A monthly Bulletin of matters of interest to the Sydney Bush Walkers, C/- Ingersoll Hall, 256 Crown St., Sydney. Box No.4476, G.P.O. Sydney.
|Co-Editors||Dot Butler, Boundary Road, Wahroonga (JW2208), Geoff Wagg, 19 Mary Street, Blacktown.|
|Business Manager||Alex Colley (XA1255).|
|Production||Alan Wilson (FY2047).|
|Sales and Subs||Jess Martin.|
|Typed by||Jean Harvey.|
|At Our Monthly Meeting||2|
|Risky Jellore, or Crookluck, Bookluck,||“Mulga”||3|
|Rock Climbing at Kanangra Walls||Dot Butler||7|
|Go All Social in July||10|
|Try Counting Barr Lambs||Geof Wagg||11|
|Federation Notes - June Meeting||Allen A. Strom||12|
|New Zealand for the Bushwalker||Keith Renwick||13|
|Cedar Creek Capers, June 4th, 5th, 6th||“Digby”||14|
|An Old Man Dreams||17|
|Fifty-Two Years a Bushwalker||Mr. H. Seabrook||18|
|Leica Photo Service||2|
|Siedlecky's Taxi and Tourist Service||5|
|Sanitarium Health Food Shop||13|
|Scenic Motor Tours||15|
|On Limited Companies (Paddy's Advert.)||20|
Only the road and the dawn
The sun the wind and the rain
And the watch-fire under the stars,
And sleep, and the road again.
- John Masefield.
Minutes of the previous meeting were read and confirmed. Business arising:
Alex said that to hope for a room of the specified dimensions, namely 1,800 sq. ft., for 25/- was being unrealistic. He moved that we pitch our hopes lower at 1,000 sq. ft. and upwards. Carried.
The matter of printing the winning photograph from the Photographic Competition for inclusion in the Magazine was now discussed. Alan Wilson could produce us one print from a block, total cost about £6. Ken Meadows could produce us individual photographs at £5. Sheila Binns, as Custodian of the Privy Purse, moved that the motion be rescinded as we just haven't the funds. The weight of this argument was irresistable and the motion was accordingly rescinded.
From Correspondence members learned that we have told the Rationalists we do not require the club room an Tuesday nights for running off the Magazine. Alan and co-workers now do the job at his home.
The Catholic Bushwalkers have been told they may buy our ex-screen if they so desire.
Re Publicity - The meeting discussed wording of an advertisement to place in Paddy's shop to catch the public eye. Suggested wording designed to attract the solo walker, “Why be a lone wolf, join the “Sydney Bush Walkers” was-thrown out as being ambiguous and likely to give a wrong impression.
Sheila read out the monthly incomings and outgoings of our pennies and halfpennies. The Club listened to this tepid tale of our near insolvency without batting an eyelid.
Ross read the Social Report and reminded us of the Fancy Dress Dance an 21st July, everyone to come in fancy dress if you please.
Federation Report read and received. Alan Strom asked that those who hold any opinion on the form that future Federation Re-unions should take, please fill in the questionnaire provided and return it to the Club Secretary.
Tom Moppett gave us the latest tidings on Conservation matters, and from our meagre exchequer we unanimously and without bickering voted £1 donation to the Hawkesbury Scenic Reserve Fund.
John Bookluck, waving a sheet of paper under our collective noses, exhorted us to notify him of walks we intend to lead, and quickly, as there is not much more space left on the Walks Programme.
Like a cloud of hot air rising Bill Cosgrove wafted to his feet. Said he, “At the last meeting I understood Mr. Moppett to say the S.B.W. is not concerned with the conservation of City Parks. Is this correct?” Said Mr. Moppett, “Broadly, yes”. “Well”, says Bill, “does that mean the S.B.W. does nothing about the foundations of a building being erected in the Park at the back of the William Street tramshed?”. “It might be the Opera House, Bill” cried an anonymous voice, but Bill was not to be put off his course by that. “It's public park land being filched from under our noses! I was going to spew about it at the last meeting but there wasn't time”. (Not very nicely put, Mr. Cosgrove. Remember our magazine is read by lots of people other than Bushwalkers.) The meeting eyed Mr. Cosgrove's sputum but out of decency passed no comment, so he sat down.
Colin gave us tidings of a good chance for publicity: the Photo. Trade Association are going to hold an exhibition in September and would like us to furnish some good sets of colour slides and a commentator. They will hold four half-hourly sessions for lunch-time viewers each day. Moved by Ken Meadows that we appoint an organising committee to select the slides and put them in order. A Committee of 8 was accordingly appointed, with Ken as Convenor.
“Any further business?” cried the President, repeating the cry in an incredulous voice, but there was No Further Business and probably the shortest meeting on record was brought to a close at 5 to 9. It was moved by Geof Wagg that we hold next month's meeting immediately which would give us another free night in July, but his voice was drowned in the scraping of chairs and feet and there was no seconder.
You press the button, we'll do the rest!
Finegrain Developing. Sparkling Prints. Perfect Enlargements. Your Rollfilms or Leica films deserve the best service.
