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||Elizabeth Miller 1 The Babette, Castlecrag, 2068 Telephone 9958 7838|
|Production Manager||Frances 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||Bill Capon|
|Social Secretary||Peter Dalton|
|Membership Secretary||Barry Wallace|
|New Members Secretary||Jennifer Giacomel|
|Conservation Secretary||Bill Holland|
|Magazine Editor||Patrick James|
|Committee Members||Elwyn Morris & Louise Verdon|
|Delegates to Confederation||Jim Callaway & Ken Smith|
August 1998 Issue, No. 765:
|New Zealand's Northland||Brian Holden||2|
|Ticks, Ticks, Ticks||F Frog||3|
|What does it Take?||Maurice Smith||5|
|August 1998 General Meeting||Barry Wallace||6|
|Libby's Diary||Libby Harrington||9|
|It wasn't bushwalking||John Carlson||11|
|Clubnight Reports||Elwyn Morris||12|
|Now Its Mid Week Camping||Bill Holland||13|
P 7 Willis's Walkabouts
P 8 Eastwood Camping Centre
P 14 U Relax 4 We'll Drive
Back Cover Paddy Pallin
New Zealand's Northland
by Brian Holden
New Zealand is demarcated into demographic regions and not provinces as is often believed. Northland is the northernmost region and is that long finger of land sticking out from the top. At the end of 1997 I did a cycle tour spending the entire time in Northland. It’s an area Oz bushwalkers rarely, if ever, go near. The region does, however get plenty of tourists to its famous Bay of Islands.
(As a matter of interest: this private cycle tour was a re-enactment of what was supposed to be an organised ride which went disastrously wrong for the organisers (Far Out Events). About 30,000 brochures were distributed throughout Oz and NZ resulting in 21 takers. The event was called off.)
I was fortunate to spend the first 8 days on a farm at Pahi (Par-hee). By the way - all Maori place names end in a vowel. The waterfront farm was in a setting straight off a postcard with its rolling grounds dotted with magnificent old trees. The farmer had given up on trying to make a decent living out of farming and had become a practitioner of “back adjustments for both man and animal with cosmic assistance”. He did not advertise and yet his phone hardly stopped ringing. Most calls were from people with horses with suspected bad backs. I felt I was experiencing the type of culture which my great grandfather lived in - and I was charmed by the experience. When I expressed my astonishment to my cycling companion (an ex-Kiwi) she just said “this is New Zealand”. I was under the illusion that our cultures were identical - but that was based on my previous trips being confined to the city centres and the walking tracks.
Northland is Kauri country and a major focus in the area is on the history of the loggers and gumgetters. Logs are being dug up from old swamps and have lain there for 40,000 to 50,000 years. A lot of furniture is made locally from these petrified forests. In a museum at Matakohe there is painted on a wall the periphery of the largest Kauri ever found. I stared in amazement at a circle 88 feet in circumference! Utensils and ornaments made from ancient Kauri gum was a sizeable industry in the old days. The biggest living trees in NZ are also found in this region.
As this is the northernmost part of the country, the region is the warmest and for this reason is attracting the wealthier Kiwis into some posh home building. There are plenty of sites with views to choose from. If I had money I did not know what to do with I think I would be into it.
I spent two days as a guest in Waipu (Why-poo). What a difference to the feeling a tourist has towards a foreign country if he is taken in by some locals! I was given a day out at the Dargaville Cup which I assumed was the premier event of the year. There may have been 400 there. Without elevated seating all we could see of the horses was when they were coming in to the finishing post. I placed bets with little interest from then on what happened to my money. It was the quaint experience that I was there for. Dargaville was one town without a Maori name which are generally so hard for left-brained people to absorb, I could not repeat where I had been - even if I had heard the name only moments before. Dargaville has the river which the locals describe as flowing “upside down”. That means it’s muddy.
When my companion and I finally got onto our saddles we spent the following nights at Whangarei (Fung-er-ay), Paihia (Par-hear), Kerikeri, Kaitaia (Kat-eye), Kohukohu and Opononi. No shortage of hills if you like grinding up hills. There was a down-hill run 5 km long (wheeeee!). There was one trick I learned on the road. If it’s time for a break, you knock on the door of a place with a nice front lawn for permission to sit on the lawn. Permission is not only given but out comes the coffee and cake. My companion was embarrassed by my cheek but hospitable people enjoy the opportunities to express that hospitality. It’s a win-win situation.
