A monthly bulletin of matters of interest to the Sydney Bush Walkers, C/- Ingersoll Hall, 256 Crown St., Sydney.
|Editor||Jim Brown, 103 Gipps St, Drummoyne|
|Sales and Subs.||Jess Martin|
|Typed by||Jean Harvey|
|Production and Business Manager||Brian Harvey (JW1462)|
|Editorial - Best Interests of the Public||1|
|At the July General Meeting||3|
|Winning Wives for Walkers||Roy Bruggy||6|
|Gloucester to Barrington||Ern French||8|
|Corroboree and Wild Flower Walk||12|
|Social Notes - August||12|
|The Case for Thursday||Jim Brown||14|
|Report on The National Parks of Victoria||Allen A. Strom||15|
|Federation Notes - July Meeting||Allen Strom||19|
|Scenic Motor Tours||3|
|Siedlecky's Taxi and Tourist Service||7|
|Leica Photo Service||11|
|The Sanitarium Health Food Shop||13|
|Keeping Warm In Winter - Paddy's Advertisement||20|
In formally notifying the Club of his intention to add the resumed Era lands to The National Park, the Minister for Lands states that various individuals and organisations submitted proposals which were “widely at variance, but all have merited thorough investigation”. However, “the circumstances of the case are such that the paramount point for consideration can only be the best interests of the public as a whole”, and he has decided “the best interests of the public generally can be served by vesting control of the resumed lands in The National Park.
We would, of course, have preferred to see the Era lands amalgamated with Garawarra Park, and have repeatedly represented our case to the Lands Department. One cannot judge from the Minister's letter whether he infers that administration by Garawarra Park Trust would be inimical to the “interests of the public”. Most probably, however, his viewpoint is that The National Park Trust is experienced in handling a recreational area used by large numbers, and should therefore be fitted to employ the additional lands for what he regards as the greatest possible benefit of the public.
To our minds, the record of The National Park Trust has not been particularly impressive. Bearing in mind that The National Park was dedicated with a conservational as well as a recreational purpose, it it is not reassuring to note that portions of the Park have been suffered to become rubbish dumps, that playing fields have been made in areas once noted for their wild flowers, and that gravel for road-making and standing timber have been taken from the park in areas close to habitation. Perhaps, by opening roads, the Trust has catered for a section of the public, but by that same action it has driven away other people who find their recreation in unspoiled places. The public, whose best interests have to be served, should mean all citizens, not only a majority, yet the latter appears to be the interpretation of The National Park Trust.
At the same time, we must acknowledge that we were happy enough to see the resumption of Era and, if the lands were not to be placed under the control of Garawarra, then probably The National Park is the next best thing. It is just possible that the Minister can be persuaded to amend the boundary between The National Park and Garawarra to the more logical Burgh Ridge, between Burning Palms and Era: so far as Era is concerned, we can now only be vigilant and vocal if any attempt is made to “improve” one of the few remaining near-primitive beaches within a hundred miles of Sydney.
The Minister's decision does indicate, however, that there is a lack of appreciation of the nature of primitive and near-primitive regions, and of the types of administration which they demand. Perhaps one lesson we should learn from the addition of Era to The National Park is to re-orient our own attitude in seeking resumptions and reservations.
The Conservation Secretary has suggested, for instance, that we should try to reach agreement with other conservation bodies an a definition of “primitive area”, and seek its acceptance by the Government Departments concerned. With this basic point settled we should perhaps be in a stronger position in the future to draw a distinction between reserves which are established for preservation of flora and fauna or as vital catchment areas, and those which are set aside “for the greatest public use”.
Federation Ball - 14th September - Paddington Town Hall.
Search and Rescue Practice Weekend - 19/20 September.
Friday, 10th July, had been a damp cold day in Sydney, and there had been heavy snowfalls on the local highlands, but about sixty of the old firm were present to have their feet chilled by one of the longest meetings in recent times. We had time to notice that the new drinking vessels were present also before things got under way with the introduction of Alastair (Al) Robieson to the Club, followed a little later by the addition of Eric Adcock.
During reading of the minutes a tumult sounded on the stairs, and we thought the Noises Off Club was having a revival: the President deserted his post to open the door for them, and they crept with cat-like tread to seats. We wandered if they had been initiating the Club's drinking vessels, but fear it was less distinguished glassware. A couple of brief queries, and the reading of a portion of the Minister for Lands' Era letter, brought us quickly to General Business, and announcements of the Half-Yearly General in September (constitutional amendments to be ready for the August Committee) and the Colour Slide Exhibition for late August, judging of entries to be done in advance by the Photographic Association of N.S.W.
