A Journal devoted to matters of interest to Members of the Sydney Bush Walkers, Sydney, New South Wales.
Misses Marjorie Hill, (Editor), Dorothy Lawry, Brenda White, Rene Browne and Mr. Myles Dunphy.
And so it came to pass upon one very ideal walking day a certain young male walker rambling around the cliffs near Sublime Point gave much thought upon the matter of trying to bring together those folks who really were interested in walking. He dreamt of a room, even though somewhere in the stuffy city of Sydney, that would soon be permeated with the fragrance of the bush and the healthy out-of-door spirit, that it would breathe again under the very joy of enthusiasm the ramblers expressed in the exchange of their experiences. He built castles in the air and then promptly lost himself in the glories of the coastal scenery and the joy of being able to appreciate it.
But returning Sydneywards by an evening train the fact of two girls, complete with packs, entering into the carriage made the certain young male walker recall his dream. This time he decided it would be no mere dream and if he could have a say in the matter a free and easy, go-as-you-please meeting place for walkers would be made. So he there and then wrote the following letter which appeared in the Sydney 'Sun' on 1st. August, 1927.
The certain young male walker to walking enthusiasts:-
“I would like to see in Sydney a “Hiker's” Club, where “hikers” could meet and discuss routes, places of interest, etc., and so fill a long-felt want for those who go on walking trips. Many walkers, no doubt, prefer to go with their own friends, or even alone, rather than be bothered with organised trips; but their information would be valuable to others, and so I would suggest a free and easy meeting place for all those who “hit the trail”. Organised trips could be arranged for those who wished and, no doubt, the scheme would be one of mutual benefit. The club should, naturally, be open to lady members, for one sees as many of the fair sex on the trail as men.”
Then, within a few days, the following letters appeared in the 'Sun':
Miss Jess Scott writes:-
“I and several girl friends read with considerable interest the letter of Mr.– advocating the formation of a “Hiking” Club. With the approach of spring, the beauties of the countryside seem to lift their voices appealingly to the “hiker”, calling him to view their unadorned splendour. With some friends I periodically go out on walking tours, and find it a very healthful and interesting pastime. It is one which, were it easier to get information re routes and conveniences for camping, would be unsurpassed.”
Mr. Myles J. Dunphy (Secretary Mountain Trails Club) writes:-
“The Mountain Trails Club of N.S.W. has specialised in walking and camping tours, and the preservation of native fauna and flora and beauty spots for the past 14 years. Any interested visitors are welcome at the meetings held second Friday every month, 7.30 p.m. at Room 3, N.S.W. Sports Club Building, side entrance, 10 Hunter Street, Sydney. The Club is an amateur exploring one; its members preferring rough country right away from settlement, and for that reason membership is by invitation only, and ladies are not eligible for membership, although on some easier trips they have been included in the parties, carrying their own packs, notably to Barrington Tops, Bulga, and Comboyne Plateaus, Burragorang Valley, Yarrowitchand etc. Any information as to known routes and kit will be gladly given.”
“Walker” wants to wander:-
“I have noticed several letters concerning “hiking” tours. A suggestion was made to form a Club. A few years ago a club existed called the “Milestones” and members went to the country for “hikes” almost every Sunday, but it has been disbanded. I would suggest that a similar organisation be formed, open to both sexes, and I could provide several members, if anyone feels disposed to start the business. There is a wealth of beautiful scenery within a short radius of this city, and no better way to enjoy it than to walk. Perhaps some members of the N.S.W. Walkers' Club (racing) will take the matter up.”
The certain young male walker appeared at the M.T.C. meeting and though he tried hard, and had most valuable assistance from one Trailer, Mr. Alan Rigby, for the M.T.C. to form a club such as he desired, it was not to be.
The following letter was received from Mr. A.F. Duncan:-
“My wife and I, both enthusiastic “ramblers” or “hikers”, as you prefer to call us, have read with much interest your letter in the 'Sun'. We are but recently arrived in Sydney, but have been delighted with the walks and scenery at National Park and in other directions around, and think, with you, that it is time some club or group of walkers should get together to organise rambles in the manner suggested. We have belonged to several rambling clubs in England, and also know two others in the Sydney district who would be only too delighted to co-operate with you in the forming of such a group. We are also interested in pedestrian camping and thro' this channel might be fortunate in meeting others of similar tastes.
Assuring you of our hearty co-operation should you care to pursue the matter further.
(Bgd.) A..F. Duncan.”
By mere coincidence, unbeknown to either parties, a mutual friend had arranged a walk at which Mr. Duncan and the certain young male walker were present. On that walk the formation of a club was talked and talked and it was definitely decided to proceed with the matter.
