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Splendour Rock – hidden in plain sight

ANZAC Day is not far off.  Many bushwalkers will be heading to Splendour Rock in the Wild Dog Mountains of the Megalong Valley.  They will be there to honour thirteen (13) bushwalkers remembered by a simple but moving Dawn Service at this memorial plaque.  There has been an annual Dawn Service since at least from 1992 and perhaps even 1990 (records are incomplete).  Prior to that time Dawn Services were infrequent but usually at significant anniversaries such as 10, 25 and 50 years since its dedication in 1948 by the NSW Federation of Bushwalking Clubs (now Bushwalking NSW)..

The Bushwalking NSW website has a file that describes the fallen we remember at Splendour Rock prepared by Michael Keats OAM, Belinda Keir and Keith Maxwell.  See – https://www.bushwalkingnsw.org.au/history/

There is something special about Splendour Rock that has been hidden plain sight.  Its not just the location which is very special with its stunning view of the southern Blue Mountains.  It tells the story of a changing Australia in World War II.

In WWI Australia sent a new army, the AIF (Australian Imperial Force) to the other side of the world for an amphibious landing on ANZAC Day 1915 at Gallipoli.

Australia industrialised as war came very close in WWII and the casualties tell an interesting story.  Among the bushwalkers remembered a minority were in the AIF but all four (4) died in the fall of Singapore in 1942 or later as POW of the Japanese.

Bruce Elder (pictured) of Coast & Mountain Walkers died on HMAS Sydney when it was lost off the Western Australian coast in November 1941.

James McCormack of YMCA Ramblers although in RAAF died on HMAS Canberra when it was lost in the Battle of Savo Island in the Pacific Ocean.  Again, not Europe.

Norman Saill of Sydney Bush Walkers and RAAF died in the New Guinea campaign.  The remaining six (6) bushwalkers (of the 13) were all in RAAF and died while based in the UK.

So, hiding in plain sight was the fact that at Splendour Rock more airmen (8) are remembered than soldiers (4) who were more likely to have died close to Australia and not in some foreign (European) field.

Splendour Rock Memorial 1948

Elder Bruce photo

Keith Maxwell.

Sydney Bush Walkers

A Week of Walks, Kosciuszko National Park, Christmas/New Year 2021/22, Sydney Bush Walkers, Report by John Kennett, Photos by John Pozniak

Between Christmas and New Year 2021/22 myself and thirty other members of Sydney Bush Walkers (SBW) travelled, walked and gathered on the trails and in the ski-lodges of beautiful Kosciuszko National Park.

Every day we embarked on a different walk and were rewarded with the sight of brilliant blue skies, beautiful weather and voluminous wildflowers. Among the fantastic locations we visited were the Iconic Trails, Mt Twynham, Ramshead, Dead Horse Gap, Guthega, Mt Anton and Mt Tate.

To cap off a successful week our visit concluded with 2022 New Year’s Eve celebrations which were thoroughly enjoyed by all.

Our March Club: Sydney Bush Walkers

Our club of the month, Sydney Bush Walkers is one of Australia’s largest and oldest Bushwalking Clubs. SBW was founded in 1927 and has a membership of around 850.

The club offers challenging day and multi-day walks including extended 12 day (or more) trips.  Canyoning is a very popular club activity in the warmer months.

SBW volunteer trip leaders are experienced walkers who aim to maximise members enjoyment of the outdoors while also ensuring the safety of all walkers. While SBW leaders foster group co-operation participants are also expected to be self-sufficient to ensure that all members cope with walk conditions and challenges that arise.

While the Sydney Bushies provide a range of bush experiences, they also offer a great social network of like minded, outdoorsy types. A SBW membership provides a unique opportunity for bush lovers to develop skills, increase confidence and meet new like-minded friends!

The club holds monthly information nights for people who are considering joining (book here). For more information visit the SBW website or Facebook Page.

 

 

Watagan Wanderers Bushwalking Club

3 day hike, Barrington Tops NP, February 2022, Watagan Wanderers Bushwalking Club, Report & Images David Whyte

This hike was meant to be down Paterson’s Gorge but the predicted rain made that walk too dangerous. A nice alternative in the same area, and one we have done before, was to walk to Selby Alley hut and do a day walk from there around Edwards Swap.

The walk starts up with a steady climb up the Corker trail. The tall trees of the ancient beech forest add a lovely atmosphere to this walk and in summer offer a lot of shade. We have done this walk in winter where you are enclosed by mist. The lunch time break offers a magnificent view of Carey Peak in the distance which was our destination the next day

As we reached the top of the Corker track and it started to level out, we kept our eye out for a special dead tree marking the slightly hidden track to Selby Alley hut. It felt magical as we followed this secret path through dense forest, and then spotted the hut sitting just across from a beautiful stream that was softly meandering through sub tropical rainforest past the hut to nearby Basden Falls. We arrived at the hut mid afternoon giving us plenty of time to set up our tents and collect firewood. Despite being summer it was quite cool.

