Author Archive

  • Wilsons Prom Hike

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    27th February- 2nd March

    Hike leader: Paul B

    Day 1:

    At 6:00am sharp Michael picked the last of the team up on a dark cool morning. We stopped at the Tooradin Bakery for breakfast, then onto Fish Creek for a break. We had a rare treat as we drove up Darby Saddle, a Handsome Hog Deer stag trotted onto the road and peered at us for some time before returning to the bush.

    9am. We rolled into Tidal River and registered for the walk, then up to Telegraph Saddle to park the car. There were lots of min-buses there and as expected we struck lots of school groups. Gaiters and packs on and we excitedly walked of down the road to the lower prom. Some of the school groups got it wrong and took the wrong track!

    An array of wildflowers brightened the trail; the brightest was the azure blue of the wild Lobelia. But the tone of the trip was set by Michael who contributed to a botanical discussion Paul and John were having over the name of an aromatic shrub,

    “ Was it a Cassina or a Dogwood?” to which Michael said

    “Of course it’s a Dogwood, I recognise it by its BARK”

    We were amazed at the extent of the erosion at Growlers Creek. Normally a dark rainforest gully. Now a 50 meter swarf had cut thru the gully and taken out the bridge. We sat on the new bridge and had morning tea.   The road now hand been upgraded to take fire-trucks, so we were pleased to get off it, to the turn of down to Waterloo Bay, for it was a sand track wandering over the sand hills.

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    At Boulder Saddle we stopped to climb the boulders to get a view of both bays, Oberon and Waterloo. Walking down to the beach, we crossed several boggy wet lands which were now crossed on board walks or the new fibreglass grids. The beach was a stunning sight! A wide expanse of pure white sand reflecting turquoise water. We dropped on the beach and took it all in while we had lunch (and a snooze for some).  John instructed us on how to identify female Pacific Gulls! They have red tipped beaks, “LIPSTICK”

    Finally we dragged ourselves up to make the short journey over the point into Little-Waterloo Bay. Talk about paradise! The campsite is tucked in behind the sand –dune  of a magic little beach, with coloured boulders at each end.  We quickly set up our tents then down to the beach for a swim and sun-bake on the rocks. More beachcombing after afternoon tea, and after dinner.

    About 7: 30pm. We notice two kayaks approaching and realized they were going to land in the bay.  They had paddled from Tidal River at 2pm. 26klm. One of them  was shivering, so we quickly got him a hot drink and help them get their heavy kayaks high up the beach. They were paddling to Tasmania. They camped on the beach, we returned to our tents for the night to go to sleep to the rhythm of the waves.

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  • Sydney walk: Day 2 Tuesday 18th March

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    Off we go again.  Marg has stayed back at the hostel to rest for the day and Judy P has kept her company.

    Past the Opera House, along the edge of the harbour, Madama Butterfly is being performed at the open air harbourside theatre. Mrs. Macquarie’s chair faces across the water and we read how the road named after her was completed on the 13th day of June 1816. Many swanky suburbs were admired including Elizabeth Bay, magnificent Strelitzias (bird of paradise) very nice Koi Carp pool in small manicured parkland. One hundred and twelve steps someone counted and we passed by where Andrew and Rosemary’s daughter lives. More steps up and down, eventually stopping at Rushcutters Bay Tennis Court Kiosk for coffee break (Angela spilt hers on her immaculate matching aqua shorts and top).  We pretended not to notice the exercise equipment strategically placed beside the walking tracks.

    The boats here float on money, not water (local information).  More steps to Double Bay, lovely boats, sandy beaches with people in swimming and shady green lawns dotted with trees.  Relaxing picnic lunch near Rose Bay ferry wharf and then there were ten, some (hereinafter referred to as the breakaway group) having optioned for a ferry ride, to rejoin main party later on.  How many people does it take to fill a water bottle? Answer: It depends how many ways the water is squirting out of the drinking fountain. Neilson Park, nice netted beach with all facilities being enjoyed by families followed by yet another spectacular spot called Vaucluse Bay.

    Cheryl asked directions from Scottie Cam (of The Block fame) who was having a kick of the footy, and we continued up yet another hill, having just missed the bridge which was in our track notes.  Eventually to Watsons Bay for icecream, nice to sit in the shade, rest the feet, and watch the world go by waiting for the ferry.  On the return trip we spied some of the bays and beaches we had walked past earlier then we swung past the supermarket and bottle shop before a welcome shower. Wine and nibbles were enjoyed on the roof before dinner in the hostel.

    Thankyou Cheryl for another great day…..Yvonne.

  • Walk report: South Bunyip State Forest

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    Saturday 15 March 2014

    Leader – Greg Richards

    A group of 5 met at the end of a pleasant dirt road in Tynong North, past Pakenham and east of Gembrook. It was a mild autumn day with a strengthening wind and the threat of showers later.