It would be a long dry story for most Bushwalkers were they to hear of the meetings at which the certain young male walker battled for his ideal. Eventually whilst he was away in the country juggling finances for tin hares in a business-before-pleasure venture, the M.T.C. advertised a meeting for those interested in the formation of a walking club open to both sexes. It was well attended and a motion was passed to form such a club and a committee was elected.
And so the present Sydney Bush Walkers' Club is but a dream come true.
In view of some recent happenings - which actually inspired some pages of song or songs of Page - a few words may be acceptable.
Getting mislaid for a minute or two, or an hour or two is just so-so, but to slip and be out all night is quite another matter.
Think of the countless S.B.W. walks and the very small percentage of involuntary pioneering trips thereof. Something is certainly wrong - to get mislaid should be everyone's experience, - makes one shudder to think of the horde of S.B.Ws. who have never failed to run to programme! What will the poor blighters do when someone slips?
Well - here's how - - - - - - Properties required, some bush, more the better, some tracks, fewer the better, one plain old anyhow sort of a gum tree blazed both sides, this being where you swing sharp right, or is it left? This tree looks just the same as the other million odd or so, until you bump right into it and read the blazes. Of course if you don't hit this tree, there's nothing to stop you turning sharp right or left at any other old tree, provided you pick the right company and the right night - it really doesn't matter.
The party under review - four girls and four blokes - lunched in the good old bush at the foot of Mt. Mouin, then hiking packs in the scrub, set out for a two-hour ramble round Mouin. One obstinate og refused to leave his pack, said it was agin his religion.
One hour passed and turn-about time came. The party split into two lots, 3 blokes to further explore, four girls and bloke leader to return via the blazed tree and the packs, leaving a mark at both spots, just to show O.K. Last words of the three blokes to the bloke leader being - “hug Mt.Mouin and you can't go wrong.”
Off the five toddled and smartly too, as it was getting on in the day. The leader being an experienced hugger, hugged that cow of a mountain till it was absolutely mooin, he got too high up on the slope and thus missed the blooming old double blazed gummy. (First step in that great drama - “the perfect night”) Naturally the packs were also missed and not marked.
The obvious point to march on - Clear Hill - was quite blotted out by thick trees and tall. The whole aspect was unfamiliar and after a halt and much hurried scouting for a glimpse of Clear Hill, things seemed to come to a dead end. Even had the right track been then found, it meant much night walking including the risky climb up Clear Hill with one torch for five. This alone shows the spooks know their business.
It was then 4.30 with night coming fast, so the leader declared they must be prepared to stay out all night. The prospect was not cheerful - a frosty night coming - no tents - groundsheets or coats - all in shorts - a little tucker in the pack that was not left, and divil a cave in sight. The girls were trumps - not a scrap of concern at the prospect.
A trig fallen tree was the first requisite; in five minutes a beauty was found. The girls worked like navvies and dragged in quite a ton of wood of every size and sootiness. They next tackled the trees and brought in a huge mass of boughs which were used to make a semicircular wall closely packed four feet high, and considering they had no putty it was a pretty fair breakwind. A fire was started (gorbless all matchmakers), the leader fished out two square billies from the pack that wasn't and set out on a water hunt. Down in the bed of a dry creek about a half mile away, a pint or two was found in a rock saucer - just a puddle brown with debris - but wet, cold and precious. Carefully scooped with a panakin, it filled the billies and so to home again. Approaching camp a very fine picture was revealed - just dark, the fireglow playing on the big trees while the four lasses were shown bringing in the sheaves. Baths and washing being off, tea was made and declared by all to be perfection, a flavour undreamed of, probably 'twas plus the essence of bark and leaf of everything in the clean old bush. Out of the pack that wasn't came milk! sugar!! coffee biscuits!!! The ration ran to two each and a mug of tea each in turn. Strangely, it seemed quite enough. Washing up was turned down. Then, neat headers out of the nippy wind and into the fresh and fragrant gumleaves.
It was then 6 o'clock, with 12 hours of black night to cheat. Were they downhearted? NO!! Much fun was made about the situation and some misgiving crept out lest they be soon found and torn from their cosy nest to be marched back home. Some cooing was heard and answered; it seemed possible that the three blokes of the other party may have got astray in the dark; much pity for their condition found vent. Poor chaps - lost in the bush - no cover - no packs - no tucker - their situation seemed desperate, and the soprani went hoarse in the effort to help the poor blighters.
However, nothing came of it, and after dancing stars had played torches with the party, they gave up and settled back into their nests again. They sang, yarned, played games, laughed, dozed, burnt, shivered and chuckled. The biting westerly died down and then came a rapturous silence, heavy and thick with a pile like carpet, broken only by the quiet crackling of the fire and the many solo and massed coo-ees produced entirely on principle.
Not a bird, insect or wild thing broke the silence. All manner of leafy arrangements were tried - at times the girls were completely buried - just bright faces peeping out like Cosmos in a tangle, a truly wonderful sight for the stoker when he played the torch on them.
