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Bushwalking NSW 2022 Photo Competition

Show us your best shots!

Do you take beautiful photos of people and scenery when you are walking?

We want to share them with the world!

Enter our 2022 Photo Competition to see your photos featured in our newsletter and on our website and to be in the running for a great prize from Paddy Pallin. The competition closes on 30 March 2022.

You can share these types of photos:

  • NSW/ACT national park scene
  • People bushwalking in NSW/ACT
  • NSW/ACT wildlife
  • Website banner sized 1000 x 250 pixels to illustrate any BNSW web page

To enter simply email your images or a public link to your photos (eg google drive, dropbox or photo share apps) to Bushwalking NSW here.

There’s $245 of great prizes to be won courtesy of Paddy Pallin.

1 Arcade Adventure Belt

1 Camelbak Chute Mag 750ml bottle

1 Sea to Summit 2 Piece Dining Kit

1 Osprey Ultralight Roll Organiser

1 Inflatable Solar Light

1 North Face Horizon Breeze Brim Hat

Prizes courtesy of Paddy Pallin

Please note that by submitting images to this competition, you acknowledge that:

  1. You possess copyright to the images,
  2. You give Bushwalking NSW permission to use your images in any Bushwalking NSW website, newsletter, social media, email, online and printed publications without attribution, and
  3. You warrant that Bushwalking NSW will not infringe any copyright by using the images you have supplied in any way.

Thank you for sharing the beauty of our bushland and wildlife with the world!

 

 

Southern Highlands Bushwalkers

Mount Jellore, Nattai National Park, Southern Highlands Bushwalkers

A recent walk that Southern Highlands Bushwalkers managed to slot between various lockdowns was a hike up Mt Jellore in Nattai National Park. It had been couple of years since the Club had been on the Mount Jellore Walk as it has only recently re-opened after the bushfires.

There is a short walk to a rocky outcrop where you get the first view of the mountain, then a steep drop to a creek, followed by a steep walk up to the fire trail that leads to the base of Mt Jellore. From there it is a zig zag track up to the summit. There is now a lot of waist high regrowth. The trig at the top had survived the fires and from the peak you can see Sydney on a clear day. We took the alternative route back to the start which also involved a drop down to a creek followed by a climb back out.

Nattai NP offers beautiful wilderness and rugged walking experiences. The park is conveniently located close to several towns and features spectacular scenery and landscapes including sandstone cliffs, rainforests and woodlands. Walks in Nattai NP include Couridjah Corridor, Mount Jellore, Starlight’s or Nattai River.

Our January Club: Southern Highlands Bushwalkers

Southern Highlands Bushwalkers is an outdoor activities club which develops friendships through exploring natural wilderness and National Parks. The Club endeavours to plan activities to suit the needs of both individuals and families. Club activities range from short day walks to overnight backpacking hikes and car camp out weekends. However, other special activities may also be included in the Club’s programme.

The Club was formed in 1990 as the Highland Adventurers then underwent a name change to become the Southern Highlands Bushwalkers (Inc) in 1994. Since inception, membership has grown to about 60 and the members hail from as far afield as Palm Beach in the north to Goulburn in the south.

Southern Highlands Bushwalkers holds activities in the Mittagong, Bowral, Berrima area of the Southern Highlands of New South Wales. This area has a great diversity of flora and fauna and access to many national parks and forested areas. Most of the local area is undulating to steep, easy walks are very few and a reasonable standard of fitness is required.

The worn Sydney sandstone of the area offers some many interesting and beautiful windblown features with views from ridges into valleys, creeks and gullies. These offer glimpses of lush cool rain forest, eroded sculptured landscapes and stunning views down the valleys formed by the rivers such as the Nattai.

The club offers mostly day walks from moderately easy to strenuous with a range of overnight backpacks or car camps and the occasional trips to more distant destinations. Off track walking may be through thick and difficult vegetation which requires experience and good navigation skills. The Club also does coastal walks, mainly in the Illawarra as well as some on Sydney Harbour.

 

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Great West Walk extended from Penrith to Katoomba

In great news for bushwalkers – the Great West Walk has been extended from Penrith to Katoomba!

The Walking Volunteers have loaded the walking route onto their Sydney Walking Tracks map and Great West Walk. If you have downloaded either of these maps onto your PS, smartphone or tablet they will be automatically updated to include an additional 150 kilometres of walking routes including the 87 kilometres of the main route.

The additional routes encompass a wide variety of walking conditions from easy station-to-station village walks to the more demanding Woodford-Hazelbrook section. The loops and links include diversions to historical sites like the 1892 Cutting, the Tunnel Creek Track and the iconic St Helena Track/Oaks Fire Trail Hike which is only suitable for experienced bushwalkers.