Leica Photo Service.
31 Macquarie Place, Sydney, N.S.W.
I thought everyone knew that the 5.21 Picton train proceeded as a rail motor through the loop line to Mittagong, but apparently it wasn't evident from the indicator, and “No” said the N.S.W.G.R's happy helpers, “the next train after the 5.10 is the 8.58”. And that was why, at 5.17, with despair in my heart, I left pack at the arranged meeting place inside the barrier and finally hauled Frank, Tine and Booky from their station beneath the main clock and hustled them on to the train with barely a minute to spare. But what of the others? Frank had seen Eric Pegram boarding the 5.10 but had waited for Tine who, with Booky and the leader, could not make the early train. Of Frank Rigby, Eric Adcock and Anne Jonsoon there was no trace…
The higher the rail motor rattled, the colder became the night air, and Booky, immaculate in a Meadow's fashion tie, but until now unconcerned at the large expanse of scrawny leg exposed to the vicissitudes of the Southern Highlands weather, began to wish that he'd joined the softies in donning long-uns. “Gee”, sold the inimitable one, peering into the inky blackness about Buxton, “not much of a view, is it”. But he admits that his vision is becoming “blurrer and blurrer”, so maybe that was the cause, and not the fact that the sun had been at rest for two hours.
The train made the final pinch into Mittagong after a certain amount of dithering, and there we found the missing four in the cafe, relaxed and replete. Transported to Spring Hill, six miles S.W. of Mittagong for an exhorbitant fee, we set out for the three mile trot to the camp spot at the foot of Mt. Jellore. The dirt road continues to the farm on the end of the ridge between Jellore Creek and Powell's Creek, and a cart track winds down the slope on to an open grassy valley which extends for a mile or so down Jellore Creek, and which was formed by weathering of the underlying basic rock (volcanic origin). Rounded conical hills are a noticeable feature around Mittagong. The basalt cappings have weathered to a rich soil and consequently have been cleared by past settlers. These hills are in direct contrast to the starkness of Jellore, an old volcanic plug which rises abruptly from the general land level. The southern face has slopes of sixty degrees and rises precipitately from Jellore Creek for 1,000 ft. to a height of 2,730 ft. The easiest route to the summit is up the grassy south spur and into a small saddle between Jellore and the prominent S.W. ridge. Thence a track winds to the top. From a rock ledge on the northern side a glorious panorama opens over the Wollondilly and the Yerranderie Peaks to the familiar landmarks of the Blue Mountains - King George, Mouin, the Dogs, the Gangerangs, to Thurat, where the mountains merge and become indistinguishable. An unusual, extensive view, but the party's photographers were disappointed, not without reason I suppose, speaking as one who used to hump a pound and a half of camera until wisdom prevailed.
A steep but easily negotiable ridge drops N.E. between two cliffs to the junction of the arms of Jellore Creek. The main part was traversed by at least three different paths, and despite the horror routes take by the “get-to-the-bottom-quickly-brigade”, eight made the roll call. A scramble down, some ledge-leaping and a few prickly bushes and we hit the creek, more gently than Booky hit it further down. That same gentleman seems rather put out because we carried packs over Jellore. “Wel1,” said the leader, “I didn't ask you to come”. “Cripes”, he replied, “I did a rough trip last week end, (referring to Dick Hoffman's Galston Gorge Sunday trip). “Two rough ones in a row”.
Jellore Gorge is not difficult to a person of average agility. The best plan is to stay in the creek bed most of the way down except when the boulders become too big to negotiate safely. It took the main party about two and a half hours to cover the two miles at leisurely pace, with only two minor casualties. At one spot a boulder effectively blocks the way, the alternative being a push through lawyerish undergrowth and a gentle rock slide. Frank Burt found that the vines were stronger than the stitching in one of his shoulder straps, so we stopped for repairs. Some time later the news filtered up the line - “Hold it, Bookluck's under” - not completely, but near enough, and that water was cold! I'm sorry I missed the sight because on an earlier trip through I had suffered similarly, though not so thoroughly. For the rest of the afternoon a Pelaco figure could be seen at the tail of the party, flitting from rock to rock, shorts pinned to pack. A canvas hat held in hand preserved his dignity on such occasions as 'twas necessary, and we left him to dry out at a camp spot about half a mile above Rocky Waterholes Creek in view of Russell's Needle. The rest of the party tried to scale the cliffs forming the rocky top of that pinnacle, but time beat us. The more intrepid souls made good progress from the Eastern side to within 10-15 ft. of the top. The leader, I must admit, watched apprehensively from a very safe footing as Frank Rigby started on the last section, closely followed by Eric Pegram. Give me a creek bed or prickles any time.
Blatche's Pass is marked on the tourist map inaccurately I feel, and from both Jellore and Russell's Needle we could pick out the gap in the cliff line of Flat Top Mountain where the route must pass. We plotted the right spot, about 1,200 yards below Jellore Creek, and the leader at least was able to pick up the remains of the track (the rest of the party were, and are still - I think - unconvinced) as it rose straight up the scree slope and then veered S.E. skirting the mountain top.