Then another spasm of fun. Off went the bedclothes and eucadowns and then came a wonderful imaginative and pantomimic supper. Such careful concocting and cooking by the firelight; after that the eating, even serviettes and fingerbowls being supplied by Imagination un-Ltd. 20-course meals were as cheap as bread and butter, and so the hours stole by.
Midnight - The·quiet purr of the fire regularly fed, quite safe and sizable. The stars - vivid tiaras gleaming through lacework of leaves. Four little sleepy birds curled in the nest. The old father bird standing guard over them - taking in many impressions - some here expressed and some too delightfully vague to translate into mere words, yet as such, will outlast words. The stoker found time slip easily by every aspect charmed and any troubles of the morrow were just pushed out of the picture.
Dawn never fails. This time the party met it. No one bothered about a shower - a show of hands looked like a coon's congress. Again the trip down creek and again the nectar of the bush. Breakfast was a swanky feed - one slice of bread with butter, jam or cheese from the bottomless pack that wasn't, tipped off with chocolate from some birdie's feathery pocket.
It had proved a wonderful and memorable night. Had it rained or fogged quite another story would have been written. As it was, a vote of thanks from the party to the blazed tree for so carefully hiding itself behind a bigger one.
A perfect day was now on its way, so, safing the fire, the obvious move was to climb Mouin until Clear Hill could be seen - then quick march.
It was not without regret the party left its nest, still, the rescue of the rescue party demanded all their attention, so up the Mount they moved. Just then a hail sounded quite close. Sure enough, just a few hundred yards away were the worried and tired rescuers, who took the party back to their depot - not more than ten minutes away from their nest. (What a narrow squeak).
The lads had the cheek to offer a second breakfast to the party of mislaidens, and they had the cheeks to hold it, which they did, begob. Their clatter had certainly interfered with the repose of the mislaidens, still, they meant well. The tale of their night out must be told from another angle and another pen.
And so all ended O.K. If there is any moral in it, it is that, no matter how far out into the bush one may go, one cannot shake off neighbours.
Says Taro, Duke of Clear Hill.
With glorious memories of yester-yore,
Anticipation has delights in store.
What matter if it's cold and wet
With attendant ills one can't forget?
Tho' life is viewed from a tent's cramped space
And beaming Sol doth hide his face,
When all around is ooze and mud
And the once placid stream now roars in flood,
To damp our spirits that's not enuff,
We need an earthquake, for we're jolly 'tuff'.
When the day doth dawn - in freedom clad,
We stretch our legs, and our hearts are glad.
The miles fly by in speedy time
Whether it's lowland, track or hill we climb,
Or wading thro' the hurrying stream
Whose surface drops like diamonds gleam.
Perhaps scaling rocks is our design
Or traversing sand like clinging vine.
But whate'er betide, our twinkling feet
Must spur us on to where we eat,
For knowest not the bushwalkers' cry -
“When do we eat - or fade and die?”
“One of 'em.”
On Friday night the 22nd. July 1932, four members of the Barger tribe boarded the 6.35 Mountain-bound train. The adventurers were Brenda White with a 31 lbs. pack, Jean Trimble with 37lbs., Richard Croker 57 lbs., and Norman Rodd with 50 lbs. Their packs were heavy, but their hearts were light with the prospect of the ensuing nine days.
Katoomba extended a typical, wintry welcome - clear frozen air, and the blazing stars vying with a near-full moon to lead us safely down Nellie's Glen. For a change the latter was reasonably dry, and we managed to slither our winding way to the level track with nothing worse than damp shoes and, more or less, uncontrollable knees. We made a fair pace on the level and a midnight camp at the ruins of the old Hotel.
On Saturday a sunlit but hoar-frosted landscape bade us good-morning. One by one we hauled our sleepy frames from warm sleeping bags, shivered, and crunched our way across the clearing, scraped a film of ice from the creek surface and having laved our bodies with varying degrees of thoroughness, hobbled back to the breakfast fire to thaw our frozen extremities. Eleven o'clock saw us marching along the Megalong Creek track, admiring the quickly melting frost and ice-filmed pools by the way. Megalong Village and the little Church slipped behind and proud old Clear Hill peered down from its lofty, sunbathed eminence, and smiled a little scornfully at four hump-backed mites crawling at the foot of its ageworn slopes.
A halt was made at Carlan's homestead at about one o'clock for a light luncheon and a luxuriant bask in the sun. We chatted to the Carlans and were hastening (?) up through their famous back gate by three o'clock. There was no difficulty in descending to Breakfast Creek - we just stood on our heels and let our packs do the rest. The cool shade of the creek banks was a welcome change from the sunbaked upper world, and some brisk walking, during which we saw our first wallaby, and some black cockatoos that screeched at our intrusion. It was a wee-bit-pack-weary quartette which arrived at the junction of the Cox and Breakfast Creek about five o'clock. We made camp here and slept like good Bushwalkers.
