A Journal devoted to matters of interest to members of the Sydney Bush Walkers, Sydney, New South Wales.
No. 153 October 1933
Misses Brenda White (Editor), Marjorie Hill, Dorothy Lawry, Rene Browne and Mr Myles Dunphy.
The weather gods certainly did not seem to be on our side at Eight Hour Weekend, but from what I have since learned, all the parties that went out enjoyed themselves, in spite of it being “very wet and windy” for the official party on the heights, and “very wet but not so windy” for those who followed rivers. I have it on the authority of two Bargers that Breakfast Creek was actually flowing into the Cox, and so was Galong Creek - I nearly had my slippers washed off crossing it.
Now our thoughts will be turning towards the Christmas holidays as the next spell, but before then, one of the most important events of the club year will take place - the 6th annual concert on 1st November. Preparations and rehearsals are the order of the day (and night), to the exclusion of literary pursuits, so several promised contributions for this issue have failed to materialise. Jean Austen has definitely promised the third and last spasm of “Barrington Tops” for the Christmas number.
Jack Debert's article, “Gone Bush”, was only received by me a week after the August issue was published, but is included this time.
The latest news from Bill Purnell is that he is climbing mountains in Switzerland - he has sent me several articles, written on board the “Ville d'Amiens” on the way to Marseilles, which you will find in this issue.
By the way, Bill will not be here for the next swimming carnival, so who is going to take his place as champion?
During the first week of August two years ago, our Club members received a special “summons” from the secretary. The government tourist bureau, in conjunction with the Hobart city council, arranged for cinema pictures to be taken showing the sport of skiing on Mt Wellington, and had enlisted the help of the Hobart Walking Club.
Sunday the ninth turned out a beautifully fine day, and the mountain was
At 12:05 we set out for the snow regions, leaving our packs behind. We joined the almost steady stream of “traffic” going up. The mountain is always a popular place for walking, during winter weekends, but on that Sunday there were even more people than usual. It is not every week the mountain is filmed! All Hobart and its wives and families seemed to be abroad.
It was some way up the Pinnacle Track before we came to the snow which was hard, and consequently slippery. (We don't always have to go so far a field for snow. It is quite usual for the snow to be as low as the Ferntree, on the mountain, and occasionally, after a heavy fall, the surrounding hills of Hobart are covered. I remember the winter of 1921 when there was such a heavy fall, that in Hobart, and even in the eastern suburbs, people awoke one morning to a white world.)
Progress was much slower too on the Zig Zag. One person slipping on the track ahead would hold-up perhaps a dozen more behind, if there was no chance to pass. In a few places the wire hand rail was buried in the snow, and therefore it was difficult to obtain a footing without the wire to pull oneself up by. It was the rule, rather than the exception, to take one step forward, and slip two backwards! One felt compelled to stop occasionally, and look upwards at the procession of dark moving figures, showing up so clearly against the white background, as they wound their way up the Zig Zag track…. or to look down at the panorama below.
There were a number of people coming down too, and they always slipped, and clutched at the wire, just as one was finding it necessary to do the same. The ski carriers found it very difficult, as they did not have their hands free, like the rest of us.
We left the track, and reached the snowy slopes below the pinnacle about 1 o'clock. There the snow was literally sprinkled with moving figures, and sprinkled generously - their bright jumpers, scarves, and berets, of every imaginable colour, looked very effective. Some were an skis, looking as much at home on them as we did on our feet. Others were picking themselves up from the ground, looking quite surprised at their sudden downfall.
Other parties had toboggans, and how I envied them their sport! However, we found it decidedly pleasant to sit on the top of a slope and slide dawn on the seat of our breeches. They were long slopes, and steep, and we invariably rolled over and over at the bottom, just having enough presence of mind left to crawl out of the way, before other figures came hurtling down on top of us. The more these slides were used the more they resembled a switchback, with their hollows and bumps. The worst part, of course, was climbing up to the top again, and in the slippery snow that was no easy task. Oh it was great to watch the crowd… sliding, tobogganing, skiing over the slopes, and always as a background the panorama below, as though it had been painted scenery to set off the figures on the stage.
A few of us left the slopes, and returned to the track, and went an up to the pinnacle. There we found the movie man taking 'long shots'. The view from that point (4166 ft) is much the same as from the Springs, and even more extensive. On a clear day it is possible to see as far north as Cradle Mountain. (I won't attempt any more descriptions of the view. You will have to come and see it for yourselves.)
At first, the return trip (or slip?) dawn the track was more difficult than coming up. Dozens of people were still going and coming up the track. The snow had been so worn it had became very slippery, the rail was much in use, and we would have had to join the queue and take our time behind the others. Most of our comrades were still skiing, so the two or three of us together, decided to take short cuts back to the Springs. We tried one or two short distances first: we simply sat dawn on the side of the track, slid under the wire rail and down the slope till we reached the point where the track crossed again below. I remember we were advised not to do this as “there's no knowing where you'll stop”, but having successfully tried the short cuts, we decided to risk the long cuts in the same way. The snow seemed to have an intoxicating effect on one!
