An early morning meeting at Moruya River was followed by a 60 km drive to Tilba where we disembarked and commenced our uphill trek to Gulaga (Mt Dromedary). 9 walkers started under the guidance of our leader but one walker exercised responsible behaviour and decided to return early as they assessed the walk may be too difficult. This reinforces walkers’ need to exercise sensible judgement when undertaking walks and be mindful of their capabilities, as issues experienced later in walks can lead to unnecessary problems.
The recently graded track was in good condition and provided scenic viewing of the Bermagui coastline. Alluvial gold was first discovered in this area in 1852 with mining continuing until around 1920. A number of marker plaques along the track, installed by the ANU Geology Department, described the geology of the area. While not much wildlife was spotted we did come across one Lyrebird, overseen by a Wallaby, foraging on the track.
Upon reaching the saddle, a rest area with toilet and picnic table, we diverted to the Tors, rather than ascend the summit of Gulaga. This area is significant to the traditional Aboriginal people, the Yuin and reportedly a ‘secret women’s place’. It proved very interesting with unique rock formations and, due to the extremely clear weather, views all the way to Pigeon House mountain. These Tors are the remains of the hardest granite left behind after this volcano eroded over millions of years ago.
Lunch in the sun, followed by a quick descent, ended a very pleasant Sunday walk.
Though strong winds howled for most of the previous night, the day started with a clear blue sky and light wind, thus enticing 18 walkers out for a 7 km walk in and around South Durras.
Departing from the boat ramp at Cookies Beach, the group were soon walking through the bush along the Old Durras Road. After crossing the new Durras Rd, we continue through the bush until reaching Fern Drive, where we skirted behind the houses and made our way to the new boat ramp on the lakeshore. Not only is there a new boat ramp, but the surrounding area has been fully developed including the addition of a toilet block. However, the highpoint for the walkers was to see that the South Durras Community Association had been busy landscaping the area including the planting of over 300 small shrubs.
After lunch, we then made our way to the lake entrance noting that the lake is currently closed to the sea. Durras Lake, along with many on the south coast of NSW, is known as “ICOLL” lakes, ie Intermittently Closed and Open Lakes and Lagoons. Most occur south of Sydney where the catchment areas are often smaller and wave activity generally higher which pushes sand into the estuary mouth. ICOLLs open and close to the ocean naturally in a constant but irregular cycle. These lakes become closed when a sand beach barrier or berm separates them from the sea. If there is heavy rains in the catchment area eventually the lake water spills over this barrier and the force of the water scours a channel, and the lake re-opens.
However, wave and tide action can push sand up onto the beach and the estuary can eventually close. It is estimated that 70% of ICOLLs are closed most of the time.
Signs remind walkers & beach goers that the sheltered dunes near the lakes entrance are a popular breeding grounds for the endangered Pied Oyster Catcher and Hooded Plovers. Making our way down onto the beach we soon felt the full force of the wind. However it wasn’t long before we were back behind the dunes taking full advantage of the new pathway on the homeward journey. The final off track stretch was just behind Cookies Beach, walking under the huge Norfolk Island Pine Trees which were planted around 1945. Another great day and another pleasant club walk.
A good day’s walk for 15 bushwalkers last week began at the ANU private property near Kioloa, followed by a gently rising forest track as a warm up.
The next rather steep uphill climb to the top of Don Moir Hill and its former WW11 Telegraph Station slowed most of us down a bit, but we were soon rewarded with morning tea up there amongst the lichen covered rocks and beautiful tall gum trees. Just looking at this former important part of history had most of us musing about its part in our defence system. The group then continued along a bush track sometimes getting glimpses of the ocean until we emerged back at Kioloa. Lunch was had near the boat-ramp before walking around the delightful little headland track and then along the beach back to Racecourse Beach and our cars.
All in all a lovely warm winter’s day walk – thanks Glenn.
Denise led 12 bushwalkers on a 5 km circuit starting at Bingie Headland, via the Dreaming Track to Mullimburra Point. The return leg took advantage of the low tide and followed the beaches back to the start. This is one of the most scenic sections of the Dreaming Track, taking in Kellys Lake and Grey Rocks along the way.
Thirteen Batemans Bay Bushwalkers set out on a 6 km circuit from Long Beach at low tide, to walk to Maloney’s Beach and back. The group headed north along the sand and thence around the base of the headlands.
The rocks there have, from past geological activities, formed into small sharp, vertical shafts that require a steady balance and the careful placement of feet to avoid mishaps. The group was fortunate and all traversed the area intact.
Walkers then climbed a narrow track, well worn by locals, to the cliff top and there enjoyed coastal views and some interesting beach house architecture that was the main topic of conversation on their return journey.
This was an unusual bush walk because we did one small walk around O’Hara Head at Kioloa to start, then drove to a second walk starting at Pretty Beach.
