SBW Walks Programs
A monthly bulletin of matters of interest to the Sydney Bush Walkers, The N.S.W. Nurses' Association Rooms, “Northcote Building”, Reiby Place, Sydney. Box No. 4476 G.P.O., Sydney. 'Phone JW1462.
|Editor||Don Matthews, 33 Pomona Street, Pennant Hills. WJ3514|
|Business Manager||Brian Harvey|
|Sales & Subs.||Eileen Taylor|
|Typed by||Jean Harvey|
|Inside Russia with Mouldy||Kath McKay||2|
|At Our October Meeting||Alex Colley||4|
|Blue Gum Working Bee||Jack Gentle||5|
|Angorawa Bitters||Stuart Brooks||5|
|This Was Canberra||“Taro”||8|
|Kowmung Cavalcade - Part II. Continuing “Through the Granite Gorges||Harry Savage||10|
|Extracts from Letters to the Editor||14|
|Wondabyne - Kariong - Koolewong||Reg. Meakins||15|
|A Year Ago||J. Bookluck||17|
|Hatswell's Taxi & Tourist Service||9|
Tell me not in mournful numbers
Everything is changed and new
And no steadfast thing encumbers
Man's disturbed and restless view.
Say not so in accents bitter;
Lo! where camping parties reign
All the old familiar litter
Lies as it has always lain.
Kingdoms fall and empires totter,
Creeds collapse and fashions fade,
But the trade-mark of the squatter
Still infests the bushland glade.
As the years flash by and flitter
Many things they re-arrange;
Life moves onward; only litter
Shows no earthly sign of change.
Thus in spite of all suspicions
Things are not so wholly black;
If you seek the old traditions,
Try the camping ground and track;
Roadside places all remind us
We can take our steadfast cue,
And, departing, leave behind us
Litter just like grandad knew.
(Lucia in “The Manchester Guardian”).
- Kath McKay.
£150 for a trip of fourteen days; three and a half hours' flying time from London. With these basic preliminaries over, hey presto! Mouldy in Moscow with a party of seventeen other distinguished travellers, architects, town-planners and the like.
In a far too brief two hours, Mouldy showed us slides giving fascinating glimpses of Moscow, Leningrad and Kiev, commented on them in his usual inimitable way, and answered the many questions put to him. There were Pictures of the airport; of the enormous modern hotel where the party stayed in Moscow; the onion-shaped golden domes of Czarist churches, now used as museums; the huge Bolshoi Theatre; (“There is a company touring now in Australia: would that not deplete the numbers?” asked Mouldy through an interpreter. Oh dear no, they had 64 principals on the ballet's permanent staff) the University; the Stadium, with every conceivable aid to sport. Indeed, attached to it were doctors, dentists, masseurs, gynecologists - everything needful.
We saw the Kremlin and the famous Red Square with the unending queue of people passing through the Mausoleum where the bodies of Lenin and Stalin lay in state. Once, said Mouldy, the tomb was hastily shut for a fortnight and rumour declared that Lenin's nose had dropped off and had to be replaced.
We were shown the Nevsky Prospekt and the beautiful water-vistas of Leningrad, built on a hundred islands. The numerous canals were of course frozen over in winter, but this was high summer with flowers and trees everywhere.
We saw the older dwellings of the ordinary people, wooden, humble, steep-roofed to foil the snow; and we saw the large blocks of modern flats which are the Soviet's answer to the housing problem. They were not very well finished but it was more important to accommodate people than to pamper them. Many more flats were built annually in Moscow than in the whole of Australia. Prefabrication was the solution. Enormous cranes lifted prefabricated walls into place, and in one case even the plumbing was included, with pipes sticking cut ready to be connected. A sensible arrangement was a council which met at the end of each year and inquired into the faults of flats already erected with a view to doing better next time. Flats ran into five storeys but there were no lifts.
We saw the markets and emporiums which were dull in the extreme. Tinned goods had plain labels with the names of their contents round the middle and nothing else. Why waste money on pictures? The government produced and marketed everything so there was no competition.
When their party first reached Russia, they thought they had never seen so many pregnant women. Then they saw a real one and realised that they had been mistaken as the ladies were the wrong shape. No foundation garments are worn in the U.S.S.R. so women are completely untrammelled. An institution that might well be copied by the Western World was the setting aside of a section in the Underground trains for cripples and pregnant women, so that they might always be sure of a seat. Women worked as street-cleaners and did much heavy work reserved for navvies in Australia.
We were told of the vast wealth of the Czars and of their fabulous jewels, now owned by The People. There were wonderful statues and more golden cupolas crowning the strange and bizarre architecture of pre-Soviet days (everything of any worth dated from Czarist times) and, chandeliers were a feature of interiors in even the post unlikely places, such as trains.
