Tomakin Circuit

Sunday 19 March 2017

This walk had been preceded by days of rain and more rain was forecast.

7 walkers set off in fair weather and enjoyed the sands of Tomakin Beach and the Tomaga River at low tide.

The forecast was correct and a well saturated group enjoyed morning tea at the Rivermouth Cafe and voted to cut the walk short and return to the cars.


Merry Beach, Pretty Beach, Snapper Point

5 March 2017

Parking just behind Merry Beach, the sound of the pounding surf reached the 25 walkers well before they headed down to the beach itself.  Strong gusty wind had turned the ocean into a sea of white caps, and large dumping waves had disgorged seaweed and small dead jellyfish onto the sand.

Once on top of the headland, south of Merry Beach, the walkers felt the full force of the wind, as they stood watching the waves crashing and foaming over the rock shelf below.  After three days of heavy rain, the normally dry track over the headland and through the banksia was now quite waterlogged with frequent puddles.

After a short stop at the lookout along the way, we paused on a grassy knoll above Pretty Beach for morning tea. Then down to Pretty Beach itself to battle a strong head wind as we made our way south towards O’Hara Island. The gusty strong headwind whipped up any dry sand, so with heads bowed and backs bent, we made our towards the neck of sand that normally provided access to O’Hara Island .

But alas, here the waves, charging across the sand spit from both directions, formed a barrier to the rock shelf. We would not be exploring O’Hara Island rock shelf today. So it was about turn, and this time with a tailwind we soon found ourselves back at Pretty Beach Campground. Taking tracks that circumnavigated behind both the Pretty Beach and Merry Beach Camping Grounds, we were soon in sight of our cars. Though the strong wind never abated during the walk, I think it actually enhanced the walk providing a visual reminder of the power of wind and water.

Mary M

Diamond Creek Waterfalls

Saturday 11 March 2017

Photos Philip I, Bob T, Mary T

Early Saturday morning 8 walkers met to drive out to the aptly named Oulla/Burra Wilderness area west of Moruya to walk to and along Diamond Creek. We hoped to view 4 waterfalls. It is not often that the drive in the comfort of a vehicle is worthy of comment. However the last stretch on the Coondella Fire Trail is one such occasion. The track along and up and down the ridges is rough, steep and downright scary for someone whose normal driving experience is tarmac, some unsurfaced at times slippery, pot holed forest ‘highways’. Fortunately the club has drivers of excellent ability and experience so we were  in the safe hands of Len our leader and Mark who bravely took his brand new vehicle out for a baptism of fire.

On arriving at our starting point, a small car shuffle was organised. This was to assist us at the end of the day when a steep climb would have been necessary, not ideal Len said, his words proved to be prophetic.

We set off down the first spur in warm sunshine. The floor of the forest was strewn with dead, fallen branches, some large tree trunks and loose rocks everywhere all trip hazards for the unwary. Signs of a bush fire in the last year were apparent with blackened surfaces but also indications of the resilience of our native flora with new, bright green growth, still low lying but well on the way to rejuvenating the area. Our early start and long drive had us looking for a suitable spot on the first spur for a welcome morning tea.

The relatively clear forest thickened as we descended towards the viewing area of Waterfall No 4.  As we bush bashed our way down to a narrow, rocky ledge the air was full of the pungent aromas from the surrounding shrubs. The view of the top section of the falls and distant hills and valleys was spectacular and worth the effort despite a few of us experiencing close encounters with the ground. Growth further down the hillside hid the bottom of the falls but did not dampen our delight or the photographer’s zeal.

It was soon time to turn away from the cliff edge and make our way up and along the ridge on a further descent to the next scheduled sight, Diamond Creek. This is indeed a gem of a waterway. Not having seen this creek before I am not sure if it always has such a vigorous flow of water or if the volume was due to recent rains but it really was magnificent. The character of the creek is one of deep waterholes, in places so dark and deep we could not see the creek floor, interspersed with small cascades over large boulders, followed by longer tannin stained stretches of free flowing water. The one common feature was crystal clear, cool water, so clear and cool that later in the day Philip couldn’t resist temptation any longer and went for a dip. He declared it beautiful but refreshing!

We made our way along the creek sometimes on the bank until the vegetation became too thick to negotiate and then in the creek, rock hopping to and fro until we reached Waterfall No 3. This waterfall allowed the brave to get up close and personal as with careful steps and some ‘crab’ crawling we were able to make our way down the rocks to see the fall of the water and of course get those important photos to prove ‘we was there’.

