This is an old revision of the document!
A monthly bulletin of matters of interest to The Sydney Bush Walkers, 14 Atchison Street, St. Leonards.
Postal Address: Box 4476 G.P.O., Sydney, N.S.W. 2001.
Meetings at the Club Room on Wednesday evenings after 7.30 p.m.
Enquiries regarding the Club - Mrs. Marcia Shappert, Te1. 30-2028.
|Editor||Spiro Ketas, 104/10 Wylde Street, Pott's Point, 2011. Te1.357-1381 (Home)|
|Business Manager||Bill Burke, 3 Coral Tree Drive, Carlingford, 2118.|
|The April General Meeting||Jim Brown||2|
|Tasmania '72, part 5||Don Finch||3|
|Walking the Pennine Way||Frank Rigby||4|
|A Sunday Disaster||David Cotton||8|
|Jenolan Caves part 1 (from “Oberon-Jenolan District”)||9|
|Jenolan Caves part 2 (from “Our Blue Mountains Yesterdays”)||11|
|Federation Notes||Rosemary Edmunds||14|
|The Save Colong Bulletin||15|
|Walks Secretary's Notes for June||Wi1f Hilder||16|
|Letter from Alan and Dorothy||18|
When the President called the April meeting to order, so few were present that a murmur arose “Have we a quorum?” Yes, we did, and a couple to spare, albeit that two were the new members to be welcomed, Jenny Hulton and Dirk Balvoord. After reading the minutes of the Annual Meeting it was stated that negotiations were in train for purchase of the additional typewriter approved on that occasion. Correspondence disclosed a number of “staff movements”, with Barbara Bruce returning to the active list, while Margaret Marotsy and Frank Ashdown had resigned - the former going abroad: Marie Byles and Maurice Berry had accepted Honorary Membership, and the same offer had been extended to Myles Dunphy: during a two years' sojourn overseas Alice and Alan Wyborn had transferred to the non-active list.
Marcia Shappert, the new Treasurer, put us in the financial picture, which indicated that the usual March outgoings, plus a major expenditure of about $240 for a year's supply of magazine covers, had more than offset income from the new year's subscriptions, and our “end-of-March” balance was down to $596 in the working account. We moved on to Walks activities, commencing with a report of Tony Denham's “leisurely” trip to Blue Gum on March 9/11, only two members being present. The President said that the Annual Reunion had brought out about 150 people, and it was good to see the large attendance of family groups, some of whom had not been seen for several years.
For the following weekend, March 23/25, there had been Mike Short's jaunt to Bonnum Pic and the Wollondilly, 11 present, a fair amount of scrub on the ridges, and a rumour that the earth tremor of February, which had been centred in the region, had shifted a slab of rock and made access to Bonnnum Pic a little more hazardous: notwithstanding which, Mike's party went out to the Peak. Bill Burke, on the same weekend, visited Splendour Rock and the Cox River, making their Saturday night camp at Mobbs Swamp and visiting the Rock without packs. It was understood Roger Gowing's camp at Era had been cancelled, while on the Sunday 14 walkers turned out for John Holly's day trip from Campbelltown to Pheasant Creek and O'Hare's Creek; they managed to outflank a wire fence erected by the Army, but found the water in Pheasant Creek somewhat turbid from developments higher up.
The weekend which bracketed the end of March and beginning of April saw Don Finch's journey into the Ettrema Creek country, about 12 folk coming along. It was rather scrubby across the plateau, so they camped in the valley, and followed Dungeon Creek back to the cars. Same weekend, and Hans Beck had three in the party over Mount Solitary, camping on top of the mountain on Saturday night, and making an early finish at the top of Golden Stairs on the Sunday.
Three day walks took place on Sunday April 1, one led by Wilf Hilder - a deferred trip to the Colo Valley, which started from home at 5.0 a.m. with four people. Some thickish scrub was encountered on the descent from Culoul Range, and the river was up slightly, and it was 'round 6.15 p.m. when the party reached the side creek which they were to ascend. What with failing torches and a pile of flood debris in the creek the climb took quite a while, and it was almost 11.0 o'clock back at the cars. Meanwhile Marion Lloyd's team was doing the historic sites around Woodford and Faulconbridge with 7 in the party. At one stage they appeared to be regarded as trespassers, and Bob Younger described the walkers as “skulking in the blackberry bushes, pretending to be Brer Rabbit.” The third day walk was Kath Brown's trip (12 attending) from Waterfall to Audley with the stream slightly higher than usual and the pools nicely filled.
