Bimberamala River and Cattlemans Fire Trail

Sunday 28 May 2017

Photos by Rodney

A crisp sunny wintery morning, and six walkers started from Mogood Trig for the long descent to the Bimberamala River deep in the valley between their starting point and the main Budawang Range. Four experienced walkers and two visitors made a convivial group which maintained a spanking pace down the Penders Hill Fire Trail to the first River crossing.  Then it was boots off for comfort and knee deep across the chilly river followed by a short break in the valley bottom.

Then off to pick up the Cattlemans Fire Trail before a lunch in another picturesque meadow-like area further upstream beside the river with plenty of mud, leeches and tree ferns. Then came the second river crossing followed by the long, steady and sometimes steep climb through the Blackbutt and Stringybark forest back to the summit of Mogood Trig. The wind became fresher and the odd shower signalled the passing of a minor cold front. “An excellent cardio workout” was one comment when the group reached the cars after a 12.5 km walk with a 300 plus metre climb out over 3 kilometres. The comment was well supported by the two visitors who had decided to join the Club as soon as possible, on the basis of the company, the scenery and the exercise.





Depot Beach to Pebbly Beach – Coast and Forest Circuit

Thursday 25 May 2017

Photos by Bob B

Another absolutely perfect day when 27 bushwalkers led by Joan and Bob could not resist the 8 km walk from Depot Beach through bushland to Pebbly Beach.  The walk began at the rainforest loop walk car park at Depot Beach, and then followed the road back up to North Durras Road where the bush track began to the right and up the hill for half a kilometre, where at the top a gravel Parkview Road was followed leading to Pebbly Beach for morning tea with beautiful views.

At this point a short interesting history of the early 1900s sawmill at Pebbly Beach was told to the group.  The sawmill settlement once had 200 people and was closed in late 1920s when timber loaded by the remaining flying fox pole on the northern rock platform ceased being used to load timber onto steam ships.  The land became leased to a couple who built cabins to rent and in 1975 the Murramarang National Park was created to include the area at Pebbly Beach.  In 1978 another couple leased the southern area and their father, Jack Higgins, managed the camping ground for National Parks for 25 years.

After morning tea the walk continued back to Depot Beach around the foreshore rock platform due to the required low tide which gave a chance to see the variations in the rock formations in that area and to walk across the beautiful pebbly ground cover in that area.  Back at Depot Beach there much enjoyment for lunch, and then a short walk back in time through the remnant of a coastal 50 million year-old littoral rainforest before arriving at the car park after a most interesting walk.



Mullendaree Creek South Arm

17 May 2017

Photos by Bob T, Philip and Mary T

Members understand that our leaders never deliberately mislead us about the walks they offer but sometimes ‘surprise’ walkers on the day. Today’s walk was one such occasion. Bob T led a walk along the Mullendaree Creek in the Mogo State Forest.

Bob had advertised it as a dry creek in unspectacular terrain with a grading of medium hard suggesting a good work out.  Bob, the grading was spot on, the rest a delightful surprise!

The Mullendaree Creek is flowing with a plentiful supply of crystal clear water, and deep water holes with numerous signs of yabbies inhabiting its banks.  The area is splendid with many impressive features.

A backdrop of ferns, fallen trees, vines and magnificent Spotted gums high light the moss covered boulders and rock platforms both in the creek and on the steep surrounding slopes. As on other recent walks fungi abounded in many beautiful colours and sizes reminding us that winter is not far away.

5 walkers enjoyed both morning tea and lunch on rocks near the creek bed. Cooler temperatures assisted the scramble over rocks and negotiation of steeper sections while the sun filtering through the trees provided just enough warmth to keep us comfortable.

A car shuffle is required to negate the need to walk too far back along the forest road. As we made our way up out of the creek to the car, a Lyrebird in full song mimicked an impressive repertoire of birdcalls serenading us and giving the impression that the forest abounded with many bird species. Sadly it was just out of reach and sight.

A great new walk for our club. Thank you Bob, a memorable day.

Stop press.  We took time out during the day for a short detour to investigate a side tributary with a view to a future exploratory walk. Keep your eye on the calendar for another walk in this area.

Mary T




To Paradise and Back

Sunday 14 May 2017

Photos by Mary T

Although we perceive Paradise to be “up there”, our leaders started the walk from the top and led us down, to the well-named Paradise Creek. This was an unusual move, but quite welcome, as we warmed up gently and then found a pleasant spot for a cuppa, overlooking part of the grazing property to the west. Various mountains in the distance had us vying to identify them as we moved on, glad that we hadn’t aimed to ascend them.

