THE SYDNEY BUSHWALKER is a monthly bulletin of matters of interest to The Sydney Bush Walkers, Inc, PO Box 431 Milsons Point 1565.
To advertise in this magazine, please contact the Business Manager.
|Editor||Ray Hookway Telephone 9411 1873|
|Business Manager||Elizabeth Miller 1 The Babette, Castlecrag, 2068 Telephone 9958 7838|
|Production Manager||Frances Holland|
|Printers||Kenn Clacher, Barrie Murdoch, Margaret Niven, Les Powell, Tom Wenman|
THE SYDNEY BUSH WALKERS INCORPORATED was founded in 1927. Club meetings are held every Wednesday evening at 8 pm at Kirribilli Neighbourhood Centre, 16 Fitzroy Street, (near Milsons Point Railway Station). Visitors and prospective members are welcome any Wednesday.
|Public Officer||Fran Holland|
|Walks Secretary||Bill Capon|
|Social Secretary||Elwyn Morris|
|Membership Secretary||Barry Wallace|
|New Members Secretary||Frank Grennan|
|Conservation Secretary||Bill Holland|
|Magazine Editor||Ray Hookway|
|Committee Members||Anthony Crichton & Spiro Hajinakitas|
|Delegates to Confederation||Jim Callaway & Wilf Hilder|
March 1999 Issue No. 772:
|2 |COMMITTEE 1999/2000|
|3||Snowy Mountain High by Maureen Carter|
|6||Rogaining by Ken Smith|
|8||Trekking in East Africa #2 by Jan Szarek|
|9||Dispatch from the Snowy by George Mawer|
|9||WEB PAGE EXPERT WANTED|
|10||Letter from South America by Erith Hamilton & John de Coque|
|11||Epic E.N.E. by Don Matthews|
|12||Vale Joe Turner by Rosemary Roebuck|
|13||A Walk through the Cradle Reserve by Ray Hookway|
|16||Footnotes by Patrick James|
Alpsport front cover
Eastwood Camping Centre 7
Paddy Pallin back cover
U Relax 4 We’ll Drive 11
Willis's Walkabouts 5
The AGM was held on 10 March 1999 and the new committee elected. Although you may have missed out on a Committee position your input to the management of the Club is always welcome; there's usually more work to be done than there are workers. So don't be shy contact the appropriate Committee members and make your contribution known.
President, Eddy Giacomel, was re-invested with the Symbols of Office at the 72nd Annual Reunion, 13/14 March, held at Coolana.
SUBSCRIPTIONS for 1999/2000
The subscriptions remain the same as for last two years AND ARE NOW DUE.
single members $35
household membership $58
Non-active member $12
Non-active member + magazine $25
magazine subscription only $12
You may pay at the Clubrooms (cash or cheque) or by mail (cheque, bank cheque or money order), cheques etc. made out to Sydney Bushwalkers Inc. Payment by mail to the Treasurer,
Sydney Bushwalkers Inc.
GPO Box 4476
Include with your payment by mail the following details:
• membership type,
• name(s) of member(s) covered by this subscription,
• if changed, telephone numbers, mailing address + post code,
If you changed your family name during the year please tell us both names (old name & new name) to assist in identification of your membership record.
Committee Positions 1999/2000
President Eddy Giacomel
Vice-president Tony Holgate
Secretary Rosemary MacDougal
Treasurer Edith Baker
Public Officer Frances Holland
Walks Secretary Bill Capon
Social Secretary Elwyn Morris
Membership Secretary Barry Wallace
New Members Secretary Frank Grennan
Conservation Secretary Bill Holland
Magazine Editor Ray Hookway
Confederation Delegates Jim Callaway Wilf Hilder
Members Representatives Anthony Crichton Spiro Hajinakitas
Non-Committee Positions 1999/2000
Confederation Delegates vacant
Mag. Production Manager Frances Holland
Mag. Business Manager Elizabeth Miller
Printers Kenn Clacher Barrie Murdoch Margaret Niven Les Powell Tom Wenman
Hon. Auditor Chris Sonter
Hon. Solicitor Richard Brading
Kosciuszko Huts Assoc. Representatives Wayne Steel Ian Wolfe
Search & Rescue Contacts Allan Donnelly, Bill Holland, Greta James, David Robinson
Coolana Maintenance Committee Don Brooks, Gemma Gagne, Bill Holland, Patrick James
Reunion Organiser Spiro Hajinakitas
Training Team Allan Donnelly, Bill Holland, Patrick James
by Maureen Carter
How many August mornings, on the way to Thredbo, have I heard the radio announcer say that snow is falling in the village, it’s –2 C and it’s blowing a gale on the peaks with a wind chill factor of –23 C. Well, here we go again, but this time it’s 27 December 1998 and the day we are to assemble for Tony Holgate’s trans-Snowies walk.
