Established June 1931
A monthly bulletin of matters of interest to the Sydney Bush Walkers, Box 4476, G.P.O. Sydney, N.S.W. 2001. Club meetings are held every Wednesday evening at 8 pm at Kirribilli Neighbourhood Centre, 16 Fitzroy Street, Kirribilli (near Milson's Point Railway Station). Visitors and prospective members are welcome any Wednesday. To advertise in the magazine please contact the Business Manager.
|Editor||George Mawer, 42 Lincoln Rd., Georges Hall 2198. Telephone 707 1343.|
|Business Manager||Joy Hynes, 36 Lewis St., Dee Why 2099 Telephone 982 2615 (h), 888 3144 (w).|
|Production Manager||Fran Holland. Telephone 484 6636.|
|Printers||Kenn Clacher, Kay Chan, Barrie Murdoch, Margaret Niven and Les Powell.|
|Morong Deep - Summer 1993||Tony Holgate||2|
|Barrington Tops Walk - 20/21 March 1993||Morie Ward||2|
|Washpool With Vigor - Easter 1993||Tony Holgate||4|
|A Word to Leaders||Bill Holland||6|
|The Wilderness Society Badge Appeal||8|
|Social Notes||John Hogan||9|
|A Travese of the Denison, Spires & King William Ranges - Part 2||Ian Wolfe||11|
|Antarctic Slide Presentation||Maurice Smith||13|
|The April General Meeting||Barry Wallace||13|
|Walking in Washpool||Fran Holland||14|
|Tom Herbert - Hon. Member||16|
|Eastwood Camping Centre||10|
Tony Holgate 14/1/93.
The granite roasts,
the crystals sparkle,
the heat shimmers.
through the rock,
the cooling Kowmung
cast aside from the past
silent pools of unknown depth,
raucous wild cascades.
smooth and sensuous,
sharp and threatening.
cool and soothing,
noisy and dangerous.
the blocks stacked,
the slabs abound,
giant marbles scattered.
incidental to this scheme.
Leader: Morie Ward.
A lovely sunny morning saw nine starters setting out from The Mountaineer along the trail leading to the ridge down to Whispering Gully. The first stop was at an old gold mine a short distance off the trail. I managed to convince five of the group to come with me to explore the old mine shaft which went about fifty metres into the side of a steep hill before ending with a vertical drop.
After this it was down the ridge through beautiful rainforest which was filled with the sound of bird calls, with Wonga pigeons, Lyre birds and a Rifle bird among those sighted. When we reached Whispering Gully Creek it was time for morning tea. Instead of the normal babbling brook it was about three times its usual depth and flowing with great force. We followed the creek down as far as a cascade above the first of several waterfalls. After a detour around the waterfalls we arrived back at the creek at about 11.30am at our lunch spot. Leaving our packs we made the short walk upstream to view the bottom waterfall before returning for lunch.
When setting off from The Mountaineer we walked through 1,000 year old Antarctic Beech trees with an under story of tree ferns. This cool temperate rainforest had changed to warm temperate by the time we reached Whispering Gully creek and now below the waterfalls had changed again to Subtropical with giant Yellow Carapeen being the most spectacular of the trees with their enormous buttresses.
As we moved down stream it was necessary to repeatedly cross the creek and this became increasingly difficult as more and more side creeks joined the main stream. We passed several large Brush Turkey mounds before encountering one of these large red and yellow headed bird just as we reached our campsite. The rainforest had been quite wet from heavy rain earlier in the week bringing the flora and fauna to life. The leeches also seemed to be enjoying themselves and although our pantyhose kept them off our feet and lower legs, two of our group took such a liking to these cuddly creatures that they took a couple to bed with them. During the night. I woke to the sound of light rain and while outside retrieving some of my gear I was confronted by a Tiger Quoll (Dasyurus maculatus). This carnivorous marsupial, about a metre long, with a long spotted tail, makes a ferocious growling noise.
The next morning we set off through subtropical rainforest and followed up Corcoar Creek into a narrow gorge. With the water flow much less than yesterday we spent considerable time in the creek and clambering over an obstacle course of fallen trees. We gave two waterfalls and several cascades a wide berth before arriving at our morning tea spot shortly after 10.00am.