Another morning start was made on Sunday and an eight miles walk along the banks of the placidly flowing, casuarina fringed Cox landed us for a mid-afternoon lunch on the rabbit-riddled, beauty spot, the Kanangaroo clearing. Black clouds had begun to menace and soon a cold wind and some heavy rain urged us to camp on a flat about a mile below the junction of the Kanangaroo River and Creek.
The sky cleared overnight and in the morning a crystal clear, green pebble-bottomed pool at the front door invited a quick plunge and earned for our temporary abode the name of “Green Pool” camp. Half past ten on Monday morning and we were at the junction of River and Creek, and incidentally, at the beginning of the “rough stuff.”
We crossed and waded, waded and crossed and then just for a change, crossed again. More than two hundred yards of one side of the creek seemed to bore us, and if it lengthened to a quarter of a mile - well, we just knew we must be off the track and crossed twice in the next fifty yards to reassure ourselves. Soon after lunch our feet began to web and if we hadn't camped at four fifteen we would have quacked loud and long and dug for worms to appease our appetites.
“Gibber Gunyah” we dubbed this camp-site on account of the rocky bed it proffered to our weary limbs. We blazed a tree before we left the spot, believing that we had pitched tent higher than ever tent had been pitched before on Kanangaroo Creek. “Gibber Gunyah” camp nestled practically at the foot of that majestic triad of Spires which form such an outstanding feature of the upper-valley when viewed from the top.
Half an hour's rock-hopping and wading in ice-cold water, next morning, brought us, by ten o'clock, to the steep, rocky entrance to Murdering Gulley. It was at Murdering Gulley that we found a large gumtree blazed a la Mountain Trail and marked (1930) with the names H. Savage and J. Debert who had come down from the top and back again on the same day. We added the blaze M.G. for the benefit of future walkers and then, dumping packs, made a rush expedition to the foot of the first series of glistening cascades tumbling down from that first sheer drop which is almost inaccessible from our present position.
The creek gets considerably narrower, with sheer walls, and with sparkling, bubbly falls and rapids. The two falls we could see from the bottom were from sixty to ninety feet high, cascading down to crystal pools. The cold, sunless, upper reaches of the Kanangaroo Gorge are awe-inspiring in their unique grandeur. Those symetrically sheer, grey granite bluffs which rise a thousand dizzy feet on either side of one are the very personification of hoary antiquity. Since the very birth of the world those granite sheerdowns have altered only a little in their regally dignified appearance. They are a little more water corroded perhaps, and a little more storm seamed, but they were surely never young and fresh of face.
We arrived back at the foot of Murdering Gulley, shouldered packs, and started the big climb immediately. For about five hundred feet, the foot-hold, or rather the toe and finger hold, is comparatively secure, if slippery granite and giant nettles are left out of consideration. But then one leaves this and finds oneself on an exceedingly steep, gravelled, ironstone shale slope, thinly timbered with gum trees, and well provided with thick undergrowth containing every species of prickly Australian flora which naturally take a fiendish delight in presenting themselves to be clutched by desperate hands and wobbly knees. About a thousand feet of this sort of thing cause an empty stomach to grate against the backbone, and the sweat to pour into one's eyes. We had just begun to think “What's the matter anyway? It's a good place to die,” when the home stretch loomed in front and our aching legs mechanically pulled us to the very foot of the ladders at the top. Having revived quite quickly from this experience we tramped across to the Mud Hut for lunch and pitched the tent while black clouds scudded across the sky and a cold breeze blew.
Next morning we meandered over the plateaux and enjoyed some magnificent views. Gangerang, Thurat, Colong and other well-known landmarks were well defined in the clear air. We bade farewell to Mount Maxwell at twelve fifteen and followed the Gingera track till we reached the Mountain Trails blaze marking the turnoff over Brumby Mountain Pass to the Kowmung.
Having received many explicit directions regarding this route, we most naturally went astray at the first opportunity. Along a hillside we scrambled on the sides of our feet, with 6 ft. bracken ruffling our curls and the saplings falling before us. Tiring of this occupation we stopped, had a glance around the compass and decided that the mountain directly opposite was Brumby Mountain and that we should be on it. We altered course accordingly and after one long down and one long up we arrived at its summit and saw the Kowmung gleaming invitingly a few thousand feet below us. We reached the “bottom of that terrible descent” with our toes almost pushed through our shoes and knees which really did not belong to us. We camped where we dropped.
