Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Two old bushies, old in walking years only, ventured down the famous and very well used Track with one old acquaintance and four new acquaintances in late Nov. The original plan called for a seven night trip but due to some ill health too two of the group we delayed our start and shortened our trip by a day.

1st day Dove Lake to Waterfall Valley. Lunch inside Kitchen Hut due to poor looking weather. About 12 packs inside with their owners on Cradle Mtn, not much to see on the day due to cloud. Last 30 minutes or so of walk in slightly damp weather.

2nd day Waterfall Valley to Windermere. A nice short walk. No planned side trip to Barn Bluff due to poor visibility, low cloud. No side trip to Lake Will due to inclement weather. Late after wander around Lake Windermere.

3rd day Windermere to New Pelion. Very wet morning. Typical Tasmanian rain but not too cold. Track running with water, boots sloshing but excellent wildflowers and wonderful waterfalls and gushing streams everywhere. Lunch at Frog Flats and some sunshine with lifting clouds. A very good hut and a bit of spare room.

4th day. A rest day. Afternoon climb to Mt Oakleigh. Initially crosses a very boggy button grass plain that one of our group found, at least at one spot, sinks to about 1m. After you survive that then a climb through a very nice Myrtle forest leads you to a summit of heath country with views out over the dolomite spears to Pelion Plains and the route you have followed from the North. Mt Ossa blocks views further south.

5th day. New Pelion to Kia-Ora. 11/2 hour walk to Pelion Gap where, on a fine day, you drop your packs and head for Mt Ossa 1617m the highest point in Tasmania. It was cold and overcast while we deliberated on the climb but set off under blue skies and reached the summit a bit after mid-day to calm and warmish time on top. Wonderful views all around, clear after the rain and some large snow drifts still on the top and on the last part of the climb. Arrived to a packed Kia-Ora hut. Great evening light on Cathedral Mtn and Mt Ossa.

6th day. Kia-Ora to Windy Ridge. Stopped for a longish break at the old Du Cane hut, very interesting building and surrounds. Visited Ferguson, D’Alton and Hartnett falls. All flowing very magnificently after the rain. Onto the large and airy new Windy Ridge hut after the slog up to Du Cane gap.

7th day. Windy Ridge to Narcissus hut and the ferry back to Cynthia Bay and “civilization”.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Mt Banglora

There were four of us Lance, Carmen, myself and my son André.

We were looking for a gorge North-East of Mt Bangalora and brought abseil gear in the hope of using it.

The weather forecast was for very warm weather and dusty winds. We did not know if we would find water and so took additional water with us - a total of 3 litres each.

We came in a single car and following the directions included below we found the recommended carpark. We shared out the abseil equipment and set off at 8:40am.

First up the road and then following the fence. The way became very steep and I found the going tough. Lance led the way contouring and slightly climbing. We came to a section of loose rounded rocks underneath cliffs. This had to be crossed carefully with rocks unexpectedly slipping out from underfoot. Orchids grew amongst the rocks only a few were flowering and all had leaves that appeared to be suffering from severe insect attack. There were many caterpillars dangling from silk. Also there were plants with red flowers on giant stalks taller than any of us - it reminded me of Triffids.

We came up against the cliff and sat to have morning tea (Neenish Tarts) and a think.
The view into the distance (away from the cliffs) was wonderful.
I was exhausted. Going on would mean going back looking for a lower path around the cliff - using up valuable time. We decided to return to the car.

We turned back -taking a different lower path. The rounded rock proved difficult again with everybody taking a fall or two. We had lunchWhen we again reached the fence.

The whole area was very dry,with many dry sticks and branches underfoot.

Arriving back at the carpark, at about 3pm a branch had fallen out of a tree and dented my car's boot.

Thank you Lance, Carmen and André for a great adventure.

The Original Directions for future expeditions are:

Road directions to Mt Bangalore: Allow ~ 40 mins Boonah to Bangalora

Zero trip meter at the Dugandan Pub just south of Boonah.

0.0 Dugandan Pub
3.2 Straight ahead at round about.
13.8 Turn right onto Carney’s Creek Road (This is the road to Queen Mary Falls and The Head)
28.5 Cross Teviot Brook
28.6 Turn right onto The Head Road. (Road to Killarney and Queen Mary Falls)
29.7 Turn right through a gate onto Wickham Road (a dirt road)
Please leave the gates as you find them – I have always found them shut.
31.6 Gate – veer right
32.0 Park car on left.
32.5 Two gates – you have gone too far – turn around and find the car park!! about 535 813

From the cars - walk up the road about half a Km until the fence corner (close to the two gates) - about 532 809and follow this fence up to the mountain, then skirt around the mountain until the creek, hitting it a short distance below the cliffs - about 513 804.
That first fence you follow up eventually cuts out and there is no fence separating either of the properties from the National park

Follow the creek upstream, keeping as close to the cliffs as you can and then strike up to the Mt Bell/Bangalora saddle (steep grassy slope).
From the saddle drop down into the creek, though it is better to keep out of it until the gorge is reached - about 503 815.
Once in the gorge, it is a case of jumping, sliding climbing down etc. The first drop should be checked by someone going down to make sure it is safe to jump (can be hard to check it out from above)
There is one waterfall which needs a rope about 30m, though the logs might still be there to enable climbing down. Most people prefer to use the rope.

