A monthly bulletin of matters of interest to the Sydney Bush Walkers, The N.S.W. Nurses' Association Rooms, “Northcote Building”, Reiby Place, Sydney. Box No.4476 G.P.O., Sydney. 'Phone JW1462.
|Editor||Don Matthews, 33 Pomona Street, Pennant Hills. WJ3514|
|Business Manager||Brian Harvey|
|Sales & Subs.||Eileen Taylor|
|Typed by||Jean Harvey|
|At Our February Meeting||Alex Colley||3|
|Annual Swimming Carnival 1962||4|
|Search & Rescue - An Appeal||Arnold Fleischmann||5|
|Who'd Be a Walker? Part One - Scrambling for a Train||Jim Brown||7|
|Letters to the Editor||13|
|Leeches Are Creatures with No Attractive Features||Don Matthews||16|
|Notes on the Barren Grounds Area||18|
|Hatswell's Taxi & Tourist Service||9|
|How Good Are They? (Paddy's Advertisement)||11|
Wake: the silver dusk returning
Up the beach of darkness brims
And the ship of sunrise burning
Strands upon the eastern rims.
Wake: the vaulted shadow shatters,
Trampled to the floor it spanned,
And the tent of night it tatters
Straws the sky-pavilioned land.
Up, lad, up, 'tis late for lying:
Hear the drums of m_rning play;
Hark, the empty highways crying
“Who'll beyond the hills away?”
Towns and countries woo together,
Forelands beacon, belfries call;
Never lad that trod on leather
Lived to feast his heart with all.
Up, lad: thews that lie and cumber
Sunlit pallets never thrive;
Morns abed and daylight slumber
Were not meant for man alive.
Clay lies still, but blood's a rover;
Breath's a ware that will not keep.
Up, lad: when the journey's over
There'll be time enough to sleep.
- A E. Housman.
This is the spirit for the start of another Club year! A good deal of effort is needed to keep a Walking Club flourishing in these days of easy comfort. The more you put into the Club the more enjoyment you'll get out of it. With the Annual General Meeting coming up, there's plenty of scope.
On February 21st Mr. Fred Hersey, a Field Officer of the Fauna Protection Panel, spoke on the work of the Department and the way in which Bushwalkers could help to preserve our bushlands and Fauna. He also showed Walt Disney's film “Nature's Half Acre”.
On February 28th Putt was to have talked on the recent NZAC exploration in West New Guinea. Colin's talk was deferred and Laurie Raynor, who would not be available later in the year, gave an illustrated talk on his recent attempt on Mt. Wilhelmina in West New Guinea. This was a fascinating journey with photography to match, clearly showing the approach to the Mountain passes, and with informed comments on the geology of the area and on the native population.
March 21st Ninian Melville (C.M.W) will talk on Safety in the Bush.
March 28th - Shell film “Back of Beyond”.
Congratulations to Gisela Kozlowski and Arnold Fleischmann, married on March 5th.
- Alex Colley.
The Meeting commenced with a welcome to two new members, Harvey Tafe and Kelvin Park.
Reporting upon the purchase of a duplicator, a matter arising from the previous meeting, Brian Harvey told us that duplicator prices had practically doubled since we purchased the last one, ten years ago. The modern, improved, version of our present machine now cost £170 as against £92 in 1950. With trade in and discount it would cost £140. Smaller machines were cheaper, but might not stand the wear they would be given. Meanwhile our present duplicator had been repaired and was again serviceable.
In correspondence was a letter from the Bathurst Committee organising a re-enactment of Evans' crossing of the Blue Mountains. The impression seems to have gained ground that S.B.W. members are keen explorers when the path to be found is a bitumen road. The letter was referred to Federation and to that well known explorer Kevin Ardill, whose historic 1955(?) crossing of the mountains may have inspired the request. (Incidentally, should anyone think of going, Kevin reported that the crossing was a great social success - the party was entertained lavishly and enjoyed themselves thoroughly.)
A copy was received of the annual walks programme of the Melbourne Women's Walking Club. The Secretary commented favourably on the capacity of the women walkers to make their minds up to a year in advance. One weekend was devoted to a joint walk with the Men's Club. This prompted Frank Ashdown to remark that “every dog has his day”.