If you have ever been present for debates on purchase of a new projector screen and the conservational deficiencies of Boy Scouts you can now spare your eyes and go on to other material in this magazine.
Dormie moved that we buy a modern beaded screen and, if total cost did not exceed £50, a cooling device for the projector. He said we might as well try to “resurrect the Pyramids” as persevere with the existing screen, which needed a working bee to set it up. A bearded (no, beaded) screen like Bill Rodgers' would cost about £21. At this stage the motion was split, and we dealt first with the screen only.
Ken Meadows thought the price would be higher - nearer £27, and Jim Hooper mentioned a new variety of screen being developed for 3-D work, costing about £15. Bill Cosgrove questioned the size of the screen, and the President believed Bill Rodgers' was 54” x 42“. Alex Colley moved that the whole proposal be referred to a select committee.
Frank Rigby thought 70 per cent of our present holding in cash was too much to expend, and Neil Schafer asked if our present screen really was worthless. At this stage Kevin Ardill, who had heard it all before, made his excuses and departed the meeting. Bill Cosgrove said the present screen was a strain on the eyes, when no slide was in the machine it was also a disadvantage to the projectionist to operate behind the screen, and Brian Harvey agreed that the screen didn't do justice to slides, and if we could spend £30 on a party, we should be ready to buy a screen.
Tom Moppett questioned if the matter was already under consideration, and the President on being invited to relate his investigations said that the beaded type screen gave brilliance but a small angle of vision (about 36-degrees for best results). A flat, white matt screen would give almost equal reflection coupled with a viewing angle of about 120-degrees. The storage problem would remain. Tom Moppett then supported Alex Colley's amendment because of the numerous possibilities.
Dormie replied, saying that he adhered to his original motion, and if our money was tied up in bonds, it should be “unbonded” and made liquid (was there silent applause from the revellers?). A select committee would “be at one another's throats”. Finally the amendment was carried, and after four names had been received, it was decided to limit the committee - to three, no, to six, no, to seven on a motion by Roy Bruggy so that there should be a certain majority. We elected Allan Hardie, the President, Ken Meadows, Bill Rodgers, Jim Hooper, the Secretary and Bill Cosgrove, and charged them to report to the next General Meeting.
We came to the cooling device, and it was evident that there was opposition. Dormie said the projector may scorch members' slides, but several members argued that a cooling fan wasn't necessary, and Alan Wilson made the point that a 500-watt projector with fan was no cooler than ours (a 250-watt) without. Finally, this was also passed over to the select committee.
Alex Colley moved that the Conservation Secretary write the Minister for Conservation, calling attention to the shambles in Wollemi Creek (see July editorial), and pointing to the apparent disregard of the provisions of Section 26D of the Water Act. The Wollemi-Putty Creeks would give evidence of what could happen with indiscriminate timber cutting: motion carried. Bill Cosgrove suggested our Federation delegates try to stir up the dormant Blue Mountains National Park project.
Now the Scouts were for it! Bill Cosgrove mentioned the display in the windows of the Scout Shop advertising a booklet on bushcraft. Bush beds, tables and a kennel-like affair “big enough to hold a lion” were on show. He thought we should point out to the Movement that this was contrary to conservation principles. The President pointed out that personal representations could be made, then Frank Ashdown commented that we used much timber ourselves, for instance in the Blue Gum working bee, and should put our own house in order. Betty Sisley pointed out it was dead wood at Blue Gum, and Betty Hall thought the personal approach best. Bill Henley said removal of dead wood reduced the fire risk, and Neil Schafer argued that we couldn't overlook the display, which seemed definitely opposed to conservation. Alex Colley remarked that scout camps were growing barer and barer, and Dormie moved as an amendment that the Conservation Secretary personally contact the Scouts, endeavouring to find out what lay behind the booklet and the display. Scouts were inchoate walkers, he said, trained in certain crafts, but not clear how they should be used, and sometimes they were vandals.
Vera Matasin suggested that they were not vandals by nature, but short of leaders, and if more walkers became scoutmasters the scouts may be better conservationists. She was roundly applauded. Tom Moppett said the whole thing was worth investigation, and he was prepared to make a direct approach. The gag was applied and the amended motion carried.
Dormie complained of the conduct of leaders, and the President pointed out that certain reasons were considered sufficient for a leader to cancel a walk - among them the presence of only one starter. Dormie suggested a code of ethics for leaders, but the motion failed. Len Scotland suggested a code for members going on walks, but the President ruled the motion facetious, and closed the meeting at 9.40 just as our feet froze hard.
Normal Bus Service from Richmond to Kurrajong Heights - Wheeney Gap - Wheeney Creek - Dollins Track - Kurrajong - Rough - 14 miles - Test Walk.