The old track led us down to the pretty valley, where we strolled beside the creek and then stopped for lunch, seated on a granite reef in the middle of the creek, with the pleasant burble of a small cascade for company. The circuit was completed by ascending an old track which wound up a gentle slope and took us finally back to the cars on top of the ridge. That’s the nearest I’m likely to get to Paradise.

Bob T


Broulee Island and Historic Grave

Thursday 11 May 2017

Photos by Donna and Mary T

Another perfect autumn day welcomed 24 bushwalkers led by Bev Brazel on an adventure of walking to the top of Broulee Island to find a historic grave.  This is the grave of Elizabeth Malebar who died 27 June 1842, aged 45 years.

Elizabeth was the wife of Abraham who was a convicted sea captain on conditional pardon who made a living punting goods up and down the Moruya River and occasionally from the river mouth to Broulee.  The grave is one of only a few known graves of this age in the south coast region.

The walk began from South Broulee Surf Club and climbed the nearby road to the top lookout with a lengthy view of Broulee Beach, after which the track led behind headland houses where a local resident welcomed us to another path to views from another lookout – a new feature on this walk.

Once down on the sand the walkers went along Shark Bay and then began the foreshore, sometimes rocky, track around the island, and were thrilled to watch a seal splashing in the waves, also two dolphins and sea eagles.

Soon the track up into bush leading to the top of the island was followed and the large size of the land on top was a surprise to most walkers.  As well as finding the historic grave there was a search for any remaining signs of the hotel which once existed in this area of the island and seen by a member there back in the 1950s.

Once back down on the sand the walkers enjoyed lunch on North Broulee Beach and then made tracks back to the surf club car park.  Thank you to Bev for a most enjoyable and interesting walk.

Joan B

Murramarang Loop via Myrtle Beach

Saturday 6 May 2017

Photos by Donna, Karen M, Erika and Mary T

Fifteen walkers set out on this tramp through the forests only a few kilometres from South Durras. The departure point was on Skid Ridge Road which the group then followed beyond its junction with North Head Road before turning off onto a bush track that had not seen walkers for many years. Some of the old forest tracks in this area remain passable, and are well worth exploring, but have become difficult to follow in the valley bottoms where recent rains have obliterated the track and new vegetation has spread across it.

The route zig-zagged through secondary growth forest with plenty of fallen timber ready to trip the unwary, until eventually we arrived at the big old spotted gum which is such a landmark in the forest. Then the walkers headed uphill towards Myrtle Beach for lunch, where we watched sailing kayakers out at sea heading towards Batemans Bay. Then up the slope to the enchanted forest of twisty trees that line the paths on the headland. The grouped worked its way back to Skid Ridge Road by another little known track, now overgrown in many places skirting the old Durras settlement. By the track there was evidence of sugar-gliders on nearby gums. It was a lovely cool, if humid, morning for a classic Murramarang Walk in our delightful hilly forested coastal environment.

Rodney H

Ten Pin Bowling Afternoon Social Event

Wednesday 3 May 2017

Photos by Karen M and Mary T

Wednesday was an afternoon Ten Pin Bowling social activity at the Dunn Lewis Centre in Ulladulla. 20 club members started the fun off with lunch at the Servo Club before meeting up at the bowling centre. Elizabeth had organised 2 games and afternoon tea with home baked scones and jam all made by the ladies at the Dunn Lewis Centre, delicious!

Some of us were definitely less than stellar but all of the group had great fun and agreed this is an event worthy of an encore. Thank you Elizabeth.

Mary T

North Durras – Depot Beach Circuit

Sunday 30 April 2017

Photos by Mary T

This walk was led by Carol and numbered 17 participants including one visitor. The convoy of 4 cars travelled up the Princes Highway then branched off on Mt Agony Road to North Durras. Excellent walking conditions, a perfect day around 21 degrees. Walked along the beach then took a marked track up a fairly stiff climb to a lookout overlooking the beach.

Retraced our steps then followed a number of interconnecting tracks  leading to a gentle descent to Depot Beach. Tame kangaroos on sight. At Depot Beach we took a forest walk through the ancient Littoral forest, in refreshing coolness. Lunch was had overlooking Depot Beach, after which we made a further climb before reaching the main road that led us back to our starting point at North Durras.

The walk took about 4 hours and covered a distance of just over 10 kms

John M 

Upper Endrick River (3 day pack walk)

Wednesday 26 April to Friday 28 April 2017

Photos by Brian M

The Endrick River is an eastern tributary of the Shoalhaven River.  Its upper catchment is bounded by the Nerriga/Nowra Road and Endrick Fire Trail and it’s within the 70,000 hectare Budawang Wilderness Area.

This is an area of solid rock plateau sandstone geology, broken only by cracking and sculpting of wind and water and mostly covered by a thick blanket of heath and woodland vegetation, periodically rejuvenated by high intensity wildfire.  Nevertheless, some large areas of solid rock persist, and it is these features which draw the tourist.

