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June 1997

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: Patrick James
5/2 Hardie Street Neutral Bay 2089
Telephone 9904 1515

Business Manager: George Mawer
42 Lincoln Road Georges Hall
Telephone 9707 1343

Production Manager: Fran Holland

Printers: Kenn Clacher, Tom Wenman, Barrie Murdoch, Margaret Niven & Les Powell

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:Morie Ward
Public Officer:Fran Holland
Treasurer:Greta James
Secretary:Michele Powell
Walks Secretary:Eddy Giacomel
Social Secretary:Peter Dalton
Membership Secretary:Barry Wallace
New Members Secretary:Jennifer Trevor-Roberts
Conservation Secretary:Alex Colley
Magazine Editor:Patrick James
Committee Members:Don Wills & vacant position
Delegates to Confederation:Ken Smith and Jim Callaway

In This Issue

P 2What goes down must come up..Roger Sandall
P 2Back to the Holy BushSteve Lengakis
P 3May General MeetingBarry Wallace
P 6When you slip…Elizabeth Miller
P 8Pantoneys CrownDavid Trinder
P 8Katoomba…by Christine Austin
P 9Back from the Brink, book reviewby Alex Colley
P 1170th Anniversary Celebrations
P 12Circumnavigation…Roger Treagus
P 13Caution Six Foot…Almis Simankevicius
P 14Footnotes


P 5 Alpsports
P 7 Eastwood Camping Centre
P 10 Willis Walkabouts
Back cover Paddy Pallin


by Roger Sandall

(Nancye Alderson's walk on 19 April: Blackheath - Marks Tomb - Medlow Bath - Hydro Majestic)

There wasn't a sign of the ghostly Mark or any other Foys, but his “tomb” was plainly occupied. Camping gear lay in a mess on the floor, a pot steamed on the fire, and a lot of empty milk cartons were lying around. But the resident had bolted. Whimsically named for Mark Foy, builder and owner of the Hydro Majestic on the plateau above, the hollow rock shelter known as his tomb was one of various features visited on a Sunday stroll along and around the slopes below the hotel. An old coach road leads down to it from the HM itself. Much carefully built stone walling had gone into the construction of the tracks nearby, perhaps to accommodate the anxieties of Edwardian visitors who didn't want to trip—much less to fall.

This was a walk of signs and traces, hints of what once had been, vestiges of those long vanished, echoes of voices stilled. There was something called the Sunbath, an uninviting leaf-strewn circle of dry sand situated at a discreet remove from the eyes of the hotel. Here long-dead sunbathers once nervously unclothed and exposed themselves and got severely burned. Whatever could they have put on their scorched skin? Butter perhaps? The Sunbath was A Bad Idea Ahead of Its Time. Standing before it we thoughtfully rubbed on blockout and piously thanked God for medical progress.

Big rusting wheels marked the site of an ancient Flying Fox. It had crashed many years before. It's thought that supplies for the HM kitchens were once hoisted by this means hundreds of feet up from the valley below, cabbages and potatoes and other useful items, though whether these included fat lambs for the hotel butchery is not known. The poor things would found it all a bit dizzying.

The day was fine, the tracks were generally dry; and if I'm not mistaken, our fearless leader Nancye and one or two others had actually taken the trouble to clear some of them a short time before. For this she deserves the thanks of all who found this nostalgia trip worthwhile. There were splendid views out over the Megalong Valley from Tuckers Lookout; while more intimate pleasures were to be enjoyed in the shadowy recesses of Rosas Glen - though, sad to say, a babbling brook had difficulty making its music heard above the jocular ruckus of the SBW. And talking of music, such was the inspirational effect of the setting that on several occasions full-throated song burst uncontrollably from one or another member of our party: your scribe is still trying to erase the sound of One Enchanted Evening, hauntingly roared into his ears from atop a rock. It may even have been audible up at the Hydro Majestic itself, where guests of a certain vintage must have been delighted to think that a reincarnation of Ezio Pinza was about to spring exotically out of the bush.

Back To The Holy Bush

Back, back to the wild bush,
come sun, come rain, come heaven come hell.
Over the hills, across the rivers
through scratchy scrub or muddy moors
where you forget your wondrous soul.

Dirty boots, steaming breath, sweeping vistas;
heavy "macpac" off your shoulder
while chewing a muesli bar.

Back, back on the wallaby track
where you've chased your own ghost
through the thick mist of time.
Back, back on the wombat trail
where goannas and echidnas greet you quietly,
currawongs and cockatoos betray your pass.

Back, back to the sacred isolation;
up the mountains, across the valleys,
where you've died a thousand times
with a heavy "macpac' on your back!