(Last time some of you may recall the amount of endeavour we had in getting OUT of Wheeney Creek. Who sat in the creek with her pack on? Who laughed, took photographs, then fell in himself? … On August 16th it is hoped to find a more gracious mode of exit, instead of adopting the fly technique.)
Leader: Jim Hooper. 'Phone XM6001.
The “Farewell - to England” party to be held at Euroka on 11/12th July was cancelled owing to a stroke of very bad luck. Joan Cordell, in whose honour the party was to be held, was put to bed on the Friday morning with chicken pox! Here's hoping that by the time this is printed Joan is well over her sickness, and well and truly on the high seas. Bon voyage, Joan.
By Roy Bruggy.
How many active young male walkers are lost to the bushwalking cause due to the lack of eligible young bushwalking females? This article is designed to assist such young males.
We will assume to begin with, that the male concerned has searched in vain for a lass of his choice; the time has then come for him to explore the field of non-walking females. But, one might say, the girls outside the walking fraternity are not interested in bushwalking, only string bag picnics and the like. What hope has one of inducing one of these types to the walking field? To that, I say, rubbish! With a little practice, possibilities can be readily picked from the field. So long as one has a singleness of purpose in mind, and works along the lines advised, success can be assured.
Hint No.1: Fraternise freely with the opposite sex. Obviously a bushwalking type of girl cannot be obtained unless one first finds a girl.
Hint No.2: When you meet a girl don't make bushwalking the entire topic of conversation: in fact, the first couple of meetings the less bushwalking is talked about the better, but as time goes on gradually introduce it more and more into the conversation.
Hint No.3: When introducing bushwalking into the conversation, don't start off by telling her of your trips across the Blue Labyrinth, Kanangra Walls and back in two days, etc., or she may do some serious thinking as to your sanity. Ratter, start by talking about Euroka, Blue Gum, Lake Eckersley, O'Hares Creek, etc., then perhaps talk of the less sane section of your nature.
Hint No.4: Find out if she has a good knowledge of cooking. If the findings are in the negative, then do not proceed with investigations, as this point is of supreme importance.
Well, now, we will assume that the spare part concerned has found a young lady and after several dates finds that she is completely disinterested in walking: then that first failure can be put down to experience. After that another subject is found: she may also be completely disinterested and so the elementary process of mixing freely with the opposite sex goes on.
To start with, it does not matter one iota whether the girls concerned appear to be interested or not, as all this mixing with the opposite sex goes to improve your knowledge of female psychology, which is very important in achieving the final result. Remember, the man who has never made a mistake has never made anything.
This primary step may take many months, possibly years, but will not interfere to any noticeable degree with your normal activities.
Finally, after an amount of practice, a girl is found whom you consider will make an ideal walking companion. Then the next process of introducing her to walking and then to the Club begins. This is the most important job of all, as a clumsy approach to this job could mean failure. It may mean keeping company with her for about three months, or more, before even bringing her into the Club, or the bush. The time will depend on the girl concerned, but when she is first introduced to the bush, don't take her to a place like Blue Bum Forest, because by the time she descends into the valley by way of Perry's or Govett's, she will be reduced to a “knock kneed twirp” and not likely to come out again: rather, take her to a place like Euroka Clearing, which appears to be made just for that purpose.
If you are beginning around January or February, you are very fortunate, as she can be introduced to O'Hare's Creek, Lake Eckersley, etc., and the joys of a swim before breakfast (???). From there it's Euroka, Blue Gum, and then to the usual stamping grounds. Once again, if failure is encountered at this stage don't despair, it was a good try anyway, as a good time was had in the process, but start all over again looking for some one else.
Persistence will assure success — mine did!
Colin Putt, with a mathematical turn of mind, noted the number of ounces gained in a week by his infant. He computes that, at the present rate of gain, his daughter will attain the weight of one ton at 94 years of age.
By Ern French.
As we alighted at Gloucester at 6.30 a.m. on Easter Friday we were greeted by splendid weather and an amused knot of fellow passengers who watched the operation of fitting seven men and six rucksacks into a Holden.
The thirty miles or so north to Curricabark is through pleasant country and the road is fairly good, but some of the splash crossings would be difficult if the creeks were up.
At Curricabark we made ourselves known to the householder, and asked for information. Our first objective was a Mr. Carter's property on the banks of the Pigna Barney River. We were told that a car track ran off through a paddock a little way back, and went up across the range and into the valley of the Pigna Barney. The distance was variously given as 3 to 9 miles. One member of the household expressed the opinion that the Carter's property might be visible from the ridge top and, as there was a long and easy-looking spur directly ahead of us, we decided to go straight for it. We then repaired to the nearby creek and had a very late breakfast.