Leaving our tents up we set off the next day for a 20km walk around Edwards Swamp stopping at Careys Peak on the way. The clear morning offered stunning views over the valley below and the ridge that the Corker Trail follows. We spotted a few feral horses during the day and were saddened by how much broom there was growing; The Aeroplane hill track was quite dense in some areas. We cooked our dinner out in the open next to the fire and during the night the rain started to set in. We returned to our cars the next day via the corker trail in mist and listened to the sounds of lyre birds as we descended.

Our February Club: Watagan Wanderers Bushwalking Club

The Watagan Wanderers was established in the early 90s to meet the needs of people in The Central Coast, Lake Macquarie and Newcastle areas. It has an active program of providing day and multiday hikes over most of Australia and overseas. Though, since Covid the walks have become much more local. The club also has keen cycling, kayaking and abseiling groups. Our program can be found on our website.

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!

 

 

GET Ground Truther’s Competition

Great Escarpment Trail

Paddy Pallin

Ground Truther’s Competition

18th January, 2022

We are looking for people who can “ground truth” the Great Escarpment Trail (GET). We need to you to walk the trail and try out the campsites and adjacent accommodation, food and transport options. We then want a trip report from you on the good and the bad of the section you walked. We would love to see your photos, videos, maps and track notes on anything and everything of note.

You could also win yourself some great Paddy Pallin gear! Just share with us:

  • the best photos and video taken of spectacular sights along the GET
  • videos and photos that capture the essence of the GET
  • the best 3-day-2-night and 6-day-5-night walk/experience along the GET
  • the best track notes or best name for a 3-day-2-night or 6-day-5-night walk within the GET

Every 6 months we will award a prize in each of these categories:

  1. The most spectacular photo or video taken on/from the GET track, campgrounds or accommodation
  2. The best video or photo displaying the unique character of the GET track, campgrounds and accommodation – a photo that tells the viewer the best thing/s about the GET experience – it could be sitting around a campfire, your mates gazing at a view, an abundant moss & lichen garden – whatever strikes you as the essence of “The best of the GET”
  3. The best idea for a 3-day-2-night or 6-day-5-night walking adventure/experience along the GET – the experience could involve spending a final day at a resort at the end of the trail, or staying an extra night along the trail to do side-trips – tell us the most exhilarating 3 or 6 day experience you can envisage on the GET
  4. The best track notes or best name for a 3-day or 6-day walk along the GET. We would love to see photos of track junctions and wayfinding indicators.

Things you can share about the section you walk are:

  • good photographs
  • whether the route is easy to follow
  • mobile phone coverage
  • identifying hazard points, like watercourse crossings, bad erosion, steep inclines, fences, gates, and access.
  • places of scenic interest
  • potential locations of campsites
  • any commercial operator along the trail that services bushwalkers, like accommodation providers, shops, roadside stalls, etc.  For example the Styx River Forest Station is listed as a free camp as it is on a main road.
  • anything else that may strike you.

Paddy Pallin have generously contributed these great prizes for the 4 categories:

1 x PAT Altvia pack 22L Abalone Blue- L: https://www.paddypallin.com.au/patagonia-altvia-22-pack.html

1 x KNO Bandicoot 250- Blue: https://www.paddypallin.com.au/knog-bandicoot-250-lumen-rechargable-headlamp.html

1 x  OPT Crux Lite Stove: https://www.paddypallin.com.au/optimus-crux-lite-stove.html

1 x Pure Race starter pack bottle: https://www.paddypallin.com.au/pure-sports-nutrition-race-starter-pack-bottle.html

Paddy Pallin Prizes

How to enter

Firstly, contact  Gavin Dale – Bushwalking NSW Operations on operations@bushwalkingnsw.org.au to receive the latest track notes and maps for the sections of track that you’d like to walk.

On your walk, take note of any improvements/corrections you would suggest to the track notes. Record your experience of the trail in words and photos. And think about what would make an awesome 3-day-2-night or 6-day-5-night walk along the GET.

On your return home simply email your entry photos and feedback to Gavin at operations@bushwalkingnsw.org.au. Attach your images to your email or include a public link to your photos (eg google drive, dropbox or photo share apps).

Please share photos and video with the highest resolution and quality possible.

Terms & Conditions

Photos with the best photo quality will be more likely to win. We would love to know who was the photographer for each photo however please note that by submitting photographs to this competition, you acknowledge that:

  • you possess copyright to the images,
  • you give Bushwalking NSW Inc (BNSW), Bushwalking Queensland Inc. (BWQ) and The Great Escarpment Trail Inc. (GET) permission to use the images you supply in any BNSW, BWQ or GET website, newsletter, social media, email, online and printed publications without attribution, and
  • you warrant that BNSW, BWQ and GET will not infringe any copyright by using the images you have supplied in any way.

We will contact the winners via their email address and publish the name of the winners in our monthly newsletter. Any prize that isn’t claimed within 1 month of the email being sent to the winner will be forfeited and will go into the next 6 month prize draw. Prizes for categories that haven’t received entries will go into the next 6 month draw.

 

Wishing you well in your ground truthing. We hope you have a great time!

 

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.