Back, back to the HOLY BUSH;
up the peaks, down the gullies,
where you've resurrected a thousand times
with a heavy "macpac' on your back!


S. Lengakis

Sydney - February 1997

May 1997 General Meeting

by Barry Wallace

The meeting began informally without gong, bone or hammer; oops, mace that is, at around 2016. There were some 20 or so members present and there were no apologies. New member Barbara Pitt was welcomed in the usual way, and the minutes were read and received with no matters arising.

Correspondence brought sad news of the passing of John Holly. We also received a copy of the minutes of the latest confederation meeting and a letter from NPWS thanking us for our submission on the huts in the Royal. We sent a letter to the Epping Club asking for refund of our deposit on the booking for the 70th anniversary dinner venue. We also sent a letter of thanks to the people who had served on the previous 70th anniversary committee.

The treasurer's report was there, and revealed the following details. Opening balance, $6,691, income, $8,412, expenditures $1,151, closing balance $13,952.

The walks reports began with a report that the extended walk over the period from 13 to 26 April in the Finke Gorge and Watarrka [Kings Canyon] National Parks, organised by Jacqui Calandra went, and went to program.

Maurice Smith's walk down Ettrema Creek was already gone by the time the weekend of 11, 12, 13 April came around. It went a week ahead of program. Eddy Giacomel had 6 on his Angorawa Creek, Colo River walk over the 12, 13April. The walk went to program. Greg Bridge moved his Katoomba to Carlons day walk to another day. Anne Maguire's Sunday walk out from Wentworth Falls went to program with a party of 20, but Jim Calloway's Bundeena to Otford test walk the same day suffered a slight wasting away, with numbers dwindling from 16 at the start to 15 at Little Marley. The rot stopped there however, and they caught the 1821 train home. Bill Holland was also out that day with a number approximating 13 on an easy walk along the Grosvenor track.

Ian Rannard's midweek walk from Chatswood to Gladesville went on the Tuesday with a party of 9 and no other details.

The weekend of 18, 19, 20 April saw David Carter leading 13 souls through some interesting growths of hakea on his trip to Mount Talaterang and back. The weather was good, but conditions somewhat smoky due to the custom that prevails at this time of year, of setting fire to the country in order to save it from burning. Nancye Alderson conducted a group of 7 on her Saturday walk from Blackheath to Medlow Bath, visiting the various points of interest around the Hydro Majestic. Conditions were fine and cool, and the views spectacular though somewhat dimmed by the haze. If you are keen on spectacular views and coffee at $3.70 a cup, the Hydro may be the place for you. The party of 20 on Don Brook's Sunday trip on the Grose River enjoyed pleasant conditions, and some brave people even swam in the cool waters of the Grose at lunchtime. Stage 3 of Wilf's Sydney to Nowra walk attracted 12 starters on a pleasant day.

Tuesday 22 April was the day for Wilf's midweek walk out from Otford station but where was Wilf? At least three factions developed from the starting group, with Gretel leading a party of 3 from Otford to Bundeena as the nearest approximation to the real thing.

Bill Capon's stage 1 of the South to North traverse of the Budawangs on Anzac weekend started with a party of 25 despite the program notes promising long days and thick scrub. The going was very slow and they eventually gave it best and beat a retreat. Tony Holgate reversed the route for his walk out from Kanangra Walls due to low fog and rain on the Friday. He then further modified it to avoid the possibility of water problems on Ti-Willa by coming up Gingra Creek. The party of 16 all participated in the democratic process leading to these decisions no doubt. Dick Weston had 2 starters for his up and down walk out from Carlons Farm but there were no other details. There was no report for Ken Cheng's Cowan to Woy Woy walk scheduled for Saturday 26th. Errol Sheedy was restricted to light duties on doctor's orders when his Cronulla to Sutherland walk came around on the Sunday. Paul Mawhinney agreed to act as substitute leader but there was a bit of an outbreak of democracy and a total of three different trips went. One, under Paul, went to Marley and back. Zol Bodlay and George Mawer led around 12 walkers on a walk to program, and a splinter group went off to look at the beaches, or so they said.

Ian Rannard's mid week walk went on Tuesday 29th April with a party of 12.

The Coolana maintenance and instructional weekend was conducted over the weekend of 2, 3, 4 May. There was no report for Wayne Steele's Kanangra Boyd weekend walk. Sandy Johnson's Upper Lane Cove walk on the Saturday was led by Alan Mewett with a party of 10. They came out at 1500 and declared the walk excellent. Eddy led 6 in pleasant weather on his walk into Blue Gum Forest via Lockley Pylon on the same day. Laurie Bore's walk from Avalon to Dee Why on Sunday attracted 16 starters, but despite having time for swims and ice cream two people dropped out early in the walk. Frank Grennan had 13 on his walk in the Glenbrook area the same day.

