Currowan Creek and Peachtree Gully

Sunday 3 June 2018

Photos by Barry, Karen and Mary

With a cold, showery, miserable Saturday, we were delighted to find the sun shining over the hills on Sunday. Seven bushwalkers set off down the long hill to Currowan Creek, through a stretch of forest that had clearly been logged recently. In the bottom of the valley beside the Creek the scenery changes dramatically, with damp forest sprinkled with Sydney Blue Gums, where Lyrebirds can be heard calling, but are seldom seen. Fortunately the Creek was low after a dry spell and it was easily crossed with dry feet.

Then the group took the long hill up Peach Tree Gully Road to the ridge top, traversed the ridge and then descended along a slowly disappearing track back towards the Creek. Slowly the forest thickened and the understorey built up until finally the group were slipping and sliding down through bush with deep leaf litter and rotting tree trunks to the Gully, which they then followed over and under fallen trees and tangling vines until eventually the muddy group reached Currowan Creek again. Then they followed the Creek Eastwards, crossed it upstream from the ford and wandered along the sandy, stony flat covered in flood debris to the original ford where they enjoyed lunch. Then back up the long two kilometre hill to the parked vehicles.

All in all, we enjoyed a good day out on a bushwalk that offers everything.


Durras Lake and Discovery Trail

Thursday 31 May 2018

Photos by Mary and Stewart

Our group of 16 was led by Karen, along the ‘Lake Walk’ from the Mount Agony Road through magnificent stands of spotted gum and burrawang forest, to the northern edge of Durras Lake where we looked for rat’s tail orchids clinging to trees near the edge of the water. The orchids were duly found, but alas not in flower. We followed the lake’s edge through myrtle woodland before entering extensive groves of cabbage palm and temperate rain forest in gullies and in low damp creek flats near where the creeks from Mount Agony flowed into the lake.
After 4 km we joined the ‘Durras Discovery Walk’, a 1.5 km loop with several interesting features including part of an old timber jinker (used to support large logs so they could be dragged by horses through the forest to the old timber mill at North Durras), and a high platform with signs describing how timber-getters raised themselves above the often hollow bases of the larger gum trees in order to hew through solid timber. The loop climbs up to a small escarpment of flat-lying pebbly grey sandstone (the Snapper Point Formation), part of the same sequence of rocks we have seen on other walks along the coast at Murramarang and points farther north. We perched on top of this escarpment to enjoy our lunch, before descending back down to complete the ‘Discovery Loop’ and rejoin the ‘Lake Walk’ which took us back to our cars, all the while with the calls of a lyre bird echoing through the forest.
All up a 9 km walk through beautiful and varied forest on a fine, slightly cool day with a few ups and downs to keep us fit – ideal! Some history thrown in too which is always a good thing. Another good thing was that in spite of all the talk about ticks and leeches, there was only one leech attack and it was soon shooed away with a flick of the finger and a spray of tea tree oil for good measure.
Thank you Karen for a great walk.

Upper Shoalhaven River

Friday 26 – Sunday 27 May 2018

Photos by Barry and Simon

Six club members (Simon, Barry, Wendy, Bronwyn, David and Ian) walked for two days southward, 26 kilometres, through the upper headwaters of the Shoalhaven River. This area is part of the Deua National Park, and rarely explored, between the Mimuma Range and the Braidwood-Cooma Road.

We commenced at the Wyanbene Caves, and climbed directly to Wyanbene Mountain trig. Despite its abandonment in this digital age, the trig is still in virtually original condition with a large rock cairn, timbered post and all four black circular vanes still in place. Nearby, we enjoyed a magnificent 270° view, west to south and particularly into, and across, the Deua valley, from a limestone outcrop on the Minuma Range.

We then walked onto the Range’s firetrail and slogged its ups and downs southward. As the Range and the Shoalhaven River came closer, we left the firetrail and descended a long ridge. Two large chunks of butchered beef on the ground indicated that feral animal baiting was in progress. We arrived at the river’s wooded flats and stoney Snow Gum ridges.

Choosing the overnight campsite proved problematic due to few river crossings and dense scrub along most of the banks. However, in time, we scored a delightful flat, grassy spot under the Ribbon Gums surrounded by unlimited firewood and we settled in for the night.