The YHA hostel at Whangarei was good and at the top of a very steep climb. This part of Northland looked prosperous with Whangarei as the commercial centre for the region. It is a haven for globe-trotting yachts to get repairs and supplies. There was a forest of masts in the river. A few of those Yankee boats must have been worth over a million.
The YHA hostel at Paihia is good. The town is a resort town on the Bay of Islands. Waitangi Treaty House is nearby. This was a building imported from Sydney to impress the Maories when the signed away their land for the Queen’s protection (from whom?). I caught the ferry to Russel which was the original capital of the colony.
The YHA hostel at Kerikeri is good. A very pretty little town on a river. The country’s oldest house is there. Kemp House is a fine homestead in top condition. The YHA hostel in Kaitaia was good and managed by a real character. One great advantage of cycling over bushwalking is that you can get stuck into a big supermarket at the end of the day (such as a town the size of this one has).
Up to this point we did not do the tour alone as we and 8 others who had already paid for air fares got together after the organised tour had been aborted. The next day was a scheduled rest day and the 10 of us took a bus from Kaitaia to Cape Reinga which is the very top end of NZ. It is here that the Tasman meets the Pacific and, as there is a difference in the levels of the two bodies of water, one can see the chop where they meet (known, of course, as the Meeting of the Waters). The bus driver did not shut up and was determined to get across every bit of knowledge he had. He even described manufacturing processes as we passed pockets of industry. Not as boring as it might seem as his microphone was hand-held and the curves were negotiated with one hand. This also meant that when he wanted to point something out there was no hand on the wheel at all. We planned an ambush at lunch to collectively tick him off. But we piked out. He was such a nice guy. His next lot of passengers can do the job for us.
There were too many racers in the group so my companion and I dropped back a day by staying overnight at Kohukohu. Kohukohu was too off the beaten track for a hostel. The village is situated on Hokianga Harbour. In the old days the settlements around the harbour were isolated from the rest of the country but communicated with each other by boat. These residents became the “Hokianga people”. The guests’ sitting room in the small hotel is actually the publican’s lounge room - so I watch TV surrounded by family photos. The publican served us dinner in his own dining room dressed in an apron over singlet, shorts and thongs. Nevertheless, it was comfortable and clean. For some unknown reason the publican’s Maori wife gave us a discount which resulted in this stay over being cheaper than any hostel. The village is but a run-down remnant of a much larger town which was here in the last century. Many of the timber houses seemed to be occupied by hippies. I doubt if many here had jobs.
The only other stay-over which was not the usual good YHA hostel was at Opononi which was a type of pseudo-resort. By that I mean it was in a top natural setting but the money was not finding its way there as it did at Paihia, The YHA hostel here had burned down and a small and cramped hostel owned by a Swiss was where we ended up at. The owner once stayed here while passing through as a backpacker and decided to buy it. I noticed a lot of young northern Europeans travelling through. I particularly remember a conversation I had with two Germans at Opononi. They said that the long hours they were working at home was killing them. Sign of the times everywhere!
The Maori population of the region is about 40% and it goes without saying that Northland is economically depressed. Old Kingswoods rattling along everywhere. I quickly got to recognise the difference between the style of a Maori church and other Christian churches. This was an indication that they like to do their own thing. I saw a number of small cemeteries with all of the headstones facing away from the road as if looking in a specific direction. Is there a Maori Mecca? I must find out some day. I saw a Maori funeral and it was big and made up of people of all ages. They obviously have a sense of community we seem to have largely lost.
Northland was a memorable experience and I’ll be back.
Ticks Ticks Ticks Ticks
Stephen Doggett¸ (Clinical Microbiology Unit, Westmead Hospital and Dept. of Medical Entomology, Sydney Uni. who spoke to us early this year has given the following details.
There is a variety of information under the link titled “Fact Sheets” including Ticks and Tick-borne diseases (such as Lyme disease and Tick Typhus), Mosquitoes and Mosquito-borne diseases (eg Ross River virus, Barmah Forest virus, etc). There are also a variety of photographs under the link titled “Photos”, information on insect-borne diseases from overseas under the “Travel Bug”, links to other entomology and health related sites (naturally under “Links”), Frequently-Asked questions, plus more. Currently there are 70 pages and over 60 high quality JPEG images.
Letter to the Editor
We in Frog Hollow, who as you would well know are an endangered species, respectfully request right of reply to the sentiments expressed in the July issue of your literary (or is it littery?) journal. We nobly pass over the grammatical aberrations in your froggy recipe, but this should not be taken as tacit approval of the consumption of frogs legs in any form. Indeed we urge that you cease this barbarous practice and switch to escargots immediately.
