The Lost World and Hidden Garden

Sunday 5 November 2017

Photos by Denise, Mary T and Paul

On Sunday 5th November 17 Batemans Bay bushwalkers tackled a remote forest area close to Conjola.  First of all we were treated to a smorgasbord of giant Birdnest ferns sitting on top of magnificent sandstone boulders. Exploring further into the dense forest one could truly believe you were in a lost world as we gazed in awe at gigantic figs reaching into the sky with age old roots cascading down their huge rock pedestals.

The wonder continued as we passed through  another forest of twisted and tangled vines eventually leading into a secret hanging garden of Birdnest ferns clinging to a solid cliff face.

On the return journey a very cleverly disguised detour was to reveal yet another forest of cabbage tree palms which included some magnificent specimens.

All in all a very spectacular walk which everyone thoroughly enjoyed.



Burrill Lake Ramble

Thursday 2 November 2017

Photos by Amanda, Carol and Denise

Our Burrill Lake 14 km bushwalk led by Stan and Mary M is one of the most scenic along our coast. In the morning we enjoyed lake, and later on, beach and ocean views. But what made this walk different to most bushwalks was the new track recently made by the indigenous custodians of Burrill Lake.

It is easily accessed by car to several points along the track on the west side of Princes Highway. Beautiful and informative signage at these points gave us all a greater appreciation of the way of life of the Dhurga speaking people who belonged to the Budawang and Murramarang groups. Tribal elder Owen Carriage supplied detailed knowledge about how a canoe was made from stringbark with clay on the floor where a fire could be lit to cook fish, eels or prawns. Men used spears and  women used line and hook from the shore to catch sea food.

The rock shelter or bimbala meaning cockle shell had been occupied for 20,000 years and archaeologists have found stone tools pre-dating more recent types of tools. When the sea rose 5,000 years ago the people retreated inland and occupied this huge rock shelter.

Ainslie M

Bumbo No. 2 Mine

Sunday 22 October 2017

Photos by Amanda and Mary T

David led 5 club members to the site of the Bumbo No 2 mine in an area near Nerrigundah in the Deua National Park. A little rain early in the morning soon cleared up into an overcast day and mild temperatures. The descent down to the first mine site was steep and slippery due to loose stones and forest debris. Near the end of this old track David found an exploded incendiary pellet perhaps dropped from a helicopter in a back burning exercise? Soon after the relatively good track disappeared and then followed some serious bush bashing down through a dry landscape ending up in a beautiful rain forest with tall tree ferns.

The first mine entrance, hidden between the side of a hill and what we decided were rocks excavated from the mine, was rather wet preventing deep exploration. We were pleased for the morning tea break taken near by in a dry creek bed.

As we explored further towards the site of Bumbo No 2 we passed relics of those mining days, metal wheels, rods, metal ‘bricks’ and cable guides imprinted with the marks of cables. There was much conjecture as to what had been pulled and where and the use of this equipment. The steepness of the terrain would have required some mechanical help with moving material as even oxen and horses would have found the area difficult to work in.

Nature had taken over the abandoned pieces of metal providing ideal homes for miniature ferns and fungi to grow and thrive.

A short climb took us to Bumbo No 2. As the mine was dry exploration was possible and several members of the group took off into the dark. On emerging they reported they had ventured about 40 metres in and the tallest member of the group, Rob L had been able to stand up most of the way with the occasional stoop.

David, beating the bush before us, led us down into a tributary creek bed that contained an intermittant flow of water and we bashed our way along under tall tree ferns, over fallen trunks passing rocks and trunks covered with miniature fern gardens, so pretty with the dappled sunlight reflected in the trickling water of the creek.

Eventually we reached the Bumbo Creek where we had lunch accompanied by a few leeches. All too soon David stirred and we knew the respite was over and it was time to start the steep climb back up to the cars passing the site of a stamping battery. Thankfully the overcast skies persisted for the 400+metre climb.