Instead of a leisurely start to the six day walk from Tooma Reservoir we spent the evening at Adaminaby in front of a log fire. The ever flexible leader re-routed us to begin from Round Mountain on a sparkling blue day with no sign of the previous day’s freezing conditions. The Tumut River was not even cold as we crossed for lunch on its banks. We shared the track with other walkers and squadrons of march flies. But we had the spacious Stockyard Ruins to ourselves, where we paid homage to a glorious sunset and I divested myself of at least 1 kg of weight being Nana’s Christmas pudding.
I thought we all still looked quite neat and tidy on day two, but Jan Roberts supplied the quote of the day “bushwalking is not a glamour sport”! What a perfect day to climb Jagungal with cool temperatures and clear skies following a frosty dawn. None of us were too happy to find that after our steep descent we were still 9 kilometres from Grey Mare Hut, where we intended to stay overnight. A few of us made the trek up to the Hut and saw remnants of the old gold mine but we camped next to the delightful murmuring Back Flat Creek. John kindly collected a pack full of firewood to keep us warm as we dozed in front of the fire.
Another leisurely start to the day to find ice still in the bottom of the billies after 8 am. Clear skies and a cool breeze accompanied us through stands of grand snow gums, pretty scoparia and snow daisies. Jim, John and Klaus took the route via the waterfall to Valentines Hut and Jim took a nose denting tumble but never complained. Valentines provided us with an opportunity to wash clothes and swim SBW fashion beneath cascades (much to the consternation of some mountain bike riders). We had a choice of lovely level campsites (Denise found the best one for John); sat in a spotlessly clean hut; shared jokes with Victorian walkers; marvelled at a young man walking alone from the ACT to Valhalla at an incredible pace; and, we had a toilet with one of the best views in the world. Tony and Gail still lusted after the mountain of cheese that Tess carried and they were occasionally rewarded with morsels.
Another clear sunny day and what better way to begin than with a dip in the sparkling stream before breakfast. We wandered up a grassy track through further stands of snow gums with their colourful bark patterns and once our cross-country walking began we had several rest stops on granite tors. We spent the next few hours feasting on the view towards Watsons Crags with their remnants of snow. We admired nature’s wonderful sculptures that are the Kerries but bolted across the boggy ground to the only tree around which we gathered its shade for lunch. Jan escaped from the constant flies by covering himself with his mosquito net, and was still eating fresh vegetables on day 4.
A few of us were again caught perving in Tony Holgate’s food bags at the delicacies he seems to always unearth at Neutral Bay. I think we have convinced him to put a day walk on the programme so that the eastern and south side members can also stock up on dried hommus, Thai dips and all sorts of goodies. We did not entertain such kind thoughts towards our leader after lunch because, although we voted not to go over Gungarten, we did not enjoy following him steeply downhill through a maze of creeks, holes and scratchy vegetation. Don followed the fashion trend set by Jim and also landed on his nose in the creek, but his happy smile was not absent for long.
At the Schlink Hilton we drank half a river and visited the composting toilet. A debate ensued as to where we should spend the night – Schlink, White River Hut or half way up the mountain. The majority voted for the latter and even the young ones made no complaints about the long day. No-one complained once we reached the best camp site yet, at the Rolling Grounds with 360 degree views. We snuggled into the hillside next to a rough stone wall where the Man from Snowy River must have surely camped before us. Once more, the black clouds passed with the aid of a slight northerly breeze and we settled down to New Years Eve happy hour with balloons courtesy of Denise, a fabulous feast and Jim’s rum and lemon barley. The only down side of our idyllic spot was the walk for water and Tony C was not impressed with the march fly which bit him in a delicate spot whilst he bathed.
A not too brilliant start to the New Year as Gail suffered an asthma attack, but everyone played a part in organising the helicopter rescue – Tony H coordinated the rescue via Jan’s mobile phone; Denise gave invaluable advice and information regarding asthma; John set up an improvised windsock; Klaus walked to the road and conferred with the ambulance there; Don signalled to the pilot with a mirror; and, everyone played their part in clearing away objects that could become missiles in the downdraft from the chopper. It was a relief to see the paramedics swiftly medicate and reassure Gail before whisking her and Tony off to Cooma Hospital.
By the time we reached the Granite Peaks we walked through the only rain of the whole trip. We hurried lunch as we shivered and hunched amongst the rocks and we all realised the importance of warm clothing in the high country. The track became muddy around Consett Stephen Pass but the sight of acres of snow daisies distracted me. No shortage of fresh water as we traversed around Mt. Tate. We did not descend to Pounds Creek, as planned, but enjoyed a spectacular electric storm all around us as we camped on soft grass on the roof of Australia. The rain held off until we were fed and then we fled to the security of our tents but by 9 PM the rain had vanished. Another Jan Roberts quote “you can only eat a certain number of lentils on any trip”.
We had to be careful whilst watering the grass at 3 am as we noticed plenty of funnel web holes at the campsite and saw a few of the occupants too. Another perfect day dawned and after a few foot fixes we were off for a long day. The views were outstanding as we ascended Twynam – somehow I missed Anton (must have been chatting again). David couldn’t resist throwing the first snow ball at me, but he missed and was embarrassed when it connected with Jenny’s head. There were plenty of opportunities to look back on our journey, especially for those who made the effort to climb Mt. Twynam. Karl and Tess seemed amazed to think they had walked so far and what strong walkers they were – must be genetics. I will never forget the sight of Tess in the glamorous hat with the flowers or Karl the camel producing the water bottles from his pack.