We cannot, however, pass over your computer generated verse.
Machines that write and scan and spell?
To us poor frogs in pond and well,
'Tis too beguiling to be true;
our separate list made just for you,
will demonstrate the numerous flaws
in verse purporting to be yours.
The tadpoles down the creek a way,
desiring to join in the fray
have exercised their rhythmic skill
and smoothed it out, by ink and quill,
for critics, with their beady aim,
must watch their syntax just the same.“
The Editor's verse; Tadpole Version:
“Dear Correspondent, wet and cold,
green frog or maybe hoary toad,
or yet confectionery sweet,
a chocolate frog so nice to eat?
No matter, for I know you well!
But what's this sorry tale you tell?
Fear not machines and techniques new
your kind is rare, your numbers few.
We'll help convert your brilliant thoughts
to matrices of ones and noughts.”
I believe that the tadpoles have done a good job on some very unpromising material. It now rolls splendidly off the tongue and it ends on a positive note. The tadpoles would like to have the last word, and I agree with their sentiments:
Our version we admit, please note,
may not attract a single vote!
Then we'll forsake the gizmo band
and write our message in the sand.
Freddo, Frog Hollow.
Readers may be assured that, chastened by recent correspondence, we will do whatever we can to protect Freddo and his ilk from extinction. As he so eloquently points out, they are indeed a scarce resource. Editor.
What Does It Take?
By Maurice Smith
I am writing to express my concern about the club’s inaction in offering to members the opportunity to take out personal injury insurance through the club to cover costs arising from injuries sustained when participating in club activities.
Right now I must let readers know that I have a strong interest in this topic. In The Confederation of Bushwalking Clubs (the state bushwalking co-ordinating body) I hold the position of Insurance Officer. This means that I have the responsibility to negotiate insurance cover on behalf of Confederation’s clubs and to administer the insurance scheme.
The personal injury insurance covers just about all of the activities undertaken by the club. It provides cheap cover for the things that Medicare doesn’t cover. Don’t get me wrong. If you have an accident on a club outing when you have this cover you won’t get rich, but the insurance cover will help the pain in your hip pocket nerve. This insurance covers many things that Medicare doesn’t cover, in addition to providing death and disability cover. I can personally vouch for the effectiveness of the insurance cover. Last year this insurance cover paid out nearly $700 to me towards various costs incurred by me as a result of a serious ankle injury sustained on a bushwalk. These costs were for items not covered by Medicare, nor by my personal health insurer MBF. My personal injury insurance cover was taken through another club of which I am a member.
Bushwalkers personal injury insurance cover is cheap, at $2 per member for 12 months cover it costs no more than the cost of an ice cream cone that you might buy at the end of a walk. It is a mere pittance. Yet it can assist in the event of an expensive accident.
Now, some of the more conservative people in the club might claim that it is up to each member to look after their own affairs, including organising their own accident insurance cover. However, no member will be able to buy this level of superb cover for this cost. The bushwalkers insurance cover includes emergency transport, helicopter rescues, for example! Surely it can’t be too difficult to alert members and prospective members about the availability of personal injury insurance cover.
This personal injury cover travels with the member If you have this cover you have personal injury cover when you walk with any other Confederation affiliated club anywhere in the world, except in USA and Canada.
Each year Confederation invites clubs to take up personal injury insurance for their members. On several occasions over the past few years I have supplied details of the insurance cover to various committee members. What has been the result? Nothing has happened! If you want to influence the club’s attitude on this matter, speak to a committee member. Start asking the obvious question “why aren’t we told about this insurance?”
Why can’t the committee put a “flyer” in the club magazine, informing members about the insurance cover. It would not be too hard to have a personal injury insurance box on the annual membership renewal notice. What about when prospective members sign up, why not have optional injury insurance on the application form?
As Sydney’s oldest club, SBW has a proud heritage. By just about any measure SBW is Sydney’s premier bushwalking club. Yet, in the humble opinion of a relatively new member, in this area we are failing to provide a benefit to our members. Why is it too hard?
So far as I have seen, the club does not tell its members, not its prospective members, that this insurance cover is available. You have to be in the know. Why doesn’t the club actively publicise the availability of this cover?
Maurice's letter from last month nearly got lost in cyber space. Confederation Insurance is available to all as was noted in July's general meeting, see p.6 and also last page for details. Editor.