But because of the restricting nature of the dense understorey, very few will venture into the central area.  One of the few public records found of previous recreational visitation was for rock climbing by the Shoalhaven Bushwalking Club in the 1970’s.

Four Batemans Bay Bushwalkers – Simon, Bronwyn, Brian and Ian – spent three days, and walked 26 kilometres, in the area.  Because of wet weather on the first day, and an aversion to pushing through wet bush, we approached from the west by walking a circuitous 15 kilometres of the Endrick River Fire Trail from the Sassafras car park.  This allowed us to see the well known features along the way such as the upper Clyde Gorge, Red Johnnys Cave, the Vines rainforest and the pure and handsome Brown Barrel regrowth forest, an artefact of the once busy local sawmill, down the Vines Creek valley.

We left the firetrail at 451044 and bush bashed two kilometres up the banks of the Endrick River.  We found our planned campsite of two nights at 469457, fortuitously later proving to be the only comfortable campsite in the area (apart from the many solid rock platforms in the area!).

The next day we ventured upstream through the river gorge but were soon tired from pushing through thick undergrowth and scrambling over boulders.  Instead, we cut through the low clifflines to the south and explored the rock massif between the Galbraith Plateau and Battleship Rock.  There were some fine views, particularly from the Loaf at 477047, so named by us because of its resemblance to a loaf of bread.  It was perched on the lip of the gorge just across from the imposing Battleship Rock.

On the third day we cut eastward across the Endrick River headwaters.  This was a very tiring route, with very thick undergrowth in places, climbing and descending rock platforms.  Navigation needed to be of pinpoint accuracy to find the few narrow passes between the valleys and clifftops.

However, it also proved to be the most enjoyable day.  A forensic examination of the 1970 aerial photos had indicated there were some scenic payoffs along the way and the photos proved valuable in finding the few rocky passes between clifftops and valley crossings.

Working our way to the clifftop north of Battleship Rock rewarded us with long high rock platforms with speedy walking.  It gave us wonderful views southward across the river gorge to Galbraith Plateau and we had a close up view of the appropriately named Battleship Rock.  Nearby, another lower rock of similar, but smaller shape, menaced the valley.  In keeping with the local marine monicking, we named it Submarine Rock.

Further east, from a clifftop point at 481049, we gazed upon the Endrick River’s confluence with Newhaven Creek and admired the rugged nature of the surrounding valleys and gullies.

We crossed the river upstream at 484050, not only because it was one of the few river crossings available, but also to see the small, but delightful, narrow rock ravine in which the river has dropped and cut through the solid rock.  After examining its large and peaceful waterhole at the exit we climbed the surrounding rock platforms and walked the inlet with its numerous potholes of various sizes. We also gazed further upstream where long waterholes curved through rocky troughs.

We had enough time to drop packs and bushbash our way a half kilometer to the south where the river drops a second time through the rock platforms.  It proved to be a cascade with a towering overhang but from our high vantage point we decided not to venture further.  Instead, we explored a natural arch and nearby, on a small cliff ledge, a large and healthy Diamond Python was curled up in the warming sunshine keeping a close eye on the intruders.

We headed to the firetrail, uneventful except for very heavy undergrowth between the few rock platforms that we stumbled upon and could saw into our intended route.  At times, the heath was 2-4 metres high and, too often, we had to backtrack a few metres to try again.  It was equal to the heaviest experienced in the Budawangs with a speed of less than a kilometer per hour.

Exhausted, mid afternoon, we suddenly popped onto the firetrail, exactly where we intended, and slogged home.

In summary, most walkers of the Budawangs Wilderness stick to the few tracks and routes available.  Few venture into the intervening chunks of broken rock and clifflines.  The Upper Endrick River area is one of those areas.  In three days we saw evidence of previous visitation of only a possible old rock cairn of decades age plus a small iron fragment near the fire trail, an artefact of previous use for military training centred on Bhundoo Hill.

The view of Battleship Rock and its surrounds from the clifftop was worth the trip.  The solid rock bed of the Endrick River upstream of its confluence with Newhaven Creek is worth further exploration, as is possibly the nearby Middle Creek.  From our sampling, the base of the clifflines have some, but not many, overhangs of interest.  Despite checking all overhangs and rock platforms encountered, we saw no evidence of previous Aboriginal occupation.

We saw very little evidence of fauna – a bit of wombat on the creek banks, few insects, no fish, no macropods, no raptors, not even an owl call at night – only honeyeaters on the plateau and of course, the python.  In contrast, the vegetation abounds in heath and understorey species.

A wild and interesting place, best visited after a bushfire.