With his usual pertinacity, Mouldy succeeded in going over a Collective Farm, where tourists are not encouraged; and on his last afternoon, having been refused a permit to view as he could not give the requisite twenty-four hours' notice, took a taxi, unheralded and unhampered, to the University and saw all he wished to see.
The party also saw a church service in a village near Moscow where a venerable and heavily bearded priest still holds office. Religion is frowned on by the government so few of the present generation practise it; but grandparents, scandalised at children growing up in heather ways, take their grandchildren to church and instruct them in holy things.
Much much more Mouldy told us; and his conclusion was that he was glad he was not a Communist. If you were a Party member or a tourist, you could easily get a ticket to a theatre, otherwise you hadn't a hope. Similarly if you were a Party member you could travel outside Russia; if not, no. Oh yes, you could travel inside the Union if you had a good reason. It was a question of privilege, not of money. And if the government wanted room to expand, as it had decided to do near the University, a village of 300 soils was simply removed elsewhere and the land bulldozed. No question of compensation or of the rights of the Little Man.
No, we might have some grievances, but we were lucky to belong to the Free World.
- Alex Colley.
Four new mothers, Auriel Mitchell, Grace Rigg, Margaret Milson, and Ian Steven were welcomed by the President at the beginning of the meeting. It was left to Paddy Pallin to pin the badge on the fifth new member, Robert Pallin, and welcome him into the club in the French manner. Whether the President will adopt this style of welcome remains to be seen.
In correspondence we learned that Federation had appointed a Tracks and Access Committee and, at Paddy's suggestion, we referred to the committee the problem of access to Kuringgai Park around the brickworks at Terrey Hills.
Then there was news of another donation to Club Funds - no less than £50 from Fred Kennedy, with a suggestion that it might be used for a new typewriter. The President thanked Fred warmly for this generous gift.
John White told us of a working bee to be held on November 11th and 12th to clear the track above Lovett's Bay in Kuringgai Chase.
The Walks Secretary described a fairly active month's walking. Only four teams competed in the walking trial which was won by Brian Harding. The instructional walk led by Bob Godfrey was attended by 6 members and 12 prospectives. It had been “highly organised and comprehensive”. Brian Harvey's walk from the Koala Bear Sanctuary had been checked, but not stopped, by torrential rain, While Dave Ingram with 7 members and 9 prospectives round Gosford way and Jim Brown, with 5 members and 5 prospectives in the Glenbrook Creek - Oaks area had successful, though scratchy, walks. Wilf Hilder, on a trip down Victoria Falls encountered a determined wild goat which, however, knew its way round, because it turned back when shown a sign denoting the Grose River. With the help of a prospective, Wilf had built a temporary diversion dam to stop some of the erosion at Bluegum.
The President was moved by an incident on the Cox at 6-hour weekend to remind members of the necessity of keeping the party together. A party (not S.B.W.) had split, and the majority had spent all day looking for a small group that had gone ahead and reached the Cox at 10 a.m.
Ben Esgate told us of a T.V. talk in which Eric Baume deplored the costs of rescuing bushwalkers. It was decided to write a letter to the S.M.H. pointing out that the cost of rescuing bushwalkers was probably much less than that of hospitalising motorists or rescuing fishermen and that we had a search and rescue organisation of our own.
Wilf Hilder told us of the proposed construction of a new highway from Mittagong to Picton and of a road from White Dog to Gingera Ridge and Kanangra. Frank Ashdown announced that the much debated caving ladder was available to anyone who needed it, though its safety might, according to a critic, still be debatable.
With the election of room stewards the meeting drew to a close.
- Jack Gentle.
The working bee at Blue Gum was most successful. 13 members attended and cleared the area of tins and bottles etc., and buried same in suitable pits.
This was carried out by the ladies Edna Stretton, Gladys Roberts, Kath Brown, Grace Rigg, Nan Bourke, Margaret Wilson and Denise Hull.
The men, Paddy Bourke, Bill Burke, Ern French, Alan Round, Brian Harding, cut a 5 ft. diameter log in two places. This log was across the river and causing severe erosion of the Northern Bank opposite Govett's Leap Creek.
Time did not permit cutting the log right through but as each cut is 18 inches wide quite a volume of water can pass through.
The next working bee in March will enable the job to be completed.
Our thanks must go to Rover Scouts of the 2nd Fairfield and 1st Smithfield Groups for their valuable assistance in chopping logs and helping to strengthen a diversion wall of river stones.
An amusing and embarrassing sidelight of the weekend was that in the heat of the day when some of the ladies were bathing, a party of small scouts, identity unknown, appeared through the scrub and the girls suffered a prolonged and enforced immersion.
- Stuart Brooks.
Vide two statements.
Baker: “The lazy one's are going to the Colo.”
Colley: “You'll get through, but you won't enjoy it.”