The final weekend covered the trip into the Lower Gangerang led by Mike Short in lieu of Roy Higginbottom. The trip was reversed to enter the Cox valley via White Dog and some navigational problems were encountered on the Gangerang, but Dex Creek was reached at 6.30 on Saturday night, and the return to the cars via Konangaroo clearing was made on the Sunday: seven in the party. This was the weekend of Federation Reunion, with about eight S.B.W. in residence, and on the Sunday Bill Hall had 16 for his day trip out from Waterfall, which was uneventful except for one member being bitten by a bull-ant. (To judge from subsequent events, the bull-ants were only getting into their stride).
Wilf gave us a run-down on Federation affairs, there having been a protracted debate at the last meeting on the suitability of the Reunion site, and also about the date for the Anzac Day observance at the Splendour Rock Memorial. Federation is still trying to come to a conclusion with the Army concerning access to the Budawang Mountains from Sassafras, while the National Parks Association is voicing opposition to caving in reserves unless permission is obtained. It had been announced that the annual orienteering competition would be held on May 26, and at the Federation meeting there had been a post-mortem discussion on the procedures at the Gas Pipe Line Enquiry.
This left only two brief comments before we would up at 9.20 p.m. First Alan Round mentioned that dog traps were likely to be set along Scott's Main Range trail shortly after Easter, while Social Secretary Elaine Brown gave notice of a couple of likely amendments to the social events towards the and of May.
by Don Finch.
The last of the morning mist was drying up as the sun peeped over the ridge. Hot and strong, another warm day was on the way. The crisp cool of the early morning was already going, and the perspiration was dripping off our bodies as we struggled with the packs up the Ironbounds. About half way up on a level portion of the ridge we were afforded a view to the south. De Witt Island 10 miles away looked rather forlorn with its court of lessor islands. We speculated where Miss Cooper would have made her camp, deciding on the only large creek that flowed to the north of the island.
We disturbed several ground parrots, in size and shape not unlike the eastern rosella, but the plumage was of olive green with dark bands on breast, wing and tail feathers.
The track passes by a high peak on the Ironbounds. Everybody but Peter decided to give it a miss having worn themselves out getting up what was necessary. The peak was bare of any trees, with only low scrub, moss and rocks as a covering. We watched Peter's progress almost until the top where he became invisible except to the keenest eyes. We moved off without waiting for him. The descant started immediately, past the high camp site and then dropping more steeply. Here the track became little more than a muddy creek. Tree roots and fallen timber made the descant very tricky - just the place to sprain an ankle.
Down at sea level again we passed Lousy Bay, stopped for lunch at Deadman's Beach and continued in the afternoon to Prior Beach where we made camp on the eastern end. Peter and I went fishing while Snow, Spiro, Bill and Graham decided to go for a walk along the beach. Snow suggested they could go up and have a look at Precipitous Bluff and the lagoon. Six weary sand miles later they arrived back at camp. Snow wasn't very popular at all.
The next day we were to walk to Surprize Bay - about 8 miles. We found the fibreglass rowing boat that is used to cross the lagoon. The remains of an old wooden skiff lay under some trees. The spit of sand between New River Lagoon and Prior Beach is used as an air drop site. Air drops are usually made weeks beforehand, and often for one reason or another the intended recipients fail to claim them. The packages are dated with an expiry date, after which they are fair game. Snow, being the most hopeful, started off in his search for an expired air drop. He had been gone only ten minutes or so when he came staggering back across the sand with an enormous sack swung over his back. He dropped it to the same with a healthy thud. Eager hands soon had the wrappings off. Cans of soft drink, blocks of chocolate, tinned bully beef, Milo and broken biscuits were revealed. Three cheers for Snow - he had made up for that extra long beach walk the day before.
By Frank Rigby.
Everyone's doing it, young folk, old folk, all the same. No - I'm not talking about the Cornish Floral Dance but walking the Pennine Way. Every summer they're out there in their thousands, aged seven to seventy, many knocking off the entire 250 miles during their annual holidays. From the Peak in Derbyshire to the Cheviot Hills, there can be soon each day a veritable procession of walkers across the moors. Wa1king those British Ways has become a way of life, and the opening of each new Way is heralded as a great achievement. Some enthusiasts “do” a different one each year and we heard tales of exploits along the South Downs Way, the Pembrokeshire Coast Way, Offa's Dyke Path, etc., etc. I would not say that walking the Ways is exactly equivalent to Australian bushwalking but (with the possible exception of Scotland) it's the nearest the Brits can get to it.