As we tore down those slopes, still on the seat of our breeches, we realised how quickly we were travelling, and how difficult it was to pull up. We were only dimly conscious of all the people along the track. It would have been quite easy to “shoot” across the track below, especially where the wire was buried, but we were confident that some of the pedestrians would grab us as we shot across their path! As for the tree trunks, bushes, rocks under the snow, we just didn't think of them. Our last slither was longer, but we took it in two stages. Keeping a bush in sight about half way down the slope, we again slithered under the wire, and left the track. For a moment I thought I was going to shoot past the bush, (it wasn't a very comfortable thought), but by sticking my heels in the snow, found it possible to reduce my speed enough to enable me to seize the bush and 'anchor' on it. I arrived on the track below a few seconds later, grabbing the rail to prevent an enforced continuation of the journey. People coming up the track looked at me in surprise, with a “Where on earth did you come from?” expression on their faces. My abrupt descent upon their track, preventing their progress, was, to say the least of it, sudden. Also, it was a hard welcome. The snow had begun to melt, and for tie first time I hadn't arrived on a softly padded cushion! I had just picked myself up, when someone above announced her departure on the second stage, and probable arrival in a few seconds. She had requested me to stop her downward flight, but while I was making my way to the place she should arrive, another dropped from above without any warning, as I had done, and knocked me spinning down the track some yards. All this of course held up the “traffic” somewhat, and the third' person's sudden descent in our midst only increased the general upset.
We finally disentangled ourselves, and the “procession” continued its upward climb. We were quite sorry there was no more snow. I might mention that these “stunts” weren7t photographed, as the Camera man was probably still at the Pinnacle taking “long shots”….,,and that I had to begin saving up at once for a new pair of breeches. Needless to say we arrived at the Springs long before the rest of our party, but in good order and condition. Our popular President met us on the verandah, with his never ending chocolate supply. The walk back to Hobart was uneventful. We arrived in toda at 5,30, and we all agreed we'd had our photos taken more in that one day than in our lives before…but it was one of the best day trips we had done…and certainly the cheapestt Mary Harrisson, Bellerive, Tasmania.
Now it came to pass in the fifth year of the Great Depresh, that a certain man did approach the tents of the Ess Bee Two-Yoos and did say unto them: “Lo l I would fain join your tribe in their wanderings through the wilderness.” And they did straightway bring him before the Sec and said: “Beholds This man desireth to join cur tribe.” And the Sec did look upon him with compassion and did say unto him: “Poor Mut, (which being interpreted is - Thou Fool) turn thou back now, are it be too late, for what thou seekest is hard to do, yes, that which thy heart desires can only be accomplished by the sweat of thy brow.” But the man was not dismayed, neither did he turn a hair, but he prostrated himself before the Sec and cried La a loud voice; IlThatsoever is required of me, that will I do.“ And the Sec communed within himself saying: “Lot here is a brave man, or perchance he knoweth not what he sayeth.” Nevertheless, he spake kindly unto the man saying: “Such and such are the things thou must do, are thou be admitted to our tribe.” Then the man did go to the market place and did purchase a bag and returning to the house of his father he did pinch two blankets from the bed. Now the blankets were big and when he put them in the bag which he had bought, there was no room for any other thing. Whereat he swore an oath and pulled them out again. Then he put in the bag all his other junk and the blankets he did roll into the likeness of a sausage and put them on top. So he did sally forth with the tribe into the bush and they did crawl an their bellies through prickly places and they did scramble over rocks and stony parts. And the man's load was grievous heavy and the bag that he carried did roll and bump and the straps did come away from the bag. Yet he moaned not, neither did he complain, for he said within himself; “Lot if I do a grouch, they will not receive me into their tribe.” And he did observe that the others laboured not under heavy loads and their packs held all their stuff and rode snugly on their backs. And he did marvel at these things. Then the tribe did come to a green place by running water and the leader said: “Camp!” and they camped. Then did the man marvel again, yeas even was he astonished at the cunning gadgets that they brought forth from their bags. For their tents did roll into wondrous small compass. And they did sleep in bags filled with down from the breasts of ducks. So he spake unto his companion saying: “Tell me. I pray thee! where I may buy such things as these.” And his companion said But we all know what his companion said - if ra do not, then do what the man did and ask your companion. PADDY PALLIN, 312 George Street, Over Hallam's. Opposite Wynyard Station. SYDNE Y. LAUNCH SERVICES IN 'CURING-GA' CHASE. Compared with National Park, Kuring-gai Chase is very little known, for the simple reason that most of it lies on the other side of Cowan Creek, across which there is no ferry. At one time and another I have explored all the main ridges of the Chase, but, it has to be admLtted, not without the aid of a tame car parked at Tumbledown Dick, or a tame launch or rowing boat. However, in the course of these explorations I have ascertained that there are more regular launch services than is usually known, and particulars of these may be of use to members, To begin with, there is the Hawkesbury-Patonga launch which meets the 1.30 p.m. train from Sydney on Saturdays. This calls en route at Flint and Steel Bay and so gives access to the Commodore Heights end of the Chase. It returns on Sunday at 4,30 p.m. The fare is 3/- return, but'Mr. Windybank, the proprietor, has agreed to take parties of Bushwalkers for 1/- single, - (presumably 2/- return). The same launch goes to Newport on Sundays, and will call, if previously arranged, at Tawler's Bay, Great Mackerel Beach, or any other suitable point on the other sideo From Cottage Point to Hawkesbury there is also'a regular service run by Mr. Notting of Cottage Point (P.O. Box 4, Brooklyn - Berawra telephone exchange). This launch meets the 8 a.m. train on Saturdays, and is therefore not of much use to most of us, but it returns from Cottage Point at 5 p.m. on Sundays to