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Brisbane Waters Outdoor Club

Brisbane Water Outdoors Club is located on the Central Coast of NSW. The Club began in January 1978 with a membership of about 30, mostly couples with young children, who enjoyed camping and had a love of the outdoors. We generally have a membership now between 130 and 150.

Our activities include abseiling and canyoning, cycling and mountain biking, kayaking, cross country skiing, snow shoeing and walking. Social activities such as dinners and movies are also popular.

Some of our trips are local but we travel far and wide to find beautiful places to have adventures. Most activities are on the weekend but there is a regular mid-week exploratory day walk, some overnight mid-week walks and multi day activities. Pre COVID times many trips were interstate and overseas. However lately we have concentrated on the local area and are so lucky to be surrounded by many beautiful National Parks and beaches.

The following is a trip report for a local Day walk along a beach, over rocks and return via a walk through a National Park.

Rock Ramble 11th November 2020

Participants: Ash Baweja (Leader) Grant Bradly, Paula Bradly, Robyn Logan

We met at Shelley Beach on a beautiful, sunny morning with a gentle, cool breeze blowing – perfect! After walking along the beach, we rounded the headland and ambled along Bateau Bay Beach and the rock platform, investigating all the little rock pools for Ash’s mulberry whelks. These little chaps are cute to look at but are hated by oyster farmers

The Mulberry Whelk, or Black Oyster Borer preys constantly on other molluscs and barnacles.

It is able to bore a neat hole into their shell, and use its rasping tongue which is called a radula to cut up the animal and suck out the pieces.

It is believed that the Mulberry Whelk is able to use a sulphuric acid from its salivary glands to dissolve and bore its way through the prey’s limy shell. It is believed that this may only take two high tides.

We passed a spring, said to originate in the Blue Mountains, soaking out of the cliff face. After testing its purity, the hard work started. From there till Forresters Beach we clambered, slid, balanced, hopped and jumped over huge boulders in an amazing array of colours.

After lunch on the beach we walked up Cromarty Hill and along the Wyrrabalong track back to the start for a much needed cold ice cream – 15km loop.

 

Check out the Brisbane Water Outdoors Club today

Contact the Brisbane Water Outdoors Club today to have a chat, join an activity, and learn about the beautiful Brisbane Waters region of NSW and beyond!

Sutherland Bushwalkers turn 50

This year Sutherland Bushwalkers celebrates its 50th anniversary and has published a commemorative pictorial club history to celebrate the milestone.

The new 50th anniversary book cover

It would be difficult to determine when the club commenced, as it started with a very informal gathering of like-minded people. Most of them worked at the Atomic Energy Commission at Lucas Heights or were connected with various Scouting and Rover groups in Sutherland Shire. The first activity of the group was a bushwalk from Yadboro up the Kalianna Ridge into the Monolith Valley and to Mount Owen on the Australia Day weekend, in January 1969.

In these very early stages it was an all-male association simply because of the common AAEC and Scouting link, but it didn’t take too long before a few more friends and wives were attending the activities.

Activities in the late sixties were arranged very casually when one of the group would write a brief description of an outing and then send it to all the others. Early activities included caving at Colong and Tuglow, walking the Budawangs, the Blueys and Kanangra, canoeing the Kangaroo and Shoalhaven. About two-thirds of the group had reasonably good bushwalking experience but there were virtually no caving, canoeing or other bushsports skills. Even so, this provided a good basis for real adventure and enjoyment of the bush.

By mid-1969 the group had expanded to about thirteen ‘members’ and some felt that a title would be appropriate. One name, ‘The Intrepids’ was considered to be a little irrelevant. About May 1970 the group chose the name ‘Sydney Bush Ramblers’. However, by the end of 1969 the casual group was still without any formal structure, club officers or regular meetings.

With the numbers gradually increasing to twenty-one by March 1970, a sketchy program of eighteen activities was compiled for that year.

