Table of Contents
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.
|Public Officer:||Fran Holland|
|Walks Secretary:||Eddy Giacomel|
|Social Secretary:||Peter Dalton|
|Membership Secretary:||Barry Wallace|
|New Members Secretary:||Jennifer Trevor-Roberts|
|Conservation Secretary:||Bill Holland|
|Magazine Editor:||Patrick James|
|Committee Members:||Suzanne Garland & Don Wills|
|Delegates to Confederation:||Jim Callaway & Ken Smith|
In This Issue, No. 754
|P 2||Why Wear a Hat.||by David Trinder|
|P 4||Excuses, Excuses.||by Peter Dyce|
|P 6||Wollemi Need Your Help|
|P 7||National Parks, draft Public Access Strategy|
|P 8||Jenolan Caves||by Nancye Alderson|
|P 10||Kahurangi Kapers #2||by Sandy Larson|
|P 11||Vale Bert Carlon|
|P 12||Weekend in the Se Forest||by Kay Chan|
|P 13||Social Notes for September|
|P 14||General Meeting, August 1997|
|P 15||Eighty Years of Conservation|
|P 15||Coolana: where is it?|
|P 16||Mania for Tassie.||by David Trinder|
|STOP PRESS||PAGE 7|
|P 3||Willis's Walkabouts|
|P 5||Eastwood Camping Centre|
|Back cover||Paddy Pallin|
Why Wear a Hat?
A spot of atmospheric science and politics
by David Trinder
Fifty years ago, men and women used to where hats habitually. They wore them to church, to formal occasions and to the office because it was necessary for good dressing. They used to say, “If you want to get ahead get a hat”. Men used to doff the hat as a mark of respect, but when men stopped respecting and we became less formal the use of hats died off. However, the need for protection of various kinds, especially while bush walking, has recently caused an increase in the use of hats.
I will list these kinds of protection in reverse order of importance.
A hat is used to protect the head when you run into high level rocks and logs. This is the least important because if you weren't wearing the hat you might have seen the object and avoided it.
A hat is handy when rain starts because it protects your head and shoulders until you get your coat on and hood up.
A hat protects the head, neck and eyes from the damaging rays of the sun, I will enlarge on this.
We, standing erect and intelligent animals, and the other life forms evolved on this planet in an atmosphere that was protected from the sun's ultra violet rays, by a thin gas in the stratosphere called ozone. To explain briefly, the first 15 kilometres of the atmosphere is the “troposphere” and the next 35km is called the “stratosphere”.
Oxygen in its breathable form consists of molecules with two atoms in each. However in the stratosphere energy from the sun breaks some of these double oxygen molecules down. The resulting single atoms then unite with other doubles and form triples, and these triples are ozone, a toxic, blue gas that in its natural form is rare at ground level. Various natural reactions also break ozone down into doubles but a natural stable balance provides enough ozone to filter dangerous ultra violet light out of the sun's rays and prevents it from reaching us. The ozone is spread over a 35km thick layer but if it were laid on the ground at atmospheric pressure it would be 3 millimetres thick.
In 1928, a Du Pont chemist invented a group of synthetic chemicals called chlorofluorocarbons, CFCs. They were constructed of atoms of chlorine and fluorine hooked into a backbone of carbon. These gases were highly stable, non-flammable and they soon replaced sulphur dioxide and ammonia as the working fluid in refrigerators. Later, they were also used in car air-conditioners and they were found to be an ideal non-toxic propellant in aerosol cans and a blowing agent for foam plastic packaging and building insulation. Most of this gas was eventually released into the atmosphere when refrigerators and cars were dumped or during normal use of aerosols and blowing agents.
We were very fortunate that two scientists, Sherwood Roland and Mario Molina during the early seventies discovered that these chemicals would not break down in the troposphere, but would drift up to the mid stratosphere where ultra violet light would break it down and release chlorine atoms. They found that these mischievous atoms would break down ozone without damaging themselves, and that each atom would continue on its way breaking down ozone for many years. Rowland and Molina correctly concluded that the continued use of CFCs would reduce the earth's ozone shield and could precipitate a vast tragedy on the earth's living things, including Homo Sapiens.
Publication of the research initiated a decade of debate in which the manufacturers, principally Du Pont, were protecting their eight billion dollar industry and environmentalists were protecting life on earth. Then, in the spring of 1985, a British Antarctic survey announced the presence of an ozone hole above Halley Bay. This was later confirmed by the Americans to be widespread over the Antarctic, to have appeared each spring since the mid seventies and to be caused by chlorine that was carried aloft by CFCs. At the end of each spring the hole reduces in depth and spreads over sub-tropical latitudes. Ozone protection is reduced over sub-tropical Australia for the whole of summer.
Over the next fifty years it is likely that thousands of Australians will die from non-melanoma cancers and melanoma cancers because of the effects of increased ultra violet rays. It will cause many eyes to become clouded by cataracts and it will cause the suppression of immune responses resulting in an increase of serious decease. Two thirds of the plants that have been tested have been found to be affected adversely by an increase in ultra violet rays. These plants include food crops and large trees. Food producing animals, native animals and the ocean food chain will also be damaged.
The ozone hole has appeared each spring and has increased since it first became apparent. Concern internationally led to the Vienna Convention but no agreement was reached. In 1987 in Canada the Montreal Protocol was signed by 23 nations. The Protocol was to reduce the production of CFCs to fifty percent by 1999. Subsequently further alarm at new evidence led to a tightening of the Montreal Protocol in 1990 and in 1992. According to the Protocol production of CFCs was to cease in developed countries at the end of 1995. The last plant in Australia closed down in Sydney in December of 1995. Developing countries had another ten years to cease production.
