Barlings Beach Circuit

Saturday 24 October 2020

Photos courtesy of Helen, Erika and Philip

Meeting at Barlings Beach, thirteen walkers headed inland along Bevian Rd, keen to see how the bush was recovering from the fires, whilst sighting an echidna, a camel, various birds and dodging heavy vehicles en route to Rosedale Beach. The cool ocean breeze was a welcome relief as we wandered along the beaches and rock platforms to Blacks Beach for morning tea and a quick swim.

The sky was beginning to look menacing as we reached Guerrilla Bay and the views on the beautiful cliff top section from Burrewarra Point through to Franks Beach were dramatically grey and punctuated by brief light showers. Wildflowers were still highlighting the path through the banksias as we picked up the pace towards Franks Beach where we decided to skip lunch and finish the walk before the showers turned to rain.

Back at the cars and feeling well exercised by our 15 km hike we had no sooner said our thanks to Brian for a most enjoyable day than the sky began to clear again, briefly, just as forecast!



North Narooma Mines

Sunday 18 October 2020

Photos courtesy of Philip and Erika

The small pocket of state forest adjacent to North Narooma is not an area previously explored by Batemans Bay Bushwalkers.  However, we had heard about the location of some old mine shafts and infrastructure so we went in to take a look on Sunday.  Unfortunately the area has been used as a car dumping ground for many years – we came across at least 6 rusting vehicles, one quite a recent addition.  We were also dismayed to see a high point overlooking the inlet currently being used for dumping rubbish. 

We managed to escape the interfering hand of man by leaving the main tracks and cutting through the bush to the mining area.  This consists of several horizontal shafts, as well as some concrete structures probably used as footings for machinery.  There are also 2 areas of vertical shafts, fenced in to prevent people from falling in.

Finally we walked to Lewis Island, connected to the mainland by a boardwalk, to enjoy the clear waters of Wagonga Inlet.



Upper Reaches of Durras Lake and Benandarah Forest

Thursday 15 October 2020

Photos courtesy of Brian, Karen and Bob

The predicted forecast of thirty degrees did little to deter the thirteen determined walkers who gathered for this lovely stroll among the forests and waterways on the western edge of Durras Lake.

Leader Sharon had proposed that we take advantage of the morning coolness and attempt to complete the nine kilometre course before lunch. With this in mind, we set a brisk pace, yet slow enough to enjoy a forest environment blackened, yet regenerating at a surprising rate. The tall gums provided all the shade we needed, while the understorey teemed with thriving Burrawangs and flowering Grass Tree Xanthorrhoeas.

Our arrival at the lake edge provided a new type of beauty and the perfect backdrop for a special moment – a tribute to our recently departed friend Val.

Sharon had come prepared with wine glasses (plastic) and sparkling wine (non-alcoholic) and so we were able to raise a glass and reflect on the contribution of one of the club’s most loved members. Pat shared some memories and more Val stories were told over morning tea by the lake.

The walk continued along to Benandarah Creek where we turned and headed into the forest again and eventually back to the waiting cars.

Many thanks to Sharon for leading and sharing with us this peaceful part of the world.


Brou Easy Walk

Saturday 10 October 2020

Photos courtesy of Donna and Karen

Perfect Spring weather with a breath of breeze brought 13 of our members out to enjoy a morning walk in the Brou Lake camping area.  The group set off from the carpark in the direction of the lake and it wasn’t long before wildflowers were being admired in the bush. It seemed to be the time of year that Lomandra bloom and a smaller species as well as the usual larger plant were both prevalent amongst the other flowers.

On the shores of Brou Lake, a mixed flock of predominantly Pied Oystercatchers with a few Sooty making up the 15 birds seen, Walkers were surprised with the number, considering that the species is listed as endangered. Pelican & swans were also admired.

Our morning tea was enjoyed right next to the beach before walking the remainder of the 5.5 kilometre circuit mostly with the  ocean in view and prolific flowerings of Scaevola, shrubby hibbertia, xanthorrhoea and other species unable to be named correctly by those present.

The walk finished at 11:45am just in time for some members to lunch at booked restaurants.





Bumbo Mines #2

Sunday 4 October 2020

Photos courtesy of Philip

Four walkers enjoyed a tough hike to the Bumbo #2 gold mine near Nerrigundah. This walk was last done in 2017 when the forest cover was very dense and navigation difficult. The January 2020 fires severely burnt this area which made hiking on the upper slopes easier and also exposed many features we had missed in 2017. The rains since the fires have resulted in dramatic growth of silvertop ash seedlings which appear like a carpet on the burnt hillside. We came across many shafts dug by the miners between 1895 and 1906 during the peak of the gold mining activities. Many of these shafts would have been hidden before the fires and we could have easily lost a few hikers.