In his walks report Wilf Hilder reported that 18 members and several visitors had attended his gold prospecting trip to Sofala. No gold waS discovered. (Perhaps the time to find it was 1862.) Bill Rowland's trip to the Woronora River attracted 7 members and 4 prospectives and the swimming was good. In his trip to the Upper Kowmung Wilf had found the River to be again about 3 feet in flood. Frank Leyden's long weekend walk to Yeola had been attended by 8 members, 5 prospectives and one member's daughter. No less than 27 had gone to Burning Palms with Jack Gentle during the same weekend. Wilf concluded by telling us that the road to Barallier was closed and the road to Medlow Gap impassable. He advised walkers not to try following the marked Boyd Range track at night.
The meeting then debated the subject of equipment for lending. Frank Ashdown said that the demand was small, as indicated by the fact that only a few shillings a month were collected for hire. Nevertheless some continued to want club equipment even after being admitted to membership. It was pointed out that equipment was available from Paddy Pallin who would post it out if requested. It was decided that no more rucksacks or groundsheets would be purchased until those now available needed replacing.
After the election of Jack Gentle, Denise Hull, Wilf Hilder and Bill Rodgers as room stewards the meeting drew to a close.
About 45 members, their friends and/or children attended the Carnival held at Lake Eckersley on the weekend of 10-11th February, in excellent weather. The races were well contested and results were as follows:-
The Carnival Organiser has issued a warning to the very successful married ladies to watch out for fireworks from an up-and-coming youngster next year!! We won't mention the names of those illustrious members who drove their CARS to about 200 yards from the swimming hole!!
March 23-24-25. Upper Colo River: Day walks from Base Camp. 16 Miles - Private Transport. Leader: Stuart Brookes JW4343. Spectacular River Gorge scenery.
March 30-31 - April 1. Megalong Creek - Cox's River - Galong Creek. 15 Miles Test Walk. Private Transport. Leader: Lyndsey Gray. 523-3975. Leaping cascades on lower Megalong Creek - pleasant walking along Cox's, pink granite pools and waterfalls in Galong Creek.
April 6-7-8. Car to Kanangra - Davies Canyon - Meroo Buttress - Esgate's Route - Kanangra. 26 Miles Rough. Private Transport. Leader: Geof Wagg 54-8281. Rugged. Davies Canyon is one of the most spectacular series of falls in the Mountains. Steep climb out.
Venue: Woods Creek.
Alternate Site: (1) Euroka, (2) Burning Palms.
Train Electric: 12.58 p.m. ex North Sydney. 1.9 p.m. ex Central arriving Richmond 2.44 p.m. Note: Change at Blacktown.
Transport Officer: Edna Stretton - LJ9586.
Those travelling by train MUST contact transport officer so that cars can meet train. Last year considerable inconvenience was caused when walkers intending to come by train from Richmond found other transport and cars returned to camp site empty.
Entertainment and Competitions: Camp fire on Saturday night commencing 7.30 p.m.
On Sunday: Damper Competition (Flour, Salt and water only). Boil the Billy.
For the Children: Sand Modelling. Hole Digging.
- Arnold Fleischmann.
A number of calls on the serVices of the 'Search and Rescue' organisation within our Club over the last year has made it clear that the time is due for a new list of available 'searchers' to be drawn up.
The list at present in existence is very old and contains a mere two dozen names. Of these some are no longer available, and only six people could be contacted during the day. Quite a large number of names gave no 'phone numbers at all.
It should be stressed, however, that the aim is not to prepare another Club membership list. We are after a list of people who are prepared and able to go out at short notice to look for overdue walkers.
Those people who wish to have their names placed on the list should furnish either myself or Elsie Bruggy with the following details (preferably in writing on a piece of paper equal to or larger than a bus ticket):-
Before giving us your name please consider the above points. Much valuable time is lost by trying to contact people who turn out to be not available and who rarely are available due to pressure of work or some other reason.
Those interested (ladies welcome too) should contact either Elsie or myself at the Club or send details to :
A. W. Fleischmann,
142 Coogee Bay Road,
103 Ludgate Street,
Robert H. Jones (better known to us as “Strawberry”) passed through Sydney on Thursday March 1st on his way to climb Balls Pyramid near Lord Howe Island. Strawb and other members of ASPRO, (Australian South Pacific Rockclimbing Organisation?) who as far as we know are MUWC's and VRC's, were met by a party of S.B.W's. John Logan and Alex Theakston provided transport for the great load of equipment, including large amounts of radio gear.
This reminds us that modern means of communication have caused trouble to adventurers in recent months, e.g. the Harrer, Temple, Kippax expedition was wrongly reported missing:
“…. set out 21 days ago to climb the 16503 ft. Carstenz pyramid, and have not been heard of since”.