Ian Rannard had 12 on his midweek walk from Manly to the Quarantine Station and return on the Tuesday.

The weekend of 9, 10, 11 May saw Sydney's coastal weather dominated by an east coast low, producing heavy rain and strong winds along a narrow strip of coast. Ian Debert paid his parting respects to the Kanangra area that weekend, with a walk down Gingra Creek and back up Roots Ridge with a party of 8. Conditions were overcast at the start but the sun shone in Gingra Creek and they encountered no rain over the duration of the trip. Neither Ken Smith nor the other 3 people on his Heathcote to Otford walk were put off by the prevailing inclemency, but they did notice that there were only 3 cars at Wattamolla and 1 at Garie Beach. It was a little harder to be stoic waiting for the bus that replaced the train service that weekend at Otford, out in the open, with darkness gathering. Don Brooks noted the change in the number registering interest for his lower Blue Mountains walk which went on the Sunday. Wednesday: 16; Friday: 18; Saturday: 11; turned up Sunday: 4. Despite the conditions at the coast, the Lower Blue Mountains were fine, with a strong breeze. As the walk was ending at Warragamba with a bus trip back to Penrith, Ken had the task of estimating the number attending, and advising the operator of the buses. Needless to say all the estimates were wrong, but the bus was adequate in any case. Tony Crichton cancelled his Sunday walk out from Wentworth Falls on the basis of the conditions on the coast. Wilf's Stage 4 of the Sydney to Nowra walk was deferred to another day.

Conditions had sorted themselves out by Tuesday, so Bill Holland led 11 on a nice walk from Taronga Wharf to Spit Bridge as his contribution to the midweek walks program. It also served to conclude the walks program.

Conservation report brought mention of the doubts being raised about the Commonwealth Government's priorities for the Conservation funds to be generated by the sell off of Telstra, the previous national communications carrier. The proposal to site an airport at Heathcote also came in for mention.

Confederation report included the news that the Catholic Bushwalking Club has rejoined the Confederation and that no club has yet volunteered, or even been nominated, as host for the next Confederation Annual General Meeting. It seems the president of Confederation has convened a meeting of interested public land user groups and that meeting has come up with 8 points for submission to the NSW government on access to public lands. This appears to have been done using the title of president but without consultation with the rest of Confederation, and there is some debate underway as to the appropriateness or otherwise of this action.

The 70th anniversary committee lives. See the report in one of the magazine issues for details.

There was no general business so the president closed the meeting at around 2153, and not a moment too soon I say.

Magazine Articles Wanted

A constant stream of articles is wanted for The Sydney Bushwalker

When you slip and hear a Crack, make sure you have an X-ray

by Elizabeth Miller

I had been looking forward very much to Jim's walk to Claydens Creek. As our group, comprised of fearless leader Jim Rivers, John and Chris Poleson, Paul McCann, Melonie Parker, Merrilyn Sach and myself, set off the weather had cleared and the weekend promised to be great. We passed through the glorious Gaol House Pass and had dropped down another couple of hundred metres heading towards the creek on a track when I stepped onto a partially buried piece of wood which must have been extremely slippery after heavy rain the day before. My right foot shot out to the side and down I went. On the way down I heard a crack from the left ankle region and experienced a wave of nausea from the pain. Having collected myself, I strapped my ankle firmly and decided it “wasn't too bad”. However when I stood up and attempted to walk, I realised there was no way I could continue the walk but decide I could hobble out. I emptied out my pack and started what turned out to be a long and painful trek. Jim was marvellous, didn't panic and said “we'll take it slowly and if we don't make it out tonight, we'll camp out and continue on tomorrow.

Walking on flat ground was not so bad, but climbing was agony and without Chris physically supporting me, Jim pulling and the encouragement of the others I could not have done it. We finally reached the cars just before 4 pm, and dear Merrilyn gave up her already spoilt weekend to drive me back to Sydney.

I was sufficiently concerned to seek medical attention that night and opted for the 24 hours Medical Centre rather than face a long wait in Casualty at the Royal North Shore Hospital: Mistake No. 1. The doctor who I saw appeared to have some knowledge of muscular-skeletal injuries, diagnosed severe tearing of the ligaments, ordered physio and no X-ray; Mistake No. 2.