We left the camp on Thursday morning and gambolled, packless, upstream to have a look at the Bulga Denis, then back to camp for lunch and to get away by one-twenty. We passed Rootes Route at one-fifty and arrived at Thunderstorm Camp, a couple of miles below the Cedar Road on the Kowmung at four-fifty. We were caught here by a storm at Easter and the old camp spot held many happy memories. We disturbed large numbers of wallabies, kangaroos and birds when they came down to the river at sundown, and once, three old men Kangaroos, who sniffed disdainfully and loped up the hill - at which we thought of our next “up the hill” - Kedumba.
Friday morning we moved on down the Kowmung and arrived on the Cox after some rough travelling - negotiating granite cliffs, crossing rapids and crawling for several back-breaking miles through canooka jungles. We lunched at the junction of the two rivers and were away by three-fifty, passed the Black Dog about four fifty-five, and arrived at Apple Gum Flat a few miles above Kill's farm. We sighted Kill's farm after forty minutes walking along the Cox on Saturday and saw the first human beings - other than ourselves - for over a week, in the shape of a party of Bushwalkers. We exchanged news, and pushed on for lunch. We had a great tidying up, the bearded males enjoyed (?) a shave, and we made Maxwell's farm on Saturday night, camping on their creek.
Sunday morning we said goodbye to the Maxwells and arrived at the foot of Kedumba at ten fifteen, making the top at eleven fourteen for the boys and twenty-nine for the girls.
A bath and dinner at the Grand View Hotel, Wentworth Falls, made us feel quite 'civilised' again and we boarded the train at four seven. Light snow, hail and rain fell together as we commenced the train journey and the big bad city was wet and miserable. With the exception of a couple of hours rain at the beginning of the trip, the weather smiled and we had glorious blue-gold days and clear frosty nights. We had a splendid holiday and accomplished all we had planned without a hitch - what more could Barging Bush Walkers want?
Where these Hiking Clubs have rested,
Tins they leave upon the grass,
Of peel and paper add your quota
Just as leavening of the mass;
You may add to them a message
To others whoalong the way may pass:
“If you cannot shed your rubbish
Shed a tear but pass them by.”
Bushwalkers will be pleased to know that Paddy Pallin's place is now in a more accessible spot, namely - above Hallam's new shop, right opposite Wynyard Station in George Street. There he will be pleased, at any time between 8 a.m. and 5.30 p.m. (12.30 Saturday) to see anyone interested in Camping Gear.
Also by special request (Mr. N. Griffiths, please note!) he is now connected to that mystic network known as the 'Phone, Dial B310l.
He also has a very complete set of maps - including inch to the mile Military Maps - which are available at any time for reference, together with tracing paper and pencil for those who wish to trace out a route. There is, of course, no charge for this service.
Down Sleeping Bags are a very welcome addition to one's gear this time of the year. They weigh less than a blanket and equal more than two in warmth, yet they fit into a bag 14“ long and 8” in diameter. Have a look at Paddy's selection before deciding on yours.
Mutton Bird pure Down is the very latest filling and it is guaranteed odourless and satisfactory in every way. A Bag made of Green Japara filled with this down costs only 42/- complete in a waterproof cover.
He has now a supply of Khaki Shirts and Shorts. Inspection invited.
An illustrated price list will be supplied on request.
312 George Street, above Hallam's, opp. Wynyard Station, Sydney. Phone: B3101.
Coming events: An exhibition of oil paintings of beauty spots in the bush, by the well-known artist Rhys Williams, will shortly be held. Particulars later.
Situated 20 miles from Bluff, Southland's chief port, incidentally the most southerly town in the world, lies Stewart Island, named after Captain Stewart, a pilot of H.M.S. 'Herald' that sailed into Pegasus, the southern port of the island during the year 1840. Her commander claimed the Island for the British Empire during that year.
Captain Cook sighted the Island years before, but thinking it part of the mainland, paid it scant attention, and it remained for a pilot of H.M.S. 'Herald' to discover it.
Few places offer enchantment as Stewart Island does, known by the Maoris as 'Ra-Riura' - Land of Glowing Sky, but peace and joy to city-jaded people. The Island is 40 miles in length, has an area of 665 square miles, and about 500 miles of coastline.
Nowhere else does nature stand out in all her glory as in this evergreen isle of dreams. Bush and flowers grow down to the water's edge, untouched by man, remaining a verdant sanctuary for all bird life. The climate is a pleasant surprise for so far south - during seasons when coldness should be expected flowers such as the geranium bloom in profusion, a friendly warm current wanders down from the tropics caressing the western shore.
Half Moon Bay or Oban is the one and only principal township on the Island. It boasts two good boarding houses, two stores, a Church and a few houses. The population ranges about 200, except when the whaler 'Sir James Clark Ross' has her fleet of chasers in Patterson Inlet, the next Bay to Half Moon Bay, during the winter months.