Eric Shipton and three Chilean mountaineers are “missing” in the Andes. “…. was to have kept radio contact… but nothing has been heard for several days”.
If you vent to know how useful Expedition radios are after they've been dropped a few times, ask Colin Putt.
Newspaper reports tell of a proposed new road to “connect Megalong Valley with Lowther and the Great Western Highway at Blackheath…. 14 miles of new road and four new bridges…. would allow 50,000 head of stock to be raised on rich granite soil and river flats”.
That doesn't sound like the Megalong we know, but someone had better tell the Water Board, quickly!
Maybe the Bushies know all about the Bush, but of our beautiful Harbour, what do they know? So here is a Quiz -
Answers given on Page 16.
- Jim Brown.
There is some verse which earns a measure of immortality because it is sheer nonsense. I mean stuff like -
“Little Willie in the best of sashes
Fell in the fire and was burned to ashes.
Presently the room began to grow chilly
But nobody cared to stir up Willie.”
Other poems compel attention by their veracity - the self identification motif - or the recognition of others - as in
“He was in logic a great critic
Profoundly skilled in analytic:
He cdUld distinguish, and divide
A hair 'twixt south and south-west side”.
Pondering this recently I realised that the song which has become almost a Club anthem over the past 8 years or so qualifies on the second count. It speaks of things that every red-blooded young walker (and most older ones) must have experienced. Take that first couplet -
“Who'd be a walker, scrambling for a train,
Wandering round in mist and fog and sleeping in the rain”.
Of course it's true. Think of that time when… or the occasion that… not to mention the incidents out at… and what so-and-so said just before… In fact, seeing the Editor is complaining of a shortage of material, I may as well jot down some of my own recollections and maybe others will add to the symposium. First then, scrambling for a train.
Naturally, When read in conjunction with a walking trip, one thinks of the scramble occurring at the end - a heart-palpitating sprint up the last hill - a grim slogging against the clock, but oddly enough the first scramble that comes to mind was right at the start of a walk:, many years back - sometime pre-war, in fact.
Or winter, during annual holidays, I planned to walk from Picton into Burragorang Wiley via backroads. In those days I prided myself that I knew the timetable of every country passenger train operating within a radius of 100 miles of Sydney. With the confidence that some people swallow a well known variety of headache powder I joined a suburban train that would bring me to Central Station by 9.40 a.m., with 15 minutes to get the Goulburn train.
Somewhere near St. Peters I remembered this wasn't Saturday: that the Goulburn train left Sydney at 9.40 on weekdays.
Swiftly, as a gamble, I put Plan B into effect. I alighted at Redfern and flung up to the indicator boards to find there was a fast electric train calling at Burwood and Strathfield due in one minute, at 9.41. Catching that was simple, but then came a nerve-wracking ten minutes or so: mentally I drove the suburban train. Visually I watched the parallel main line and watched hopefully (but in vain) for a twin red signal. We were still pulling out of Burwood when the steam train ranged up beside us and we ran side by side to Strathfield.
Oh, it was a frantic scuttle down into the subway, along and up onto platform 3 as the station hand was waving his green flag and intoning “stand clear please!” I made it, yes, but it was far too fine for comfort.
Much about the same period I was caught fairly on two occasions in the Otford - Stanwell Park area at the end of day walks. They were Saturday day hikes (I used that word almost in its worst connotation), planned to return on the 5.7 train from Otford (5.2 from Stanwell Park), with the next train some 3½ hours later.
The first trip brought us down from the hills behind Coal Cliff and we wandered casually back to Stanwell along the railway line. Now, between Coal Cliff and Stanwell Park there are two short tunnels and between them a lofty brick viaduct almost 200 feet high, spanning a creek. In the lazy yellow afternoon light the bridge was most photogenic and one of my freelance walking (rather hiking) cronies couldn't resist a photograph. The gorge of Stanwell Creek is steep and thickly grown and it took some time to get a good angle. (A murrain on photographers, I say.)
As we left the bridge I thought I heard a faint whistle and by the time we were through the second tunnel the 5.2 was chugging stolidly along the southern slopes of the bay. We ran in the gutters beside the line, not even looking up as the train passed in a leisurely but quite ruthless manner. We even reached the southern ramp of the platform when the engine exhaust announced its theme in slow tempo, and the brake van crawled away from us.
The other time was not a real scramble. We were caught thoroughly - were our watches haywire that day? During the late afternoon we came back from Stanwell Park to Otford via the old abandoned railway tunnel under Bald Hill. It was about a mile long and with a decent torch you could traverse it in 20-25 minutes. Not now - it was blown up in 1942 as an anti-invasion precaution.
