• 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

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