The 'Sir James Clark Ross', accompanied by her fleet of chasers, makes Patterson Inlet her base on her Antarctic cruises each year, visiting the Ross Sea that lies surrounded by ice far southward. To reach this sea of eternal daylight, she must battle her way through miles of ice before reaching the whaling grounds of the Ross Sea. On arrival, her chasers set out for prey, and upon capturing their victims, return with them to the mother ship. The slaughter of whales here is terrific indeed, with four Factory ships operating there each year, with fleets of chasers. It will not be long before it ceases to be a paying proposition.
The season being at an end, with the prospect of being kept down there during the winter if they delay getting out at the proper time, with darkness all the winter, the 'Sir James Clark Ross' again battles her way through the ice before reaching the ocean outside, making direct for Stewart Island, depositing her chasers, who have faithfully followed her to the Antarctic and back, then setting her course for the world's markets to sell her oil cargo, returning in early Spring ready for the South again.
I spent many interesting hours of conversation with these Norwegians who form part of the crew. Some had not been home for three years - the longer they stayed away the more wages they received.
Half Moon Bay is 22 miles from the mainland port of Bluff previously mentioned, about two hours' steam across Foveaux Strait, notorious for its roughness.
Contrary to public belief, Stewart Island Oysters are not procured on the Island itself, but dredged up in Foveaux Strait.
Practically only lovers of nature visit the isle, there being no attractions in the way of modern entertainment. Motors here are useless, there being no properly constructed roads on the Island.
Long stretches of golden beach, buttressed by rocky cliffs and backed by magnificent bush abound everywhere. Excellent tracks constructed round the coast give beautiful and varying glimpses of the ocean, dotted everywhere with small islands clothed in a mantle of green.
Patterson Inlet, the largest bay in the Island, lies a few minutes' walk from Half Moon Bay. In it there are three beautiful islands, named: Faith, Hope and Charity - it is fitting that the most beautiful island should be named Charity.
A dozen other good bays there are around to Pegasus, on the South Coast of the Island. Pegasus is famous because of the New Zealand Blue Cod it exports to Australia from this far-away island fair, so far from our centre of population that its beauty is for the most part unknown.
On the two hours' voyage across Foveaux Strait the passenger sees many sea birds which have their cosy nesting places on the many isles near Stewart Island.
At certain periods of the year, Mutton Birds abound on these tiny islands. Night parties creep upon them during their slumber, and great toll is taken upon their numbers. Mutton Birds are considered very delicious.
Interesting walks can be had on all parts of the Island, game abounds in its forests, and fish around its shores - an island of plenty.
For an interesting holiday it is unsurpassed - no wonder it has been named an “isle of dreams.”
Clement E. Armstrong.
For the information of new members, and other members not so new:
A “Pitt Street” is a bag of any shape, size, colour or condition, in which toilet requisites are carried. (Originally said to contain a girl's Pitt Street complexion).
To “Mandelberg” anything means to look like Gwen Lawrie did coming home from the last swimming Carnival. For those who were not privileged to see her, I would suggest having a look at Tom Herbert on any trip - he was the original “Mr. Mandelberg”.
“S.O.S” to lots of people, including most of the Bargers, these letters signify “short of sugar” - a truly terrible state to be in.
Tea is a pale golden liquid used to put round sugar.
Coffee & Cocoa are also very useful in making sugar solution.
Porridge is a gluey substance into which one stirs sugar.
Dried Vegetables are peculiar objects with a strange odour, which leads the innocent fellow-traveller into the belief that he (or she) is in the company of the great unwashed.
Wake: the silver dusk returning
Up the beach of darkness brims
And the ship of sunrise burning
Strands upon the eastern rims.
Wake: the vaulted shadow shatters,
Trampled to the floor it spanned,
And the tent of night it tatters
Straws the sky-pavilioned land.
Up, lad, up, 'tis late for lying:
Hear the drums of morning play;
Hark, the empty highways crying
“Who'll beyond the hills away?”
Towns and countries woo together,
Forelands beacon, belfries call;
Never lad that trod on leather
Lived to feast his heart with all.
Up, lad: thews that lie and cumber
Sunlit pallets never thrive;
Morns abed and daylight slumber
Were not meant for man alive.
Clay lies still, but blood's a rover;
Breath's a ware that will not keep.
Up, lad: when the journey's over
There'll be time enough to sleep.
Leaving Sydney by the 2.40 p.m. train with a party of 10 comprising: Ethel Bowman, Belle Young, Jessie Young, Dick Ankers, Admiral Alf Gallagher, Vic. Thorsen, Jim Gunning and the two Pests.