This is one of my favourite places situated at the junction of two creeks, surrounded by lush subtropical rainforest which included giant red cedars and stinging trees with masses of orchids, large birds nest and other epiphytic ferns. From the right a side stream flows down through the forest over a ten metre high waterfall, and in front Corcoar Creek tumbles down over a series of five smaller beautiful falls.
This was our exit point and after lingering there for about a half an hour if was up the long side ridge to our lunch spot. After a lunch break cut short by rain we set off along the undulating (well it's not flat for more than one metre!) ridge top Mountaineer Trail to arrive back at the cars at 4.00pm.
As I lay under the fly Thursday night at Coombadjha Rest Area listening to the soft rain I wondered how much the forest could have changed in 11 years.
Friday morning, overcast, but at least it had stopped raining. Coombadjha is a beautiful, small, grassy camping area with walls of forest on all sides. I remembered this as a dusty logging trail. Lyrebirds scratch the ground around our tents and in the distance over the tree tops we can just make out the ridge and saddle we must cross into the Washpool catchment.
We planned to follow the remains of the old Lionsville logging trail, which was a very substantial forest road. I had walked part of this trail in 1983 and known others that had walked the length of it. The trail was closed in 1984 when Washpool National Park was declared. The regrowth is impressive, very impressive, with visibility frequently down to a few metres due to the vegetation and generally not more than 25 metres. The best progress we could make on the first day was about 2 km/h and the worst 100 metres in 15 minutes. There were the most extensive thickets of lawyer vine I have ever seen: 2-3 metres high; with native raspberry, fallen trees, large thickets of closely growing regrowth, ferns and bracken up to 2 metres high and assorted other vines to weave it all together. In many places if you move away from the old trail progress is not much better. This is difficult terrain to navigate in. Breaking trail requires all your strength and concentration. Every so often you stumble across a concrete culvert, strangely inconsistent with these wild, incredibly beautiful ridge tops. After a very tiring day with everyone exhausted, suffering from cuts and bruises and well short of our objective for that day we had a “dry” camp surrounded by one of many groves of red cedar trees that we found. At least one member of the party managed to avoid getting too scratched, although we disputed his claim to be virginal.
Saturday dawned to the sounds of the wilderness. No one had much enthusiasm during a quick breakfast, then back into the “jungle”. After a little dance with a large carpet python we were seduced up the obvious trail only to realise that it did not agree with map. After being bushed for a while by the dense forest and inaccurate contours we eventually found the correct ridge stopping on the way for water and morning tea high in Viper creek. We followed the old trail, now pleasant walking under the forest canopy, to the north climbing to 1080m, the highest point on this ridgeline where the temperature was about 5 degrees, it was drizzling and there was low cloud obscuring the views from one of the few places with relatively open forest. From there we followed a steep but very good walking ridge down 720m to the north west which brought us to the bend at reference 376545 on Washpool creek. The opposite side of Washpool creek rose up in luxuriant rainforest with very large trees draped with vines, orchids, birdsnest ferns, elkhorns, staghorns and 30m high palm trees. In the middle of our campsite was a small tree about 3m high with elkhorns (one a metre across), birdsnest ferns, and at least 5 different types of orchid. Next to the tent hung a vine with an elkhorn growing completely around it and sedge grass growing out of the top of the elkhorn. The diversity and profusion of life is breathtaking, not to mention bloodtaking (many, many leeches). We set up camp on that bend and managed to get a fire going in the rain although Ian thought that all the smoke emerging from beneath my rain coat a little bizarre.