All too soon it was time to continue, we had another waterfall to see and the day was moving along. Due to time restraints we were unable to get to Waterfall No 2. Our next stop; after another scramble along the creek fighting vines and ferns and the by now familiar rocks and fallen branches, was waterfall No 1. Len decided he had viewed enough falling water for the day and opened his pack to hand over two long ropes to Mark. Why is Len giving Mark ropes I heard one group member ask? I vaguely remembered hearing something about ropes. Oh well ‘in for a penny in for a pound’ and off to Waterfall No 1. At the top of a steep slope Mark secured and let down the ropes that were to assist us on our descent to the viewing area of the waterfall. This time we were looking up at falling water which meant we had viewed falls from 3 different aspects, as a bird, a leaf or other floating object and finally a frog.

Some of us decided we had had enough rope work and made the return ascent via a rock climb rather than haul ourselves up via the rope. We all reached the top without incident and returned to meet up with Len and proceed along the creek to the point where we would leave the beautiful Diamond Creek and end the walk.

Sightings of  local life were scant, one eel, a small fish, a frog, a deserted Scrub Wren nest, thankfully only about 3 leeches and Mark frightened a brown snake back down into its hole in the ground. Anna was the only member of the group to take an unplanned dip in the creek.

The last welcome sight was 3 pink ribbons marking our exit from the creek to where Len, with characteristic fore thought had left a car. An exhausted but very contented group thanked Len for a physically challenging day full of visual delights.

Mary T







Billy’s Hut Long Walk

Wednesday 8 March 2017

Photos Karen M, Helen, Mary T

In a previous walk report written four days ago; I described walking along beaches and over headlands during strong winds. Well, today’s walk was very different indeed. Not a breath of wind but instead the day started with misty rain.

So clad in the necessary rain gear the 20 walkers set off on the 11km walk to the ruins of Billy’s Hut, which is tucked away in the Currowan State Forest.

William (Billy) McCarthy, a young 26 yr old Irishman, built the hut in 1880. He used anthill mud as mortar to hold the rocks together, and collected water from the nearby creek. Known as a bit of a loner he would, on occasions, make his way to Nelligen to receive his mail from Ireland.  The historic hut is slowly being enveloped by the surrounding bush and vines, but its ruins are a reminder that 137 yrs ago a young man, after traveling all the way from Ireland, decided to make a home for himself deep in an Australian forest.

As the rain eased, and the hills increased, waterproof gear was soon stowed away. Creeks that had been dry during the reconnoitre a few months earlier, were now flowing full and crossing them required some careful rock hopping. The wet forest floor was ideal for the leeches who managed to “hitch a ride” on anyone standing still for too long. Though most of the walk was rain free, the high humidity and long hills certainly provided a good “work out”.  After reaching our cars it was time to head to Nelligen for lunch on the banks of the Clyde River.  Perhaps sitting close to the spot where “Billy” McCarthy sat, on his visits to Nelligen, all those years ago.

Mary M

East Nelligen – Sproxton Circuit

Thursday 2nd March 2017

Photos by Bob T

20 keen young bushwalkers, all under 90, with only one “pup” under 60, set out to walk some tracks in East Nelligen, led by the very experienced “Queen of the Bush”, Valerie.

Conversations soon ignited, with topics wide-ranging as usual, punctuated by observations of rare, unusual or feral plants.  Animals make themselves scarce, as the “many-footed mumble bug” creates a wave of chatter that warns them well in advance of us.

The elusive Glossy Black Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus lathami) made a cameo appearance in trees near the track, but characteristically kept moving, hiding & refusing to pose for a decent photo.  After teasing us for a while, both observers & observed tired of the game & all moved on.

With the many & varied conversations, and the bonus sighting of several Forest Red Gum, Valerie & the tracks led us back to the cars, and for some, a delicious lunch of “fushnchups” at Nelligen.   A better way to spend a day would be on a very short list.

Bob T

Snake Flat to Trunketabella via Bowns Creek

Monday 27 February 2017

Photos by Bob M and Ian

Monday’s paddle was a convivial affair, as 7 kayaks launched from Snake Flat on the Tuross River and headed south towards the Tuross Lake system. This was the first time most of us had paddled this lower section of the river, and we explored a few backwaters along the way. In one we saw several Azure Kingfishers flitting along the banks at close quarters. Once we reached the Fourways in Tuross Lake, we turned towards Deuaumba Island and then west into Bowns Creek. This leads into Trunketabella Lake where there was some excitement when we had to squeeze ourselves under the low wooden bridge on Coopers Island Road Causeway.