I pushed on with physio for one week, and when I complained that I was convinced there were further problems an X-ray was taken which revealed a fracture of the lower end of the fibula. A visit to an orthopaedic surgeon the next day identified the fracture as a “very nasty one” which would require fixation with a plate and screws.

Thankfully it is all behind me now and healing will take place with the passage of time. Although I was asked to write this article by Patrick James, for me there was a purpose in writing. Firstly, to thank Jim Rivers for his calm handling of the situation and decisive leadership; and to the rest of the group for their kindness, support, help and care; and secondly to advise all bush walkers when you slip in the bush and on the way down you hear that sickening crack, insist on an X-ray.


Ladies Snow Ski Suit $100

Size 12, figure hugging style, navy blue with fine white piping, bib + brace, jacket zips onto the pants giving a all-in-one look; perfect condition, worn 2 seasons only.

Leather Ski Gloves $ 30

navy blue with canary yellow inserts, down filled.

SCARPA “Lady Trek” $150

Italian leather walking boots, size 37, tread as new, stitching perfect, only used on day walks a few dozen times.

SUUNTO Compass $ 70

Model KB20/360R, swing dial type, fully encased, side eye piece with sighting line, accuracy to 1°

Enquiries, Merrilyn: 9587 6325 (ah)

Change of Address ?? If since the membership list was published in January this year you have changed your name, address and/or phone number(s) or you are a new member and the automatic publication of your details has failed, and you want SBW members to know let the committee know (specifically the Membership Secretary Barry Wallace) or send the editor a note.


Pantoneys Crown: 16,17,18 May 1997

By Carol Lubbers

It rained steadily all Friday night. In the morning, with visibility from high spots limited, we started a late easy walk to the top of Pipeline Pass for lunch overlooking the Wolgan Valley. On Saturday afternoon, three people returned to Sydney and on Sunday, two stayed back at camp, arranging to meet us at Katoomba in the evening, if their car started and they could negotiate the VERY slippery and steep road out!

By then, we had been wet, cold, hot and bogged and very glad we'd postponed Pantoneys Crown for Sunday, which dawned dismal but dry.

We started walking an hour late and finished one and a half hours early. That's the advantage of small parties! Weather was quite humid on the uphill and cool for our lunch stop on the top. There were lots of pools of water. The sun even came out. Unfortunately, there has been a huge amount of vandalism on the Crown in the form of smashed pagoda rocks in the vicinity of the cairn and visitors' book.

Two separate simultaneous impressive rain storms blotted out the distant landscape to the northwest and southwest of Pantoneys but, luckily, we remained dry. Because of the storms, we shortened the lunchbreak and scuttled down to the ridge system off the Crown. After the usual few navigational hiccups and discussion with Tony Manes about whose memory is better, we made Coco Creek in the best time ever but the water was too cold for even Tony to have a dip, so we shot off to our shortcut ridge to the cars, changed and skated off to Katoomba to the Parakeet Cafe where we were joined by Bill Hope's party after their day walk at Carlons. We filled the side room and made greedy, thirsty pests of ourselves. As usual, SOMEBODY left without paying for something and the SBW name is again MUD.

(a cheque from SOMEBODY for the amount owing to the Parakeet Café, 195b Katoomba St. Katoomba 2780 would clear the SBW name Ed.)

Katoomba - Mt Solitary, Sunday, 25 May

by David Trinder

I arranged with twelve people to do the walk but only seven started. The members were Carol Lubbers and myself and the other walkers were five, fit, enthusiastic prospectives who had plenty of breath and energy left over for lively conversation all day. These were Diane Moore, Carol Faulkner and husband Stewart, Geoff Lyons and Jitka (pronounced Yitka) Kopriva.

We sauntered out to Solitary, being pushed all the way by the five energetic prospectives. I ordered a sunny day with blue skies and got it. We sat around on the south side of Solitary facing Narrowneck, Kanangra, Lake Burragorang and the Wild Dogs, while playing with a currawong or two and eating first lunch. Second lunch was had on the north side facing the Jamison Valley. When we had enough of sitting around looking at mountains and valleys, we strolled back to the Scenic Railway.

Crossing the Landslide, we were treated to a spectacular display of “base” jumping. Five young males each jumped from the cliff, making a frightening free fall for 20 metres then, with a loud noise, opened a parachute. I claimed to have arranged it, but I didn't really! At the Scenic Railway, not one of us was tempted to ascend by the train. All walked up in 15 to 18 minutes, even Diane Moore who walked the Tony Crichton Blue Gum trip the previous day and went home to sleep in between the two walks. I recommend all of these prospectives for membership.