After lunch on Muellers Pass, whilst we watched the tourists, seven of us walked to the cairn on Kosciusko then descended to the tourist toilets. It was interesting that we were covered in flies, whilst the day walkers were fly free. No-one enjoyed the hike along the metal tracks or the $14 we all coughed up to ride the chairlift down the mountain, in order to avoid even greater physio fees later.
We were all still on a high that night in the village at Thredbo where we had a choice of Asian food or fish and chips. We enjoyed comfortable lodge accommodation thanks to Don and the major topic of conversation there was the disaster of July 1997 which had befallen Carinya Lodge next door.
As I write this I re-live a relaxing, challenging and totally enjoyable walk through diverse terrain with wonderful walking friends. Where are we going next year Tony?
The party consisted of: David Carter, Maureen Carter, Gail Crichton, Tony Crichton, John Hogan, Tony Holgate (leader); Karl Holgate, Tess Holgate, Jenny Paton, Jim Percy, Jan Roberts, Denise Shaw, Jan Szarek, Klaus Umland and Don Wills.
Biographical information, reminisces, and photos in particular are wanted of Ruby Hall nee Payne-Scott, an SBW member of the mainly in the 1930s-1950s, but extending to 1970s. Besides being a keen walker and wife of fellow SBW member Bill Hall, Ruby was also a world renowned CSIRO scientist in the field of radio-physics. A biography is being written about this amazing lady, however the author is short on details of Ruby’s bushwalking activities. Thus the call for help to our members to rack their brain and/or search out old photos to make this biography a fitting tribute, and also to demonstrate that radio-physics is a common hobby among bushwalkers. Please send all information, photos and bits & pieces to Ruby and Bill’s son: Professor Peter Hall, Centre for Mathematics & Its Application, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 2600, phone 02 6249 3474.
Our really switched on readers will have noted that Ruby Payne-Scott was one of the women featured on page 40 of the Sydney Morning Herald Good Weekend magazine of 6 March 1999.
by Ken Smith
Rogaining is the sport of long distance cross-country navigation, in which teams of two to five people visit as many checkpoints as they wish in a set time period. The traditional rogaine is for 24 hours, however, there are shorter events of 6, 8 and 12 hours. Most NSW events are held within 2/3 hours travelling time of Sydney.
Rogaining is a real adventure sport, a lot of fun, an excellent way to develop one's navigation skills and an opportunity to walk in rarely visited areas. Most rogaines are on foot and held in bush and farmland locations, some events are held in metropolitan areas (metrogaines), or on bikes (cyclegaines).
WHO IS IT FOR? Rogaining is a team activity for people of all ages and levels of fitness. Everyone from elite athletes to families with young children can enjoy rogaining. New rogainers are always welcome and assistance is always available from organisers to help get started.
The parts of the course you visit are entirely up to you and your team members. There are no set routes and you don't have to spend the whole time on the course. You can return to the “hash house” at any time for hot food and rest around the campfire, or a sleep, before heading out again.
Some competitive teams may cover 50 km in a 12 hour event and even more in an event of 24 hours duration. However, the distance you travel is entirely up to you. The satisfaction comes in finding your way around the course according to the route that you have chosen, and navigating back to the finish within the time limit.
REQUIREMENTS? Rogaining is good value for money; all you need is basic bushwalking gear including a compass, whistle, pencil, water bottle, warm clothes and comfortable shoes, a waterproof jacket and a basic team first aid kit. On 12 and 24 hour events you may wish to bring camping gear and spend overnight at the hash house.
COSTS In NSW/ACT, entry fees vary from $15 to $35, depending on the event. This covers hot food during the event, your map, information sheets and facilities at the hash house. Family teams need only pay two adult entry fees. Join up when you enter your first event. Annual 1999 NSW Membership fees, which includes a regular newsletter, are:
Household*/Family $15 *+$3 for each additional person of same address
1. If you are interested in trying Rogaining then get in touch with me, Ken Smith, on 02 9808 4021, or the person specified for the next event on the calendar.
2. WEBSITE: ROGAINE.ASN.AU then click on the state of NSW.
3. New South Wales Rogaining Assoc Inc. NSWRA Voicemail 02 9990 3480
1999 EVENT CALENDAR: NSW & ACT, All events require advance entry
Mar 21 6hr ACT Paddy Pallin 02 6268 8734
Mar 27, 28 12/24hr Autumn: South Coast 02 9314 6211
May 1, 2 24hr ACT Champs 02 6268 8734
Jun 20 6hr NSW Paddy Pallin: Shoalhaven 02 9416 6423
Jul 3, 4 29hr Search & Rescue Navigation Shield 02 9789 2527
Aug 28, 29 12/24hr NSW Champs Hunter Valley 02 4959 8840
Sep 12 ACT Cyclegaine 02 6268 8734
Sep 18 12hr Lake Macquarie 02 4975 3507
Oct 23, 24 24hr Aust Champs - Wodonga 02 6025 4959
Nov 20 12hr ACT Spring 02 6268 8734
Dec 5 Socialgaine - Hawkesbury River 02 9816 2508
Jan 15, 16 4th World 2000, Champs - Christchurch NZ 02 9416 6423
Part 2, by Jan Szarek
The Rwenzori Mountains are in Uganda, along the border with Zaire, about 200 km from capital Kampala. The mountains are about 5,000 m high, and they are renowned for their beauty. It rains almost very day up there and because of this, the vegetation is one of the best in Africa.