Hawkesbury (fare 0 single). To make absolutely certain it might be just as well to send a card to Mr. Notting. From Cottage Point the same person would always supply a boat to take you over either Cowan Creek, Smith's Creek or Coal and Candle Creek A party of four of us was charged 3/- to cross Smith's Creek, a distance of a little over a mile. In addition to the regular services, Mr. Rhodes of Jerusalem Bay will' always take a party over to Cowan Point for 6d0 a head, or a minimum of 10/-, but this should be arranged beforehand. Marie B. Byles. “GONE BUSH” In the tropics a white man who goes native is referred to by his brother white men as having “gone bush”. The following lines are a mere handful of the things that happen when a Bushwalker “goes bush”. Just think of it, bushwalking for 365 days in the year, crossing Wollondilly boulders day in, day out, wading across the river umpteen times a day. Continually cooking out in the open on an improved Ernie Austen fireplace in rain, frost and sunshine. Log fires each night - perhapst Daily swims in the river - in the winter time only when visitors arrive. No returning home to the City of the Big Smoke each Sunday night. It all sounds too good to be true, and so it is. This bush walking-cumpioneering game is not all you Rush Walkers would have it be, especially so in the case of one not having an unlimited amount of cash to put into the land, for when it comes to sinking money into a farm the land has an appetite as insatiable as an S.B.W.ite at mealtime. The returns are law. One may be a great protetionist, but grass and trees seldom go hand in hand, so feeling like a traitor one has to fell beautiful specimens of trees to grow grass for stook. Parrots and currawongs play havoc with maize and reap fully one third of the crop. The writer has altered the well known proverb “as you sow so shall you reat)” to “as you reap so shall you saw and when sowing corn he says: “One for me, one for the currawongs, one for me, one for the parrots, etc.” Nature is/very bountiful in her gifts to those who only go out at week ends to enjoy them, but she is the greatest task-mistress in the world to have to work with it is useless trying to work against her. She is like the proverbial horse one can drive to water. A great deal may be learnt about her from book study, but to know a person thoroughly one has to live with her, and that is just what Dame Nature requires. In fact, she demands more than that. She has to be loved, and oh boys, but doesn't she just take a whaleful of loving? Still to those farmers who do not only look for material gain she offers attractions that money cannot purchase. To the others there are, at least, compensations. One is able to get so close to Nature when one is not rushing to climb Black Jerry's Ridge so as to catch the 6,30 p.m. train home from Katoomba. There grows a closer understanding between man and birds, and in many cases the latter become quite friendly. Even the trees and rivers seem to become human, for if it is possible to woo Nature she has kind moments in which she discloses much to those who can idle a while, Burragorang Tiger. REPORT OF OFFICIAL WALK OF AUG. 19-20, 1933. This walk was originally done on April 18th lc 19th. 1931, and fully described in the first number of our Magazine. It might be remembered by the desperate plunge of the Nimble Nine through a treat arranged by Barney's Droughtbreakers' Union, This time the party numbered 12 evenly balanced. - that is to say, the sexes were sixes - only two - Vic. Thorsen and the leader were in the first walk, Arriving at Leumeah, a perfect afternoon awaited, not hot - not cold - not windy, not t cloud. The trip to the river allowed the party to become acquainted - several prospective members were present. One had the ill Luck to develop a crop of blisters. This was one Flo - the Flo who on wagging from the village of Wagga, VAS suffering from an apparently ineradicable objection to company - but who later on a return visit, was noticed to have a positive and unmistakable scintillation of the optic. However, as to the blisters - tunnelling and irrIgation schemes relieved the dropsical condition of the tooties. Haw strangeManravis without her pony background. No tents were used - as caves abound, one in particular, Henley-on-Stone, being well furnished with dresser, kitchen and bedding. This, the leader - who strange but true got there first - took over an behalf of anyone. The now devoted dozen seemed unwilling to scatter - so then began the important part - tea. Next: Dot and Lawford, the diligent duo, brought in the logs and a werry nice fire and singo followed, and by the way, the flute of the leader found its soul mate in the voice of the Marion Maid. Law proved an excellezt sub. for Ernie, and so a perfect blend of chat and song spun the clock around -no one moaned about the hour, they just oozed into quilts and positions and gradually slipped into neutral A perfect starlit night, but creepycold, At daylight, the entire party or at least all who thought of it - and all their memories were crook - went in for a long slow swim, Breast caused many a pack to float. Over night the party had accepted the leaders 8 acrl stazt and gmarvealioust to relate, nearly all were ready and waiting. One semi-detached party reported an injury to some bread - a rat no less and a goody too, as the leader reported the loss of four fine river-polished sun-dried logs, agg. length 25 ft. x 51. Straight up the hillside went the devoted dozen, and soon the track was found. For the next few hours it was just a casual conversational ramble - very still day - good underfoot, stacks of flowers and stacks of time. Some beautiful blue views away over Razorback way. At 11 o'clock the leader, still leading, proposed a stop for a dry snack. Again, perfect and ready agreement. I tell you, leaders all, this was the party. Two warriors, Travis and Austen, set out on a water hunt, and after 7777hile returned loaded. The snack became a real feed. Fires and feeders sprang to life. Packed again and all moved off as one. At last the eastern pines were sighted and straight into the bush dived, the dozen. The going was good and interesting, the young gorges showing much grass and fern - around here is certainly the mountains in miniature. Still as one, the party arrived at the dam and power house, as two more S.Bs. can testify. Still only 2.30 - much lazing, a little swimming, a long afternoon tea that lasted until nearly dark. On reaching the top of the rough and rocky cutting a fine western view was displayed, everywhere a faint murmuring Sunday hush with the pitter-pat of Dot's bare tootsies as a delightful obligato. About -hitr the party reached the station in nice time to step on a train - but not so - this be not the way of the devoted