A monthly bulletin of matters of interest to the Sydney Bush Walkers, c/- Ingersoll Hall, 256 Crown Street, Sydney. Box No. 4476, G.P.O. Sydney. 'Phone JW.1462.
|Editor||Geof Wagg, 131 St. Georges Cres., Drummoyne. UW 3435 (B) 1-2 p.m.|
|Business Manager||Brian Harvey.|
|Sales and Subs||Jess Martin.|
|Typed by||Grace Wagg.|
|At Our February General Meeting||Alex Colley||2|
|The Peryman-Doherty-Brown-Duncan-Joyce S.W. Tasmania Trip Christmas 58/59||Bob Duncan||4|
|New River Lagoon to Kings, Melaleuca||Heather Joyce||9|
|They Continue To Be Weird||Nino Burntoffa||14|
|Rugged Walking in Tasmania||Heather Joyce||17|
|Who'd Be A Walker||“I Was”||18|
|Bushwalkers Are Tops||John Bookluck||19|
|Counter Mission||Dung Khan||22|
|Sanitarium Health Food Shop||7|
|Your Needs For Easter (Paddy's advt.)||13|
|Hattswell's Taxi & Tourist Service||21|
Now to confess infers that I must have done something because clearly if you haven't done something then you can't confess to it. And any reasonable person would be likely to assume that after having my name published as Editor of this magazine for twelve issues I must have done something. Yet, here I am, wracking my brain to try and think what it was.
As far as actual editing of articles goes, I've done next to nothing for fear of spoiling the delicious flavour of the personality written into them and which, I feel, is one of the most important features of our type of mag. In fact, the one occasion when I did edit one (I felt the flavour was a little strong) I was seriously taken to task by the author, at a General Meeting too, that I doubt if I'd have the courage to try it again.
The one thing I did do regularly each month was to present Grace with a number of pages of scrawl resembling Chinese, written on both sides of the paper with a pencil so hard that it was almost engraved, and these she always managed to translate and type in English.
Though this feat amazes me, I admit that I stand in positive awe of Jess' performances on the duplicating machine. The way in which she is able to pamper the whims and naunces of that complicated device and in the short remaining time which always seemed to be her lot, turn out the required job, is something that will always own my admiration!
Brian's work as Business Manager is so far outside my realm of understanding that I cannot even begin to commend it without displaying my ignorance. (Just working out my Income Tax leaves me with a headache.) I feel that his achievement speaks for itself in that, as he informed me the other day -
“We can run an extra four pages and a map or illustration every second month.”
First, last and always come the contributors. Whoever they were, they never let me down. From the spasmodic “one per annum” article writers and the travellers' letters to the faithful unfailing regulars like Alex, whose style reproduces with humour and accuracy the vageries of our Monthly Meetings.
In short, to everyone who helped me make our magazine this last twelve months, my sincere thanks, and for myself - nothing to confess.
Our meeting commenced with a welcome by the President to two new members, Len Young and Evelyn Esgate.
In correspondence was a letter from the Rationalist Association, saying that the cost of arranging the furniture as requested would greatly exceed the rent we paid, and suggesting that we seek other accommodation if the present arrangement was unsatisfactory. A committee consisting of the Treasurer, the Vice Presidents, and two nominated members, Frank Young and Fred Kennedy, was appointed by the meeting to find new Club rooms. In support of the project, Jack Wren said that, in these days, you couldn't join any sort of club for £1, and that, even if new rooms meant a 50% increase, we could afford it.
The President reminded us that we are also seeking a new hall for the Christmas party. The Mosman Roving Club had written to say that it had no accommodation now at Mosman, but did have a place at Killarney that it was prepared to rent.
Shortly after this Allan Hardie, back from South America and other parts, entered the door amidst applause, and was welcomed by the President. Evidently refreshed by his travels, lost no time in getting down to business. A new hut, he said, had been erected in National Park on the ridge between Burning Palms and Era. He wanted a protest made to the Park Trust. It was decided, with one dissentient, to refer the matter to the Conservation Secretary for discussion with the National Parks Association. It was also suggested that, as the Federation re-union would be held at Burning Palms, a petition could be drawn up and signatures obtained.
Dorman's next motion was for a letter to the National Park Trust asking for the erection of a sign reading “Drinking Water” at the small dam on the North North Era Creek. He said that recently, just as he was about to fill his water bucket, a New Australian had said to him “Don't use that, I've bathed in it”. The motion was carried after two amendments were suggested. One was that the notice be printed in four languages, and another that one of the languages be that spoken by cows.
Next he lodged a complaint that he had written two letters to the Editor for publication in the magazine. One had been published only in part and the other not at all. The one that had been published in part contained some of “the facts of life” which had, for some prudish reason, been omitted. The Editor explained that it was his privilege to edit and that the second letter had arrived too late for publication.
Colin Putt, convenor of the reunion committee, told us that, in the opinion of the Committee, private transport could replace bus transport this year. Malcolm McGregor supported the suggestion, saying that bowling club members never went anywhere except in cars and passengers usually contributed 2/- towards running costs. The meeting was in favour of private transport and appointed Don Matthews transport organiser. Colin said that the committee also intended to organise a Woods Creek Surf Life Saving Club to watch the children.
Brian Harvey then moved that we hold an adjourned meeting in April to discuss the 25 by-laws that would come before the March meeting for ratification. The meeting agreed.
Alex Colley then moved that, in order to give members a little time after meetings, slide nights, etc. to meet their friends or arrange trips, the Club room remain open till 10.30 p.m., if anyone wanted to use it till then. The motion was defeated, of course.
Malcolm McGregor appealed for some slides of Tasmanian wild flowers. He wanted them sufficiently detailed to make the individual flowers recognisable.
At Jim Hopper's request the Walking Trial scheduled for 6-7-8 March was deferred to the next programme. The owner of some of the course laid out for the event had proved unco-operative, and it would take a little time to find another spot.
New South Wales Federation of Bushwalking Clubs Annual Reunion Camp at Burning Palms Beach. Weekend of 11/12 April. Transport to Governor Game Lookout from Waterfall.