I intended to trek for eight days in Rwenzori. However after arriving in Africa the trip was abandoned due to unstable political and military situation in the region. Various tribes inhabiting the region started fighting each other recently. Some aid workers were shot, others were kidnapped, and there were rumours of rebels setting up mines in the mountains. The soldiers do not like foreigners around, if you were kidnapped it would be a problem for them. The military patrols stop and search cars for weapons every twenty kilometres. Even if one is brave enough to go there, the military patrol will pick you up from the bus and put on the next bus going in the opposite direction.
It is quite difficult to obtain reliable information about current situation in Africa. The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs maintains the Internet site with information about safety situation in various countries. I found information there quite useless. For example, the warning for Uganda was that Mountain Gorilla Sanctuary in Rwenzori Mountains is unsafe. As it turned out the Gorilla Sanctuary was the only safe place in the Rwenzori National Park.
It seems that the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs treats the Internet site in bureaucratic manner, formulating it in such manner that people will not sue them if something goes wrong.
A more reliable source of information is the advice from fellow travellers in Africa. It seems that they are more up-to-date than the Department of Foreign Affairs. The only drawback for such approach is that it is difficult to plan a trip in Africa from Australia. Before departing for my holiday I rang Australian High Commission in Nairobi asking for security situation in Uganda. They ducked the question by directing me to the above mentioned Internet site. It seems that the Australian embassies abroad do not want the responsibility of giving advice which might be wrong, we are living in the age of the lawsuits.
* Jan has advised that information about safety in Africa (and elsewhere) changes rapidly. Internet information appears to be loaded with caution. Information from other travellers also changes, perhaps at the speed that rebels can move into or out of an area. The killing of 8 tourist in Uganda on Monday, 1 March 1999 is a brutal example of how the Rwenzori Gorilla Sanctuary changed from being unsafe, to safe and back to unsafe.
From George Mawer our roving reporter
The day after Boxing Day, December 27th I was holed up with the ten other members of our walking party, in a Holiday Inn in Guthega Village while a small blizzard raged outside. We had arrived at Guthega to begin our extended walk which was to start with a climb half way up onto Mount Tate. However, conditions were such that we thought it prudent to run for cover.
We managed to get into the local Resort Hotel where the rooms were heated and a big log fire burned in the lounge and a bar where we could console each other. The lounge had big double glazed windows that we could look out from. We couldn’t see very much because of the low cloud and snow, but from the comfort and security of the lounge it all looked rather pretty. After dinner - which was quite reasonably priced and of ample proportions and served in the lounge - we all sat around the big fire and chatted or browsed through the books and magazines spread around for the guests.
One of the books I picked up was Tom Darmody’s 'Tales of the Monaro'. I copied the following little poem from this book as I thought you might like it for the magazine.
The next morning dawned clear and windless and from our higher vantage point we could now see the whole snow blanketed panorama. We modified the route a little to allow for the lost walking time and from then on had excellent weather.
There were eleven in our party, an excellent mix, lots of fun and no problems of any kind. I was the slowest of course and stayed as ‘camp mother’ when they did the round trip day-walk to Jagungal and judging by the state of exhaustion of some of them when they got back, I’m glad I stayed in camp.
There were no residual snow-banks on the main range where we walked this summer. However we did see about four rather small patches on a distant mountain.
Some members keep their organisations strong
While others join and just belong
Some dig right in - some serve with pride
Some go along - just for the ride
Some volunteer and do their share
While some sit back and just don’t care
On meeting days some always show
Then there are those who never go
Some always pay their dues ahead
Some get behind for months instead
Some do their best - some build - some make
Some never give - but always take
Some lag behind - some let things go
Some never help their clubs to grow
Some brag - some pull - some don't - some do
Of all of these - which one are you?
Extract from Tales of the Monaro, by Tom Darmody, pub. Darmody Family, Cooma 1995.
* see Feb. 99 Sydney Bushwalker for Cathryn Ollif’s graphic account of this remarkable walk
SBW has the opportunity to have a web page on the Internet. We need someone who has had experience in constructing a web page.
Web pages have nothing to do with spiders or funny footed birds, but have everything to do with html, www, dot this and dot that and best of all, with a web master. We are looking for your help now. This work will look terrific on your CV. Call Eddy Giacomel on 9144 5095 H, or 8977 2211 W
by Erith Hamilton and John de Coque
Travelling South America as a twosome requires some effort to organise walks around the countryside, as local details, maps, transport and security information are not readily available. We were thus delighted to come across the walking group, in Bogota, Sal Si Puedes (SSP), “Walk if you can”. It is similar in objectives and activities to Australian Bush Walking Clubs and is a must for anyone contemplating a trip to Columbia. It is the only club we know that organises walks, rather than just dispense information, or sell expensive tours.
