Thursday 2 May 2019
Photos by Helen, Karen and Mary
Six brave female souls joined Donna up Gulaga for her second walk as leader. After being assured that nobody would be lost, or rather pleading with everyone not to get lost on the walk, the group was given the good news and the bad news. The good news being that a nice new shiny toilet had been installed up the mountain. The bad news was that the walk didn’t go as far as the toilet but that didn’t matter as that meant that we didn’t have to walk further up the mountain!!
We set off for a four km uphill walk in sunny, humid conditions and located the rarely used and unmaintained Battery Track. In addition to its significant indigenous cultural history, Gulaga has a European history which involves the mining of gold from 1878 to 1920. Stampers, boilers, aerial tramways and even a cyanide processing plant were housed on the mountain during this period. At one stage there was also a school in the area as well as dwellings to house the four hundred or so miners and their families who lived there permanently.
The purpose of this walk was to follow the remnants of the Battery Track, which is now overgrown and difficult in sections, to locate artifacts and relics from the gold mining period. The walk was a very scenic one with the lush rainforest harbouring some beautiful tree ferns along the way, even a Pinkwood tree was spotted nestled amongst them. It really was a surprise to see such a beautiful rainforest in stark contrast to other parts of the mountain which are quite dry.
We made our way to what is left of the manager’s residence, which was just some bricks, bottles and remnants of some type of cooking utensil. We had lunch at that location and then followed our path back out onto the main track. Once on the track everyone was appreciative of Mary collecting all of the leeches residing on Gulaga so that none of us located any on our bodies! We made our way back to the cars and some of the group indulged in some retail therapy at the new nursery, having earned that right. Meanwhile the walk leader pondered over why no males had attended her walk. Was it the degree of difficulty or something more sinister? Perhaps we may find out in the Deua…….