My first contact with the Pennine Way was in the small town of Hawes in the Yorkshire Dales. I remember well the sign in the main street which showed the Way as passing under an archway, through a courtyard and then down a lane bordered by neat cottages. This is the intriguing thing about the Pennine Way - it marches through towns and villages, up country lanes between dry stone fences, across farmers' fields and motorways as well as crossing the high moors where, strangely, civilisation seems as remote as it does on the button-grass plains of Tasmania. Yet despite all this development en route, the walkers enjoy an unchallenged right-of-way for 250 miles (contrast the local situation!) They can also enjoy a convivial wayside jug of the best at a pub and a night in a farmhouse catching up on the local gossip.
So it was from Hawes that Joan and I, suitably armed with a special guide-book, set out last July for a two-day jaunt along the Pennine Way. Ours was a puny effort compared with the real exponents since we intended only a short section in the middle. The first signpost on the edge of town pointed across a farmer's field - we couldn't quite get used to the idea of “trespassing” private property but reassurance from a local resident set our minds at ease. This gentleman regaled us with what seemed like the entire history of the area (Bonnie Prince Charlie marched his army straight down that hil1; the Romans brought their legions along an old road over there - you can still see the tracks, etc.) and finally sent us off with a guarantee that the sun would shine all day (a bit of a joke in the event!)
Soon we were into the hills, looking back at the green, green valley with Hawes nestling at the bottom and the patchwork quilt fields and the stone fences. The whole scene reminded me of those children's story books with the pretty pictures. But that wasn't all, for we could now see that we ware being followed by groups of walkers here and there - indeed some were ahead of us as well. It was like one of those day walks we have here sometimes, with about fifty starters scattered at random all along the route. At rest stops we talked to them and learned a bit about British “rambling”. They came from everywhere - from places like Brighton, Banbury and Birmingham, from the foul industrial cities and the New Towns, to flex their muscles and savour the freedom of the uncluttered parts of England. In return we had to tell them about bushwalking back home and dispel a few myths about snakes, flies and other nasty insects.
Just a few short miles from Hawes and we seemed to be in the middle of Siberia! We were now on the high moors, treeless and boggy, and treacherous in foul weather when the mists come down or the icy winds and rain howl across them. Many a man has lost his life in this country. It never ceases to amaze me that there are areas of England like this where there is no sign of man's presence as far as the eye can see. Yet we knew that down in the dales, not so far away, were busy roads and villages with all the trappings of civilised society.
Lunch near Great Shunner Fell (it sounds impressive!) and on again along the soggy track until we descended to the next valley northwards in a stone-walled lane into one of those picturesque little English villages.
No pub here so we slaked our thirst with the best Yorkshire milk and swapped yarns with a group of young men who were walking the entire way and camping out every night into the bargain. They were sending off postcards to assure Mum or the girl friend that all was well.
Finding our route out of that village and across the fields was quite an exercise, one tends not to believe the signposts which direct one along narrow twisting laneways among the houses and then over stone walls enclosing the locals' crops and cattle. An hour's walking along a pleasant track among the green fields brought us to our next village where we decided to spend the night, pitching the tent for a fee on private property beside a lovely stream. This was a terrible mistake despite the idyllic surroundings. We had reckoned without the midges! These insects are the scourge of northern England and Scotland but naturally the tourists never hear about them beforehand. There were thousands inside the tent and millions outside but enough said. We now thoroughly understand why many of the Wayfarers spend their nights indoors; and don't let me hear the Poms or the Scots complaining about our flies!
Next morning we could not get away quickly enough and ate our breakfast up in the hills where we could got get some peace. More parties on the track, including several we had met the previous day - one could make some lasting friendships if going all the way. We fell in with a family (kids and all) who told us they had booked every night's accommodation for their 20-day trip way back in January, so great was the pressure on lodgings along the Way. The whole walk was pre-planned then, and come hell or high water they must make their goal each evening or the entire schedule would fall in ruins.