Started in 1979 as an informal group of walkers, led by Alfonso Gamboa, SSP puts much emphasis on ecological preservation and are very active, organising about 300 trips annually, mostly one day excursions and some weekeend trips. They maintain an office in Bogota and publish an annual handbook listing their aims and objectives and detailing their activities for the year.
Having just arrived in Bogota, we took the chance and turned up at their meeting point on a Sunday morning, hoping to join one of the three groups walking that day. We were very warmly received by Alfonso himself, who invited us to join him. We boarded a bus chartered for the trip, with about 35 others. The proceedings on board were very interesting. After a few words by Alfonso, each of us was invited to say something about ourselves. This lasted most of the 2 hour trip and was a great icebreaker for us. We took this opportunity to tell them about walking in Australia.
On arrival Alfonso led the group in the SSP song and prayer and then gave an impassioned talk about the inhabitants and the history of the area that we were about to walk through. He emphasised our responsibility for maintaining and enhancing the environment. Then some warm-up exercises and off we went.
There were many interesting features to the walk. Alfonso and some others walked in Wellington boots. Two Red Cross volunteers, in full uniform, walked diligently at the rear, and someone in front laid down strips of material to mark the track.
The SSP walks are graded to the musical scale “do, re, mi … etc”. Our walk was ¨fa¨, which would still be in the easy category for SBW. The walk took us on a 500m uphill climb (alt. 3300 m), followed by a ramble along the paramo, lunch and then downhill to the waiting bus, about 6 hours in all.
Our companions were very friendly, communicated with us despite our limited Spanish and gave us local snacks and wild berries to try. Fortunately some spoke English and amongst them were botanists who could tell us about the beautiful flora we were walking through. In fact we got on so well that we were invited to the homes of two of the walkers for later that week - something that has not happened to us in South America before.
The day was such a special experience for us, that we extended our stay in Bogota to the next weekend to repeat the exercise. Contact details: Sal Si Puedes, Carrera 7A, No. 17-01 Santa Fe de Bogota, D:C: Columbia.
For Sale: Pine cot & Domino mattress $120. Bushwalking Baby Carrier (1-4 years) Macpac Possum $120. Contact Elisabeth & Steve Lengakis: 9644 9560
Cairns via central Queensland?
John Hogan is returning to Cairns and is looking for someone or some-four to travel with him to share the costs. From Sydney via Bourke, Cunnanulla, Thargominda, Longreach, Winton, Mt Isa and the gulf savannah to Cairns. Departing Sydney approximately 27 March 1999.
Call John on 041 77 333 52 for details.
by Don Matthews
High on the hill, and looking where the lake
Which from the rapids at yon bend will make
Contiguous water to a distant shores
He gazed, and murmured to himself “What more,
What extra boon could make this pleasant spot
More pleasant still. What could improve our lot?”
And suddenly there flashed into his brain
A vision of a shelter 'gainst the rains
A Georgian structure set into the hill
And fashioned with much grace and strength and skill,
Which when the elements should so persuade
Would furnish us with shelter and with shade.
And by an artifice both wise and bold
There could be brought by pipeline fresh and cold
A stream of sparkling water, from a rill
To save us carrying water bags uphill
And then another feather in our cap
Could we not regulate the flow by tap?
These were his thoughts, and now we see today
Those thoughts transformed by Butler and by Gray
And numerous helpers whom we fain would list
From A to Z plus any that we've missed.
Here now it stands, and wide will spread its fame
This shelter with its iron and wooden frame.
The problem unresolved is that of paint
To some bright red is nice, to some it ain't,
And this will lead to meetings in committee.
And on that desperate note we end this ditty.
Hail Coolana, silver, red or blue,
We'll use your shelter, heedless of the hue.
Hail, Coolana, camp spot by the water,
Long may your sylvan settings as it oughter
Grant to our many members, strength and solace;
This project, started in the time of Wallace,
We now declare complete, or pretty near,
So raise your mugs and give a rousing cheer!
The meaning of this title “Epic E.N.E” stumped the Editor of The Sydney Bushwalker at the time the whole article was published. Recent discussions with the author have not revealed the deep and meaningful thought which contributed to the selection of the title. A possible clue is the letters together spell epicene, a word which means belonging to both sexes, an adjective which could be used to describe the hut at Coolana.
by his daughter Rosemary
Joe ‘Bill’ Turner was, in the 1920’s, an active member of Sydney Bushwalkers and foundation member with the committee in obtaining the Blue Gum Forest in 1931. Bill was a lifetime member of the Sydney Bushwalkers and ardent camper (even taking his wife and first three children by motorbike and sidecar on many camps). In 1941, after the birth of their fourth child, he moved to Armidale from where he continued to attend re-unions. Until his death, in February 1999, he received, read and enjoyed The Sydney Bushwalker. In hospital after his second hip replacement, ‘he said, “Oh, don’t lose THAT!” referring to the January issue of the magazine.