This epic really began with a group of twelve keen S.B.W. types huddled round a pyjama clad woodcutter, poring over the map in torchlight, in the dark yard of a sawmill, far out on the Putty Road. The remaining three members of the party, less taken with the joys of compass marching by night, were earnestly discussing the softness of the ground in the sawmill yard, and the convenience of tank water for preparing breakfast.
Despite the woodcutter's gloomy predictions for those bent on cross country walking (“you'll git lorst fer sure, or fall over a cliff”) and the incessant whiteant activities of a minority, the leader had a last look at the map, took a rapid compass bearing, bade the woodcutter adieu (“yorta go by the fire trail, mate”) and bashed off into the night followed by eleven keen followers, and three others cursing all advanced map reading and particularly that done by night.
Forsaking all trails, tracks and pads, our Bob, map in hand, pressed on, followed by his advising, stumbling, giggling or complaining (as the case may be) band, along a ridge, dam its rocky side, across a marsh, up another ridge, down its side, and thus into a thickly wooded flat, complete with miniature stream. The remark, “this is just where we wanted to finish up” was passed with a leader's usual aplomb in the full knowledge of never having disclosed such information previously.
Morning saw the hard core map readers, Godfrey, Wren and Kenway, getting down to business without delay, with varying amounts of interest from the others engaged in multifarious preparations for the mental and physical labours shortly to follow.
With final rites over the map concluded, and a promise of morning tea at eleven fresh in their ears, the party swooped off down the creek and ere long arrived at the much vaunted Angorawa.
Here, Nature had laid a cunning trap for intruders in the form of tangled lawyer vines, and blood soon flowed like promises from those whose subs. are overdue. (Sorry - that plus by special request.)
Despite vigorous machete work by the vanguard, progress was slow, and eleven o'clock came and went with no respite for tea (“no time - behind schedule”).
'First fall' was passed about midday, and thereafter the valley was deeper and rockier, fighting through lawyer vines being replaced by clambering over boulders. A halt was called for lunch at a very pleasant spot where a small creek joined Angorawa. Because of the slow, albeit strenuous, progress (about 3/4 mile per hour) it was decided that the Colo would be a reasonable target for the day. (Audible comment “Oh brother!”)
Boulder hopping continued unabated for several hours after lunch until the gorge deepened and became a real chasm in rock. The last three miles of Angorawa Creek are really delightful, consisting of a series of waterfalls and deep pools entrenched in solid rock. This was by far the most pleasant walking so far, but the elusiveness of the Colo (“the map must be wrong”), the stinging cuts, and the dragging feet were hardly conducive to the full appreciation of the spectacle.
However, the Colo was finally reached around 5.30 p.m. and no one had to be restrained from pressing on when it was suggested that camp be made at the junction. The Colo forms a large lake at this spot, and despite the lack of fir trees, Indian canoes and cigar butts, was rather like a Canadian calendar scene. A few hardy types were even enticed in for a swim, though the majority were more inclined to lick their wounds in front of camp fires.
It was clear that the day had taken a severe mental and physical toll, and the prospect of a further 10 miles along the steep rocky sides of the Colo did not seem to produce the unconfined joy it should.
Wren was around soon after tea conducting his own private Gallup Poll on what to do for the best. If the original Colo bash were to be abandoned, a suitable reason which would bear any future official scrutiny must be found. There appeared to be four credible excuses offering for discussion.
1. Everyone had had river bashing, and the thought of a further 10 miles (at 3/4 m.p.h.) along the Colo was particularly repugnant. (This excuse was really offered in jocular vein, as no one would ever believe it. It, however, served as a form of entree for the real meat to follow.)
2. We should retrace our steps to search for Bill's pipe which he's dropped somewhere along the creek. This found some favour, but as Bill had since borrowed Wren's pipe, he wasn't as forceful in its promotion as one might expect.
3. We shouid take the shortest possible route out because of Denise's strained ankle. This found wide support except from Denise, who refused to be used as a scapegoat.
4. The ridges around the upper Angowara offered unlimited scope for advanced map reading.
With a lot of fast talk by the hardcore failing to produce the unanimity so essential for an official record, it was decided we would just go back anyway.
With the urgency of the previous day dispelled, the stroll back up Angorawa Creek was really delightful. The previous day's lunch spot was reached at about 4 p.m. after a leisurely morning tea with swim, and an even more leisurely lunch. The Public Service types had by now regained confidence in their leader.
On Monday morning, Bob led the way straight up, out of Angorawa Creek, and the tangle of ridges above, and map reading began in earnest. The fact that the sawmill was eventually located, via Drip Rock (as per programme) dispelled any doubts the unbelievers may have had in the powers of the map and compass.
The party dispersed in groups from the Sawmill, some to the Colo picnic grounds, some direct to Windsor, each to remove the dust of the day according to his own inclination.
Summary: An Oscar to Bob for perseverance and dedication to his art.
The Children's Christmas Party will be held on December 10th. The location will be the clearing at the site of the old Ranger's cottage on Lady Carrington Drive about a mile East of Waterfall Station. Ice Cream will be provided and a good day out is assured.