- Bob Duncan
Boxing Day - December 26th, 1958
The coast road south of Hobart begins to peter out after about 70 miles. This is at Lune River near Hastings Caves. From here the PDBDJ South West Tasmania Expedition set forth at 3.30 p.m. on December 26th, 1958. Our first job was to climb onto a range which we were to follow more or less parallel to the coast to Pinders Peak near the Southern tip of the island.
To get onto the heights we started along a well kept 2 foot gauge railway line which ran up from the valley floor to a limestone quarry on the side of the range. This was easy going and Mike Peryman amused himself by lecturing Carl Doherty, who had left his leather gardening gloves in Sydney, on the density, prickliness and perversity of the Tasmanian bush. Carl's countenance became dejected but it was evident that underneath was a will to live and a determination to get the trip over and back to a normal enjoyable life in Sydney. To this end he scrounged around and found a pair of leather work gloves on the railway line. Before the day was over he was very glad of them.
Carl and I tended to straggle a bit, but halfway up the line we came across our leader, cook and map reader, Mike Peryman, who ordered us to leave the railway line and follow an old wooden tramway which headed back down towards the valley. This seemed like madness but in Southern Tasmania it is better to go ten miles along a traditional route than a direct one mile through virgin forest, and there was evidently virgin forest between the quarry and the tops. We therefore obeyed with only a few muttered grumbles.
The traditional route was certainly tortuous. It zig-zagged back and forth through dense rain forest along old wooden logging tramways. These were heavily overgrown and crumbling rotten. “A man's a bloody fool to get into this sort of muck” said Carl. “Yair” I growled, “They told me it would be bad, but this is past a joke.”
As we climbed higher we gradually left the rain forest and entered a logged and regrown Eucalypt stand. The going now became even slower for the more open Eucalypts allowed a dense undergrowth of cutting grass and bauera. “Cutting grass” is a sedge, not a grass, and grows in a head high mess with ribbon shaped leaves up to six feet long. These ribbons have sharp edges and do cut deeply if handled without leather gloves. Carl was already glad of his find. I found I was fairly well protected against this menace except that the ribbons found the groove between my ear and skull a convenient route along which to slide and slice out hunks of skin and flesh.
The way through this cutting grass and bauera still lay along the old wooden tramways. All rails and sleepers had been removed from these leaving a double line of logs three feet apart. Every few yards you had to jump from one log line to the other to avoid the more heavily overgrown side. We at last came to a long stretch where the viaduct was about thirty feet above the ground. I was still very shaky on my pins under the strain of a row of Christmas parties and a 45 lb. pack, and when I got to the other side my nerves were visibly shattered. “That was mighty!” said Peryman, Brown and Co. “Bloody madness” said Carl, “Thank God we're over” I mumbled. This was the beginning of a touching friendship between Carl and I. We alone threw the heroic nonsense aside and found mutual comfort in mutual commiseration upon the pain and suffering which each stage of the trip entailed.
After the high viaduct the tramway went berserk in the opposite direction, diving deep into the bowels of a cutting grass-bauera mess. We had not pushed through much of this before our leaders decided that they had had enough. We spent a couple of hours hacking a space for two tents in the cutting grass, made a depression in the universal bog for a waterhole, and made camp.
The next morning our leaders, Peryman and Brown, arose, cooked breakfast, pulled Carl and I out of our flea bags, fed us, put our packs upon our backs and prodded us on our way up the mountain side. After a couple of hours we entered a second belt of dense myrtle forest. Then, after a couple of hours, we were suddenly out of the forest and in sub-alpine growth on the tops.
We could now see more than ten feet and look back on Lune River and the sea. We had climbed about 2,000 or 3,000 feet and progressed about five miles I suppose. A pitiful effort, but it had seemed an epic journey through jungle, eucalypt forest, myrtle forest and now sub-alpine tops. It was a clear sunny day and we sat down and had lunch. Lunch was the only austere meal in our ration routine. There was no cooking and hence no soup or dessert and we had to be content with biscuits, strawberry jam, nuts, chocolate and such like rubbish.
We had gone only a couple of miles across the tops after lunch when we came to a stand of dead King Billy Pines. Our leader and cook, Mr. Peryman, declared he had never seen a richer deposit of firewood and suggested we make camp. This was clearly white-antism of the most despicable kind. It was only 3 p.m. The party sat down and argued the wisdom of the suggestion at length. Carl said that King Billy was a most extraordinary timber and that though much of it had been dead for hundreds of years, it showed never the slightest sign of decay. Sections of some of the smaller logs which he prepared with his pen knife seemed to bear out his argument though not all would admit its relevance. It was noticeable, however, that the theme of the argument gradually changed with time from “Whether we should stop” to “Whether we should have stopped” and finally “What we should have for tea”. I found consolation in the thought that though it was undoubtedly sinful to stop at 3 p.m. we would never have made the next camp site at Pigsty Ponds at our slow walking rate. I think the heavy packs were slowing us up. I thought I would never make the fifty yards to the bus stop in Hobart with mine, and here we were trying to carry the things across S.W. Tasmania.
It was blissful lying in the sun, telling Snow that we should be moving on, and gazing at the blue sky patterned with wisps of white cloud. “What sort of cloud is that?” asked Snow Brown. “High Cirrus” I replied. “It means that a cold front is coming and that it will be wet and stormy in a day or two.”
Sure enough, the next morning was cold and drizzly but once we were on our way this made for pleasant walking. The route lay mainly through dense knee high scopari and other sub-alpine growth. The weather steadily deteriorated and steady walking soon became essential for warmth.
After the routine 11 a.m. snack of a 1/4 lb. of chocolate, Snow and Mike plunged into a patch of dense head and shoulder high prickly scopari and such like rubbish. The more intelligent members of the party went above this and reached the next saddle in about ten minutes. We had then to stand and shiver for about an hour in the freezing gale and rain while Peryman and Brown backed and charged like a couple of berserk rhinoceroses in frantic efforts to get out of the mess they had got into. “Past a joke” I growled and Carl agreed. Once our leaders had got through to us, however, we set off once more and soon reached Pig Sty Ponds where we had lunch in the lee of a large rock in the now pouring rain.