JOSEPH VINCENT MATTHEWS TURNER was born 9th March 1901 at 91 Johnston Street, Annandale, died 20th February 1999 at Belmont North, aged 97. Bill was the second youngest of eight children to Joseph and Lavinia Turner. His grandfather, William, arrived in Hobart in 1829, convict on HMAS Lady Harewood – convicted twice for theft of a handkerchief. In 1839, William married a free woman, Mary Hughes and became a respected merchant.
Bill attended St Andrews Cathedral School, Sydney, as a boy chorister, where he received excellent musical training and his love of choral music and church choir singing which he did for seven decades. When his family moved to Rookwood he caught a steam train to school. He finished school at 14 years and entered the Law Book Company, soon becoming head delivery boy. Bill was articled as Law Clerk with ‘Priddle and Gosling’ becoming Managing Law Clerk to the firm.
He married Kathleen Biden Chidley in Sydney in 1930. After their move to Armidale, he continued his legal career for some time and was very involved with his family, the community church, schools, tennis and in the choir of St Peter’s Cathedral. He and Kath proclaimed ‘open house’ to college and university students and musical evenings were always shared. He and Kate were beautiful ballroom dancers. He subsequently set up a business in Real Estate and Tourism – Turner and Poggoli.
Some years after Kath’s death in 1950, he worked in Inverell – finally moving to Newcastle in 1955 with his family.
In 1958 Joe married Huldah Mary Sneddon, a lecturer at Newcastle Teacher’s College. He became a life member of Newcastle City Choir and sang in various church choirs. He continued working in legal offices until his retirement in 1968.
In 1973, he and Huldah travelled by Kombi van for 6 months around Australia. Other trips included New Zealand, the Centre and Perth on the Indian Pacific.
Joe’s love of the bush saw him involved with the local Flora and Fauna Society and the Hunter Manning branch of the National Parks Association. Around 1981, he and Huldah retired to the first unit at Narla Village, Belmont North. In 1996, a broken femur prevented his regular evening bush walks – but he could still look on his beloved bush.
Joe died, as he lived, peacefully, and until the end an absolute gentleman in every respect. He instilled in his family and their children a love of the bush and walking. Joe is survived by his wife Huldah, his children Elizabeth, Audrey, Geoffrey and Rosemary, 10 grandchildren and 2 ½ great grandchildren.
by Ray Hookway
A recent article in the Sydney Herald regarding the control of walkers in Tasmanian parks and in particular on the Overland Track, reminded me of a marvellous nine day trip that I did in January 1970 through the Cradle Reserve with Pat Harrison, and about some of the people we met on that popular walk. Pat is a former SBW club member and walks secretary.
The encounters started at Devonport Airport. We shared a taxi to Waldheim with four young Melbourne footballers. Pat and I both had fair sized packs for the forthcoming 86 km walk, (Pat’s weighed 27 kg), but the gear those four carried would have been sufficient for three times their number for a three week walk.
The leader’s pack, which was a large Paddy steel-framed type with its bulging throat fully extended, and with gear hanging from every strap, was too big to fit in the station-wagon taxi so it was strapped to the roof.
We spent the first two nights in the rustic Waldheim chalet. The chalet, nestling amongst the pine trees, was built in 1912 by Gustav Weindorfer, a leading Victorian naturalist. Weindorfer, who died at Waldheim in 1932 and is buried there, became known as ‘the hermit of Cradle Mountain’ and was a leading campaigner to have the area made a national park. The track from Waldheim to Lake St Clair was first blazed by Mr Bert Nichols in the summer of 1930-31.
The resident Bennet wallabies at Waldheim made us very welcome, one even defecating on the arm of my chair as I read. I seem to have a way with animals.
Morning dawned beautiful and fresh so we set out on a long day walk around Dove Lake and climbed Mt. Campbell and Hanson’s Peak but by the time we reached Kitchen Hut, rain, mist and sleet had obscured Cradle Mountain. We returned to Waldheim via Marion’s Lookout.
The following morning was again sunny and bright so we set out via Kitchen Hut and climbed Cradle Mountain (1545 m), enjoying the superb views, rated amongst the best in Tasmania, in clear cool weather. Scrambling over the shattered vertical dolerite columns to reach the summit made me slightly nervous as the gaps between them seemed big enough and deep enough to hide the body of a careless climber forever.
We then proceeded to climb Barn Bluff (1559 m) perched at the far end of the large Bluff glacial cirque which overshadows Waterfall Valley to the east. The mist closed in on us as we reached the summit so we hurried down and set out back to Waldheim.
Our footballers, heavily laden, had set out that morning for Waterfall Valley via Kitchen Hut. Dressed in long pants, jumpers and jackets, and with a tomahawk and a gas lamp hanging from their belts they were definitely overdressed and overloaded and when I asked one why he didn’t put his small billy inside the bigger one, both swinging from the outside of his pack, he replied “I can’t. They are both full of gear!”