Only one thing marred the day - a group of young Scouts camping on Mt Solitary had performed some “exterior decorating” with soiled white tissues beside the track just metres from their campsite. No doubt, it was not only Carol who told the Scoutmaster to get it cleaned up, but a number of solo walkers who preceded my group! On our return, we found that this had been done.

The party watered at the Parakeet Café and the distressed staff asked us if there were going to be MORE arriving, like the previous week!

70th Anniversary Walks

For the 1997 Spring Walks Program, as part of the 70th Anniversary Celebrations we are inviting members to repeat the walks in the Club's first walks program: THE WALKS PROGRAMME: 1928. Some of these walks may not be possible because of buildings, roads, railways, airports, etc. Those Anniversary Walks that are still possible should be good value. Walks leaders should contact the Walks secretary in the usual manner. The very first walk that the Club organised was Helensberg - Burning Palms - Garrawarra and return to either Helensberg or Lilyvale, on Sunday, 13 Nov. 1927

Leave Sydney by 2 p.m. train and assemble at Lilyvale.
17,18 MARCHBELL TO KURRAJONG, Leader:Mr. Kilpatrick
Camping Saturday night at Mt. Bell. Catch 2.25 p.m. train and assemble at Bell.(Excursion tickets to Bell)
25 MARCHHORNSBY TO BEROWRA, VIA SPRING GULLY AND COCKLE CREEK, Leader: Messrs. Debert and King Distance: 15 miles.
Splendid scenery. Fairly rough and no track in parts. Catch 8 a.m. train from Sydney or 8.28 a.m. from Milsons Point and assemble at Hornsby. (Excursion tickets to Berowra).
1 APRILSPRINGWOOD, Leader: Mr. Docksey Distance: 10 miles
Springwood through Martin's Look-Out and Sassafrass Gully to Springwood. Good swimming. Catch 8.55 a.m. train and assemble at Springwood.
Catch 8.24 a.m. (Electric) train to Sutherland, tram to Cronulla and launch to Bundeena. Assemble at Cronulla.
6 APRILEASTER (4 DAYS), PICTON LAKES, Leader: Mr. M J Dunphy Distance: Swag miles 26, Exploration 16 - at will.
Picton Lakes, via Blue Gum Forest. Little River Canyon, Nattai Valley and Pass to Picton. Catch 7.50 a.m. train, Good Friday morning, and change at Picton for Picton Lakes. Assemble at Central Station at platform from which train leaves 1/2 hour before time of departure. NOTE.- Camp Units will be arranged. Intending party members pleas hand names to Mr. M J Dunphy as early as possible so that equipment and food lists may be sent out.
15 APRILLIVERPOOL TO ENGADINE, Leader: Mr. A Hodsdon Distance: 20 miles
via Holdsworthy, Eckersley and Woronora River. Catch 8.25 a.m. train from Sydney and assemble at Liverpool.
22 APRILSPRINGWOODLeader: Miss D Smeaton
through Hawkesbury Look-Out to Emu Plains. Catch 8.55 a.m. train from Sydney and assemble at Springwood.
27,28,29 APRILMOSS VALE TO NOWRALeader: Mr. Austen
Camp Friday night at Fitzroy Falls. Catch 5.15 p.m. train Friday night to Moss Vale. Assemble at No 1 platform, Sydney Station.
via Artillary Hill and South-West Arm Creek. Catch 8.44 a.m. (Electric) train from Sydney and assemble at National Park Station.
via Galston Gorge. Catch 8 a.m. train from Sydney or 8.28 a.m. from Milson's Point and assemble at Hornsby.
Catch 8.44 a.m. (Electric) train from Sydney, and assemble at National Park Station.
Catch 9.27 a.m. train from Sydney and assemble at Penrith.
Camp at Warragamba River. Catch 1.25 p.m. train from Sydney to Penrith and then Duff's service car to Wallacia Post Office (fare 5/- each way), where the party will assemble.
Catch 8.44 a.m. (Electric) train from Sydney, and assemble at National Park Station.
17 JUNEHEATHCOTE TO WATERFALLLeader: Mr. J Dunphy Distance: 11 miles
via Uloola Falls and Kangaroo Creek. Catch 8.50 a.m. (Steam) train from Sydney and assemble at Heathcote Station.
NO TRACK. Catch 9 a.m. train from Sydney and assemble at Campbelltown.
Rough. Catch 9.27 a.m. train from Sydney and assemble at Penrith.
through Smith's Boatshed. Catch 8 a.m. train from Sydney or 8.1 a.m. from Milson's Point and assemble at Berowra.
15 JULYLILYVALE TO GARIELeader: Mr. C B Goldberg
Catch 8.50 a.m. train from Sydney and assemble at Lilyvale.
Catch 8 a.m. train from Sydney or 8.1 a.m. from Milson's Point and assemble at Cowan Station. (Excursion tickets to Hawkesbury River).
29 JULYParticulars to be forwarded later.Leader: Mr. Drake
Particulars to be forwarded later.
12 AUGUSTParticulars to be forwarded later.Leader: Mr. Henley
19 AUGUSTParticulars to be forwarded later.Leader: Mr. M Berry
Catch 8.50 a.m. train from Sydney and assemble at Austinmer.
via the Grose River. Camp Saturday night at Grose River. Catch the 1.25 p.m. train from Sydney and assemble at Faulconbridge.

