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NOVEMBER 2004 1045 Victoria Rd West Ryde 9858 5844

Come in and see one of the best lightweight and roomy bush walking tents currently available. It sleeps 3 and weighs in at only 2340 grams complete (with the mesh inner tent and pegs.) Or just 1260 grams fly, pole and pegs.


Price: $ 599.00 \ WEIGHT



Price: $ 169.00


620 g


Perfect for those who want a waterproof floor, but don't need full bug protection. FEATURES

- @ Clips into Hex 3 canopy at 6 cor- ners

e Abrasion resistant Cordura centre

pole patch e 6000 mm waterproof floor

e 4-inch bathtub design

HEX 3 NEST (No pole)

Price: $259.00 WEIGHT

1080 g net + 90 g pegs Gf you already have the shelter then you wont need to take 2 lots of pegs and keep the weight down)


The perfect companion to the Hex 3 shelter when you're heading into mosquito or insect-laden adventures. Can be pitched separately when desert camping.


e No-see-um mesh canopy

e Full length 2-way C-shaped door zipper Foam cone pole seat at apex Pole Only Pole Only

e Abrasion resistant Cordura centre pole patch

* 6000 mm waterproof floor

4-inch bathtub design Pole Only

e Stow sack Price: $85.00 Weight 370


3 or 4 season hiking or backpacking, winter camping, mountaineering

, 800 g canopy + 370 g pole + 90 g pegs and sack

This 4-season, extremely versatile, roomy 3-person, canopy-style shelter is bound to be- come your favourite all-year home-away-from-home. Unlike a tent, which essentially

requires you to use poles, inner tent with floor and fly whenever you pitch it, the Hex 3 is a component system: You can use just the canopy with or without a floor, or just the bug net inner tent, or the canopy with the bug net. And you can pitch the Hex (canopy or Nest) over a paddle on a canoe trip, or over a ski pole on a ski-tour. Or hang the canopy via its top loop from a branch or a line sus- pended between trees. You can dig a snow pit under it and increase the amount of usable space; you can pitch it over rocks; and you can put it up quickly by yourself in the nas- tiest weather. How's that for versatility.

Dual roof vents provide excellent air flow, and the sup- plied extra guy lines can be used to pitch the leeward side (the side facing away from the wind) well off the ground to increase ventilation. SiLite construction and the six- sided shape with extra stake-outs midway along each side add up to an incredibly wind-stable, weatherproof shelter. Functional details include reflective, adjustable guy points: the adjustability ensures a good, taut pitch, while the reflective strips simplify pitching the Hex in the dark (and mean that it's much easier to find your Hex when re- turning to camp after dusk - and less likely that you'll trip over a comer once you have…)

Available in Sun for people who want to be seen, and For- est for those who don't.

For even more versatility, there will be a new trekking pole extender that will enable you to leave the Hex 3 pole at home and use any standard trekking pole to pitch the Hex 3! Available soon


e SilLite silicone-impregnated rip stop nylon

Hexagonal shape sheds elements superbly

e Adjustable aluminium centre pole (also available as a separate item)

4-season palace for 2 or home for 3 Stake sack, SilLite stow sack included

* Top loop

e 2 large roof vents

2-way door zipper

Reflective adjustable stake out loops e . 9 Y-stakes

e Floorless design



THE SYDNEY BUSHWALKER is the monthly bulletin of matters of interest to members of

The Sydney Bush Walkers Inc PO Box 431 Milsons Point 1565.

Editor: Bill Holland Production Manager: Frances Holland Printers: Kenn Clacher, Barrie Murdoch,

Tom Wenman Don Brooks Fran Holland


5 Cane Toads On The March Pamela Irving reports on the real problem posed by advancing cane toads

6 Mountain Park Feels the Heat The Sydney Morning Herald tells us that visitors are increasing as Kosciuszko suffers from rising temperatures

7 Perisher Village - Vision of Tomorrow Report of a presentation to the Club and subsequent justification for concern

10 News from Coolana Dons regular report on our property


Aipsport Front cover Paddy Pallin Back cover Wilderness Transit 5 Newnes Hotel Cabins 7 Willis's Walkabouts 9

Christmas Party: Wed 15“ Dec

Join us for a Christmas feast at the Clubrooms!! From 6-30 pm. Meet old friends and new members. All are very welcome

NOVEMBER 2004 Issue No. 840



2 From the Committee Room 3 Message from President Maurice 3 Treasurer's Report 4 Editors Note and Letters 17. New Members and Other Items 18 Social Notes and only one Joke

SPECIAL FEATURE 4 Letter to the Editor

8,9 A Boat Race With No Water Judy OConnor tells of strange going-ons in a town like Alice


11,12 Walks Notes: Barry Wallace is back with his informative notes.

13 Twenty Two Feet to Katoomba David Trinder has the measure of the Kanangra to Katoomba classic

14 Return to Nattai After a ten year break - no accidents this time but a bit of history in poetical form.

Larapinta Trai! Eight-Day Trek Judy OConnor takes a 120 km trek to the Red Centre

SBW Evening Picnic: Wed 5th Jan : Always a popular event. Come to the Beachside Picnic at Balmoral

From 6pm

The Sydney Bushwalker: First Edition July 1931 Official publication of The Sydney Bush Walkers Inc. |Page 2

The Sydney Bushwalker

November 2004

The Sydney Bush Walkers Inc.

Our Club was formed in 1927 for the purpose of bringing bushwalkers together; enabling them to appreciate the great outdoors; establishing a regard for conservation and promoting social activities.

The Club's main activity is bushwalking but includes other activities such as cycling, canoeing and social events.

Our Walks Programme (published quarterly) features day walks on most Saturdays and Sundays, some mid week walks and overnight weekend walks.

Extended walks are organised in areas such as Lamington, Snowy Mountains etc as well as interstate.

Our meetings are held on Wednesday evenings (see Social Programme) at Kirmibilli Neighbourhood Centre, 16 Fitzroy Street, Karnibilli (near Milsons Point Railway Station). Visitors and prospective members are welcome. General Enquiries: Phone 0500 500 729


SBW Website Office Bearers

President: Maurice Smith Vice-President: Rosemary MacDougal Treasurer: Tony Marshall Secretary: Leigh McClintock Walks Secretary: Peter Love Social Secretary - vacant - Membership Secretary Ron Watters New Members Secretary: Grace Martinez Conservation Secretary: Pamela Irving Magazine Editor: Bill Holland Committee Member:

Barry Wallace Gail Crichton Delegates to Confederation:

Jim Callaway - vacant -

Contact The Committee: Members are welcome to contact the following officers on Club matters:

President : Maurice Smith

9587 6325 (h) Vice President : Rosemary MacDougal

9428 5668 (h) Secretary: Leigh McClintock 8920 2388 (h) Treasurer Tony Marshall

9713 6985 (h) Members Secretary: Ron Watters 0419617491 wattersr@bigpond

New Members Secretary: Grace Martinez 0405 473 029 (m)

From The Committee Room -

* A report on proceedings at the Management Committee meeting on 3 November 2004

“The Committee voted to receive the Treasurers report and approved payments for the month. A proposal on investment policy was held over until the next meeting.

* A proposal from Scarpa Boots to award a competition prize will be followed up.

” Printing on recycled paper will be tested to determine acceptability of quality

= Rick Angel, Danny Huang, Kellie Rees, Julian Ninio, Alison Ninio, Aleksandar Popovski, Juban Denard and Shula Denard were accepted as full members

” The Committee received the results of the members! electronic survey.

“A proposal to place the current walks programme (with leaders details and contact numbers) in the members only section of the website was deferred until the next meeting

“A following motion determined that the 2004/5 Summer Walks Program would not be placed on website as leaders had not been advised in advance

= Social Secretary, Caro Ryan, tendered her resignation from the Committee, due to work pressure.

