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195309 [2016/11/22 04:28]
tyreless
195309 [2016/11/22 04:32] (current)
tyreless
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 By Alex Colley. By Alex Colley.
 +
 Should any hikers ever became lost in the Northern Blue Mountains the journalists would at last be right when they described the terrain as "​rugged mountain country, the roughest country in the State - where a single slip would mean a fall of 200 feet" (it's always 200'), and used the rest of their stock of "lost hiker" phrases, which, I suspect, are kept permanently set up in type in a special pigeon hole in newspaper offices. But this unhappy conjunction of fact and description is unlikely ever to occur because hikers seldom, if ever, go there. Nor does anybody else that you'd notice. Though only 2 hours from the G.P.O. by car and a few minutes by air, this area of some 3,000 square miles is one of the least populated parts of the State. Most of it can be covered only on foot, hence its unpopularity. In the centre of it, where rise the Macdonald, the southern tributaries of the Goulburn, the Cudgegong and the northern tributaries of the Colo, a collection of mountains with weird names such as "​Monundilla",​ "​Coriaday",​ "​Coricudgy",​ "​Kekeelbons"​ and "​Bournbourwa"​. To me they are slightly suggestive of bird calls and perhaps are anglicised versions of aboriginal bird names. It was towards these high points that the 1953 S.B.W. Monundilla expedition, comprising Ira Butler, Ray Kirkby, Jim Brown and the writer, headed on June 13th. To forestall controversy let it be recorded, here and now, that the four of us placed our feet on the top of Monundilla simultaneously. Should any hikers ever became lost in the Northern Blue Mountains the journalists would at last be right when they described the terrain as "​rugged mountain country, the roughest country in the State - where a single slip would mean a fall of 200 feet" (it's always 200'), and used the rest of their stock of "lost hiker" phrases, which, I suspect, are kept permanently set up in type in a special pigeon hole in newspaper offices. But this unhappy conjunction of fact and description is unlikely ever to occur because hikers seldom, if ever, go there. Nor does anybody else that you'd notice. Though only 2 hours from the G.P.O. by car and a few minutes by air, this area of some 3,000 square miles is one of the least populated parts of the State. Most of it can be covered only on foot, hence its unpopularity. In the centre of it, where rise the Macdonald, the southern tributaries of the Goulburn, the Cudgegong and the northern tributaries of the Colo, a collection of mountains with weird names such as "​Monundilla",​ "​Coriaday",​ "​Coricudgy",​ "​Kekeelbons"​ and "​Bournbourwa"​. To me they are slightly suggestive of bird calls and perhaps are anglicised versions of aboriginal bird names. It was towards these high points that the 1953 S.B.W. Monundilla expedition, comprising Ira Butler, Ray Kirkby, Jim Brown and the writer, headed on June 13th. To forestall controversy let it be recorded, here and now, that the four of us placed our feet on the top of Monundilla simultaneously.
  
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 This job had none of the glamour and none of the success that the 1952 search had. It was Plain hard work, shoving through scrub, looking in likely places and unlikely ones as well, covering the tracks that the Police and locals had searched the previous days to make sure they had not overlooked anything, and to add to our discomfort it was bitterly cold the whole two days. This job had none of the glamour and none of the success that the 1952 search had. It was Plain hard work, shoving through scrub, looking in likely places and unlikely ones as well, covering the tracks that the Police and locals had searched the previous days to make sure they had not overlooked anything, and to add to our discomfort it was bitterly cold the whole two days.
  
-For the search itself there is little to say: the work was hard and uninteresting,​ and it was to the credit of everyone that they stuck to the job as cheerfully as they did. The main point of interest was the co-operation of the Police. A 'bus was arranged to take us to and from Katoomba, the nights were spent at Wentworth Falls School of Arts and Katoonba ​Court House respectively,​ and Police cars did any moving of personnel we considered necessary.+For the search itself there is little to say: the work was hard and uninteresting,​ and it was to the credit of everyone that they stuck to the job as cheerfully as they did. The main point of interest was the co-operation of the Police. A 'bus was arranged to take us to and from Katoomba, the nights were spent at Wentworth Falls School of Arts and Katoomba ​Court House respectively,​ and Police cars did any moving of personnel we considered necessary.
  
 The bright spot of the weekend was Saturday night. You have to be as tired and cold as we were to appreciate the small comfort the Court House offered. Two large fire places and the necessary fuel were provided and in a flash wet clothes and boots, cooking gear, food and what-not littered the place. To describe the chaos is impossible; but if you imagine a row of boots along the Court bench, a dozen black billies before each fire, and food and clothes strewn about the floor, dock and other available furniture, you can get some idea of the scene that met the gaze of a small-ish gent in civvies when he opened the door to see what was going on. The roar he uttered could be heard miles away. It was "The Beak" himself, and it took our friend the Sergeant some time to pacify his outraged dignity that his Court House should be so used. The bright spot of the weekend was Saturday night. You have to be as tired and cold as we were to appreciate the small comfort the Court House offered. Two large fire places and the necessary fuel were provided and in a flash wet clothes and boots, cooking gear, food and what-not littered the place. To describe the chaos is impossible; but if you imagine a row of boots along the Court bench, a dozen black billies before each fire, and food and clothes strewn about the floor, dock and other available furniture, you can get some idea of the scene that met the gaze of a small-ish gent in civvies when he opened the door to see what was going on. The roar he uttered could be heard miles away. It was "The Beak" himself, and it took our friend the Sergeant some time to pacify his outraged dignity that his Court House should be so used.
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-=====Reprot ​On "​National Parks Of Victoria"​.=====+=====Report ​On "​National Parks Of Victoria"​.=====
  