9.20 a.m, train from Central Electric Station to Sutherland, where change for rail motor to Waterfall. 10.20 a.m. Garie Bus Waterfall to site.
Leader: Clem Hallstrom, who doesn't get into the Club very often. Give him a ring at LB6495 - he at home most evenings.
The Bushwalker Annual 1961. Copies are still available. Members who do not come into the Club regularly may not be aware that this excellent magazine has been published again after 13 years. Secretary David Ingram has another parcel of the magazines and will have them available far sale on each Wednesday night until Christmas. Edited by Geof Wagg, and full of interest.
Now that Canberra seems to be an established fact here is a peep at it in 1920. I was doing country advertising - and staying a few weeks in country towns gave me a chance to look around. So I went looking for Canberra one Sunday.
This is part of a letter written home: “At this time the only building in Canberra was the power house, in great illimitable rolling plains”. One page missing but we can carry on from here. It is a one day bike trip from Queanbevan - seems I had tyre trouble, a storm had driven me to a lonely house. Here we go -
“Blew out - another split - NO.6 - suspect tube is done, patched O.K. 4” x 1 1/2”. Stayed there l 1/2 hours, no one in the place. Had no tucker - as I meant to get home to dinner, say total - 50 miles. Rode off aLain - towards river - did a mile, still no end of road, and still light rain.
Got off - in doubt - no one in sight, ah - a bloke right across paddock - seemed to be coming may way - waited. A Bushie - real unsophisticated kind - told him my tale - it was then 12.30 decided to ride home. Said he - come back with me - took me to the log hut - his place. I said I had waited there 1 1/2 hours. Then he DID rouse - “Why didn't I go in - light a fire - dig out some tucker etc. - this is a FREE country”. He had had his tucker, but he set to, lit a big fire - fried eggs and dished me up bonza eggs - cold meat - sauce - bread - jam - cakes and tea. Did I enjoy it, what!
He had never been in Sydney, asked a lot of questions - was amazed - asked if I knew a bloke named Ryan - in Sydney.
He was a good sort anyway - and he made his place - my place.
Still raining - but I set off to do 17 miles - had no coat - no nuffin - and the roads were a bit slushy - you can bet.
Poor Bird (the bike), poor saddle - poor chain, which soon ran short of grease, and on hills, ground awful - on some, it went blank on strike, had to get off and push. We - Bird and I, got in an awful state, I had fully 1/4“ sand and gravel and mud all over me, from front to back, and shirt, and hair and jigger-saddle had 1/2” on it and pounds under it.
Once I got quite mucked up, I did not care - just plugged through it and did the 17 in 1.20. But lor blimey, such a spectacle. It had rained for 15 out of the seventeen. Rode around to show the Boss. Then chucked buckets of water over the Bird. Then had a bath, trousers heavy as overcoat. Landlady grabbed them and shirt too - set to - washed them O.K. That's the sort of place I'm in. Felt bosker, mud and all, and none the worse. The water was squirting out of boot toes at every push, but, 0, for a gear case. Terrible strain, for a chain to churn gravel and water. Had some thrilling slides in the wet roads when pacing, but kept up to it. If we are here next weekend I will take tucker and billy and do it again.
Well, there it is - a day so long ago, and that same Bird, still with original '07 bearings is carrying round every day - smooth as ever.
Here are a few more of the long ago - all in this same letter - and in the light of history - really amusing. Some car comment too!
“Saw a Henderson Mobike in Coma, it did 108 M. in 3 hours. Is that good? This town (Queanbeyan) is full of Lizzies - 1896 models - stacks of row and stacks of pace. Heard Hughes and federal members speak here - fowlhouse lot - awfu1ly like a club council meeting and THEY are the heads!! Hughes!!! gee!! Quite loyal meeting though - had 10 half washed kids armed with flags which they waved when Billy came in. So appropriate though. And a final note of social life. Saw Mary Pickford last night - bosker, came home to big log fire - and Mrs. Gardiner (the landlady) had some onions waiting in the ashes. Had 'em with batter - pepper, bread, tea, bosker! Glass 54 outside. My board was round about 22/6d. p.w.
Happy pre fission and commo days, when ignorance WAS bliss.
I found it very moving, living again in those days in these pages. Compare the 100% sincerity and simplicity in that country chap, my host, with the mountain of glamor and artificiality and swank without end amen - at another mountain of cost - Canberra today. What has a country gained when it loses that integrity. This chap was part of those illimitable hills, so blue, so green.
And here is another odd echo of progress in Queanbeyan. At that time at Gardiner's, the queen and wit of the merry table was the 12-year daughter, a real bouncing buster and plump. As usual I ragged her, and once, quite baffled, she said “My gord, Mr. Tarr, don't you ever put your fingers in your ears - they'll get caught in the the wheels”.