Washpool is a very beautiful valley. The aboriginals did not live here, the loggers did not reach here and there are few signs of bushwalkers. It is old forest and virtually untouched even today. It is humbling to look at millennia of growth. The trip up Washpool was slow with the rocks slippery but the weather started to improve with some sun. We could not help but be awed by the environs as we walked. The banks are, for the most part, cloaked in forest with fields of sedge grass on some of the bends. The best walking tends to be under the forest canopy which necessitates crossing the river frequently. As we walked we noticed fruits of many colours; whites, yellows, greens, purples, black, reds and bright orange peanut-shaped berries. There are waves of aromatic scents from the forest - some delicious, some making you choke. Strangler figs slowly enveloping 70m forest giants; some forming delicate lace-work on the host tree, others with their aerial roots strung taut out from the trunk like a giant double bass. Large buttresses meander out from high up the base of trees that are so tall we can barely see their leaves. Stinging trees spring up to fill gaps in the forest, as Jan found out. As we duck under branches we see lizards that look very much like Iguanas and are not frightened by the whole party passing within a metre, man has yet to teach fear here. If you can drag your eyes away from the large to the small you can see spiders the size of the head of a pin (white ones and red ones) or spiders about 8mm across that look like and walk like a crab. Snails with shells ranging from a flat spiral lcm across to one with a shell the size of a tennis ball. Sunday night we camped at the delightful Pi Pi Flat. This is a very large flat area of mostly open forest running down from the junctions of Washpool, Pi Pi and Hianna Creeks. The last night, the best campfire, tales told - some true, the forest giants dance in the firelight. At one point there is a loud rushing noise and we debate what it is; it's only the sound of a brief downpour across the tree tops minutes before it reaches us.
The walk out from Pi Pi Flat is relatively easy. We walked along a pleasant ridge mostly covered by tall open forest. A few more vipers, scrub and the cars are such an anticlimax.
Driving south across New England we ate treated to a spectacular sunset; fitting indeed.
Every day a new picture is painted and framed, held up for half an hour,
in such lights… and then withdrawn, and the curtain falls.
And then the sun goes down, and long the afterglow gives light.
And then the damask curtains glow along the western window.
And now the first star is lit, and I go home.
Henry David Thoreau 7/1/1852.
Tony Holgate, Tony Crichton, Ian Wolfe, Mark Dabbs, Bill Holland, Fran Holland, Jan Mohandas, Jean Kendall.
Maps: Washpool 1:25000, Coombadjha 1:25000.
The ridgetop between Washpool and Coombadjha Creeks is worth walking along to see the forest but the old fire trail cannot be reliably followed without a lot of work. This area can have problem with ticks particularly in the warmer months and there is no shortage of leeches. There is no water on the ridgetops but we found a spring high in Viper Creek. The ridge from 388532 down to 376545 is well defined and steep but easy walking. There are plenty of potential campsites in Washpool Creek although many would only suit small parties. In several areas we found the accuracy of the map questionable, this is probably due to the thick forest cover. Wherever the canopy has been broken the regrowth is very aggressive and best avoided. The ridge between Washpool and Hianana Creeks offers an easy to follow and good walking route out. Using this route it is about 5 hours easy walking from Pi Pi Flat to Coombadjha Rest Area.
Preparing the Winter Walks Programme brought to mind George Mawer's leadership training night in March.
Not all of our walks leaders were there and that was a pity because important matters were discussed. Let me tell you about some of them..
You should be aware that walks appearing on Sydney Buhwalkers programme should not appear on the programmes of other clubs on the same day with the same leader. In other words, we do not share programmed walks.
The reason for this is our public liability insurance. We are covered by a different company from that used by other clubs who have arranged insurance through the Confederation. It is possible that a shared walk would have the involvement of two insurance companies - could lead to complications.
Also, leaders are requested to explain the nature of the proposed walk and any unusual features, particularly to prospective members who may not be familiar with the territory.
Finally, the last page of the Walks programme has been designed as a reminder sheet with instructions on Search and Rescue procedure etc. Please leave the S & R contact numbers with a responsible person together with a note on how many vehicles and where they will be parked.
The Earth supports you every day of the year. Please spare a few hours to support it.
On World Environment Day, Saturday June 5th, we need volunteer badge sellers to help raise funds to support the fight to save our native forests. If you can help out, call us on (02) 267 7929. If you can't spare the time, please spare a few dollars to buy a badge.
(Letter from The Wilderness Society, 1a James Lane, Sydney 2000. Ph: 267 7929 Fax: 264 2673)
Paul Mercurio of Strictly Ballroom fame has joined other celebrities in recording radio announcements urging people to sell badges on World Environment Day June 5th. The dancer is leading the first step in The Wilderness Society's annual badge Appeal, organised to draw attention to threats faced by Australia's wilderness and raise the money needed to protect it.
“Unlike Strictly Ballroom there are some Australian exports I'm not proud of - like export woodchips from our native forests.” Mercurio said.