= The Committee reviewed the summer walks programme and social programme.

= Jim Callaway reported that Confederation had found a new Editor and a new Training Officer.

“Don Finch reported that Shirley Dean had resigned from the Coolana Committee. The Committee appointed Barry Wallace to fill the casual vacancy.

.. 2005 Membership List

Aim, Next years List of Members will be finalised shortly. If you have changed

your address or phone number recently,

please advise:

Members: ___ Ron Watters

Prospectives: Grace Martinez

The advice should be in writing directed to the

Clubs postal address. This will ensure that our

records show your current address and prevent

delay in receiving the magazine each month.

5 Early Bookings: The extended walks over the Christmas/New Year period are very popular. You would be

& well advised to make your booking

ASAP to avoid disappointment. The Sydney Bushwalker

November 2004 Page 3

Treasurers Report Statement of Cash Flows for the ten months

to October 2004

SBW Bank Account Opening Balance January $6,745 Receipts 39,538 Payments 28,138 Closing Balance August $18,145 Note 1

Receipts Membership Fees 25,599 Advertising 1,695 Interest - General 917 Interest Coolana 1,162 Interest Conservation 356 Investment redemption 6,000 Note 2 Donations Coolana 3,355 Other 454 Total $39,538

Payments Administration 3,956 Affiliation & Insurance 8,516 Magazine 6,389 Communications 861 Membership 665 Coolana 1,974 Note 3 Other 303 Equipment purchased 1,784 Note 4 SCA Grant 3,690 Note 5 Total $28,138

Note 1 $10,000 to be invested.

Note2 Previously invested as general funds.

Note3 = Includes rates paid to June 2005.

Note 4 Projector $1,399, Mower $385.

Note 5 SCA Grant now filly expended.

Funds Invested

Conservation $9,488

Coolana 26,217

General 14,657

Total $50,362

Tony Marshall

Vale Jean Harvey Sadly, we report the death of Jean Harvey. Jean passed away earlier this month aged 92 years. With her late husband, Brian, she was an active walker with SBW for a period stretching from the 1930s to 1970s.

Expressions of Interest Required Stewart Island - New Zealand February 2005 Approximately two weeks.

Co-leaders welcome.

Please contact Margaret Rozea 95215997


Message from President Maurice:

It is farewell to our Social Secretary, Caro Ryan, who has resigned from her role with effect from our last committee meeting, for work related reasons. Caro will still be leading walks and so on. So we need an interim Social Secretary to fill the position until the March 2005 Annual General Meeting at which time the position will become vacant. So if you have an interest in working for the club members in organising our monthly social program please contact either myself or any other committee member to discuss what is involved.

A get well soon wish to our member Patrick McNaught who suffered some relatively minor injuries in a vehicle accident when returning from a weekend walk out at Kanangra Walls. Patrick was knocked unconscious for about 15 minutes after his car hit a tree on the Kanangra Road. Patricks three passengers were shaken but unharmed. For those members who know Patrick we know how committed he is and Im sure that by the time you read this Patrick will have been out walking again. I know that Patrick is in the market for a replacement for his now written-off vehicle.

In the December Management Committee meeting will be considering the issues surrounding a proposal to place the Walks Program in the password protected Members Only Area of the clubs web-site, This initiative follows the recent electronic survey of members showed that a high proportion of the survey respondents were strongly in favour of the detailed Walks Program being available in the Members Only Area. More details will be released as soon as we have discussed the issue fully.

Members are reminded that with the warmer weather now upon us it is in your own interests to ensure that you carry sufficient water for your days outdoor activity. Dehydration is a most unpleasant experience and can severely impact on your enjoyment of your walk. It might seem like I am telling you things that are intuitively obvious. However, it doesnt hurt to be reminded of this need as well as the need to wear a sunhat and use appropriate sun protection cream as well.

Cheers for now and see you on the track again soon.

Maurice Smith [Page 4 The Sydney Bushwalker

November 2004

Letters to the Editor:

Ie Le] Fixing Your Feet While perusing postings of a running group I came upon a link to the Fixing Your Feet Ezine by John Vonhof, the author of the book Fixing Your Feet'. The ezine can be subscribed to by accessing; Fixing YourFeetEzine-

The stated purpose of the ezine is: “The Fixing Your Feet Ezine is published the middle of each month to inform and educate athletes and non-athletes about proper foot care skills and techniques, provide tips on foot care,

review foot care products, and _ highlight problems people have with their feet.”

In the November 2003 edition of the ezine was a list of the best links previously published, brought together as a Christmas list.

“Many of these items have been developed by people who actually participate in the sporting life not just someone sitting behind a desk.” The list includes: Powders and lubricants, Insoles, Gaiters, Socks, Laces and Lacing, Fitness and Conditioning and Miscellaneous.

The 3rd edition of 'Fixing Your Feet: Prevention and Treatments for Athletes' is available from Amazon at or the author at My enquiries suggest it is not available from Australian bookshops.

Ken Smith

First Aid Certificates

To encourage leaders and members to get

their St Johns First Aid Certificate, the

Club will subsidise the cost of gaining an accredited Senior First Aid Certificate up to $50.

Contact The Editor:

Copy for publishing in the SBW magazine should be received by the editor by the end of the first week of each month.

Letters stating your viewpoint on matters of interest are most welcome. Please send your submission in by mail (preferably typed), on floppy disc, or by email addressed to The Editor Telephone: 9484 6636

Fax: 9484 6009

(please phone 9484 6636 first)


Editors Note:

I am at my desk surrounded by equipment and

*. wondering if perhaps in this age of electronic wizardry we rely a little too much on the assumption that

nothing can go wrong and all will

be attended to by our little black boxes.

For three months now I have sat back contented that all went well with my email changeover to ISDN service and with it a change of ISP.

Those in my address book were told of my change in email address; spam dropped dramatically; my computer breathed new life. My old ISP assured me that after a change-over period mail to my old address would be returned to sender.

And what happened? At least two members, possibly more, sent articles to the old address and nothing happened. No response from me (I was unaware of the submissions) nothing from my old ISP and they kept waiting in vain for their items to appear.

My apologies to those affected. Please re- submit your articles and they will go the top of the list.

Adding to the problems, my new ISP (Bigpond) now complains that my in-box zooms past the limit when large file attachments are sent (usually photos sent in with articles) and all mail stops until I clear it. If | am away this could take days.

So my advice to those 40 members and prospectives who replied in the Clubs electronic survey that they would like to receive their magazine by email - dont rely too much on your computer - snail mail from Australia Post may be more reliable.

And to those sending in those welcome photos; please compress your file attachments. It will not affect the quality of the photos and is more suitable for email. This subject will be fully covered in the magazine in coming months.

Turning to this months magazine we have several articles on conservation issues. Climate change, the relentless invasion of cane toads and proposed developments in national parks are of great concern to many and it seems that both State and Federal Governments are downgrading the importance of looking after our environment.

We have another poem by Bernard Peach particularly relevant to the Nattai walks report and two articles by Judy OConnor reporting on going-ons in Central Australia.

Bill Holland

The Sydney Bushwalker

November 2004 Page 5 |

Cane Toads

There must be something programmed within human genes which compels us to ignore potential problems until they actually become real problems. Back in 1935 when cane toads from Central and South America were introduced into Queensland to control sugar cane beetles, some naturalists and scientists warned of potential dangers. Two protesters were a former NSW Government entomologist and an Australian Museum curator. Toad releases were briefly put on hold, then resumed in1936.

The rest is history.

