Thursday 19 March 2020
Mary, Niahm, Chris, Wendy at Maloneys Beach
Leader, Brian, and Wendy
Social distancing at Square Head
Brian at start of headland track to Cullendulla crossing
Wendy is going in – Taking one for the team!
Wendy testing the water depth
Cullendulla Nature Reserve
Photos provided by Brian and Mary
A perfect autumn walking day was enjoyed by our small group, led by Brian.
The air was cool and crisp as we began with a stroll along Maloneys and Long Beaches and then took a tea break before climbing to the top of Square Head. Looking out towards the Tollgates, the bay was glassy, the views clear in every direction, and the atmosphere wonderfully calm. It was a delight to follow the track up and down across the headland through the burrawangs and eucalypts just soaking up the quiet.
The track ended down at Cullendulla Creek and much laughter was heard as we readied ourselves for the crossing. Wendy bravely offered to test the depth, and as a result, we went further upstream before paddling knee deep across the creek to Surfside. Lunch in the shade, then the final beach walk in the breeze saw us return to the car park.
Many thanks to Brian for leading a great day on what has become our last official club walk for the present.
Saturday 14 March 2020
Optimistic walkers at the sign in
Walkers inspecting animal prints in the dunes
Washed or blown away in the flood
Morning Tea on Pedro Beach
The group at Congo Creek
Photos provided by Mary
10 walkers met in an optimistic mood that the weather forecast was going to be accurate and that the rain would rapidly pass through. By the time we arrived at the start, blue skies to the south and west were promising a fine morning.
Our walk of 9 kms took us through lightly forested, no tracked areas with patches of lime green grass to Pedro Beach where Bob pointed out various animal tracks in the dunes. Recent Emu and perhaps fox prints were identified and Ghost Crab holes. We took a brisk walk along the beach to the dunes where we enjoyed morning tea in the sunshine.
We made our way back through the scrub and forest to a good track and eventually to a very pretty open forest of Spotted gums where Bob had situated a large log, the site for lunch.
Bob, being a local of the South Head area, was able to tell us a great deal about our surroundings and the people living there. This local know how was the reason we were able to walk randomly in bush with little or no track to Pedro Beach and back through forest that was certainly new to most of the group.
Thank you Bob for having so much confidence in the varsity of the weather bureau, it was a very pleasant morning.
Wednesday 11 March 2020
Gary giving details on the WW2 bunkers
Barry at the Racecourse bunker
The Group in front of the Moruya Racecourse bunker
Bunker 4 in the sand
Bunker ventilation shaft
Duct tape to the rescue
Betty’s boot good for another few thousand kms
Photos provided by Brian and Helen
Twenty two members and three visitors were treated to a new walk on a beautiful autumn day. The Moruya Bunker Walk involved a tour of four little known bunkers located around the vicinity of Moruya racecourse. These bunkers were constructed during World War Two.
The club was fortunate to secure the services of local war historian Gary Traynor who accompanied the group, providing expert commentary with a comprehensive and informative account of the history of the bunkers. Built by the RAAF, these bunkers served as part of the coastal defence system against a potential Japanese and/or German invasion. By 1944 the concrete bunkers had been established as part of a fully functioning reserve air base where aircraft could refuel whilst looking for submarines or conducting surveillance conveys. The Moruya racecourse was the site of three runways with all four bunkers housed nearby.
The walk began at a bunker which is now used by the Moruya Pistol Club as an indoor range. This underground bunker was previously used as an operations centre. The group was given special access to this bunker and it was fascinating to observe such a well preserved building that still provided a functional service so many years after the war.
We commenced our walk, passing bunker number two, which is an above ground bunker situated in the grounds of Moruya speedway. This above ground bunker would have been used for storage and rudimentary protection against shrapnel. We then continued our walk onto the racecourse proper to bunker number three. This bunker is similar in construction to the previous bunker, also being above the ground. Gary gave another presentation, showing us where an aircraft made an emergency landing during the war close to where we were standing. It was great to have the opportunity to access an area normally off limits to the public.