dozen, so they cheerily waited for the rest of the party and the next train - 70 minutes later, thus maintaining the spirit which began at Leumeah the afternoon before. Singing in the waiting room till the train arrived crowded zo with the usual unanimity the dozen stood up together. Central again and a drawn out parting by the devoteds, and thus concluded the official walk - one long perfect chord of real fellowship - the Club spirit at its best. Says Taro. PEAKS, MOUNTAINS AND PLATEAUX. Everyone agrees that it is desirable that words should be used with approximately the sane meaning throughout the English speaking community, and we all laugh or perhaps feel a little annoyed because our American cousins will persist in misusing certain common words, for example “biscuits”, which they use to refer to scones. There are certain indications in “The Sydney Bushwalker” that we are inclined to follow the bad American example, and this is particularly deplorable because walkers and climbers are sufficiently misunderstood by the public without having misunderstandings among themselves. Further, as our magazine travels to walking societies abroad, it is particularly desirable that the terms used in its pages should truly represent the scenery of a country that is absolutely unique in the world, and therefore of more than usual interest to people outside it. Now the word most commonly misused in “The Sydney Bushwalker” is “peak”. This word is cognate with pickaxe and pike, a weapon with a spear head, and also a fish with a pointed snout. All are derived from the'gaelic word “plc” which means sharp or pointed. A peak is essentially a sharp-pointed mountain, not a rounded hill. If you try to think of a mountain which is a peak, you will at once recall Mount Warning. Perhaps you will also visualize pictures of the Glass House Mountains near Brisbane, and after that you will probably be able to think of no more. On the whole, Australia has practically no peaks, for the very good reason that, being the oldest country in the world, her peaks have been long since worn dawn to plateaux. Let us therefore refrain from pointing to a little rise in the plateaux, like Mount Hay or Mount King George, and calling it a peak. Still less, let us indicate as a peak a flat-topped plateau, like Mount Solitary, which is the direct negative of something pointed. There is a second reason why “The Sydney Bushwalker” would fail to give a non-Australian reader any idea of the unique nature of the Australian landscape, and this is because we are too fond of the term “mountain” and too chary of the term “plateau”. A mountain is a high hill, an eminent protuberance, I think Dr.Johnson calledWt, land which rises at least a thousand feet above the surrounding valley, “surrounding” meaning an all sides. When land goes up, and having got up stays up in the form of a flat-topped highland, it is more correctly described as a “plateau”. Again, because Asutralia has the distinction of being the oldest country on earth, most of her mountains have been worn dawn to plateaux, which in turn have now been worn out by gorges and ravines. I do not say that mountains are non-existent, but the Blue Mountains are no more mountains than is Tibet, and even Kosciusko is more nearly a plateau. If we spoke of the Blue Plateau, or even the Blue Mountains Plateau, and the Kosciusko Plateau, we should give a far better idea of the extraordinarily wonderful scenery of Australia. In most countries the tourist resorts and the settlements are in the valleys and the mountains are pointed eminences rising above them, up which you may climb with great labour, but upon which you may never stay. In Australia as often as not we find people living, actually living right on the tops of the highlands, and we take it for granted and fail to realise that this is one of the very few countries of the world where this can be done. When I tell foreign correspondents about our highlands, they are always intensely interested, and perhaps a little envious at being actually able to live in the bracing atmosphere of the heights instead of in the enervating climate of the valleys. If they read “The Sydney Bushwalker”, they would not be interested at all, for it would give the impression that Australia was no different from other lands. Australia is unique among lands; let us show we appreciate its uniqueness by using words that properly describe its scenery, and of these the most important is the word “plateau”. M .B .B -10- LITERARY EXPLORATIONS Here are some very beautiful lines, that I thought would appeal to most of you. Ed. *Rifted mountains clad with forests, Girded round with dewy ferns, Where the morning, like an angel, Robed in golden splendour burns; Shimmering mountains, throwing downward On the slopes a mazy glare Where the noonday glory sails through Gulfs of calm and glittering air; Stately mountains, high and hoary, Piled with blocks of amber cloud, Where the fading twilight lingers, When the winds are wailing loud; Grand old mountains, overlpeetling Brawling brooks and deep ravines Where the moonshine, pale and mournful, Flaws on rocks and evergreens.” Henry Kendall. YARRNNGOBILLY TO KOSCIUSKO TRIP, DEC. 1931. (1) IMPRESSIONS OF KIANDRA. The road from Adaminaby leads you a rare chase ere you see in the distance, after climbing a long hill, a group of grey buildings that is Kiandra. And even then it is necessary to ford the Eucumbene - cold and deep it is too - before you arrive at the highest township in Australia. However, coming from Yarrangobilly Caves is a hard rough road, twisting over the undulating plateau, Kiandra and New Chum Hill having been seen long before the footsore walker reaches them. So having become exasperate& by the meanderings of the road, we decided to take a short cut through a number of paddocks, this we hoped would lessen our journey. It may have done in actual distance, but for hard work try jumping from one patch of snowgrass to another with about 50 lb. pack on the back, as a means of rapid locomotion t Eventua4y, Bullock Head Creek was reached, the tents were put up practically by the roadside, and Edgar and I walked into Kiandra to purchase flour, rice and a bottle of cider, for tomorrow is Edgarts birthday and we hope to celebrate along the track. Arrived back at camp it looked as though we were in for a rough night, so after a good vegetable stew (not the sort one gets on board a French liner either, thank goodness) for tea, we dug around the tents so that we would feel secure from being washed out of our beds, and having satisfied ourselves that all the guys were secure, we bedded down for the night, happy in our feeling of well being and security, and blissfully listening to the wind singing through the telegraph wires - there are only two of them - the only contact Kiandra