Did I hear some complaints about prickles? Did I! And it's no worse than the Blue Labyrinth. Well, not much. We lunched early at a waterhole which had saved Neil Schafer, Dick Hoffman and myself from a dry camp after a gruelling day's walk a few weeks previously, and after another half hour's push reached the ti-tree flats leading to the Mt. Flora area. Sighs of relief from the long suffering! Out came the cameras, one, two, three. Bookluck could be seen in the far (rear) distance, trotting contentedly, camera scanning the grassy hills and gullies after an eternity of moss covered rocks and brambly bushes. Burt and Rigby staged an argument as to whether the foreground of five non-photographers should be in crocodile or group formation, and by the time some sort of agreement had been reached, the impatient foreground was out of focus, if not quite out of sight.
But wait! The leader was eyeing the steepest side of Mt. Flora, and with eye aglint! It was pleasant on top, sheltered from the wind and warmed by the afternoon sun, and to cap all Anne, or Barney as our Bookluck friend would have it, produced a pineapple for general consumption.
Colo Vale, four o'clock. Water from the station and a patch of brush at the roadside. Rice the order of the day. Bookluck, arms flailing windmill-like, flavouring his, and then successively killing the flavour with something more potent in an unsuccessful search for a gourmet's delight. His final verdict: “Colourless, odourless, tasteless, and neutral to litmus.” Eric Adcock's face did not reflect the same sentiments as he ate his portion.
A cake-walk, really, as far as time goes, but worthy of the R. designation. If you like unusual trips, if you can raise some enthusiasm for a mere panorama, if you don't mind rock-hopping and scratched shins, let me know and we'll do it again. But if Bookluck starts to tell you the truth about Jellore, don't listen. He's prejudiced.
Bushwalkers requiring transport from Blackheath, any hour, ring, write or call…
Siedlecky's Taxi and Tourist Service.
116 Station Street, Blackheath.
24 hour service.
Bushwalkers arriving at Blackheath late at night without transport booking can ring for car from Railway Station or call at above address - it's never too late!
'Phone Blackheath 81 or 146. Look for cars 3210 or TV270 or book at Mark Salon Radio Shop - opposite Station.
- Dot Butler.
The Putt Rock-Climbing Expedition! - There has never been anything like it before in all the joyful swoops and swirls of time! Fun and laughter filled the crowded hours, and weaving in and out of two days of photographic perfection were the various rock-climbing incidents… Let me begin at the beginning.
Friday night, 6 p.m. In the lane outside the Clubroom three cars awaited us. Packs and people piled in, some with the evening meal inside them, others (in particular Snow) with stomachs howling plaintively for food. As our car sped along the Great Western Highway with Colin at the wheel there piped up a voice dripping with eagerness; “Just along here a bit is the best hamburger joint on the road”. Colin: “Where? Near that red light?” Snow, (salivating in anticipation): “That's it”. “Right”! says Colin, and accelerates with a powerful roar which nevertheless fails to drown the sufferer's wails of anguish. With similar acceleration we passed roadside shops whose signs “Eats”, “Fish and Chips”, etc. winced and twitched in unison with Snow's yearning innards. The whole glittering galaxy of food advertisements between Parramatta and Katoomba were read out in an increasingly mournful voice by our poor starved youngling before Colin pulled into the kerb at Katoomba outside Snow's place, and a kind Mother saw that her little boy had a bite to eat, not to mention tea and toast for the rest of us.
On again till midnight through a pale mischievous fog which flitted past the white road posts like wraiths among tombstones. At length we pulled in off the road just over the Morong Bridge, and very soon Alan and Ken arrived with their quota of Passengers. We all rolled into our sleeping bags and with the Putt marquee pulled over us as a coverlet we slept.
We awoke to see a skyful of sunrise and wafting mists. All had an early breakfast from the communal porridge trough. The scattered jetsam from 16 packs made the camp site look like a beach at low tide. “Ten minutes to go!” called Colin, and with incredible speed everything was stowed into packs and cars and off we went seven miles to Kanangra Tops. Kanangra Tops! that great expanse of earth's upper-crust which the slow centuries have weathered down to the plateau so beloved of Bushwalkers. Below the Walls milk-white mist filled the deep silent valleys, and through it dark peaks stood up in vivid contrast. It was all new to quite a number of the Party. We did a sightseeing tour of the Tops and many photographs were taken, then back to pick up our three ropes and away to a steep wall of rock for the main business of the day.
While we sat on a warm sundazzled slope Colin gave a talk on knots and belays. Suddenly up from Murdering Gully came shouts which shattered the still air; Geof and Alan had got themselves mislayed chasing our echoes and had a long climb back to rejoin the party. Now with Dot leading one rope, Colin another, and Ian another, soon the rockface was festooned with climbers and Ken's movie camera whirred and clicked. A lot of excellent climbing practice and ropework filled in the bright morning hours.
Back to base for the noonmeal By this time Rodger's car had arrived with his passengers and the party was complete.
