Joan led 14 walkers, including 4 new visitors, on a very enjoyable 4km hike to visit ‘Old Blotchy’, the giant Spotted Gum in the Murramarang National Park. The 18 Mile Peg turnoff signpost at the Princes Highway is gone and we suspect the National Park Service feels the best way to save Old Blotchy is to not advertise its location. James Woodford, a local nature writer, wrote in 2005 that Old Blotchy is 2.92m at DBH (that’s Diameter at Breast Height for the non-foresters) and has a canopy 50m above the forest floor. With a growth rate of 5mm per year it is estimated the tree is over 500 years old.
As a mark of respect we formed a ‘tree-hug’ circle around its base that took 12 of us to complete. We then hiked some local tracks and had to stop when we reached an old dilapidated timber bridge over a creek on the abandoned logging road. Joan issued a challenge for someone to open the track over the bridge which is now very overgrown and complete a circuit back to Old Blotchy. This will make a good 10km hike for a future walk leader with a great attraction draw hikers.
Those distinctive rocks between Maloneys and Long Beach
Morning tea break on the beach
Climbing onto Square Head
Another wonderful coastal view
Photos by Donna
On a cold overcast day 7 bushwalkers scrambled around rocks of different shapes, sizes and colours just below the cliff line of Maloneys Beach. The recent heavy storm had taken away sand and revealed more protruding rocks than normal as well as household items including 2 outdoor chairs which had stuck hard amongst them.
When we reached Long Beach we continued on the sand with Square Head Nature Reserve in sight. A short climb from the beach up the hillside got us to the top of the reserve where we circled around looking down onto the Cullendulla Creek below us. Meanwhile the weather had begun to get windy up top and we made sure we had plenty of warm clothes on to keep the cold chill away.
We spent some time walking around the reserve looking across to Batemans Bay and watching the yachts bobbing about in the water before heading back to Long Beach to walk along the clifftop which was above the rocks we had scrambled on earlier, and continued back to Maloneys Beach where we started. The walk had taken us 11 kilometres from start to finish and we thanked our leader Donna for guiding us along the way.
Unfortunately I did not get anyone contacting me saying they would join my Waddell Mine walk.
I filled in the day by doing some more exploring in the area. Weather was perfect for this exploration. At one of the mine sites I found an old hut site with the remains of metal items and bottles. I discovered that the old bench track to the mine that already had a few obstacles in the way of fallen trees across it is now further obstructed by a huge gum tree that has fallen lengthways along the track. I was able to work my way around the steep hillside to get around the tree.
Despite weather forecasts for quite a wet day in our area of the south coast there were nine hardy bushwalkers, led by Bev, who set off under a grey sky with no rain at that time to begin the walk inland from Moruya Airport to Mossy Point. The walk through the bush parallel to the beach led the group out on to the sand for morning tea where the unusual sight of a young man and his miniature horse jogging along the shoreline gave everyone a very rare sight not seen before.
Heading north along Broulee Beach which had been somewhat eroded by recent dramatic high seas and extremely heavy rain, the surf club was reached where the two large creative mosaic sea urchins were much admired. The climb to the lookout above and along the beach before descending to nearby Broulee Island and the end of the walk at the Mossy Cafe for lunch and coffee was very much enjoyed by one and all, without a drop of rain.
Ainslie and Mike led a total of nine fortunate souls on a most enjoyable walk. We were tested by some slippery rocks as we made our way around the base of Point Upright. We enjoyed spectacular coastal views all the way to Mount Dromedary on a perfect winter’s day.
After a well deserved lunch and rest at Depot Beach we made our way to the top of the hill to enjoy the view back towards South Durras. We were surprised to see a small pod of dolphins fishing in the waters below. As first timers on this walk and residents of South Durras, we had been looking forward to seeing and learning more of our piece of paradise. What a wonderful way to do so.
Many thanks to Ainslie, Mike and fellow walkers, we look forward to the next walk.
On the coldest Saturday yet, nine bushwalkers headed south on a very crisp morning to climb that well-known mountain rising from the dairy pastures around Tilba. Even on this chilly morning there were several other groups either trudging or running up and down the mountain. And some even driven much of the way up by the vehicles managed by the Yuin people.
Below the summit, our bushwalkers deviated to visit some magnificent granite tor structures. Monstrous rounded, precariously balanced boulders, rising out of the forest along a prominent ridge. Then, on up a bushy steep climb a so-called short cut, to the summit trig. Here the wind howled through the trees adding a wind chill factor which seemed to drop the temperature to about 5C. Lunch was accompanied by an informative geological interpretation of this interesting volcanic area and then, down via the rainforest track, through beautiful Pinkwoods, as the rain began to gently fall.
On the downward track the group encountered a fearless bundle of brown fur on the track, and concluded it had to be rattus rattus, the black rat, after all any marsupial would have fled long before the group stumbled over it. All in all, as the damp group scrambled back into the cars, we agreed that the long climb was well worth it, for the rocks, forest and the reminders of both the old mine workings and the area’s aboriginal heritage. Thank you to our Leader on this occasion, Rob.
Ten Batemans Bay Bushwalkers enjoyed the bushland amidst a variety of bird calls as they walked around Deep Creek Dam this week. It was mostly on undulating track.
Above the dam everyone paused to read the information panels about its supply etc. Some admired the pretty shades of green and yellow rushes along the edge of the clear water, others the effortless ease with which a few kangaroos bounded over the top of the fence and back into the surrounding bushland.
The walk concluded with lunch on an appropriate log amongst the variety of native trees.