Twenty years passed from the time the world was alerted to the effect of CFCs on the ozone
layer before a serious agreement was made. How long will it take to get a serious international agreement on the more serious and more complex problem concerning global warming? This makes a very good reason to wear a hat.
- Healing the Planet by Ehrlich and Ehrlich,
- The Hole in the Sky by John Gribbin,
- The Sydney Morning Herald various articles.
Bloom says "Too Right"
In a despatch by bush telegraph word has just been received concerning SBW member Maurie Bloom. On 28 June this year Maurie, disguised in black tie ensemble and without either day or week end pack, was caught in a garden surrounded by family and friends armed with cameras and other recording devices, and was heard to answer clearly and distinctly “too right” when asked if he would take Barbara Ellis as his wife. Barbara's response was also positively in the affirmative. This wedding now joins the many others of bushwalkers marrying bushwalkers. In this instance both bride and groom are members of the Sutherland Bushwalking Club. Best wishes for a long and happy stroll through life together.
Excuses, Excuses, Excuses
by Peter Dyce
After great deliberation international jet set traveller, electrical goods connoisseur and security consultant, Peter Dyce, has finally completed his list of excuses why he has not been seen on walks for such a long time.
About a year ago my wife Betty and I took an overseas trip. First stop was Israel where we stayed with friends who run an art gallery in the picturesque mountain town of Safad from where Lake Galilee can be seen shimmering in the distance. We took a drive down to the River Jordan. It was flowing strongly giving a fast ride to rafters and canoeists.
We spent the rest of the time in Netanya, a beach resort on the Mediterranean. From our balcony on the top floor of our hotel we had a great view over the sea with the beach running north and south as far as the eye could see. Every morning a hang-glider came soaring past our balcony. After a day or two we started to chat, the young glider pilot hovering motionless near our balcony while we exchanged pleasantries.
Next stop was England, first stop London where Betty having been born there went straight through customs. I, together with all other Australian passport holders, was kept waiting for two hours while watching members of the EEC get preferential treatment. It was enough to turn the most loyal Royalist into a Republican.
Betty has a niece living in the beautiful city of Canterbury. On the way there I realised how modern our electric trains are compared with the antiquated rattletrap in England. The magnificent cathedral has remained virtually unchanged since Geoffrey Chaucer went there on a walking holiday in fourteen hundred and something.
The first day at Betty's niece's house I noticed that the electric kettle was not working. I walked down to the nearest shop selling electrical items and bought a new one. The next day as the toaster was broken I bought a new toaster. The next day as the frypan was not working I bought a new electric pan. By then the woman in the shop had become curious and asked me why I was buying a new item every day. I told her the reason and enjoyed her smile when I said that we were leaving before the fridge broke down.
Whilst visiting Dover Castle we met a couple touring in a camper van and thought what a useful vehicle, a little home on wheels.
Flew out of London over Greenland and enjoyed wonderful views of snow covered mountains on a clear sunny day. Arrived in Los Angeles and took a cab to a motel near the airport. It is impossible to move in LA without a car; the city is huge and public transport non-existent, so hired a car.
The next day I left Betty at the motel, drove some distance away and on the way back became thoroughly lost. I asked directions from numerous people including police who were booking a motorist but to no avail. I was not aware that I had become mis-placed in an underprivileged area of LA called Watts where some years ago riots, looting and arson had broken out. I drove on, arrived at a small cluster of shops, and asked some men whether they would drive ahead of me and I would follow in my car and that I would reward them on arrival. Foolishly I had pulled out my wallet where I had placed the motel's address. The men said OK, follow us, but as I got into my car I heard a chorus of voices calling out “Don't go, don't go”. Unfortunately I did not realise this warning was meant for me. I followed the car ahead in what appeared to be circles, and when we went down a narrow alley into a vacant parking lot the men ahead of me stopped and asked me to get out of my car. With a sudden realisation that I was about to be mugged I sped off at high speed. I stopped at a gas station and explained my predicament to the owner who drew me a map on a double page of the Los Angeles Times, and within twenty minutes was home safely.
From LA we took the scenic and little used coast road to San Francisco, we lunched at Fisherman's Wharf and continued on to Lake Tahoe. On one side of the street one is in California and no gambling. Cross the street and one is in Nevada with gambling casinos galore. I was pleased we were able to drive off heading for Yosemite National Park.
The little Chrysler Neva handled the hairpin turns over the mountain road admirably. After some hours of driving and crossing a 12,000 foot pass and no sign of habitation I was becoming a little anxious. We had not passed a single petrol station and the gauge showed ¾ empty. Around another bend and there sat an armed man on a horse near a sign “Trespassers Shot on Sight”. I stopped the car, climbed through the fence and said 'before you shoot, could you please tell me where I can find a gas station“. “Keep going another twenty miles” he said, and sure enough we came to a small logging settlement with food, petrol, etc.
We were not disappointed with Yosemite. The scenery is inspirational, waterfalls gushing down from sheer cliffs. We stopped to chat to a couple sitting in their ninety year old Ford car, dressed up in Victorian clothes. They lent us their binoculars to look at tiny dots on the distant cliff face, climbers thousands of feet up a vertical rock wall. It was a two day climb so they had to camp suspended from ropes, hoping there would not be a sudden change in the weather.
