Saturday 24 October 2020
Creek beside Bevian Road
Walking among fuzzy trees
Creek at North Rosedale
Beach at South Rosedale
Morning tea at Blacks Beach
Chris’s high fashion in the field
One of many beautiful old Banksias
Photos courtesy of Helen, Erika and Philip
Meeting at Barlings Beach, thirteen walkers headed inland along Bevian Rd, keen to see how the bush was recovering from the fires, whilst sighting an echidna, a camel, various birds and dodging heavy vehicles en route to Rosedale Beach. The cool ocean breeze was a welcome relief as we wandered along the beaches and rock platforms to Blacks Beach for morning tea and a quick swim.
The sky was beginning to look menacing as we reached Guerrilla Bay and the views on the beautiful cliff top section from Burrewarra Point through to Franks Beach were dramatically grey and punctuated by brief light showers. Wildflowers were still highlighting the path through the banksias as we picked up the pace towards Franks Beach where we decided to skip lunch and finish the walk before the showers turned to rain.
Back at the cars and feeling well exercised by our 15 km hike we had no sooner said our thanks to Brian for a most enjoyable day than the sky began to clear again, briefly, just as forecast!
Sunday 18 October 2020
Walking along the overgrown sidetrack
Admiring a Staghorn encircled Burrawang
A Staghorn/Burrawang combo
This is what bushwalking is all about !
Entering dryer open forest
Rock covered with intricate lichen
Off track descent
Boardwalk to Lewis Island
Tidal zone around Lewis Island
Photos courtesy of Philip and Erika
The small pocket of state forest adjacent to North Narooma is not an area previously explored by Batemans Bay Bushwalkers. However, we had heard about the location of some old mine shafts and infrastructure so we went in to take a look on Sunday. Unfortunately the area has been used as a car dumping ground for many years – we came across at least 6 rusting vehicles, one quite a recent addition. We were also dismayed to see a high point overlooking the inlet currently being used for dumping rubbish.
We managed to escape the interfering hand of man by leaving the main tracks and cutting through the bush to the mining area. This consists of several horizontal shafts, as well as some concrete structures probably used as footings for machinery. There are also 2 areas of vertical shafts, fenced in to prevent people from falling in.
Finally we walked to Lewis Island, connected to the mainland by a boardwalk, to enjoy the clear waters of Wagonga Inlet.
Thursday 15 October 2020
Track down to Durras Lake
Leader, Sharon, beside the lake
Sharon raising the bar for Morning Tea.
Here’s to Val!
Ten flower spikes with Sharon, Pat, Bev and Ron
Bev with a Kangaroo Apple plant
Karen M and an upturned tree
Karen G negotiating a fallen tree
Benandarah Creek – the final destination
Photos courtesy of Brian, Karen and Bob
The predicted forecast of thirty degrees did little to deter the thirteen determined walkers who gathered for this lovely stroll among the forests and waterways on the western edge of Durras Lake.
Leader Sharon had proposed that we take advantage of the morning coolness and attempt to complete the nine kilometre course before lunch. With this in mind, we set a brisk pace, yet slow enough to enjoy a forest environment blackened, yet regenerating at a surprising rate. The tall gums provided all the shade we needed, while the understorey teemed with thriving Burrawangs and flowering Grass Tree Xanthorrhoeas.
Our arrival at the lake edge provided a new type of beauty and the perfect backdrop for a special moment – a tribute to our recently departed friend Val.
Sharon had come prepared with wine glasses (plastic) and sparkling wine (non-alcoholic) and so we were able to raise a glass and reflect on the contribution of one of the club’s most loved members. Pat shared some memories and more Val stories were told over morning tea by the lake.
The walk continued along to Benandarah Creek where we turned and headed into the forest again and eventually back to the waiting cars.
Many thanks to Sharon for leading and sharing with us this peaceful part of the world.
Saturday 10 October 2020
Heading out on the tracks
Overlooking Brou Lake
Track lined with fan flowers (Scaevola aemula)
Burned forest with understorey of fan flowers
Views towards Tuross
Flowering grass tree
Yet more yellow leopard orchids – can you see the insect?
Photos courtesy of Donna and Karen
Perfect Spring weather with a breath of breeze brought 13 of our members out to enjoy a morning walk in the Brou Lake camping area. The group set off from the carpark in the direction of the lake and it wasn’t long before wildflowers were being admired in the bush. It seemed to be the time of year that Lomandra bloom and a smaller species as well as the usual larger plant were both prevalent amongst the other flowers.