Cane toads are now firmly established up the east coast of Australia from northern NSW to Cape York at the northern tip of Qld. A small colony is entrenched at Pt Macquarie. In the past couple of years the toads have spread west into the World Heritage listed Kakadu National Park.

In another piece of bureaucratic idiocy, cane toads are not officially recognised as a threatening process in Australia, because not all States consider toads to be a problem. Only animals that are of a national significance are officially recognized as pests.

The environment is impacted by cane toads from the deaths of creatures which eat the toads, and obviously from the deaths of creatures eaten by the toads themselves. Australian native animals which die from eating toads include freshwater crocodiles, goannas, tiger snakes, red- bellied black snakes, western death adders, quolls, dingoes, water rats, great white-tailed rats, white-faced herons, kites, bush stone-curlews and tawny frogmouths. A Katherine local told me that fresh-water crocodiles have been found dead on the river bank with cane toads still in their mouths. The toads preferred food is living insects: beetles, bees, ants, termites and crickets. They will also eat marine snails, smaller toads and frogs, small snakes and mammals. They also compete for food with vertebrates which eat insects eg small skinks, and may carry diseases which effect native amphibians and fish.

What is being done to control cane toads?

Conventional Control Techniques: Quarantine checks are done to try to prevent

toads being carried into areas currently toad- free, eg vehicle checks to ensure a toad hasnt hitched a ride. Bounty systems have limited effect, and a major problem is that native frogs and toads are commonly mistaken for cane toads.

on the March

Pamela Irving

Biological Control Techniques: The CSIRO is currently researching a gene

critical to toad development, looking for a gene needed for metamorphosis which if manipulated would prevent the transition from tadpole to adult toad. If discovered, this gene would then have to be delivered to the wider toad population. Using a virus, weakened so it doesnt affect native amphibians and fish, as a taxi to carry the gene is one delivery method under investigation. The University of Adelaide is researching a cane toad sex pheromone which may be used to disrupt its breeding cycle. Obviously many years of research will be required before such biological control methods are perfected, with no guarantee of success.

Why has it taken so long for such research to be properly funded? Could the impending arrival of cane toads in Sydney be the main motivator for the Powers that Be? Perhaps the scientists researching cane toad genetics could work on the human apathy gene at the same time?

(And no, the cane toads didnt control the sugar cane beetle)

Source: Websites of the Australian Museum and CSIRO



YERRANDERIE GHost TOWN SranLicnTs Track. Buxeons Caves. Woe Wog. NERRIGA

f Geparis from Sydney's Campbelltown Railway Station Via Penntn, Kaloombe & Blackheath for fXKanangra Walls Mon & Wed at 11am. Frid at Zar 4 Reiums dom Mon, Wed, Frid.

{fla Slarlighis, Mittagong & Marulan for

'Wog Wog-Nerriga Tues.& Thurs & Sun at {1am Retumne 4 pm Tues, Thurs, Sun.

a Yerranderie Ghost Tawn first Saturday in each meath, returns Sun at 1 pm {any Friday min 9) Group booking discounts or charter service

Tel 0246 832 344 Mob 0428832344 |

(Page 6 The Sydney Bushwalker

November 2004 |

Mountain Park Feels the Heat as Visits Rise Stephanie Peatlin,, Environment Reporter, Sydney Morning Herald 11” October 2004

People are the greatest manageable threat to the pristine environment of the state's largest national park, Kosciuszko, particularly as it becomes increasingly popular in the summer months.

As the ski season comes to the end for another year, an assessment of Kosciuszko National Park by the State Government's Independent Scientific Committee has found activities such as skiing, mountain bike ding, horse riding and bushwalking are all having an impact on the natural qualities of the park.

“Some of the uses are now far removed from traditional conservation priorities and original purposes of reservation, and these new uses bring new pressures, create new demands on managers and may compromise some values,” the committee's report said.

Management of the 675,000 hectare park was becoming more flexible and increasingly likely to allow more activities to take place rather than banning them. Pressure on the park's natural values would increase as visitor numbers grew which would lead to more facilities for people.

The report comes as the State Government considers an expansion of the Perisher Blue resort inside the park which could increase the number of skiers over the winter months by 50 per cent.

The plans for the next stage of the resort area's life include building a new village over the car park and increasing the number of beds in the Perisher, Guthega and Smiggins area to 1050. [see next page] As lifts are upgraded, the resort will be able to host 15,000 skiers a day, up from the present 10,000.

There are also plans for bars, restaurants, a cinema and a multi-purpose convention centre that would host a theatre, basketball courts and a swimming pool.

The State Government has already approved a trial of the controversial cloud seeding technology inside the park which is designed to increase the amount of snow that falls over the ski fields.

The committee called for recognition that “increasing visitor use has widespread implications for the loss or degradation of the park's values”.

“In particular, the increase in visitors in the alpine and sub-alpine areas in summer is seen by the Independent Scientific Committee as the highest priority pressure that needs to be addressed by management of the park.”

Kosciuszko is also under threat from the global phenomenon of climate change.

Predictions from the CSIRO say that by 2020 the area with 60 days a year or more of snow

coverage will shrink by at least 18 per cent and as much as 60 per cent.

Kosciuszko forms the central part of the Australian Alps and accounts for about half the Australian Alps National Park which is jointly managed by the NSW, ACT and Victorian governments.

“The park provides ecosystem services that are nationally valuable: its soils and catchment provide clean water to south-eastern Australia, and its large tracts of forest contribute to reduced risk of climate change by sequestering carbon,” the committee wrote.

But although many of the park's values were in a “good and stable condition” there were other pressures that “could lead to degradation of significant values if not adequately managed”.

“Such pressures include the expansion of development, imposition of inappropriate fire regimes, increase in summer visitation, possible climate change and introduced plants and

animals,” the committee concluded. Reprinted with permission of the author and SMH

Paradise For $5 a Night By Kate Murray And Craig Vaughan

For the first time in more than 70 years, a little slice of Sydney paradise will be opened to the public.

Almost 230 small cabins along the coastline of the Royal National Park will be thrown open in a landmark arrangement.

For just $15 a week or as little as $5 for an overnight stay the quaint cabins at Little Garie, Era, Burning Palms and Bulgo will be accessible to everyone.

Five-year renewable licenses will be issued to interested parties, with the first opportunity to go to people who already have a legitimate claim to the cabins.

The National Parks and Wildlife Service will call for expressions of interest in the other licences, with successful applicants allowed to use the cabins for casual holiday accommodation. The move marks a victory for the NPWS, which has been trying to wrest back control of the cabins for many years.

The cabins at Era and Buming Palms are heritage-listed by the National Trust and those at Era and Little Garie are listed by the Australian Heritage Commission.

Extract from Sydney Daily Telegraph 13 Nov 2004 | The Sydney Bushwalker November 2004 Page 7 |

Perisher Village - a Vision of Tomorrow

Gold Coast in the Snowy Mountains!

.. Last month Keith Muir of The Colong Foundation for Wilderness gave a

Environmental Update to an SBW meeting. This update included an outline of plans under consideration for Kosciuszko National Park and the risks to the pristine environment posed by these plans. He told a very interested meeting that big developments are on the way - and he was so right.

In the Sydney Moming Herald on 30” October a development proposal was advertised; inviting submissions. Here are the key features of this advertisement:

Perisher Village - Kosciuszko National Park - Development Proposal Description of Proposal The applicant seeks approval for development pursuant Section 80 (4) of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. The development application comprises two main parts: (i) Subdivision for the purpose of creating development lots (ii) Stage 1 development of a 846 bed resort village, pedestrian plazas, approximately 5,000m of retail

space, 2,300m? of commercial space, basenient parking for 274 vehicles and provision of car parking and associated road works along Kosciuszko Road and Smiggins Holes.