Stopped off in Hawaii on our way back home for a few days and then we were very pleased to get home to Sydney. I had not used any of my travellers cheques, as my credit card was accepted everywhere, so I went to my bank in Rose Bay to cash my cheques. As I was putting the cash into a briefcase a young chap wearing a baseball cap grabbed my bag and started to pull, I hanging on as hard as I could. Luckily I had not zipped up my bag, and in the struggle all the money ended up on the bank's floor. The robber did not stop to pick it up but ran out of the bank straight into a getaway car waiting at the kerb. All my cash was intact with the bonus of a cup of tea and biscuit from the bank's staff.
I have been a busy nurse and housekeeper, not a situation conducive to bushwalking. Betty's health took a turn for the worst with partial blockage in the arteries in her legs. The treatment was not completely successful for within six months one artery was blocked again and surgery was required. The result is a scar down her leg, months of pain and suffering and she still walks with great difficulty. Whilst awaiting tests at St. Vincent's I saw a camper van for sale and made an impulse buy. So far the furthest trip has been to take Betty to the Centennial Park duck pond. We will venture further as Betty's health improves.
Finally had a great experience when two whales surfaced near my boat a few miles off South Head. The next event of note will be the birth of my thirteenth grandchild soon, and we can't stop at that number.
Wollemi Needs Your Help
It's taken ten, long years but the draft management plan for Wollemi National Park was released on 2nd. July. A large area (288,340 hectares) has been identified as satisfying criteria for wilderness including 257,520 hectares within Wollemi National Park (just over half the area proposed by conservationists such as the Colo Committee). Areas near Rocky Creek, Deep Pass, Wollangambe Canyon, Culoul Range, Grassy Hill and inholding access routes have been excluded.
Sections of the Capertee, Wolgan, Wollangambe and Colo Rivers and Martindale and Blackwater Creeks have been identified as “wild and scenic rivers” under section 61 of the Act. The wilderness area includes most of the access routes to these rivers and it should be noted that access restrictions will apply to bushwalkers e.g. group recreation within declared wilderness areas will be restricted to a maximum of 8 persons (maximum group numbers for other recreational areas within the national park will be 20 persons).
Although many roads and trails will be closed, other vehicle access routes within the park will be promoted by the Service for public recreational vehicle use. These include the Bob Turners, Mountain Lagoon, Grassy Hill and Old Coach Road tracks. Although the central part of the Hunter Main Trail (in the wilderness area) will be closed, several kilometres near the park boundaries will be open for vehicle use. The maximum group size is 8 vehicles.
We can expect many protests from the outdoor recreation industry and 4WD groups complaining about exclusion from wilderness areas and closing of existing roads and trails. Already the NPWS has received some hundreds of submissions.
The Colong Foundation has asked for submissions to be made to the NPWS supporting the declaration of wilderness but asking for it to be increased to the 430,000 hectares as nominated by the Colo Committee. In particular your submission should;
- support the closure of all roads within the nominated wilderness area, especially the Hunter Range and Wirraba Range 4WD trails
- seek enlargement of the wilderness area by using an approach consistent with those used to identify other wilderness areas
- seek to have wilderness areas threatened by park development and overuse included in the protected wilderness area e.g. the slot canyons in Wollengambe and the streams that drain the Newnes Plateau.
- recommend including areas of high conservation value centred on Mount Pomany in the wilderness declaration, and
- recognise the wilderness qualities of the pagoda complex on the westerly projection of land above Newnes to Mount Dawson
Please make your submission by the 26th September addressed to:
Wollemi Contact Officer
NSW National Park and Wildlife Service
PO Box 95, Parramatta NSW 2124
National Parks - Draft Public Access Strategy
The NPWS has released two documents both of which threaten unwelcome impacts on our national parks. A “Draft Public Access Strategy” discussion paper considers commercialising national parks as they become increasingly promoted as destinations for high impact recreational and commercial tourism. It also offers many concessions to the off-road vehicle lobby by promoting vehicle access as a reasonable means of access to points of interest including a trail system reserved for approved 4WD organisations.
Under the heading of “Commercial Recreation, ” The NPWS has recognised the need to work with commercial operators to develop more streamline licensing systems for tours, adventure activities …”. Followed by, “on a regional basis there is a need to investigate commercial opportunities in national parks…”
Additionally, discussion paper “Recreational Vehicle Touring in NSW National Parks” seeks a “balance between access and conservation” and improved access for a greater number of people under the label of “equity of access”. It states that following NPWS upgrades of trails to 2WD standard “the result to 4WD enthusiasts has been that trails are no longer attractive as the challenge and remoteness are diminished due to increased visitor numbers and ease of access”
This second paper mentions a Recreational Vehicle Touring Group formed within the NPWS Central Region. This group is currently working with the Hunter and Central West Four Wheel Drive Associations to identify a series of touring opportunities from Myall Lakes, Barrington Tops, Coolah Tops, Goobang, Yengo, Abercrombie and Blue Mountains National Parks. Linking these parks would provide touring opportunities from Forster in the mid-north coast to Myall Lakes, across through Barrington to the Central West, Forbes and on to Oberon and the western Blue Mountains.
To make this happen the NPWS is currently conducting field inspections with regional 4WD clubs to examine route options and the introduction of Controlled Access Systems where appropriate. Recreational vehicle groups will need to demonstrate an acceptable code of practice for entry to some sections of the proposed route.