Joining Paul in the campaign to protect wilderness are local bands Baby Animals, Hunters and Collectors and the popular Irish group Hot House Flowers, who are all voicing their concern over the current state of the World's environment.
World Environment Day has become an issue of vital importance as it reflects a growing awareness of environmental destruction as an international problem. Appeal Coordinator Nicci Smail explained “The concept behind June 5th aims at making people all over the world investigate ways they as individuals can help conserve and rebuild their natural surroundings.”
On this year's World Environment Day wilderness will continue to vanish around the world at a rate of 40 hectares a minute - a football field per second! Australian wilderness such as East Gippsland, Coolangubra and Tasmania's southern forests will also continue to vanish. For celebrities like Paul Mercurio and Hothouse Flowers pinning down wilderness destruction is not only important but vital.
As 1993 is the year of Indigenous People the badges have been specially designed by Aboriginal artist Clive Atkinson and are available in a variety of sizes. Badges will be sold in city streets, local shopping centres, the work place and in schools. They sell at $2, $3 and $5.
Those interested in selling badges should call The Wilderness Society on 008 030 641 (toll free). Badges will be on sale at the Body Shop, Esprit, Virgin Megastores and on June 4 & 5 in local shopping areas.
For further information: please call Nicci Smail or Wendy Mckenzie on: Office hours (02)267-7929. After hours (02) 810-5603 or (02) 482-2115.
Protecting, promoting and preserving wilderness.
Alico size 41 Cross-Country Touring Ski Boots: as new $120. Contact Christine Austin 484 1519.
by John Hogan
This year I am looking for new ideas to add variety to our social program. The first of these will take the form of a “Bring and Buy” night to be held on the 30th June. This will differ from our traditional “auction” in that the seller will receive the value of the goods sold less a donation of perhaps 10% to the Club. This should encourage the presentation of some good quality equipment which for some reason or other has become superfluous to the seller. In turn this will be a great opportunity for others, particularly new members, to upgrade at a reasonable price. So start now to clean out your cupboards and see what you really don't need any more.
There are a couple of really interesting slide nights coming up. As most of you are well aware Peter Tressider's presentations are always first class and despite the fact that he is covering the Kimberleys, the same area as Peter Christian showed a few weeks ago, I'm sure you will be delighted by Peter's slides and commentary. The other slide night will feature Tony Crichton and Maurie Bloom's slides of our recent trip to Tasmania. I have already viewed these and can promise you they are excellent.
Finally, I wish to extend to each and every one of you an invitation to help me celebrate my 50th birthday in conjunction with the mid-winter feast on 23rd June. I had intended to have a separate party, but I'm afraid my current circumstances prevent me from doing this, so I would be delighted to see as many of you as possible on that night.
by Ian Wolfe
This day in effect marked the apogee of our trip and henceforth we were “walking out” The first part of the following day was across the button grass plains flanking Reverend Creek. This proved fairly tiring due to the waist high size of the button grass mounds. We therefore elected to “River It” in the creek which proved fairly successful.
After a short land section to cut off an unnecessary bend we joined the Gell River and again wandered down the river bed. This proved very scenic and, except for a wading section at day's end, fairly pleasant. After a quiet night camped on the riverbank we completed the river section and climbed out at the big bend. We met up with a great white scar across the wilderness in the form of an old earthworks left over from a mining exploration attempt in the 60s.
From here we followed an overgrown Bombardier Track northwards (a Bombardier is a first generation All Terrain Vehicle, ATV, about the size of a Land Rover which could either run on tracks or large wheels). The track provided an easy passage through some fairly densely vegetated areas on the way to the King William Range. The track terminated at an old abandoned airstrip 7 kms to the north. An even older track was supposed to continue even further north. We did find occasional traces of it but one had to use your imagination! Camp was made beside a creek in a scene very reminiscent of the western Budawangs.
The following day proved to be the hardest of the trip. It involved a 500 metre ascent up a ridgeline to attain the King William Range. Problem was that the vegetation was fairly thick in places and the slope was fairly steep (Wirritin Ridge equivalent). Much of this was in myrtle rain-forest which included a fair number of fallen logs covered in moss (very scenic and quite beautiful but somewhat trying to clamber over and under).