We emerged (our time) at 4.45, and with 22 minutes to train time and only a quarter mile to go, perched in the sunlight on a stack of old sleepers for a bite of chocolate and biscuit. At 4.57 I heard an unscheduled train coming up - but when it came under the overhead bridge I realised too late it was the 5.7. We finished our snack and decided to fill in the pleasant November evening by walking on along the railway.
Somewhere between Lilyvale and Helensburgh we got so intrigued in some new-fangled track lubricating devices we almost “did in” the 8.30 p.m. I've still a recollection of running along the last cutting to Helensburgh, hotly pursued by the headlamp and churning exhaust of the late train.
Onward to Easter 1947 - mist and rain on the Gangerang - a camp on the Cox on Easter Sunday night, leaving several miles of river and all Cedar Creek for the last day. Our timekeepers were out in their reckoning and it was full dark when we came to the foot of Katoomba's scenic railway. We poked at bell pushes for a few minutes but without much real hope of a trolley materialising, then took to the stairs. Oh, the torment of tired calves and thighs being pushed up those steps at night after a solid day in Cedar Creek. The top in an aura of sweat and floodlights about 7.30 and a quick visit to the Kiosk: one of the party knew someone at the Kiosk and they would be able to line up a taxi for us. Or would they? At 7.40, with 32 minutes to the last train, I couldn't stand the tension any longer and several of us lit out on foot. Reached the station in the Olympic record time of 21 minutes and actually joined the second last (8.2 p.m.) train. The other slobs got their taxi, spared their palsied limbs and just caught the 8.12.
Having resolved that I was both too old and too foxy to be caught in such ways again, it has happened twice in a couple of weeks.
In January I was down Little River from Couridjah and found the landscape more or less awash after the summer rains. Crossing streams was a long and tedious affair of trial and withdrawal, so that at 3.40 p.m. on Sunday I had just over 3 hours to make the only train back from Couridjah. Coming out the previous day that stage had taken exactly 3 hours - when I was about 25 miles fresher.
It was a case for “scientific” walking. I ran down every little favourable grade - not many of them. If a rising grade was short I took it at the gallop: if it was a trudge I spared the tired legs and plodded up it. In one place where the whole track was a watercourse for a couple of hundred yards I took to the scrub: it was slower than wading, but I didn't have to stop and “de-sand” my shoes as I had going out. Limped onto Couridjah station at 6.50, with a margin of 7 minutes. It's not enough for comfort when there's no alternative transport.
As if this were not sufficient warning to wantons we were well and truly caught in another scramble the following (Australia Day) Weekend, at the close of a moist three days down at Burning Palms with the Gentle party. Having the vehicle “on the ice” we went as a family group by rail and, to complete the trip, planned to walk out to Lilyvale for the homeward run. There was a train at 2.40, and a surprisingly long gap then till about five o'clock. We've found that it's a good plot when you have a smallish one in the family to be reasonably early home on a holiday weekend, so there were good and valid reasons for catching the 2.40 p.m. We reckoned that meant away from the Palms about 12.45: say lunch early at 11.30 - and 30 on: however, on that steamy morning the blandishments of the beach were too alluring to the lesser Brown and it was past 12.0 noon when we took lunch.
Then it was 1.10 when we set out up the Squeeze Hole track - add say 30 minutes for the hill and a spell at the lookout thrown in as well… We were going along the top track towards Lilyvale at 1.50, and I had privately resolved that we had perhaps a 50-50 chance of the train. Seven-year-olds aren't quite in the marathon class.
The track was, nicely muddied and ploughed up and about halfway to Lilyvale the thunderclouds rolled over and a smart shower began, adding to the greasiness of the already sloppy path. At the top of the hill above Lilyvale, at 2.25, we took recourse to desperate measures. Kath took over the extra pack, I grabbed a small hand and we began to run.
Part way down the slope I decided the worn soles of my sneakers were getting practically no grip at all on the slimy track, and Chris would really be better off without my hand. Then we were down, crossing the slightly swollen Hacking River and slipping and sliding up the smooth clay bank. A last sprint up to the station with my watch showing 2.43 (a mercy it was about 5 minutes fast), and the train rolling in as I slipped out of a cape-groundsheet which was almost as wet inside with sweat as it was outside with rain.