July 1998 General Meeting
By 20.13 hours some 16 or so members had accumulated in the meeting room, so your scribe, as acting chair, called the meeting to order and began proceedings. There were apologies for Alex Colley, Eddy and Jennifer Giacomel, Fran Holland and Don Wills. New members Diane Jardine, Andrew Craig and Steve Bittinger were called for welcome, with Andrew as a no-show and the others being welcomed in the usual way.
The minutes of the June general meeting were read and received with no matters arising.
Correspondence included two letters from Alex Colley, one regarding the bill for recent repairs to the club's printer and t'other regarding negotiations for a talk in the clubrooms by Peter Treseder. There were also letters from Don Brooks, from Roger Treagus regarding a proposed walking track from Elvina Bay to West Head, from the NSW premier, Bob Carr, regarding the Earth Sanctuaries lease of Canyon Colliery, and from Frank Rigby protesting at having incorrectly received a *SUBS OWING* marker on his magazine label. There were also letters to Pam Allen the NSW Minister for Conservation regarding the proposed lease of the Quarantine Station premises, and to Bronwyn Bishop the relevant Commonwealth Minister, regarding foreshores access problems. We also wrote to our new members.
In contradistinction to last meeting, where we had a treasurer's report with no treasurer, this month, we had a treasurer with no treasurer's report. Watch this space next month.
The walks reports began at the weekend of 13, 14 June with Alan Wells reporting a great walk and new craters for the party of 6 on his Saturday start weekend walk in the Wollangambe area. There were no details for Zol Bodlay's Orange Grove walk on the Saturday, but Nigel Weaver reported 12 starters, great views and rock carvings for the 12 on his Sunday walk and Roger Treagus reported a free morning tea, courtesy of the YHA, for the 16 bodies on his walk in the West Head area the same day.
David West's midweek walk on the Tuesday had 11 starters.
Stages 17 and 18 of Wilf's Great Illawarra Walk (deferred from an earlier weekend so as to not match the walks program for the weekend of 20, 21 June) was conducted in bitterly cold weather, threatening, weather. There were seven on the Saturday stage and only two on the Sunday stage. The rain held off until lunchtime on the Sunday. Bill Capon, ever the master of understatement, described his Megalong Valley walk that weekend as boring for the five who attended. There were no details for Lucy Moore's Glenbrook Gorge walk of Maurice Smith's Morton National Park walk on the Sunday.
Ian Rannard had six on his midweek walk around Pittwater in wet and cold conditions
The weekend of 26, 27, 28 June saw Wayne Steele leading a party of eight on his Budawangs walk. There was no report for Jan Mohandas' walk out from Kanangra the same weekend. Of the day walks, Wilf Hilder had 14 on his walk on the upper Georges River. The river was slightly up but the day was beautiful and they visited ruins and a Buddhist Temple, with lunch at Frears Crossing. Bill Holland had 13 out on his walk in Kuringai National Park. The day was described as beautiful, but the extensive burnt out area above Coasters Retreat drew contrast to a less gentle time.
David West had six on his midweek walk historical walk from Glebe to Newtown on the Tuesday. Whether by accident or design is unclear, but they managed to lose Bill Capon along the way on what was described as a beautiful day.
Wilf's programmed section of the Great South Walk from Sydney to Canberra over the period 4th to 12th of July was deferred to another time.
Maureen and David Carter had six on their walk out from Kanangra Walls over the weekend of 3, 4, 5 July, which they described as a lovely weekend. There was no detail available for Jim Rivers' walk in the Ettrema area or for Kenn Clacher's Cross Country Ski trip. Ron Watters led a party of nine on his walk to Perrys Lookdown on the Sunday, describing it as a pleasant day. There were 14 on Don Brooks' walk in Kuringai Chase National Park the same day with misty cool conditions clearing to a sunny afternoon.
The midweek walk out from Hazelbrook attracted 13 under the leadership of Ian Rannard on what was described as a wonderful walk. This walk also ended the walks reports for the month.
Matters relevant to the conservation report had been covered as the meeting progressed so there was no separate report.
Confederation report indicated that there is a proposal to establish a Search and Rescue advisory committee, though just what the purpose of such a committee might be was unclear. Confederation have a new insurance broker and are now offering personal accident cover for $1.87 per annum. See Spiro if you want details.
The call for general business brought forth an announcement about the regrowth of white cedar trees at Coolana, and the call for announcements saw an announcement about the upcoming bus trips to join the protest at the Jabiluka mine site. The meeting closed at 2106 and not a minute too soon.