We then set off for Lake Ooze. We climbed onto the bare rocky top of the range, fumbled about a bit in the mist and rain and then a terrific hail storm hit us. With our leather gloved hands cupped over our faces we struggled on but soon became separated in the opaque sea of flying hailstones. Carl, Heather and I lost Snow and Mike. I had been bamboozled by the rain and mist since leaving Pig Sty Ponds and had no idea where we were. Mike had the map.
Gloomy thoughts were descending upon us when the shadowy forms of Mike and Snow appeared through the hail. We headed back to Pig Sty Ponds and, finding a patch of myrtle and other jungle, joyfully plunged into it. The mud was knee high but the jungle kept the hail off our ears. We hacked a couple of tent spaces, built a platform of logs and branches above the slush, diverted the larger rivers which ran across our tent sites and made camp. After that hail-blasted ridge this was bliss indeed.
It seemed that fate was against us making any progress on this trip. Yesterday we felt lazy. Today the weather had sent us back along our tracks.
Even from inside my tent I could tell that, though the gale had abated, it was still a miserable wet windy day. “Surely our leader won't move off on a day like this” I bleated to my tent mate Carl. Next thing I knew I had been pulled rudely out of my flea bag and had half a billy of porridge rammed down my gullet. The route to Lake Ooze was far from obvious in the mist and rain but our leaders, Mr. Peryman and Mr. Brown, got us there by mid morning. Ooze is a large beautiful mountain lake, lying in a glacial cirque. Behind it is Lake Peak rising directly from the waters.
We had been walking for only about three hours but the next recognised camp site was a full day's march away and after yesterday's storm we were very wary of being caught out on the tops. We therefore decided to make camp, but where? There seemed to be only the two extremes of swept grass and dense impenetrable rain forest. Cutting a tent space in this stuff with our puny slasher didn't stand thinking about. At last we found the recognised camp spot; a clearing in the forest on the north shore of the lake.
The weather had now moderated to a continuous windy misty rain so we had a feed and then crawled into our tents and flea bags. At least we were snug there. Our Willesden tents were really weather-proof.
We were beginning to snooze off when a diabolical victorious roat rent the air. “Wotzat” said Snow from his flea bag. “I've just discovered that someone has been more miserable than us” said Carl. “Who?” yelled Mike leaping from his tent. “The C.B.W. party” replied Carl. “Listen to their diary: 'The golden tan tents gave little protection from the driving snow and rain and it was a relief to get into the dense head-high scopari and myrtle.” The thought of Chalkie and his C.B.W's suffering in their golden tan tents while we luxuriated under Willesden cheered us till nightfall, though this joy was tempered by the reflection that we were being forced to waste yet another precious day.
Our objective today was Pinder's Peak near the southern tip of the island and then west across a long low saddle to Mt. Wylie above New River Lagoon where lay our first food drop. We climbed Lake Peak and found a long high mountain ridge running south to Pinders which we reached at the mid-morning chocolate guzzling time. Finders is a 4,060 foot peak but the weather, while continuing to improve, still had some distance to go and so we said nothing. We were in fact in strife. Pinders was the end of the mountain backbone and we could not see how to get off it.
Then suddenly the mist lifted momentarily for the first time in three days, and we saw the beautiful islet-studded Southern Ocean, New River Lagoon and the long low undulating saddle leading vest to our goal Mt. Wylie. We imagined we could see our food drop on the beach of New River Lagoon so we orientated ourselves towards the saddle and rushed down the rocky mountainside, into the sub-alpine scrub and the UGH! into the waist high scopari. “This is past a joke” I said to Carl. “This must be some of the really terrible stuff they talk about” he replied. “If it was l% worse it would be impenetrable.”
I could see that the scopari gave way to unprickly taller growth lower down and kept muttering to myself “We'll soon be through this bloody scopari.” “We'll soon be through this bloody scopari,” when we finally hit the tall stuff. This was the most shocking stuff I had ever struck. It was a great matted mess about ten feet high and progress was more akin to swimming than walking. We struggled through it for hours but on reaching the top of a knoll about midday I saw with joy that Mike was preparing lunch in a small clear patch about 100 yards away. It was 3/4 of an hour later before Carl and I had bashed our way down to him. “This is past a joke” I said to Carl. “Yes,” he agreed, “I wish we could get back into the scopari. If this stuff was l% worse it would be impenetrable.”
After lunch we bashed along the saddle through more scrub and scopari but somehow it didn't seem so bad now and we reached Mt Wylie and then the saddle between Wylie and Mt. Victoria Cross by sunset. This saddle was the most miserable scopari covered ridge I've ever come across. Misery was made more miserable by my tent companion, Carl, giving the only two sticks of tent pole timber within a radius of five miles to the opposition, Brown, Joyce and Peryman. “Why the hell did you do that?” I roared. “They asked me for them” was his miserable reply.
At last the weather was reasonable. The mist occasionally lifted and gave us a view. Behind our tents we could see that mighty mountain Victoria Cross. Right alongside us was Wylie, while in front, the ridge dropped precipitously into the narrow coastal region, New River Lagoon and the Southern Ocean.
Today was the first good days walking we had done and after tea we crawled into our flea bags and dropped unconscious. I had just reached the deepest depth of sleep when I felt the earth heaving and shaking beneath me. I began to dream I was driving my Anglia but then becoming more conscious I realised that something was amiss. “Earth quake” I yelled thrusting my head out of my flea bag. “Nonsense” yelled Snow Brown, “Its ..
and I'm racing you around the scopari in your flea bag to get you up.” “You'll tear my brand new flea bag” I screamed, hastily vacating it. “I've found a way to get these slobs up” gloated Snow to Heather.
After brekker we walked to the edge of the plateau and looked down on the basin of New River Lagoon and the ocean, and across to the magnificent 4,000 ft. dolerite tower, Precipitous Bluff. Something like Era from Governor Game Lookout but on a grander scale. The route ahead obviously lay down to the creek and then along the creek to New River Lagoon 2,000 or 3,000 feet below us.