Now, it may be sinful pride, but by comparison with some other walkers I could name, I've always felt I was a cautious and provident sort of person: not the kind that is prone to dash up at the last whistle blowing, flag-wagging moment of a train departure. Yet there are quite a few case histories. It all goes for to show that it's almost impossible to be a walker without (sometimes) scrambling for a train.
For all your transport from Blackheath contact Hatswell's Taxi & Transport Service. Ring, write, wire or call any hour - day or night.
'Phone: Blackheath W459 of W151.
Booking office: 4 doors from the Gardners Inn Hotel (look for the neon sign).
Speedy 5 or 8 passenger cars available. Large or small parties catered for.
We will be pleased to quote trips or special parties on application.
How good are they? A fair question whatever the subject.
To oblige a few very knowledgeable bods in several different Clubs we have prevailed on the makers to produce a Super Husky ripple soled desert boot.
We are told enthusiastically they perform terrifically so long as they hold together, hence our role in getting these boots made to Super specifications (to make sure they do).
We have a few pairs in stock and will have them made up specially if required for those who would like to find out for themselves.
How good are they. 89/- a try.
Paddy Pallin Pty. Ltd. Lightweight Camp Gear.
201 Castlereagh St., Sydney. BM2685.
Ferry to Manly - bus to Church Point - ferry to Lovett Bay - Willunga Trig - Topham Trig - Lovett Bay. - 8 miles. The leader will be attending John White's working bee at Lovett Bay so it will be necessary for starters to get to Lovett Bay under their own steam. It is proposed to spend the morning assisting in track clearing and then go up to the tops immediately after lunch. Lovely scenery throughout the area.
8:30 a.m. ferry Circular Quay to Manly. 9.10 a.m. bus Manly - Church Point (Route No. 157). 10.25 a.m. ferry Church Point - Lovett Bay. Cash fares about 11/- return.
Maps: Broken Bay Military or Hawkesbury River Tourist.
Leader: David Ingram.
Pymble - bus to St. Ives (Douglas Street) - Bungaroo - Middle Harbour Creek - Lindfield. 8 miles. Good swimming pools in the fresh water section of Middle Harbour Creek. Traverses Lady Davidson and Lindfield Parks, mainly unspoilt bushland within 12 miles of the City.
9.10 a.m. Electric train Central - Pymble via Bridge. 9.46 a.m. bus Pymble - St. Ives. Tickets: Pymble Return via Bridge at 4/3, plus 1/1d. bus fare.
Leader: Gladys Roberts.
Heathcote - Goondera Brook - Uloola Falls - Audley. 10 miles. A visit to one of the most pleasant areas of National Park. Uloola Falls and Cascades are particular1y good after rain.
8.50 a.m. Cronulla Train Central Electric Station to Sutherland. Change at Sutherland for rail motor to Heathcote. Tickets: Heathcote return at 5/4d.
Map: Port Hacking Tourist.
Leader: Jess Martin.
Especially planned to holiday requirements of bushwalkers & camping club members.
Tour “N” Departs Sydney Sat. 5th May. Tour “I” Departs Sydney Sat. 14th July. Travelling via Dubbo, Bourke, Cunnamulla (Q), Charleville, Blackall, Mary Kathleen, Mt. Isa, Flynn Memorial, Tennant Creek, Alice Springs (2 days), Ayers Rock (2 days), Mt. Olga, Coober Pedy, Pt. Augusta and Broken Hill. Fare £55, 0. 0.
Tour “J” Departs Sydney Saturday 11th August. Itinerary as Tours “N” and “I” and including Daly Waters, Mataranka, Darwin, and Rum Jungle. Fare £66. 0. 0.
Tour “K” Departs Sydney Saturday 15th September. Travelling via Newcastle, Kempsey, Gold Coast, Brisbane, Rockhampton, Mackay, Townsville (1 day), (Magnetic Is.), Paronella Park, Atherton Tablelands Area (3 days), Lake Eacham, Lake Barrine, Mareeba, Cooktown (1 day), Daintree, Cairns, (Green Is.), Charters Towers, Clermont, Toowoomba, Tenterfield and Tamworth. Fare £54. 0. 0.
Tour “E” Departs Sydney Saturday 15th September. Travelling via Albury, Bendigo, Bordertawn, “Barossa Valley”, Pt. Augusta, Ceduna, Nullabor Plains, Norseman, Esperance, “Stirling Range National Park”, “Porongorups National Park”, Albany (1 day), Frenchman's Bay, Denmark, “Valley of Giants”, Pemberton, “Kingdom of the Karri”, Cape Leeuwin, Augusta and Margaret River Caves Area (2 days), Perth (3 days), Kalgoorlie, Nullabor Plains, Renmark, Mildura and Katoomba. Fare £69.10. 0.