Apology. Due to some as yet unidentified malfunction, error, cosmic ray shower or other mischance, two of our valued Honorary members received mail out labels which incorrectly bore the dreaded *SUBS OWING* imprint last month. Thank you to Frank Rigby for pointing out the problem to us, and our apologies to both people affected After reviewing Frank’s letter we were convinced that the appropriate course of action would be to shoot all parties concerned in this outrage. Before we do there is one small formality to be observed. We need a software program, personal computer and operative to replace the present offending ones. Until this can be achieved a simple apology will have to suffice.
Barry Wallace, Hon. Membership Secretary.
Some called it ‘mid life crises’ others suggested I was just crazy however I dismissed all negative comments accepted the encouragement from my close friends and proceeded to blow a whole lot of dollars, don a back pack, burn all bridges and head overseas. I was told that most SBW members are affected in some way eventually by this disease, as I agreed to join those heading for the Haute Route in France. A most unforgettable month which has already been recorded in this magazine, and the beginning of my sole journey, eight months roaming Europe culminating in a high altitude trek in Nepal.
One of my most memorable journeys was a visit to the remote islands of the Outer Hebrides, Scotland and fortunately was blessed with perfect weather as this story would be very different if I had experienced the “norm”.
After a most picturesque bus journey through the Scottish highlands, and around the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond, I arrived at the quaint little fishing village of Oban where the ferries departed for the southern isles of the Outer Hebrides. The ferry schedule for all the islands was a logistical nightmare since I had only nine days, however the Scottish folk have a humour and desire to help beyond compare.
At 3pm the car ferry departed, it was huge and needed to be as there were a couple of semi trailers laden with produce for the isles. It is amazing where an Aussie or two can be found and I spent most of the journey chatting to one of the waitresses who had chosen to live in Scotland.
As the sun set a glowing red on the horizon around 8pm, we docked at the tiny port of Barra. Business revolves around the ferries’ arrival and departure and we were assured that someone would open the tourist office, and that Mr whoever would drive the taxi if needed and hopefully he wouldn’t be too inebriated.
Well everything ‘happened’ and I found myself in a little B & B a few metres from the waters edge. There were fishing nets draped everywhere as I meandered my way to the front door. There is no hostel on Barra although I am told one will open soon. Typical of Scottish hospitality, I was offered a full hearty breakfast of eggs, bacon, mushrooms, tomato and black pudding for those strong tummies, not mine! Just what was needed to cycle the island in a day.
The most significant memory of these islands is the complete lack of trees, regardless they have a stunning beauty in their barrenness with rolling hills covered in heather, merging into white, sandy, desolate beaches. It is possible to walk the beaches, visit the aerodrome which is a sand flat at low tide, the ancient churches, graveyards, `standing stones’ and chat to the local crofters. What a joy to watch the dogs work the sheep off the hills into the pens.
I wondered where all the ‘locals’ were as I sat on a headland contemplating life and found them later that day, all in the pub. Definitely the place to be while awaiting an 8pm ferry departure. Another red, red sunset and two hours later we docked at Lochboisdale, South Uist where the caretaker took pity on me with my huge pack and told the B&B proprietor to come immediately to collect an Auzzie lassie with pack, I didn’t object.
After another breakfast to last a day I headed north, the sole passenger on the local bus that was to take me to the island of Berneray so I was given a personal tour of the island and all the folklore. He also had a load of shopping bags which we delivered to those concerned en route. I was interested to note how much whisky each bag contained!
Another ferry connection and this time a walk to the far end of the island to the hostel as I missed the only bus that day. This hostel is one of the original ‘Black cottages’ situated beside the shore. The thatched roof being accessible and all too frequent a feeding area for the local sheep, and seals which frequently frolic within close proximity. It is said that one either loves this place and stays on or hates it and leaves the next day. Well I stayed here for the remainder of the week. It is also reputed to be Prince Charles’ retreat and I can understand why, as it is possible to find real peace walking the island, climbing the hills, diving for scallops, having tea with the locals, bird watching or just sitting by the sea and soaking in the tranquillity. All those at the hostel were ‘regulars’ returning annually to R &R. As with so many of the smaller hostels I have visited, the evening dinners by candlelight, telling tall tales and true were very memorable and this was no exception with freshly` slaughtered’ scallops grilled in butter and garlic, shared by all were treasured moments. I have to admit that it wasn’t until I smelt the wonderful odours wafting out of the rafters that I found courage to put my penknife into the pulsating flesh of those creatures.
This is a culture where ancient tradition is alive and well and on a Sunday I witnessed a ceremonial homecoming for one of the elders who had died on the mainland. All the community in their Sunday best, gathered at the jetty to welcome the body back home and then followed the coffin to the grave on the hill. This island also houses the grave of the tallest man.