Off now with new worlds to conquer. We spent the afternoon disporting with and without ropes on a huge conglomerate rock - a relic of the fossil years - with the texture of a toad's hide, studded with pebbles which at times could be lifted out and discarded down the slope despite the leader's facetious warning “All handholds should be replaced!” The party was eager to try barefoot climbing, and quite a deal of rasped epidermis was the result.
With the smell of evening in the air, back to the cars we trouped, ropes on shoulders and feeling mighty fine. We returned down the road some 6 miles to a clearing on the creek for the night's camp. Here someone had seen a likely-looking hut, but it proved to be an architectural mingling of a sawmill and a stable so we decided to sleep outside. Some put tents up, and soon cooking fires were gleaming through the gathering dusk. Ian and Garth were very tickled at the Australian Bushwalker's habit of each cooking his own meal on his own separate fire in his own separate and miniature billy. We watched with fascination as Geof, Snow and Don mixed flour and sultanas with water and dropped it into a bath of highly diluted golden syrup. The resulting glue was called (O horror!) syrup dumplings! (For breakfast next morning the remains of this sad goo were cooked up in a frying pan, the final degradation being called (God forgive them) Johnny Cakes!) While the Putt menage tore at hunks of meat like Christians eating lions, there these three sat chewing away contentedly, converting cellulose and starch into blood sugar. They even pressed samples of it on to protesting onlookers: “But just try it,” begged Snow.
That night we had a super camp fire - 14 of us Australians with our Bushwalking songs, the two Tasmanian girls, Fay and Melva, with a year of wandering in Tasmania and New Zealand tucked under their belts, and the three New Zealanders, Colin, Ian and Garth, with great stretches of snowfields, crags and peaks in their backward perspective, and New Zealand mountaineering songs and anecdotes of undergraduate fun to enliven the camp fire.
10 o'clock, our singtime sung, folk began drifting off to bed. Scorning the shelter of the trees the Putt marquee was spread out in the middle of the open ground. A dozen or so bods bedded down on one half of it and the other half was pulled up over them by the last man in. The night was still and crystal clear. The stars looked down from their infinite heights on a camp now drowned in dreams. Suddenly from out the sleeping heap comes Snow's voice “O gee Mum!”, to be followed by the voice of Don no doubt living in the same dream of heights and unplumbed depths, “O God!”, with immense feeling.
Came the dawn. We opened our eyes and our eyebrows crackled. Our tent covering was white with frost. All the open ground was frozen over, billies and water buckets carried a sheet of ice. This proved a temptation too great for Geof to resist, and he deftly slipped a slice of ice down Colin's neck. We were now treated to a sight well worth watching - the huge, hefty Putt in his Tibetan bonnet rolled broad at the base, making it look like a yak herdsman's behind, two kiwis emblazoned on his sky-blue bosom, surging over the clearing like a high-powered excavating machine pursuing a rabbit, and there, frisking over the landscape well out of reach was the young Wagg, his body rich with unspent life, his legs encased in long white underpants like a ballet dancer's tights if you prefer to think of it that way, but actually more like long white underpants. These two finished up sinking their differences and taking it out on Abernethy who had indiscreetly butted in on the fray.
Breakfast over we packed up, and at scheduled time Colin's car drove off through the bit of swamp that was the creek, on to the road and so back to the Walls. Again the deep valleys filled with mist. In the singing silence we spread an eiderdown and lay basking in the sun while we waited. And we waited - and waited - but no sign of the other three cars. Just as we were fearing the worst Ken drove up and confirmed our fears - Alan's hired car would not start, despite all their wheedling and combined know-how. So back went Colin, and of course the car was started.
All together again. The programme was to be more rope work on the same rock as yesterday, but this sombre decaying hunk of conglomerate was now on the cold side of the day, and to one who likes her rocks hot it was not very inviting. Across the gully warm golden sunshine bathed the Walls. Where “the most photographed rock at Kanangra” juts out from the Walls appeared a likely-looking chimney which attracted like a magnet too powerful to resist. “Who's coming to have a look at that crack?” Snow and Don agreed, and without more ado we dashed off along the downward curving track, calling to Geof to come too. Below the overhanging rock face stretched a ledge with the merest garnish of grass, but it was continuous all the way to the chimney so what more was needed? We got on to it right at the point where Murdering Gully meets the track, and found the going easy enough. On the way we inspected a wind-weathered cave on the face of the cliff, with two little mud nests in it.
It did not take long to reach our goal. The chimney proved to be negotiable without ropes and safer than it looked from a distance. First Dot wormed her way up the pebble-encrusted slit, to be followed by Geof and Snow and Don. By this time several others who had been watching us from the track decided to try themselves out on this first-class test. Here now comes Beryl, all tripping and sunny, up the crack in her yellow socks, her boots having been discarded below as superfluous.