70th Anniversary Celebrations

All 70th Anniversary Celebrations and functions are for members, prospective members, ex-members, and your/their partners and family. If you have a connection with/to SBW you're invited. Remember don't plan anything else for October.

11-12 Oct. Reunion at Coolana:

If you're a prospective member and you've never been before then reunion is the wrong word, but don't worry come along, you're welcome. If you used to be a member and fell by the wayside, pick yourself up and come along, you're welcome. If you're family of a member or ex-member come along with them, you're welcome.

Plenty of opportunity to meet-up with old and new members, enjoy the entertainment, cake, milo, damper competition, singing, investiture of the president, annual airing of the ex-presidents, swimming carnival for the temperature insensitive plus lots more; all those activities that have been part of SBW for up to 70 years. Come along, no need to book a room, be prepared as usual for hot, cold, wet and/or dry weather. Although fine weather has been ordered Hughie sometimes forgets herself, so a tarp is being organised to cater for the crowd just in case.

Friday 17 Oct. dinner at North Sydney Leagues Club.

Parking is available at the Club. For public transport users the Club is a short cab or bus trip from North Sydney station. (buses 202, 203, 207 and 208)

More details next month but we have the Celebrity Room (main function room) from about 6 pm to 12 midnight. Come early, leave late and don't worry if the car turns into a pumpkin. There's oodles of room to walk and talk or to sit and chat without going anywhere near the dreaded poker machines. The cost of the dinner is $30 a person. Drinks are extra to your own account.

The dinner is not formal but Club dress rules do apply, smart casual is the way to dress. If in doubt ring the North Sydney Leagues Club.

Sunday 19 Oct. picnic-barbeque at Manly Dam.

We have booked Picnic Areas 3 B, C and D. This is the opportunity for everyone to get together in a daylight campfire type of atmosphere spiced with the aroma of fried onions and burnt meat. This day is as costly as you wish make it; king prawns and champagne or bangers and beer.

Picnic Areas 3 B, C and D are accessible to by car, by foot or by wheelchair. To enter the Manly Dam site there is an entry fee of $6 per car. To enter by foot costs nothing.

What to bring? Bring what you'd normally bring to a barbeque in a park, barbeque, table, chairs, esky, food, drink, glasses, plates, etc. Some tables and chairs will be there but there may be a rush. We will be having a gas barbeque so if a wait is no problem, it's yours. An entree of sizzled sausages will be served plus some 70th birthday drink.

Fine weather also has been ordered and as above in case Hughie forgets, a large tarp will provide shelter

Wednesday 22 Oct. Clubroom Nostalgia

At the Kirribilli neighbour Centre as usual. Details to be finalised, but it will include a photographic collage by Don Matthews.

Other events

There are some other ad hoc event being organised; pass on the details to your editor for inclusion in the magazine.,

The Sydney Bushwalker

Would our readers, advertisers, printers, collaters and authors please take note. To cater for the 70th Anniversary celebrations the magazine will be published one week earlier in September and two weeks earlier in October. The November magazine will be back to normal.

The Circumnavigation of Port Jackson

By Roger Treagus

An idea was born to walk one way
Round Sydney Harbour in 15 days
Starting the trip at the light of South Head
And with Wilf the faithful band was led

Past Watson’s Bay and through Neilson Park
From morning, noon and into the dark
Discovering art deco in old Balmain
Heading west through all the back lanes

Against the flow of the Parramatta River
Down Hen and Chicken with scarcely a shiver
From out of the past the Putney Punt,
Then Place de la Concord with barely a grunt

The seasons changed with Cicadas at play
By the time the group walked Homebush Bay
The sun beat down with sweat being pumped
As Wilf fought a way past the Newington dump

Past heavy industry and toxic fumes
The walkers walked on for many moons
Parramatta ahead and the river weir
Another day over and an ice cold beer

But now the walk is into the sun
On the left bank with the river run
Going east it’s more than half over
But detours ahead so we’re not in clover