1970s Some of the founding members: Maurie Bloom at left is still a club member, Jim Stevens, Mark Rice, Graeme Carter, Don Rice

During 1970, membership increased slowly through friends and personal contacts and by August there were about twenty-eight on the club list. During one bushwalk, the group met some members of the Catholic Bushwalkers who suggested that they should consider affiliating with the Bushwalkers Federation (forerunner of Bushwalking NSW). Little was known of the organisation, so they send a delegation to a Federation meeting to learn a bit more about their requirements for affiliation.

As a result, the first club general meeting of thirteen people was arranged in September 1970 to discuss this issue and to decide if it was worth joining. It was now just on two years since the original eleven decided to go bush. By the end of 1971 club membership had increased to 42 and regular meetings were held at the Caringbah Scout Hall, where they remained until a brief spell in 2006 at Kirrawee Soccer Club building, before relocating to their current home of the Stapleton Centre in Sutherland.

Sutherland Bushwalkers Committee Meeting, Jacaranda Scout Hall, 16 April 1984 with Murray Scott, Anthony Jackson, Graeme Carter, David Coombes, Arnold Fleischmann, Chris Terry, Beryl Young, Don Rice, Gisela Fleischmann

The club attracted many inquiries for membership during the early 1970’s but most were not interested in a club based in the Sutherland Shire and it became frustrating for the Club Committee to deal with inquiries from people who were not joining. The problem was that the Club’s name contained the word ‘Sydney’, creating confusion with the Sydney Bushwalkers Club, and also an expectation that Sydney was the club’s location. At the Annual General Meeting of February 2, 1977, the club officially became Sutherland Bushwalking Club.

Today Sutherland Bushwalkers membership holds steady at around 300 members, mostly from Sutherland Shire and the Georges River area. They conduct around 230 activities per year, attracting approximately 2,300 participants in bushwalking, cycling and kayaking in the Greater Sydney Region, around Australia and throughout the world. Bushfires and Covid-19 may have disrupted plans for anniversary celebrations, not to mention the temporary cessation of the activities program in 2020, but the club is once more enjoying friendships created through Covid-safe experiences in the bush.

Settlers Track Walk – Namadgi NP

Settlers Track Walk – Namadgi National Park,  1 November 2020, Report by Luke Mulders, Brindabella Bushwalking Club

Setters Track was an utterly delightful walk led by Bill Gibson in southern Namadgi NP. The weather was cool with fresh wind and no rain. After a drive of 90 minutes from Kambah and a short car shuffle, our group of 12 happy walkers was underway on the 16 km round trip exploring the delightful huts in this totally stunning, unburnt section of Namadgi NP.

The walk was mostly on management trails which enabled side to side walking and lots of socialising. Recent heavy rains provided flowing creeks and waterlogged flats. There were some early wildflowers (billy buttons) and multiple pockets of sprouting mushrooms.

At the walk end, to cap off the beautiful surroundings, we were all treated to delicious banana/passionfruit cake and scrumptious fruit-mince tart. What a way to finish!!


Our club of the month: Brindabella Bushwalking Club

The Brindabella Bushwalking Club (aka. BBC), is based in Canberra, ACT, has around 400 members, and offers a wide range of walking opportunities.  These include half-day and full day walks on Wednesdays, and full day walks on Saturdays and Sundays to suit all standards of walkers.

Bushwalks suitable for families with young children are also offered. Day walks usually take place in Canberra, rural areas of the ACT including Namadgi National Park, and nearby New South Wales. The club is a member of Bushwalking NSW and supports our Policy on Natural Areas.

Contact the BBC today to try out a walk, and discover the pleasures of walks around the ACT. You might also get some cake as a reward!
Brindabella Bushwalking Club

Evans Head Spring Flower Walk with NRBC

A walk Report By Ian Pick, Northern Rivers Bushwalking Club:

“What does one do as a leader when 32 walkers want to come along? Talk to Carmel who says “Yes I’ll help out”. What does one do as a leader when the number of walkers increases to 42? Ring Heike K. and you know what the response will be “Of course I will be glad to help you”.