Under intense sunlight, the climb to the ridge was very warm work, though easy going. No sign of habitation was visible, but the extensive view showed the ridges as we had anticipated, and the sound of a “dog” howling somewhere below led us to believe that the Carter's were not far away, so, slipping off the west side of the ridge, we made our way down. A few minutes later we came upon two dingoes securely held in great ugly-looking traps. Little regard though one may have for dingoes, the sight of animals being done to death in this fashion is repulsive.
Half an hour's movement in a west to south-west direction brought us to a low saddle, and two scouts ascending brought back news of habitation beyond. This was the valley of the Pigna Barney, and we dropped our packs on a grassy bank near a well kept stockyard and hut.
As it was approaching 3 p.m. and we had slept little the previous night, we were loth to pass this delightful spot, as the next stage of our trip would mean a steady rise in altitude, and some uncertainty as to the conditions to be encountered. The sudden appearance of two horsemen cut short our discussion, and thinking this must surely be Mr. Carter and Co., we hurried to greet them. We were wrong, however - the Carter's place was some miles further up the valley.
The chief of the two was a cattleman owning several blocks thereabouts. A quiet, slow-speaking chap, he knew the country right through, and gave us all the information we required. Some falls on the Upper Manning had been included in our plans, but these he described as of minor interest. He told us of other cascades and falls of some 300-ft. or so which adjoined a block of his which we would pass the next day. The falls, being very well concealed in a deep cleft, could easily be passed by unless one knew where to look.
We decided to stay put, and spent the next two hours of glorious sunlight making camp and bathing in this fine stream, and after tea my five companions were soon abed. I stayed up till a full moon silvered the valley, and then I too to bed. Sound and restful sleep closed our first day.
Next morning we crossed the road and took a track which runs up a spur to the south-west and, after about one hour, we found the cleared block we had been told about, and sure enough there were the cascades at a distance of half a mile, but on the opposite side of a deep gully. No sign of the falls, but following directions we went down the spur for several hundred yards, and the top portion came into view. They have cut back deeply into the rock face and are visible only from a fairly narrow angle. Dormie went a considerable way down and reported thick jungle with the bottom of the falls still obscured.
The way, as directed, was via the cascades, with a tricky approach in the final stage. They looked so attractive that fine morning, and there was a strong urge to go see, but reluctantly we realised that time would not permit.
Sticking to the ridge top, and following a wire fence, we pushed on till lunch at a spot where an old road comes in, which we followed afterwards. About mid-afternoon we left the road and reached the rim of the heights overlooking the Gummi, a main tributary of the Manning. Descending, we gained the plain, and avoiding some swampy paths (a bad area this in heavy weather) reached the river at a point where stands a house and apple trees. Fine apples, too!
Following the river we pushed on till sunset, camping eventually in the dark. It became apparent here that several of the party have strong objections to walking and camping in the dark. If they had but foreseen what was to happen next night!
However, cheery fires and hot food quieted these turbulent souls and then, gathered about our fire, we went with Frank Leyden to Europe. We climbed in Switzerland and Austria, wondered at the skill and endurance of guides as they carried up stores and wood to huts high above roads. Even to the mighty shoulders of Mt. Blanc we travelled. A goodnight cup of coffee closed this interesting trip and our second day, full like the first with interest and pleasure.
Throughout the trip Frank had been giving us height from his altimeter and distance travelled from an instrument called a pedometer. The plan for the third day called for a camp at Carey's Peak, the distance estimated at 14 to 20 miles.
Splendid weather again attended us as we followed the Gummi for a short distance, sighting attractive rapids and cascades before striking up the west bank to gain the plateau and cut the road from Tomalla. The country so far had been easy going and continued thus in this stage, fairly well timbered but easy.
Towards mid-day we realised that we would be pressed to reach Carey's Peak by nightfall. Dormie, who had walked throughout in a new kind of footgear, had reaped a crop of blisters as a consequence, and Len began also to complain of his feet. Reaching a creek running across the road we decided to stop for a snack. No time to light fire and cook!
A truck load of would-be trout fishermen now hove in sight, seeking a car track down to the Gummi. We had seen a jeep alongside the river as we viewed it from the heights the day before, so presumably there is a track, though we had not noticed it.