At 11 o'clock we all dashed back over the Tops for an early lunch, clearing the low bushes like a herd of springbok. While unprotesting stomachs were hurriedly filled with the necessary fuel for working muscles, Colin decided that everyone should come over and give the chimney a try from the top. No sooner said than done, and soon most of the party were over on the photogenic slab of rock peering down the chimney. One glance was enough to make the novices curl up at the edges - the black crack disappearing from sight round an outward bulge - the almost imperceptible ledge below it on to which they must climb, with Heaven-knows-how-many feet of sheer rock above it and as much or more below, falling away steeply into the cleft called Murdering Gully. It was quite understandable that those who dislike anything in any way approaching the perpendicular chose to sit on the top and watch while Colin, as dependable and as firmly placed as the Rock of Gibralta, belayed the beginners down to the safety of the ledge. The warm airs romped round them as they backed down, with wholesale lots of nothing underneath. Contrasting their perilous position with that of their people all snug and safe at home they felt the surge of adventure beat wildly through their veins. Some even enjoyed it so much they had to come up again just for the experience.
Far off on our practice slope of conglomerate rock several of the girls were roping themselves up and down. Fay's White jumper stood out in sharp contrast against the dark rock.
“Look, doesn't that look like a patch of snow over there”, said someone. Up the chimney wafted the plaintive voice of Dave, “There's a patch of Snow down here too - I've just barked my shin on a rock!”
As bodies wriggled up and down the chimney the hours wriggled imperceptibly on towards 4 o'clock, our scheduled time of departure. So gathering up boots and cameras and ropes, back we went to the cars and were soon on our way, those new to the country hoping they might see a bit of it before dark descended.
Through the sparse timber the setting sun filtered in tiger shadows on the road as we sped towards Caves House. Here we refuelled the car and Fay and Melva left us to find a camping place for the night, as they were to spend a few days here caveing.
Stars were beginning to open their bright eyes in the western sky, but soon the mist enveloped all and stayed with us for the remainder of the journey. Somewhere along the mountain road the car developed a cardiac murmur and slowed down to a stop in the creeping mist. Colin upped with the bonnet, the three engineers held a consultation, Colin tied something to something with a bootlace and we continued. At Katoomba we stopped in at the Florida for steak and eggs - all very nice, then non-stop for home by midnight.
The trip is over and we are left with our thoughts - warm rich thoughts now gone to inhabit the endless forest of the mind.
July 14th: After the General Meeting, “Murder at the Meeting”. Yes, the big Metro-Goldwyn-McGregor production you have been waiting for. Filmed on location in grimly picturesque Ingersoll Hall, with a cast of at least 40 or 50. The greatest Whodunnit since Hamlet.
July 21st. Fancy Dress Dance. No holds barred. Bring your own supper and refreshments.
July 28th. Colour Slide Exhibition. Competition slides to be with Social Secretary by July 14th. Limit, 6 slides per member.
Motorists and passengers alike, can avail themselves of the Motorist's Personal Accident Policy which covers them whilst driving, riding in, attending to, repairing or whilst alighting from or lawfully entering any Motor Car, (but excluding taxis, busses or motor-cycles.)
Particulars of Benefits.
Premium - £1/2/6d. Double Benefits £2/5/0. Treble £3/7/6d.
For full particulars, see Club Member, Brian G. Harvey. Telephones BU5039, BU5660, Private M1462. 12 Mahratta Avenue, Wahroonga or BOX 3688 G.P.O. Sydney.
Frank mumbles in his sleep.
Though sunk in slumber deep
He mumbles in his sleep.
Brian shivers with the cold,
But this is cured, I'm told
By Ross, (I'm sure he knows)
With sharp abdominal blows;
So he is not so bad
As this infernal cad
Who mumbles in his sleep.
At first you do not care -
Pretend he isn't there
A'mumbling in his sleep.
It's coming clearer though -
You hear some names you know -
What's that about old Snow?
You listen tense, but no!
Frank mumbles in his sleep.
Your chance of sleep is gone;
You listen till the dawn
For mumbles in his sleep.
The problem is all yours;
Frank soothes you with his snores.
He doesn't care, the creep!
Just mumbles in his sleep.
- Allen A. Strom
An application for affiliation with the Federation has been received from the Bondi Wanderers' Club.
Recent reports are that the work on the road from the Queen Victoria Homes to Kedumba Valley has ceased.
Co-ordination with the Gosford Flora and Fauna Society is being organised for this work. The Federation has decided to affiliate with The HawkesbuTy Scenic Preservation Council which has the reservation of Kariong as its first work. A deputation to the Metropolitan Surveyor will go from Preservation Council on the matter of Kariong. The National Trust has been offered free the alienated lands along the top of the Pallisades, provided the Trust undertakes to pay the rates.
The Fauna Protection Panel has agreed to ask the Department of Lands to agree to the dedication of the Morton Primitive Reserve as a Faunal Reserve.
The Department of Lands reports that a thousand acres has been gazetted a National Park about the Wyangla Dam.