On another day I walked over hill and dale to find the home of two elderly ladies who were renowned for their Arran jumpers. After tea and scones and the knowledge that the only jumper that might fit me was in the home of another on the other end of the island, I headed off in search of the jumper. Bush telegraph worked well and I arrived at her home to be told she would be appearing over the hill in a few minutes and would I like tea and scones while I waited. Sadly she didn’t have a suitable jumper but the whole experience enabled me to meet the majority of the community who were extremely hospitable.
All good things must come to an end eventually and a deep sadness was felt by all who left that morning on the 6am ferry connection to the mainland ferry. We experienced a red, red sunrise which silhouetted a myriad of small islands and a multitude of birds as we sailed towards Skye and as I stood on the windswept deck, I wondered how soon I could return to explore the two islands of Lewis and Harris, which are more mountainous with a different beauty.
by Patrick James
Most bushwalkers carry a knife of some description, typically a Swiss Army knife ranging from a small basic knife up to one with 50 or more useful and essential implements such as a tooth pick and a thing to remove stones from horses' hooves: really necessary gear on a bushwalk. Many people carry a knife in a little leather pouch on their belt. These people are usually blokes and possibly are also Pitt Street farmers.
All this has now changed. Under the Police and Public Safety Act 1998 which came into effect on 1 July 1998 it is now an offence to carry any knife or blade in a public place or school without a lawful reason. A campaign, 'You can live without a Knife' yet to start will make everyone in the community aware of the new powers and responsibilities of police. Knives are defined in the Act as knife blade, razor blade or any other blade. Thus anything from a tiny, mini knife to a giant machete.
As responsible citizens we must conform with the law. However all is not lost the Act does provide for the circumstances of bushwalking. A person may have custody of a knife in a public place if reasonably necessary in all the circumstances for the preparation or consumption of food or drink, or the participation in a…sport and during travel to or from or incidental to any of these activities. If you keep your reasonably sized knife in your pocket or in your pack (still in your custody), take it to and from a bushwalk (a sport) and use it before, during or after a walk to prepare and/or consume food or drink on the walk your actions are reasonable and you have a reasonable excuse to have possession of a knife.
More information can be obtained (1) by contacting the NSW Police Service Customer Assistance Unit on 1800 622 571, between 8am and 8pm, seven days a week, (2) by visiting your local police station and obtaining a 'Z Card', a handy wallet size information kit which explain the new laws, (3) by reading the Police and Public Safety Act 1998, or by (4) obtaining professional legal advice.
It wasn't bushwalking
but it was good (if you like that kind of thing).
The Walks Programme showed that on Tuesday 5th May there was to be a walk through Rookwood Cemetery and down the Cook's River pathway. I hadn't been to the Cemetery for a while, so I decided to go.
The weather on Tuesday 5th May was not good. It was windy, wet, and cool. Low grey clouds streamed across the sky from the southwest. Even getting the group together was a problem. Instead of the seven walkers expected on Lidcombe Station at 10am, there were only three! As we found out later, one of the others had caught an earlier train and wandered around Rookwood vainly searching for us before going home, another caught an all stops train and missed us by arriving too late, and another got caught in peak-hour traffic on Mona Vale Rd. Fortunately the fourth chased us down Railway St and caught up before we reached the Cemetery gate.
After this un-promising start the walk turned out to be surprisingly good. Using suggestions from a book called “The Sleeping City”, we followed a zig-zag route through the original part of Rookwood where we saw unusual headstones, the grand Frazer mausoleum, a memorial to Bea Miles, the Serpentine Drain, the Elephant House, and what is claimed to be the most beautiful monument in the cemetery - a statue over the Dixson family grave. The whole place has a neglected and sad appearance. Maintenance is minimal. Tall weeds grow thickly everywhere. Green wattles sprout among crumbling stonework. Shrubs and creepers from old gardens spread untrimmed over headstones and monuments.
From this original section we headed southwest into persistent rain across the modern part of Rookwood passing Muslim, Jewish, and Chinese sections before reaching the Sydney War Graves and memorial garden. This crossing was itself interesting.
After lunch we left the Cemetery. An 8km stroll down the Cooks River path brought us to Canterbury Station and the end of a satisfying walk through a part of Sydney we don't often visit. Sure, it wasn't bushwalking, but it was interesting (if you like that kind of thing). Participants: Marion Plaude, Brian Hart, John Coulson, Ian Rannard.
