Ian’s Other Waterfall

Sunday 21 April 2019

Photos by Erika, Mary and Philip

David led 5 club members to the site of an unnamed waterfall on a tributary in the area of Quart Pot Creek. The drive to our start was through pretty forest, and rough dirt roads necessitating the crossing of 12 ‘creeks’ all of which had varying levels of running water.

We started with an immediate launch into the forest and a bush bash up a dry creek bed. We soon came upon the creek tributary where the waterfall was situated. The creek although by no means flowing all the way through contained sufficient water for small water holes to form around which we found round holes that we believe were made by the yabby.

Features of the area are large boulders, rocks and tree trunks covered in bright green moss. The moss while pretty on the trunks of tree is treacherous under foot requiring careful negotiating for the day. As we worked our way up the creek we came upon spent orchids and birds-nest ferns. As on other recent walks there was a display of interesting fungi.

After much rock scrambling, some rock climbing and having to take to higher ground to find a way around deeper water we reached the 15m waterfall where some water was falling. David then led us up above the waterfall so that we could look down into the canyon below. There was a choice of lunch site, on the side of the hill in the sun or down near the creek in shade. Leeches were in good supply so the party split up evenly. Those of us already having had a close encounter with these hitch hikers opted for the sun, while the rest walked down to enjoy the last of the creek.

A good paced walk out to the cars along the fire trail, complete with obligatory black snake; completed a great day in the local bush. Thank you David.

Mary

Paddle Mummuga Lake

Tuesday 16 April 2019

Photos by Erika and Mary

 

Maloneys Beach – Murramarang National Park

Sunday 7 April 2019

Photo by Karen

A lovely autumn day for a pleasant Murramarang National Park walk. There were twelve of us, ten members and two visitors, the bush was lovely and fresh after the rain and there was a variety of fungus to be seen both on old trees (these have the common name of Curry Punk due to their colour) as well as others not so vibrant raising their heads through the undergrowth. Flowers were scarce but the Pittosporum revolutum with its amazing golden yellow seed pods were on show.

Amazing views along the coast and west to mountains and the colour of the sea and the golden sands on the north side of Bay was enticing. A visit to the Canoe Tree another highlight of this walk and the welcoming committee of the local kangaroo & wallaby population as we returned to our cars was overwhelming. We finished our walk with lunch at Maloneys Beach – all agreed it had been a great walk.

Karen

Packwalk: Jagungal Wilderness, Kosciusko National Park

Monday 11 – Thursday 14 March 2019

Photos by Ian, Wendy and Mary

The Jagungal Wilderness is a large 66,300 hectare slab of Kosciusko National Park between Guthega, the Tooma Road and the Eucumbene River valley.  It straddles part of the Great Dividing Range and has a prominent peak, Mt Jagungal, which at 2,061 metres asl is the 7th highest in Australia.  Jagungal was declared wilderness in 1992.

The topography is undulating to hilly with typical Australian alpine and sub alpine vegetation.  It is the open snow grass “plains” and broad valleys with snow gum capped ridges which is the big attraction to bushwalkers.  Six club members – Bronwyn, Simon, Rudy, Wendy, Mary and Ian went to have a four day look.

Starting on the eastern side near Cesjacks Hut, and in a broad anticlockwise oval circuit around Mt Jagungal, we followed Doubtful Creek to Grey Mare Fire Trail (which is also part of the Australian Alps Walking Track), and returned via the Strumbo Range and McAlister Saddle.  This is a distance of approximately 35 kilometres, about half of it on fire trail and we were walking in the 1600-1800 metres asl elevation range.  We camped in the open, ignoring the few huts which were en route or within distance.

South of Mt Jagungal, the open plains and low hills, interrupted by small outcrops of granite boulders, were a delight to walk and offered endless views. We often stopped to soak it in but, interestingly, it was almost monotonous. After a while, even the very occasional minimal remains of an old grazing fence or a dray track became a point of interest.  In the absence of any other significant topographical features (apart from Mt Jagungal which always loomed in the background), it also meant that, to remain on an intended path, forensic map and compass navigation was required.

At McAlister Saddle we were very close to that significant location where the catchments of the three major river systems of the Australian Alps meet – the Murray, Murrumbidgee and Snowy Rivers.  We had to remind ourselves there is nowhere else on the planet and we felt privileged to be there.

It was pleasing to see quite a bit of insect activity, particularly grasshoppers and, thankfully, nothing that also wanted a piece of us, such as the dreaded March flies.  One particularly colourful large grasshopper deserved a close look.  We saw a White Lipped Snake (Drysdalia coronoides) and the much larger Highland Copperhead Snake (Australeps ramsayi), lots of evidence of crustaceans on the boggy flats, and the remains of a Bush Rat (Rattus fuscipes).  Birdlife was a bit sparse but an occasional Scarlet Robin among the Snow Gums provided a splash of colour.

There was evidence of extensive feral pig diggings on the eastern side, though not much of it was recent.  The only evidence of brumbies was one pile of horse dung, again on the eastern side.

In contrast, we saw no one else and, apart from the Grey Mare Fire Trail, two huts, a meteorological station, a campfire site, and the afternoon jet trails of the Sydney/Melbourne commuters, no other evidence of recent human activity. But, this area, like much of the alpine areas, was grazed until 1958 and bits of fencing wire remain in some places.

Off the fire trail, walking was distinctly slower, always potentially ankle rolling and requiring good leg strength. Despite their appearance, the snow grass plains are rarely an even surface.  Constantly adjusting each foothold during the walking took its toll and a few of us developed foot issues, particularly heel blisters.

To add some spice to the walking, in some areas, particularly away from cold air drainage and frost hollows, a waist to shoulder high heathy scrub considerably slowed progress as we had to push and pick our way through it.  The heath appears to have proliferated since the 2003 high intensity fires which razed the entire area.

Despite a slower than planned progress, this walk was successful.  It was a taster to see what Jagungal Wilderness had to offer.  We enjoyed it very much and we will go back, particularly to sample areas to the south.

Ian 

Paddle: Clyde River-Nelligen to Batmans Bay

Monday 4 March 2019

Photos by Karen

We had perfect conditions for our 15 km paddle from Nelligen to Batemans Bay on Monday.  No wind, a following tide and fine weather.  It turned out to be less arduous than expected.  The outgoing tide sped us along on a mirror still waterway, and we found ourselves having to deliberately slow down.  We took a break on Big Island, but still reached Batemans Bay bridge before lunch.

Upstream, the Clyde River was very quiet and peaceful, with virtually no traffic, but as we approached Batemans Bay, the noise and activity of the new bridge works, plus the police helicopter buzzing overhead investigating the bogus bomb threat, quickly brought us back to reality.

Karen