The O’Hara Head Walking Track took us from the Kioloa boat ramp up to our morning tea stop. From this vantage point we had magnificent views of Kioloa Beach with a huge sea crashing on the rocks below. We continued around the well-marked track through the bush back to the cars.
From Merry Beach we walked the back way to Pretty Beach and continued after lunch, up to the Snapper Point Lookout where we enjoyed the expansive views of the coast looking south. We continued along the cliff track then down many steps to the platform overlooking the rock shelf and the magnificent cliffs.
After the walk most of the 24 walkers gathered for afternoon tea at the Merry Beach Café.
New bridge to replace the rotten one encountered last time
Photos by Amanda and Helen
There was frost in the air as twelve bushwalkers set out early from Batemans Bay to traverse the top ridge of Bolaro Mountain south-west of Nelligen. And there was real frost on the grass where we parked the cars near the Bolaro Homestead on Haans Road deep in the Buckenbowra State Forest.
The early climb to the north along the Bolaro Mountain Fire trail was rewarded by magnificently clear views from the summit ridge. To the North Pigeon House and The Castle were clearly visible, and the Ocean sparkled to the East. Although the forest in the area has been logged, there remain magnificent specimens of White Mountain Ash among the mossy covered granite boulders that outcrop beside the track. In other areas large Burrawangs flourished and, although they were heard calling, the Lyre Birds and Black Cockatoos proved elusive. However, the lucky drivers on the car shuffle did spot one frightened lyrebird scrambling off the road. Bush tucker was provided by wild raspberries (Rubus Rosifolia) spotted beside the track, while lower down the slopes stinging trees beside the track warned the walkers off straying too far into the forests.
The route down followed an old convict constructed track, which once linked with the Corn Trail to act as the key route for grain transport grains from the productive Buckenbowra farming area to the goldfields around Braidwood. After a long descent, the walk ended with a pleasant tramp through pastures in the valley, where a herd of lively Herefords seemed to expect us to deliver feed. By mid-afternoon, when the walk ended, the frosts had melted and everyone was tired and warm after their fifteen kilometre trek through beautiful forest bush. Everyone agreed there could be no better way to pass a clear winter day.
Twelve walkers joined Bev for a lovely day walking around Broulee Island in search of the historic grave of Elizabeth Malebar. The walk commenced at Broulee Surf Club and made its way around the island. After a morning tea stop, we made our way up the short climb onto the island proper. Parts of the island are very overgrown however the excellent navigational skills of Bev ensured that the grave was promptly located.
Elizabeth Malebar was the wife of Abraham Malebar who moved produce on punts down the Moruya River to ships anchored in Broulee harbor. The grave consists of a sandstone headstone and a sandstone footstone. It is surrounded by a chain link fence which was erected by the National Parks and Wildlife Service in 1972. The grave has regional significance as it is one of only a few known graves of its age in the South Coast region. It is the only marked grave on the island. The inscription reads ‘Sacred to the memory, Elizabeth Malebar, died 27 June 1842, aged 45 years. Wife of Abraham Malebar.’
Due to being the only harbor used between Wollongong and Eden, Broulee Island was quite the hub. About a year prior to Elizabeth’s death, the Erin Go Bragh Inn (meaning Ireland Forever) was built on the island. In the 1850’s, after the gold rush period, the number of residents in Broulee reduced significantly so the inn was disassembled and rebuilt in Moruya. It was purchased by Abraham Emmott in 1859 and named Merlyn House. It was used as a residence for over 100 years but was unfortunately demolished in 1978 to make way for new buildings.
After circumnavigating the top of the island we had a lovely lunch on north Broulee beach and returned to the Surf Club. The history of Broulee Island is an interesting and historical one and it was a pleasure to be able to spend some quality time there which everyone enjoyed.
This was another enlightening forest walk led by Ian, this time through the forests west of Termeil. We started on Middle Ridge Road and walked the historic Old Coach Road northward and up hill to Boyne Trig. From there are views east towards the Tabourie on the coast. On the way we saw some yellow bellied glider feeder trees, turpentines, blue gums, yellow stringybarks and mountain grey gums.
Ian’s trademark is a good long section of no track exploring, so we then left the road, and headed down a ridge through bush. It was quite steep and we encountered a few rocky shelves hiding recently flowering orchids. We stopped at the bottom next to a creek for lunch, and then returned through more forests, some recently logged, some logged long ago, to the cars. On checking the GPS we found we had clocked 14 kms. Thanks Ian.
We found several outcrops of delicate white fungus in the Monga Rainforests on our walk with Ian on Saturday 25 May. They were very small, porcelain white and had a divided cap, like petals of a flower. Helen took these remarkable photos and has done some research to identify the fungus.
She’s thinking Humidicutis mavis. Caps to 50mm. “Resembles a white form of H.lewellinae and exhibits the same type of gill-splitting as the cap expands. Usually found in rainforest.”
Humidicutis mavis (we think)
Picture Helen sprawled on the forest floor to get this shot