has with the outside world for four months of the year. In the morning some letters were written, much readjustment of weight was done, and we proceeded along to Kiandra Township and posted our letters in the most original Post Office I have ever seen - the letter box consisting of a hole in the mall of a house, covered by a slab of wood, diamond shaped, with a wood peg for it to swing on affixed to the wall. Tacked along the wall in well usecb nail holes (probably the same nail holes were used 50 years ago) were many Miners' rights. We had earlier inspected one of these mining camps, and had been told that the H20 required for sluicing out the overburden and gravel had to be carried by pipes from over 12 miles away, and that nothing had yet been won from the field, but soon much alluvial gold was expected. Always the same story - “soon much was expected.” (2) CHRISTMAS ON TBE TOPS. The keen wind added to an alpine sun at about 5,000 feet had just about rendered the back of Brenda's knees, and therefore Brenda, hors de combat; furthermore it was Christmas Day, and Edgar was going to cook the precious pudding that Reg had so-carefully carried umpteen miles, so having spent the morning exploring, bathing and sunning ourselves in the snow stream below Dicky Cooper hut, the rest of us set off for the Dicky Cooper Bogong directly above us about 2000 ft. It was a long, hard climb to the rocky top where we ate snow and recuperated. From Dicky Cooper the range and the track are shown on our maps as continuing straight across to Gungartan. Well, there isn't any track, and believe me the range does not. The saddle between them (which by the way has water running across it to the east to the GUngarlin River (Good fishing in 1933) a tributary of the Snowy, and to the west into the Murray), is fully 1500 ft. below Dicky Cooper, and from here it is a good 1500 ft. up again to Gungartan - but what a climb - not 5 yards clear without a patch of nasty, hard, scratching, prickly (and I could call it a lot of other adjectives) heath; and for hundreds of yards on end nothing else - it is a wonder anything was left of the skin on our legs after that struggle. Arrived in sight of the trig Reg and I made a dash for it, Reg proudly being the first to reach the summit of Gungartan, Marj and Win (who was so pleased at my discomfort after the descent from Dicky Cooper) bringing up the rear. No, we didn't see the tin hut wherein Hellyer spent some time last year during the snow season, but we found a very big drift of snow on which we enjoyed ourselves immensely. Having joyously tired ourselves out, we headed for home and proceeded somewhat to the right of Dicky Cooper, eventually to arrive at the hut by a longer but less strenuous route around the base of the Bogong, there to partake of a most wonderful Xmas Dinner, and later to be regaled with song by Edgar till we fell asleep listening to his melodious croonings of Gilbert & Sullivan airs in the hut wherein many people have sheltered and scrawled the history of the place around the walls. (3) “INHERE THE AIR IS CLEAR AS CRYSTAL”. We had the usual salad for lunch - raw but week old carrot, beet, swede, celery, tomatoes, (how I long for them now with nothing but greasy French food to eat) ate some snow and pushed on, encountering sheep fences laid low by the weight of snow that had been pushed against them, (they were strong, light, all-steel fences, too), and on rounding a corner suddenly - Aht we are at last in sight of some known landmark even if it is only Kosci. We push on to Twynam and the Blue Lake - (I had a swim in it this year, very cold indeed, and chased duck right around the sides in a vain endeavour to make them rise. Don't try it - the sides are very rough) past Hedley Tarn, (there are no fish in either), and down over Tarn Creek to a clump of trees between the Tarn and. the -12 - Snowy at about the level of Charlotte Pass:, We camped there on the side of a 'hill at an angle of about 300 - try it in a bell tent - it's good keeping the pegs in and the tent up with a breeze blowing at 6000 ftl Bill Purnell. NATTAI TRIP, JUNE, 1933, WITH M. BEERY & F. MoKENZIE. (More from the Diary of Chas. Pryde.) On Tuesday evening, 30th. May, Maurie called to see what I was doing over the King's Birthday week-end. I suggested a wander through Kuring-gai Chase, but he pooh-poohed that and said he had a more ambitious project - that was, to do some exploring on the Nattai Tableland, with Fred McKenzie as third member of the party, to which I at once agreed. I'd heard a lot about Fred at differ, ent times from various people, but had never met him. Arrangements were made to go out on the 8.40 p.m. train on Friday night, but at 6 p.m. Maurie called in to say that he could not get away that night owing to work, but would go the next morning. I had all packed and was dressed ready to start except for my tea. Great consternation: However, it could not be helped so we arranged to meet the next morning and go to Couridjah and then dawn Blue Gum Creek and Little River and so to the Tableland. SATURDAY - 3rd. June: On the move at 6 a.m. and caught 7.24 boat and got to Station at 7.55. Had a look round for the others, although I did not expect to see them as I was well before my time. On the indicator saw about a train at 9.45 but nothing of the 8.50 as arranged, so began to wonder and consulted a time table. I was under the impression that Maurie told me the train was at 8.50, but the table said 7.50, so there was a misunderstanding somewhere. Sent wire to the Station Master at Picton asking him to tell the others to wait and so let them know I was on the way. Got comfortably settled in a corner seat of a smoker and the carriage gradually filled. A girl, by herself, came along and sat next to me and after changing from shoes to slippers and doing up her face etc., produced a cigarette. After some time she got out a tin of ointment and a bandage and fixed up some sores on her hand. I had the pleasure of tying the bandage and then she borrowed my paper. At Picton saw the Station Master and heard he had given the wire to the guard of the loop line train. By this time the main train had gone on and there would not be another on the loop until 4.30 p.m., so decided to walk to Couridjah mad chance getting a lift. I'd only gone a few yards along the main road when a car with two men came along and I stopped them and they very decently took me as far as Bargo Bridge. Then, just as I was starting along the cross road a butcher's oar came and I got taken right to Couridjah Station. On crossing the line I could not see any sign of life, but away through the trees a peculiar grey shape showed, so I let out a mighty yell and presently two figures started dancing dbout. It was Maurie and Fred'. They got my wire at Couridjah Stn., and