So, on a sunny Sunday three walking parties set off at Evans Head with 2 going the “normal way” and my lot going anticlockwise through the wildflower heath first. The Boronias were in full bloom, lots of them.

We arrived at Chinamans Beach Picnic Area for morning tea before walking through heathland towards the bombing range. On arrival there was no aerial bombardment so we progressed quietly on the sand dunes to Goanna Headland.

There appears to be different names for South Evans Coastland features but Uncle Google calls it Goanna Headland so I will too. Here we passed the two other walking parties who were socially distancing.

After a short break to take in the view we headed off along New Zealand Beach back to the picnic area where we enjoyed lunch sitting at the sheltered picnic tables.

The final part of the walk was on the coastal paths. We stopped at a couple of the small headlands starting at Joggly Point and were almost mesmerised by the pristine blue sea gently breaking on the rocks. It proved to be a real highlight and, in the end, it made me think that going in our direction for this walk was better. We saved the best the walk had to offer to the end.”

Our club of the month: Northern Rivers Bushwalking Club

The Northern Rivers Bushwalking Club (aka. NRBC), runs a variety of bushwalking, cycling, kayaking and abseiling activities each week in the National Parks, State Forests and coastal areas of the NSW North Coast Region, and beyond!

This friendly club has activities to suit everyone and welcomes new members. The club runs regular inter-club trips in Australia, and organises overseas trips for members (covid-permitting).

Contact the NRBC today to have a chat, join an activity, and learn about the beautiful northern rivers region of NSW!

Northern Rivers Bushwalking Club

Kiandra to Kosciuszko – Diverted

29 December 2019 – 5 January 2020 Trip Report by Anne Turner – for joint SPAN OUTDOOR CLUB and NSW NORDIC SKI CLUB walk

In October I planned a New Year Snowy Mountains adventure walk. What about Paddy Pallin’s famous K2K route? Kiandra to Kosciuszko? After contacting SPAN Bushwalking Club and Nordic Ski Club I quickly got 3 willing partners in crime.

We studied maps and websites and John Chapman’s great Australian Alpine Walking Track (AAWT) book (which goes from south to north rather than north to south). We decided on seven nights, the last night camping just out of Dead Horse Gap, with a short walk the next day then drive to Thredbo for breakfast (proper breakfast, muesli would be banned!)

We would start at Kiandra and mostly follow the AAWT to Dead Horse Gap. After Mackay’s Hut we would go off track (a break from fire trails), around the eastern side of Jugungal along Bogong Creek and Jugungal Saddle then up Jagungal. We would then go south to Mawsons Hut, and camp near water somewhere. Then along the Kerries and to Gungartan, across to the Rolling Grounds over Consett Stephen Pass and along the main range finishing with Rams Heads. What a plan – I got excited every time we looked at the maps!

The weather looked clear but bushfires were a worry as it had been very hot and we were in an extended drought. We discussed whether or not to go and decided to proceed as the park was open and we would keep our wits about us.

We didn’t have suitable car so would drive a hire car, leave it at Dead Horse Gap, and take a transfer from Dead Horse Gap to Kiandra on Sunday 29th December. We left Sydney on 28th December and on Sunday morning were on track by 11.30am walking towards 9 Mile Creek. There was water in the creeks which was good news. The march flies were around, not too bad at the beginning, but worse as it heated up.

Sue had given us a challenge to make up a limerick or haiku about each member of the walk. We were not particularly successful but there were some very funny conversations. The downsides were our heavy packs, overshooting 9 Mile Creek and walking up a horrible hill just to turn around and go straight back down. I’m not sure if singing ‘The Grand Old Duke of York’ helped anyone’s spirits at that point or not!