We started down the slope, first through scopari, which we now regarded as easy walking, and then into forest and dense undergrowth. This became progressively worse as we got lower. “Well, we've been through some pretty bad stuff so far,” I said, “but this is past a joke.” Everyone agreed and we determined to keep in tight Indian file for if we became separated, even by a few yards, in this we would never find one another again. The slope was very steep and one heaved and shoved until one fell forward. Sometimes we would be struggling up to twenty feet above the ground and then coming to a less dense patch we would tumble gently towards the ground. The important thing was to stay upright at all times. When you finished head down, feet up, you could do nothing but yell for help. It would take days to go up this slope I should think.
We reached the creek just above a large waterfall in time for lunch. A mile or two in half a day. Good going in this country. The creek fell into a slot gorge and then dropped through innumerable waterfalls, probably 2,000 feet in the four or five miles to the lagoon.
After lunch we walked and waded down the creek where we could and climbed into the dense jungle, which overhung the gorge on both sides, where waterfalls blocked our way. This was really a black jungle and completely roofed the gorge in most parts. It was comparitively easy going in the jungle because there was no undergrowth. You just climbed through the maze of horizontal and vertical branches like a monkey. The ground was nowhere visible unless you went out over the gorge. We were now in top condition and beginning to really enjoy the trip.
Than I realised that I was strapped to a stretcher. My grey matter was not ticking over very rapidly but “Clearly,” it thought, “this is the end of the trip we have planned for so many months”.
- Heather Joyce
We could put it off no longer; we would have to start walking again. In the distance we could see the helicopter narrowly skimming over the Ironbound Range, carrying our new friend, Police Sgt. Hanlon to Kings and thence to Hobart - half an hour's trip by helicopter, four days walk for us.
We turned back to our already overloaded packs. Carl and I had two airdrops of food in our packs plus some unclaimed gear of Duncan's, and Snow had brought food from Hobart, much of it tinned variety, and then behind a bush we found a cache of food including fresh bread and chops left us by the Sgt. and the Dr. One day you have nothing, the next day you've got too much! When we staggered off, our packs ware really crammed to overflowing with our yak jackets caught under the flaps.
We were on a buttongrass plain near the banks of New River Lagoon which flows down to the sea on the south coast of Tasmania. It could only have been a quarter of a mile to the water's edge, but we got caught in a tangle of head-high bauera and cutting grass and it took us an hour's straggle to reach the Lagoon. I was pretty exhausted with the pack weight and five days light rations so I pushed off downstream first, but of course the boys caught up with me very soon. This was the prettiest part of the trip so far; the lagoon was lined with huge gum trees and there were black swans and ducks on the water. It was low tide and we were able to walk on the exposed pebble beach or in ankle to knee deep water at the creek junctions. At 7 to 7.30 p.m. we reached the mouth where there is a rowing boat on each bank for the benefit of walkers and shipwrecked sailors. It an excellent scheme except for the heaviness of the boats; it's an effort to pull the boats down the sand to launch them and an even greater effort to beach them.
The boys decided to come back the following day to replace the boat on the far bank and sort out what remained of our airdrop, so we pushed up the sand bank on to Prion Beach. This is the most deceptive beach to walk. It must be three miles long for it takes about an hour to walk, but the curve of the beach foreshortens the distance so that you can at all times see your objective but never appear to got any closer.
No finished walking in the dark and “finished” is just about the right term. I think we ate something and I know we put up a tent which would have shamed even the newest prospective and I don't remember falling asleep but next day dawned and there we were in our fleabags. After we had demolished some of our tinned food and then some more, the boys went back to the airdrop and I started to mend my own and Carl's pack which had been torn in the scrub before Limestone Creek.
Suddenly a terrific storm hit. While I repitched our tent and repacked gear to protect it from the rain flowing under the walls, I pitied the boys out in this really torrential downpour. They in turn were looking with horror at a distant view of the white water of Limestone Creek falls: I guess we just got out in time.
The rest of the day we spent in eating and by next morning we had sorted out our food and lightened our packs to normal walking tonnage. To say Snow was dreading the next stage of our trip was an understatement. The first time he walked the mile from Prion Beach to Deadman's Beach with Mike they had been in a bit of a hurry and it had taken them 6 1/2 hours. So he knew what he was in for, but Carl and I were still in blissful ignorance.
We pushed up a beaut little creek that unexpectedly bursts out on the south end of the beach, but we must have followed it too far for we found ourselves in the mulga only too soon. It is rather difficult to describe Tasmanian scrub; it has to be experienced to understand. We made our way up the headland ridge avoiding the cutting grass, walking up the fallen logs and striving to maintain a general consistent direction. The usual way is to go where the scrub is clearest and so proceed in a zig-zag manner. After getting out of the valley we sidled the ridge until we came out on the top of the headland and for the first time in hours saw where we were - just above Prion Beach.
Six hours walking brought us to Deadman's Beach just as light rain started. This was so normal that it was ignored in the excitement of actually being on a track! Well, for a 100 yards until Snow lost it again.
From there to Kings it was only “track” walking - not exactly mainland walking, but no more scrub-bashing like the early part of the trip. In fact, this is a really worthwhile walk, but then so is the first part.
That night we camped on a quiet pebble beach next to Lousy Beach. Out to sea were the islands we had seen from Pinders Peak and seagulls rocked gently on the peaceful waters of the bay. Altogether it was a very peaceful evening except for the pre-meal occupation of pulling off the leeches - why did they all have to choose me? Unable to bite through Carl's thick skin and unable to stand Snow's ——-?
The next day we climbed the Ironbound Range up a well made track which you appreciate after first-hand experience of the virgin bush. The rain forest really is attractive when you're not pushing through it; pandanni palms, green growth and moss over everything alive or dead (except bushwalkers who are usually rolling too hard to gather any), giving an atmosphere of the type of forest found in Snow White fairytales. The track was extremely well graded and easy to climb and it was with surprise that we emerged out from rain forest on to clear alpine slopes. The weather was kind and the view magnificent; we could look up and down the coast and, more excitedly still, across to the jagged Arthur's Range and the fearful Federation Peak. Like a row of fangs ran the Arthurs and on the other side of the Peak ran the long range of the Picton.
But even as I gazed at this, our first view of the S.W., the rain-clouds swept in. Once more we were on the run, we must get off the Ironbound while we could see the snowpoles. Again the descent was easy and well marked so that there would be absolutely no trouble in fine weather, but probably still some difficulty in mist.