Following morning tea we made our way to the fourth bunker which is similar in construction to the pistol range bunker. This underground bunker was used as a radio operations centre and was constructed well away from the runways so that it could maintain operations if the aerodrome was bombed. Two rooms were used to house radios, generators and engines and at each end a pill box allowed sentry duty. The bunker was constructed in a giant sand hole and covered with remaining sand to camouflage it.
Whilst visiting each bunker, our guide Gary informed us of many stories relating to the war and Betty recounted her experience as a six year old, with her family sitting around the transistor radio listening to the broadcast informing listeners that Australia was now at war. Betty clearly remembers that day. What a moment in history!
After seeing all of the bunkers we made our way towards Bengello Beach. On the way Betty’s trusty boots decided, after many many kilometres, to call it a day and blow a sole. Bob T was going to be nominated to piggy back Betty for the remaining five kilometres but in sheer desperation to avoid this task he dug deep into the bowels of his back pack and pulled out a roll of duct tape. After some expert repair work, Betty’s boots were ready for another 5000 kilometres and off we went. We continued on to Bengello Beach and back to the cars where we thanked Gary very much for a most unusual and entertaining tour.
Sunday 8 March 2020
Morning tea – South Broulee headland
Heather and Marianne
Down onto Shark Bay
A beautiful day to be out walking
Waiting for the race to start
Maureen and Rob checking out the swimmers
Photos by Tom and Gay
Twelve members completed an easy/medium 10 km walk around Mossy Point and Broulee on Sunday. The walkers started at the boat ramp at Mossy Point and upon rounding the headland overlooking North Broulee beach were surprised by the amount of people down on the beach and the activity on the water.
The walkers managed to make it safely through Art on the Path without buying anything bulky that would need to be carried for the next 7 kms and then spent a leisurely morning tea at the lookout overlooking South Broulee while Gay, the Walk Leader, handed out chocolate treats in honour of International Women’s Day.
The group wandered around Shark Bay and back over to North Broulee to discover the reason for the extra activity on the beach was the annual Broulee Bay to Breakers Ocean Swim. The walkers were fortunate to be there for the start of one race and while the water looked inviting and with the sun shining, all agreed that walking was really their thing, and so decided to continue on walking back up the beach.
The leader led the walkers back to the boat ramp via a little known path completing the final leg along the banks of the Tomaga River. A very lovely few hours enjoyed in the seaside villages of Broulee and Mossy Point.
Saturday 29 February 2020
Group in front on the 100yr felled eucalypt
Jan and Bob
The Canoe Tree
Photos provided by Joan and Karen
On a beautiful morning we met at Maloneys Beach, eighteen members and one visitor. We struggled through the mob of kangaroos and headed up Pine Knob Road, soon to arrive at a huge fallen tree. It had been logged probably over a hundred years ago when logs were pulled out by horses, but had been left behind when found to be hollow. Soon we saw three Glossy Black Cockatoos eating Casuarina cones, a rare sight.
After posing for a photo we turned east along the ridge top with views back over Maloneys Beach and southwest towards Batemans Bay, a superb view. We continued east to another small headland where we had morning tea, sitting on logs labelled “BBBW only”. From there we had a view of a small bay where there are a few houses. It was always called “the judge’s land”, but after his death the fenced off land was resumed by the NPWS for Murramarang National Park.
We followed old fence posts to the “canoe tree”, its clear canoe shape cut into a huge tree, probably about 150 years ago. Returning west we had a view down on to a beach which should remain unnamed, devoid of buildings and people, backed by green (not black) forest. Once down on this beach we found invasive sea spurge so it was not as pristine as it looked.
Wednesday 26 February 2020
Morning Tea at Meringo Point
On the Dreaming Track
Photos by Mary
14 Batemans Bay bushwalkers and a family of 4 visiting Alaskan musicians, who also hike as a hobby, gathered at the Congo starting point of a 7 kilometre circuit walk along a section of The Dreaming Track.
The day was predicted to be 33 degrees Celsius. Fortunately for hikers, cloud cover and a cool coastal breeze kept temperatures a little more moderate.