    We left the end of Weatherhead Rd and found the trail was not clearly defined. Greg led us cross country up through a pleasant open bush. No we weren’t lost… just exploring the options. We wound our way up to eventually connect with a series of timber milling/ 4 wheel drive tracks which took us through the bush.

    Lupton track and then Camp Rd connected us briefly to the Tynong North Rd before branching off on an obviously well used horse trail known as Cannibal Creek Track, followed by Dawson’s Fire trail. A lovely ferny valley then took us down to Mortimer’s Picnic Ground for lunch, just in time for a light sprinkle of rain. Not enough to dampen our spirits.

    A gentle climb up Yarraburra Track and then Sand Ridge Track till we found a nice granite outcrop called the Pinnacles, which of course we had to climb. A final descent to the vehicle which had been left via a car shuffle. Total distance 18km so it was a moderately demanding but very enjoyable walk through country quite new to most of us. Thanks to Greg

    John Roth

  • Arthur’s Seat/ Seawinds

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    Walkers relax by the beach after a jaunt up Arthur's Seat.  Pic:  Marty S

    Walkers relax by the beach after a jaunt up Arthur’s Seat. Pic: Marty S

     

    Walk report

    Leader: Margaret M

    November 30th

    Arthur’s Seat

    11 Walkers and 1 AWOL
    Glorious day, started with lunch at Mc Crae Light House.
    Than steady walk uphill through blue tunnel and very green bush.
    Great views on way up with heat starting to kick in.
    Witnessed weddings at Seawinds.
    Icecream and Coffee at top of Aurthurs Seat lookout, MMM!!
    Chair lift and towers have been dismantled.
    Yay!! down hill and more fabulous views.
    Stroll along beach to beach box where Peter was waiting with food and drinks laid out, a welcome sight and good to sit down.
    Still too cold for swim, but paddle feet was refreshing.
    Great finish to a perfect days walk.
    Thanks to Margaret for organising and leading.

    Jill

  • Rubicon Base camp

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    Walk report:

    Rubicon Valley Historic area

    Date: 16/11/13

    Leader: Fiona

    Julie and I drove to Thornton on Friday afternoon where we met Yvonne, Eileen, Pam and Kaye who were staying in a very spacious cabin. Julie and I set up our tents in prime position on the banks of the Goulburn River. For $10/person/night this was five star camping with a perfect view of the river rushing along. We were originally going to camp at Kendalls but as we found out the next day that area was packed so we were glad we had chosen the caravan park.

    We met the remainder of the group (Fiona, Paul M., Paul B., Virginia, Angela, Pauline, Warrick and Wane) at the Rubicon power station at 8.45am the next morning and drove to the start of the walk. We headed up the hill to the aqueduct where it meets the pipeline to feed into the Rubicon power station 440 metres below. Access to the infrastructure is not open to the public but we were lucky enough to meet a man who is restoring the machinery who kindly showed us the winch system and tram cars that were used to maintain the aqueduct and power station. There is a 1.3km haulage with an average grade of 1 in 3 that still exists today. It must have been an exhilarating ride back down to the bottom!

    We then followed the aqueduct through the mountain ash forest. Many wildflowers were seen, smelt, named by Paul and then promptly forgotten by the rest of us by the next bend! However, courtesy of Paul, some of the flowers that were seen were Dusty Daisy bush( small white), musk Daisy bush (large white puffy)Black-susan (purple bells) and Beech Myrtle trees(new coppery tips). Virginia started getting hayfever and sneezing with great regularity until a magical “blue pill”, thereafter known as the smurf tablet, was produced from Julie’s pharmacopeia.

    We followed the aqueduct to the old trestle bridge and stopped at the old SEC saw mill and Royston school house for morning tea. Then it was on to the Rubicon Falls Dam where, if you climbed up the metal staircase and onto the dam wall, you could see the falls themselves. The water is being diverted down the aqueduct so there isn’t any water coming over the dam wall at the present time.

    After lunch we retraced our steps towards the Royston power station and climbed up the track running parallel to the pipeline, part of which is still of wooden construction. Soon after this we met the Royston River road and walked along surrounded by the scents of the Hop Bitter Pea which has orange pea flowers and was in great profusion all along the sides of the road.

    We arrived back at the cars, three of our number left to go home and the rest of us drove back to the caravan park. Dinner that night was at the Thornton pub which was about a 100 metre walk! Talk about convenient!

    Thanks Fiona for organizing the weekend, it was great fun and a beautiful walk.

    Cheryl C

  • Stony Point to Hastings

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    Walk report:

     Stony Point to Hastings,

    Sunday October 6th

    Leader: Chris Sp

    The sky was overcast, but the rain kept away and the seven participants enjoyed mild conditions on the walk from Stony Point to Hastings.