Cutting on the Top Road

… a funicular railway down to the 1913 rail route along Glenbrook Gorge

The St Helena Ridge Track runs through a narrow defiles …

Pool of Siloam is still …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As you would expect, the views in the Upper Blue Mountains are stunning but some of the lesser-known routes in the Lower Mountains and Mid-Mountains are just as astonishing. The main route runs past old inns, gatekeepers’ cottages, mountain cottages, intriguing ruins and a haunting cave site; along old railway cuttings and Cox’s original road; visits spectacular natural sites like Kings Cave, Leuralla Amphitheatre Sublime Point and Echo Point; passes man-made memorials at Macquarie’s Springwood Camp, Caleys Repulse, Honour Avenue, Coronation Park, and the haunting beauty of the Gully Walk.

Frederica Falls on Empire Pass

Western end of Mt Solitary from Prince Henry Cliff Walk below Sublime Point Reserve

… you look at it

 

The Walking Volunteers want to thank the Gundungurra ILUA Committee, Blue Mountains National Park and Blue Mountains City Council for allowing them to put this extension on their maps and providing vital information on temporary track closures between Gordon Falls and Echo Point, which are all marked on the maps with alternate routes. As these tracks are re-opened the Walking Volunteers will change their maps and these will be automatically updated.

Bankstown Bushwalking Club

FAULCONBRIDGE – VICTORY TRACK – NUMANTIA FALLS – MAGDALA CREEK – SPRINGWOOD, Saturday 23 October 2021, Report by Lynda Paju, Bankstown Bushwalking Club

A group of nine keen fully vaccinated walkers from Bankstown Bushwalkers gladly emerged from lockdown to enjoy the bush together again. Not being sure of fitness levels after such a long time confined to local areas, they returned to a favourite part of the amazing Blue Mountains. Spirits were high as walkers reconnected with old Club friends and organised a car shuttle at the start of the walk.

Before long they were enjoying each other’s company and a gentle descent along Sassafras creek. Despite fairly recent rains in Sydney there wasn’t a large volume of water in the waterfalls and the tracks were dry. They passed Clarinda Falls before taking a side trip to Numantia Falls for morning tea.

Numantia Falls

 

A leisurely lunch break at a lovely swimming hole near the Glenbrook Creek junction provided a chance for interesting conversation. A couple of party members even braved the icy creek waters for an extremely invigorating and refreshing swim! Of course, after heading down the creeks they had to head walk back up again. The walk up Magdala Creek was a fairly gentle ascent and the party paused at Martins Falls and Magdala Falls for short breaks on the way.

After a successful walk the party happily stopped for the traditional coffee and cake on the way home.

The general consensus was that the Club must go back on this walk again after more rain! After such a long period where people couldn’t get out and walk together the Club is now planning a lot of day walks, abseiling trips and other great activities. It is certainly going to be a busy summer for the Bankswalking Bushwalking Club!

Our December Club: Bankstown Bushwalking Club

Our club of the month Bankstown Bushwalking Club currently has just under 150 members. Bankstown Bushwalking Club prides itself on being friendly and inclusive. The Club offers walks at all grades from easy, social beginner walks through to multi-day, challenging and exploratory walks. The Club also offers abseiling training, canyoning, caving and multi-pitch abseiling trips.

Established in 1980, the Bankstown Bushwalking Club attracts members from all over Sydney. The Club’s program is published each quarter and short notice walks are advertised to members by email.

Bankstown Bushwalking Club has a Facebook Group and interested walkers are encouraged to join so they can get a feel for the Club. The Club also encourages interested people to do a couple of walks as a visitor to decide if they want to join or not. Please note that abseiling activities are restricted to fully paid Club members only.

 

‘Acknowledgement of Country’ by Bushwalking Clubs

‘Acknowledgement of country’ by bushwalking clubs

Bushwalking NSW have recently been asked an interesting question from one of our affiliated clubs: “_Just wondering if any of the bushwalking clubs are doing `acknowledgement of country’ on their walks. We would like to include this in our programmed walks and would be interested to hear if other clubs are carrying this out._” So … are any clubs acknowledging Country before they step into that country?

You will notice that at the top of the BNSW newsletter we now have a statement of acknowledgement: “_Bushwalking NSW acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia, and acknowledges and respects their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their Elders past, present and emerging, and acknowledge their custodianship of the Country in which we engage our bushwalking and related activities”._

Since all bushwalking clubs rely on Country as a core resource for our outdoor activities, it would seem appropriate for clubs to include a similar statement on their websites. It is now customary to acknowledge Country at the start of meetings and the same could also be done at the start of walks and other activities.

Clubs may wish to acknowledge the local indigenous people of their specific region or area. You can find an authorised map of language groups here. Note that some areas may come under the influence of two or more language groups. Also please be aware of the stated restrictions on reproducing the map.

