation and map reading. Prospective members welcome.

A Snippet From Column 8

observer Barbara Bruce

“For some reason we have been told that at the AGM at the weekend of the NSW Confederation of Bushwalking Clubs, representing 70 clubs, the new president was installed - Mr Brian Walker. Also on the management committee Mr Colin Wood and Mr Don Brooks. We cannot see how this could possibly interest us”

First Aid (continued from August 'first aid notes')

2. Basic Rule in Treatment

First aid courses teach DRABC as the basic way of treatment. This check list may only take a couple of seconds but should be followed on all occasions.

DDanger. make sure that you do not put yourself in danger when you go to render first aid, one casualty is enough. Think and then react.
RResponse. Try to get a response from the patient before applying first aid. The patient may be sleeping and not unconscious. The Patient may not be able to talk, or to hear you or to speak your language. If your assistance is required then go to the next step.
AAirways. Check that the airways are clear and not blocked. Look in the nose and mouth. Clear any obstructions from the mouth.
BBreathing. Is the patient breathing. Listen (and feel) with your ear over the patients nose and mouth and at the same time feel with your hand for movement of the patients diaphragm. No breathing then immediately give mouth to mouth (EAR) resuscitation. When breathing is re-stabilised then check for ..
CCirculation. Feel for a pulse at the neck. If no pulse is felt, give Cardiac Massages. If there is a pulse check for external bleeding. Treat for cuts, see below.

EAR and cardiac massage are not covered in these notes, see Additional Information below.

Signs & Symptoms

Signs are the clues which the first aider observes from the patient; eg colour, temperature, pulse. Symptoms are the details that the patient tells you. Vets always work with signs! With an unconscious patient the first aider also works only with signs. Sometime with a conscious patient the symptomS may not be clear and reliable. Signs to look for: confusion, irrational thinking, slurred speech, stumbling, unconsciousness, loss of colour, clammy, cold skin, shallow and rapid breathing, slow pulse at first- becoming rapid and feeble, bleeding, limbs at odd angles.

Symptoms are giddiness, dizziness, headache.

3. Hypothermia Exposure (too cold)

Occurs when the body core cools too much, from prolonged immersion in cold water, damp clothes on a cold, windy and rainy day (NB chill factor), coupled with physical exhaustion and hunger.

Signs & Symptoms

Irrational thinking, slurred speech, stumbling, consciousness.


Do not give alcohol to drink. Do not expose to excessive external heat. Immediately do what you can to prevent further heat loss and then get to a sheltered spot. For mild cases wrap the casualty up and give warm, sweet drink (NB not too hot to scald, and make sure the casualty can have sugar). Give chocolate to eat. For severe cases cuddle up together in a sleeping bag with plenty of skin to skin contact. Don't be shy or embarrassed, this is a matter of life and death! Seek medical attention.

4. Hyperthermia (Heat Exhaustion - too hot)

Included here are severe sunburn, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. For sunburn, see burs below. Heat stress is an elevated body temperature and occurs when the body can no longer control its temperature by sweating. It can occur on bushwalks when the temperature is high, the humidity is high, wearing too much clothing, strenuous walking such as climbing. Heat stroke is extreme heat exhaustion.

Signs & Symptoms

Headache, dizziness, feeling hot, exhausted but restless, muscular cramps, fast and shallow breathing, skin pale and clammy, pulse rapid and weak.


Remove casualty to a cool or cooler place - in the shade. Remove as much clothing as possible, however there is no need to strip naked! Sponge down with cool water. Give plenty to drink; many small amounts in place of a few large amounts. Seek medical attention.

5. Shock

The body's response to an inadequate supply of oxygen to the tissues. The body reacts to shock by directing blood away from the less important tissues to the vital organs (brain, heart and kidneys). Shock may result from severe bleeding, severe burns, loss of fluids by vomiting or dehydration or an accident such as a fracture. Shock, called an anaphylactic shock, may also result from severe allergic reaction to insect bite.

Signs & Symptoms

Feels weak, faint, giddy, may lose consciousness, may feel nauseous, may vomit, pale, cold clammy skin, rapid but weak pulse.


If unconscious apply DRABC, turn onto the casualty's side into the recovery position. If conscious, lie the casualty down, keep the head level with the heart and raise the feet. Do not raise the feet if the casualty has a head, chest or abdomen injury or has suffered a stroke or heart attack. If in doubt do not raise the feet. Loosen any restricting clothing, treat the cause of the shock, maintain the comfort of the casualty (not too hot, not too cold), and seek medical attention. Moisten lips if thirsty but generally do not give anything to eat or drink because food and drink will prevent or delay the subsequent administration of anaesthetic. If help is a long way off use common sense and give small quantities of liquids and simple foods to maintain the casualty's comfort.

6. Sprains & Fractures

For treatment sprains and fractures are the same, however, the severity of the injury may be very different. If in doubt treat a sprain or suspected fracture as a fracture. Sprains and fractures may also cause shock. For bushwalking, leg and ankle injuries are possibly the most common and considering the places we get ourselves into such injuries lead to the greatest problems. Be prepared to carry the casualty out, to get back late and/or in the dark, to stay put and to send for help, to spend the night in the bush.

Signs & Symptoms

Leg, foot or arm at an unusual angle, bone fracture protruding from the skin, inability to carry the full weight on the leg, shock, swelling of the joint, inability to move the fingers, wrist, toes, foot or great pain in doing so. Secondary injuries may be concussion, grazing, cuts and bruises from a fall.


First DRABC, then carefully remove the casualty to an area free of danger and where treatment can be given. Surface wounds, cuts etc. may need to be attended to before treatment of the fracture. Immobilise the limb with a splint using wide bandages to spread the pressure and padding on the splint to prevent local pressure. For leg injuries, if splinting one leg with the other put padding between the bony places: knees and ankles. Watch for shock and treat accordingly. If the casualty is in pain, a pain-killer may be appropriate. (Depending on the party's supply of pain-killers and the expected delay in obtaining medical attention, rationing of pain-killers may be necessary.)

7. Snake Bite

Assume the snake is venomous. Identify the snake if possible but do not waste time trying to catch it and maybe getting bitten yourself. The majority of bites are to the lower leg with the rest to the hand or forearm. Bites elsewhere are difficult to treat, but the first aid is the same. The current (1996) theory and treatment for snake bite is as follows; because the snake venom travels along the lymph system to the heart, treatment is to apply pressure to the affected part of the body in order to slow down the rate of travel of the venom. At a slow rate the body can rid itself of the venom.

Signs & Symptoms

Puncture marks at the bite site, and one or more of the following: disturbed vision, nausea and vomiting, headache, drowsiness and fainting, sweating, pain in the abdomen, difficulty in breathing, diarrhoea, shock.


Do not wash the bite site (at the hospital, a sample of the venom can be taken to identify the type of snake), cover the puncture with a dressing then bandage the whole limb with a crepe bandage firmly (as for a break or sprain) starting from the bite down to the extremity of the limb and then working upwards. Apply a second crepe bandage over the first.

(To be continued)

199609.txt · Last modified: 2016/06/17 12:29 by vievems

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