Pushing on, we followed a road we believed would take us around the swamps and on to Carey's. Although we were under pressure, the walking was pleasant and the weather delightful. Late in the afternoon, with but one hour of light left, we ran down a slope to the banks of a fair sized stream, at which the track came to a full stop. We were astray. The presence of a large tripod with the well-known flood level markings, told us the story. At some point back, possibly a fallen tree, we had run off on to this access road (See “Night on Pol Blue Creek” - Magazine of March, 1952 - the tracks junction in a large meadow used as an emergency air landing ground. The track to Carey's Peak is comparatively vague from that point south - Ed.)
However, as we were now on the military map, we speedily fixed our position as being on the bank of the Barrington River close to the east edge of the plateau, with Carey's Peak not more than two miles away as the crow flies. With the light fading fast, there was only one course to take. Crossing the Barrington where it runs between large boulders, we set a compass course for the peak. In daylight this would have been no trouble at all, but as night closed down on us and the party could produce only two torches of any use, our progress was slow and stumbling, with the temperature falling rapidly.
Eventually we cut a track on the edge of a swamp and sighted a camp fire on the opposite side. Len's strong lungs established contact with the party and verified our position. An invitation to come across - they said the water was only waist deep - was declined without thanks.
The torches were feeble now and it was decided to light an acetylene lamp. This, although not nearly so effective as one could imagine, as the reflector blacks out everything behind, did improve matters. Following the track on till it joined the one which runs up the gully to Carey's, we struck more trouble. Fires have occurred here, timber was down, and there seemed to be tracks all over the place. Although we knew that our objective was only a few hundred yards away, it eluded us. Tired and exasperated, we retreated to a cleared patch and called it off. Frank's pedometer was registering 27 miles for the day.
Some were in favour of bed forthwith, but wiser counsel prevailed. Soon a fire was blazing and hot food and drink on the way.
The morning was to show tents stiff with frost and ice on the buckets. Breakfast and the dawn of another splendid day brought the party back to full spirits and, after enjoying the view from Carey's Peak, we started that enjoyable run down to Barrington House.
On a previous trip this track had been a sea of mud, but today it was dry almost throughout, and we had time to change and thaw out our tents before our car left at 11.30. The driver informed us that a 'bus, which was standing in the grounds, runs daily to Dungog at 3.0 p.m., and can be arranged to run to Maitland, from which Sydney can be reached by midnight. This would have suited us better.
A trip into new country arouses interest, stimulates the imagination, and, when done with good company in splendid weather, as this was, it stores itself away in the memory as a really good trip.
Federation is publishing again this year “The Bushwalker” - its annual magazine which has not appeared since 1948.
Material requied: Stories describing walks, incidents on walk, canoeing, climbing, skiing, caveing, etc. - and photographs. (Closing date - September 20th).
Advertisements: Contact Business Manager, Jack Evans, BX1245.
Material to be sent to: The Hon. Editor, “The Bushwalker” No.12, 77 Hudson Street, Hurstville (Or 'phone LU4648).
1st Party: Mt. Kuring-gai - Cowan Creek - Roach Trig - Cowan Creek - Turramurra. 8.35 a.m. train to Mt. Kuring-gai (steam train via main line). 8.25 a.m. electric train via North Shore - connects with above at Hornsby). Leader: Malcolm McGregor.
2nd Party: Chatswood - bus to Terrey Hills - Roach Trig - Cowan Creek - Turramurra. 12.6 and 12.48 p.m. electric trains from Central to Chatswood. 12.36 and 1.15 p.m. buses Chatswood to Terrey Hills. (As 12.36 bus from Chatswood will probably be crowded, would advise travel by 1.15 p.m. bus. Arrangements will be made to meet each bus at Terrey Hills terminus). Train tickets - return to Turramurra via Bridge. Leader: David Ingram.
August brings us two very interesting social nights in the form of Allen Strom's “Work of the Fauna Protection Panel” an August 21st, and on August 28th the members' colour slide exhibition. The exhibition, which will be judged by Mr. Jones, the President of the N.S.W. Photographic Society, will be a gala closing for the current Social Programme. All members and friends are welcome - so come early and get a good seat.
All those people in the “Lower Income Group” should start saving their pennies for the Federation Ball on the 14th September at Paddington Town Hall. Dancing 8.30 p.m. to 12.30 a.m. Tickets this year will be 17/6d. (incl. tax), and can be bought from me. Any ideas for an original way of decorating the table for the “Best Dressed Table” Competition will be welcomed by the Social Secretary.
Put this in your diary - Christmas Party, 1953 - Friday, 4th December, at the R.S.L. Hall, Elizabeth Street, Sydney. Tickets will be l5/- each.
Ross Laird, Social Secretary.
Miss Beryl Bannerman and our own Fred Leake, whose engagement was announced recently.