Day 2 saw us climbing Tabletop Mountain (sans packs) with the outline of Jagungal visible though smoke haze to the south. A pair of walkers we knew were going our way and joined our group. We got to Happy’s Hut in the afternoon and enjoyed its shady veranda while overhead was smoke and the red sun. During the afternoon we were joined by Catherine, walking solo, and later Ryan and his father in law Peter.

New Year’s Eve, 31 December 2019, was very warm and concerningly there were burnt leaves falling from the sky. While the sky overhead had a big billow of high smoke coming from the north east, the air around us was pretty clear. We decided to walk to Mackay’s Hut where we could exit the park if things deteriorated.

Catherine headed out before us and Ryan and Peter left shortly after us. As we walked on Tolbar Road and Grey Mare Fire Trail the light changed from clear to red then dark and at times there was a surreal brightness without shadows. The smoke cloud got bigger and darker and burnt leaves kept falling. We all started looking at each other and wondering if we were doing the right thing. We planned to walk past Mackay’s Hut to O’Keefes Hut and access Farm Ridge or Round Mountain fire trails if necessary.

As we rested Catherine came striding towards us having turned around after making contact with the outside world at a high point. She told us that there were fires to the west of us and Bega was on fire. She had decided it was time to go east and not leave it until things went wrong and she become a burden on emergency services. As we had been considering the same thing we quickly decided to join her.

We walked back to the Grey Mare Trail and Tolbar Road crossroads and the sky kept getting darker with occasional rain showers, an eerie silence and smoke haze affecting visibility. After we had been walking for about 30 minutes we ran into Ryan and Peter.

We drew heavily on Catherine’s local knowledge of the park as we discussed our options and looked at maps. Walking back towards Kiandra to Broken Dam Hut then to the highway was one option but it would take us north west towards the smoke cloud so we decided against it. We decided to go down to Eucumbene Cove was too far and instead settled on walking north east down the Tolbar Road to Providence Portal (a little cabin community on the northern arm of Lake Eucumbene). It was close to Adaminaby and we thought it should have people there and up to date information.

The afternoon was now cool and breezy – nice walking weather if there had not been a raging bushfire nearby! We had enough rain at two points for raincoats and rolling thunder all afternoon. We heard a chopper at one point but we were in trees so couldn’t see it and it couldn’t see us. We saw a burst of new smoke on the skyline behind us and to the north and another way south of us. It must be lightning strikes we theorised and were glad to be getting out of there.

We walked about 35kms on our third and final day. Fortunately the end of Lake Eucumbene wasn’t a lake anymore as there was not enough water. Peter gave us directions and the river was so shallow and divided into tributaries that we would be able to easily wade across. This was great news as none as us had enough in the tank to do the huge walk around. It was a beautiful flood plain with lots of birds, kangaroos and white daisies. We all breathed a sigh of relief as the cabins of Providence Portal grew closer.

At about 7.30pm we were greeted by the park owner Hans riding out on his quad bike greeting us with ‘Where the bloody hell did you guys come from?’ We discovered the SES had evacuated the park an hour before. Hans got on the blower and we overheard him saying, ‘I’ve got 9 walkers that have just walked out of the bush – what am I going to do with them?’ He didn’t get an answer immediately, so we camped there the night.

We woke up to a plan. Some park residents and Hans would drive us to Adaminaby. It was New Year’s Day and the town was deserted.  We then managed to get rides to Cooma evacuation centre. Ryan and Peter got a ride from Cooma back to Wagga with a friend.

Cooma was very busy with lots of smoke and traffic as everyone holidaying south of Bateman’s Bay were leaving the fire zones through Cooma.

Catherine had organised for our drivers to be taken to the cars so they could collect the rest of us. Finally at 5pm we left Cooma and got back to Sydney around 11.30pm relieved to see home and a bed.

Today, the 9th January 2020, Fires Near Me advises the fires have cut through the northern section of the park – the area we were walking. Happy’s Hut looks like it is gone, the historic Kiandra Court House is gone and Providence Portal is surrounded by fire. Watching the horror of the fires spread over the coast and alpine areas we are so glad to be out. I was very glad to be with a calm level headed group who carefully considered the situation and our options and pooled their knowledge – thank you Catherine, Phil, Sonia, Sue, Paul, Sandra, Ryan and Peter.