Karen M

Afternoon walk Mullimburra Point to Bingie Point

Saturday 25 February 2017

Photos by Karen Mc and Mary T

Leader Karen C led an afternoon walk from Mullimburra Point to Bingie Point and back, a distance of about 6 kms. 23 walkers started out in overcast, blustery conditions with the threat of rain a forecasted possibility later in the afternoon. The track is a mixture of beach, rocks, the Dreaming Track and bush with views of the ocean and a couple of dolphins and distant mountains. A perfect coastal walk.

A picnic supper watching the sun set was in the plan at the end, weather permitting, on the beach at Mullimburra Point. Karen led a similar walk last year with the promise of a sunset picnic, but alas, rain prevented both the picnic and the promised sunset. Last Saturday Karen kept two thirds of her promise with a delightful walk and the picnic supper but the clouds remained in place to screen the sunset. I have it on good authority that our leader will try for 3 out of 3 next year!

Thank you Karen for a lovely afternoon.

Mary T

Moruya’s Other Granite Quarry

Wednesday 22 February 2017

Photos Helen, Joan an Mary T

Inspired by an article and photo in the local Narooma and Moruya papers last year, Bob took us on a walk of discovery to see one of Moruya’s “best kept secrets”, Louttit’s pioneering granite quarry on the south side of Moruya river.

Despite the hot day, a keen bunch of bushwalkers enjoyed a shady walk from Preddys wharf, meandered by the waterfront, over private property (with permission) and around the granite outcrops before returning to Louttit’s granite quarry, which from our angle of approach was quite dramatic, revealing the sheer granite rock face.

On the way we came across a couple of Orb weaving spiders on their webs and received a warm welcome from the local mosquito population.

At the quarry, Bob T provided us with a brief history of the area written by Norman Moore, a local historian.

Moruya was the first port from which gold was shipped in Australia, but it also once had at least seven different granite quarries during the mid 1800s.

Well, we all know of the quarry on the north side of the river and granite from this area was used to create many fine blocks for buildings, including the cladding for the pylons of Sydney Harbour Bridge.

However, Louttit’s quarry produced “long grained” granite suitable for column work and so from when it was opened in 1858 by Joseph and John Louttit, supplied among other things, 24 columns for St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney, the bases for statues of Captain Cook and Queen Victoria in Sydney, stone for Sydney’s Custom House, Canberra’s foundation stone, and, in Moruya, the Bank of New South Wales.

In order to make these structures, a large lathe was required to cut the stones (often weighing in excess of 12 tons) and this is housed next to the Moruya Historical Society building in Campbell Street.

As mentioned, the granite rock face was impressive, but so too was the raised tramway built in order to transport the stone to the boats for shipping elsewhere. We also heard of the use of shark oil for rheumatism and of the accidents that occurred during quarrying in this era.

Thanks Bob T for a very interesting, historical walk.


Bingie – Coila Walk, Paddle and BBQ

Sunday 19 February 2017

Photo by Karen M

Over 30 walkers and paddlers met at Bingie on Sunday for a 6 km walk followed by a paddle on Coila Lake.

Rob led the large group from Bingie Point south along the Dreaming Track which weaves its way across headlands overlooking the ocean, down to rocky coves and beaches, and behind the dunes through shady forest, to eventually emerge at Coila Lake near Tuross.

After the walk, there were a variety of kayaks for members to take out on the lake and further enjoy the mild sunny weather and calm shallow water.  Rob then lit the barbecue back at his place where everyone enjoyed a noisy, social lunch on his verandah.

Thanks to Rob for showing us around his part of the Eurobodalla and hosting such an enjoyable day out.

Karen M



Meroo Lake Backwater

Thursday 16 February 2017

Photos by Philip 

Twenty two walkers set out on a warm sunny Thursday morning. An early start enabled the group to finish well before the mid-day heat set in. Starting close to the Pacific Highway, the walkers headed east through scattered forest towards the Lake, where a morning break was planned. Despite the size and sociability of the group, we were surprised to find that the wildlife was not frightened off by our presence. Early in the walk, a two metre long goanna posed artistically on a tree trunk, just above the heads of the tallest members of the group. And the break by the sandy lake shore was interrupted by a small Black Snake, clearly uninterested in our noisy presence but seeking some shelter from the heating sun. Similarly the cries of Glossy Black Cockatoos, eventually spotted and identified with their red tail flashes, kept the group company on the return to the cars through thicker shadier forest. All in all, we had experienced a very pleasant morning nine kilometre stroll, ideal for this time of the year.