By Paramound (The eves and ears - also nose & throat - of the bush)
Was it ski-ing or she-ing that caused Ross Laird to return from three weeks' stay at Red Hut, Kosciusko, with a dislocated thumb, a sprained ankle, and two stitches in his lip? Seems to be a subject for debate.
There are rumours that the only way Brian Anderson could keep warm whilst in the hut and out of bed was to keep moving at the double with the result that poor old Red Hut trembled.
If colour schemes have anything to do with making good skiers, Bev Price and Betty Swain should be qualifying for championships this year.
It was a great misfortune for Bev Price that she turned her left knee and ankle rather badly before coming home - which hampered her last few valuable days. Hoping Bev will be restored and back on the tracks again shortly.
Support our advertisers - they support us!
By Jim Brown.
At the August General Meeting I propose to give notice of the following motion to be discussed at the Half-yearly General Meeting of September 11th.
“That the night for Club meetings and social fixtures be altered from Friday to Thursday, the change to take effect from the introduction of the next Walks Programme in January, 1954”.
I believe Thursday has many advantages over Friday as an evening for the weekly meeting in the Club Room, and such change will benefit a majority of members. The main points are:
Provisional enquiries indicate that the Club Room will be available on Thursday evenings.
A canvass of a number of active members of the Club has not produced any strong arguments for the retention of Friday, but I shall be glad to publish the case for Friday in the next issue of the magazine. Obviously it will come best from a member actively connected with current Club affairs, and should not exceed 300 words, and be in the hands of the Editor by August 21st.
Hair cuts on walks in future will be given free of charge by Betty and Ross. They took Peter Stitt under their charge and solved all his problems concerning hair in his eyes. It's said that, with the help of a pair of nail scissors, razor blade, safety razor (and a battery of cameras) they gave him the pudding-basin cut to end all pudding-basin cuts.
on the next three pages we continue Allen Strom's report on a tour of the reserves and parks of Victoria. (See July Magazine for Part I. The last portion will be published in September.)
The erosion of the valley sides downstream beyond the National Park, is extreme, the removal of cover standing in direct contrast inside and outside the parklands. One is depressed by the obvious lack of reasoned land-use. That the soil is rich… apparently derived from a basalt capping… is certain, since the intensive cultivations of Market Gardening is going on along the valley floor, watered by the small Werribee Irrigation System. The Werribee River is a disappointing little stream at this point… mud-filled and I suspect, turned by Man from a clear, tree-lined flow by mismanagement. Bacchus Marsh itself, seems prosperous enough. We visited a local brown coal open cut and later made off back through Ballan and Ballarat.
The size and secure-look of Ballarat serves to bring into relief the better distribution of population (decentralisation) in Victoria… Ballarat, Bendigo and Geelong are all very large cities and there are many very fine provincial towns. Of course, this also means a greater development generally, of the State in comparison with N.S.W.; which again, has a follow-on: a need to grip now, all recreational and primitive land for the present and future generations. Just how some of the people of the decentralised larger towns will find the necessary “breathing space” might well be a problem extremely difficult to answer; indeed, much of the land already used for this purpose may well be alienated. That is why surveys are very necessary… they awaken us to the need for early action.
From Ballarat the trip went south towards Rokewood. For some time we travelled through timber and scrub on land that didn't look at all prosperous… except perhaps, for the occasional mullock dumps… the symbol of past hopes for prosperity, realised and otherwise! Anyhow, the land was unsettled which appeared to justify our suspicion that it was poor stuff. About 4 p.m. the skyline broke to the south and it was apparent that we were again on the edge of the step-faulting and looking out over that amazing area of inland drainage where Lakes Corangamite Colac and a myriad of nameless ones… take the flow of the streams. Across the watery flats we could see the Otway Ranges rising like a barrier on the southern skyline; to the north-west the Pyrenees and the Grampians; the west, Mt. Elephant, the volcanic landmark of the western districts; the east, a trough down which the Barwon flows… the only stream to escape the basin.
Scan the road through Rokewood, Cressy, Beeac, Colac, Gellibrand, Beech Forest, Laver's Hill, Aire Junction to Cape Otway: down the fault into Rokewood, across the “Lakes District”… Horseshoe, Beeac, Colac and many little ones… all with their quota of Ducks, Ibis, Herons and Pelicans; up the bank… the northern foothills of the Otways, with the hardwoods getting taller and finally giving way to softwoods as we approach Beech Forest… the Otway Tops… the little 2'6” gauge train at Kincaid… Rain Forest and rain… the wild burst of lilac in the Prostanthera (Mint Bush)… down again from Laver's Hill this time to the coast with Mountain Ash more than a hundred feet high… the coast with its familiar heath, banksia and sand dunes… the Cape Otway Lighthouse.