Just as we were getting a good sweat-up, what should loom up on the near horizon but a Pub! I rubbed my eyes, but there it was - the Tan Hill Inn, all on its ownsome out in the middle of nowhere (we later discovered a narrow road to it). Now I ask you Australians, can you imagine downing packs, trundling into the pub for a pint of bitter, exchanging track banter with twenty or so fellow-walkers and then returning to the walk? There was an air of unreality about it all, especially when that bitter had the usual effect. This pub was reputed to be the highest in all England - one of several, I believe, all claiming the same distinction. One thing is not in dispute though; it was doing a roaring trade out of the walkers on the Pennine Way.
We terminated the jaunt that afternoon at a point where the Way crosses a busy highway. Some people say that crossing the highways is the greatest hazard on the Way - I can well believe it. Anyway, this highway was a means back to our starting point where we had a car to retrieve.
Not an Australian-type bushwalk but an enjoyable (midges excepted) and educational experience; one meets the people as well as the landscape. If there's a next time, I might “do” the South Downs for a change.
Lightweight bushwalking and camp gear.
Now, the bushwalker can fully equip himself with the aid of Paddy's range of lightweight foods. Beef curry with rice; sweet and sour thicken with rice; chicken curry with rice; instant mashed potatoes; Surprise peas; Surprise peas and carrots; butter concentrate in tubes or 12oz tins; condensed milk in tubes; mixed vegetables; Kraft onions, Ovaltine energy tablets; freeze dried egg powder; Staminade; Kraft personal servings of jam, tomato sauce etc; army ration biscuits; farmhouse stew; savoury mince; beef curry; chicken curry; sweet and sour chicken; thicken supreme; 4 serve packet soups; Alliance beef steak stew; Alliance beef mince; Kendall mint cake or Kendall rum butter candy.
Bunyip Rucksack. This 'shaped' rucksack is excellent for children. Useful day pack. Weight 14 ozs.
Senior Rucksack. A single pocket, shaped rucksack. Suitable for overnight camping. Weight 1 1/2 lbs
Bushman Rucksack. Have sewn-in curved bottom for extra comfort in carrying. Will hold 30 lbs. 2 pocket model 1 1/4 lbs. 3 pocket model 1 1/2 lbs.
Pioneer Rucksack is an extra large bag with four external pockets and will carry about 40 lbs of camp gear. Weight 2 1/4 lbs.
One, two or three man. From 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 lbs. Choice of three cloths. Supplied with nylon cords and overlapped doors. No walls.
Two, three or four man. From 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 lbs. Choice of three cloths. Supplied with nylon cords and overlapped doors.
Everything for the bushwalker, from blankets and air mattresses, stretchers, boots, compasses, maps, books, stoves and lamps to cooking ware and freeze dried and dehydrated foods.
69 Liverpool St., Sydney. 26-2686, 61-7215.
(or Beewalking at Darkes Forest)
By David Cotton.
Saturday. A very, very wet morning, spent going through my slide collection and reading books (what else can one do when one lives in a very small and very cluttered hut at Darkes Forest?) Anyway, the 4.00 pm train was met at Helensburgh, I picked up Evelyn and Doug and then back to Darkes Forest. Tents were soon up and a quick cup of tea, then off for a scramble around the waterfall. The creek had dropped two foot since the morning and consequently the trip underneath the waterfall to me was very disappointing. Only a fraction as exciting as when in full flood, which is something like walking through a railway tunnel with half a million trains passing through simultaneously.
Tea was on soon after returning and seemingly finished just as quickly, and after a mug of apple cider Doug departed to the “Land of Nod”, leaving Evelyn and myself to discuss ponderous subjects around an extremely smoky fire till the late hours of the evening, when we called it quits and sought the “Land of Nod” likewise, possibly a little wiser or more confused - who knows?
Sunday. A very, very cold and cloudy morning. Only a small amount of rain fell during the night and the large amount of surface water lying around from the previous day had disappeared. Even the huge puddle the campfire had been sitting in was almost gone. A rather smoky fire was tolerated during breakfast. Why? I don't know. I have never known anyone to cook cornflakes!
At this stage, the cleaning up of breakfast things was left for Evelyn and I departed with a Steinbeck book and clock (no watch) to the Forest/Highway turnoff to meet our Sunday starters at 9.30.
Cousin Leonora, new to Sydney from Armidale where she had spent the last year or so since coming over from Perth, was first to arrive. Shortly after Mitch turned up with daughter Jan, I waited until 10, then back to the apiary.
Due to the cold weather the bee inspection was rather short and abrupt. I was nursing a heavy cold and with only a small party I just couldn't get into things.