You may wish to adapt BNSW’s words for your own use:

<_Your Bushwalking Club name> acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of <Your Indigenous Nation> Country, and acknowledges and respects their connections to land, sea _[optional; not relevant if you are inland club_] and community. We pay our respect to their Elders past, present and emerging, and acknowledge their custodianship of the Country in which we engage our bushwalking and related activities.

Thank you for considering this important issue.

Bill Boyd, President, Bushwalking NSW

Walking in Declared Wilderness Areas – Is There a Party Limit?

Walking in Declared Wilderness Areas – Is There a Party Limit?

Yes, there is. Its 8.

Many members will be aware that in NSW there are places declared as Wilderness Areas under the Wilderness Act 1987. Wilderness areas are large, natural and mostly intact areas of land that form part of our national park system. When an area is declared wilderness, it is protected under the Act and must be managed to protect its wilderness values with a minimum of human interference. Many wilderness areas are remote and inaccessible to vehicles and access is usually only by foot.

You can find out where Wilderness Areas are either by accessing up to date mapping, the Plan of Management for the national park concerned or by contacting your local national park office. Plans of Management can be found here.

What about party limits in national park areas that are not declared wilderness? Well, that can vary. For parks like the Blue Mountains and Kosciuszko, walking groups bigger than 20 require prior approval from NPWS. In the Budawangs it is even lower. There is a limit of 12 for overnight groups and the recommended limit for day walks is 12. For other parks the Plan of Management doesn’t specify a limit.

In any case when planning a walk always consider party size in relation to the Bushwalkers Code.

Again, if in doubt consult the relevant Plan of Management or contact your local national park office.

Gardens of Stone Protected!

Australia’s longest conservation campaign delivers: Gardens of Stone Protected – New Gardens of Stone Conservation Area announced.

A quick background to the Gardens of Stone announcement:
  • The Australian conservation movement called for the protection of the Gardens of Stone region in 1932
  • In 1932, Colong Foundation for Wilderness founder, Myles Dunphy, included the Gardens of Stone in his ‘Greater Blue Mountains National Park Proposal’
  • In 1985, former Colong Foundation Director, Dr. Haydn Washington, published the Gardens of Stone Reserve Proposal
  • In 1994 the Liberal Environment Minister, Chris Hartcher, reserved the Gardens of Stone National Park (stage 1) after a strategic park proposal from the Colong Foundation for Wilderness while independents held balance of power in the NSW Legislative Assembly
  • In 2005, the Gardens of Stone Alliance formed, consisting of the Blue Mountains Conservation Society, Colong Foundation for Wilderness and the Lithgow Environment Group to coordinate a community campaign to protect the Gardens of Stone based on a state conservation area proposal by the Colong Foundation
  • In 2019, a comprehensive visitor management plan, Destination Pagoda, was released by the Gardens of Stone Alliance to showcase the economic benefits of the region
  • In 2021, Centennial Coal withdrew their proposal for the Angus Place Colliery after persistent campaigning from the Gardens of Stone Alliance

Keith Muir, former Colong Foundation for Wilderness Executive Director, has said “After what must be the longest protected area campaign in history, the Colong Foundation welcomes the new Gardens of Stone State Conservation Area of over 30,000 hectares which positions Lithgow as the gateway to the Gardens of Stone region.

“The new reserve ranks in the top 20 of most floristically diverse of all NSW State Forests, National Parks and Reserves, just behind Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, but outranks them all on geodiversity.

“The funding provided will permit the establishment of a world-class tourism and conservation reserve protecting and presenting an astounding array of heritage values. It will improve the protection of internationally significant pagoda landscapes and remaining rare upland swamps. The area includes 84 threatened plant and animal species, such as the Giant Dragonfly, and 16 rare and threatened communities.

“The untapped tourism value of Lithgow’s Gardens of Stone backyard lies in the diversity and rarity of its scenery and native flora, and in its Aboriginal cultural heritage. These values will be protected and enjoyed by thousands of people.

“Lithgow will become the new Katoomba which was once a coal mining town, having successfully transitioned to a tourism based economy in the 1920s. It is testament to the persistent community campaign that this announcement has happened today.”

Blue Mountains Conservation Society

Various Bushwalks, Blue Mountains and surrounds, Words by Doug Nicholls, Blue Mountains Conservation Society.
A typical lunch break, sitting under an overhang enjoying the view. This particular walk was on the Undercliff Track Wentworth Falls which is often done as a circuit with the Charles Darwin Walk and the Conservation Hut.
The Grand Canyon Circuit is a very popular family walk. If you only have time for one walk, this one is a good choice for a classic Blue Mountains experience.
Dargan Arch

Dargan Arch in the upper Blue Mountains is an amazing natural sandstone arch in a gorge and an easy walk from carparking. To get to the bottom and under the Arch requires a little more effort but is well worth it.