Thank you David for a great day which ticked all the boxes, beautiful country, interesting destinations, a very good work out with an excellent leader.

Mary T


Pigeon House Mountain

Thursday 19 October 2017

Photos by Brian

Perhaps it was the forecast of hot weather which led to just a small contingent of members taking up the challenge of this favourite local climb.

A select party of four adventurers ( Pat, new member Wendy, Chris and Brian) set off in mild conditions under clear skies. Before long, it became apparent to some of us that the mountain had mysteriously become steeper since the last time we’d tackled it. The initial stage is a tough beginning to a walk.

However, refreshed by morning tea, our trek continued along the middle, relatively flat section, where there was time to enjoy colourful wildflowers, including Boronia, scattered amongst the dominant Tea Tree.

The last stage to the summit involves sturdy, steel stairways and ladders, much resembling an adult play gym. These negotiated, there is just a short, steel bridge to cross before reaching the peak. The views here are truly wonderful, a 360 degree vista of the Budawangs and the coast and towns beyond.

Thankfully, the forecast heat was tempered by a cooling breeze and after photos and a leisurely lunch we made our way carefully back down to the carpark.


WW2 Plane Crash Site on Pigeon House Mountain

Sunday 15 October 2017

Photos by Amanda, Erica and Philip

Nine club members (David, Betty, Philip, Simon, Rob L, Barry, Amanda, Elaine & Bob T) participated in this short but in part steep and rugged walk.

The aircraft was an Avro Anson which crashed into the south side of the lower part of Pigeon House Mountain on 9 September 1943 killing all three crew members.

What remains of the aircraft is a large number of door sized sheets of aluminium, various other metal parts and the two engines with bent propellers.

More details on the aircraft and why it crashed can be found in the report on the first club walk (June 2014).

Davis S

Black Diamond Mine Currowan

Saturday 14 October 2017

Photos by Erica, Philip and Mary

On October 14, nine Batemans Bay Bushwalkers traversed across a range of bushland – damp forested gullies and dry stony tracks – towards the Black Diamond Mine in the Currowan Forest.

It was found to be a very well preserved mine adit, but only a few of the group ventured into the muddy tunnel.

The mine was worked between 1890 and ’91; 1894 – ’95; and 1912 – ’15, but unfortunately no records are available on the workings, the miners, or the production.

There were other diggings and big holes in the area including a lonely rock chimney from a long gone building.

There had been a bushfire in the mine’s area not that long ago which left a stark scene and some spotted gum trees with very colourful orange-red bases, but as yet no regrowth on the ground.

All agreed it had been a very interesting day’s walk.

Pat R

Lower Half of Corn Trail

Wednesday 11 October 2017

Photos by Denise, Karen and Rosalie

With great anticipation, 16 walkers led by Mark N set off on the 13km return lower half of the Corn Trail in the Monga National Park. This historic walking track was originally used by Indigenous people on their seasonal travels between the coast and the tablelands, then later by European settlers on pack horses carrying supplies. The first part of the walk passed through cycads, cabbage palms, tree ferns, towering eucalypts and many blueberry ashes. Birdsong filled the air. After clambering over a fallen tree it was time for morning tea at a dry creek where a number of us commented on the warmth and high humidity.

The sound of cicadas rose as we headed on and into the rainforest. It was like entering into another world – trees cloaked in moss, ferns and climbers, and thick vines twisting their way up to the sunlight.  Bob T pointed out a stinging tree with plate sized leaves – we didn’t touch them to check his identification skills!  A community of birds nest ferns was happily living at various altitudes on accommodating trees – some ferns were enormous. Mark N spotted a solitary orchid keeping company with delicate ferns on a tree branch.