At Kitchen Hut we found the table piled high with food discarded by them. Obviously the steep 300 metre climb and the 5km walk from Waldheim had proven too much and they had decided to lighten their load. We made a selection of the luxury items and carried the remainder back to Waldheim for distribution to other walkers.
Next morning, shouldering our own heavy packs, we left Waldheim via the same route, meeting on the way, CMW member Ray Jerrems, who was running through the Reserve from Cynthia Bay to Waldheim. He did it in record time. At the turn-off to Waterfall Valley we met SBW member Christine Kirkby (now Austin) with two girl friends. They were ‘doing the Reserve’ in the slower traditional way.
We rested for a while near the Waterfall Valley huts and watched a group of youths manufacture a rough table from fallen timber. “When’s the sacrifice?” I flippantly inquired and to my surprise, a few minutes later the oldest member of the group put on a stole, spread a white cloth over the table and began to conduct a religious service. We picked up our packs and slunk away.
Camp that night was by Windemere Lake after inspecting the Stygian gloom of the hut and rejecting it out of hand. It was here that one of the minor problems of Tasmanian walking became evident - leeches. Finding good campsites amongst the button grass anywhere in Tasmania, is difficult, and leeches seem to have staked out all of the reasonable spots. Our camp by the lake was otherwise excellent as we watched the storm clouds gather around Barn Bluff and the rain set in. Wet nights and fine days. This was to be the weather pattern for the whole trip.
The Cradle Reserve is a peak-bagger’s paradise. The shape of each of the many mountains is different and none appears too difficult to climb, the major problem being which ones not to climb. When the weather permits, the view in all directions is fascinating, with the shattered fluted dolerite columns, which make up most of the mountain tops: a spectacular skyline.
Crossing Pine Forest Moor next morning the clouds lifted to give a good view of Pelion West but the Forth Gorge was lost in the mist. At Pine Forest Moor we met another group who had shared Waldheim with us that first night.
The leader had organised the walk, cum religious retreat, via mail and his instructions to the party members had obviously been very poor. The packs they brought were only army sidepacks, unsuitable for carrying anything but schoolbooks and school lunches. They were wearing ordinary dress shoes and carried cheap plastic raincoats.
The leader had purchased the food and because of the inadequate packs brought by the party members, he had to carry it all. Needless to say he also left some of the food with that of the footballers’ at Kitchen Hut.
When we saw them camped at Pine Forest Moor, some were suffering from diarrhoea, plastic raincoats were badly torn and at least one of them had shoes which required wire to keep body and sole together. It was enough to test anyone’s faith.
The Cradle Reserve has an annual rainfall of about 284 cm and the boggy, saturated button grass plains can be hard on footwear. Much of the walk is over very exposed country and weather conditions can become life threatening to ill equipped walkers, even in January.
Many snow poles along the track were adorned with boots and shoes abandoned or lost in the sticky mud by walkers.
The Overland Track has since been rerouted to skirt Pine Forest Moor and take a more sheltered route over a low ridge to the west.
We lunched at Frog Flat north, with good views in all directions including Mt. Achilles, Mt. Thetis and Paddy’s Nut. Then, it was on to New Pelion Hut. Here, a selfish walker had claimed the entire centre of this 12 bunk building by spreading his groundsheet, pack and other gear around him to occupy the maximum amount of space. He sat in the middle, issuing instructions to new arrivals. The 20 people who arrived from the track before the rain started, soon deposed him.
We cooked outside, amongst “leeches! leeches! leeches!” as Pat recorded in his log.
It was at New Pelion Hut that we first met the ‘kidney’ man. He appeared to be in charge of a group of teen-aged miscreants engaged in a character building exercise. Whenever this fellow said something which he thought was clever, which was quite often, he would tap his forehead with a finger, look wise, and say - “kidneys.”
The mist shrouding Mt. Ossa (1617 m), Tasmania’s highest peak, Mt. Doris and Mt. Pelion East, as we crossed between them over Pelion Gap next day, made climbing them pointless, so we pushed on to Kia-ora hut for a snack. We then continued toward Du Cane Hut over thick mud, and gradually, the mist lifted giving spectacular views of the cliffs on Cathedral Mountain.
Shortly after leaving Du Cane Hut, built in 1910 by animal trapper Paddy Hartnett but now a ruin, we turned off to view some waterfalls, one of them being the 30m Hartnett Falls, whose strong flow we had sighted from Pelion Gap.
The track became slightly drier as we passed through Du Cane Gap and proceeded to Windy Ridge hut where we again met three of our footballers (I don’t remember what had happened to the fourth one). They were physically wrecked and had decided to rest up for a day. They all agreed that walking while carrying packs was harder than playing football.
We spent a restless night at Windy Ridge. The bunks had only loose straw to soften the hardness of their corrugated slats, (this was before the days of self-inflating mattresses) and as the slats had wide gaps between them, when the person in the bunk above moved you were showered with straw.