Some other points we reflected on afterwards:

  • The superior phone coverage of Telstra in isolated areas
  • Between the group of 9 we had 4 PLBs
  • The Roof Top Map gave us a bigger area in one view than looking at several toppos to make decisions
  • Our phone batteries ran out – write your key phone numbers, personal and things like SES and National Parks down in your first aid kit
  • Ryan had a battery pack to refresh his phone – a weight consideration, but very useful
  • Where we had signal, we used Telstra phones to let contacts and the SPAN president know we were OK and what our plan was. We also contacted National Parks with the same news and told them where our cars were so they were not concerned for their owners. And then of course we followed up once we were ‘out’.
  • Next time I would lodge a National Parks Trip Intention form. While it isn’t a requirement, it would have helped.

Tyagarah Tea Tree Lake beach walk

As we all know during November and December 2019 prolonged drought and hot dry conditions lead to devastating bushfires along the east coast of Australia. The scale of the ongoing climate emergency has been unprecedented with disastrous consequences for the environment and native animals, people living in the bush, volunteer firefighters defending our communities and air quality in our cities and towns.

The resulting closure of National Parks has also meant lean times for those of us wanting a bushwalk! A quick glance at the Northern Rivers Bushwalkers (NRBC) calendar in November 2019 revealed a list of walks cancelled due to fire. Given this it seemed that beach walks provided the perfect alternative walk solution. So when Michelle from the NRBC organised a summer celebratory walk from Belongil Beach to Tyagarah Tea Tree Lake my sister and I were really keen to participate.

We were assured that the Tyagarah Tea Tree Lake was ‘safe’ with all visitors once again clothed and decent thanks to the Byron Shire Council cracking down on nudity and inappropriate behaviour in the area. Read here about the recent controversial history of the Lake.

Our walk started early at the Treehouse on Belongil near Byron Bay. After a quick coffee we headed up the beach for the walk to Tyagarah Beach and the Lake. Along the way we passed the opening to Belongil Creek and were told that before the drought this section of beach was often a creek crossing. Sadly this was no longer the case with water at very low levels and a great expanse of firm sand across the mouth of the creek.

Eventually we reached Grays Lane, a dirt road which leads to the Lake through Tyagarah Nature Reserve. The Reserve protects a number of coastal endangered ecological communities and threatened plant species which you can read more about here. After a short break in the picnic area we proceeded through the Reserve to the Tyagarah Tea Tree Lake.

On reaching the Lake our breaths were taken away by its stunning beauty and peaceful serenity. The Lake is framed by picturesque native coastal bushland with its cool waters stained by the healing oils of the surrounding tea trees. We settled down next to the Lake for a picnic lunch with many of us declaring we would wait to swim in the ocean on the return journey despite being hot after our walk. However once one person started swimming in the lake its appealing coolness was impossible to resist and soon enough many of us were gliding and relaxing in the water.

My sister Michele enjoying a cool swim in Tyagarah Tea Tree Lake

As we started the walk back along the clothing optional section of Tyagarah Beach the nudist visitors were in their full glory basking in the hot sun.  My sister and I couldn’t help but notice with amusement the stark contrast of our bushwalking posse outfitted from head to toe in protective gear trudging dutifully through the assortment of cavorting naked sun worshippers!

Our walk was approximately 9km in distance once we had returned to the Treehouse on Belongil.  Overall it was a very enjoyable morning out with a satisfying walk punctuated by a refreshing swim and the opportunity to visit new areas along the way. Thanks very much to Michelle from NRBC for organising this alternative beach walk event.  Click here to find out more about the NRBC and what activities are on.

The Sutherland Bushwalking Club Adopts ‘Royal’ Tracks

Have you ever noticed an overgrown trail or track in your favourite National Park?