Fifteen years after, passing through I thought - are the Gardiner's still about. Yes, a Miss Gardiner is in the big local store. After a few hitches finished upon first floor. Vast space filled with girls typing - could be the city. Enquiry girl spoke, then walked away. Then came back with a perfectly dressed and mannered lass, stranger to me - but she put out her hand and said “How is Mr. Tarr!!”
Isn't “suspect tube is done” priceless. I was always a verra serious bloke. And what a picture of an exultant schoolboy of 41 tender, not bender, years. Where where where where where could you find another Mrs. Gardiner today?!! And in all these miles, met NOT ONE vehicle - the passionate dream of every motorist today.
- Harry Savage (The S.B.W., February 1933)
Jenolan Caves to Yerranderie via Council Chambers Ck., the Hollanders, Tuglow and Upper Kowmung Rivers.
Camp was reached again at two, and a rather belated dinner partaken of. It then being too late in the day to continue our journey, we decided to stop overnight in Tuglow Hole and start off bright and early in the morning. For the only time on the trip the sun was beaten out of bed, and at six o'clock after a light breakfast we set off up the mountain side from Tuglow Hole. Seven o'clock found us blown and almost beaten; but on top. Shortly after reaching the top of the ridge Morong was sighted away on the left. It was a magnificent sight, but the marvellous beauty of these Falls is not apparent unless close, as we were on the previous day. The ridge fizzled right out about nine o'clock and left us faced with the alternative of climbing about nine hundred feet down into a creek or stepping off what we thought to be a cliff. We took the creek and for two hours had the struggle of a lifetime, fighting and climbing through the almost impenetrable jungle undergrowth, to cover about one mile of country.
The Kowmung was again entered at one of its most picturesque parts. For as far as the eye could see, above and below, the river poured over the everlasting granite in cascade after cascade, now steady, now boiling, but ever working onward tough a beautiful avenue of Casuarina trees, the first that had been seen on the trip.
After lunch and a good long spell we started off again, and then the fun began. Our last way out being left behind, the river began to play with us. It was very amusing for a little while; very - climbing up smooth slippery granite slopes anything up to fifty feet high and then hauling the packs up on the rope, swinging round corners on the rope like trained steeple jacks, hopping down the river on giant stepping stones, occasionally slipping in, crossing, wading, climbing, jumping and then commencing the sequence afresh. That was all right for the first mile or so, but then it got past a joke altogether.
High concave walls drove us up for about a hundred feet to find that it was practically impossible to get down again; than up again, up a steep granite slide, I went up first using toes, fingers, knees and ankles. Next step was to climb round the cliff face through a forest of prickly shrubs before a descent was possible down a giant's staircase in the shape of a granite watercourse. Although back in the river once more the gorge was still impassable and another climb out was necessary up a severe cleft in the gorge face itself. This last effort was required to dodge a piece of river about five yards long. The next sight almost justified the effort. The river divided round an immense granite island in the river, forming again in a large rock-bound pool by way of miniature waterfalls, only to split again and join farther downstream.
It was well after four before we struck anything resembling a camp site in any shape, form or description. Then one could hardly call it a camp site. It was low; dangerously low; well below flood or even high water level. It was bounded by walls of granite on three sides, and faced a forty foot waterfall in the Kowmung on the other. There was just enough roam to pitch the small tent and to light a fire, but as we had no intention of sleeping in a tree it had to do.
Just before dark I climbed round the bend in the river to see if perhaps fate, after buffeting us as it had done, had in any way relented and given us somewhere decent to sleep. It was wasted effort, all I found was a sheer rock wall about a hundred feet high bounding the waterfall. Morning found as without any idea of a plan for getting past the waterfall which completely blocked our passage, and we wound up by making a most difficult detour which took over an hour to complete and carried us about another forty yards downstream. In another two and a half hours we were approximately a mile farther down and completely baulked by sheer walls and about thirty feet of water in the river. This is the dead end of the granite proper and through the cleft that the river uses to escape could be seen clear country, without a sign of a granite outcrop in it. There was no alternative, it was a case of up and over. The left hand side was tackled for no other reason than that the Boyd Range was on that side, and in case of being forced out perhaps we could scale the range which was about three thousand feet above the river level. The first five hundred feet was sheer murder, climbing up a steep granite watercourse filled with loose slimy rocks, giant jungle vines, treacherous clematis, nettles and black thistles. Then it became necessary to leave the watercourse and zig-zag to the top - a thousand feet above the river. We had a waterless lunch on the top and were most cordially entertained by the local blowflies and bull ants.
Finding it impossible to make the Boyd Range we set off around the foothills, but were again forced down into the river shortly after passing Hanrahan's Creek, a strong stream which flows off the Boyd Plateau, and enters the Kowmung just short of Misery Ridge. Checking up it was discovered that we were about four hundred yards downstream from the last gorge and it had taken us three hours and a climb up and down of about a thousand feet to do it. The country opened out rather well and about another four miles was made before camping for the night on another rotten campsite just above the river level.