Possum marauders spent the night on noisy sorties to gather our food, gaining entry to the hut down the chimney where a fire burnt brightly all night, hopefully to deter them. Heavy stones placed on our billies to prevent theft of our food only served to increase the noise level caused by these massive Tasmanian creatures as they dislodged them. A large club hanging from the wall, with instructions for use nearby, showed that we were not the first to have such problems. A large Possum known as Black Pete was reputed to regularly terrorise walkers who camped at Du Cane Hut and that hut had a suitably labelled ‘Black Pete Donger’.
A beautiful morning dawned after our first rainless night and we set out over our driest track yet to Pine Valley hut for lunch prior to climbing the Acropolis (1471 m).
The Acropolis is located on the edge of the most spectacular area of the park and we were rewarded at the summit with superb views of the Labyrinth and its lakes.
We made an early start next morning to climb the south peak of Mt. Gould (1491 m). The climb proved to be very steep but we were again rewarded with panoramic views.
Next morning, after a camp near the dingy Narcissus hut, a discussion ensued as to whether we should proceed along Lake St Clair to Cynthia Bay or go up over Byron Gap into the Cuvier Valley. The mud had been pretty constant and Cuvier Valley had the reputation of being much worse. A poem in the Windy Ridge hut log book about that hut’s ineffectual axe referred to “the plains behind Olympus being a sea of sticky mud”. I insisted that we go via Cuvier Valley and off we started over the steep Byron Gap and into the valley.
The Cuvier Valley proved to be as dry as a bone and totally mud free, due undoubtedly to its bad publicity driving prospective walkers away to churn up the mud on the Lake St Clair track. The valley is very open and relatively flat and has a reputation for dangerous extreme weather conditions from storms blown up from the south west.
This day we strolled along in bright sunshine, admiring the scenery and the long white beach around the end of Lake Petrach, which is named after the Italian renaissance poet, and where a solitary fly-fisherman fished for trout. Pat recognised a former club mate in the Kamerukas so we sat down for a talk. Again the grass literally rustled with the movement of the leeches as they hurried toward our warm bodies.
The northern end of the lake appeared to have excellent campsites with snowgrass clearings amongst the snow gums.
At Cynthia Bay, at the southern end of Lake St Clair, we treated ourselves to a room in Melaleuca cabins, had a hot shower and ate the remains of our food, feeding the resident wallabies the almost inedible long-life biscuits we had carried. A nibble, a puzzled look, first at the biscuit and then at the donor, and the offering was usually discarded. Hard as the ‘hobs of hell’, the tasteless biscuits had allegedly been designed to feed the starving third world poor. They were a good argument for the practice of testing new products before a long walk, not on it!
The leader of our group of miscreants busied himself helping a newly arrived car-camper to erect his tent. “Kidneys” he said to us, smiling and tapping his forehead after he had finished. “I’ll bite him for a lift to Derwent Bridge tomorrow.”
The next morning Pat and I scored a lift to Clarence from another motorist, passing up the pleasure of the cold pint at Derwent Bridge Hotel that we had been promising ourselves. Four hitched lifts later, wet and cold from two hours standing in the rain waiting for a lift, and after a hot shower at a Hobart friend’s home, we had our promised pint but it did not taste as good as we had anticipated.
We met the Kidney man later in Hobart and learnt that despite his clever kidneys the group had been unsuccessful in getting a lift and had walked to the bus stop at Derwent Bridge, a tedious 6kms and an anticlimax to the rest of their walk.
Even now the word ‘kidneys’ uttered by either Pat or me is enough to bring back pleasant memories of an outstanding walk that I would repeat tomorrow.
by Patrick James
The AGM is over. Congratulations to the new Committee who takes up the reins and, standing on the bridge, navigates the club through the uncharted waters of modern life towards the bug infested year 2000.
This Issue of the Sydney Bushwalker is my last as editor. Two terms as editor is enough. Of course I have enjoyed the job, some times more than others, but that is usual with all jobs. Each editor is different and I am sure our new, 42nd editor will make his mark in the Sydney Bushwalker. To all those people who have written for the magazine, some of their own free will, many thanks for your contribution.
Welcome to Hannah Elise BRADING, a charming your lady who will be eligible to join SBW in 2015 (Constitution Clause 5(d) 1). As from 5 AM, 25 February, Hannah Elise is the brand new sister of Melanie, daughter of Karen and Richard, and grand-daughter of Bill & Fran Holland.
S&R Training Weekend.
Please note, not S&M but S&R, that is Search & Rescue, now known as Wilderness rescue. The Confederation’s annual training weekend is for all Confederation club members to learn and re-learn an additional range of unusual bush skills such as wilderness self rescue, GPS receivers, night navigation, radios, crime scene, helicopter techniques and much, much more. Bring everything for a normal weekend walk on 20/21 March 1999, to start at 8.30 AM. Location is the Cataract Scout Camp, Appin Road. Contact Ken Smith or Jim Callaway.
Walk One Week Early Jim Callaway has advised that his Sunday day walk of 11 April will become a Monday day walk on 5 April. Monday day walks are very similar to Sunday day walks. Every thing else remains the same. Bring some Easter eggs!