This discussion paper makes the statement that
“ involvement of individuals and associations in the planning process can and has made a difference to final outcomes. In the development of the Kanangra Wilderness important trails for recreational touring were excluded from the wilderness area. The Kowmung River Fire Trail and access to Dingo Dell is a good example of our ability to plan for access which does not compromise the integrity of wilderness”
“ In the establishment of the Coolah Tops NP it is proposed to provide 70 km of maintained trails. At least 50 km of these will be suitable for 4WD access”
Submissions in support of our National parks are urgently required. Please take the time state your opinion. Perhaps your submission could state that you support National parks staying quiet havens of beauty, peace and nature and for this reason alone you object to increased vehicle noise and commercial impacts.
The submission should be addressed to:
NPWS Public Access Strategy
PO Box 1967, Hurstville NSW 2220
Stop Press Stop Press
The informal Presidential Picnic of 18 October has been merged with the Manly Dam barbeque on 19 October to give a bigger, better, brighter, bonza, birthday bash.
SEE INSERT THIS MAGAZINE
Jenolan Caves by Car in the Roaring Forties
by Nancye Alderson
My father applied for a tourist vehicle license to drive his car and take passengers from Katoomba to Jenolan Caves around 1940. He duly received the Tourist Vehicle plate and our seven-seater black Hudson car with velvet-covered seats became a tourist vehicle. My dad usually took five passengers on each trip and if there were any spare seats one of us children were taken to make up the number.
The passengers were picked up at Katoomba Railway Station early in the morning and the return trip cost approximately 25 shillings. Nowadays the return trip costs $48. The first stop was usually Hartley Court House where visitors examined the Court House inside and out and the prisoner's cell was given special attention. In those days we did not understand the meaning of solitary confinement in a tiny cell! Before departure my dad, the driver, and passengers lined up in front of the car to have a photo taken.
We turned off soon after Hartley and stopped at a tea-house for morning tea. I remember well, it was always tea with a large plate of scones with jam and cream. My memories of the tea-house are vague but I expect the tea-house is still there. Some time later we would stop at Hampton for lunch and this was a baked dinner in a quaint old place on the roadside.
When we began the final descent to the Caves the dirt road was narrow and winding. We were scared. If a car descending the mountain met a car ascending, they could only pass at a few points. One vehicle had to reverse back to a small by-pass off the road otherwise there would be a crash and one or both vehicles would go over the edge. The burning question was which driver would give way to the other. It was a long way down the side of the mountain. We always closed our eyes tight on these occasions, it was touch and go as we squeezed past as to whether we went over the edge.
Eventually we did arrive safely at Jenolan Caves and then passengers inspected one of the caves. I remember the archway at the entrance to the Caves with the wallabies hopping around and the Lucas Cave. The Lucas Cave was rather magical to us, it was colourful and unique. The visitors always thought the caves were fascinating they hadn't seen anything like it before. We had time then to wander in the souvenir shop and generally explore the area with its surrounding tracks and bushland. The Caves House always gave the impression of a tasteful old-fashioned hotel miles from anywhere.
Finally, we set off on the homeward journey and it was uphill most of the way. There were no stops for tea, we had to get back as soon as possible. I think it took a good three hours before we were home after a long, exciting day!
Little did I know that years later I would take part in a Colong Caves protest led by Milo Dumphy and in which members of the Sydney Bushwalkers took part. We had our own protest at Jenolan Caves and we were successful in preventing the mining of Colong Caves.
Kahurangi Kapers: Part 2
by Sandy Larson
Here in Part 2 of his Tour de New Zealand, Sandy tackles the Wangapeka Track.
Rain is starting to clear, and I'm recovered enough to tackle the Wangapeka. Luckily I met a remarkable old guy in the hostel. He's in his 70's and works by driving around NZ in his truck and buying old diesel generators and selling them to farmers. He's going out with a generator to a farm near the (western) start of the Wangapeka Track, so I could get a lift with him. A most enjoyable and memorable ride.
Because there was a lot of rain, the rivers in the area are in flood, so I would have to take the wet weather tracks in places, necessitating a longer and more difficult walk. The landowner at the start of the track was no longer allowing walkers (maybe for legal reasons) to cross his land, which was the easiest option. My chauffeur and his farmer friend thought this was a bit unfair. They were about to go see the landowner and use a bit of muscular persuasion to allow me on the land. Thanks anyway, but it's not worth it.
I farewell my two friends and start up the wet weather track about 10.30 am. It is no longer raining, but the track is so waterlogged that my feet are soaked within 5 minutes. The track climbs up and up and up, and is full of mud, tree roots and general scunge. Unlikely that my shoes will go the distance. This sure ain't like the Heaphy.
The wet weather diversion takes about an hour of steep up and down. Then it's more level up the Little Wanganui River, along old logging trails and on a path parallel to the river. It's still very sloshy in most places. The surroundings here and for most of the track are primarily beech forest. Lingering cloud means that I can't see much of the higher country where I'm heading.
Arrive at Little Wanganui Hut about 3 PM , after 12 km or so of walking. The hut, like most of the others on the track, is a smallish place set in a beautiful setting. These huts are not as big or modern as those on the “Great Walks”, but to me that makes them better. On this track I am staying in the huts rather than camping. Mattresses and gas stoves or fireplaces are provided.
At this hut I catch up to a couple of Kiwi girls that I had met earlier in the trip. Also another couple of girls show up later. We agree to continue the rest of the track together because of the potentially hazardous nature of the rivers. Someone digs up a Monopoly set and we get a game going in the evening.