Anyone may make a written submission on this proposal. If you object you must state reason(s). Copies of your. submission may be sent to other government agencies…

Send Submissions marked Ref: DA262-10-2004 to Team Leader, Alpine Resorts Assessments Team Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources. PO Box 36, Jindabyne NSW 2627 Submissions must be received by 29 November 2004


Wollemi National Park

verandah. This is the ideal base for numerous busiwalks in the ares.

Our cabin can accommedate up to 6 people and is equipped with a modern kitchen, bathroom, | bedroom with 3 quecn sized bed, and four single beds that double as comfortable seats during the day. Built with ecologically sustainable goals in mind, this spacious cabin also suits the requirements of disabled gaests.

We also offer accommodation in our on-site caravan and campground.

Visit us at our website at or give usaringon Ph: (62} 63 551 247

[Page 8 The Sydney Bushwalker November 2004

A Boat Race With No Water Judy OConnor

It was Alice Springs, central Australia, in September.

The temperature was up, the air empty and dry and the flies were all over me in the corners of my eyes, under my sunglasses, up my nose.

Suddenly the loud whooping of a siren filled the air. I looked down the main street, Todd Mall, and blinked not just to try to get relief from the flies, stuck to me like Velcro, but to check I wasnt having an outback hallucination.

Gunning up the centre of the road behind straggly groups of backpackers and shoppers in shorts and thongs was a massive make-believe camouflage army green battle ship looking like something between a B- grade television prop and a theme park ride. On top was the unmistakable Big M of the hamburger giant. [ happened to be outside the towns Uniting Church and night at that moment, the congregation started up a rather flat and slow version of John Browns Body Lies a Moulding in the Grave.

Next thing, just as the bellowing battle ship parted the crowds and lumbered along the front of the church, a Scottish piper in full regalia, despite the stifling heat, strutted from the church puffing out his best bagpipes rendition of They are not the Hills of Home. ve . : .

Following him, came a long stream of grey suited but equally unthinkable to the locals, judging b


moumers carrying a shiny coffin, decked with bright the shocked gasps and growls around the field.

flowers. The sun beat down so remorselessly that the Photo finishes (without the cameras) are blooms on the head of the coffin seemed to wilt even common and we even saw an outback version of before the rest emerged. Eric the Eel, the plucky African who swam a

On the well used grass outside the church an gallant race in Sydneys 2000 Olympics. One solo Aboriginal family was sitting cross legged, unconnected young woman just couldnt shovel her way to any of it, and a swaggie with a grey beard down to through the sand in the paddling event, so the his waist was on a soapbox sounding off meaninglessly crowd got behind her, not just with rough vocal about the thoughts in his head. support but a bit of good old fashioned outback

Welcome to Alice Springs, Central Australia, on muscle a push from the back.

Henley-on-Todd boat race day ~ the only boat race in The grand finale of the event, which, the world that is cancelled if theres water in the river. incidentally, follows the equally popular Alice And the only boat race where every winner is a world Springs Beanie festival, held a few months earlier, record breaker. is the much hyped up Battle of the Big Boats.

The event started 43 years ago as a Colonial send-up, The clear favourites were the Vikings who, muck-up idea by locals irreverently mocking the famous true to type, acted out every stereotype in the book, Henley-on-Thames boat race between Cambridge and except for the thongs or work boots they teamed Oxford Universities, which dates back to 1829. with long black, furry robes and horned hats. They

The catch with Alice Springs 50m wide Todd River is worked the crowd, squirting water pistols as they that it is virtually permanently dry. Rather than flowing jostled along raping and pillaging. One Viking cool water, it is choked with soft, red, dry, up-to-your- couldnt resist a stab at exhibitionism confirming ankles sand, interspersed with tiny stones. that Northern Territory outback oafishness is never

So how do competitors race? Simple. They cut out the far below the surface. Every now and then hed bottoms of boats and run with them. Legs instead of oars. throw his sweaty black tussock up high to reveal

Unlike the Olympics, rules are loose and flexible with his underpants which were the sort youd see in an entries being accepted right up to and even during the adults only below-street-level shop. The crowd event. Visiting backpackers chalk up a run up the Todd loved it. as one of their best dining out holiday adventures and The battle involved three boats powered by various interstate and overseas visitors have to go in it hidden 4-wheel drive vehicles, the idea being they to convince themselves theyre not dreaming. chased and circled each other throwing sacks of flour

A variation of the hold onto your boat and run event and spraying water from high pressure water cannons is the Oxford Tubs race where crew race along rails laid as well as a rainbow of coloured smoke bombs. in the sand, and instead of paddling water with paddles, Within minutes layers of soft ash were added to they move forward by shovelling sand with shovels. the grit and grime of the red dust all over me and

Like the Olympics there are false starts, maybe not the caked sweat from the baking sun and blobs of quite as headline making as Ian Thorpes drop off the red mud that Id collected when a water pistol had

starting block in the lead up to the Athens Olympics, targeted my feet. L

The Sydney Bushwalker

November 2004 Page 9

In the centre ring, the Vikings sensed victory and high on the bravado of flashing underpants, swept passed the VIP tent spraying water with all their might.

Earlier, Deputy Prime Minister, John Anderson, had popped in to make a matey, pre-election speech and settle in for the day. He had to be somewhere and I figured he was…? Well, lets say water was probably trickling down his nose at that point.

As I headed back to town, a movement on the fringe of the field caught my gaze. The black plastic sheeting that had been rolled out to fence off the area had been pulled down from the top and two Aboriginal faces were peeping over with the plastic under their chins. Their eyes were wide with -it was only a flash,

disbelief, mouths expressionless. . and then they were gone.

Judy OConnor

Ohur fiest trip was teat, Heres what

*… only ane tour operatay in the world 5 you info so many remote widerness ares:

t tirnet. f&eaix Th

a short . Darsd


The walking was hard but rewarding in a dry and &

esol * world untike any we have experienced

e hissy accom: between we

i what


Spin rn OTIC

Mane Agnus & kote Murray, dalkngend & memorable holiday and a wonderful ilrodiicliorn i Narahie and Sonn Afdca.

The wiliite vais wander wannabe

A uvheelu:, Canties.3:

This wip should be even better. it wil include

Bort exeeed Wye

For waik details ane the af website of ask for car THe moked,

c y . |

Willis's Walkabouts 12 2 gatrington Si Millner WT 08170 Email:

[Page 10 The Sydney Bushwalker November 2004

News From Coolana Don Finch

The big news is it rained at Coolana. There was about 200mm recorded at Kangaroo Valleys Hampden Bridge for the month of October. The SCA trees are growing well with some of the advanced plants already sticking their heads out of the tops of the tree guards. The guards are 1200mm high. Four more plants failed to survive the month but with the rain hopes are high for the remainder.

The majority of the Coolana Committee opted for the cheaper donated wooden floor and shelves for the tool shed. The floor has been started and plans for the benches and shelves are well under way.

Wilf has been chipping away at improving the access track

”=! across to the eastern flats. The aim is to make it easier and Safer to transport lawn 1 mowers, tools and people across when working on the eastern flats. Barry used the new mower on the eastern flat to push the moth vine further back. Quite a lot of effort has gone into controlling the weeds on the eastern flats in the last six months and the results are starting to look impressive. There has been a lot of heavy work done clearing tangled vines and fallen timber which has allowed the ladies with the magic potions to cut and swipe numerous weeds.

The road to the car park is in good condition with the water diversion humps doing the job of getting the water of the road. It is safe to say the erosion of the road has been stopped. But there is still a lot of repair work to do on the road when time permits.