Morning tea was observed by a mother Ring-Tail Possum who gave us a very close range inspection to determine what manner of creatures we were. She then spurned our presence and departed through the treetops with her brood in tow.
We eventually struggled free of the shrubbery to emerge onto the range for afternoon tea at the summit of Mount King William III. This provided vistas down the length of the Prince of Wales Range as well as back southwards to the Denison Range.
Camp was made a short distance to the north at what was supposed to be a small lake which unfortunately was bereft of water! A nearby creek remedied this deficiency.
The profusion of cushion grass plants provided an interesting diversion as next day we walked amongst the dolerite peaks of the King William Range. A lovely clear lake provided an ideal spot for morning tea and a chance to catch up our swimming as well as washing which had lagged a bit since we departed the Gell River. The KWR has a number of lakes on its eastern flank which provided a sparkling panorama over towards Lake King William. Lunch was celebrated on the summit of King William II, the highest point of the walk, as I pondered whether William Rufus really had been a victim of a palace coup or if his demise had been the result of an honest hunting accident (he was killed whilst hunting deer in the New Forest when an arrow fired by a courtier “bounced” off a tree).
This idyll was interrupted by an approaching wall of rain and cloud from the west which gave us scant time to hurriedly complete our lunch. A short sharp series of thunderstorms then followed to liven up events. After quickly traversing the rest of the middle section of the KWR we had a bum sliding descent down to the saddle of Top End Gap. Camp was made at an unnamed lake in a persistent light drizzle. This continued most of the night and tapered off towards dawn.
Another ascent the following day brought us onto the northern section of the King William Range. As we climbed we gradually warmed up as the temperature had dropped to a chilly 6°C. By lunch time we were sheltered behind a ridge overlooking a little lake watching the constantly changing patterns of the wind on the water. As we waited the cloud abated and was replaced by gradually strengthening sunshine. The following two hours walk was a delight as the whole plateau sparkled with water droplets and flowing streams. The whole scene of moss and flowering mountain shrubs was presented in a series of terraces for all the world like a Japanese garden.
An early camp was made by another small lake in the lee of a convenient ridge. Some of us went exploring to climb Mount Pitt and Milligans Peak before retiring for our last night in the wilderness.
The dawn brought rising mist and cloud which gradually disappeared as we made our last ascent to the summit of King William I. Here we stood beneath a clear blue sky for great views up Lake Sinclair to Mount Olympus, Eldon Bluff and on the far horizon the Walls of Jerusalem stood proud. However, as we gazed southwards we could only see as far as King William II as the peaks of the southwest still wore their nightcaps of white. As compensation the whole massif of Frenchmans Cap stood proud and clear to the west. Some even saw a sparkle on the far horizon which they chose to believe was the sea.
Then down and down the steep access track to a FWD road to walk through scattered gums and buttongrass plains to our terminus at the Lyell Highway. Here we were met by another Invicta Bus which whisked us off to the Hobart YHA for a welcome shower and set of clean clothes. A celebratory dinner at a local pub consuming some of Tassie's high quality but cheap seafood (1/2 a lobster for $15 in a scrumptious salad) rounded off the trip.
In all a great wilderness experience being away from civilization for two weeks. Three mighty ranges were traversed, rivers waded down, plains crossed (tiger snakes avoided) and forests walked through. At times quite challenging and occasionally uncomfortable but these subsumed by the tranquillity of the vistas.
[PS:. Tasmap are now producing an excellent series of 1:25,000 scale maps which are a vast improvement over the old 1:100,000 scale maps.]
On the evening of 21 April, 1993 John Noble, a club member, presented to a large number of members a stunning display of slides taken on his January, 1991 visit to Antarctica on the 6,300 tonne cruise ship “Frontier Spirit”. The aim of this trip was to visit Mawson's Hut at Commonwealth Bay, for the purpose of developing preservation options.
Back in January, 1991 this reviewer was a resident of Hobart, and I vividly recall seeing the “Frontier Spirit” tied up at Hobart docks. The “whisper” around Hobart was that this ship was the temporary home for a large number of American millionaires who had paid a king's ransom for the privilege of travelling in luxury to the Antarctic. Little did I realise that one of the passengers was our member John Noble.