    The walk provided much interest and variety. The walkers boarded the V-line train at Hastings and journeyed four stops to Stony Point, taking advantage of a free – travel Sunday.

    At Stony Point we visited the pier and saw the Phillip Island ferry ready to depart. Some of us harboured thoughts of a future day trip out that way.

    We set off through a bush track, coming out onto the beach and noticing the first mangroves in the water. The path took us back through the bush and spring natives were observed along the path. Our one short sojourn on the road passed uneventfully with 2 cars, 1 motor bike and a young family on bikes, the only road vehicles, underlining the tranquillity of the area. Unfortunately several lots of rubbish had been dumped, defacing the scene.

    We turned onto Jacks Beach reserve and joined the beach again until we emerged at the Oberon Submarine Museum. For a small fee an enjoyable half hour diversion was spent in the museum learning about marine history and the Oberon, which we then saw in situ. For this walker it highlighted the importance of carrying money on a walk. It is not just coffee shops that turn up along the route, you might just find an open museum!

    The final section of the walk was the highlight for this writer. We headed towards Hastings along the boardwalk which crosses the mangrove swamp and the Warringine wetlands, part of the internationally acclaimed Westernport Wetlands.

    Our feet trudging on the boardwalk were in time with the chorus of frogs serenading us from both sides of the swamp. Several swans and a heron were sighted in the wetland pool.

    Bright blue benches, strategically placed on the walk, were commented on. As recycled material what brightly coloured item could they have been made from or had dye been added?

    On arrival at Hastings we walked through the marina and noticed the high number of boat trailers. The pleasant mild weather was not only appreciated by walkers but also local boating people judging by their turn-out.

    We bemoaned the closure of the Pelican Park café, but found a spot in the extensive park for lunch.

    The Hastings area is full of surprises, many of which were enjoyed on our walk!

    Philippa B

  • Powelltown basecamp

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    Walk Notes:

    Powelltown Weekend

    Friday – Sunday: 22nd-24th November 2013:

    Leader:  John Trevillion

    Joint Exercise with the Echuca Bushwalkers.

    Friday Night:  Most of us arrived Friday night before dark and settled into our cozy and somewhat rustic accommodation at Bennett’s’ Lodge in the middle of nowhere. A perfect setting amongst the native bush, for an evening of getting to know the other participants, and a quiet drink. An early night for most and my two new best friends from Echuca took the liberty of drinking my only bottle of Red. Hmmmpf.

    Saturday 0600 Hrs. Nine of the 10 walkers bolted for the showers and the breakfast table, readying themselves for the walk ahead. One recalcitrant ne’er do well managed to join the others sometime after 0700hrs and ate in stony silence. No one reported being savaged by the rumored giant rats that terrorize the area and a good nights’ sleep was had by all.

    The Echuca party consisted of Frank, Anne, Julie plus the Shiraz robbers of Fred and Rob. The Peninsula contingent was led by John Trevillion with his crazy side kick Greg, ably assisted by Roland and Anna, Andrea, Virginia and the soon to arrive Robert.

    After a quick look at The Hump we set off for the main walk up some mangy dirt road until we found the (top) carpark for the High Lead and geared up. The 12 of us proceeded down the track towards the Ada2 Mill camp ground. Along the way we admired the many rotting relics of old wooden trestles and finally arrived at the campground. After inspecting the old boilers and each other for leeches we moved on.

    Soon thereafter we arrived at the 4 way track intersection known as the 4 way track intersection. Carefully selecting the right turn we headed for the Federal Mill site. More leech checks were conducted and most of us had several on our boots and gaiters. Did I mention one of the Shiraz robbers had forgotten his gaiters as well as his common courtesy- More on him later!

    A challenging creek crossing was attempted in the full knowledge that we had to navigate it again on the return. No loss of life was reported and we all looked forward to our afternoon second crossing.

    After passing the Federal Mill site we wandered through the most gobsmacking rainforest valley next to a babbling brook until we stumbled upon an old forest hut in the woods. This hut had deteriorated since winter when John and I had pre walked the area. It was interesting to read the papers lining the wall from 1950. Sad to see it in such a poor state though! Some 200m later we turned into the lunch area and the goal of the walk- The magnificent Ada Tree. Truly awe inspiring.

    After a lunch break and numerous photos of the massive tree we moved on. 

    After retracing our steps we came back to the creek crossing knowing that a photo opportunity was beckoning. One of our members had a practice fall just before the creek to check on his falling technique and then got 98% of the way across the creek before the “photo op”. Mercifully his $2,000.00 camera didn’t go for a swim but he was (in his own words) “suffering a severely wounded ego”

    All was good, no real injuries and we pushed on constantly checking for leeches- and finding plenty!

    A quick detour was had to find yet another old saw mill and then it was back to the cars for the final leech check. Only one made it through our combined defenses, and I’m still itchy as I write this.