After morning tea of bread and butter and fresh honeycomb still warm from the hive, a quick scramble around the waterfall was undertaken. The falls were found to be even lower than the previous trip; once something has been seen in all its fury it is a bit hard to accept when it is quiet and placid.
After a short scramble under, over and around the falls it was decided to abandon the usual trip down O'Hares Creek and return to the apiary for lunch.
On returning Mitch found his car keys were locked inside his car, together with his and Jan's dinner. A nasty moment. After much unsuccessful amateur burglary the local N.R.M.A depot was contacted and Mitch, who was not a member, soon found “it pays to belong”. After which a much greater and more concentrated amateur burglary effort was set in motion. One person to each door armed with a variety of paint scrapers, tin, wire and aluminium, which brought forth a great following of amateur keymakers all filing, snipping and testing until the whole procedure was terminated by the insertion of a huge screwdriver in the keyhole and with a great outburst of energy the door was opened minus a workable or sensible lock.
After dinner was concluded (and afternoon tea for some as well), Mitch, Jan, Evelyn and Doug departed for home.
Disaster struck again for the second or third time (I forget). My own car keys were missing (12 keys - all quite irreplaceable). So after much searching and scrabbling all over the place and in the long grass, etc., Leonora found them and with much jumping up and down demanded a kiss for their return. We11, phew - 12 irreplaceable keys… Leonora got her big kiss, much, much bigger than she had expected.
Join in the fun next “Bee Walk”. These will start again after the winter.
(From “Oberon-Jenolan District” Historical Handbook by Joy Wheller and Blue Garland)
The early history of the Jenolan Caves is interwoven with the story of Oberon in many ways.
Credit for the discovery of the Caves in 1838 usually goes to Tarana pastoralist James Whalan, who had selected land at Gingkin, and his brother Charles Whalan of Glyndwr Estate, Oberon. However, there is evidence that bushrangers used them as a hideout long before that; for how many years we will never know.
Also interwoven with the history of Jenolan are stories of bushranger James Mckeown, an escaped convict, who is now a legend in the district. Many tales are told of how he raided the nearest farms taking food as well as yokes and bows for his bullocks.
A story is told by a Whalan descendent of how James Whalan became tired of having his food stolen and having to travel many miles to Tarana to replace his stores. So he set out with some men to track down McKeown, whom he suspected. However, they had to camp the night and in the morning found that McKeown had made a quiet raid and taken the ox-bows, so they couldn't get their team together and had to leave the bullocks till they replaced the stolen equipment.
The story generally accepted is that Mckeown raided settlers' stores and James Whalan, who had by then taken up land at Gingkin, went with police looking for him. They found McKeown and arrested him. On his return, James told his brother Charles that he had seen the mouth of a big cave in the distance. So Charles went exploring and found the Grand Arch and the Devil's Coachhouse.
In a book written for the N.S.W. Tourist Bureau about the Jenolan Caves there is a story quoted from 'The Argus'. It tells of how James Whalan tried to track McKeown only to find that he disappeared in rough country. However, he 'found evidence of careful cultivation and a nice little farm'. James returned and told his brother Charles that he had been 'through the devil's coachhouse'. The next day James went with troopers and they captured McKeown at his hiding place, which is now known as McKeown's Hole, not far away from the Grand Arch. This story ends with saying that McKeown returned afterwards from a term of exile on Norfolk Island and revisited the scene of his former exploits.
Charles Whalan explored the caves under the great arches and he and his sons were prominent as honorary guides during the years 1838-67. Visitors often stayed at Charles' estate, 'Glyndwr', at Oberon on their way to the caves.
Jenolan was made a reserve in 1866. In 1867 Jeremiah Wi1son became unofficial keeper of the caves and in 1884 was appointed first warden at £25 per annum. Some of the older residents of the district remember him as having a big red beard and carrying a long horn over his shoulder for a hearing aid as he was very deaf.
Wilson met tourists at Tarana Railway Station and drove them by horse-drawn coach along the Oberon Road to Jenolan, but they had to make their steep descent into the valley floor by foot. Overnight they would sleep in the Grand Arch Cave. Visitors carried candles when entering the caves at that time, but well placed electric lights now add to the magic of the caves.
By 1879 the road from Oberon had reached the caves and in 1880 there was a permanent settlement, Jeremiah Wilson building a guest house. This was later burnt dawn.
The present Caves House was built in stages and completed in 1918.