The weeds are just starting to appear and it is expected that consistent mowing will commence during November in an attempt to prevent a repeat of the forest of cobblers pegs that got away last year.

On a late aftemoon walk around the camping flat nine wombats were counted. Earlier several black cockatoos were observed tearing open acacia trunks to get at the large grubs within. Dollar birds were noted along with rosella, kookaburra, magpies and bowerbirds. And Barry found the bower of a bowerbird complete with numerous pieces of blue plastic, which the bird had obviously got from the camping ground across the river.

There is plenty of water in the pipe and in the tank so enjoy the camping over Christmas.

Maintenance And Bush Regeneration:

The next maintenance weekend will be on 27th, 28th November.

Coolana is a wonderful property but needs some gentle care and maintenance. Join us for a pleasant weekend of light work and socialising around the evening campfire. Wine and cheese. Family and friends welcome. Don Finch 0418 417 593

The Coalana Fand: Donations to the Coolana Fund ate very welcome and will be used to provide income to assist with the maintenance of this wonderful property. Many thanks to those who have already donated or have indicated an intention to include the Coolana Fund in their wills, Please send in your donation, addressed to. ; ; ; “fhe Coolana Fund The Sydney Bush Walkers Inc PO Box 431 Milsons Point 1565. | -

Notice - Camp Fires and Stoves

All members are advised to check the restrictions on lighting fires in intended camping areas. Be aware that high to extreme bush fire danger may apply throughout much of NSW. This means that fires in the open are restricted and may only be used under certain conditions =? eg. acamp fire for cooking purposes.

However, most national parks, reserves and forest areas around Sydney have Local Fire Bans

which mean no fires of any nature are permitted Total Fire Bans may be declared on days of extreme fire danger and fires in the open, including cooking and camp fires, are totally prohibited for the period of the ban. Lighting any fire in the open on a day of Total Fire Ban may lead to a fine of $5,000 and six months imprisonment. This applies to any naked flame including camp fires and camping stoves.

The Sydney Bushwalker

November 2004 Page 11 |


Walks Notes: 38% July to gh September.

There is a small change in the way these notes are written of which readers may wish to be aware. In this set of notes, and in future, where no report is available for a walk at time of writing, no remark will be made of this fact.

We begin with a report for Bill Hollands walk on Sunday 7 July from Pymble station to Wahroonga. Conditions were generally dry for the party of 10 who attended, with the exception of one heavy shower, carefully timed to occur whilst the party were enjoying coffee in a sheltered area near lunchtime. The bush was damp from good overnight rain and the party experienced a little difficulty at one creek crossing. Otherwise all went well.

Wilf Hilder deferred his qualifying walk along stages 6 and 7 of the Great North Walk over the weekend of 17, 18 July due to knee problems. Watch the Spring Programme for this one.

Bill Holland was out again over the weekend of 24, 25 July on his Sunday walk from Pennant Hills to Hornsby, with a party of 22 many of whom were first time walkers with SBW. Conditions were fine and an interesting walk was had.

Peter Loves extended walk in Kakadu National Park went, over the period 25 July to 6 August, with a party of 8, and an article previously published in this very journal.

Wilf Hilders mid week walk from Ettalong to Copacabana on Thursday 29 July saw the party of 3 struggling against various forms of adversity related to incorrect timetables, misleading maps and the general absence of sign-posting in some areas. Not only that, but the bus arrived late at the end of the trip, leading to some measure of apprehension when the local school bus arrived first.

A party of 6 tured out for Tony Manes walk in Morton National Park over the weekend of 31 July, 1 August. The weather was generally good with a little smoke haze, and the main incidents of note related to a meandering member of the group who became detached from the party on a couple of occasions.

Wilfs mid week walk on Thursday 5 August had 5 starters out enjoying varying track conditions with traction problems initially due to wet leaves underfoot and subsequently due to dry leaves underfoot. Life gets tedious dont it!

Wilfs walk in Wollemi National Park over the weekend of 7, 8 August was deferred to the next program due to a persistence of the leaders aforesaid knee problem.

The weekend of 13, 14, 15 August saw John Bradnam with a party of three pushing out to Medlow Gap in the rain on Friday night to begin his walk into rarely visited terrain out in the Wild Dogs and beyond. Weather conditions improved next day for the walk up Bungalooloo Ridge and across Wonga Mountain. The camp- site near Ti Willa Creek on the Kowmung did not live up to expectations or the program description, and the party do not recommend the descent of Faithful Hound Ridge unless of course you are into very steep and exposed going.

Saturday 21* August saw another Six Foot Track in a day walk with Mark Patteson leading the 9 walkers, and Andrew Vilder leading the 6 supporters, 2 of whom _ swapped sides occasionally to add to the confusion. Sunday saw Jim Callaway leading a more leisurely event in The Royal with a party of 14 cruising from Heathcote to Engadine through the wildflowers. Pink Boronia, Donkey Orchids and Waratah blooms a whiter shade of pale were mentioned, though not necessarily in those terms.

Wilf led a midweek walk on Thursday 26 August with a party of 9. Concerns about prospectives and slippery foot-holds led Wilf to re-route the walk somewhat so it became a trip from Copacabana to Terrigal instead of Forresters Beach. The weather was excellent and the party was rewarded with excellent views along the coast including the sighting of a mother and baby whale and large school of fish. Guidebooks of the area were found to be not reliable and most of the tracks were un- signposted. Despite all this they finished the trip early at Terrigal with afternoon tea at around 1500 hours.

Chris Dowling cancelled his Saturday 28 August walk in the Blue Mountains due to transport difficulties and the sub-optimal numbers that ensued. It also gave the other two starters a chance to book on one of the 5 other day walks scheduled for that weekend. Sunday saw Maureen Carter with a party of 8 on her walk out from Glenbrook. Conditions were so humid that the gentle rain that began by lunch- time was most welcome as the party negotiated an array of obstacles, some ameliorated by, and others generated by, the 2001/2002 bushfires. The views were great, but by the time they reached Portal Lookout the cruise along tracks and road back to the apple and rhubarb crumble of Glenbrook became irresistible. Ron Watters tip from Bundanoon to Badgerys Lookout the same day had a party of 8 out under broken cloud that turned to rain at around 1530 hours

|Page 12

The Sydney Bushwalker

November 2004

making conditions damp and slippery. Various of the access ways yielded their secrets along the way but mid afternoon a rock wall stopped progress, and the subsequent retreat, via 2 X 15m handlines led to a difficult un-named creek bed that limited progress to around 500 metres per hour for 3 hours. The party accomplished the last stages of the walk by torchlight, reaching he cars at around 2205. An adventurous but enjoyable day.

By the time the day appointed for Tony Crichton to lead another Kanangra to Katoomba rolled around Tony was ill with influenza, so another Tony of the Manes denomination led the trip in his stead. Saturday 4 September saw the

party of 11 copmg with a lack of water in Kanangra Creek which forced a resort to Cox River a-la Puritab. Other than this the usual difficulties were overcome in good time. Ian Thorpe arrived early, so he walked out from Katoomba on the Friday and returned with the party on Saturday. Jim Callaway led a party of

unknown dimension on his Sunday walk in Heathcote National Park following a slightly truncated route to make up for the slippery rocks along the Woronora River due to heavy rain on the Saturday.

This brings the walks reports for this period to an end.

Barry Wallace

GPS Instructional

On Sunday 12” December I will be holding an instruction day on the use of a GPS particularly relating to bushwalking. We will do more than just identify our position. Using scanned maps, or maps from a CD we will use Oziexplorer software to plan a route; download the route to a GPS and walk the route using waypoints and tracks. Also, we will upload a walked track to the computer and produce a distance/height profile of the track walked

Bill Holland 9484 6636

TREK THE INDIAN HIMALAYA Could this be your adventure of a lifetime?