When the porter yelled out Douglas Park, we all fell out on a wet platform with very damp spirits. Just after we left the Station, a horse took fright of us and bolted with sulkY and a couple of people hanging on to the reins. A bag of rolled oats and loaf of bread fell out. We sang out but they could not stop the horse, so we gave the oats and bread to a motor chap to catch up to them. Having arrived at the Nepean River, Vic told us he would take us to a cave where we could sleep out of the rain. A quick move by the lads soon had a supply of wood in and fires alight and tea before dark. I thought I was in for a comfortable night, but did not reckon on the pests - Mosquitoes not in it. As soon as lights were out, boots, plates and mugs began to fly in all directions. I had to build a stone barricade to protect myself. Then that bad habit a lot of Bush Walkers have - talking all night - started. Sleep was out of the question, so I thought I would have my revenge. I packed them off early in the morning at a fast rate for Broughton Pass, arriving there at 10 o'clock; too early for dinner, so we decided to finish the day's walk before dinner - 9 miles. The Pass is well worth the visit. Very steep cliffs and gully with tunnel coming in from Pheasant's Nest and flowing out again into another tunnel to Prospect Dam. We cut across farms and came in at back of Percival's farm, where a splendid view can be obtained out as far as the Oaks. A few mushrooms we gathered made dinner a bit more appetising. Arrived at farmhouse 12 o'clock very hungry, so Jim was ordered to dish us something to satisfy our appetites while the Pests threw the plates and mugs around the paddocks. Mr. Percival gave us permission to sleep in the hay stack as the ground was very wet. After dinner we inspected the farm and sat on the verandah and talked cows and horses until tea time. Jim had a bosca stoo with apples and rice. I managed to get a quart of cream to finish off with, which kept the pests quiet for a couple of hours. We sat around the fire till 9 o'clock and then adjourned to the hay stack for the fun to commence. All were pulled off the top and rolled down and covered with hay, then a hay fight started. I got hay fever and no sleep. It was the first time I was fed up with hay, and I have not got a fraction of the seeds out of my blanket and flannel. As we were informed there was £200 worth in the shed, I thought I was to be made a bankrupt paying for the damage. We all got together in the morning and tidied the place up as well as we could, burying one of the girl's stockings which could not be found.
Early start across paddocks, we picked the road up in the bush and arrived at Dam 10.20. Only half an hour was spent looking over the Dam, which we all enjoyed. Then off to Bulli Look-out; pulled up for dinner after covering 7 or 8 miles and started again to dodge motors and count the mile posts as they flew by. We arrived at Look-out at 3.30, spent 5 minutes only as we were running hot and did not like the cold wind that was blowing, so set off for Sublime Point. Arrived very tired, spent 2 minutes and set off down the dangerous path to the Station before dark. Had tea at a creek near Station, ending a perfect walk with Dick falling in the creek and wetting his seat. With no rest in the train Jim would have us eat his dried apples while the monks played their usual tricks. I expected to hear some complaints about my management, but got a shock when they all told me that they had had a wonderful time and want me to stage another stunt. I think they were pulling my leg.
Grey Hair. (Whiff Knight).
Do we really enjoy walking as much as we think we do, or do we delude ourselves into the belief that because we are in the bush - no matter what our pace, distance or objective may be - we are therefore happy and carefree? It is a controversial question but one which it would be well for us to answer individually, each for himself.
Life in a city is not conducive to tranquility of mind, nor peace, nor quiet, and it is in pursuit of these that we city people forsake the city and turn to the open spaces so often in order to readjust ourselves and rehabilitate our systems to withstand the onslaughts of civilised life which undermine our health, our nerves, and our good tempers, slowly but nevertheless surely and effectively.
The man from the bush does not hurry; he takes life as it comes and is a true philosopher, while his town-bred brother, of necessity, leads a life of nervous energy at top speed, with little time for mental recreation.
The attitude of mind with which one approaches anything, be it a task or a pleasure, does much to ensure the success or failure of the project, and it is this which forms the crux of my article.
The all-pervading voice of Nature speaks in a whisper, is silent, or talks freely, just as we wish to interpret Her to fit in with our mood of the·moment. The call of the bird - the fluttering of leaves - the wind in the gums - the roar of the waterfall - the silvery trickle of the stream - the beat of the waves on the coast - the deep silence of night all add their quota to the Voice which speaks to all true lovers of the Bush, and together with vistas of sky, peak and gorge, form the wonderful heritage of the Bushwalker.
Such things are not to be taken in at a moment's notice, but must be absorbed thoroughly, little by little, until they become part of one and the true spirit of the Bush is attained. This cannot be done with muscle alone; the delights of walking are quite attainable by those of moderate physique as well as by those of mighty muscle, but the latter should be tempered with a receptive mind and the right kind of outlook in order to produce the peace of soul and mental relaxation which we seek.
How can one enjoy some natural phenomenon or beautiful subject if he is going at a steady, unalterable 4 1/2 miles per hour and simply must reach a destination by 5 o'clock? On the other hand, how can one get anywhere if he will not continually exert himself; there must be a happy medium!
