Guerilla Bay to Rosedale Circuit

Thursday 20 August 2020

Photos courtesy of Barry

20 walkers (perfect COVID19 group size) enjoyed a very pleasant 9km hike around Guerilla Bay and Rosedale. The weather was very kind to us with sunshine and light winds. With so many walks cancelled due to poor weather this group was keen to get out and enjoy the landscape and catchup with hiking friends. This a great hike to experience the variety of landscape features of our local area. The walk started at Burrewarra Point with clear views at the headland, south to Gulaga.

Heading north into Guerilla Bay we hiked through tall spotted gum forests, along the clifftops and down onto the beaches. We then sneaked around the headlands on the rock platforms on a well timed low tide to end up at South Rosedale and a view of Jimmies Island. There are a myriad of small bays and secluded beaches in this section of the coast some of which are inaccessible and others I’m sure the locals consider their own.

The hike finished just as noisy as it started with some very happy walkers all 1.5m apart chatting away. Well done to our walk leader Barry for a very enjoyable day.


Mummaga Lake and Brou Area

Wednesday 12 August 2020

Photos courtesy of Brian, Chris and Karen

Bushwalking is a great all year round activity, supporting both physical and mental exercise. And today, thirteen of us got our fair share of exercise, with plenty of mental stimulation (lots of talking!) and a feeling of wellbeing on completing the 13kms Mummaga Lake and Brou Area walk.

After the wet windy weather of the weekend, everyone was keen to get back on the trails and while some areas of the tracks and bush were soggy and larger bodies of water had to be detoured, it was surprisingly pretty dry under foot.

The first part of the walk followed the signposted Mummaga Lake walk from the Bodalla Park Rest Area off the Princes Highway.  While there is plenty of water in Mummaga Lake, it was pretty brown due to the recent run off from the heavy rains on the weekend.  Eventually the walkers diverted from the marked track and used fire trails and old indistinct bush tracks to head north to Brou Lake.  There were a few sprinkles of rain mid morning, but the group ignored it and continued on and were rewarded with rare views of the water in Brou Lake being very low.  General consensus was that the lake had opened to the sea.

The group followed Brou Lake around to the point where it had indeed opened to the sea and decided to take advantage of a lovely dry grassy spot overlooking the beach, for a well-earned lunch break.

The walk continued south, parallel to the beach, where some early wildflowers were spotted and two swamp wallabies.

The final few kilometres were back along the Brou Lake Road which for a weekday had quite a few vehicles using it, then on trails through the bush to the Bodalla Park Rest Area.

A good walk to get the body and mind active, while still easily able to observe social distancing rules.


East Nelligen Circuit

Thursday 6 August 2020

Photos courtesy of Karen

Sixteen Batemans Bay bushwalkers formed a very large circle at the “Sunlit Waters” turn off, in compliance with social distancing. Mary had to use her loudest voice to be heard by all as she read out the COVID -19 requirements for walkers,  prior to commencing the hike.

The morning was crisp but sunny as the group strode along Sheep Station Road before turning up hill and onto a fire trail.

Everywhere walkers were confronted with signs of the havoc of the recent fires but, there was also abundant regeneration commencing along with the sounds of birds. It was uplifting to see how resilient our wonderful bushland can be. There were also areas still wet after recent rains and water in the small creek that hikers crossed on their 6.5 kilometre circuit.

Walkers paused at the top of a hill to take in views westward to the mountains. These views will eventually be obscured once nature has had  more time for regrowth.  Everyone felt the joy & rejuvenation that fresh air & exercise can bring.

It was a short walk that finished at lunch time so, some club members drove to the Clyde River picnic area at Nelligen to eat their sandwiches & enjoy more sunshine.

Thank you to Mary and Stan for such a lovely outing.


Bolaro Slabs and Boulders

Thursday 6 August 2020


Photos courtesy of Ian, Barry and Philip

It has been a few years since we last sampled the delights of Bolaro Mountain’s granite tors.  Walking such areas is now much easier than before the recent bushfires which have almost eliminated the understorey.  So now was the time to traverse the most spectacular parts of Bolaro’s huge boulders and slabs.

On this day the weather was perfect – sunny, mild, no wind.  Due to Corona19 restrictions, many of us have not been walking so we looked forward to an enjoyable day.  Unfortunately, it was not to be for 2 of our 8 starters due to a sprained ankle (the victim was efficiently “retired” from the field to head home and is now happily recuperating).

Following recovery actions, we resumed our journey to the first of the large boulders, probably the largest on the mountain complex.  High, near the ridgetop, this sentinel can even be seen on satellite images.  It is perched on the top edge of a particularly large sloping slab of solid rock, accentuating its size and prominence.  It even has a mate, large in its own right but dwarfed by the star of the show.

We moved on, and upwards, moving out of pure Spotted Gum into Maidens Gum and White Stringybark country and through rock – lots of rock.  It was a slow, exhausting 400 metre elevational slog straight up the mountain, skirting yet another hectare sized granite slab.

Although the bushfire had removed what little understory is normally in this forest, the loose rock underfoot, and the fallen Spotted Gum bark hiding the ground surface, made progress slow.  Where possible, we “slabbed”, avoiding the few wet lines where water exuded from rock cracks.