The first tunnel is on the creek line with the water flowing out at a reasonable pace. Heading down stream to the second tunnel the bushfires exposed the remains of an old stone building on the hillside that was not seen in 2017.

The second tunnel is more accessible and has many interesting features. The first thing you experience standing at the entrance is a cool wind coming straight out at you which means it must connect to a shaft to create the breeze. I knew to bring a powerful torch to venture into this tunnel which we were able to do so for over 50m. At this point the tunnel reaches a drop off estimated to be over 10m deep.  This cut running perpendicular to the tunnel is very narrow and links via a shaft to the surface. Maybe this was the vein where they extracted 115kg of gold? When we turned the torch off we could see light on the tunnel wall coming from the shaft above which is quite spooky considering how far we were underground. The photo taken at this point was done using a time lapse shot and waving the torch on the walls to illuminate the features. The effect is quite dramatic showing the drop off at our feet and the continuation of the tunnel over the gap reminiscent of the scene from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

At the tunnel entrance we found abandoned equipment including fly wheels and rope rollers which would have been used to transport the ore downslope to the stamper on Bumbo creek via an aerial tramway.

600m downstream we arrived at the site of the old battery stamper which was cut into the hillside. All that remains are a number of flywheels, bolts, and other equipment abandoned when they removed the stamper over 100 years ago. Climbing up the slope we found a number of flat sites that could have served as locations for derricks supporting the aerial tramway bringing the ore from the mine to the stamper. This must have been a very impressive sight to observe in its day.

On the long climb back to the car (400m of elevation) we realised that in a few years from now the forest will reclaim this area and make navigation very difficult again.


Sea Acres to Blue Gums, Long Beach

Thursday 1 October 2020

Photos courtesy of Philip, Erika and Helen

Eighteen walkers set out along the gravel road into Murramarang National Park from the end of Sea Acres Drive. Upon reaching Carls Mountain Road we turned right and continued for a short distance before turning off onto an overgrown track. This track was once a CPT Road but is now strewn with fallen trees and branches, creating an ever changing obstacle course for walkers and horse riders.

The track passed through dry open forest for a while and then took us down into a forest of tall smooth blue gums, in and around Wrights Creek. After briefly pausing in the mostly dry creek bed we started uphill toward Gravel Pit Road. Just before the junction with Gravel Pit Road we stopped for morning tea.

After morning tea we walked along Gravel Pit Road back to Carls Mountain Road and then onto Seven Road. Toward the end of Seven Road we took a short track through the bush to join with Saligna Fire Trail (presumably, as suggested by Karen, named after Eucalyptus saligna). This trail runs parallel to a small creek and once again we meandered through a forest of tall blue gums (Eucalyptus saligna) and spotted gums, with an understorey adorned with creepers and climbers.

The track then lead us up out of the gully and we continued on, through dry open forest, back to our starting point at Sea Acres Drive.


Long Beach to Maloney’s + 3 Islet Point

Saturday 26 September 2020

Photos courtesy of Philip, Erika, Amanda and Barry

7 walkers enjoyed a very pleasant hike along the shores of Batemans Bay from Long Beach to Three Islet Point. This walk is only possible at low tide which is required to walk along the narrow shoreline. The walk had some rock scrambling along the shore platform, but the upside was experiencing some interesting geology outcrops. The return leg took us along the cliff tops in the forests of the Murramarang National Park. The views of Batemans Bay and the Tollgate Islands were enhanced by a weekend yacht race with full spinnakers in the fresh breezes. The beaches in this area are real ‘post card’ material and would be a great location for a club summer walk / swim event.


Tarourga Spring Walk

Wednesday 23 September 2020

Photos courtesy of Donna and Erika

Tarourga Road runs through Bodalla State Forest south west of Potato Point.  The forest was burned in recent bushfires, but is not as fire damaged as the forests around Mogo and Batemans Bay.  Bushwalkers took the opportunity of going off track while the forest floor is now relatively clear of debris to explore the area.

We made our way through a boulder field, finding the first of many yellow Leopard ground orchids.  Crossing our first rivulet, we put up a red belly black snake.  Further along the track we carefully skirted another stretched out in the sun.  We spotted some emu feathers caught in a fence line, and came across the owner wandering through the trees ahead of us.

After lunch we treed a goanna, and found several large patches of Flying Duck ground orchids – so called because the flower profile looks like a duck in flight.

The wildflowers weren’t as many as we expected, especially after the fires, but there were plenty of blue native flag irises and creamy candles.  With so much to stop and look at, it was a slow 8km circuit, made all the more enjoyable by the cheerful company.