Our November Club: Blue Mountains Conservation Society

The Blue Mountains Conservation Society (BMCS) has 330 bushwalking members who enjoy walking in amazing locations in the Blue Mountains and surroundings.

Blue Mountains Conservation Society has weekly bushwalks to suit a range of abilities held on Saturday, Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.  The Club’s walk details can be found on the BMCS website where the activity subsection will invite new walkers. BMCS also has a monthly Plant Study Group.

October 2021 was special as the Blue Mountains Conservation Society celebrated its 60th Birthday.

Comerang Mountain – Batemans Bay Bushwalkers

Comerang Mountain, Dampier State Forest, Sunday 21 February 2021, Walk Report by Rob Lees, Batemans Bay Bushwalkers

Seven hikers from Batemans Bay Bushwalkers set off on an exploratory walk to visit interesting geology seen on aerial photography in the creeks downslope from Comerang Mountain.

By definition an exploratory walk has not been reccied.  However, we do examine topographic maps beforehand to evaluate terrain and access roads and to estimate a walk time and route. This is very important so club members can decide if this walk is compatible with their abilities and expectations.

Notwithstanding our best efforts, the reality once on the walk can often be very different!

The first thing we discovered was that B-Travers road (a well-used mountain bike road before the 2020 bushfires) had not been cleared of fallen trees. As we had hoped to drive our vehicles along this road, our walk was increased by 2km just to get to the starting point.

I had also proposed to use a number of other logging roads to get best access to the creeks. However we also found out once on site that these roads had not been used in decades. This made navigation difficult due to the forest regrowth and fire damage.

However once we finally made it to the creeks it was worth the effort as everyone was pleased with the spectacular geology, waterfalls and ponds.  We noticed that the ancient volcanic rocks were highly fractured and very resistant to erosion which created the spectacular scenery. To our delight, in one pool we saw an eel and many small fish.

As walk leader I quickly realised we were not going to be able to visit all the outcrops that I had hoped to see and so we headed back upslope to Comerang Mountain. We knew the climb was going to be tough given the high humidity and temperatures that exceeded all projections. After the ascent, and with only 3kms remaining down a flat trail, we seven weary hikers were happy but also very glad that we would soon see our cars!

I will plan another exploratory walk in the winter that will go straight to the larger outcrops via a different route. I am hopeful that the scenery will be even more spectacular than what we experienced on the Comerang Mountain walk today.

Our Club of the Month: Batemans Bay Bushwalkers

Our club of the month Batemans Bay Bushwalkers are a crew of around 200 members, who have the shared goal of finding, exploring and enjoying the natural secrets of the national parks and forests of the NSW South Coast. First formed in 1985, Batemans Bay Bushwalkers are not-for-profit and run by volunteers.

Batemans Bay Bushwalkers publishes 4 Walks Programs per year, with 2 walks a week of varying grades. Visitors are covered by insurance for 3 walks each financial year to allow them to come and try Club walks. Walks are led by volunteer Walk Leaders, who carry a GPS, topographic map, and when appropriate, a safety beacon.  Walk are graded according to difficulty so members can choose walks to suit their level of ability.

Batemans Bay Bushwalkers club members also get together for a variety of social activities and camps.

 

2022 Great Ocean Road Trek Early Bird

As a keen bushwalker we’d like to let you know about the early bird discount now open for the 2022 Great Ocean Road Trek.

 

About the Great Ocean Road Trek

The Great Ocean Road Trek is one of Australia’s most iconic walks, starting at Apollo Bay and finishing at the Twelve Apostles. The 100km walk will take you through lush rainforests, across deserted beaches, and along majestic cliff faces.

 

A few of the highlights will include:

  • Spectacular views, quiet trails and secluded beaches in some of the world’s most beautiful locations.
  • Remote walks to places like Moonlight Head and Devil’s Kitchen.
  • Abundant wildflowers and native fauna including koalas and echidnas.
  • Walking with like-minded adventurers.
  • Being supported by our guides, including a dual qualified Credentialled Diabetes Educator and Exercise Physiologist.

If you’d like more information, download the information pack or call me on 07 3551 1411.

Download information pack

Sign up today
If you’re ready to take advantage of this great offer and sign up for the adventure of a lifetime, you can register directly by clicking the button below.

REGISTER HERE
Places for the 2022 Great Ocean Road Trek are limited so don’t miss out! I look forward to welcoming you on the adventure of a lifetime.

 

Kathleen Cook

Great Ocean Road Trek representative

Diabetes Queensland

 

PS. To save $300 on your registration, secure your spot today.