We descended on to the Louisa Plains as the weather cleared and easily crossed the Louisa River. Now there were no further hazards and even rain could not stop us. We moved over the buttongrass plains; a tiring job, but without a doubt the easiest walking we did in Tasmania. We camped on the plains still within sight of the clear western slopes of the Ironbound and the rugged Louisa Range. Thank goodness we were deterred from our original plan of reaching Federation Peak along the Louisa Range.
Our last day dawned clear. Mike and Snow on their trip had followed the map and had left the snowpoles and made their own way across the low range to Cox's Bight. This time we decided to follow the snow poles all the way: They led us up the valley in the opposite direction to which you'd expect to go and to which the map led, and over the smaller bumps of the foothills up a gradual ridge to the top. We learnt later that each half of the map had a different compass alignment and not being used to this type of map on the mainland, we had been following the same grid.
On the other side of the range the snow poles led us across burnt buttongrass plains until we burst through coastal ti-tree to the Boyd Creek entrance and the beautiful Cox's Bight beach. In front we could see the extending sands at the far end of which a headland dropped sharply into the sea. On walking further along the beach we could look back at the impressive Ironbounds and out to sea at the lighthouse on Maatsuykor Island. It was a wonderful beach and so alien to the bauera, scopari and cutting grass of Tasmanian scrub or the hail and mists of the ranges. For adventure, variety of scenery and real challenge of walking, South West Tasmania is really worthwhile.
A well used track led across the buttongrass up the valley from Cox's Bight airstrip to Kings, Melaleuca. The afternoon sun was hot and the valley held the heat - hats and scrub were now for shade, not rain protection - and than we saw the red roof of King's homestead come closer and closer. This time the Kings were home and I can imagine how Snow and Mick felt when, after 3 1/2 days of hard walking, they found the house deserted.
Kings is a home placed on the banks of a lagoon with a truly fabulous view of mountain peaks and ranges in all directions, with the mighty peak of Mt. Rugby looking down on them from across the water. No wonder the Kings live there (besides the little matter of their tin mine).
That night after a bath we cooked and slept in a hut close to the house and next morning decided on a leisurely breakfast before a tour of inspection of the place while waiting for our plane to arrive. Over one serious discussion on aircraft carriers rose the low hum of an engine. “The Kings recharging their batteries” we said. “No, a bit more powerful. It must be the engine on their launch. No, it's getting closer. It a plane!” And panic set in as the plane actually dived over the house to land on the airstrip. Our gear was in that sort of a jumble you expect in a hut dwelling; our fleabags unpacked and camp stretcher to dismantle. We packed in about five minutes - if only we could have been as quick every morning!
That Cessna flight was the best I've ever had. Low enough to see all, with our route over the Old River, the Arthurs and close to Federation Peak, then the Huon River and so to Hobart. “Isn't it mighty!” I cried but, getting no reply, I turned just in time to see Snow handing a paper bag to Carl. Fortunately for all, we landed without incident.
And so we were back in Hobart to join the mad mob at John Manning and Barry Higgins' flat, to hear the news of Mike and Bob and to recuperate from our grand trip of the S.W.
The bushwalking season really commences with Easter.
Start it well by making the Sanitarium Shop Products the permanent basis to your foodlists.
Remember that there are no substitutes to equal the enjoyment and nourishment of our dried fruits, biscuits and other lines pre-eminently suited to the bushwalker.
13 Hunter St., Sydney. BW1725.
|Men's Open||Bill Rodgers||Kevin Ardill||Bob Godfrey|
|Ladies' Open||Georgina Langley||Nanette Bourke||Lyndsey Grey|
|Men's Breaststroke||Eric Adcock||Brian Harvey||George Gray|
|Ladies' Breaststroke||Georgina Langley||Nanette Bourke||Lyndsey Grey|
|Mandelberg Cup||Nanette Bourke, Roy Braggy||Eileen Taylor, Jack Perry||Jean Harvey, Albert Smalley|
|Rescue Race||Jean Harvey, Brian Harvey||Georgina Langley, Eric Adcock||Lyndsey Grey, Frank Young|
|Long Plunge, Men||Bill Rodgers||Brian Harvey||Kevin Ardill|
|Long Plunge, Women||Nanette Bourke||Georgina Langley||Kath McInnes|
|Henly Cup||Georgina Langley, Nanette Bourke (each 10 points). Awarded to Georgina Langley||Brian Harvey (8 points)||Bill Rodgers (6 points)|
After the rush for aluminium cooking foil and nylon cord following February's advertisement, we are happy to announce that we have further supplies of these popular lines.
Those who are planning trips for Easter (and who isn't?) may find them items useful.
Torches - small and large, metal, plastic or rubber cases. Priced from 8/- to 24/6.
Water Buckets - Japara, 1 1/2 and 2 gallon sizes. Zipp closure l5/- and 17/-. Open top 11/9 & 13/-. Plastic (strong) 1 gallon capacity 5/9.
Metho Stoves - Compact and sturdy, just the shot for emergency cuppas - 5/-.
Aluminium Billies - Tall and squat, 1 - 4 pints.
Boots - A new line of lightweight, flexible rubber soled boots - 67/9 pair. The girls especially should be interested. Sizes 5 - 10.
Food - All lines of dehydrated vegetables, soups, egg powder, ovaltine tablets, condensed milk in tubes.
Food Bags - Plastic and japara, all sizes.
Food Jars - Aluminium and plastic. A large array of shapes and sizes.
Heavy Weight Socks - Better than ever quality pink miners socks 8/6 pair.
And much more than we can tell you here so come in and look around.
Paddy Pallin. Lightweight Camp Gear.
201 Castlereagh St., Sydney.
- Nino Burntoffa
Promptly at six o'clock on the Friday night, I was waiting by the map at Central, eying my ridiculously small and light rucsac. No crampons; no rope; no felt-soled shoes; no pitons. Could I really survive a hike in the alps for two days with a mere fifteen kilos on my back? I learned that I could - but the crampons and rope would have helped.
By a quarter after six I began to feel apprehensive, as no other bearers of rucsacs had converged on my place of waiting. By 6.20 I was distinctly agitated and began searching the whole concourse.