Those of us who attended the September social night, had the opportunity to hear SUE FEAR speak not only about her record making climb of Everest along with her recent trip to Gasherbrum IL, but also hear how we at SBW have the opportunity to go adventuring with her in 2005! Over the next few months, I'll be giving you more details are the trips that are being offered exclusively to SBW through World Expeditions. For more details, email

Approx 17 days trekking, 23 days ex Delhi 25 September - 18 October 2005

The Indian Himalaya stretches over a broad expanse containing rows and rows of glaciated peaks in sub ranges that are little explored, possibly even less so today. This is largely due to its slightly longer distance to access, and that none of the peaks top 8000 metres and therefore have been looked past by many mountaineers… Yet in the late 19th century much exploration occurred by mountaineers, the likes of Bill Tilman and Eric Shipton, as well as enthusiastic: 18 Indian surveyors… it has also seen trade across borders with Tibet, and a

Day What?

4 Arrive Delhi

:2 Drive to Almora 3 Drive to Munsyari 47

Trek to Martoli

Spare day : 14-15 Side trip to Milam

8-12 Side trip to Nanda Devi East

thoroughfare for the pundits of the Great Game. Nanda Devi at 7815m is the highest mountain in India and perhaps one of the most alluring; its twin peaks have a history of routes but it was the first ascent in 1934 by Tillman and Shipton that is the most impressive; it was the highest mountain ever climbed up until the

to foreigners but there is numerous valleys and passes to explore in the adjacent area we have chosen. Besides trekking to the base of Nanda Devi, we make explorations of adjacent alpine valleys, considering options on site, and according fo ferrain and weather and the time available. Again,

the program is moderate to challenging, depending on the side excursions we make, but it will be a little harder than the Sikkim trek.

ascent of Annapurna in 1950…The mountain, and sanctuary is closed indefinitely oo

: 16-19 Side trip to Ralam valley :20 To Munsyari

: 21-22 To Nanital

23 To Delhi and onward

Ex Delhi $3255 :

per person twin share : Ex Sydney $5095 : Single Supplement ADD : $390 per person :


The Sydney Bushwalker

November 2004 Page 13 |

Twenty Two Feet to Katoomba

Like the feet of ballet dancers, the feet of eleven walkers doing this years Kanangra to Katoomba in a Day are clever, strong, quick, nimble and durable. There is only one animal on earth that walks in an unstable position, vertically on two feet. The easiest job of the feet is to support and balance a standing body, the height of which is eight times the feet width, but they also must carry a moving body and sometimes over an irregular surface. The human foot consists of 26 bones that are firmly connected by tough bands of tissue called ligaments, the plantar ligament runs from the heel bone to the metatarsals, at the ball of the foot, keeping the bones in place. Movements of the foot are controlled by leg muscles. Each foot has two arches, the plantar arch runs from the heel to the ball and normally touches the ground only at both ends and the metatarsal arch across the ball of the foot. With the thick layer of fatty tissue under the sole, these flexible arches absorb pressure and the shocks of walking or jumping. On the 4“ of September this year the eleven

walked 50 kilometres over a variety of conditions. The first third of the trip was over hilly ground strewn with rocks and sticks. Each foot placement is different, one on the point of a rock, the next lower on a side sloping rock and the next placed carefully to avoid slipping on a wet log. The side thrust from a sloping rock has to be countered by the next step which is on a stone that rolls. The equilibrium goes further out and has to be corrected by the next few steps to regain stability quickly on whatever is found to step on. Let us not forget that while the feet are placed at the rate of two per second the other foot is passing through to make the next step also at the rate of two per second. This passing

David Trinder

foot has hazards also, it must clear sticks and rocks, a stick might move when it should not or might not move when it should and every foot pass is different.

So there are four operations per second, all different and all carefully managed. This first third of the trip required 50,000 operations for each person, and they were all done successfully. If any one operation failed the feet could no longer balance the moving body, and it falls without control. The body parts that hit the ground depends on the highest points on the ground, they might strike teeth, chest or hands, they might result in serious injury, or the person might get up and walk again. It might slow the person, it might stop the whole group.

After-Mount Strongleg the steep descent raises new issues for the feet. With gravity pulling the body down the slope over rocky, sticky, ground, the feet must control speed on a surface of small, loose stones that roll at every step. In these conditions the body has further to fall and falls are more dangerous.

At the Coxs River the feet get wet wading with shoes, sandals or bare, a risk of twisting on slippery rocks or of blisters later. Going up the Yellow Pup spur on the other side, the feet have another job to do, hard work. Each step raises the body to a new height and there will be 7,000 of them.

After Mount Yellow Dog the track is regular but fifteen kilometres must be covered in a short time, so the feet must work hard and fast and at the end of the fifteen climb a steep track, spikes in a rock face, and ladders.

The last ten kilometres is along the Narrow Neck Plateau. It is dark, the ground not visible and the feet are tired, the last of 70,000 paces.

When that is complete the feet can rest and


|Page 14 The Sydney Bushwalker November 2004

Return to Nattai Bill Holland

The last time I led an SBW party down Starlights Track to the Nattai River the walk was significantly shortened by one our members breaking her ankle and being carried out on a stretcher. There were thirteen on that walk and by coincidence that is the same number that attended my weekend qualifying walk eleven years later - 16”, 17“ October this year.

On this occasion we were three members and ten prospectives. Around midweek, before the walk, parts of Sydney had registered successive 38 temperatures but the weekend weather was kind to us. Pleasantly clouded on Saturday and cool for the walk up and out of the valley on Sunday.

We planned to meet outside the general store but ten years on the old store had been replaced by a more modern shop further up the street. Nevertheless, all were on time and we drove to the locked gate as scheduled at 8 am.

I had been warned that the gate had been shifted back to near the farm entry, adding about 3 km to the start and 7km to the finish. It was not surprising therefore that we changed our minds about ascending Beloon Pass on Sunday morning. As it tumed out we walked 16 km on Saturday and about the same distance on Sunday. When combined with the slow obstacle-dodging criss-crossing progress down the river on Saturday and the 500 metre climb out on Sunday this was ample exercise for the no-longer - young -and-fit leader and a sufficient test for our prospectives.

The Nattai Valley had very severe fires last year and although there were signs of recovery the bushland had the rather dispirited look of blacked tree trunks with new emerging greenery offering a welcome contrast. The high cliffs of the Wanganderry Range and the West Nattai Walls made an impressive backdrop and the charm of the Nattai Valley remains.

Water was an anticipated problem although the small creek running to the river at McArthurs Flat and alongside the Nattai Road on our exit on Sunday gave some relief. Each of us carried in 3 litres of water and boiled water from the Nattai before using it for the evening meal.

During my walk described above the usual question was asked of the origin of the name Starlights Track. Perhaps the following poem will offer some background but historical accuracy may give way to poetic licence.

The poem is by Bernard Peach and is copied from his personal Collected Works being published contributions in the magazine Out Of The Blue, the journal of the NSW Coast and Mountain Bushwalking Club, in the period Jrom 1949 to 1976.

This poem was published in Tent Topics in Issue No. 68 Dee 1955 and is repeated here with the kind permission of his family..

Starlights Track Red sets the sun on the sandstone bluffs The Captain rides through the western gap, And gold on the flat below, (So the men of the district say) Where grass and br acken are brown and spent And the Marston boys come close behind Away from the river's flow; With the gold of the Goulburn pay; And the track comes down from the old south road And they pause for a time by the river flat Through a gap in the red rock walls To plunder the colony's mail Two thousand feet to the river flat And the loot from the coach on the old south road Where the Nattai bends and falls. Where the ranges bar the trail ; When the moon is white on the sandstone bluffs And the troopers beat through the holly bush And mist lies low on the land, Till the rock walls turn them back, And the gaunt grey gums are tense and still For none but the Captain and his men And dark by the river sand, Know the way of Starlights track.