“A picture is worth a thousand words”
“Every picture tells a story”
The Club is putting together a photograph album to be kept at the club rooms. The primary intention of this album is to describe to persons inquiring about membership some typical walks. If you have photographs for which you have no use (eg from a second set of prints), it would be appreciated if you could donate them to this photograph album. The album will include photographs of scenery, members, and anything else which can describe SBW to persons who have little or no knowledge of our activities. The album takes 10 x 15 cm photographs, but other sizes are welcome as we may start another album.
Contributions can be made at the club rooms either to me or to Jennifer, or by post to 17 Putarri Avenue, St Ives 2075. Please write a short description on the back of the photograph. Eddy Giacomel: President
K TO K REUNION This walks leaders’ presentation began with Eddy Giacomel’s computer graph of the mountain heights and valley lows between Kanangra and Katoomba, which made the climbs look totally vertical but, he assured us, was based on eight pages of accurate data. The trip was 4l km as the crow flies but more like 55 km on the ground. Jan Mohandas interjected from the back that a l00m climb equals one km of walking; with 2,200m total climbing, that would make the route equivalent to 63km!
Morie Ward then showed some dim colour prints of the dawn starters, and others of the groups at brief stops along the way. One of these, at the top of Cloudmaker, lasted only two minutes; Milo Dunphy and Bob Carr, who later found this record in the book, commented that they only stayed long enough to look at their watches. Morie and Jan then reminisced about the time the party split into two, each with a different theory of the quickest way down to the Coxs, and recalled the superfit participant lacking any sense of direction, who vanished up a creek. However, no one was lost for long, and no one was ever injured over the seven year period.
Jan’s training suggestions were:- Start with Bundeena to Otford; then the Six-Foot Track; then Lockleys Pylon to Blue Gum and up Perrys and back again. Enthusiasm, training, not eating too much, and steady breathing were the keys to success. He then described doing the Three Peaks in 48 hours with a 4am start at Narrow Neck but admitted that now he’d prefer a one peak per day, four day walk.
CAMP COOKING CONTEST I won this hands down, as no one else competed. The absentees were packing out the Nordic Ski Club’s biggest meeting of the year, to get to a Jindabyne house weekend with free skiing instruction. Dot demanded my recipe for curried dahl, which this time was red lentils, salt, fresh garlic, Patak’s mild Korma curry paste, coriander powder, turmeric powder and cardamom seeds (spices wrapped in foil). Depending on the amount of water, this can become a soup; be served with rice, vegetables, meat or fish; be spread on bread; or fried in dollops as patties. Red (but never brown) lentils take only 30 min. to go mushy.
CLUB AUCTION A small but discerning group of enthusiasts, canny collectors and as yet unfitted-out members assembled to view the offerings and to make impassioned bids for a wide selection of mainly bushwalking gear. Bidding was carried out in a dignified manner with only on a few occasions some Christmas sale/bargain hunting behaviour. No blood was shed, we all had a good time and the Coolana fund is $238.70 richer.
COMING UP: All 8 for 8.l5pm.
THE KOKODA TRAIL, NEW GUINEA on August 19 with Morie Ward who walked it recently with other SBW members.
THE BUDAWANGS on August 26. A walks leaders’ presentation by Bill Capon, Alex Colley and Tony Holgate on this delightful and complex area. Pre-meeting dinner at the Blues Point Café, 135 Blues Point Road, McMahons Point, mains round $8. Book by the Monday with Denise Shaw, 9922.6093H.
GENERAL MEETING on September 9 followed by a brief slide show by Jan Mohandas on the Tasmanian “Walls of Jerusalem”.
SPRING WILDFLOWERS on September l6. Beautiful pictures by Ron Howlett. Pre-meeting dinner at the Kirribilli Pub, $10-15 for mains. Book with Gail and Tony Crichton 9872 7195H by the Monday.
POSITION VACANT. The position of Club archivist is still open. Seventy one years of history, read the old minute books, who said what to who and why. Want to do something useful with your spare time? Do we have a job for you.
Now Its Midweek Camping
The Autumn Walks Programme introduces mid-week camping. This is an opportunity for older members, and younger ones who can take some time out of the working week, to enjoy the great outdoors far away from the weekend multitude.
The accent will be on easy walking with easy/medium grade options or just plain camping and relaxing. Also, an opportunity to assist at Coolana with gentle maintenance or just relaxing at our delightful property on the Kangaroo River.
The Autumn Programme includes:
Coolana (Monday 5th October - Sunday 11th October) Join Gemma Gagne for the week or just a day or two. There will be working bees and walks in the valley.