Ah! There was Digby, hurrying towards the platform. I chased after him. “Digby!” I called, “Wait for me.”
Hurriedly he grasped me by the arm and propelled me past the ticket barrier, along the platform and into a carriage.
“Whereinhell have you bin?” he asked as we strode down the platform.
“I?” I enquired, indignant at his tone. “I have been waiting faithfully by the map, as instructed.”
“Well, why didn't you come over with the rest of us?” he enquired as we entered the corridor of the carriage.
“But there was no-one also there!” I objected.
“There was a whole mob of us there,” he said. “You been on the grog or something?”
“Digby,” I said solemnly, realising that there must be some misunderstanding, “I went to the enquiries man and I said to him: Where is the map? And he pointed to the wall and said: You blind, chum? Digby, I waited by the map, but I swear there was no-one else.”
“Not THAT map!” he almost shouted. “O-o-oh” he groaned, “never mind. Here - this is where we're holed up.”
I entered the compartment and smiled as Snow waved a cheery greeting. “You made it, Nino. Thought you must've got picked up at the Cross or something.”
Digby introduced me. “This is Nino, fellas. Alpini and all that. The Matterhorn, the Wetterhorn, the Drierhorn, the Gasthof and tons of Jungfrau.” There was much laughter, but as I had only understood the words, Matterhorn, Gasthoff and Jungfrau, I was unable to appreciate the humour. “Meet the boys, Nino. Snow you know. This is Mickelflick…Geoff, the wag…Don…Jim Brown…Mike…Colputt…and Dung kahn, the Dalai Llama.”
These who could reach me shook my hand warmly and the others gave a cheery wave. The Dalai Llama lifted the flap of a ridiculous-looking fur hat which obscured half his face and said in a deep voice, “Cor! Das jungfrau ist geluffly, si?” I wondered if he, too, were having difficulty with the language.
Soon I was seated alongside Digby who, like a good leader, began to question me as to whether I had brought everything necessary.
“Got all yor tucker alright, Nino?”
“Tucker?” I raised my eyebrows.
“Yer grub. Food.”
“Oh! but yes. I have enough for three days, in case we are benighted.”
“I have several bags, Digby …”
“FLEA - I mean, SLEEPING bag.”
“My snake-bite cure? No, I did not think to bring a cure for snakes.”
“No snake-bite cure? Man! you'll die.”
“You think I am unwise to go into the mountains without a snake-bite cure?”
“Unwise!? Nino, you'll freeze.”
“I will freeze? The snake-bite, it will make me cold?”
“Now, wait a minute, Nino. Let's put it in basic English. HAVE YOU BROUGHT THE RUM?”
“The rum? Why, yes. I have brought the rum, as you instructed me. Sixteen ounces in a plastic flask. That will cure the snake bites?”
“Nine …” He was interrupted by a tall, loud-mouthed individual who opened the compartment doors with a crash and, with a most inane grimace upon his countenance, bellowed: “We-e-11! Didja eversee sucha goonylookin mob o' fosteringslobs? All set for the big w.a. classic, eh?”
“Ah! The Admiral,” chorused a number of voices.
“Cumminout abit, arncher?” called Snow. “Who let you off the string for the weekend? Or do you hafterbe back before tomorrow night?”
“I'll ignore that uncouth thrust,” replied the newcomer. “But how about you goons movinup and making a spot of room, eh? I'd string the lottaya from the yardarm, so help me.”
They made room for him and we were introduced by Digby. “Nino - meet the Admiral. Admiral - meet Nino. Alpini and all that. The Matterhorn, the Wetterhorn, the Drierhorn…”
“And Jungfraus!” interrupted two or three of the others.
When they began to talk animatedly and somewhat loudly among themselves in their peculiar un-English way, I got from my pack the map which I had purchased and looked for the mountain we should climb. I soon found Katoomba, and than Mt. Cloudmaker. They seemed much too far apart for a weekend's hiking. I measured off the distance by the scale in miles and mentally converted it to kilos. Perhaps I would appreciate the lightness of my pack after all; in the Alpini we did not attempt such distances, even on skis.
“Digby,” I said during a lull in the uproar, “Perhaps you would be so kind as to show me on the map what the expedition will be like?”
“Sure thing, Nino. We start off at Katoomba, here. Have a noggin or two at the good old A.B.; roadbash out to The Causeway, here; then a burn along The Neck; hit the sacks at Glen Raphael; bit of a bush push on White Dog in the morning; spine-bash on the Cox for a while; and then, if we're still keen, we'll roar up over Cloudmaker and on to the Walls. Confidentially, though, The Admiral's up to his white antics already, so we'll probably finish up polishing off the grog on the Cox tomorrow and ambling slowly home up Nollio's for a session at the A.B.”
The others murmured in obvious approval at this last remark.
“Yair, ” said Snow. “Es only a prospective. Wouldn't wan to burnimoff.”
They would not want to burn me off. I was still pondering this statement when the train arrived at Katoomba and we gathered on the platform outside the carriage. We were enveloped in a soupy fog which the dim lights of the station all but failed to penetrate.
As the rest of us moved toward the exit, the individual called The Admiral was frantically rummaging in his rucsac and calling out, “Hey! Wait for me, you lotta goons. Think you're gonna steal a march on me in the race to the A.B., eh? Ah! here it is. Thought I'd lost me ticket and might hafta do a bit of fast talking. Quite outa practice at that since I got hooked.”
He came pounding after us. Suddenly we were halted by Jim Brown: I say, you fellows. Does anyone belong to that pack back there?“
We looked back and indeed there was a solitary rucsac on the platform.
“Now, there's a man with sense,” said the one called Colputt. “Probably got a room booked at the Carrington and intends doing the most luxurious white ant classic of all time. Now, who could it be? Mick? J.B.? Nino? - hell, no. Hey! Where's Digby?”
A dozen voices babbled at once and the one named Geoff, the wag, was saying, “Now, just what sort of a Charlie is I5ading this trip? Can't even keep with us as far as the A.B. Just how'll he be in the dogs tomorrow when we start to stretch the legs?”