John's slides of Macquarie Island and Antarctica showed us some glorious scenes of the wildlife of the area, including King Penguins, Elephant Seals, Royal Penguins, Adele Penguins, Skuas, Waddell Seals, Albatrosses and Humpback Whales.
The slides also showed Mawson's Hut on the edge of the sea at Commonwealth Bay and John's views on its preservation were considered with interest.
The “landscape” visited was primarily one of extreme desolation. The slides showed how the action of nature on the ice glaciers and icebergs was one which created incredibly beautiful scenes, which are somewhat different to those which we as bushwalkers are used to seeing.
John, thank you for sharing your experiences with us, it was for me a most enjoyable night.
by Barry Wallace
The President called the meeting to order at around 2015 with some 24 or so members present. There was an apology from Denise Shaw. New member David Trinder was called for welcome but was not present.
The Minutes of the February General Meeting were read and received with no matters arising. Correspondence brought a letter from one John Williams, son of a man who walked with the Club during a visit to Australia on R & R leave from Vietnam. John is planning to visit Australia and has asked for information. Your humble scribe is still cobbling a response. There was also a letter from a Mr. Graham Belville requesting access to our archives. This was passed to the archivist for action. Peter Sargent, who walked with the Club some years ago, has requested and been granted reinstatement to membership (Welcome back, Peter).
The Treasurer's Report indicated that we earned income of $866, spent $1,714 and closed with a balance of $1,175.
The Walks Report began at the weekend of 12,13,14 March with Jim Rivers reporting a good hard walk “to program” for the unspecified number of people who attended his Budawangs walk. They enjoyed fine weather, views, and a complete absence of election hype. George Mawer cancelled his Budawangs walk, Dick Weston's wine and cheese weekend in Megalong Valley did not go (the Club's going to the dogs, did you say?) and there was no report of Peter Christian's Wollemi Canyon/abseiling trip. Wilf Hilder led the 13 who attended his Great Western walk through wire fences, past nests of raging bees, and conquered other untold obstacles and hazards to complete the Mt Marys to Glenbrook section on the Sunday. Peter Dyce substituted for Ralph Penglis to lead the 7 people who turned out for Ralph's Sunday Otford to Bundeena walk.
Over the weekend of 19,20,21 March Morrie Ward led a party of 9 on his Barrington Tops walk, down in the rainforest. The weather was fine on Saturday but even then the forest was dank and wet and creek levels made crossings difficult. The party reported the growling of tiger quolls overnight around the tents. The Sunday afternoon rains came right on time, to hasten their departure back to the fleshpots of Gloucester. All those people who jumped to the wrong conclusion when they saw “pantyhose optional” on the program, and were not really into S & M, will know better next time. The rest of the trips scheduled were day walks. Mark Weatherly led 8 souls on his proposed Maroota N.P. Saturday walk which went well. Peter Christian's Saturday “walk” down Hole-in-the-Wall Canyon was led by Kenn Clacher with a party of 2. There were various wild reports about Tom Wenman's Sunday stroll in the Megalong. It's unclear how many people went but at least some of them were quite excited about the trip up Galong Creek. There were no details of Jim Callaway's Heathcote to Waterfall walk. You'd have to guess that at least Jim went on the thing if no-one else.
The following weekend, 26,27,28 March began with a “no report” for Tom Wenman's Kanangra Tops, Thunder Bend, Kanangra Creek, Murdering Gully walk. Maurie Bloom's navigational walk was attended by 5 prospectives, all of whom enjoyed the good weather and presumably the challenges. Peter Christian's Wollemi N.P. abseiling/canyoning trip did not go but Laurie Bore reported 12 starters on his Wollongambe Wilderness trip and Bronnie Niemeyer had a party of 14 with three morning tea stops on her Sutherland to Waterfall walk. There was also a story about Wilf Hilder and buses and an unsuccessful short cut but the details at this remove are vague.
Wayne Steele was out there the following weekend, 2,3,4 April with 7 starters and no details for his Barrington Tops walk. Ian Debert's Nattai River trip was cancelled. Jo Van Sommers had 5 on her Saturday walk in the Hazelbrook/Woodford area and of the Sunday day walks, Wilf's next stage of the Great Western Walk, from Glenbrook to Faulconbridge, attracted 20 out on a beautiful day and Judy Mehaffey led 11 on her Waterfall to Engadine walk in similar conditions.