Still partly cloudy but not raining, and the track is still wet. 9.5 km from Little Wanganui Hut to Taipo Hut. We all get going about 8.45 am. Continued up the Little Wanganui River (which today should have been called Big). At one stage we decide to avoid the wet weather track and ford the river a couple of times. The crossings are a bit nervy at times, fast flowing water up to our crotch & having to hang onto each other, but we survive.
We eventually leave the river and start a long steep climb up to the Little Wanganui Saddle, at 1110 m the highest point on the track. Lingering cloud negates all but the most fleeting glimpses of the surrounding peaks and valleys. However near the saddle are a couple of extremely pretty small lakes which are worthy of a rest stop. A break in the cloud exposes a beautiful view of Stag Flat below the saddle.
A quick steep descent to Stag Flat where we have a cup of tea, then a more gradual descent through bush along the Taipo River, to Taipo Hut at 3.30 PM. Good wash and clothes rinse in the creek. My trusty Volleys, which have carried me all around NZ so far, including the sharp and rocky Tongariro Circuit, have gone to that bushwalk in the sky. My toes are now sticking out the side and putting holes in my socks. Into the pack and out with my new joggers.
I cook up and eat an obscenely large meal of rice, vegetables and salami; nearly fills my 2 litre billy, and raises a few wisecracks from the others. Long distance cycling and walking does that to one's appetite.
An interesting comment from the hut book, is that one can walk all day over steep passes and through rivers, and once in the hut can barely make the 4 steps up to the bedroom.
Among the hut guests we met a guy and his 2 daughters, aged about 6 & 8. The kids were carrying their own gear and were keen as mustard. Most encouraging.
The track is getting a bit drier now and the rivers dropping. Still a little cloud on the tops, but no rain. 16 km to Stone Hut today. We descend further down the Taipo River through more forest. Then across a swing bridge, up across a neck of land, and into and up the Karamea River valley. At this point we are quite high above the river, and have good views up and down the valley.
Helicopter Flat Hut is in another postcard setting, and a perfect place to stop for lunch.
Onward upstream toward the Wangapeka Saddle. There are a couple of fords here, but not as intimidating as those on previous days. Also a couple of creek crossings are provided with 3-wire bridges (only a single wire to put your feet on). The creeks are low but I try the bridges just for fun.
The track up to Wangapeka Saddle has to detour over the tops of a couple of recent slips, which means some steep climbing in places. The saddle itself is a much easier climb than the day before, but very little view from it. From here it's an easy descent, across a huge old slip, and to Stone Hut.
I'm eating so much I'm starting to run out of food, but will have just enough. The girls ran out of loo paper and are reading their paperback fast so they can rip out the pages as they go. I offer a spare part roll, and it's grabbed as if by a starving beggar.
We watch a Blue duck, rare outside of wilderness areas, cruising in the river outside the hut, quite a treat (visual not gastronomic).
The sky finally clears for the last day on the track. Good views back to Mt. Patriarch etc. It's 16 km to the end of the track. The walk now is easy downstream, with small ups & downs, along the Wangapeka River. A couple of hours find us at Cecil King's Hut, arguably the prettiest on the track, where we stop for lunch. It's an old style slab hut, with a woodshed, fireplace and antlers decorating the outside wall. It was used by King until his death in the early 1980's, and has been recently restored.
On a bit further past King's Creek Hut, then the valley opens out to mixed bush and meadows, mostly flat to the track end at Rolling Junction.
My Nelson friend had suggested that I could phone him to come and pick me up, rather than spend $50 on a taxi. There being no rides here, I found the phone in the shelter (the only free phone in NZ I think), and gave him a call. We ate the last of our La Pasta meals while waiting for our lift to Nelson.
The Wangapeka is certainly different to the Heaphy. It's steeper, more rugged, more challenging, more spectacular, and less tramped. There isn't the variation of the Heaphy, but you feel that you've accomplished more, and in good weather the views would be unbeatable. Both tracks have the disadvantage of somewhat remote start and finish points.
A couple of days relaxing in Nelson, then on my bike again to St Arnaud, the West Coast and south. But that's another story.
Bert Carlon 1925-1997
Albert Arthur Carlon, Bert, to those that knew him of Carlon's Farm, died on 23 July 1997, aged 73 years, and was buried on 30 July at Blackheath.
The Carlon family and Carlon's farm have always been special to SBW from our very beginning. Carlon's farm has been the start and finish of many SBW walks. In the very early days of the Club, walks would often finish with a meal or tea and scones at the farm, before the haul out via Nellie's Glen or the Devil's Hole to catch the train at Katoomba back to Sydney. Bert continued the association with SBW and was an honorary member of SBW.
Carlon's farm at Green Gully in the Megalong Valley was started in 1903 by Bert's father Norbert and grandfather Bernard Carlon. The farm ran cattle in and around the Cox River in what is now the National Park.
Bert Carlon: 1925-1997, husband, father and grandfather, at peace.
Weekend in the South East Forests
by Kay Chan
Bill Holland made an announcement at the club rooms: The Australian Conservation Foundation were to run a weekend in the South East Forests for walks leaders in an effort to encourage interest in the protection of these areas. Anyone interested to contact him.
Tony and I were interested so a few phone calls and about a week later we found ourselves heading south towards Bendelong for the Queens Birthday long weekend.
We were to meet at Phil Dodd's Environment Centre located just outside of Bendelong. Phil runs science and ecology field trips for school groups and had on hand comfortable bunkhouse accommodation for our first night. Bill and Frances Holland were already in residence when we arrived and we were soon followed by other interested walkers from SPAN, Ramblers, Canberra and the University of Western Sydney Bushwalking clubs.