On the shores of Brou Lake, a mixed flock of predominantly Pied Oystercatchers with a few Sooty making up the 15 birds seen, Walkers were surprised with the number, considering that the species is listed as endangered. Pelican & swans were also admired.
Our morning tea was enjoyed right next to the beach before walking the remainder of the 5.5 kilometre circuit mostly with the ocean in view and prolific flowerings of Scaevola, shrubby hibbertia, xanthorrhoea and other species unable to be named correctly by those present.
The walk finished at 11:45am just in time for some members to lunch at booked restaurants.
Sunday 4 October 2020
Ian investigating tunnel
Tunnel 1 in creek, with stream flowing out
Carpet of silvertop ash seedlings in burnt forest
Old stone building on hillside, exposed by bushfire
Peter, Ian and Rob staring down mine shaft
Rob and Peter with old axel from ore trolley
Time lapse shot in tunnel where a deep cut stops further progress
Fly wheels at site of old battery stamper next to Bumbo creek
Entrance to Tunnel 2, which is over 50m long
Photos courtesy of Philip
Four walkers enjoyed a tough hike to the Bumbo #2 gold mine near Nerrigundah. This walk was last done in 2017 when the forest cover was very dense and navigation difficult. The January 2020 fires severely burnt this area which made hiking on the upper slopes easier and also exposed many features we had missed in 2017. The rains since the fires have resulted in dramatic growth of silvertop ash seedlings which appear like a carpet on the burnt hillside. We came across many shafts dug by the miners between 1895 and 1906 during the peak of the gold mining activities. Many of these shafts would have been hidden before the fires and we could have easily lost a few hikers.
The first tunnel is on the creek line with the water flowing out at a reasonable pace. Heading down stream to the second tunnel the bushfires exposed the remains of an old stone building on the hillside that was not seen in 2017.
The second tunnel is more accessible and has many interesting features. The first thing you experience standing at the entrance is a cool wind coming straight out at you which means it must connect to a shaft to create the breeze. I knew to bring a powerful torch to venture into this tunnel which we were able to do so for over 50m. At this point the tunnel reaches a drop off estimated to be over 10m deep. This cut running perpendicular to the tunnel is very narrow and links via a shaft to the surface. Maybe this was the vein where they extracted 115kg of gold? When we turned the torch off we could see light on the tunnel wall coming from the shaft above which is quite spooky considering how far we were underground. The photo taken at this point was done using a time lapse shot and waving the torch on the walls to illuminate the features. The effect is quite dramatic showing the drop off at our feet and the continuation of the tunnel over the gap reminiscent of the scene from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
At the tunnel entrance we found abandoned equipment including fly wheels and rope rollers which would have been used to transport the ore downslope to the stamper on Bumbo creek via an aerial tramway.
600m downstream we arrived at the site of the old battery stamper which was cut into the hillside. All that remains are a number of flywheels, bolts, and other equipment abandoned when they removed the stamper over 100 years ago. Climbing up the slope we found a number of flat sites that could have served as locations for derricks supporting the aerial tramway bringing the ore from the mine to the stamper. This must have been a very impressive sight to observe in its day.
On the long climb back to the car (400m of elevation) we realised that in a few years from now the forest will reclaim this area and make navigation very difficult again.
Thursday 1 October 2020
Yellow leopard ground orchid
Strange creature near Gravel Pit Road
Blue Gum forest at Wrights Creek
Towering Blue Gum
Coming up out of Wrights Creek
Forest along Salinga Fire Trail
Photos courtesy of Philip, Erika and Helen
Eighteen walkers set out along the gravel road into Murramarang National Park from the end of Sea Acres Drive. Upon reaching Carls Mountain Road we turned right and continued for a short distance before turning off onto an overgrown track. This track was once a CPT Road but is now strewn with fallen trees and branches, creating an ever changing obstacle course for walkers and horse riders.
The track passed through dry open forest for a while and then took us down into a forest of tall smooth blue gums, in and around Wrights Creek. After briefly pausing in the mostly dry creek bed we started uphill toward Gravel Pit Road. Just before the junction with Gravel Pit Road we stopped for morning tea.
After morning tea we walked along Gravel Pit Road back to Carls Mountain Road and then onto Seven Road. Toward the end of Seven Road we took a short track through the bush to join with Saligna Fire Trail (presumably, as suggested by Karen, named after Eucalyptus saligna). This trail runs parallel to a small creek and once again we meandered through a forest of tall blue gums (Eucalyptus saligna) and spotted gums, with an understorey adorned with creepers and climbers.
The track then lead us up out of the gully and we continued on, through dry open forest, back to our starting point at Sea Acres Drive.