TOUR “M” Departs Sydney Monday 6th August. Travelling via Taree, Brisbane (1 day), Rockhampton, Townsville (2 days), (Magnetic Is.), Cairns (2 days), (Green Is.), Cooktown (1 day), Atherton Tablelands (4 days), Kurumba (Gulf of Carpentaria), (1 day), Mt. Isa, Mataranka (1 day), Darwin (2 days), Rum Jungle, Wyndham, Derby, Broome (1 day), Marble Bar (1 day), Hammersley Ranges (3 days), Carnarvon (1 day), Geraldton (2 days), Perth (3 days), Margaret River Caves (2 days), Albany (1 day), Esperance, Nullabor Plains, Adelaide (1 day), Melbourne, Gundagai. Fare £125.10. 0.
Other tours to Flinders Ranges (Tour “L”) duration 19 days, departs Sydney 15th October. 1962. Fare £40.10.0.
Tour “O” gold Coast, Lamington and Carnarvon Ranges National Parks. Duration 3 weeks. Departs Sydney 2nd June, 1962. Fare £39.10. 0.
V. C. Penfold, Greyhound Pacific Ltd., P.O. Box 50, Coolangatta. QLD.
“48 Park Avenue,
Recent correspondents writing about the construction of a short length of road and the erection of a memorial shelter shed and water tank in Bouddi Natural Park appear to have indulged in rather exaggerated language - for example “If the people have to step out of their core or come out from under a roof, they are being excluded”.
In spite of lip service to the idea that parks ere for the general public the writers give me the impression that they firmly believe in walkers only. No car must cross a park boundary either because it shouldn't be there at all or because of the litter, fires and damage left by the occupants.
One writer “believes that it has always been the opinion of most bushwalkers…. that some areas should be left in a primitive…. state”. Probably this is true, but if this means the whole of some parks, I suggest that it is unsound, as it does not provide for access except for those arriving on foot. I feel that a better general principle would be that the bulk of all parks should be retained in a primitive state.
Bouddi is an excellent example of the difficulty of having parks with no access. Anyone arriving by car had to park on the road, and if he wished to camp close to his car (perhaps a strange, but not altogether unreasonable wish) there was only one small area close beside the road where he could do so. If he had a caravan he must camp on the road.
The construction of the road (on a previously cut fire trail, and less than half a mile in length) and shelter shed with water tank, allows the motorist to camp away from the road in an area not used by walkers and far enough from their tents at Maitland Bay so that they won't be disturbed. In fact there is no need for walkers to visit the site of the shelter shed and be distressed by the gathering heaps of rubbish.
As I understand it, the purpose of the work is not to enable motorists to view the park from their cars or from under the shelter shed. The road gives access and allows camping off the main road, the shelter shed catches water and keeps the rain off picnickers.
The work has been severely criticised partly because it is being carried out in a park, in the name of which occurs the word “Natural”. However the first and therefore the main purpose for which the area was reserved, is “For public recreation”. The public has a right to reasonable access. In any case why criticise the erection of a memorial when a structure with the same basic purpose, the collection of water, was erected at Maitland Bay by bushwalkers?
Many motorists do leave rubbish and fires behind them, but I doubt that the answer is to exclude them from parks, even if this were feasible.
Our plans for bigger and better parks will be listened to only if the people generally want them and I believe the only way they will come to want them is by being allowed to use them. Improvement in peoples' habits must come through Education and Rangers, and the Education and Rangers won't be supplied unless people want them.
There is great danger that roads will “tear through the bush and “gash the hillsides”. But with increasing population and development, burying our heads in the sand at Maitland Bay and crying “no motorists at Mt. Bouddi”, (where bushwalkers never camped pre fire-trail and road,) has no hope of preventing it. This can be done only by persuading the Administration that each park should be properly and carefully planned and by having sufficient public support.
(Sgd.) T.W. Moppett.”
“Box 500 F, P.O.,
Thanks to those responsible for the “Mag.” service (you may treat the abbreviation as Magazine or Magnificent!) As one who has little chance of keeping in touch except by the Magazine I appreciate very much the job it is doing. May I say that I think the occasional reprinting from old issues is an excellent one. I think I have, stowed away in various places, every issue since its commencement. If you can put your hands on Myles Dunphy's “To Kanangra by Perambulator” (or similar title) I think it would make good re-reading…
(Sgd.) (J.V.) Joe Turner.