There seemed little signs of the recent rains except for two muddy puddles at the start of the walk and the lake at the mouth of Meringo Creek was still well back in bushlands.
A mob of about a dozen kangaroos were spotted lazing beneath trees about half way along the first leg of the walk but, they proved shy when, the visitors tried to get close with their cameras. Sadly this was the only wildlife that we encountered during our hike as an echidna had been seen on the recce.
There were though, many opportunities for pictures of the coastline and ocean as the group paused to rehydrate. The significance and history of The Dreaming Track was explained to our visitors during one of these breaks. The walk finished at lunch time and it proved to be a very pleasant way to spend a morning.
Monday 24 February 2020
Launching on a mirror perfect South Durras morning
Burned forest on the northside of the Lake
Exploring a side creek
Punt Arm only slight singed
Photos provided by Karen and Rodney
The group launched at Durras Lake boat ramp (South Durras) early in the morning when the busy Lake was still calm and winds were almost absent. Nearly all the margins of the Lake have been fire affected and recent rains have seen the water level rise dramatically. However, the Lake is still closed to the Ocean.
Fortunately, the Lake is in the Marine Park and is therefore not closed. It was possible to skirt the northern burned shore and paddle quite far up the flooded creek at the back of North Durras where we could hear rangers with chain saws working to reopen the Discovery Trail on the northern shore.
The group crossed the Lake to see one of the few areas where the fire crossed the Lake to the West of Punt Arm. Burrawangs were sprouting in the fire zone; it was obvious the forest was beginning its recovery.
The final paddle back to the ramp included exploring the flooded wetlands near to Durras village, before an increasingly strenuous paddle into a rising headwind took the paddlers back to the ramp.
Sunday 23 February 2020
Leaders, Ainslie and Mike, sitting with Heather – members for 25+ years
Photo provided by Ainslie
As a change to the usual morning start this walk began for 13 members and four visitors in the afternoon on a perfect late summer day. Ainslie and Mike explained the route to be taken on the map and began by leading to the beach and along to the rock platform below Mill Point.
From this point on as we walked over the rocks, there was interesting information given by Mike as to the variation in patterns of rock formation caused as ancient ice bergs melted and stones and rocks fell from their base into the softer rock material on the floor of the sea bed.
At one location we were shown the formation of a horizontal ancient tree trunk now seen as fossilised wood embedded into the cliff face. This area of rock cliffs now form the most southern area of the Sydney sandstone basin.
The track took us around Wasp Head, through bush and along beaches to Dark Beach where at the southern end there were steps leading up to the track through Burrawangs, now recovered from drought conditions, and finally back to the cars. Several walkers remained to enjoy a cuppa and early picnic dinner – our grateful thanks to Ainslie and Mike for this beautiful and informative walk.
Thursday 20 February 2020
Morning tea at Bogola Head overlooking Montague Island
North of Bogola Head
Rodney and Rob down the track
Lunch on the Beach
Karen with visitors, Malcolm and Beverley, closely followed by Amanda and Gay
Walking past reedy banks of Nargal Lake
Red Belly black snake making a quick getaway
Walking up Honeysuckle Road to the cars
Photos provided by Philip, Bob and Tom
The First Walk of the New Year! Fourteen Club Members headed south to one of the most attractive stretches of the Southern NSW coast, just south of Narooma. After the bushfires, everyone was pleased to get into a coastal bush area where the fires had not impacted and where bushwalkers could get entry. The group was rewarded with a beautifully sunny day, the skies were clear and the local vegetation looked fresh after all the recent local rain. The walk, which was relatively easy and about 11 kms long, took in open coastal forest, some beach walking beside heavy surf, a bit of dune scrambling, some rocky promontories with splendid views up and down the coast and across to Montague Island, as well as lakeside walking around Nargal Lake. On the beach there were Pied Oystercatchers, and the occasional Sea Eagle flew overhead. Kangaroos and wallabies were surprised behind the dunes. Only one rather small red-bellied blacksnake was spotted beside the Lake. All in all, a superb return to our local bushland.