Surely we can do something to retain the wonderland of forest and coastline around the Otways! The next day when we moved on through Apollo Bay, Tanbryn Junction, Forrest and on to Windhelsea, I pondered over the idea of some kind of parkland along the main spine of the Range from West of Layer's Hill through Mt. Sibine to the Lorne-Dean Marsh Road. Wherever possible this might drop to the coastline and north as far as development will permit. Herein would be trapped, fine forest lands for the recreation of the populations of Geelong and Ballarat. It could be made contiguous with the proposal to reserve “the magnificent and unique coastline of majestic yellow cliffs between Peterborough and Moonlight Head”… an area that some of us were privileged to see on The Caloola Club's Kangaroo Island Trip, Christmas - New Year, 1951-52.
The trek led on through the fine city of Geelong and shortly afterwards off the Princes Highway to visit the You Yangs… a monadnock (a mountain which has been able to resist erosion better than its surroundings) of granite. Apparently the surrounding area is a Forest Reserve; it has been fenced off and has a caretaker. The view from Flinder's Peat (the highest point in the mountain) is a full circle and although haze prevented our getting the full benefit, we could readily make out Mt. Macedon, the headwaters of the Werribee and Lerderderg Rivers, the Otways, Geelong and various points on the Port Phillip Bay. The You Yangs are 800 feet above the surrounding basalt-covered plain reckoned to be the second largest plain in the world and a fine example of a savannah or steppe.
History has made the You Yangs famous. The name is said to have been derived from the aboriginal “Ude Youangs” (Big Hill). On May 1st 1802, Matthew Flinders landed on the shore of Port Phillip Bay and climbed the highest peak now bearing his name but called by him, Station Peak. Many early surveys of the surrounding lands were made from the You Yangs and Hume and Hovell must have passed close-by on their expedition that took them to the shores of Port Phillip near the present site of Geelong.
Our, next place of interest was The Ferntree Gully National Park, located at the foot of the Dandenong Ranges, about twenty miles east of Melbourne. Since it was nearly dark when we made the Gully, inspection appeared impossible at that time. In our search for a camping site, we were led up the mountain and introduced to the Sherbrooke Forest, to camp amongst the magnificent Mountain Ash, to the call of the Lyre Bird and its many companions of the Brush Forests.
Sherbrooke and Olinda Forests and much of the other untouched timbered areas of the Dandenongs, are quite obviously much more interesting and recreationally valuable, than the Ferntree Gully National Park itself. The Park area is 550 acres serving largely to enclose only one Gully. A so-called animal “sanctuary… something of a poor zoo… within the park, should be dispensed with. Heavy growths of exotic weeds spoil the naturalness and the Ferntrees are a poor lot compared to Tarra Valley and Bulga… in fact, the Park is an outstanding example of an area of land far too small to do the job required of it and as a corollary, the access is too free. Looking to the future with the further suburbanisation of the Dandenongs, the Park will be a lost cause. There is no doubt that these Ranges comprise “some of the most beautiful hills and mountains in Australia… but one lives in fear of future developments.” I was interested to note that the Development Committee's Report shares my fears for the saving of the past glory of the Dandenongs, and recommends the following interesting, and perhaps revolutionary procedures (for a Public Body):
A walk up Fern Tree Gully brought us to the One Tree Hill Lookout Tower (1647') and although we caught only fleeting glances of the scene through drifting mists, we could appreciate that here was a fine view towards the city.
Our last appreciations of the Dandenong Range were taken as we followed the road to Belgrave, got lost to Kallista, managed to find the road to Gembrook again, dropped down to the plain at Pakenham, skirted the marshy lands around Western Port through Koo-wee-rup, Lang Lang to San Remo. Here a bridge connects to Phillip Is. over a terrific rip, and the road leads on to Cowes.
We regret to record the death of Thelma Hellyer. To the majority of present members she may be just a name, but older members will have many kindly memories of Thelma. As Thelma Moir she joined the Club within a few weeks of its foundation in 1927 and was an active member for many years. She was one of the four girls on the Club's first Easter walk (1928). Despite the leaders advice to wear shorts modesty prevailed and the girls wore skirts. Even in those far off times Easter turned on the rain and crossing the flooded Cox's River with skirts up (and showing what goes with them) was, if not dangerous, at least embarrassing and uncomfortable. From then on shorts were worn. She married a club member, Arthur Hellyer, and they were regular walkers for many years.
Thel never lost her interest in the Club and she and Arthur and daughter Rhonda were frequently seen at Reunions and other outdoor club get-togethers. In January during a car camping trip she renewed her acquaintance with her old club mate Molly Marden (now Molly Taylor) who lives in the wilds between Rules Point and Brindabella. She attended the last Club Reunion and took ill shortly afterwards.