At six a.m. we rolled out of bed on what we hoped was going to be the day of the trip. Setting off we found the going to be more than peculiar - sometimes oVer nice green sward, then up and over big rocks and bluffs, through dense undergrowth, across the river and then back again, always expecting to find Lannigan's Creek, our way out to civilisation, at the next bend; and never finding it. At noon we struck the most disconcerting point of the day - an absolutely impassable gorge of white slippery granite. There was one way - up and over - up the steep dangerous hillside through tangled undergrowth, nettles and thistles. It was torture to an extreme. Just before one o'clock we made the other side completely exhausted.
After lunch the journey was resumed and at ten past four, after a most strenuous afternoon, Lannigan's Creek was reached. The last night out was spent at Billy's Point Hole on the first bend past Lannigan's.
Bed was sought early that evening for we were nearly all in. But although tired out we were happy, for having come through the roughest and toughest part of the mountains we were nearly knocking at the back door of civilisation after nine strenuous nerve-racking days. The last day proved to be the hardest of all. The heat of the sun even at the early hour of six was unbearable.
Our first view of Yerranderie was gained from the sadd1e above the coal seam on the range overlookLng the Tonalli River. Another three quarters of an hour brought us to the journey's end, friends and Yerranderie - a Mecca in a wilderness.
I have heard this said of the Kowmung country - “the good Lord made a clerical error when measuring up the surface of the globe and as this is the last part He ever made, He had to stand it up on end to save wasting it.”
It'll do me for a definition.
The history of the KOwmung will continue next month.
N.P.A. Christmas cards for 1961.
This year's card shows, in colour, coastal scenery in The Royal National Park (from the original by Helen Barrett).
Price: 1/3d. each. 10/- for 8. 15/- for 12.
Also available are some of last year's card of Mt. Currockbilly.
Please your friends and help publicise the work of the National Parks Association.
A Rugged Trip For Walkers.
December 1-2-3 Whalan's Hut - Morong Falls - Kormung Gorge (Morong Deep) Boyd Range - Whalan's Hut.
If you have read “Kowmung Cavalcade” (Part I in the October S.B.W., Part II in this issue) you'll have some idea of the grand gorge scenery, and the countless cascades and waterfalls, and you'll have some clues on the modern way of doing the Kowmung. Here's your chance to try it. Starters must be able to swim. Packs should be light and waterproofed, preferably with an inner bag.
See Leader Wilf Hilder for further details, and for transport arrangements.
Maps: Myles DUnphy's Kanangra Tops and Environs and The Blue Mountains and Burragorang Tourist Map.
Extracted from our files September, 1961:-
“I am writing to report on my experiences with the Golden Era three (3) man tent I used recently in the snow.
“I climbed the ridge that runs off Mt. Piper above the gap and pitched the tent in a north-south direction on the eastern fall just on the tree line. I selected a spot slightly elevated but with a wind break of gums and hung the tent on a nylon rope between two trees on four feet of snow. Using dead timber I staked the tent out and buried the walls in under the snow leaving the roof portion about 6” clear of the snow surface at the eyelets. In a strong wind I double staked and also stayed the suspending rope against the pressure from the west. The tent remained secure in heavy gusts and with the flaps at both ends tied, no flow of air passed through the tent. I stayed four days in this spot with temperatures varying from 25° to 36°.
“I found the small primus a most valuable part of my equipment. With all the disturbance outside the flame of the stove burned without a flicker. I took careful notice of the effect of the stove on the temperature and found that the temperature inside measured at the far end of the tent rose one degree per minute up to 50°.
“It was a strange feeling to lie in comparative peace inside a small canopy of fabric while outside the wind roared across the frozen ridge.
“Altogether I spent a very wonderful six days. The isolation, but with it the sense of fellowship with the simple rugged beauty, was a great tonic. Each evening I returned to my mountain top abode feeling it was home.”
We like this kind of appreciation and trust that you will find it interesting also. Of course, you too can rely on Paddymade!
Paddy Pallin Pty. Ltd. Lightweight Camp Gear.
201 Castlereagh St Sydney. BM2685.
It seems, reading Allen Strom's letter in last month's magazine, that we selfish bushwalkers have exhibited bad taste and ignorance in opposing roads and buildings in a natural park. I am neither won nor influenced by these views. My impression of bushwalkers in our club is that they are both well informed and logical; but Allen is one of us, and he is entitled to his opinion…
It is my impression that a surprising number of bushwalkers take a continuing interest in conservation, and that a very big proportion of leading conservationists are drawn from their ranks.
We are accused of wanting to “push the public out of the parks”. I gather that parks can only be enjoyed by the people when roads and buildings are provided. If the people have to step out of their cars, or come our from under a roof, they are being “excluded”. I suppose it won't be long before both cars and buildings have to be air-conditioned before anyone can “enjoy” nature in the parks.