    The evening was spent in what can only be described as food loving debauchery.

    After feasting on enormous quantities of Tapas, dark chocolate then several main courses, including a seafood paella, we chowed down on several deserts.

    I managed to get even with Shiraz robbers and may have finished ahead. A great and convivial night listening to the rain belt down whilst we ate ourselves into a stupor.

    Sunday 0600 Hrs. Robert had left and Fred announced that he was departing early. Echuca Rob did some crazy “Psycho” impersonation that had several of our womenfolk in a state of hysteria that threatened bladder control. He should be funny with all my red wine he drinks!! Soon after Virginia decided to depart to see 2 gay guys that she’s fixated on- not sure where that’s going.

    After a short inspection of the Noojee Trestle Bridge we headed down the road a wee bit to the main Sunday walk. The plan was a quickie to the 2 Falls outside Noojee and then lunch. For the 3 who left early, I can only say you missed something special. Awesome, astounding, jaw dropping, eye popping and spectacular to say the least. And not a single leech bite.

    Again, as we finished walking the heavens opened and we ate lunch under cover at the Noojee park. By 1300 Hrs the weekend was over and we set sail for home.

    The consensus was that out of Ten, this one was an eleven. Take a bow JT.

    Greg R

     
  • Ritchies Hut

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    Bridge walkers - Ritchie's Hut walk, Oct 26th 2013

    Bridge walkers – Ritchie’s Hut walk, Oct 26th 2013

  • Wednesday Morning walk report: Arthur’s Seat

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    Walk Report:

    Rosebud/Arthurs Seat Walk.

    Saturday, October 12, 2013.

    Leader:  Margaret Madge.

     

    On a beautiful spring morning, the “Magnificent Four” (Margaret, Sheila, Meiling, and Russell), set off at 10.00 am, from the Rosebud Park, public golf course, car park.

    The walk commenced with an alternate ascent of Arthurs Seat, from the south, via the Two Bays walking track. Upon reaching an open grassy plateau, and track junction, we peeled off to the right, to complete the King’s Falls Circuit. Just into this loop, our “snake wrangler”, Sheila, disturbed a one metre tiger (?) snake.

    Re-joining the Two Bays track, we continued on towards Seawinds, past a noisy frog pond, and completed the T.C.McKellar circuit. Sheila and Margaret identified many of the wild flowers along the way (donkey orchards, running postman, etc, etc).

    Following a lunch break in Seawinds, we toured the lookouts, indigenous gardens, and sat for a Meiling-photo-shoot, while reclining on “Arthurs Seat” at the peak.

    Our return journey followed the steep, Cook Street track back to the Rosebud Park golf course. Meiling was able to get a close-up shot of an echidna digging up the 13th fairway.

     

    The walk concluded at around 2.30 pm –  approximately 14 km was covered. Coffee/tea/cake “topped off” a memorable walk, at Ranger’s, Bayview road, bakery/café.

     

    Thank you Margaret for leading another enjoyable walk.

    Russell M

  • Tanglefoot Mountain

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    Tanglefoot Mountain
    Sunday 22nd September   2013
    Leader Virginia Olsen

    The alarm rings savagely at 5.00am, and it needs to – in order to be drawn out of the sound of heavy rain on the roof. What sort of a nutter am I?!

    Russell is picking me up at 5.40am and I’m heading to Healesville to tackle “Tanglefoot”.  Rumours are that it’s the ideal preparation for Kokoda. It’s also pitched against the Social Day at Red Hill. Short walk, swim, spa, food, bonfire… who wouldn’t choose that?

    As it turns out Eileen, Pam, Russell, Trevor, Andrea, Wayne and Ray have a similar “masochistic tendency” to Virginia. (It’s those happy smiling ones you’ve got to watch!!!)

    We pick up Trevor and arrive at The Jolly Miller Café, in Healesville, for a quick coffee before meeting up with the others. Then it’s a car convoy to Monda Track carpark. Waterproofs, coats, gaiters … and even Pam’s brolly – we’re prepared for the worst, but the light rain seems to be clearing.

    The walk takes us through impressive one hundred year old Mountain Ash goliaths fringed by the Myrtle, Beech, Blackwood and a plethora of magnificent tree ferns. We see two Lyre-bird and a kangaroo on the way up so we’re optimistic of good faunal specimen sightings. We hear them, and the call of a black cockatoo, but they remain elusive.

    Lunch is at Wirrawilla Carpark where our group divides into the shady characters(Russell, Trevor, Eileen and Pam) and the sunny set(Virginia, Andre, Wayne and Ray) in the choice of tables.

    After lunch it’s onwards and upwards to the cars. Approximately 15 kilometres, in beautiful country with delightful people.

    Turns out I’m not such a nutter aftersall.

    Ray B

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