Rydalmere, Ermington, Meadowbank, Ryde
No one can say we haven’t all tried
We never walk straight as we curve round the bank
We go north, we go south, it must be a prank

Then we arrive (many times) at the Gladesville Wharf
True progress was made as we hit the Great North
Into Lane Cove and some urban green
Suburban mowers that were heard but not seen

Park after park through the lower north shore
Past two hundred kilometres but the feet are not sore
Into railway tunnels, a Wilf specialty
Past Luna Park as it once used to be

Sewer mains, easements and someone’s back fence
Wilf knows the way through lantana so dense
That old 20’s track past the gasometer site
Where cats have gone feral and are ready to fight
North Head can be seen, our quarry at last
But wait, one last detour and what a blast
People drop out as the kilometres grind on
Those at the end should be given a gong

Bangaroo, Forestville and old Killarney
Where we stop for morning tea number 3
A friendly horse neighs as we head up the ridge
Searching but not finding the famed natural bridge

A free sausage sizzle at Reef Beach to munch
Wilf seizes the moment and immediately shouts "Lunch!”
Going home we get lost on some military ground
On the North Head Range where they fire a few rounds

All the frustration was gone when the lookout is reached
On the edge of North Head where this poem is preached
Winter has gone and summer returned
But we’ve gone right around and a lot has been learned

Bays, coves, rivers and creeks
A magnificent idea if adventure you seek
At the end we ask where we’ve been led
When for a single mile more we’re back at South Head.

Caution: Six Foot Track ahead !

by Almis Simankevicius

The temperature was unusually hot for a late October day as we waded across the cool waters of the Coxs River and dried our feet in the sun. Back on the gritty fire trail, we began to feel the strain of uphill walking again. The trail wended up through green hills. We climbed steeply upwards for the next two hours and we had to take fairly constant rests beneath shady trees. Each time, after catching our breaths we focused on the next bend and hoped that we would be nearing the top of this climb. We were hot, sweaty and stressed. There was no end in sight of this damned incline. It was already 1.00 PM and we still hadn't reached the Alum Creek campsite.

Our packs were too heavy. The Lands Department map was inadequate for topographical walking. In short we hadn't prepared well enough for walking the Six Foot Track. We had forgotten much of the good training we had received when we had first joined the SBW.

The idea to walk the track began some years ago when I had seen mention of it in our SBW magazine and other literature. The challenge of trekking an heritage path from Katoomba to the Jenolan Caves and spending a night at Caves House had great appeal. And also to be out in the bush again, 'under canvas' with the billy boiling, away from the planes, traffic, electronic banking, TV and other contemporary necessities of our everyday lives.

We planned a week's holiday to really enjoy our time in the Blue Mountains. Looking at the Lands Department map, the track was only 46 kilometres long. How hard could that be? We could cover 23 kilometres a day, camp overnight at Alum creek and be at Caves House for afternoon tea the next day. Ah! The fantasies of a novice.

To save time, a taxi transported us to the Explorers Tree, and we started down the fire trail. We were on our way; how marvellous. The packs were heavy, but we had expected that in the first few hours; time for our muscles to become accustomed to these new strains and loads. Down, down we walked, following the descending track to Nellies Glen. Talk about rubber knees ! The surrounding cliffs, resolute guardians of this bushland looked magnificent.

The shade of the trees kept us cool. Further on the track varied between a narrow path and a firetrail. At the site of the Old Village we stopped to chat with a horse rider who was training his young steed. The sky was clear and conditions pleasant for walking. We stopped near the Megalong Cemetery for a lunch of noodles, coffee and the remnants of the previous day's cakes. We were carrying two and a half litres of water between us.

Walking was pleasant and the twittering of bush noises kept us in good spirits. We came upon a set of rolling green hills. Up and down, up and down along the track. The scenery from the hilltops was glorious. The massive escarpments of the Blue Mountains were all around us.

It was beginning to concern us that we were still some distance from Coxs River - let alone the Alum Creek camping spot. After a particularly tough section of track, we changed our plans. We decided to camp at Coxs that night, Forestry HQ picnic grounds the next night and be at Caves House the night after that. With that schedule settled our spirits lifted again and we found a delightful spot by Coxs around 4.30 PM.

I hadn't realised how sore and tired I was until I had removed my pack. A refreshing dip in the river to wash away all the dust and perspiration. Our pace slowed down to a relaxed movement as dinner was prepared on the Trangia (methylated spirit fueled) stove.