I believe that it has always been the opinion of most bushwalkers, in our club at least, that some areas should be left in a primitive, or natural, state.
All the best scenic attractions, from Coolangatta to Kosciusko and from Bondi to Bourke are roaded and built upon, and are within easy motoring distance of hotels and motels. Only small remnants remain free of roads and buildings, and some of these are in that condition only because bushwalkers have fought to keep them so. They are sought by the tourist only because they are as yet unspoiled.
Bouddi is a perfect example. The description “natural” is not “redundant” to those bushwalkers who worked for its reservation. To keep this beautiful spot natural was the sole purpose of their efforts, and they were not addicted to bad taste or ignorance. Bouddi is now the last undeveloped coastal area in a sea of subdivisions. Anyone can see it as it is, and walk through it in about half an hour if they want to. Why must a road and building be placed in the middle of it?…
Whether it is the Domain, the Botanic Gardens, National Park, Bouddi or Bong Bong, nature falls flat before the almighty automobile. Roads tear through the bush and gash the hillsides. They will be lined with beer bottles and old mattresses, and they will lead to nice big buildings with all mod cons…”
…“Bushwalkers know of old that most motorists are only too interested in following a road irrespective of where it may lead, as long as the scenery passed has satisfied a certain exploring ego.
“On reaching an advantage point, irrespective of whether it is well within the borders of a reserve or on the outskirts, little respect is forthcoming because there has never been the training the same as a Bushwalker is given in his initial stages as a prospective member.
No one with any sound reasoning would suggest that motorists be deprived of enjoying the beauty and peacefulness of the bush: but one does object to the litter that is strewn around by them with absolutely no care of what damage might be caused by carelessly lighting fires and leaving them unattended or participating in sheer vandalism for the want of passing the time away.
….. I feel sure that A.W. Dingeldei, knowing him to have been a lover of the bush in its primitive state, would not permit any form of structure to be built on his behalf, to be turned into a mockery by people devoid of bush sense to transform the site into an untidy vandalised disgraceful state.
It is true that National Reserves belong to the general public and from what is seen of the behaviour of the general public in the past, the honorary ranger have no end of trouble in effecting law and order.
The Bushwalking Movement has accomplished a great deal of success in the past years in enticing the Governments of the day to implement legislation for more National Parks and Reserves that the need of the Nation be met, and at no time could it be said that the Bushwalkers in the main were selfish in wanting these same parks for themselves…”
Sunday, 30th July, 1961.
- Reg Meakins.
Starters: Kath Brown, Beverly Clark, Auriel Mitchell, Grace Rigg, Bill Rowlands and Reg Meakins (Leader).
The party travelled on the 8.15 a.m. train from Central. Later in the year, when the days are longer, the 9.55 a.m. train would be suitable, as the journey to Wondabyne is only an hour and a quarter.
From Wondabyne, it is an easy climb to the top of the main ridge, about 500 ft., with traces of an old track. At the top of the ridge there is a good track leading North towards Mt. Kariong, with fine views of Mooney Creek, Brisbane Water and the Pacific Ocean.
After about 1 1/2 miles the track turns East for about 3/4 miles. The present party followed the track, but an interesting variation at this point would be to continue North along the top of the main ridge and then Eastwards on to Mt. Kariong. The best water supply on this trip is a stream which is crossed about a mile before the track reaches Mt. Kariong and the party had an early lunch at this spot.
After lunch, we explored a little way down this delightful stream, then continued along the track to the place where it is close beside Mt. Kariong. Here we left the packs and climbed up through thick scrub. The top (823 feet) is overgrown and the best views are from rock ledges on the slopes.
There is a club rifle range on the North side of Mt. Kariong and although this is not usually used on Sundays it is desirable to check with Mr. Harry Monk (Woy Woy 234) before planning this walk.
From Mt. Kariong we continued North East and East along the track, and then North along the Woy Woy Road for about a mile. From here to the Lyre Trig (795 feet) it is only a short distance but there are some thick groves of Hakea Acicularis be negotiated. The ridges from Lyre to the Tascott-Koolewong Road are easy going and from Tascott to Koolewong there is a pleasant old earth road (about tenth class) on the Western side of the railway line.