In the midst of the babel, Digby appeared from the direction of the other end of the platform with a satisfied look on his face; and to a chorus of remarks which, to my ears at least, sounded quite insulting, blandly enquired, “Well, how're we doing, men? All set for a noggin at the good old A.B.? Or d'you reckon we ought to bash on out to the Glen?” The answers were quite expressive - and understandable even by me. We would be knockin' at the A.B.
I began to wonder if we would ever see this Mount Cloudmaker; but by now I was learning a patience quite foreign to my northern temperament. What if we failed to climb the mountain? At least my vocabulary would be much enriched.
- Heather Joyce
Many people have asked me to tell them of our trip to Tasmania and of all the difficulties that befell us whilst walking in the roughest country in the world, so let me tell you of some of our more intrepid adventures.
Leaving Hobart we were farewelled by our friends, who wished us luck and good weather, and for a while everything went well and according to plan. Our transport took us through the suburbs and out to the more interesting surrounding country areas. About 30 miles out of Hobart we stopped for a light meal and there our troubles started. We found ourselves in what was surely the loneliest part of Tasmania and certainly the quietest and most unfrequented. From our maps we could see which way we should go, but how to get there was the problem; after a brief conference the party split into two groups and moved off separately in an attempt to solve the dilemma.
It must have been three-quarters of an hour of slow walking with frequent stops for rests before help arrived - a car was approaching! At last our trip up the East Coast was no longer without hitches - here was an actual hitch.
Snow and I thumbed frantically and yes, the car, vintage '29 era so older than the Renault, ground to a stop for us. Thankfully we piled in - no great need to worry about pack frames on this car's leatherwork - and rested from our strenuous walking. And soon there was the rest of our party still on the track, Mick Peryman standing with an appealing smile on his face, hopefully moving a thumb. I replied, with a somewhat different gesture, but our car driver, good Samaritan that he was, decided there was room for one more. And so there was. Well, almost.
At the next road junction we got a quick hitch on a dirt lorry for a mile or so, and then we had a long rest near the top of a range where there was a fallen log in the shade of a tree and a good uphill stretch of road on which to play a game of “fly” until a festering car came by, scattering our sticks and not even stopping to offer us a lift.
So, once more we had to face reality and get back to walking. Let me tell you, it was a tough trip and I've slides to prove it.
I won't bore you with all the painful details of our tour, but like all Tasmanian walking, it isn't the mileage but the rate that counts, and our pace was very slow indeed and in short bursts with long rests between each stretch.
Nor was our making camp an easy thing to accomplish - Duncan will agree with me here when I say that getting a tent up in Tasmania is a long job involving great skill and patience. So, for example, at Triabunna we had to cunningly pitch our tent behind the only patch of bush in such a manner as to hide it from the eyes of the local constabulary. Or at St. Helens, where we were unable to persuade the camp ranger that we should spend the night in the Youth Hostel and where that same “gentleman” generously gave us the choice of two adjoining campsites of some twenty foot in this camping area of ? acres. But never mind, the “reserved” notices of other unused campsites made good firewood. Or again at The Basin at Launceston where we sneaked in the park gates after dark to avoid the ranger.
But at last our great adventure was ended and we saw the great sides of the good ship “Taruna” loom above us. Now our walking days were over and we could end our period of starvation by pestering our table steward for second helpings of every course on the menu (after all, for the past five days we had had to exist on meals of fresh fish and crayfish at 2/9 a pound).
And the fact that we were almost tossed out of the first class dining room of the “Taruna” just because we had no ties or long pants proved how dangerous and rugged can be a walking trip to Tasmania.
- i was
i was in the bushwalkers once
they gave me a pack
call it what you will
they gave me one
with a frame
a present from the president
the old fellows
walked over mountains
camped at night
and the president said
jolly good show chaps
that was the day i showed a prospective
how to be
i put this pack on his back
we went on a marathon
we came to a cliff
take a short cut i said
he fell on his head
In the February issue of our magazine a typographical error occurred on Page 14 where it was stated “that 56 1/2 of Prospective Members do not become members”. This of course should read 56%.
by a Special Correspondent.
There are bushies who can do the hundred miler in a weekend. Some can do it easily in three days. Many could do it in four days. The lesser bushwalkers could make the hundred miles in a gentle six day stroll (this includes morning and afternoon tea). You would only laugh if I told you that Lynn and I did it in nine days. It's true fellow bushies. We are ashamed, but not wholly to blame. It is old Tess' fault.
While travelling along an uncharted road in the depths of a jungle in darkest Thailand, the rains came uninvited. When rain comes, the jungle roads are practically impassable even to old Tess, our Land Rover. She received this name in W.A. It is very lucky Tess received her name in good old Aussie land, otherwise the editor would ban it. Tess' trailer is called “Whykickaroo”, a corruption of a N.Z. town called “Whykickamopcow”. Before carrying on with the jungle story I'd like to introduce the other members of the party. The organiser is Eric Edis, an Englishman, Angela McMahon and Louise Whitfeld, who are both Y.H.A. members and wish to become prospective S.B.W. members, and Bruce Russell of New Zealand. The trip is called “Edis Expedition” bit stands corrected to “Eaters Expedition”. No eaters expedition could leave Australia without representatives of S.B. Worshippers, and the Club is represented by Lynette Baber and John Bookluck. As a party we're terrific eaters. Boy, how we can eat. No longer the Lord's Prayer, “Give us our daily bread”, but in lieu, give us our daily rice. Rice, not in bushwalker quantities, but the way Buddha likes to see his people eat it (three big helpings). We've eaten in all types of dives in villages, towns, cities, exclusive night clubs (the author only in last-mentioned case) and also with jungle people and British Embassies. We have eaten everything that grows or crawls - believe me, friends, it's a wonderful pastime, and the S.B.W. should be proud of its representatives.
Water it the only problem - not washing but drinking water, which must be boiled. One Yark we met claimed he rinses his teeth in Pepsi Cola.
I had high hopes of being the first white man to travel from Singapore to London without a bath. Halfway through India my most cherished dreams were shattered by an Englishwoman on a tea estate.
“You must all take a bathe, she said.
“A hot one in a real bath tub?” asked Lynette excitedly.
“Yes,” she replied modestly, “Who's first.”
“Don't argue girls,” I butted in sarcastically.