Coolana (Tuesday 13th October - Friday 16th October) Frances and Bill Holland would like company for all or some of the days. Easy walks perhaps stretching out a little for those who feel energetic. Otherwise, bird watching, relaxing and happy times each evening.
Wombean Caves (Tuesday 10th November - Thursday 12th November) This commences with a bus tour from Mittagong to Old Joadja historical township then on to Wombean Caves where we have reserved accommodation (or camping). The next two days will include walking and optional cave tours. Contact Bill Holland for early booking.
The fox baiting continues at Coolana with the news that two more foxes will no longer threaten the colony of endangered brush tailed rock wallabies located nearby.
NPWS announces that a Draft Plan of management for Kuring Gai National Park is under preparation. It foreshadows a walking track from Towlers Bay to Mackeral Beach but it is NOT proposed to provide a pedestrian bridge at The Basin.
About 5,660 submissions were received on the Wollemi Wilderness Draft Plan of Management. A great majority were form letters from 4WD clubs and enthusiasts urging retention of existing access.
Regarding transfer of lands from the former Sydney Water Board to NPWS, negotiations are still continuing between NPWS and Sydney Water re transfer of lands in Prospect Natural reserve and Blue Mountain areas. Perhaps the recent water hyper - scare will accelerate these transfers.
The “Dunphy Fund” has been used to purchase land from Pack Saddlers to ensure access to Coxs River.
The Premier announced an additional eight new national parks at the recent “Visions For The New Millenium” symposium.
The Winter Walks Program is now out and it is time to start thinking about the Spring Walks Program. (Like painting the Harbour Bridge, the walks program never stops.) You can send in walks by mail to the Club, or by fax, or even come into the Clubrooms. Bill Capon, Walks Secretary.
Telephone: 02 9398 7820, fax: 02 9314 5791
Some announcements which are still current, but check details in the Walks Program.
1. Kath Gero's RNP walk, programmed for 28 June, has been postponed till 30 August.
2. Don't forget the Six Foot Track walk on 5 September: details in the Winter program.
3. The 10th Annual 50 km walk from Kanagra to Katoomba is scheduled for 19 September 1998. This walk is a bit harder than the Six Foot Track.
Don Brooks is putting on two day walks, at Kanagra on 7th and 8th of November. He plans to arrange comfortable cabin accommodation at Oberon on the Saturday night. He would like to hear form interested walkers as early as possible as accommodation needs to be arranged well in advanced.
The Reunion is coming up soon. It's in October held according to the formula the weekend before the first full moon, after the long weekend in October. Thus the reunion is on the weekend of 31 October-1 November. Plan ahead, don't double book yourself and prepare for a beautiful weekend at Coolana.
Long time member and friend to many, Bill Hall has moved into the Wollongong Nursing Home, 12 Suttor Place, Figtree 2525. Bill assures us that visitors are very welcome.
I was on a walk last weekend in the Blue Mountains led by Anne McGuire and I'm certain that I saw Elvis during the walk. I could have been mistaken but unlikely. Did anyone else see him?
If July was good for celebrations, August is even better with Switzerland, Macedonia, Singapore, India, Indonesia and Malaysia all taking a day out of the month.
Elsewhere in this journal following the liberal publishing policy a group of bloody tadpole are now having a go at computers and floppy disks. Not content with a straight forward whinge, moan or complaint these immature amphibians have delusions of poetical grandeur. Fancy trying to re-write my poetry. When they grow up its of the pond and into the skillet for them. Maybe the newts or galahs will write in next month. “Instructions for Authors and Contributors” published in the May magazine remains as written notwithstanding Freddo's comments.
Confederation have a new insurance broker and are offering personal accident cover for $1.87 per annum to members and prospective members. Contact Spiro Hajinakitas 9699 1375H, 9681 4874W for details.
CLAYTONS WEEKEND at KANANGRA. Weekend walk on 7 and 8 Nov. 1998, of two Kanangra day walks: Day 1, 13 Km Craft Walls area, and Day 2, 9 Km in the Cottage Rock area. Limit 16, with accommodation in on-site vans at Oberon. Early expression of interest would be appreciated. Contact the leader, Don (Milo) Brooks on 9807 1657 before 9.30 PM.
CLUB COOLANA. You don't need a printed invitation to attend Coolana, just ring the one of the numbers below and all will be revealed. See also the Walks Program
Don Brooks 9807 1657 (home)
Frances Holland 9484 6636 (home)
Patrick James 9904 1515 (home)
Joan Rigby (02) 6247 2035 (home)
Peter Rossel 9924 2085 (home)