Trust not finalised, but if Federation is to have its nominations accepted, then they must be amongst those recommended by the local M.L.A., Mr. J. Renshaw. Impressions are generally favourably inclined towards the Park… some enthusiastical1y. If fencing proposed is carried out the parklands should be adequately defined for management. The proposed tourist road from Coonabarabran through Mopera Gap and down the Wombelong Valley to the Tooraweenah - Baradine Road is, according to locals, under way. It would appear that any trustee representing walkers interests is likely to have considerable difficulty in retaining the “status quo” in the Warrumbungles.
It has been announced that the Government will introduce legislation to permit the sale and use of .303 rifles. Federation will write to the Premier acknowledging the importance of these rifles for reducing numbers when Kangaroos reach pest proportions in the Western Division, but protesting against their free use elsewhere. A liberal permit system could be arranged for the Western Division.
Members of Club who desire further information on Conservation Projects under way should contact Allen Strom (WB2528). The following visits may interest members and/or their friends:
Brighten your food list and save weight with these tasty, highly concentrated vegetarian foods.
Waltham raisins, dates, sultanas and other dried fruits - an appetising addition to porridge: for lunch: to chew on the walk or for dessert.
Nuts - almonds, peanuts, cashews - more nutrition per ounce than any other food.
Marmite - for spreads or soup - tasty and rich in Vitamin B.
Apricot nougats - dried fruit sweets.
The Sanitarium Health Food Shop.
13 Hunter Street, Sydney.
- Keith Renwick.
So you want to come to New Zealand. Well, it's worth it - that's why I'm still here - but perhaps a few points of general interest may help.
Auckland City itself is very much like Sydney. As far as tramping goes there are two clubs, the Alpine Sports Club and the Auckland Tramping Club, both very good. Main areas for tramping are the Waitakeries, west of Auckland, and the Hunuas on the West Coast of the Thames - mainly rain forest but in the Waitakeries it is more scrubby. Both clubs run trips to Ruapehu for ski-ing in winter.
Wellington - Windy and Wet. Numerous good clubs tramp (the same thing as bushwalking) in the Rimutaka and Tarrarua Ranges, but mainly the latter which are very wet but beautiful rain forest.
Christchurch and Dunedin both have several very active clubs, but the country is entirely different - rocky country mainly covered in dead brown grasses. The large areas of beech forest are further out than the cities.
The one main problem throughout New Zealand as far as weekend trips are concerned is Transport. Unless you have your awn car or hire it, private trips are virtually out at weekends. This is why the clubs are so popular, and between 20 to 60 may turn up for a weekend trip. Some clubs own their own bus, but most are content to hire buses or trucks for the weekend. They usually don't work out any more expensive than train. The large numbers on club trips may sound horrible, but they work out O.K. and you don't notice it after a while. It makes a lot more work for the leader though.
Jobs at present are very easy to get in practically any line. Board is reasonably easy to get, but good board is very much harder. It varies a little, of course, from 30/- a week bed and breakfast in a large share- or bunk-room, to £3. 5. 0 per week fall board in a 2-man share-room, or £3.10.0 to £3.15. 0 in a single. Some do some don't include lunches and laundry, but the prices remain about the same.
Hitching is very easy, much the same as in Australia.
A mention was made of inflatable tube igloo tents. These are very popular over here with motor tourists. They are about 6' x 6' x 6' high.
Did I say 20 to 60 on hikes? (60 isn't bad for a club of 150). I forgot to mention the recently held “Railways Sunday Hike for Tourists”, a grand display when nearly 600 turned up. It looked like the evacuation of a large city. The dress varied from fur coats to good brown sports suits and suits with ties, not to mention one piece in a lemon yellow scarf, black jumper, black and white checked pedal pushers and lemon yellow socks! All in all it was a good 8-mile 4-walking-hour cross-country trip complete with grass seeds, shingle slides and river crossings. (Curse it! Another chap and I waited half an hour with cameras till 400 went across, and not one fell in! Curses! Foiled again!)
Caverning is becoming very popular over here with plenty of scope for new explorations.
North and South Islands are entirely different, and both are well worth seeing.
If you are going places, contact Scenic Motor Tours, Railway Steps, Katoomba.
Daily tours by parlor coach to the world famous Jenolan Caves and all Blue Mountain sights.
Transport by coaches for parties of bushwalkers to Kanangra Walls, Ginkin or other suitable points by arrangement.
For all information, write to P.O. Box 60, Katoomba. Telephone 60, Katoomba.
Out of the cosy, friendly atmosphere of the train and into the bleak, misty blackness of a wet, winter, Mountains night tramped the five: prospective Norm Potter who had been playing rather successfully at wolf on the journey; his keeper “Bring-'em-in-alive” Ardill; “Mulga” Mathews complete with lubra cook and dish-washer, Tine Koetsier; and last and definitely least came Yours Truly, claiming somewhat unconvincingly to be the Leader of the outfit. Poor Norman had to be almost forcibly persuaded by said keeper that despite the weather, the company 'n all, a Cedar Creek trip still had the thin edge of a weekend on Katoomba with wine, women and song.