During the trip the party showed considerable interest in the wild flowers, and greatly enjoyed the fire displays of Boronia ledifolia and many of the heath family. Some Eriostemon shrubs were just beginning to flower, and a few small specimens of Native Rose Boronia were observed.
|November 19||Coalcliff - Stairwell Tops - Kelly's Falls - Otford - Werong - Bulgo - Otford. 13 miles. Plenty of ups and downs on this walk, which explores part of the Illawarra Coastal Ranges and comes out on to the Coast before returning to Otford. 8.38 a.m. Wollongong train from Sydney Steam Station to Coalcliff. Tickets: Coalcliff Return at 12/3d. Map: Part Hacking Tourist. Leader: Jim Brown.|
|November 26||Lilyvale - Burning Palms - Otford. 8 miles. An excellent Summertime outing, and there's bound to be time for surfing at Burning Palms. Some lovely forest in the Garrawarra Primitive Area. 8.38 a.m. Wollongong train from Sydney Steam Station to Lilyvale. Tickets: Otford Return at 6/.8d., but alight at Lilyvale. Map; Port Hacking Tourist. Leader: Irene Pridham.|
|December 3||Heathcote - Heathcote Creek - Waterfall. - 8 miles. An easy walk passing several good swimming holes, particularly at Miara, Moorabinda and Kingfisher Pools. The leader proposed to have tea out before catching the train home from Waterfall. 8.50 a.m. Cronulla train from Central Electric Station to Sutherland. Change there for rail motor to Heathcote. Tickets: Waterfall Return at 5/9d., but alight at Heathcote. Map: Port Hacking Tourist or Camden Military. Leader: Jack Gentle.|
|December 10||Waterfall - Kangaroo Creek - Heathcote. 8 miles. Last week's walk explored this district but on the Western Side of the railway line. This walk traverses country to the East of the railway line in the Royal National Park. Pleasant walking and fairly easy going. Transport arrangements are exactly the same as last week, except that you alight at Waterfall. Tickets: Waterfall return at 5/9d. Map: Port Hacking Tourist. Leader: Dick Child.|
- John Bookluck.
Blood rushed to my head. Flushed I strained up the rocky side cut of Galong Creek. Each step dragged. Sweat gathered and the shoulder straps cut deep into the muscles. I sought relief by trying to ease them off the shoulders. There was none. The climb up seemed endless. The top always turned out to be a shelf. Was there a top? To get there I must plod on to where relief and success lie. I wasn't over enthusiastic for its rewards at the present. A look to the right convinced me there was no great hurry. Immune to any sticks or stones protruding lay a prospective stretched out flat. Success can wait, and I sank on to good earth to join him.
“You won't bring your sluicing pan and geology hammer in future?” I queried.
He didn't answer but kept staring blankly into space. Being a prospective he couldn't have wonderful thoughts like us members… this is my LAST walk. Then my thoughts drifted… what could I leave behind? I remember asking that question long before going overseas. The answer is still the same; nothing. If only gravity could be reversed I thought. How unlikely and yet a year ago it was. Then I was seriously contemplating putting rocks into the rucksack… nature never compromises.
It was a drab grey day with possibility of rain looming, as often it is in Scotland, when I left the beautiful hostel with its oak floors, polished panels and airy rooms where once dwelled the Laird, to set off along the track to Ben Lomond. Although the track was well worn by countless hikers (and walkers) not a soul I passed. As I gained height so did the barometer fall. Soon it began to rain. Nearing the top the wind gained momentum. In fact I felt almost air bound… (if only walking was like this at home). The delights of being air bound soon wore off.
Wind and rain never go hand in hand with walking. Wind drove rain down my neck. Next it fought furiously with my groundsheet and won. Up it went like skirt in the wind until it shrouded itself about my face blinding me. I swore, counted ten backwards and again became master.
The view wasn't much; just clouds and rain that could be seen anywhere. So I sat down resigned to my fate while rain ran down my forehead, through my brows, to drop on to the cheeks and slowly run down to my moustache where it picked up further various flavours and dripped on to a sandwich. It didn't taste very nice.
After lunch I met some intrepid students from Manchester University, one of whom gave me a piece of crunchy bar and asked questions. Did she think I was the wild colonial boy?
Nearing the bottom of Ben Lomond's waterlogged base the sun came out and smiled, revealing a beautiful violet tinge in the heather on the green round hills while the wet road sparkled joyfully as it led us to another warm and dry hostel all panelled in oak…
November 22nd - “Through the Centre with the Bushies”
November 29th - Auction in the Clubroom.
December 8th - Don't miss the Christmas Party “By the Sea” Dance at North Sydney Council Chambers. Pleasant surroundings. Handy to Transport. No Parking Problems!!!!
Somehow “carabiner and sling” came out as “carabiner and string” in last month's magazine, describing Snow Brown's forthcoming Danae Brook trip and the safety gear needed for it.
We are happy to report that the string was not needed (for the five abseils) and the party made a successful though frigid trip.
We hope to have more details when the leader's hands stop shaking, and he can jot down a few notes for us.
|November 17-18-19||Katoomba - Carlon's - Goolara Peak - Cronje Ridge - Cox's River - Little River - Katoomba. A ridge and river trip in the best part of Cox's River country. Fine views of the Grand Bluffs, pleasant walking along Cox's and Little River. Maps: Myles Dunphy's Gangerang Map. Leader: Ben Esgate.|