There is a second gorge which comes in from the left. It needs one abseil down a waterfall and a big jump into a pool at the bottom. You can look at the waterfall in the second gorge from above - there is a track that takes you up in that direction.

End of Original Directions

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Leaning Ridge, Mt Barney

Lance's Ramblings

The other day I was up on Leaning Ridge on Mt, Barney. Now Leaning Ridge is a steep rocky, as in slabs, ridge on the northern side of the mountain. A rock scramblers dream with lots of exposure.
I was walking with what I consider a very experienced party of Ron, Peter, Carmen and of course myself.
Now I often go walking with myself as I find my company quite enjoyable and its nice to carry out a intelligent and logical discussion, I never seem to get interrupted and invariably I always seem to agree with whatever it is I am discussing. I seem to get along very well with myself.
Sitting up on a slab of rock, it was a little warm. Lovely view below my feet and a little tired with a few scratches. We were lost.
Now I dont mean we were really lost in as much as we did'nt know where we were. We knew where we were because we were on the right bloody ridge and there was a vertically drop on one side and a vertical drop on the other. You would think that with so little choice to play with you would know which way to go up but all options seemed impractical or down right scary.
So I said to myself "Lance". I often call myself Lance, its a habit I heve got into over the years.
"Lance. Why do I do these things, why do I go bushwalking and get myself in to these predicaments?"
Do you know what. I didn't have a clue.
And then a angel called Carmen piped up. "Because your extremely kind and thoughtful and talented and so well mannered and sophisticated, charming goodlooking and wealthy." Okay you caught me out, I lied a little bit there. I am not really wealthy.
But have you ever really considered why you go bushwalking.
I think I know why I go its because I love the bush and the mountains.The bush is my church,and being on top of a mountain , whether it be in Italy, Tasmania or Mt Barney. That is the closest I come to my God.
It is because of the people. Bushwalkers are the finest people in the world. We are all different from various walks of life and all have our different quirks. Hello Rosemary. Love ya. (I dont think I will get into trouble for that because I dont think she reads this tripe unless one of you blabber mouths opens your big gob.)
Bushwalkers are the special people and I wish to thank you all for the pleasure of your company.
Especially Ron, Peter, and Carmen for a great trip.

We started walking 7.30am and got back to the car at 9.15pm. Too buggered to drive home so we did the safe thing and slept next to the car , had a leisurely breakfast next morning in Beaudesert and drove home to reality. Throughly, mentally refreshed.

Love Lance.
Photos courtesy of the Angel and Ron.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Dolomites

Lance was part of the group that ventured to the Dolomites in Italy and enjoyed the hospitality of the Italian Alpine Club - Pisa. Lance asked that I post the following on his behalf:

The highlight of the whole trip for me was the walk from Refugio Vajolet to Refugio Bolzano.
The day started with the walk up to the saddle, I was feeling real good,the weather was cool and I was trying to copy Emilio's slow methodical walk which is really efficient.
Then the highlight, the mad scramble down the scree slope and across the snow patches. I was feeling fit, my knees were not hurting and I felt completely in control and on a high. Poetry in motion. Then around the corner of the bluff and the slow, steep climb up the valley, winding our way up to where we had lunch at the track branch.
Then the weather started to close in and I noticed the Italians putting on their wet weather gear. There was no command they just knew. When in Rome do as the Romans do. So I covered up and thought that we were in for a bit of fun. I must say I thoroughly enjoyed the rest of the walk to Refugio Bolzano, the cloud was down, it rained, it even hailed. My hands were cold, my feet were wet. I was walking by myself and thinking that this was what it was all about. This was living, this was real walking.
The next day it snowed. It was not the fluffy trickle out of the sky snow , it was "go outside and blow you over" snow. Later in the afternoon it backed off, the snowing stopped and it sort of cleared. Still blowing a chilly Antarctic breeze except we were in the wrong hemisphere and with six inches of snow covering the surrounding peaks and countryside.
Some of us rugged up and climbed a nearby peak about 3/4 hours walk. Once again I felt on top of the world, which we were. Freezing cold but surprisingly enough, not unbearably so. Even to the extent that I wandered around on the snow packed hills, long after the others sought out the warmth and protection of the Refugio. Trapped with my own thoughts and having a ball. It was proof that when you go walking anywhere in the outdoors, you are not in control of nature you must walk with it.