 In this month'​s issue we conclude Allen Strom'​s "​Report on National Parks of Victoria",​ parts of which have been published in the July and August magazines. We would call attention to the thought of a great Alpine Park mentioned in this part. We like it - and will have something to say about it next month'​s editorial column. In this month'​s issue we conclude Allen Strom'​s "​Report on National Parks of Victoria",​ parts of which have been published in the July and August magazines. We would call attention to the thought of a great Alpine Park mentioned in this part. We like it - and will have something to say about it next month'​s editorial column.
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 North from the Strezlecki Ranges and into the Valley of the Latrobe at Traralgon... the drop is steep and the ridges are trimmed almost bare. Here too, Nature has answered Man in Her own language, with landslips in exchange for reduction of cover. The coastal slopes of Gippsland must be rich judging by the extensive settlement and in addition, to the Latrobe Valley has come the brown coal mining of Yallourn and Morwell. Much public money has gone into these undertakings to save Victoria from the embarrassment of irregular supplies of black coal from New South Wales. North from the Strezlecki Ranges and into the Valley of the Latrobe at Traralgon... the drop is steep and the ridges are trimmed almost bare. Here too, Nature has answered Man in Her own language, with landslips in exchange for reduction of cover. The coastal slopes of Gippsland must be rich judging by the extensive settlement and in addition, to the Latrobe Valley has come the brown coal mining of Yallourn and Morwell. Much public money has gone into these undertakings to save Victoria from the embarrassment of irregular supplies of black coal from New South Wales.
  
-Mt. Erica and the Baw Baw Plateau dominate the northern landscape from here and we know that as our route lies over the Main Divide there is some climbing ahead. The scars of many fires, but in particular those of '39, are to be seen on the side of the Baw Baws... groves of white ghosts, fire-eaten mountain ash. The Tyers, The Thomson, Walhalla (now further along the road to extinction since the tragic floods last year) pass and there is a terrific climb over and down to camp on a swift flowing tributary of the Thomson. Next day we made Matlock (4500 ft) officially recorded as the highest township in Victoria and right on the Divide. Once this was a town of 20,000 persons, but the only evidence to-day, of this population is the extensive area of cleared land from where we enjoyed a magnifioent ​panorama embracing a vast expanse of Victoria'​s most mountainous areas.+Mt. Erica and the Baw Baw Plateau dominate the northern landscape from here and we know that as our route lies over the Main Divide there is some climbing ahead. The scars of many fires, but in particular those of '39, are to be seen on the side of the Baw Baws... groves of white ghosts, fire-eaten mountain ash. The Tyers, The Thomson, Walhalla (now further along the road to extinction since the tragic floods last year) pass and there is a terrific climb over and down to camp on a swift flowing tributary of the Thomson. Next day we made Matlock (4500 ft) officially recorded as the highest township in Victoria and right on the Divide. Once this was a town of 20,000 persons, but the only evidence to-day, of this population is the extensive area of cleared land from where we enjoyed a magnificent ​panorama embracing a vast expanse of Victoria'​s most mountainous areas.
  
 By the way of Woods Point, Jamieson, Mansfield and Whitfield we finally skirted around Mt. Buffalo into the Oven's Valley... possibly the richest valley in Victoria, not to mention the interesting appearance of Hop and Tobacco growing and the mighty gold dredge at Harrietville... reputed to rank amongst the biggest in the world! But to Mt. Buffalo National Park... a great granite monadnock.... "a western outpost in the Australian Alps, with its elevation above sea level varying from 4,000 to 5,600 feet"​... a reservation of some 43 square miles (about 27,000 acres). This must be Victoria'​s happiest park at these times. Its snow gums and little plains, granite tors and lookouts are grand and satisfying. No grazing cattle were seen, the scars of past fires are well hidden and the destructive activities of the tourist are largely concentrated around the chalet. Fortunately perhaps, we cannot see the results of past abuses and we revel in the beauty of summer flowers and the splendid views from the Horn, the Monolith and other viewpoints. By the way of Woods Point, Jamieson, Mansfield and Whitfield we finally skirted around Mt. Buffalo into the Oven's Valley... possibly the richest valley in Victoria, not to mention the interesting appearance of Hop and Tobacco growing and the mighty gold dredge at Harrietville... reputed to rank amongst the biggest in the world! But to Mt. Buffalo National Park... a great granite monadnock.... "a western outpost in the Australian Alps, with its elevation above sea level varying from 4,000 to 5,600 feet"​... a reservation of some 43 square miles (about 27,000 acres). This must be Victoria'​s happiest park at these times. Its snow gums and little plains, granite tors and lookouts are grand and satisfying. No grazing cattle were seen, the scars of past fires are well hidden and the destructive activities of the tourist are largely concentrated around the chalet. Fortunately perhaps, we cannot see the results of past abuses and we revel in the beauty of summer flowers and the splendid views from the Horn, the Monolith and other viewpoints.
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 ===The Bushwalker, No.12:=== ===The Bushwalker, No.12:===
  
-Editorial ​cony, stories, photographs,​ suggestions urgently required by the Hon. Editor, Ron Wardrop, 77 Hudson Street, Hurstville.+Editorial ​copy, stories, photographs,​ suggestions urgently required by the Hon. Editor, Ron Wardrop, 77 Hudson Street, Hurstville.
  
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