Cowdroys Creek & Boxcutting Rainforest Walks

Wednesday 28 June 2017

Photos by Karen M

15 walkers including 3 visitors travelled down to Kianga this week to explore more tracks in the Bodalla State Forest.  First stop was the Forestry Department’s Boxcutting Rainforest walk.  Recent logging right to the margins of this rainforest gully has opened up the canopy and is letting in a lot of light.  However, it is still a delightful 700m circuit, descending steeply into a fern filled gully, winding through moss covered logs, birds nest ferns, stinging trees and gradually ascending back to the ridge.

The 7 km Cowdroys Creek walk started a couple of kms further up the road, and descends into the northern gully first.  No rainforest here, but open grey myrtle forest made for pleasant walking.  We passed through herby smelling stands of mint bush (Prostanthera sp), and small pockets of flowering common heath (epacris impressa).  After passing through another gully overgrown with ferns we ascended the ridge again for lunch before heading down into the southern gully to follow a very scenic section of Cowdroys Creek.

Karen M



Mitchells Turquoise Ridge

Thursday 22 June 2017

Photos by Karen M

We have two bushwalking clubs in the Eurobodalla Shire – Batemans Bay Bushwalkers to the north and Dalmeny Narooma Bushwalkers to the south.  This week both groups combined to do a joint 10 km walk in the Bodalla State Forest west of Dalmeny.  The walk was originally explored by the Dalmeny Narooma Club and they did a great job putting together a circuit through some pretty wild country.

We followed old and overgrown trails through lush vegetation to some abandoned mine sites, now well hidden among the tangles of fallen trees and water vine.  Along the way we climbed to the top of a ridge and enjoyed morning tea amongst tumbles of rocky outcrops.  We managed to stay dry on the two creek crossings and ended up following a rapidly disappearing trail beside a creek, enjoying the towering river peppermints and swamp mahoganys with an understorey of tree ferns and ground ferns.  In the dappled winter sunlight it was a perfect finish to a varied walk with great company.

Thanks to Rob for liaising with the Narooma group and leading us on this very interesting journey.

Karen M


Waddell Mine and Shoebridge Track

Saturday 17 June 2017

Photos by Phillip and Ian

Six club members (David, Mark, Phillip, Bob, Lin and Ian) participated in this walk.

The walk commences on the Araluen Road west of Goodenough Gully (height 100 m). As in most mountain walks the first part of the walk was upwards, first through a trackless little bit of private but unoccupied bush and then into the Deua National Park onto a steep 4WD track used to install a Telstra cable.

Morning tea was at the top of this first climb (height 385 m). From here we picked up the old cart track that runs north along the ridge line to the Mt Waddell Mine. As the ridge steepens the track changes direction to run along the western side of Goodenough Gully. A few fallen trees with attached mass of vines provided a few obstacles to be negotiated. After 300 m of valley side walking we reached adit No1 of the Mt Waddell Mine gold mine (height 400 m).

Packs off and torches in hand we explored the first 85m of the 120m long mine tunnel. Up to the 85m mark the tunnel is dry and through solid rock with little sign of any rock falls. At the 85m mark there is a side tunnel and what appeared to be a water filled shaft in the floor. Past the 85m mark the floor of the tunnel is under water held in place by a small dam so that’s where our exploration finished. If you are not keen on bats zooming past your ear or occasionally hitting you in the chest then exploring the tunnel is probably not for you!

The next leg of the walk was a tough climb of 100 vertical metres in 140 horizontal metres to reach a ridge line west of the mine. Our route then follows this ridge line north passing an old hut site and two sites of mine shafts. Lunch was at the high point (height 600 m) at end of this ridge.

It was now time to descend the 500 vertical metres back to Araluen Road. But rather than retracing our steep inward route we used the gentler gradient of the old Shoebridge bridal track which we picked up 500 m northwest of our lunch stop. To our surprise persons unknown has obviously done a lot of work on the Shoebridge Track clearing it of fallen trees and the carpet of ground ferns that normally cover the track.



Sea Acres and Blue Gums

Wednesday 14 June 2017

Photo by Phillip

A brilliant South Coast winter’s day and 16 keen walkers set out to do an 11 km walk in Murramarang National Park.  The morning sun was streaming through the trees as we walked along the forest road making the bush look fresh and welcoming and the sounds of a lyrebird practising its calls added to the magic.