The broad, flat basin of the upper Shoalhaven generates high levels of cold air drainage on winter nights and our campsite was no exception. Around a warming campfire in the morning we compared frost and ice accumulations on our tents, bivvy bags, and the solidified water in outside containers. This generated plenty of discussion on value for money equipment.

On the second day we started to follow the river upstream and admired some impressive waterholes on the way. Although the water looked ideal for trout and other aquatic species, none were seen. Neither were there waterfowl – quite odd. However, judging by the many forensically opened mussel shells on the banks, we guessed the river was home to many water rats.

Scrubby riverbanks and big areas of dense Dwarf She-oak (Allocasuarina nana), which often spread down the dry stoney ridges to the river, began to slow our progress. So, after lunch, we deviated away from the river and wandered up a tributary toward Wambagugga Swamp. Evidence of feral pigs appeared about the time we found a long abandoned pig trap.

The topography was gently undulating with open forest (Ribbon Gum, Mountain Gum, Peppermints, Snow Gum) with either a woody litter or grassy ground layer. It was a joy to walk through. And then it got even better – we entered a large area of open forest dominated by Brown Barrel with occasional grassy flats. With no indicative reason we could find, a tree had a large silver horseshoe screwed to it.

We rejoined the river where it constricts to a narrow channel among the reeds. The constriction appears to have been formed at the boundary of the metamorphic and granite geologys, thereby creating the upstream swamps, the very source of the Shoalhaven River. After the crossing we made a beeline for our waiting cars and arrived as the sun set.

In summary, the limestone of Wyanbene and the hilly Minuma Range contrasted with the undulating upper reaches of the Shoalhaven River. Despite the river valley’s easy topography, one has to carefully thread a route to avoid the large areas of almost impenetrable Dwarf She-oak and to find the easier river crossings. Aerial photos were valuable in this respect and good map and compass navigation was essential.

We enjoyed the walk and there are already plans to include more fixed camps with day walks in this area.


Paddling and Walking Camp, Mallacoota Victoria

Sunday 13 – Friday 18 May 2018

Karen M and Mary T

By Karen and Mary

Batemans Bay Bushwalkers braved the Victorian weather for a week’s camping, paddling and bushwalking at Mallacoota.  There are many paddling opportunities to choose from on Mallacoota’s extensive waterways.  One day we put the kayaks into the Top Lake and paddled back to camp at the mouth of the Mallacoota Inlet, and another day we launched from Gypsy Point to paddle up the Wallagaraugh River and back.  We’ll have to go back and tackle the Betke River another time.

There are also plenty of bushwalking options.  We walked from camp to the Airport Bunkers on the Pittosporum and Betke River Tracks, and returned via Betke Beach and the Heathland, Casuarina and Shady Gully Tracks – about 14km in all.  The next day was 16km from Double Creek Nature Trail to the Narrows Track and then back to camp on the Inlet Track.  This is koala country and we spotted two high up in the monkey gums.





Mummaga and Brou Lakes

Saturday 26 May 2018

Denise and Mary

Batemans Bay Bushwalkers explored another corner of Eurobodalla National Park on the weekend when 12 walkers took to the tracks near Mummaga and Brou Lakes just north of Dalmeny.

Starting at the Bodalla Park Rest Area there is a well marked walk track to Mummaga Lake where there are views of white egrets reflected in the still waters.  The walkers then deviated from the marked track to follow old forestry trails through the bush north, crossing Lake Brou Road to find an old abandoned trail to the waters of Lake Brou and flocks of black swans.  The shores of the lake lead to a National Park campsite and to another track which runs along the top of the sand dunes the length of Brou Beach.

Pausing for lunch overlooking the beach, we usually spot a pod of dolphins in the surf, and there they were again, right on cue.  To complete the 13 km circuit back to the Rest Area the walk follows more forest roads and tracks over fairly flat terrain.  Another lovely autumn day was perfect for a long walk by the water and through the bush, with plenty of opportunity for chatting along the way.

By Karen



West Australian Camp

Wednesday 2 May to Friday 11 May 2018

The West Australian camp led by Rob started off in Exmouth where the highlight was to swim with the Whale Sharks off the Ningaloo Coast, a World Heritage Area. Snorkelling the reefs off Turquoise and Oyster Stack beaches was also an attraction. Walking Yardie Creek, Mandu Mandu and the Badjirrajirra tracks were undertaken on our other days in the area. The weather was in the low to mid 30s which gave us warm water for swimming but necessitated the need for early starts to our walks.