Then all fingers pointed to me. “You go first. You haven't had one this trip.”
'I haven't a clean towell or soap,” I replied confidently.
“You'll find a clean towell and soap handy. Ring for the boy if you need any other requirements.”
“But,” I faltered, looking pleadingly at the girls, “Remember I was soaked by a tropical downpour in the jungle for one week, surely…. ”
“That s not a bath,” interrupted Louise.
“And that's no excuse,” added Lynette in terms most definite.
For a moment I hesitated, and then sulked off to the bathroom. Five minutes later I stood staring at the draining tub. Three things have gone down that drain other than water - my jungle mud, including some Aussie dust, my beautiful suntan and my wildest dream.
Now to relate how we did the hundred miler in a Land Rover. First, the road must be well watered by a tropical downpour and second, the bridges rotten or already collapsed. When the road becomes saturated, it becomes boggy and bogs mean sticky business.
I clearly remember Tess' first bog. It was only a little one. I was the culprit, all because of a movie which was to be staged, bit turned out to be a reality. Tess wasted no time in pulling out of that bog - only three quarters of an hour. Some days old Tess averaged two to four miles per day, which included two or three bogs. Generally one before lunch and one before tea. Her one before tea was always at some goddamed forsaken place. Tess is a stubborn old girl when in the middle of a bog and refuses to budge. She's been pushed, pulled and jacked up. Dozens of jungle folk, Chang the elephant, bulldozers, lorries and brengun carriers have all pulled old Tess. The most amazing and quickest haul was by Chang. At this point I seriously recommend that the club consider purchasing a couple of Elephants for jungle bushwalking - they're terrific. The jungle folk were characters. First, they would take up positions and if Tess sank deeper into the bog or our wheels went through a bridge, they would all laugh. Eventually they would come to the rescue. These people are very kind, simple and trusting. I could tell an experience of their hospitality that you would never believe.
A jungle without leeches is like a man without a woman. I consider myself a leech expert as I've been bitten in all parts of N.S.W. and Victoria and slept with leeches in Tassie, but never have I seen one like the Thai leeches. In the water they appear like little black snakes. The villagers are scared of them - who wouldn't be, their length is between 6” and 9“. When they attach themselves it is a job to remove them. To add further to our misery, sandflies - not just one or two, but dozens biting away to the tune of the William Tell Overture. Personally, I preferred the leeches and squelchy yellow mud. About two weeks after this episode, we were all rewarded with jungle foot, which is similar to athlete's foot only ten times worse and accompanied by a maddening desire to scratch. It takes weeks to cure and there's nothing like mosquitoes to add to one's discomfort. We also had our fair share of those.
If Tess wasn't stuck in a bog, she was participating in a bridge crossing. One old bridge I was testing with my foot fell down and so did I. Being an engineer, I viewed the problem and made some calculations and speculations. Meanwhile, whilst diligently applying my theoretical knowledge, the jungle folk were busy adding a few pieces of timber. Whilst in the middle of a calculation, I was rudely interrupted by Eric.
“Are you coming?” Eric was on the other side of the bank rearing to go.
One thing is certain with my calculations - the average bushwalker who walks 15 miles per day (including morning and afternoon tea) would take 7 days approximately.
P.S. Bushies, Lynn and I agree there is no country like Aussie land for camping. Eric Edis, who is returning to England, says the best camps on the trip, in fact the best in his life, were in Australia and when an Englishman agrees, that's something to boast about.
For all your transport problems contact Hattswell's Taxi and Tourist Service. Ring, write, wire or call any hour, day or night.
'Phone: Blackheath W459 or W151. Booking Office - 4 doors from Gardner's Inn Hote1 (look for the neon sign.)
Speedy 5 or 8 passenger cars available. Large or small parties catered for.
We will be pleased to quote other trips or special parties on application.
The Business Manager advises us that the Magazine finances are now in such a satisfactory state that we are able to resume the reproduction of black and white scenes, maps, etc. within reasonable quantity. Contributors are therefore invited to confer with the Editor with a view to enhancing their articles in this manner.
- Dung Khan.
The page by Brian Harvey “They Did Not Make It” contains a few sensible suggestions swamped in much moralistic nonsense. Brian wags a finger at all whose walking activities do not fit into his own mould. About those who have a taste for material comfort he says, “The true walker has no other weekend vices” and, they are dissuaded by “the discovery that scrub bashing in the harsh sandstone country surrounding Sydney is not a Sunday school picnic with string bag and one cut lunch”.
To the group whose taste is for longer walks than he cares to do, he says, “Just for a change, some leaders might put on official walks which prospectives could reasonably attend and not some super severe bash, which, boiled down, is only a private walk for the leader's group of walking friends under the cloak of an official walk”.
In walking tastes I belong to the latter group, and I am moved to defend myself. The members of this rather ill-defined group go only on those walks they think they will enjoy. This is because they believe walking is a recreation rather than a religion. The group contains personalities ranging from “veterans” such as Paddy Pallin, who recently did a S.W. Tassy trip, to youngsters such as John Manning. It is incorrect to suggest that it is just a knot of cliquey friends. It may seem to Brian that walks marked with a name such as “Snow Brown” as leader must be “super severe bashes which no prospective could reasonably attend” but they are occasionally attended by Dot Butler's children ranging in age from eight to fourteen, and they attract a steady stream of new comers. Unlike the general run of prospectives, 56% of these do not desert. Most seem to become permanent and enthusiastic club members. In the last couple of years now recruits have included Mick Elfick, Arthur Peters, Evelyn Esgate and Barry Higgins. The recent ill-fated S.W. Tasmanian party contained two prospectives, Mike Peryman and Karl Doherty. The group would, therefore, appear to successfully attract one class of prospective.
The other class, those who prefer easier walking, are not forgotten either, for the bash group harbors in its ranks three members, Frank Rigby, Brian Anderson and Bob Duncan, who are declared white ants and who, while enjoying hard trips themselves, will for the sake of prospectives resort to any subterfuge to shorten and soften all walks on which they are engaged.
It would soon, therefore, that the Club will be best propagated by a friendly attitude to new members and a diverse Walks Programme so that all may find somewhere a trip to their liking.