Phil was a congenial host and soon had us all seated around a roaring campfire. The talk soon turned to walks… and before long it was announced that it was 1.00 am and perhaps we should all retire for the night!
Saturday dawned bright and sunny. We packed up our gear and set off for our first destination, which was the Conjola State Forest nearby. Andrew Wong of the Wilderness Society in Canberra was our guide and he led us into what he explained was typical old growth coastal forest. Huge Blackbutts, Ironbarks and Turpentine trees filled the dense forest. Some as old as 500 years!. Occasionally we spotted a tree painted with the letter `H' in bright yellow paint. Andrew explained that these trees had been identified by the forest authorities as likely to be inhabited by native fauna. When the forests are logged, these trees are retained for the protection of any remaining wildlife. Andrew invited us to consider their suitability as shelter and a source of food when the rest of the forest had been cleared.
We moved onto a pristine creek deep in a rainforest gully. This area was thick with coachwood trees, vines and bangalow palms. There were also signs of early logging: huge stumps, almost two metres in diameter, bearing the notches where loggers of days gone by placed pegs on which to stand whilst felling the trees with handheld saws. We were amazed to learn that the local council intended to turn this beautiful rainforest into a super refuse tip!
On this depressing note we returned to our cars and headed off in convoy to Boyd Lookout, our venue for lunch. A pleasant road, winding through tall Turpentine trees, took us to the lookout from where we had expansive views over Conjola State Forest and the coast. There are a couple of walking trails here. Unfortunately we did not have time to sample these, as following our picnic lunch, we were to head off to our next destination, the Croobyar State Forest. Here we meandered along a narrow fern fringed forestry road before finally reaching Mt Kingiman, where a clearing formed by an old forestry 'dumpsite' was our campsite for the night.
Before setting up camp, we embarked on a short climb to the top of Mt Kingiman, where we were rewarded with extensive views to the east, south and west as a golden sun sank to the horizon. Andrew was keen to vary our return journey, so squeezing his party down through a hole in the rocks we wandered down through the south side of the hill through lush forest back to our campsite, where we set up camp while Alex prepared a tasty bush dinner for all us.
Sunday dawned another perfect winters day. Andrew led us back into the old growth forests of Mt Kingiman to what I can only describe as a “lost world”. Dimly lit. Huge Turpentine trees. Stinging trees with enormous leaves. Cabbage tree palms and crops of moss covered rocks thick with orchids. Everything festooned with twisted vines as thick as a man's arm. A giant stairway of moss covered stepping stones led us deeper into the stillness of the forest. We stopped a while to soak up the atmosphere before returning to the modern day world and a climb up Pigeon House Mountain for lunch.
Pigeon House was alive with tourists. It was a long weekend after all! We joined the throngs of tourist for our climb to the top and a chance encounter with fellow club members, Maureen and David Carter. From this wonderful vantage point were views of our more well known stomping grounds, Talaterang and the Castle. Andrew pointed out the areas we had visited, as well as our destination for the night: Monga State Forest. He spoke of plans to link the Deua and Budawang National Parks with a strip of this forest, presently under Forestry management.
En route to Monga we called in at a recently logged forest site. The site had been under the close scrutiny of local conservationists and was an example of a sensitively managed logging operation. Only a few isolated 'habitat' trees remained. Underfoot was a mess of ploughed up dirt, broken tree branches and debris. More puzzling, several huge felled trees abandoned in the dirt. Was this to be the fate of the beautiful “lost world” we had visited earlier that day?
It was a long drive southwards to Monga State Forest and darkness fell as we made our way to the campsite. A fallen tree blocked the narrow forest road, however a bush saw and a few strong men quickly dispatched this obstacle and we were soon enjoying another of Alex's bush dinners around the campfire. The hoot of a rare and endangered Sooty Owl signalled bedtime.
Next day we got off to a slow start, some of the party sleeping inordinately well. In fact totally oblivious to the clatter and chatter that accompanied breaking camp! A green tent camouflaged the laggard well. However once identified, the occupant was swiftly roused, rushed through breakfast and we were on our way to a closer look at Monga.
The forest roads appeared to have been little used. Huge ferns spread over the road, brushing the cars as we passed. Another fallen tree. More sawing . We pulled up close to the turnoff to the Oakey Creek firetrail. Here was more old growth forest. We headed downhill until we came to a huge Brown Barrel tree. It took at least half a dozen of us with outstretched arms to encircle the tree. How many hundreds of years would it take to obtain such a girth? At the base of the tree was a small hole. A `habitat' tree? Try it and see. A brave soul ventured in. I followed, wriggling on my stomach. Yes! There was plenty of room to accommodate us both. A narrow 'window' allowed just the tiniest slither of light, not enough to light up the interior. What a pity we had no torches for a better look up into the heart of the tree.
We continued a little further along the steep hill until we came to a large stand of ancient Pinkwood trees, their small leaves thickly carpeting the forest floor. Dotted amongst the trees were many equally ancient tree ferns, Dicksonia Antartica. Many had fallen to the ground under their own weight. New trees had sprung from the remains of the old and in turn fallen to the ground, succouring yet another new growth. So, over time, the tree ferns slowly made their way downhill.
In this peaceful location we enjoyed a last picnic lunch together, before thanking Andrew for sharing these very special places with us. Thanks also to Peter Wright and Alex of the Australian Conservation Foundation for organising the weekend. We wish them every success in their efforts to save these beautiful areas from logging. If you would like to visit these places for yourself, Bill Holland and Tony Manes will be exploring more of the area over the October long weekend. See your walks programme for details!