Bernard Peach 1955 The Sydney Bushwalker

November 2004 Page 15 |

Larapinta Trail Eight-Day Trek (Central Australia)

I walked out of my doctors surgery after my first over 55 years check up with his voice ringing in my ears: And, for heavens sake, dont let anyone teli you not to do anything. If you feel like it, do it.

Good advice or you might as well die happy recklessness?

I had plenty of time to chew this question over during the next few weeks, as I put my legs (with over half a century of clicks on the clock) to the test on an eight day trek over the peaks and bumps (as our guide called them) of the stunning Albert Namatjira coloured West MacDonnell Ranges in Central Australia. (For those too young, Albert Namatjira was an Aboriginal painter who won_ international acclaim in the 1950s with his vibrant landscapes of a country . previously seen as colourless).

The walk was the Larapinta Trail, a classic 120km trek averaging about seven hours walking a day over ancient landscapes of rocky, razorback escarpments, exposed ridgelines and deep gorges The trail ended on the peak of Mt Sonder some 1380 metres above ground level - where our World Expeditions guide managed to pull out a thermos of hot chocolate with all the wizardry of a Harry Potter special effect.

The good news was that we only had to carry a day pack containing personal belongings and (lots of) water. The rest of our gear, along with lavish supplies of food and drink was transported each day by World Expeditions who also provided a guide and camp helper to set up camp each night, cook imaginative and luscious meals and to make sure the billy was boiling and fire crackling when I and my seven fellow trekkers lumbered into camp each afternoon.

Judy OConnor

The not so good news was that even they could not produce a hot, or even cold shower in the middle of nowhere. As for toilets…dont ask.

Changing clothes became an unnecessary nicety and group photographs, when we all had to huddle together, were taken very quickly.

The trek starts two kilometres from Alice Springs at the old Telegraph Station, built in the 1870s when the Australian overland telegraph from Darwin to Adelaide was being constructed.

It gently meanders up and over boulders of Alice Springs granite to a high point where views of Alice Springs are pleasantly laid out. From there the trail passes through witchetty bush and mulga scrub, up and over exposed hills and shady woodlands before descending, 17km later, to the deep, narrow passage of Wallaby Gap forthe first nights sleep under the stars.

Despite my mature years, it was my first experience with that peculiarly Northern Territory sleeping arrangement the swag. For those who dont know, its a canvas cocoon which looks disturbingly like the body bags you see being filmed at night going on to American fighter planes when troops go to foreign trouble spots.

The idea is you insert your sleeping bag inside the cocoon, place it on ground under the stars, climb in and gaze with city slicker eyes at the awesome Southern Cross in the brilliant sky above you. If it gets cold, theres a large flap you grapple with m the middle of the night to drag over your head to keep the chill away.

The temperature dropped well below zero and I wondered the next morning as I unravelled myself whether my doctor would rethink his advice if he could see the sheet of white ice reaching from my nose to the end of the swag.

On day two we walked 12km to the picture postcard towering Simpsons Gap through magnificent bloodwoods and tall ironwoods which are the dominant trees in the narrow alluvial flat. Along the way there was much bird watching at Scorpion Pool and lots of little black footed wallaby faces peeping around rocks. The next day also took us 12km high above the craggy, razor desert ranges to the ancient Mesic Gully with a steep descent to another famous |Page 16 The Sydney Bushwalker November 2004

landmark - Standley Chasm which involved descending into dark, enclosed spaces and a slippery slide down a conveniently placed tree trunk.

Serpentine Gorge to Serpentine Chalet (16km) on day four included a 5km ridge walk with low-flying- aeroplane views over the four highest peaks west of The Great Dividing Range.

In the distance we could see the 150m high walls of the mammoth 5km wide crater at Gosse Bluff where a meteorite crashed to earth some 135 million years ago, blasting an area of about 20 square km in what must have been the mother of all explosions.

The rainbow coloured Red Ochre pits, near the ruins of Serpentine Chalet, are akin to an Aboriginal sacred site. Their towering cliffs of soft earth and mixtures of iron oxide have produced a natural palette of glimmering earth coloured hues, ranging from soft beige through to rich reds and purples. Aborigines have visited the site over thousands of years to use the sandy material for ceremonial body decoration and paintings.

Day five (18km) began with a gentle walk through Ormiston Pound below the impressive escarpments of Ormiston Gorge where a couple of compulsory water crossings gave us a fleeting taste of the stark contrasts of the red centre where water can swell out waterholes overnight, and make them disappear into

, dust a day later.

The day finished with a walk to Glen Helen Gorge and our campsite for the next three nights on the banks of the legendary Finke River, named by John Stuart after the Adelaide financier William Finke. Over the years the Finke, which rises in the West MacDonnells and flows over 1000km until it disappears into Lake Eyre, has acquired mythical status with many claiming it is the oldest river in the world. It is also said it only ever runs for the entire length of its course about twice every century. No one has ever proved this, mind you, but then no one is denying it.

This is where supported adventure trips come into their own - how else could you find yourself sinking into a comfortable deck chair in a sociable circle of fellow trekkers, nibbling antipasto, smoked oysters and tangy cheese, sipping a glass of honest red wine with the sun setting on a 360 degree view of the ancient waterway, with all its mystery and majesty, while the towering cliffs and escarpments surrounding you turn from brandished orange to deep purple. The sky darkens, the moon rises and the sky is alive with diamonds. Aaabh…just what the doctor ordered.

Days six and seven (16km and 10km) saw us heading through low Spinifex hills to Davenport Creek with its semi permanent waterhole then a steep ascent of quartzite ridges where we gulped at the expansive folds of the peaks and valleys of the surrounding countryside far below us.

The last day was memorable: an ascent of Mt Sonder (1380m) the second highest peak in the West MacDonnell Ranges and the official finish of the Larapinta Trail. It involved an eight kilometre exposed climb straight up from 700m to the summit over rocks of every size, shape and colour - a time to marvel in awe at the magnitude and fearsomeness of the volcanic forces that created this Jurassic landscape many millions of years ago.

One essential piece of advice, especially for female trekkers: before setting off, make a booking for every kind of creature comfort and makeover you can think of for when you return massages, facials, pedicures, hairdos. You ll deserve the lot.

Oh, and (in my case) a phone call to the doctor to thank him for his advice.

Water Is Very Important ! Please remember that walking in summer requires ample intake of water. In these drought conditions good quality water may be very scarce. Consumption on day walk can be between 3 - 4 litres. More if you are carrying a heavy week-end pack.

The Sydney Bushwalker

November 2004 Page 17 |


Congratulations to those admitted to full membership this month. They are: Rick Angel Danny Huang Kellie Rees Julian Ninio, Alison Ninio, Julian Denard Shula Denard and Aleksandar Popovski,

New Prospective night and Training nights at the Club Rooms

Every second Wednesday of each month, SBW welcomes new members as well as helping new prospective prepare for their first day and overnight walk, packing hints, foods, clothing, equipment, etc. Just come along we start at 8pm in the clubrooms.

Please do not forget to record your walks.