Ever wondered if you could do something about it?

The Sutherland Bushwalking Club is one of the clubs that has, and they continue to do so.

The Sutherland Bushwalking Club may be unique, having proudly contributed almost 600 hours of combined effort on various track projects, on over 12 separate work & planning days in what they have dubbed their ‘Adopt a Track’ project.

The Club’s success is a demonstration of what a Club does for its community, and an example of how a Bushwalking Club and the National Parks and Wildlife Services (NPWS) can work together to make parks available to all bushwalkers into the future.

Click to see the Royal National Park on Google Maps

The Club focused on the Royal National Park and initiated talks with the local ranger. Naturally, the agreement required lengthy negotiations with NPWS to meet government regulations and still be effectively managed.

It was eventually worked out that Sutherland Bushwalkers would ‘adopt’ The Burgh Track in the Royal National Park and help maintain it. At the time, the Burgh Track had become badly overgrown, blocked at many points by fallen trees and subject to erosion because of blocked drainage.

There were certain stipulations involved: NPWS determined which track and which part of that track; and a Group Co-ordinator was required to discuss with the Head Ranger track guidelines, cut heights, being responsible for walkers staying on the track and reducing trip hazards. There were also a non-members attending from Bushcare Australia, as well as youths from the Duke of Edinburgh Program.

NPWS supplied most of the tools, such as saws, secateurs, loppers and clippers.

Click for larger image of the Burgh Track

The Club provided their unbridled enthusiasm and experience, expert bushwalking gear, tender loving care and muscle power.

The first day was 10 August 2015 with several members meeting at Garrawarra Farm. Armed with tools mostly supplied by National Parks and Wildlife Services, the Club members walked the track and cleared it as they walked.

Since then, the track has now been fully cleared and looks like the best maintained track in the Park. The hardest work has been clearing fallen trees, but now only sporadic visits, checking culverts and looking out for storm damage are needed to monitor its condition.

The Club continues helping to this day, and more recently NPWS have requested they work regularly on the Uloola Track, between Audley & Uloola Falls every three months; which they access by driving down a fire trail.

The Club’s ‘Adopt a Track’ project now consists of a one day event every three months, from 9am to 12:30 and then finishes up with lunch in the bush. The event is run by a passionate leader who loves the park, and is a great way for Club members to meet and get to know one another, including new members. Those less experienced or mobile lend a hand with other tasks such as lopping smaller branches, cleaning track signage or even supplying a little something for morning tea.

If you’d like to join in the fun, contact The Sutherland Bushwalking Club via their website: http://www.sutherlandbushwalkers.org.au/

You can also head out and enjoy these great walks for yourself:

Sutherland Bushwalking Club is not alone in assisting NPWS and Councils with track maintenance. If your own club also does track maintenance, we’d love to hear from you. Just click here to send us an email.

Visit The Royal National Park

Tragedy on The National Pass

All bushwalkers will have been saddened by the news of the recent tragedy on National Pass at Wentworth Falls.

NPWS contractor, well respected rock climber, canyoner and bushwalker, Dave Gliddon was killed, and two of his colleagues were badly injured. They were undertaking maintenance work on a rockfall hazard on the National Pass in the Blue Mountains.

Our thoughts go out to the injured men, and the families of all three men at this difficult time. Sadly, one of the contractors has lost a leg, and we fear more bad news to come.

The Springwood Bushwalking Club has been investigating how to help those affected by this terrible accident, and are encouraging their members to donate to The Dave Gliddon Fund, which has been set up by some of his friends on the gofundme website: https://www.gofundme.com/the-dave-gliddon-fund

David Churches, President of the Springwood Bushwalking Club, has asked us to share this option with the many other bushwalkers across the state who would also like to assist.

11th December, 2017 Update:

David Gliddon was extremely well remembered today at Leura and later at Katoomba; with a large number of NPWS staff in present their Parks shirts.