Some prefer to walk 25 miles per day regardless of all else; they must get there! Some like to dawdle; they don't want to get there! And some have an open mind and although they have the attainment of an objective in view, are not averse - nay, are always willing - to stop and dwell upon Nature in all her forms.
Think it over ——– and decide for yourself whether a placid mind and serene, unhurried temperament are worth more than a 17-inch calf and a new distance record.
Those who essay long pedestrian tours into outback country, where either time or distance prevents the purchase or conveyance of supplies of fresh bread, will find the following infallible recipe invaluable.
To a sufficient quantity of self-raising flour add enough cold water to make enough paste to paper an average spare bedroom. Compound the mixture into a lump and fling it into the glowing coals of your camp fire. When you think it is cooked, get a long pole and rake the damper out of the ashes. It will be shapeless in appearance and black in colour and probably well endowed with burning embers. Having retrieved the damper from the fire, set it aside to cool. When it is cool, scrape off the outer layer of ashes, butter the second layer of same, and eat.
Eggs are a welcome change out in the bush and there is no limit to the variety of styles in serving them up on the camp menu. Care should be taken when carrying eggs in the pack to ensure their safety. A good method is to carry them in your hand in a paper bag. Now, as to frying eggs. Having built a good fire, place your pan thereon. Put into it (the pan, not the fire) enough fat to half fill it. Retire to a safe distance and with your tomahawk make an indentation in the side of the egg. Advance deliberately to the fire and grasp the egg firmly in both hands. Hold the egg over the pan, break the egg, and withdraw. Turns may now be taken by volunteers to rush up to the fire and endeavour to retrieve the delicacy. It will be found that the smoke from the fire or the pan or from both has a nasty habit of following one round and round the fire. This ever-present difficulty may be avoided if one person is detailed to walk round and round the fire to attract the smoke while another does the rushing in to attend the cooking. As soon as the egg is black around the outer edge, it is cooked.
Not by the Social Secretary.
Seeing I have been away, and consequently not able to chase Rene up for her Social notes, she has, of course, forgotten to send them in in time for publication.
So this gives me a chance to say a few words, and voice the opinion of many members - that she has been giving us a jolly fine social programme lately, bah goom!
Since last issue of the “Bushwalker”, we have had a House warming Party at the new Club Rooms - the singing, reciting, one-act play, dancing, supper and Blue Gum Forest Collection and raffle filled the evening to the utmost.
On 24th. June, Mr. Hill of Kodak Ltd., gave us a very interesting lecture on “Photography”. He has since acted as judge of the Club Photographic Competition and has worthily awarded the honours. Won't the Club Album look great if it gets some of the entries, and won't Edgar be pleased?
I'm trying to put these events in their proper sequence, otherwise I should have mentioned first the evening that stands out most in my memory, and I am sure in that of many others - Mr. Cleary's lecture on “The literature of Walking”. It was a treat to listen to such an interesting, fluent and witty speaker.
Unfortunately, I missed the next two lectures - “Sydney Harbour Bridge” by Mr. Henri Mallard on 22nd. July, and “Travel Across America” by Mr. A.E. Barnard on 29th., but I have it on very reliable information that these lectures were greatly enjoyed.
I need hardly mention that the Sports Carnival on 17th. July was a great success. Well managed by Bill Henley and Laurie Drake, the events went off in the good old Bushwalker style - especially the peanut scramble. The most interesting event, though, was the first one - a full dress parade of one half of the Club looking for the other half, who were finally located amongst the blackberries which they loved too much to leave.
Last, but certainly not least, comes the dance on 3rd. August at Miss Bishop's Ballroom, Bathurst St. This was one of the most enjoyable dances we have had, and one of the best attended, but, with all due respect to Miss Bishop (whoever or whenever she is), can't we, please, have the next one at the Arts Club, or somewhere a bit more artistic? I am here, again, voicing the opinion of many members.
Now I come to a very pleasant duty - that of welcoming through the “Bushwalker” (I forgot, the “Sydney Bushwalker”) all those who have gained membership to the Club since last publication. May we all walk happily together!
I don't think it's too late to officially congratulate Esme Brown and Oscar Armstrong on their engagement - I think they can guess how warmly we wish them well.
And now comes a welcome to a new little chap - Ces the Second, son of “Rainbow” Ritchie - if he grows up like his father he'll be a good Bushwalker in about 16 years' time.
Peggy Glass and Alf Docksey are being married very soon. They will be living at Kincumber, so they must not be surprised if we arrange some walks in that district, and call in to see if they are as happy as we hope they will be.
Owing to limited space in this issue, a very interesting article by Noel Griffiths, and another by Clem Armstrong are being held over till next time.