An old motorbike track led down the gully through a stand of tall Eucalyptus saligna (Sydney blue gums) above the native shrubs and water vine.  The old track with its many twists and turns finally emerged at the road for the next section of our walk.

Here the native grass, Lepidosperma urophorum (Rapier saw sedge) has regenerated after a hazard reduction burn, resulting in an undulating green carpet spreading over the ground.  Later the vegetation changed as we walked through a section of remnant rain forest, moisture loving twining vines, shrubs and trees in abundance, and just some small pale fungus to be seen amongst the leaf litter on the ground.

Back at our cars the option of lunch in the sun at Maloneys Beach was suggested and all agreed it would be the best way to finish what had been a lovely walk.

Karen C


Wasp Head to North Head One Way

Sunday 11 June 2017

Photos by Erika, Philip, Brian and Carol

Brian led 15 walkers on what I consider to be one of the best walks our club offers to members each year. The 11km walk combines sections of a number of walks in the Murramarang National Park – Durras area, starting at Wasp Head and ending at North Head. The walk includes sections along existing tracks, retired tracks no longer maintained by the Park Service, some bush bashing and beach walks. As Brian says, ‘you can’t get lost as long as you keep the ocean on your left’. The terrain is undulating, nothing too steep or too flat, so the walkers are kept interested for what comes next. The walk takes us through a wide variety of vegetation types from tall stands of Spotted Gums with an under storey of Burrawangs to areas on the cliff tops with stunted Spotted Gums surviving the strong coastal winds.

The track took us from forest trekking, to cliff tops with magnificent views of the beaches, down onto the sands for brief strolls along the beaches before heading back into the forests. Brian seemed to know when to take us to a lookout so that the wild life could make its appearance as if they were paid entertainers. We saw a pod of dolphins, two sea eagles soaring directly overhead, the mandatory Durras kangaroos on the beach and pods of whales heading north, some of whom put on spy hopping displays just for us.

Even the car shuffle was well organised so that the walkers arrived to find the drivers waiting at the walk start and vehicles left at the finish. I have to give Brian an 8 out of 10 for this walk. I’m leaving him the opportunity to earn 2 more points when he does this walk again next year and adds some new surprises.




Durras Lake and Discovery Trail

Saturday 3 June 2017

We commenced our walk following the Discovery Trail with 16 walkers, heading towards Durras Lake.  The Lake was looking quite spectacular, with absolutely no wind it allowed a picture perfect mirror image to reflect the shore line.  This sight tempted many of our group to start clicking with their cameras, phones or anything they could use to take a snap of the scene.  We continued along the trail passing a number of interesting vegetation forms as well as the odd ground orchid or lily adding a spot of bright colour.

After a pleasant morning tea break beside the lake we continued on and stopped for a good look at the historic loggers tree.  An information platform, which allows an interesting insight into the past lives of the wood cutters, is located adjacent to the remnant tree. The walk also followed the path through an area that is reminiscent of tropical rain forest with cabbage tree palms and tree ferns.  Having recently rained, the area was looking brilliant.

After lunch, once again enjoyed lakeside sitting on various logs (one of which allowed an uninvited leech to try hitching a ride with our walk leader) we continued along the track back to the cars.  Everyone thanked Lesley for leading us through such a pretty and varying walk.



McKenzies Beach to Malua Bay Return

Wednesday 31 May 2017

Photos by Joe

When we arrived at McKenzie’s Beach car park we were not only warmly welcomed by our walk leader Bev, she also arranged for our amusement,  a number of dolphins to put on a show not very far from the beach. A great start for a wonderful walk.

A total of 12 attendees then set off towards Pretty Point going up a gentle hill and some scrub, but most of the track was in a very good condition with lots of wonderful views of the beach, often surrounded by rocky cliffs. The track narrowed at one point where some of us predicted that in years to come Pretty Point may end up being an island, if this rate of erosion continues. Great picture opportunities and for those of us who did this walk for the first time it was glorious.

After our morning tea, we continued towards Malua Bay beach, walking at the back of some properties, which were impressive and some of us were remodelling them in our mind. What a great location that cannot be seen from the road, hence walks like this provide a whole new perspective and opportunities to truly see and enjoy an area.

Lunch was enjoyed at a beach and after lunch we gently proceeded back to our cars. The walk was not very demanding, hence it allowed us time to stop and enjoy the scenery which it provided. Overall a glorious day.