The following weekend, Easter, saw a variety of trips ranging from George Walton's Kosciusko ramble with a party of 16 and Ian Rannard's Kosciusko N.P. Byadbo Wilderness with a host of 25 (both walks in the nearest thing to perfect weather we are likely to see for some time), to Tony Holgate's trip to the Washpool N.P. with a party of 8 enduring the splendours of the rainforest attained via a purgatorial ridge line. Conditions were damp but the surroundings spectacular with huge trees, creepers of all types, carpet pythons and giant snails. The party was still in recovery at last report. There is almost certainly a magazine article or two in there somewhere, watch this space. Ralph Penglis led a party of 24 through beautiful weather on his Sydney Harbour foreshores walk on the Sunday.
Maurie Blown reported on his Tassie walk, but you probably have/will read that in last month's / this month's magazine. [No - Editor.]
Conservation Report brought news that the Blue Mountains Council are to hold a forum on World Heritage listing for the Blue Mountains. This has evoked keen interest from many quarters. State cabinet are due to consider the proposed Wilderness Areas with the smart money saying they will probably defer most of them.
There was no Confederation Report and General Business brought only notice of a questionnaire on camping in the Royal National Park.
After the announcements the President closed the meeting at 2124.
Leave the traffic, telephones and stress of the city behind. Join us on an expedition into the living heart of Australia. Enjoy magnificent views by day. Relax around a campfire while your guide serves you a delicious three course meal at night. Wake up to the call of the birds.
Each trip consists of three separate walks allowing us to show you some of the best scenery in the Macdonnells without your having to carry the heavy weight you would need for a major expedition.
On these trips we take you deep into the back country to visit deep gorges and picturesque waterholes far from the crowds in Palm Valley and Kings Canyon.
Join our guide as he or she goes off to explore one or more of the fascinating areas we have yet to include in our regular program.
12 Carrington Street Millner NT 0810 Phone (089) 85 2134 Fax: (089) 85 2355
by Fran Holland
Easter weekend a small group drove a very long way north of Glen Innes to Washpool National Park. The reward was the wonderful experience of walking in a totally undisturbed rainforest wilderness.
The size of the beautiful old trees is immense, taking six of us with arms outstretched to give one of them a good hug. Orchids, ferns, vines, fungi, moss of seemingly endless variety grow over almost all the large and small trees creating the most beautiful scene. Palms, cordyline, ground orchids, mossy logs and rocks, and the deep soft forest floor litter complete the under-storey atmosphere.
Some of the local wild life appeared in the form of two very large carpet snakes, two rather large red-bellied black, two very handsome large lizards, a snail with a home as large as a fist, lots of beautiful birds, and a few small animals heard but not seen. I know we have ensured the survival of the local leeches by giving hundreds of them a good feed so they can go forth and multiply, though they did seem to be suffering from overcrowding already. A few ticks gave us something to scratch about as well.
The weather was really good for walking, as well as reminding us every now and then that we were in a rainforest called Washpool - but we also had lovely days with the sun filtering down through the 50 metre high canopy.
Who were the lucky eight? I hear you ask - no need to give you names. The old logging trails followed to get into the rainforest wilderness were rather overgrown with thick young trees and rather more lawyer vine than one would choose, leaving us with arms and legs almost needing skin grafts - two or so occasionally leading with their noses makes their identification even easier.
Days have passed and already the scratches fade, and the itching has almost stopped and I only remember walking in the really wonderful rainforest, so please Tony, let us know when the next trip is planned, and thank you for the great experience.
[PS. If by chance you happen to take a few leeches home, the nice thing about them is that you don't have to look for them as they like to find you!!!]
Veteran Club Member Tom Herbert (joined 1929 - President 1934-36) is now resident at the Paulian Villa, 5/27 Eastern Valley Way, Northbridge, 2063 (telephone 958 5448). He would be happy to hear from other old Sydney Bush Walkers. When walking very actively in the 1930s, Tom was one of the famous “Bert Brothers” - Jack DeBERT (father of President Ian) and himself Tom HerBERT.
Please add the following name to your List of Members:-
Trinder, David - 8 Garland Ave, Epping 2121 876 5949 (H) 868 49,55 (B).