Saturday 26 September 2020
Serious bushwalking discussion
Lucky its low tide
What have they spotted?
Looking out to the Tollgate Islands
Checking out Three Islet Point
Eastern end of Chain Bay
Big burl along Acheron Trail
Heading into the forests of Murramarang NP
Photos courtesy of Philip, Erika, Amanda and Barry
7 walkers enjoyed a very pleasant hike along the shores of Batemans Bay from Long Beach to Three Islet Point. This walk is only possible at low tide which is required to walk along the narrow shoreline. The walk had some rock scrambling along the shore platform, but the upside was experiencing some interesting geology outcrops. The return leg took us along the cliff tops in the forests of the Murramarang National Park. The views of Batemans Bay and the Tollgate Islands were enhanced by a weekend yacht race with full spinnakers in the fresh breezes. The beaches in this area are real ‘post card’ material and would be a great location for a club summer walk / swim event.
Wednesday 23 September 2020
Cleared path for the group
Crossing the boulder field
Yellow Leopard ground orchids
Flying Duck ground orchids
Mary with a new use for masks – sunshade!
Bob up to his tricks!
Red Belly Black Snake
Photos courtesy of Donna and Erika
Tarourga Road runs through Bodalla State Forest south west of Potato Point. The forest was burned in recent bushfires, but is not as fire damaged as the forests around Mogo and Batemans Bay. Bushwalkers took the opportunity of going off track while the forest floor is now relatively clear of debris to explore the area.
We made our way through a boulder field, finding the first of many yellow Leopard ground orchids. Crossing our first rivulet, we put up a red belly black snake. Further along the track we carefully skirted another stretched out in the sun. We spotted some emu feathers caught in a fence line, and came across the owner wandering through the trees ahead of us.
After lunch we treed a goanna, and found several large patches of Flying Duck ground orchids – so called because the flower profile looks like a duck in flight.
The wildflowers weren’t as many as we expected, especially after the fires, but there were plenty of blue native flag irises and creamy candles. With so much to stop and look at, it was a slow 8km circuit, made all the more enjoyable by the cheerful company.
Thursday 17 September 2020
Ainslie, Niamh and Mike inspecting the goose barnacles
Ainslie and Mike and their 25 year anniversary badges
Niamh, Mike, Ainslie and Gay on the Dreaming Track
Glenn getting blown about on the headland
Ainslie, Glenn and Niamh with Tuross and Gulaga in the distance
Photos courtesy of Mike, Glenn and Gay
Five members met at Bingie Headland for an easy 2.5 km circuit walk along part of the Bingie Dreaming Track which has a rich cultural history for the Yuin people of the south coast. The walkers left the headland heading north along the beach coming across a washed up log covered in goose barnacles. At the mouth of Kellys Lake they joined the Dreaming Track and headed back south enjoying the tranquility of the track and chatting to other like-minded hikers while passing through a grove of Common Silkpods.
The track then opened up to views out to sea, a group of Black Cockatoos in a lonely tree on the headland and Cormorants sunning themselves on the beach. The walkers took in views to the south to Tuross but the weather had started to turn and it was very windy with a chill in the air. The Walkers headed back north towards Bingie Bingie Point only to be rewarded with the sighting of two whales cavorting in the sea. This was a perfect place to find a sheltered spot out of the wind and watch the antics of the whales over a spot of lunch. A wonderful way to finish!
Thursday 17 September 2020
Large forest red gum (E. Tereticornis)
‘Wedding Bush’ (Ricinocarpus Pinifolius) beside the track
Coila lake looking west to the coastal ranges in the background
And the sun came out!
Photos courtesy of Chris and Rob
Thirteen walkers set out on a hike from Bingi Headland to Coila Lake and the neck at Tuross. The day started out overcast but with no wind we saw our first whale offshore heading south within 5 minutes. The walk follows the Dreaming Track to Tuross along a well-marked path maintained by the National Park Service.
The first group photo was at a large forest red gum (E. Tereticornis) which had partially fallen over but not died to make a great background for the photo. The second group photo was taken at Coila lake looking west to the coastal ranges in the background. Karen M. got quite excited when we found a ‘Wedding Bush’ (Ricinocarpus Pinifolius) beside the track which she explained is quite rare in this area.
Returning we deviated into the Bangalay, Southern Mahogany forest (E. Botryoides) near the sewerage plant. Unlike the trees closer to the ocean and the strong winds that stunt their growth these trees are very tall and quite majestic. This forest also has many tall Blackbutt (E. Pilularis) which makes for a very different view and hiking in the banksia forest literally only 30m away.