decided to wait there and if I did not turn up to go home again that night, and spend the interval sleeping. I arrived about two hours before their earliest expectations. After mutual explanations we had lunch and started for Blue Gum Creek at 1,35 p.m. Made good time and camped at 4.45 about 1 miles below the junction of Little River. We were all struck with the beauty of a lot of the Blue Gums and Iron Barks, although -13- wed all been over the ground several times before. Had a good meal and sai; round a huge fire until 10 p.m. yarning and singing. Maurie had his mouth organ going. Nice moon showing until now, but just as we turned in it got a peculiar ring round and looked very misty. Naurie had the middle position in the tent and he and Fred snapped at one another for a good while about the clothes. Fred maintained that he was not getting his full share, while Maurie growled that they were being pulled off him. Poor Charlie on the other side had to lie still and listen to the argument and shiver while the clothes were being pulled off him. SUNDAY, 4th. JUNE: Woke to find a dull grey morning with light rain. Breakfast about 8 a.m. Great arguments in tent on compass work and photography while a shower was an. Then when it cleared off, we had a competition in photography taking the camp site - points to be allowed for composition, clearness etc. Left our spare gear in tent, but took our packs with lunch, capes, etc., and went dawn the Golden Moon Creek. Had some very heavy showers and while at lunch had to make a shelter with our capes and some sticks. There seemed to be quite a number of lyre birds about mad a fair variety of other kinds. We wandered up the Creek for a good distance, and while Maurie returned down the bed, Fred and I took to one of the spurs and ran down it to the junction of the Nattai. Some very fine trees about, particularly Iron Barks. On the way back to camp heard voices in the bed of the river and on investigating found a troop of Boy Scout53 crashing through the heavy stuff. They had lost the track some distance up and were having a hard time. They had left Couridjah that morning and were making for Rileyls, but some of the little fellows were about done out. We got back to camp about 5 p.m. and had tea as soon as possible, Had a good fire at night and got our things dried out. Fred played a dirty trick by going to bed before us mad safety pinning himself into the blankets. MONDAY, 5th. JUNE: Broke camp at 9 a.m. and went to junction of Blue Gum Creek where we left our packs and went up left bank of Little River for a few miles, and then crossed over and came down the right bank. Very rough travelling. There are some magnificent trees - Iron Bark, Box, Blue and Grey Gums. The The Eriostemon and Boronia are beginning to bloom and one patch of the former will be a splendid sight in a week's time. The Wattle blooms are just beginning to form. There are a number of very fine staghorns and rock lilies, Got some photos of the river and came back to our gear, which we found had been disturbed. Maurie had the tin of milk and it had been spilleditt Had lunch and started for Couridjah at 2035 p.m. Made good going and arrived at 5.45. Wondered whose all the footprints were that we saw, and near station heard voices and saw a fire among the trees. Found two ywaggies had a good fire in the waiting room so we had tea in comfort. Maurie and I shaved. About 8.30 pom, a mob of Bushwalkers crowded into the waiting room, They had been down Nattai River from Hill Top and we had some great exchange of information - it was they who had disturbed our packs. Plenty of room in train and we all got comfortably seated. Had good run to Sydney but arrived some minutes late. We all agreed that weld had a real good trip although we did not get done what we'd set out to do, but that may be for another time. EIGHT HOUR WEEK-END WITH THE WATER DIVINERS. by Barney. The Illustrious Order of Water Diviners once more held its annual picnic with much success, this time on the Narrow Neck near Katoomba. For days beforehand the members had religiously invoked their particular deity and the result exceeded the wildest expectations - so much so in fact, that several life members of the Order were inadvertently carried off by the tide in a northerly -14- direction from the Camp at Diamond Falls, but little anxiety was felt for their safety as all were tood swimmers, and anyway we later received Information from a traveller on his way from the railway that they had eventually reached Katoomba wharf and were waiting for the next outward bound.. Apart from the above slight disarrangement of plans, the time was spent in a most Interesting manner, for much that was new in the sphere of natural history was learned, and the Fire Lighters with their impedimenta (contained in a tiny box and carefully guarded), gave a very fine display of their powers and were greatly applauded. The camp was pitched on a beautiful stony surface at the summit of a large hill and about 10 feet below a dark cloud which was squeezed almost dry by the middle of next day. There have been many occasions when, for a drink of water we would have given our very souls, but on this occasion Allah was good to IA Water Diviners, and for water we only had to feel outside our tents or underneath our ground sheets. There was also a beautiful mist which covered all with its glamourous tendrils, and lent an added charm to the ghostly forms of the Diviners at a distance of several feet. Visibility at that was decidedly poor. The scenery was simply marvellous. Away westward and southward swept the Valleys of Kaiimbla and Megalong many hundreds of feet below; we know this because we have been there before in a drought period. Early on Sunday morning I was awakened by the sound of waves breaking perilously close, and on dashing to the port hole - I mean the tent door - was entranced at the sight of the Fire Queen arraye* all her glory - a diving suit and one match - perched on a life buoy and vigorously making fire with one hand while with the other she commanded the waters to recede. The fire won and was followed by a period of ingurgitation. The provisions sank almost to nothing, and later we leaped and splashed our way to another camp further north, known as Dingbat Overhang. Here we made our headquarters for the next day and a half and came into contact with numbers of the wilder and lesser known species of fauna which inhabit that particular part of the mountains. Luckily we had in our party Mr. Horace Trout, a learned professor of Hebrew and one of the foremost authorities on hoop snakes, ding- bats, and that famous bird the swivel-bellied waffle tit which, as every one knows, lives on butterflies and house garbage - a truly excellent scavenger and very useful to the country. There is, I