Social Notes for September
Wednesday 24: Sydney Observatory is opening its doors and the night skies to SBW for a 2 hour tour. Weather permitting we'll view the stars and/or an audio visual presentation. Cost is $6, pay at the door, BUT bookings are essential. To book, leave a message with Suzanne (9964 3153) by 9PM, 16.09.97. No calls at work. Meet at 7.30 PM Milsons Point steps to walk the bridge, or at 7.45 PM at the Observatory.
General Meeting: August 1997
There were around 18 members present when the President, presiding, declared the meeting open at around 2019. There were apologies for Dot Butler and Denise Shaw. We also called for welcome four new members, Marcia Corderoy, Peter Cunningham, Leigh Delbridge and Jitka Kopriva. Peter was the only no-show. The minutes of the previous meeting were read and received, with no matters arising.
Correspondence included a renewal notice from YHA, a letter from Joan Rigby raising some points about Coolana and the 70th anniversary activities, a copy of the minutes of a recent Confederation meeting and a notice of departure overseas from Margaret Carey, ie temporarily.
The treasurer's report revealed that we opened with a balance of $7,274, received income of $2,769, spent $1,044 and closed with a balance of $8,999.
The walks secretary then rose to greet the assembled throng and present the walks report. We began with a flashback, often characteristic of a bad trip, so we hear; to Carol Beales' walk of 29 June 1997. There were 14 on the walk and conditions were wet. Trailing a stream of burnt and damaged neurones we returned to the 11, 12, 13 July and no report for Tony Manes' weekend trip to Newnes area. Lynne Yeaman had 12 on her walk down to Junction Rock and Ken Smith led a party of 4 in fine weather on his part exploratory walk out from Glenbrook on the Saturday. Michelle, who must by now be well on the way to being regarded as a hatchet job expert, told the assembly of the walk and concluded by saying that wherever it was they went Ken continued to pretend he knew where they were. Sunday saw Ken cancel his proposed rock hopping, rock scrambling trip in the same area, but Don Brooks did lead his Parramatta River foreshores walk through rain and wind despite a high drop out rate. It seems 26 people phoned to notify their intent to attend but only 18 showed up at the start. Don's adversity training was further enhanced when a prospective, on what Don described as a dead easy section of the walk, found the going too difficult or strenuous and had to be evacuated. Bill Hope went overseas on business at short notice so Carol Lubbers led his Golden Stairs to Wentworth Falls walk. The party of 6 travelled at a brisk pace in the cold and wet conditions that prevailed that day.
Ian Rannard had 4 on his midweek walk in Glenbrook Gorge on a pleasant day.
Maurice Smith led a party of 7 on his part exploratory walk down Nayook Creek over the weekend of 18, 19, 20 July. The exploratory zeal appears to have been well tempered however. They started out Saturday morning, camped around 1530 Saturday, and came out early on Sunday. All of which is preferable to leathery dried apricots for Sunday's evening meal. On the Sunday Anne Maguire had 17 on her Grand Canyon trip in beautiful weather and Eddie Collins' walk to Splendour rock attracted 20 starters, with the party returning to the cars at 1700. Patrick James lifted the veil and took the party of 7 who turned up for his mystery walk to Magdala Gully in the Springwood area. There were no details available for Maurie Bloom's cycle trip to Warragamba Dam.
Wilf Hilder's midweek walk on the Thursday remains a mystery, there were no details available to the meeting.
Wilf's walk over the weekend of 25, 26, 27 July was not so lucky. There were lots of details, but the reporters disagreed or were uncertain of their recollections. As far as we can determine the trip went, to program. All else is confusion. Ken Smith's Saturday walk out from Leura that weekend did not go. Ron Watters' walk out to Mount Gibraltar from Megalong Crossing that day attracted 18 starters and was described as enjoyable. Sunday, Errol Sheedy had 13 people out enjoying good weather and wildflowers on his Bundeena to Waterfall walk and Tony Crichton had 16 on his Blue Gum Forest walk..
Ian Rannard's midweek walk on the Tuesday had the 6 starters returning later than usual into the world of crowds and schoolchildren that they usually manage to avoid.
Paul McCann's Wollemi National Park walk over the weekend of 1, 2, 3, 4, August did not go. Saturday the 2nd saw Greg Bridge leading a party of 11 through a beautiful sunny day on his walk to Mount Caley in the Blue Mountains. There was no report for Alan Donnelley's mountain bike trip from Woodford to Glenbrook the same day. Tony Crichton had 7 on his walk out from Carlon's Farm on the Sunday in sunny conditions. Alan Mewett reported a lovely walk for his Wondabyne to Woy Woy trip that day. He also remarked on the ratio of phoned expressions of intent compared to the number who actually turned up at the start of the walk. The ratio ended up at 40 to 25, just for the record. There was no report for Wilf's midweek walk on the Thursday.
Morie Ward encountered pleasantly cool conditions on his Mount Paralyser trip over the weekend of 8, 9, 10 August. The party of 8 experienced some uncertainty due to falling snow on the Friday evening and on the Saturday morning the trip was rerouted along the Uni Rover Trail to avoid the worst of it. Tom Wenman's Saturday walk in Ku-ring-gai Chase saw more clement conditions, with a sunny day and a gentle walk delivering the party from the fastness of the park at around 1515. The party of 2 on Ken Smith's walk that day was closer to the action at Katoomba. They had some sunshine but manoeuvred to avoid the patches of snow on the ground. David Trinder's Sunday walk from Victoria Falls to Evans Lookout had 12 starters and no other details. No report for Bill Hope's trip from Carlon's Farm that day.