Thankyou Emilio and Sandro.
Thankyou Dolomiti.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Moreton Island

Expedition to Rouse Battery.
11 - 12 July 2009

André at Shark Spit on Sunday.
This was his first through walk.

Gisela and Dave inspect a wreck.

We met at the MICAT ferry (the charges add up - $50 return per person and $15 per day for parking at the terminal). New members Janet and Gisela were there, and Neil from the South Queensland Bushwalkers and André on his first through walk. the rest were Dave, our leader, Russell, Libby and myself. The sea was smooth and the trip uneventful. It was a bright clear day -beautiful Winter weather.

We arrived at Moreton Island and joined Michael and Mandy who camped overnight.

It was a hot walk along the beach and over the dunes to "The Desert". Here we had a snack and some of us attempted to slide down the sand dunes. Some slid well but I could not manage to slide down - I bruised my ribs leaping off the sand cliff.

The track from the desert was mostly smooth underfoot but plants encroached from the sides. It was cool. The banksias were in flower. We had lunch on the track.

We walked on until sunset when we reached Rouse Battery. The camping place was grassy and the birds called loudly. The water tasted good. We did not have permission for a bonfire and so stood talking under the stars.

Only a couple of us stayed up to see Jupiter rise then the moon rose and drowed out most of the stars. The surf roared loadly all night - more loudly than a highway.

The next day we set off south along the beach another bright clear day. It was hot in the sun along the beach and cool under the trees. Russell stayed behind to locate more of the remains of the battery and he returned via the desert. The rest of us visited the Big Sandhills. Having hurt myself the day before I slept in the sun at the foot - it was very relaxing.

After the Big sandhills, I found the return along the western beach a tough walk in the heat facing into the sun. We rested at the wrecks and I napped at lunch.

A couple of years ago Dave (our leader) had seen many dead sea stars on the Western beaches of Moreton Island after the July full moon. He wanted to see if this was an annual event. We saw some dead sea stars though not as many as Dave saw previously.

When we got back to Tangalooma, Russell was already there. After a drink and an ice cream we walked the last few kilmetres to the ferry. The return on the ferry showed a pretty sunset in air conditioned comfort.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009




Just opened, at the start of the 21st century, is Brisbane's redeveloped YHA accommodation for the budget-conscious traveler. This modern, clean, safe, secure retreat for backpackers is close to the centre of Brisbane, Queensland's capital. It is situated in a precinct near to major transport nodes, major stores, a cinema complex, other attractions and a wide variety dinning establishments.

The entry is spacious and efficient so larger groups may be accommodated readily. Copious brochures on a wide variety of local and state attractions are readily available. A booklet on casual job opportunities and local customs and laws is there to assist foreign guests.
This flagship accommodation has excelled in addressing many of the persistent irritants encountered by seasoned travelers by tackling them directly and resolving them. Each guest has their own lockable storage facility and include within is a power point so your modern electronic gadgets may be re-charged without dear of loss. Tea towels are dried immediately, public phone booths are quite and separate, all the toilets/showers are clean and the kitchen is equipped with all manner of modern conveniences.

Wireless Internet, a games room with Wii, a cinema room and a conference facility with overhead projectors and food preparation annex all add to the functionality of the hostel as the place to be for the discerning visitor to the Sunshine State.

Indoor and outdoor dining, quite areas for reading, an area for smokers and a weekly entertainment schedule plus a rooftop pool with extensive views of the iconic Brisbane river provide a variety of means for new arrivals to relax and get into the pace of life of the River City.

Secure vehicle parking, keyless access, a licensed bistro and facilities for specialist groups plus ample refrigeration, storage, washing and drying facilities cater for the needs of the modern traveler.

Each floor has a different Australian theme, to enhance visitor orientation and to alert them to the multifaceted possibilities of traveling in Oz. One may visit Australia Zoo nearby, or the Bay Islands for a bushwalk, climb at the nearby inner city cliffs, kayak the river or just enjoy the Southbank development or Riverside walk and City Cat rides. Longer excursions to the world famous Lamington National Park or the magnificent Glasshouse Mountains or Lone Pine Koala sanctuary or the enticing Gold and Sunshine coasts for their various beach-related activities are some of the possibilities open to the adventurous.

The local YHA bushwalkers welcomes overseas visitors to its activities of bushwalking, cycling, diving, climbing, abseiling and canyoning. Contact Penny Edhouse on 0401 207 549 or through their website at http://www.geocities.com/yhabushies.

There are three-, four- and six share dormitories plus town, double and family rooms all with private bathroom options, television and games options.