Our Whale Shark adventure was postponed from the scheduled day due to rough seas but it may have been in our favour as the crew of MV Jazz spotted, with the help of an airplane 5 young male whale sharks. It was an amazing experience for us all and a day to remember.

On Sunday fully stocked with food and water for the next stage of our trip, we left Exmouth to drive about 710km to Karijini National Park where we were to camp in the EcoResort. The scenery became more spectacular as we headed eastwards. Two fuel stops were made along the way, the last being at Tom Price a delightful town far from any other.

The EcoResort was a great place to camp. There was water, showers and flush toilets, more than I expected and very welcome. Although I and some others did not use the shower as the green and blue, clear pools we came across in the gorges were more to our liking.

Our walks in the Karijini took us along gorge tops and ridges and down through deep gorges. Each were spectacular in their own scenery. The gorges were rough underfoot and care needed to be taken whether on a dirt or rocky track or negotiating stepping stone rocks around narrow ways to avoid wet feet or worse. None of the running water was deep but the rocks were slippery and injuries were best avoided. Weano Recreation Area and Gorge was our first taste of the walks to come. We left directly from the camp to the first lookout. Some group members formed a second group to walk the gorge ridge while others descended into the gorge. In places the walls were quite close together as we made our way along. Rob told us the geological history of the area pointing out many interesting features. Rock faces, billions of years old of browns, russet and orange and in places yellow strata were beautiful. After climbing the steep incline out of the gorge we went off to Joffre Falls which included a Class 5 section. The reward of this part of the gorge was a swim in a clear, cool pool complete with waterfall.

At Joffre Falls the swimming was wonderful, however the walk down and scramble up was a little hair raising!

After Karijini we drove to Dales Gorge where the camping facilities were very basic, only toilets but the site was well laid out providing ample space for tents and camper vans. A tourist centre provided very interesting information on the area, flush toilets and ice-cream! A drive on a dirt road took us to Kalimina Gorge which was all Rob promised, most spectacular both in the rock formations, colours and variety of lizards and other flora and fauna. Of particular interest was seeing raw asbestos for the first time. The gorge contained 3 pools, all excellent swimming holes and the group took advantage of the cooling, cleansing water, remember, no showers at the camp site! The pools, one of ‘olympic’ proportion were home to many fish and water boatmen, the fish willingly provided a pedicure if you could take the nibbling and tickling. The red layered walls towing above us were set off by a creek running through with white tree trunks, bleached grasses and blue sky compiling the classic Pilbara landscape.

Thank you Rob for organising a great camp, so varied taking in land and sea.

Photos by Donna and Mary

Report by Helen R and Mary

























Photos by Donna and Mary

Beginners Social Croquet Morning

Sunday 20 May 2018

Who knew there was a dedicated croquet lawn in Moruya overlooking the river and presided over by Pam and her fellow croquet players (croquettes??).  Pam invited members of Batemans Bay Bushwalkers to come along on Sunday morning to find out more about the game.  We split into 4 teams of 4 (with a spare), and after a quick, succinct outline of the rules, Pam let us loose on the 2 courts she had set up.  We played a very simple form of the game called Golf Croquet at first, but as we grew more confident Pam introduced new elements to the following games until we were enjoying the more complicated rules of Aussie Croquet.

We were surprised to learn croquet is quite strategic, and not just hitting balls through a succession of hoops.

After several games and a fun morning in glorious sunshine, we adjourned to the Moruya Bowling Club for a convivial lunch and catch up.




Maloneys Beach

Thursday 17 May 2018

Thirteen very enthusiastic members of Batemans Bay Bushwalkers turned up on Thursday for a pleasant morning walk starting at Maloneys Beach.

The leaders Ainslie and Mike were happy to welcome 2 visitors from  Griffith.  We strolled up from the beach to the south end of Murramarang National Park enjoying the beautiful forest and an amazing view at Acheron Ledge across the bay.  A bush tucker plant was pointed out to us by one of our very knowledgeable members and morning tea was enjoyed on the beach while taking in more spectacular views of the sea and rock face.  After the conclusion of the walk 9 members went on to lunch at Maloneys Beach Cafe.