Ian Rannard reported a party of 7 on his midweek walk out from Springwood on the Tuesday in sunny conditions. This concluded the walks reports.
Confederation report indicated that the latest meeting had been brief. The AEAM process on access in National Parks is nearing completion, there is an idea that walking corridors may widen and that increased traffic will be permitted in to Yerranderie.
Conservation report indicated that a draft plan for public access to National Parks is out for comment. John Poleson who attended a recent AEAM meeting as our delegate reported on the proceedings to the meeting. The overall impression was that the particular meeting was for show rather than to provide any substantial bridge for communication.
When the call went out for general business there was none, so we moved to the announcements; the meeting at around 2134
Eighty Years of Conservation
The Colong Foundation is presenting an exhibition of photographs spanning eighty years of conservation from 1920 to 1997 in September -October this year. The exhibition highlights the work of Alan Rigby, foundation SBW member and Henry Gold also of SBW. The exhibition will be held in the Fountain Court, N.S.W. Parliament House, Macquarie Street, Sydney, and will only be open on weekdays. Dates and times are 22 Sept. to 3 Oct. 9 am to 5 pm, with 9 pm closing on 23, 24 and 25 Sept. only.
Coolana is located in the Kangaroo Valley about 200 km south of Sydney. Access is via either the Princes Highway or Hume Highways.
The property is on the Tallowa Dam Road, about 100 metres west of the intersection with Budgong Road. Previously Budgong Road was known as Mount Scanzi Road.
By the Hume Highway, about 200 km from Sydney, via Mittagong, Bowral, Moss Vale, Fitzroy Falls and Kangaroo Valley, turn into Budgong Road, 2nd right after Hampden Bridge.
By the Princes Highway, about 185 km from Sydney. Turn off to Kangaroo Valley at either Berry or Bomaderry.
The general location of the Land (grid H7) and access routes are shown on NRMA map Southern Highlands. The Land is located at the junction of the two western CMA maps (scale 1:25000).
A Mania for Tassie
by David Trinder
I had the pleasure of walking the Tasmanian “Overland Track” in February this year with a small group led by Kay Chan. The walk and its side trips took 7 days and I found the country so interesting that I have decided to revisit the area with like minded SBW's next February. I intend to walk from Cradle Mountain to Lake St Clair with side trips to Cradle Mountain itself, Lake Will, Mount Ossa and the Acropolis.
This National Park, included in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, is one of three remaining temperate wilderness areas on earth, and is home to some unique animals, birds and plants plus some unusual rock formations. Endemic to Tasmania are the Yellow wattlebird and the Black currawong, Tasmanian pademelon, King Billy pine and Leatherwood trees. The land was carved out by ice over three glaciations, the last being 20,000 years ago.
Rainfall is high, the ground is moist, vegetation is lively and mosses grow on everything below the tree cover. Most days in the year are wet; uncomfortable for the bush walker but the landscape is at its best in the wet. Mid-summer gives the best chance of fine days for the walk.
The track is not hilly, it is boardwalk most of the way, there are no quagmires but the packs will be heavy. We must carry stoves, fuel and tents (these will be shared) plus food for seven days and the correct clothes and equipment for wet, cold or hot weather. I will be attempting to keep my pack weight below 20 kgs.
The party limit is 12 and I should conclude the group by mid November; that is before the summer walks program is published. I expect to fly to Launceston on a Friday morning, say 6th Feb, and to travel by bus to Cradle Mountain on Saturday morning to start the walk. We will spend seven days in the park and come out on the following Saturday morning. A bus will then take us to Hobart and we will fly home on the Sunday. Airfares, two nights in backpacker accommodation, buses, the Lake St Clair ferry and park fees should cost about $520.
by Patrick James
The astute readers will have noticed this issue has come out one week early; the less astute will have wondered if their month was running fast. The reason is simple, next month the magazine will be about 2 weeks early, not because of daylight saving but because it is the 70th Anniversary, issue of the Sydney Bushwalker and it has to come out before the 70th celebrations start on 10 October. The 70th celebrations are open to all SBW members, prospective members, ex-members and associated people (partners, family, etc.) The celebrations are people oriented, tripping down memory lane, the good times together, the friends from then and the friends from now.
Next month besides being our birthday it is also a significant birthday for Walks Secretary Eddy Giacomel; and now Eddy life begins, you'd better believe it!
By the way, I'm now down to my last few articles to be published. November may well be a magazine with many white pages with silly little notices saying “this page intentionally left blank”. As a matter of policy, and except for special occasions, I do not republish articles for the sake of filling pages.
Information Wanted: As I've been reading the magazine archive some matters have come to light which need the shedding of further light. Please write to the editor, reference to magazine articles on these subjects would be appreciated.
The Hanley Cup. Who was Mr. Hanley, when was the cup first contested, what are the details of the contest, everything and anything. When did we start calling Day-O. Why Day-O and not something else. The Mandleberg Cup and the verb to mandleberg. How did it start and where is the cup. Where (and when) were we, when we had the long brass Sydney Bush Walkers name plate. Where is Bushwalkers Basin?
Final Say: Colong Foundation exhibition of photographs: conservation from 1920 to 1997, Fountain Court, N.S.W. Parliament House, Macquarie Street, Sydney, see page 15 and also The Sydney Bushwalker: July and August for details.