The Jenolan Caves have had many names. In the Bathurst 'Free Press' (30.4.1856) they were called McKeown's Caves. They have also been known as the Fish River Caves and the Binda Caves. However, in the Government Gazette of 19 August 1884 the name was changed to Jenolan. This was taken from the native name of a Mountain in the district, 'Genowlani', which means 'foot'.
Sad to say, the friendly rock wallabies that were often seen around the Grand Arch have now disappeared. Motorists ran over them and the foxes are blamed for killing the rest.
Mrs Violet Ebberton, a daughter of Harry Whalan who guided people through the Lucas Cave, told the writer there were great flocks of parrots at Jenolan. They were rosellas and lowries.
'They would come and sit on your head and eat biscuits. They would come into our bedrooms and raid our tins. If you left the biscuit tin open you would go back to find everything gone,' she said.
(By P. W. Spriggs - “Our Blue Mountains Yesterdays”)
There is an air of mystery and excitement about Jenolan - and a certain “something” which even world travellers do not experience frequently.
Even the tiny spiders which spin a lace curtain at the very top of the Grand Arch are found only at that particular spot at Jenolan Caves.
In the book “Australian Spiders” Keith C. McKeown, F.R.Z.S., states: “We find no social organisation among spiders… the strong prey upon the weak, even brother upon sister. Spider communities do, however, exist and by far the most remarkable of those communal efforts - probably in the whole world – are the webs of the Gregarious Ixeuticus Socialis (formerly Amaurobius) from the Jenolan Caves”.
The mountain scenery leading to the caves is typically Australian, but one has a feeling of having left Australia behind as the road descends 1500 foot in five miles, going right through the Grand Arch, to emerge into the picturesque remoteness of the Caves-House area.
We feel that we are at the bottom of a valley and yet the altitude is 2600 feet above sea level.
Four hours is considered to be a leisurely car journey from Sydney to the Jenolan Caves, so perhaps it is interesting to read excerpts from the “Cumberland Argus”, Parramatta, of 22 October 1898.
“… At one time, it was a severe journey to get to the Caves. Now things are different and if you want to rush it, you can do the trip in 2 days. Take the train from Sydney and spend the night in the Railway Refreshment Rooms at Mt Victoria. After an early breakfast, the coach is taken to the “Ha1f-Way House” at Hampton. Horses are changed here and after a hearty meal, the journey is resumed. It is advisable to book through Harry Smith, the lessee of the Caves House, at the Redfern Refreshment Rooms.
The caves were discovered some time before 1841 (1838), by James Whalan, whose father was A.D.C. to Governor Macquarie.
Whalan had suffered at the hands of a bushranger named McKeown, and he was determined to try and track him to his hiding place. He followed him for miles when suddenly the bushranger disappeared as if the earth had swallowed him up. Wha1an now came across a wild cavern and kept on the track of his enemy through its gloomy portals, where 3 miles up the gorge, he came across McKeown's hiding place.
The police were informed and McKeown captured.
Wha1an later told his brother that he had been through the Devil's Coach House and this name is used today.
Tenders were called in 1897 for “improvements” to the Fish River or Binda Caves and in 1884 they were officially called Jenolan. The word Jenolan is aboriginal, meaning “High Mountain”. Jeremiah Wilson was appointed Warden at a salary of £25 per year and one had the choice of 3 tracks to gain access.
The Oberon track approached the caves from the west via an extremely steep 2 mile hill. The track from Hartley (about 35 miles) was improved in 1896 and continued through the Grand Arch to meet the Oberon Road at the opposite end.
Then there was the bridle track (Six Foot Track) via Nelly's Glen and Megalong Valley, over the Black Range, and so down to the Cave's, a distance of 26 miles.
For many years, the most venturesome visitors hired horses and a guide in Katoomba and “did” the Caves in this manner.
Lord Carrington in 1886, with his lady, rode via the Nelly's Glen track with a local guide.
Mr Mark Fay was the first motorist to the Caves in 1903, taking 9 hours from Blackheath in an 8 h.p. single cylinder De Dion; and within a few years horse coaches gave way to cars which were becoming reasonably reliable. Candles and magnesium flares were replaced by electric light in 1887; first by battery operation and then by water-powered turbines driving generators.
It has been said that the education of no person is complete without having visited The Caves.
It has been reported that the National Parks and Wild Life Service is tightening up on caving activities. Stringent regulations have been laid down and permits must be obtained for caving in all National Parks.
Walkers should be warned that dingo traps are being laid on Scott's main range by the local graziers. These traps can inflict bad injuries if accidentally sprung or stepped upon.