Lunch by the Buckenbowra River was lovely. It is the classic river with round pebbles worn smooth over thousands of years by the crystal clear water. An eel darted off under the rocks, little insects skated around on the mirror-like surface and friendly leeches and a tick joined us for lunch. The rock orchids clung to the rock face but there were few flowers due to the dry winter – we’ll just have to come back next year! Rob L found a dark grey rock with many fossilised shells easily visible – we could only marvel at how long it had been there.

On the way back, the group was less chatty than on the walk in. Perhaps the warm humid day had taken its toll – or maybe we were just in quiet contemplation of the beautiful, peaceful place we had just left behind. Thank you Mark for leading a truly memorable walk.

Rosalie G.

Mullendaree Creek West Arm

Sunday 8 October 2017

Photos by Amanda

Bob T led 7 walkers on a new exploratory walk up the west arm of Mullendaree Creek.  We stopped for lunch after 4kms when the number of fallen trees over the creek bed made hiking quite an ordeal before heading back. The creek had no running water and only a few pools of black water but it made hiking easier. The creek made a number of turns due to the interesting geology and the accumulation of gravel at the bends showed us it must be quite a spectacular sight after a heavy rain. Despite the warm dry weather the local bird life was very active and our feather collector, Amanda, found a beautiful red, yellow and black tail feather from a glossy black cockatoo. I know this walker found his legs quite tired the next day but it was a most enjoyable hike.

Rob L

Little Dromedary and More

Thursday 5 October 2017

Phot0s by Amanda, Helen and Karen

Our leader, Rob, promised us “views all round” and this walk certainly delivered.

From the panoramic scenery of Gulaga (Mt Dromedary), Najanuga (Little Dromedary) and Tilba, lake and sea vistas, views of whales splashing about off the coast, and dramatic cloud formations as we hoped for rain, it was all there.

17 Batemans Bay bushwalkers arrived early and set off up hill followed by 18 members of Dalmeny and Narooma walking club. 35 being a few too many for one leader to handle, we stayed in two groups and met up during morning tea and lunch.

As we had permission from the land owners we enjoyed walking in pastural land accompanied by friendly cows then we climbed to Najanuga summit where the best views were to be had. On return we checked out stag horn ferns growing on rocks near the ground, dodged cow pats and kicked up dust from the dry path.

Then we walked through Sheringham farm to the serene Little Lake and onto the golden sandy beach for an early lunch. A bank of dark clouds followed us from the south as we headed to the Tilba Cemetary but we stayed dry on the return to the cars.

A beautiful walk.


North Durras Forest, Lake and Beach

Sunday 1 October 2017

Photos by Erika & Philip

Starting from the carpark above Depot Beach picnic area we walked a short distance up Depot Beach Road before turning onto a bush track and heading uphill. The track was surrounded by spotted gums and about half way up we took in the view across the tree ferns and flowering palms to beautiful Depot Beach below.

Upon reaching the top of the hill we turned onto North Durras Road and walked downhill until we met and turned onto Lake Road, which led us down to the Durras Lake Discovery Trail. After walking the loop of the Discovery Trail we continued down to Durras Lake and walked along the shore line to the back of the North Durras caravan parks. Skirting around the back of the caravan parks we turned onto a looping bush track that after couple of kilometres returned us to the back of the caravan parks. From there we made the short walk to Durras North Beach.

At the beach, near the mouth of the lake, we stopped for lunch. After lunch we walked to the far end of the beach where we came to the start of the Burrawang Walking Track, which winds through the largest preserved stand of spotted gums in coastal NSW. Climbing the steep track to the top of Depot Beach Headland we took the side track out to Point Upright for great views of the coast line, Durras Lake and the Tasman Sea with migrating whales in the distance. Then it was back to the main track and down to Depot Beach village, stopping now and then to admire the towering spotted gums with their pale mottled trunks contrasting starkly with the dark green understory of burrawangs.

From the back of Depot Beach village we walked around to Beach Road, and after a stop at the boardwalk and lookouts, continued on back to our starting point at the carpark.

Erika & Philip