believe, a fine of a shilling a hundred, for killing or mutilating them. Professor Trout, as I say, enlarged upon the life histories of many of the tiny creatures which we came across and we learnt so much that is not generally known about them, that I feel impelled to pass; the knowledge on to all of you who are devoted to the cause of natural history. Happily there were many ding-bats to be found in crevices and the Professor was able to illustrate his self-imposed lecture with numerous actual Observations from nature. The ding-bat appealed to us more than any of the other strange creatures, tnasmuoh as it appears so pitifully inadequate to deal with lifets pitfalls. Its life cycle seems so useless - yet how typical of the lives of many humans It lays three-cornered eggs with great effort, and is mature at the age of nine days; a most peculiar feature is that the eggs must be laid carefully with two corners sticking in the ground and the third in the air. Thus the baby ding-bat commences its unhappy existence the right wmy up for his feet are in the bottom corners and his head in the upper. After two days he begins to get restless, and soon, with thin thread-like cries- of “ding, ding, ding,” he commences to jump up and down in the shell, till eventually he leaps through the top and lies blinking in the sun - if there is any. After a period of intensive inactivity his real life begins – and what a life! Slowly he rises In the air and oiroles round to the cry of “ding.” He only circles five times, -15- for on the fifth circle he is overcome with an insatiable urge to fly into something solid, with the result that he falls senseless to the ground. Whenever he hits something, the impact causes a soft *batting” sound – hence the name, ding-bat. Upon recovering consciouaness the ding-bat again rises and commences once more to circle: “ding, ding, ding, ding, ding-bat”, and often you hear a faint plop as he falls to the ground. It is all very pitiful, especially when you realise that the larger the ding-bat grows the larger the circle he flies, until he propels himself with such velocity against some object that he *brains“ himself. What tragedyl I must introduce the Professor to my friend Mr. Marshall, who, I am sure, would feel sorry for the ding-bats. We also came across a few wiffle ditties and snoop-snoops. The former are allied' to the fungus beetle but also possess many of the attributes of the tongue-tied lung tit. For hours the wiffle dittie will sit an a branch or stone staring into vacancy - or perhaps it is the future. Then suddenly without may warning he will blink his eyes four times and fly off at a tangent. He has never been known to miss the tangent. The snoop-snoop is a sort of ground Weevil with a propensity for nesting in clothes such as socks, bootlaces, washingwup cloths, and hats. When disturbed it crawls round and round emitting a pungent odour until thrown out or lost. If crushed or broken it becomes more pungent than ever, henoe it should be kindly treated. A spoonful of milk or a jelly bean will often win its confidence. The above are just a few of the many interesting notes which I made after the Professor had finished, and although he spoke also of the dog slug, and the peewit leech, and on seven; kinds of honey flea, to mention only a few of his many tiny friends, space and time will not permit my recounting their histories more fully, here. The Professor after his lecture was very tired, and repeatedly complained of a fan-tod which persisted in glaring at him from the gloom at the back of the rooks. We couldn't see him ourselves but the Professor said that he was a bright pink with a blue nose, green garters, mad a straw hat, mnd on looking closely at the Professor AT found to our amazement that he was sound asleep. And soon we all were toot Monday was what some people call “beautifully fine” between 1 o'clock and half past one, but taking it by and large Allah still kept us in mind, and we spent a happy day squelching over to the Ruined Castle and back, The Professor by this time was quite recovered, but reftsed to discuss 'animals or birds with us or to even hunt up a wiffle-ditty, but as evening approached he was again his old self, and later, as AT floundered towards the wharf preparatory to returning home, he was once more deep in a controversy with us as to whether fowl-houses were fit and proper receptacles for sleeping professors. The ayes had it by four votes to one, and just before blood began to flow, whom should we meet but the Bargers, who caused a diversion by holding their noses and making rude noises. In dignified silence AT consumed ten pies, not deigning to reply, and soon were ensconced in a large airy cabin bound for the Port of Sydney, thinking regretfully of all the beautiful muddy water we were leaving behind, and the long weary months to wait before we can once more hold our annual carnival. -16- HOSPITALITY IN THE SOUTH. To introduce oneself over the 'phone and have things entirely arranged by a person unknown, was the enviable experience of one of the Sydney Bushwalkers while recently in Melbourne. The Melbourne Walking Club has an arrangement with the S.BX. to extend to any visiting member the privileges If honorary membership. This was done, but with what charm, what friendliness, what all-embracing hospitalityl On Friday I attended the regular weekly luncheon and met several of the members of the special snow trip, but not the leader. The air of bush-fellowship was much in evidence, and offers of gear, etc. On Saturday at 1.30 I met the leader and the other eight members of the party at a street corner, unmistakable with their businesslike rue-sacks and ski. The leader was the essence of caution, with the dash and hardihood of vigorous youth, tempered with kindliness and understanding - to Bushwalkors a sort of hybrid Roots-Dunphy. Just a little over 2 hours later the Hudson sedan put out its occupants into 3 feet of snow. The driver took the oar back into Warburton, to return again on Sunday evening for the skiers. Up packs, and on foot for the last few hundred feet to the simmit, and the ski-run. Despite constant tuition in skiing, the tendeney to remain upright was lacking. A guide escorted me to the top of an ice-covered tower, and in the best Bushwalker style named all the peaks on the horizon. The night was spent at the Walking Club's hut. This is large and commodious, and is equipped with many of the unexpected things of camp life - stools and table, chaff bag bunks for nine, washbasins, and other home comforts, Including a liberal supply of wood. After tea Jim Wheeler caused quite a deal Of noise on the roof. He had clambered on top, and was moving the 2 feet of snow and ice. Later, this somehow caused the ohimney to smoke badly. Some of the boys skied from 8 o'clock