We used the river water and added a Puritab to each litre of water. An eagle glided high overhead. Small jumping fish occasionally plopped through the surface of the water chasing the mosquitoes that preferred to join us for their dinner. We marvelled that we had all this to ourselves that evening. Before the sun bade us final farewell, a short period of silence and stillness captured the beauty of this bushland setting. Then ,one cricket started chirping which invited the bush orchestra to join in. The stars also presented themselves as part of the evening's fare by twinkling brightly in the heavens.

Oh that lovely temptation to keep snoozing when I knew we should be on the track again. We had 19 kilometres to trek today. It would be hard but not impossible. We had enough food for two more days and as long as water was available we would be OK.

Our easy pace continued through breakfast, and once again we were ready to walk. Already it was a lot hotter than the previous day. The Bowtells Swing Bridge had to be tried and it was a lot of fun, but we decided to continue along to the original river crossing. After crossing over, the track took a decidedly long and steep inclination. For about two hours we slowly and painfully followed it. We had each internally decided to cadge a lift from any passing vehicle if the chance occurred. Because of our unpreparedness, the walk was becoming an exercise in unnecessary pain rather than an acceptably exciting challenge.

Lo and behold ! Our guardian angel appeared, driving a very comfortable looking four wheel drive vehicle. After some discussion with him, we all decided that it made a lot of sense for us to take a lift to at least past the 1065 height marker where the track becomes relatively flat.

Comfortably ensconced in the chariot and out of the heat, we ploughed ever upward and onward, marvelling at the tough hilly track that we didn't have to lug our packs over. I felt such a sense of relief. I will be more careful with my irreverent attitude to these vehicles in the future. Our driver told us that sixteen out of the twenty kilometres from Coxs River to the picnic grounds is all uphill. We passed by Alum Creek. The water is drinkable from here, but there is no accessible water from there to the highway.

We noticed how dry it was along the Black Range fire trail. Reaching the gravel pit, the 'Black Range road' sign had been relocated and now pointed to the right fork, whereas the map showed it going straight ahead. We could have alighted at the Forestry HQ picnic grounds, but decided to accept a further lift to Binda Flats and thanked our driver for his assistance in getting us there.

After a late lunch in the cool shade, we re-entered the Six Foot Track and were almost whistling. So glad were we, having escaped an undoubtedly hard day on the track.

We could sense the end of our trek as the trail made its inexorable way down towards the Jenolan caves. The late afternoon sun gave me the good feeling that our loads would soon be shed, and that simple comforts awaited us around the next bend.

And so it did. Just past Carlottas Arch, down in the valley, the marvellous European inspired Caves House came into view. It was almost comic to see the Six Foot track at this end; so innocent and unpretentious, belying the hardships that lay ahead for the walker. We signed in and went straight for a cleanup. Complimentary drinks were served prior to dinner. Dinner and breakfast were taken in the palatial dining room.

My muscles were quite sore the next day as we had a pleasant stroll along the Jenolan River and joined one of the cave tours. We met one bushwalker who had done the track in two days. We learnt that an annual marathon is held and that the winners usually manage to cover the distance in around five to six hours ! I also salute our own SBW members who do it in a day. The Six Foot Track is named such, because it was originally designed as a bridleway wide enough to allow two horses to pass side by side and so was cut to six feet wide.

We found it a difficult walk, but it could be enjoyed more over three or four days. It turned out to be a wonderfully varied holiday after all.


by Patrick James

Happy Birthday! Recently both Morie Ward and Spiro Hajinakitas celebrated significant birthdays (ie ending with a zero), Morie on 28 May and Spiro on 6 June.

This month SBW members have gone walking in foreign lands, a group of 8 or 9 are walking in the wilds of Far North Queensland and a group of 2 are tackling the west coast of the USA.

Positions Vacant #1. The position of Social Secretary has been filled. Peter Dalton has taken up the challenge. As specified, Peter can walk and talk at the same time, has flair, charm and perfect social skills, is used to public speaking, and is able to relate at all levels from boardroom to engineroom. Peter will be given on-the-job training to help him in this rewarding, challenging and vital position.

If you have ideas for social functions see or call Peter as soon as possible because the Social Program is planned weeks ahead.

Positions Vacant #2. The Clubroom Reporter is still missing. If you are a budding Clark Kent, Lois Lane or Jimmy Olsen have I got a deal for you. Perhaps you're new to the Club, don't worry as long as you can write, you're in.

Club Coolana. No report back on the last maintenance weekend. All in time for the 70th Reunion. The request for garden tools, rakes, shovels, spades, lawnmowers, chainsaws, etc is still valid. The next Coolana Maintenance weekend is on 26-27 July, everyone is welcome.

199706.txt · Last modified: 2022/01/12 15:30 by sbw

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