(“First Perambulator to Kanangra Tops” was printed in June 1932, and is one of many classics of Bushwriting which deserve to be reprinted for the enjoyment of our readers. Ed.)
“163 Karimbla Road,
“The motion that our well established and profitable monthly magazine be published every second month was indeed untimely.
For this motion to have been carried would not only have been a slur against the ability of the present Editor but a reflection against the members themselves in not supporting the journal by sending in sufficient contributions.
The magazine is as strong as the members may choose to make it; but where there is forgetfulness by the members to write, they themselves are to blame, not the Editor if the journal tends to become weaker through the lack of material.
The magazine undoubtedly in the present and past has proven to be an asset to the club all round.
The journal is the mouthpiece of all club activities and is open to any member, who is desirous to write of his experiences relative to the Bushwalking movement.
An experienced editor knows his journal and can channel with ease whatever support is given towards entertaining reading.
There is no excuse for any club as strong in membership as the Sydney Bushwalkers to have the Editor go cap in hand pleading for articles as he has done in the past.
On the contrary, there should be a steady flow of articles sufficient to compile a fifty page monthly magazine if needed, not one of twenty with the editor suffering all kinds of trials and tribulations to maintain the latter number through the lack of material.
The mover, no doubt, realised this and so moved along the lines he did to show all members the importance of sending him articles that the members on the whole may benefit.
(Sgd.) Clem Hallstrom.
Quote from our magazine of January 62. “They - (Mallory and Irvine) did not forfeit their lives in vain, etc.”
Fine play of words - but to me utterly unconvincing. Such stuff always conjures an image of another peak climber, that Napoleon chap, posed - with his cockeyed hat - hand reaching for his wallet.
“Why climb - because it is there”. Balderdashtic junk - with equal sense - one could say - why go to a circus - because it is there.
Everest - years of planning, and a small mountain of boodle - while the world holds its breath. And the grand total - 2 men, out of the world's 2000 mill, can say 3 little words - we did it!
And what a waste of life, in perfect fitness. Consider young Toni Kutz, swaying by day - by night - on the Eiger: was ever a more terrible, prolonged ending. Toni - in the very flower of youth - and every minute of the agony clearly visible to the helpless experts through the eye of a plus 70 telescope - sport!
Now this is my view of such doings - in a restraining letter to a friend of mine addicted to alpine gambling - I wrote: “Ah but one slip - and that blithe spirit folds its wings. A death is not just death, an isolated spot of ceasing life - ripples go out far and wide, as in a stone disturbed lake. Out - and out - may lap and pain the many shores of loving memory - a lifetime hence!
(Editors note: May we, in reply quote Edward Whymper:
“The line which separates the difficult from the dangerous is sometimes very shadowy, but it is not an imaginary line. It is a true line, without breadth. It is often easy to pass, and very hard to see. It is sometimes passed unconsciously, and the consciousness that it has been passed is felt too late. If the doubtful line is passed consciously, deliberately, one passes from doing that which is justifiable, to that which is unjustifiable.”)
- Don Matthews.
For once Snow was early; but by the time we had assembled, and then stopped en route for supplies, and for a look at Cordeaux Dam, and for lunch at Mt. Keira, it was 3 o'clock when we reached The Page's place in Jamberoo Pass.
Peter looked sceptical when we declared our intention of doing an overnight walk. On previous occasions the lure of the bush camp sites of “Ben Ricketts” had been too great, and we had camped there and enjoyed day walks around the Barren Grounds, especially at wildflower time. However, we convinced him, so he recommended Cook's Nose - Brother's Creek - Drawing Room Rocks - Barren Grounds, a circular tour with fine viewpoints.
We left the Griffiths Trail where it drops down to the pool on Upper Broghers Creek and made our way out to Cook's Nose. From here the Brogher's Creek Valley opened up towards Kangaroo Valley. About 500 feet beneath our feet, just below the cliffs, were the high terraces, wide and lush and dotted with Palm trees and rocks.
Further down, cattle grazed on the slopes and the farms down the valley could be clearly picked out.
Peter had assured us that the way through the cliffs was easy so we looked around on the Eastern side, just back from the point. We looked in the wrong place, and what we saw was not inviting - just a wet, scrubby, rocky, gully which didn't look too hopeful. We know now that there is an easy track right through the cliff line, but at the time a gently sloping gully on the Western side looked easier, so we headed for it.