When we reached our lunch destination we were sweating from our exertions but the lunch rock perch overlooking the slab was worth it – uninterrupted views to Pigeon House and The Castle.  In the sun, and the peace and quiet, it was a suitable resting place for a well earned snack.

Traversing westward on the edge of the boulder dropoff we eventually found the only cliff marked on the old contour maps.  Cliffs are rare on rounded granite batholiths so, as expected, this was more of a series of large overhanging boulders but very interesting nonetheless.

It was time to return.  A long gradual descent on unstable scree material, avoiding boulders and small ever present slabs, brought us to yet another very large boulder, surrounded by the remains of vines and other undergrowth.  Its hairy fringe of rock lilies was looking rather the worse for wear from the wildfire which, in hours, ran rampant from here to the coast on New Year’s Eve.

On our exit route we visited the last feature of interest, arguably the largest rock slab on the mountain.  It is a huge three hectare swath of mother earth, gently sloping in a slow curve to the sunny north, in streaky greys and whites as its broad expanse gradually steepens to an abrupt base in the Spotted Gums and Burrawangs.  A few lonely scorched figs, now recovering from fire, were the only adornment on its upper slopes.

As the sun began its winter descent to our left we headed to the cars, weary and a little foot sore, but having enjoyed a beautiful day in the best of Bolaro’s wonderful granite rockfields.


Big Hole / Marble Arch

Thursday 23 July 2020

Photos courtesy of Barry, Brian, Mary, Tom, Erika and Philip

After meeting in Braidwood on a cold foggy morning, the group drove in convoy to the walk start at Berlang Campground in the Deua National Park.

About 250m into the walk everyone had to change their shoes and wade through the icy cold, calf deep water of the Shoalhaven River. After changing back to our walking shoes, we continued on through a rolling heathland of Allocasuarina nana and then downhill to the huge open chasm known as the Big Hole. We stopped at the Big Hole viewing platform for morning tea.

Following morning tea we walked a little further downhill to where the track meandered over fairly flat terrain through dry eucalypt open forest. One large area of forest had many large fallen trees, all uprooted and fallen in the same direction. We assumed this extensive damage resulted from a not very recent storm event.  Most of the fallen trees were long dead but quite a few, whose roots had remained connected to the earth, had shot up again along the trunk, to live on.

After a while we reached the top of the spur that lead down into Reedy Creek gully. All walkers descended the steep track down until we reached a rocky fern lined area just upstream from the Marble Arch cavern. At this point we split into two groups. Those who wished to proceed through the tunnel/arch out into the slot canyon and then climb up the extremely steep hill on the other side, and those who wished to return to the top of the spur and wait for the other group. Six walkers chose to proceed and climb out the other side and seven walked back to the top of the spur to wait.

The group continuing through the tunnel took time to look at the marbled rock and the small dripping stalactite formations and then scrambled over slippery rocks until we reached a series of water filled pools. Once again we had to change our shoes and wade through icy cold water above our knees. Torchlight was required for a short section of the tunnel.

Once out into the slot canyon we were uncertain about the best route to take up the steep hill. The first route that two of us took was found to be very difficult, so the other four opted for a different route. However both routes were extremely steep with very few hand holds, loose ground and slippery surfaces that often required climbing on hands and knees. Closer to the top of the hill we bush bashed our way back to the formed track and walked back up to re-join the waiting group.

Getting through the slot canyon and climbing out took longer than anticipated which left the other group waiting for a long time. They had long since finished lunch so we quickly ate ours and all of us retraced our steps back to the start at Berlang Campground. Of course we had to wade through the icy cold water of the Shoalhaven River again, just before the walk finish.



Tarourga Lake Jemisons Point Walk

Saturday 18 July 2020

Photos courtesy of Brian and Mary

A fresh, clear morning saw twelve walkers assemble at the riverside meeting place in Moruya. Boots were uncharacteristically clean and hiking clothes were a bit dusty from lack of use but eyes were bright with anticipation because this was to be the first club walk in several months.

After signing on (each with his/her own pen), Walk Leader Rodney adopted his most solemn tone and invoked the warnings of our political leaders in saying that there was to be “no mingling, no singing, no dancing and especially no whinging”. (We think the last one might have been Rodney’s own addition…)

After a 30 minute drive south, the walk was soon underway. We followed the track beside Potato Point Road for a short while before turning off onto a fire trail that led us deep into the forest. This was what most of us had been waiting for – tall timber, Burrawangs recovering quickly from the fires and the distinctive sounds and smells of the Bush. The leader’s promise of a few steepish hills proved to be true but any complaints were muttered under the breath (we had been warned) and morning tea was enough to keep the troops under control.

In what seemed no time we emerged from the shadow of the forest into the bright light of Brou Beach and an entirely different collection of sights, sounds and smells.

The easy beach walk north, accompanied by a thundering surf, took us to Jemisons Point, where luncheon was served and from where we enjoyed wonderful views of Gulaga, Montague Island and the completely empty beach stretching up to Kianga and Dalmeny. After lunch, it was a socially-distanced stroll back to the cars and walk’s end.

Our grateful thanks go to Rodney for his steady, good-humoured leading.