The Kosciusko Huts Association Annual General Meeting for 1973 was held on May 19 at Sawpit Creek. The Association needs more member clubs and individual members, and the $2.00 annual membership fee, which is to go towards hut maintenance, entitles members to free use of all huts in the park. The address for membership details is Box 626, Manuka, ACT 2603.
The idea of S.B.W. adopting a hut and maintaining it would be well worth considering.
The Lake Pedder enquiry continues. The Federation urges anyone, both clubs and individuals who have walked in the area, to write to the Department of the Environment (Secretary, Lake Pedder Enquiry, Department of the Environment, PO Box 1937, Canberra 2601 ACT), stating their reasons why Lake Pedder should be preserved. This is the only way that the Department can gauge the popularity of the area for walking. A very important argument is that Southwest Tasmania is about the only real wilderness walking area left in Australia.
The Anzac Day Dawn Service held at Splendour Rock on May 6 was attended by 25 people representing four clubs. S.B.W. was not represented.
The Sydney Rock Climbers are proposing to produce a manual on abseiling, which will probably cost around 50c. They would welcome comments from clubs and individuals to try to gauge response.
The Bob Butt Colo Sketch map - currently on sale at Paddy Pallin - has been found to have numerous errors and omissions. It should be used in conjunction with the St. Albans map, which should also be treated with caution.
The National Mapping Authority has advised that in all areas where 1/100,000 maps are being published, all 1” : 1 mile and 1/50,000 maps with contours in feet, etc., have been discontinued since March 1. This applies mainly to the southern areas.
New Maps available, March/April/May, 1973 - the Lands Department 1/25,000 topographic maps.
|Narooma||8925||Bermagui, Bodalla, Central Tilba and Narooma.|
|Bombala||8725||Glen Allen, Nimmitabel, Teapot, Wange11ic.|
|Cobargo||8825||Badga, Belowra, Nerrigundah.|
|Carrai||9936||8 maps available|
|Macsville||9436||8 maps available|
|Nambulla||9536||4 maps available|
|Bundarra||9137||8 maps available|
The Mount Tomah Society is proposing to erect a monument on the top of Mount Tomah to commemorate Caley and Hoddle and two other early explorers of the Blue Mountains. It will consist of a group of large stones erected in a picnic area, each bearing a plaque inscribed with the explorer's dates, etc. Anyone interested in helping financially or otherwise should contact the Mount Tomah Society.
Paddy Pallin's orienteering contest is set for Saturday 26 May.
Last year, as one wilderness area after another was threatened with various forms of development, the Colong Committee formed itself into a National Wilderness Society. It is now fighting for the preservation not only of Mount Armour, but of Bungonia Gorge, Barbors Creek, The Boyd Plateau, Lake Pedder, the Top End National Park, the Wollongambe Wilderness, the Cox Valley, the Deua/Tuross area, the Wiangarie Rain Forest and any other threatened area brought to its notice.
For those who would like to follow this running battle with cement companies, public utility authorities, the Forestry Commission, private developers and anybody else who threatens our few remaining wilderness areas, the Save Colong Bulletin is the one publication which prints the campaigns in detail.
It is published bi-monthly, and a yearly subscription costs $2, payable to the Hon. Treasurer, The Colong Committee, 3rd Floor, 18 Argyle Street, Sydney, NSW 2000.
If anyone would like to add a donation to the $2, they can be assured that it will be put to good use in financing the publications of the committee and the costs the committee incurs in preparing submissions and sometimes, where essential, in paying consultants, for the purpose of presenting our case before the various inquiries on environmental issues.
Two copies of recent Bulletins have been placed on the Club noticeboard.
Coolana treeplanting weekend is still on
May 25, 26, 27
But the party at Bill Gillam's place is off.
However, you still go to his place and pick up trees on Friday night or Saturday morning - 200 to be transported. Bring your spade.