Weekend Walking Gear for Hire The club now has a small pool of weekend walking equipment available for hire. The rates for weekly hire are:

Weekend pack: $15 Sleeping bag: $15 Sleeping mat: $5 Ground sheet: $2 Tent: $20 Complete kit $50

(For hygiene reasons you must provide and use your own sleeping bag liner)

Equivalent refundable deposit required. Contact: Geoff McIntosh 9419 4619

It is very important that you keep a record of all walks that you participate in as you need to complete the full membership form with all the details. Also, if you are ringing to book on a walk, the leader will ask you what walks you have participated in and the name of the leaders that you have walked with. Please contact me if

you have any questions

Cheers: Grace Martinez SBW New Members Secretary

Mid - Week Walkers:

Our very successful Boat trip on the River Murray and the cottage stay at Moonan Brook will be reported on fully next month.

We are looking forward to the holiday house at Berrara Beach (Nov 29th to 3rd Dec) and there is still time to make a late booking to join us for beach and bush walking, bicycle riding (optional) or just relaxing by the lagoon.

Phone Bill Holland 9484 6636

Here are some mid-week day walks next month: Thur_2 Dec: Prospect Nature Reserve Tues_9”Dec: Davidson National Park Thur_16“ Dec: Botany Bay

Tues 21* Dec: Evening Walk - Circular Quay

Full details of the above are in the Summer Walks programme

The Great River Walk End of Walk Dinner

The 4 years of walking the Greater Hawkesbury River System from source to mouth is over with Stage 20 from Brooklyn to Barrenjoey Lighthouse walked on 14th November. And as the saying goes, But wait, theres more! I invite anyone who has walked any stage, any supporter or anyone who would like to know about the walk to a giant end of walk dinner. We are celebrating the end of the project with a hot buffet dinner at the Visitors Centre of the Ku-Ring-Gai Wildflower Garden at St Ives

from 4pm to 10pm on Sunday 5th December.

A memorable evening is planned with 2 films to be shown about the walk, some tall stories, some (mercifully) short speeches and some prizes and certificates. We hope to make it a


fitting finish to a great experience, the inaugural walk down what is hoped to be one day a new long distance track for Sydney. The venue, the entertainment, the prizes, the 3 course meal and the non alcoholic drinks will cost $48. (BYO alcohol). Please contact Roger Treagus for bookings and details on 99955784(w), 0401017289 or

But wait theres more!! In our headlong rush down to the sea two fascinating sections

of the river system were missed, a day walk through the central Wollondilly Gorge and a day walk from Pejar Dam to the Mill on the upper river. Look for these in the autumn program. Its never over till its over. My heartfelt thanks to everyone who walked with me. Roger Treagus

|Page 18

The Sydney Bushwalker

November 2004 |


Hiya all,

Can you believe that it's November already??!! Can anyone tell me where the months between January and October got to? It can mean only one thing - Christmas is nearly here and that means that holidays are not too far off - yay! So get ready for the SBW annual Christmas party and extended walks with New Years Eve festivities! !

** Now, I know that some of the keener and cluey ones picked up on my editorial gaff in last months newsletter, when I referred to Bernard O'Reilly's book, using the word Cooranbong, of course, it should have been, Cullenbenbong.

Well done if you picked it up… if you didn't, can J recommend the book to you? Great story- telling, a real treat.

I'd like to use this month's letter to advise everyone of my resignation from the position of Social Secretary. It's been a huge couple of years and we've done lots of fun things and tried some new stuff along the way. This type of resignation usually comes into affect at the Annual General meeting, however I'm very keen to step down prior to this due to work commitments. So HELLO EVERYBODY!! I welcome your interest in this fab position… come on… step on up… !! Don't hold back! If you're keen, please call me on 0412 304 071 or email me at there actually isn't that much tume involved, but my job takes me out of Sydney at short notice, so don't be shy, give ita go! See you on the track!!!

Cheers my dears Car

Social Programme - December: Wed Ist 7pm Committee Meeting

Wed 8” 8pm Introduction to SBW Learn all the important information needed to jom SBW Wed 15“ 8pm SBW Christmas Party

Post-Election Blues While walking down the street one day a politician is tragically hit by a tmck and dies. His soul arrives in heaven and is met by St. Peter at the entrance. “Welcome to heaven,” says St. Peter. “Before you settle in, it seems there is a problem. We seldom see a high official around these parts, you see, so we're not sure what to do with you.”

“No problem, just let me in,” says the man. “Well, I'd like to but I have orders from higher up. What we'll do is have you spend one day in hell and one in heaven. Then you can choose where to

spend eternity.”


“Really, I've made up my mind. I want to be in heaven,” says the politician.

“T'm sorry but we have our rules.” And with that, St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell. The doors open and he finds himself in the middle of a green golf course. In the distance is a club and standing in front of it are all his friends and other politicians who had worked with him. Everyone is very happy and in evening dress. They run to greet him, shake

his hand, and reminisce about the good

B82 times they had while getting rich at

expense of the people. They play a

friendly game of golf and then dine on lobster, caviar and champagne.

Also present is the Devil, who really is a very friendly guy who has a good time dancing and telling jokes. They are having such a good time that, before he realizes it, it is tume to go. Everyone gives him a hearty farewell and waves while the elevator rises.

The elevator goes up, up, up and the door reopens on heaven where St. Peter is waiting for him.

“Now it's time to visit heaven.”

So, 24 hours pass with the Head of State joining a group of contented souls moving from cloud to cloud, playing the harp and singing. They have a good time and, SF before he realizes it, the 24 hours

have gone by and St. Peter returns.

“Well then, you've spent a day in hell and another in heaven. Now choose your eternity.” The politician reflects for a minute, then answers: “Well, I would never have said it before, I mean heaven has been delightful, but I think I would be better off in hell.”

So St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, to hell. Now the doors of the elevator open and he's in the middle of a barren land covered with waste and garbage. He sees all his friends, dressed in rags, picking up the trash and putting it in black bags.

The Devil comes over to him and puts his arm around his shoulder.

“I don't understand,” he stammers. “Yesterday I was here and there was a golf course and club, and we ate lobster and caviar, drank champagne, and danced and had a great time. Now all there is a wasteland full of garbage and my friends look

miserable. What happened?” es The Devil looks at him, smiles and says, “Yesterday we were campaipning…… Today you voted!

Contributed by John Pozniac

= an ~ Fes:

We have to use with skill what simple equipment we can

Carry on our backs to achieve shelter, If you really want to get the best prepare food and have a night's rest?

out of what you carry with you, Paddy Pallin, 1900-1991

then move up to Black Diamond, exclusive to Paddy Pallin.

~ Black Diamond

Black Diamond Moonlight Headtorch: Constantly frustrated with replacing your torch battery? Then the Moonlight is for you. WIth 4 ultra bright, energy efficient LED bulbs, it provides 70 hours of constant light. It weighs a mere 90g (without batteries) so you'll hardly know you're

carrying it. Ideal for night walking, cooking and reading.

Black Diamond Contour Trekking Pole: Trekking poles dont just os improve your balance and reduce the strain on your lower limbs; they help re-distribute the load to your upper limbs as well, meaning you can keep going for longer. The Contour, featured, is ideal for comfort over long periods of walking with an ergonomic 15 degree correction angle in the upper shaft and soft dual density hand grip. It also features a unique NEW adjustment system,

making these the most easily adjusted poles on the market.

Black Diamond Betamid Tent: When you want to go ultra-light or you need extra storage space, the Betamid has you covered. This compact, flooriess tent will go anywhere and pitches using a pair of trekking poles! Weighing in at a fraction over 1kg, it sleeps two and stands strong

against the elements. (Optional, detachable tub floor is also available.)

Store focations: Sydney: 507 Kent Street Miranda: 527 Kingsway * Parrarnatta: 74 Macquarie Street * Katoomba: 166 Katoomba Street Also in Canberra and Jindabyne Website:

Mail order: 1800 805 398

200411.txt · Last modified: 2023/08/11 08:29 by

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