till well after midnight, on the perfect snow, and in full moonlight. The whole of Sunday WAS spent on skis, with more or leas success. The return trip was made back to Melbourne in the Sedan, with a stop for tea at a wayside house well after dark, so as to give a longer time on the snow. The party disbanded on arriving back at Melbourne, having treated the “stranger in its midst” with unbounded good fellowship, and with that nine disregard for conventionality which is begat of sincerity. Truly a delightful manner of showing the warm-heartedness of the *boys in the South”, and so genuine that it is difficult to show adequate appreciation. M. Bacon. ABORIGINAL PLACE-NAMES. Some months ago it suddenly struck me that, of those places haunted by Bushwalkers, Mountain Trailers and all those who leave the beaten track to see Nature at her best, of these places at least fifty per cent still possessed, either officially or unofficially, the names bestowed on them by those who were the original Bushwalkers of this country - the Australian Abos. I realised then that my knowledge of those people was very limited. I knew that they were black, did not live in brick houses and did. not speak English and that was about all. I have since learned a little more about their habits, ceremonies and a little about their language, or, I should say, languages; for apparently there are (orwere) as many of the latter as their are nations in this world, and each one as different from the others as Pure English from Pure Australian. I decided to restrict my study of place names to those areas only which were much frequented by those reading this article. I drew up a long list of names and set out to discover their hidden meanings by hook or by crook. But I was met by disappointment everywhere. I found that there were volumes and volumes - in fact whole libraries devoted to the Subject of the native languages and place names, but apparently those in which I was interested were unknown to the many authors, and I was rewarded with only about twenty per cent of the translations I sought. Another reason for the lack of information was the fact that these particular localities, especially those in various parts of the Blue Mountains, were not permanent habitats of any tribe, and that any names given by the natives in these regions were given only by tribes passing from one hunting ground to a “better Tole”; in consequence they were now very difficult to trace. I discovered amongst other things that the Abo was not an entirely materialistic person, like some of our own Bushwalkers, but was capable, at certain times, of connecting prominent features in the country with the aesthetic in life. If we can take his modern prototypes as examples, we will probably conclude that these moments were after the consumption of a good day's “bag,” when lying before the fire (“abo” fashion) he had nothing to do but appreciate such abstract matters. (I had better not continue in this strain for long. Two - or more - can play at this game, and I might probably be starved on my next outing with the “prototypes”.) Here are some of the translations and you may call them what you will - materialistic: aesthetic or otherwise:- HUNDANOON - a place of deep gullies. DUCKMALOI -'a bar of rocks in a stream. WATTAMOLLA - a place near running water. And. now some connected, with personal COLONG - a wombat. WOMBEYAN'- caves in the hills. NATTAI - water. BURRAGORANG - a tribe who wore nose-pins. KOWMUNG - sore eyes. MORONG - bleak or cold. WARRIGAL -wild. comforts and discomforts:- MOORILLA a pebbly ridge. MENANGLE - a swamp. COLO - a species of possum. EUROKA - the sun. There is another class in which the name has been derived from the geographical features of the locality:- BULGA - a single hill or mountain. BULLI - two. (referring to Mt.Kiera TALLONG - a tongue or peninsula. and Mt.Kembla). And this one could be either geographical or cannibalistic in origin:- BUDTHINGEROO - human hip-joint. Many of the names one encounters on the new Southern Blue Mountains map were not, I believe, given by the natives. I think the curious should refer to Myles for information on this district. However, many names in this locality have been obtained from Barallier's records, and are names of Aborigines encountered by him on his memorable exploratory trip. -18- For instance:- Goondel, Mcotik, Bungin and Bulgin were members of the Nattai tribes and acted as guides to Barallier. Wheengeewhungee was the name of a young native girl of.the same district. Here are a few more meanings I have obtained recently:- COWAN - 'big water. PATONGA - a small wallaby. WOYWOY - deep water. NTRONG - camping ground. COMBOYNE - female aborigine. And so endeth the first lesson. I would be very glad if anyone could provide me with translations of any of the following:'- Era (is it aboriginal?), Bundeena, Kanangra (or Konangaroo), Megalong, Galong, Thurat, Gangerang, Berowra, WarragaMba, Wollondi4y, Cullenbenbong, Guouogang, Gingra, Tonalli, Yerranderie, Mouia, Teeth and Kitosh, Kooroogama, Gullallil, Bindook, Barge, Queahgong, Marooba-Karoo, Mumbedah, Curracurrang and Curracurrong. Norm. Rodd. SOCIAL NOTES. Once again, on 18th. August, we had the pleasure of hearing Mr. Jock Marshall speak to us on his favourite subject of Australia's Wonder Birds, and as usual it was a thoroughly enjoyable evening for all. On the following Friday, Mr. T.A. Iredale entertained us with very fine views and exceedingly amusing remarks on Lord Howe Island. This subject is one of great interest to most Members and there was consequently a large roll up. The 15th. September brought along about 20 or 25 Members of the Gilbert lc Sullivan Society, who sang for us and otherwise entertained us right royally. On the 22nd. Charlie Kilpatrick showed the Members some old snaps of themselves taken in what has come to be regarded as almost prehistoric times, at any rate in regard to the Club's walking. We have to congratulate Dot Staff and John Hellyer on their recent engagement. We wish them the very best of health and happiness, with wealth thrown in, during their life together. Two other members who have followed the above example are Di Hearfield and Noel Griffiths, and we extend to them also our very heartiest congratulations and best wishes Everything is going swimmingly gor the 6th. Annual Concert. Members are asked) to secure their tickets as soon as possible, and not to forget the booking opens on the 23rd. October at 12 o'clock; Also would those appearing in the Concert make a point of keeping the week-end October 28th. and 29th. free for a Concert Rehearsal, as it is absolutely necessary that there be not one single absentee. R.D. Browne, Social Secretary-. STOP PRESS. The Season was opened at Era last week-end, last season's costumes being well in evidence.