Information from Bob Younger.
|1,2,3,4||Snow climbing at Watson's Crags. Leader Doone Wyborn. For details see Dot Butler (h) 48.2208.|
|1,2,3||The President's safari heads for the Nattai Canyon this weekend. Spectacular scenery down Martins Creek with some boulder hopping through the canyon. Graded track from McArthur's Flat to the road. Book early.|
|Sunday 3||Wi1f's trying to con you into this test walk - could be tougher than he bargained for. Bring a good torch. Loads of historical features for interested creatures.|
|Sunday 3rd||Bill Hall leads this interesting day walk into Myuna Creek - bit cool for the nudists, mind you. Good tracks along Heathcote Creek - rough tracks along Myuna Creek.|
|Long Weekend, 8,9,10,11||Ski touring's back again. Dave Rostron leads this 3-day trip to the Alps for experienced tourers only. Base camp mid the snow gums on the lower slopes of Twynam. Book early.|
|8,9,10,11||Laurie Quaken leads this 3-day special to Kanangra over old Cloudy (pardon, Myles) Mt Cloudmaker and down to Konangaroo. Long but scenic climb over Paralyser and back to Kanangra.|
|Sunday 10th||Uncle Sam Hinde leads this beaut day walk from Engadine to Waterfall via Trailers Lake. A bit scrubby along the Woronora but first rate scenery. Special excursion tickets to Waterfall.|
|16,17||Here's your golden opportunity to learn to ski cross-country - langlauf, langren, as our German or Swedish friends call it. Free tuition by Rod and Wilf - ask yourself: If Paddy can do it, why can't I? Early bookings please, for the only ski touring instructional this year - full moon weekend too!|
|Sunday 17th||Two great Sunday walks for you – Meryl Watman is heading for Morella Karong and the Mooray Track to Heathcote, while Carl Beck is bound for West Head and Salvation Creek (ferry to and from Church Point). Wi1dflowers are waiting for you.|
|22,23,24||Mt Solitary with El Presidente - what a way to go - in safe hands all the way. Fabulous scenery - bring your colour camera. Note Saturday morning train.|
|Sunday 24th||Kath Brown's off to the Palms on this classic day walk. Glorious views and company on well polished tracks.|
|29,30,1st July||Thredbo is the “in” place - without people. Conundrums aside - Rod and Wilf are at it again with a ski touring practice weekend for novices at Rawson Hut. Short Main Range Tours during the weekend. Book early please.|
|29,30,1st July||Uncle Frank is leading this winter classic to Blue B - pardon, I meant Gum. Tracks all the way but steep and very scenic climb out of Canyon at Govetts Leap - a 520' sheer fall.|
|Sunday 1st July||Wondebyne to the legendary Pindar Cave. Uncle Sam leads it as only he can - it's the years of experience on top that count. Beautiful views across Mullet Creek and the Hawkesbury. Lush lunch spot near Pindar Cave. Do let Sam know you are coming.|
We have arrived safely and are now enjoying the comparative luxury of the Marmor Hotel, which is old but very westernised in style, food and prices.
The jumbo-jet was very comfortable, mainly because it was less than half full and we were fortunate enough to have a window seat, which was quite lucky considering the plane is 9 seats wide.
We arrived at 3 a.m. yesterday morning and had to wait until nearly 6 a.m. for the man in charge to authorise visas for us. (Apparently we were very naughty not to got them beforehand!) WE then got a taxi to the city just as dawn was breaking. Lots of large grey square concrete buildings with a beautiful backdrop of mountains going up to 18,600 ft. Tehran is at 3,900 ft on a plain and it is quite cold - yesterday sunny and windy and today dull and some snowflakes and rain.
After booking in at the hotel we went in search of a map and eventually found one in a bookshop. We began to get our bearings and went wandering. We tried to find a bazaar but before we got far we were taken in charge by a young chap (recently finished 'electricity' at college) who took it upon himself to show us around for the day. The bazaar was very fascinating, situated in a maze of tunnels surrounding a mosque. We bought some bread to eat as we went along, the equivalent of 3 cents for a large flat thing about 3 ft long and 1 ft wide. We saw man making huge copper vessels, some about 6 ft across, and watched them heating them and coating the insides with tin. The bazaar also sells any amount of ghastly plastic shoes and clothes, etc., of western style. The city is in fact very westernised, so I was surprised that literally everybody that passed us, particularly children, stared at us (Alan says it is my fair hair that amazes them, as our clothes are not different to many Persians') We have seen no other tourists in the streets, and only a couple in hotels (also, we were two of only five people who got off the plane at Tehran, and then the other three were natives of Iran. Qantas plane which came shortly after ours produced only one person and she was meeting her pa-in-law who has lived here 35 years.
In the afternoon, after glasses of tea (6 cents for 4 cups) we said goodbye to our guide and came home out of the wild wind and had a snooze as we were rather tired after 23 hours on the plane and all morning walking.