This was easy until we reached a creek which rose near the point and then flowed about N.E. for some hundreds of yards before diving down through the western cliff. Fallen logs helped us to get across and into some horrible tangle jungle growth between creek and cliff.
A viewpoint from the cliff line showed us a definite break to our right, so back into the scrub and down over dank earth and leaves on to the creek which dropped quickly until it reached a 30' waterfall. At this point I rebelled. “Snow” I said, “this is too hazardous”. I have a premonition of impending disaster. But Snow had disappeared and there was no hope of retreat.
We followed, as he sidled to the right, and then gingerly groped our way down a leafy earth ridge between the low tree growth. About a hundred feet down, where we expected to find the high terrace, the creek flattened out for a distance before continuing its dash downwards. After a search through the thicket at the creek side we peered through a gap to see flat ground stretching away to the South. We were down, and it was 6.30 and getting dark.
We moved along the cowpad to an inviting camp spot beneath a huge tree canopy. Snow sank gratefully to earth and sighed a sigh of contentment. Then he leaped into the air with a startled yell. Leeches! “Go on”, I said, “you brought them with you” (from the creek, that is). But Snow was right. Wave upon wave of hungry leeches were advancing towards us, so we upped and moved to higher ground where we hoped there might not be so many.
There weren't so many, but there were enough. There were also hordes of mosquitoes, as we found out during the night; but the memory of the discomforts was soon washed out by the dawn of a perfect day, with dozens of birds flitting though the brush, and the view of the mist-filled valley below.
We dropped down to the road near the highest farm, crossing the Broger's Creek ford, then plodded up the hill to the Woodhill Gap, and up the track, faint in parts, to the Drawing Room Rock. From here there were wonderful views over the coastal plain and down the Valley Of Brogers into Kangaroo Valley. The track continued as far as the heathlands, where it lost itself (lost us, anyhow) in the lush growth, so we slowly skirted the east side of the swamp at about one mile an hour to reach the Griffiths Trail again.
The traverse of the heath, although hard going, was rewarded by the sighting of five Ground Parrots in flight in different parts of the plateau and by views to the south of Pigeon House and Currockbilly.
We followed the Trail down to the pool, a pleasant spot for lunch, especially in springtime, when there are masses of wildflowers in bloom. Then up the track to the Reserve entrance, where we again admired the Trust's handiwork, and down the road to Ben Ricketts.
In 1948, or thereabouts, S.B.W's Rae and Peter Page built their home on a flat terrace beneath the cliffs of the Barren Grounds plateau. They are keen walkers and Nature lovers, and know all there is to know about the area - its scenic attractions, wild life, and flowers.
For years now, old and new S.B.W's have journeyed to “Pages” to enjoy their hospitality and the beauty at their back door.
Those who haven't, or new members unaware of the area, are invited to call on Rae and Peter at “Ben Rickett's” , Mountain Road, Jamberoo, and learn something of the Barren Grounds Reserve and of the surrounding country.
(From Fauna Conservation and The Wildlife Refuge Idea (Fauna Protection Panel, 1960)).
Barren Grounds Faunal Reserve, No.3, is on plateau land about 2,000 feet above sea level, west if Kiama and just above Jamberoo. At present, its area is about 3,600 acres covering large tracts of swampy heathlands which act as water supply regulators for streams which belong to the Kangaroo system, and so are important to the farmlands in the valley. Where the swamps have given away to drier conditions the open forest takes over, and in the little valleys developed by the creeks before they tumble over the edge of the plateau, there are small stands of sub-tropical growth including tree ferns, black wattles and coachwoods. In consequence, there are several habitats each with good and growing fauna populations. Perhaps the most interesting environment is the heathlands. Here live at least two fairly rare species, the Ground (or Swamp) Parrot and the Eastern Bristle Bird and they are known to breed in this Reserve. Before the Grounds were dedicated as a Faunal Reserve, they had been under grazing licence. In addition to the effects of the actual grazing, the area was burned over regularly. Now the regrowth has been most outstanding and as the two rare birds mentioned above nest near or on the ground, the chances of regeneration should be very high. There are other natural attractions of high value on the Grounds; the swampy heaths give rise to floral splendour…. which beside bringing their array of Honey-eaters and other fauna, are a great attraction themselves to visitors.
To preserve the spirit of the Reserve camping in it should be restricted to the entrance, near the Ranger's Hut.
There are many walking tours in this area, outside the Faunal Reserve, e.g. Brogher's Creek, Gerringong Falls, Carrington Falls.