Our sympathies go to Arthur and Rhonda and we who knew her salute a true lover of the bush and stalwart club member who added her quota to the foundation of the Club and Bushwalking generally.
With a date-line of July 13th, Keith Renwick reports from New Zealand:
“Well, we've arrived. The trip over was fair, with a rough patch after leaving Sydney on the Friday night. We both felt queer, but we didn't miss a meal - doubled up on vegetables and pudding in a 3-course meal a few times.
It's been raining since we arrived on Tuesday, but it changed for the better on Sunday. We stayed at a bed-and-breakfast place for a few days and then moved to a private home board. I have managed to land a good job at tool and die making (my trade). Peter is going to have a look around today.
Went walking with the Alpine Sports Club last weekend, 10/11th, but more of that later…”
The July Committee was reviewing the next Walks Programme, and noted that a “Boat Race at National Park” was logged in December. Asked a member “Will it be Audley?” “Oh, my word!” said the Walks Secretary with great gravity, “Quite orderly”.
John Bookluck was the major sufferer (abraded shins excepted) on Ken Meadows' Bundanoon Creek walk in July. He returned with a torn rucksack, torn windjacket and damaged spectacles. Still, the party proved you can get up that gully near the junction of Stonequarry and Bundanoon Creeks. Also that you can catch a train-with-only-two minutes to spare.
By Allen A. Strom.
of the Federation was held first, at which the following officers were elected:
|President||Paul H. Barnes (S.B.W.)|
|Vice-Presidents||Allen A. Strom (S.B.W.), Tom Wardaugh (R.C.C.)|
|Honorary Secretary||Stan Cottier (C.M.W.)|
|Assistant Secretary||Miss Beryl McLean (Bush Club)|
|Minutes Secretary||Miss Joyce Quinn (Bush Club)|
|Honorary Treasurer||Tom Kenny-Royal (S.B.W.)|
It was also decided to raise the affiliation fee from 5/- per 25 members to 7/6d. per 25 members. Affiliation fee now due.
The President reported that he had been present at a meeting of the Bushfire Committee where a conference had taken place on the matter of Bushfire Patrols. It was agreed that the President should arrange a Conjoint Meeting of all Societies interested in Bushfire Patrols at which the Chairman of the Bushfire Committee had volunteered to be Present. A date thought suitable was September 3rd.
It was agreed that the £34 held by the Federation under the account “Maitland Bay” should be made available to the Trust of Bouddi Natural Park on application.
Reported that the first One-day Hike had taken place on July 12th when 271 persons had attended. The route was from Clarence to Zig-Zag, about five miles. The next would be held on August 9th to Bundanoon. The Federation is taking no official part in the Hikes.
Reported that the map of The Wild Dogs was nearing completion.
Mrs. Beryl Christenson (S.B.W.) receives the two Ball Tickets as prize for the guessing competition.
The Federation Ball will be held at the Paddington Town Hall on Monday September 14th. Tickets - 17/ed. now available. Orchestra has been booked. Are there any volunteers from the S.B.W. for Entertainers?
The Federation is making an effort to publish this magazine without delay. You are asked to assist with photographs and articles of all kinds. The Editor is Ron Wardrop, 77 Hudson Street, Hurstville, LU 4648. Please contact him for all details.
A visitor came unheralded on Ken Meadows' walk. He was frequently absent from the party without leader's consent: indeed his sense of following the party at a distance in thick country and even anticipating their movements was uncanny. He was evidently a commando for he had no gear or tucker, and so posed a problem for the party. However, most walkers are fools where a dog is concerned, and we were almost sad to part company at Bundanoon station.
A few more thoughts on keeping warm in camp at nights. There is no doubt that with training and use one can accustom the body, to keep warm in low temperatures. It is written of Gino Watkins (the Arctic explorer who applied the principles of light weight camping to Arctic trips) that he taught himself to sleep under an open window in London's mid-winter with only a sheet over him.
Even if such rigorous training has not been done it is possible to beat the cold in other ways. Body temperature is dependent on respiration and circulation. If therefore you wake in the wee sma' hours shivering, you can always get up and jump around to restore warmth but a much simpler idea is to do a few exercises whilst still lying in your sleeping bag. Deep breathing with exaggerated drawing in of the abdominal muscles will restore circulation and also ensure re-oxygenisation (if there is such a word) of the blood which will promote warmth and sleep will frequently come over you whilst still doing the exercise.
Paddy Pallin. Lightweight Camp Gear.
201 Castlereagh St., Sydney M2678.