The Kedumba Creek quagmire inspired nobody, and even our Casanova became quite subdued as boots sank down heavily into the squelchy mess that purports to be the new road down into the valley. Did I say boots? Well, everyone enjoyed them except the Leader, who now keeps an open mind on the contention “sneakers for everything!” A vote of no confidence was taken when the wretched road persisted in going up hill at one stage, but we soon breathed more easily on finding ourselves at the bottom of the valley right at Maxwell's Farm. (Mt. Solitary expeditions, please note.) A camp was struck amid the trees just up from the farmhouse, and while Kevin and Norm sensibly drifted off into slumber, the dogged three fought a steady battle with a watery fire that for the most part wouldn't have kept a pre-heated thermos flask warm on a summer's day. Finally the spirit of man won through and we were rewarded with a piping hot nightcap.
The morn dawned grey and forbidding and passed away uneventfully on the march to Harry's Humpy where the oranges are still bitterly undernourished at this time of the year. The sun began to shine fitfully as we walked up that pleasant stretch of the Cox to the mouth of Cedar Creek. “A beaut spot for a campsite”, chirped Norman innocently casting a covetous eye over the lush greenery of Cedar Flat. Unmoved by this bit of whiteanting I set my sights unswervingly on the valley of Cedar Creek and on we pushed. After a pleasant hour and a half's stroll up the lower reaches of this beautiful valley we settled for the junction of Cedar and Berrima-inga Creeks for our Saturday night camp. This flat grassy bank was indeed a peaceful haven, and lazing round a friendly fire where a neat tripod dangled gently-boiling 'billies of delectables (?) I mused that here was the real, tasty core of bushwalking - if only the urban masses could see us now, how our ranks would overflow with converts.
The serenity, however, was shortlived, and during the night the elements and the valley conspired to take our tents by force. All through the night the gale raged, but somehow we won through. A huge dead tree near the creek, uprooted by a violent gust, came crashing down only a few feet from the campfire where Norman was consuming the mountain of food he calls breakfast. The imperturbable man of steel, unmoved, merely reached out for the newly arrived firewood, calmly remarking on the generosity of Nature who provides all things just when they are needed.
The morning's walk brought more of the grassy bank lolly sort of stuff, and then Cedar Creek began to throw out her challenge as we entered the Canyon proper. Scrambling up and around waterfalls, edging our way around the rocky walls of deep pools, guessing a route among the tangled mass of boulders or rock-hopping up the bed itself added the spice. It was along this section that a most memorable episode of both side-splitting humour and touching pathos was enacted. Scene: A cold, deep pool negotiable only by a slender, shaky log almost at water level. Only Tine was yet to cross. With commendable courage our femme advanced on the hazard while we waited with baited breath. After six feet of terrible uncertainty she concluded that to go forward was impossible but to go back was worse. With a great flourish of chivalry Don took off his shirt and singlet and started back to rescue the fair damsel in distress. Whether it was the sight of our lifesaving hero we know not, but Tine promptly precipitated into the wetness just a moment too soon, and, thoroughly disgusted with life, waded the obstacle, shoulder-deep part and all, leaving our hero like the proverbial shag on the rock, rejected and despised. Ah, Frailty, truly, thy name is Woman! Did you really deserve Mr. Ardill's snug pyjama coat to cover your ungrateful bosom?
In the next breath Tarzan Potter was dumped into the torrent by an unstable swinging vine and conjectured that maybe Nature was not so all-providing after all. The mirth had barely subsided when wet sneakers on wet rocks upset the Leader's equilibrium, and after all that I was inclined to take Cedar Creek a little more seriously.
With lunch and the mischievous creek behind us, we made a determined assault on the Ruined Castle and shivered through a cigarette-stop on the lee side of the summit rocks while the icy tornado raged without. The call of civilisation with its warmth was now strongly upon us, and so all haste was made for the Scenic Railway. Despite the fact that the main party temporarily lost the “Leader” somewhere or other on this section, it all ended up happily. Well, that is, for us, anyway. On later reflection I fear that the last tourist (poor undeserving soul) through the turnstile at the top of the Railway would have been far from happy. Somehow one member of our party, who must remain anonymous, failed to procure the all-important token which lets you through. The S.B.W. behind this renegade coughed up with his, but you know what happens when this sort of chain reaction sets in - the sucker right on the end stays on the wrong side through lack of rearguard support. Ah well, I guess that tourist simply must have more of the coin than lowly bushwalkers anyway.
As the gale on the top was apparently blowing straight off the Pole, we rugged up in everything we could find and then tried to kid ourselves we were warm; that is, we three “weakies” did. Kevin and Norman, God bless them, set off very bravely for the station in their shorts and were able to uphold the belief that bushwalkers at least look tough and intrepid, even if it is only a veneer. A good steak at the Florida, a cat-nap in the train, parting au-revoirs, a glorious hot bath, and finally wonderful, wonderful sleep in a warm soft bed. I would never appreciate this cosy niche of clean sheets and warm blankets half so much if it weren't for places like Cedar Creek.
The old sailor dreams of a little island
floating like an apple on the wide green sea.
An apple you could hold in your hand.
Turn this way and then that,
Place here a tree, and there a nigger in a palm-leaf hat.
He sailed all his life
Till his blood ran salt as the sea,
His ship was his sweetheart and his wife,
and he passed many an island
with no more than a glance
at the bright white sand of the curved sea-shore.
But now that the sailor is old
He would like a little island
like an apple like an apple like an apple,
Just to look at and to hold.
(This is written by Mr. Seabrook. of North West Arm, Sutherland, rich in years but young in heart, and a great admirer of Bushwalkers.)
Yes, I have been bushwalking for over half a century. My trips ranged from Cape York Peninsula in North Queensland to Victoria in the South. I am about to retire to my Bushwalkers' Paradise at Port Hacking. Many years ago I secured 23 acres of land in that area at North West Arm. I picked the site from the map; then I had to find it. There was not even a bush track; I had to crawl through prickly bushes to get to it; now there is a bus route through it. I have sold some and have twelve acres left. My front boundary is the water front; my back boundary is National Park, so I cannot be built out at either end. I have a natural rock pool of tidal water 495 feet long and about a chain wide, shark proof. All round Port Hacking merciless land-owners have cut down all native trees and shrubs and have nothing left but sand and hungry grey rock. I did not cut down my trees. On one area of 8 acres I did not even cut the undergrowth for 15 years, nor allow any bushfires across it. As a result it has leaf mould a foot deep. For Bushwalking one can walk straight into National Park, or row up the river into the interior of the Park, or row to any part of its long water-front which comprises the whole northern shores of Port Hacking.
- H. Seabrook.
I enjoyed Keith Renwick's account (in the issue of February 1953) of his journey to the Barron Falls, but was sorry to know that the hydro-electric station has reduced the flow. When I first went through that country, 46 years ago, hundreds of tons of water tumbled over the falls.
After leaving the flat coastal area from Cairns, the railway ascends one of the steepest ranges in Queensland. The railway is more than a zig-zag; it is a convolution. I forget how many tunnels we went through. I have a photo taken just outside tunnel No.15. The scenery is unforgettable. The jungle trees are not the monotonous grey-green eucalypts of the temperate region but a tropical flare of every bright shade from lettuce-green to funeral-green, and some are covered with brilliant flowers.
At Kuranda at the top of the Falls I went to one of the two hotels. I had hardly secured a room before I saw a magnificent butterfly sail past the window. I went out with my net and caught it. It has green and black wings like a bird's, shaped something like this [drawing]. It is called Ornithoptera (Latin for “bird-wing”).
The lunch gong then sounded, so I left the butterfly on the washstand. When I returned after lunch the ants had eaten its body leaving the wings and legs loose. Ants are very quick off the mark in the tropics. It is not enough to suspend your meat safe by a wire, you have to solder your wire through the bottom of a can, and keep the can full of water.
In the temperate parts of Queensland you can sleep on a ground-sheet in your tent, but in the tropics you need a bunk. Besides the ants you see by day, there are species that swarm about only at night.
At Kuranda I visited an entomologist named Dodd, who had a fine collection of local butterflies and moths. He showed me some moths of the largest species known. They measured about a foot across. He does not catch them, but breeds them. He showed me a section of a large tree that he had sawn across. It contained a large caterpillar. When it emerges as a moth he kills it before it flies. The wings of moths are usually spoilt by brushing against leaves when flying, and you spoil them more with your butterfly-net.
At Stony Creek Falls the railway line, strange to say, circles round outside the falls. The water drops into a chasm between your carriage and the cliff. In flood times you have to keep the carriage windows closed because the falls then shoot out further, towards the railway line.
At Stony Creek station there were peach trees growing on the narrow spots of land available. Passengers had thrown out the seeds. There was also a tree with beans about two feet long. A local resident who was travelling with me said, “Oh, I must get a few cascara beans”. So he gathered a couple. The bean seeds are not eaten, but there is a gelatine-like partition between the seeds that acts as a cathartic. Breaking open a pod he ate one partition. A crowd of tourists in the first-class carriages were curious to know what the beans were. He told them vanilla beans. They swarmed out and gathered armfuls and began to eat partition after partition. I muttered to him “For Heaven's sake warn them what those beans are!” He replied “Oh, they'll find out”.
A son, Paul, to Geoff and Barbara Greethead.
Also a son to Christa and Bob Younger.
Congratulations to the happy parents.
Little Julie Frost celebrated her first Birthday with a party, and the boys brought along lots of bottles of beer - for Julie.
For ever 23 years Bushwalkers have been familiar with the name Paddy Pallin. Some years ago a little reorganisation was done to separate the manufacturing and importing sides of the business from the retail side and the new section was named “Paddy Made Manufacturing Company”.
Farther growth has now made another change desirable and we have “Paddy Pallin Pty. Limited” and “Paddy Made Manufacturing Pty. Limited”.
The change is one of organisation only. Paddy is still in sole control of both businesses and walkers can look forward to the same personal attention to their needs as they have received over the years.
Paddy Pallin. Lightweight Camp Gear.
201 Castlereagh St., Sydney. M2678.