Facilities for the disabled are also available.

Brisbane City YHA hostel
392 Upper Roma St
Brisbane Qld 4000
Telephone: +61 7 3236 1004
Email: brisbanecity@yhaqld.org
Book on-line at yha.com.au

More photographs at http://www.flickr.com/photos/ronfarmer1/
Author: Ron Farmer at http://www.facebook.com/ron.farmer1
or twitter feeds at http://twitter.com

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Mt Tibrogargan 16-May-2009

East Face via ferrata training day

The opportunity to gain some exposure and via ferrata conditioning was too much for a sub-group of the Italy adventurers and some others, so a day on the East face of Mt Tibrogargan was arranged. After meeting at Flinder's Park the climbers drove into the parking area, went through the basics of protecting a via ferrata and the mechanics of the special addition to a normal climbing harness before walking into the base of the cliffs.

At this stage, Greg, who was carrying an injury, decided that it would be prudent not to make it worse, so he ambled back to the cars, rather than risk further damage during the ascent.

The rest of the team scrambled up to the ledge below the wall just below Cave One. After securing a safety line, all gained the higher ledge and subsequently climbed into Cave One and through it to Cave Two in time for lunch and a look around.

After lunch an general exploration of the nearby caves ensured.

Given the lateness in the day it was determined that a careful descent was appropriate.

So with a combination of scrambling, down climbing, tram-lining and abseiling the top of the scree was regained without incident.

Only one other party, of two people, was seen during the day.

A happy walk out to the cars was followed by a drink at the local kiosk and then a trip home.

A good day was enjoyed by all.

My especial thanks to all for their adventuresome spirit and to Lance and Ray, especially Ray, for attending to the safety of others.

Maria and Greg previously had helped with getting the club gear.

Ron Farmer

More images at http://www.flickr.com/RonFarmer1/

Monday, June 1, 2009

Vignettes - France and Spain

From Ann Tracey

May 2009

• Had forgotten how incredibly compact a French ensuite could be--push-button for a seven second shower in our third-rate Montmartre hotel, and didn’t see a soap shelf in any shower of the trip. Overall we had very economical, clean, convenient accommodation, thanks to Patricia’s research. Was awakened at 1am by a glorious operatic male voice singing in the street below--knew I wasn’t in Brisbane.
• The French are so proud of their heroes. I queued with them—no tourists—for a Town Hall exhibition on Gustave Eiffel and later walked to Victor Hugo’s home where all the visitors appeared to be French. Visited the cemetery kept for the famous – Pere LaChaise – where Frank and I had difficulty in narrowing our choice down to about ten, including Edith Piaf, Jim Morrison, Oscar Wilde, Rossini. Monuments to Nazi victims were stark and emotive. Stayed on top of the Eiffel Tower for sunset at 9:15pm.
• Bought lunch at a modern eatery with an eating room upstairs for those who had lunch already with them – perhaps a bread roll saved from breakfast, and indeed the sign said “Bienvenus aux pains perdus” (Welcome to the lost bread rolls).
• The Pyrenees had had a bumper snow season – “une horreur” in the words of one local. As a result, the slatey-grey rivers were swollen and rushing with melted snow; the waterfalls were superb; and some of the passes and walks were still closed with snow. We tried to return from the Cirque de Gavarnie hotel by a mountain route, but had to retrace our steps because of the treacherous snow bridges over the streams--exciting, different walking. Col de Tourmalet barred our way, but we drove over the Col d’Aspin with slogans still evident from last year’s Tour de France—a thrill to see Cadell’s name still on the road surface in white paint. Had fabulous views from this superbly constructed road.
• Began the Camino de Compostela at Sarria, 112km from our destination, Santiago in NW Spain. The hard surfaces and our very full packs played havoc with our feet. I didn’t mind the smells of cow manure, rotting ensilage and fertilizers, and gained insights into the very labour-intensive methods on the farms we passed – very few young farmers in evidence. Saw the caps of encalypt blossoms on the path and looked up – yes there they were, our gum trees – imported to provide fast-growing hardwood. Some lovely oak woods made strolling through very pleasant, but too much civilization to contend with. Bikes passed us with no warning – no bells – and I was amused by the shaven legs and names on pants of one large group. The albergues were of great variety – the open showers in one mixed amenities block were a bit surprising to us oldies. (I was well and truly the oldest, but the other six were very tolerant and I usually forgot this fact.) This may be my last long walk carrying everything on my back and how wonderful they have all been!
• Took a bus from Santiago to Finisterre – the end of the Old World. Saw tiny plots of cultivation, some with lots of footprints indicating a lack of machinery and some on cliffs at the edge of the Atlantic. Stands of eucalypts were growing so close to the sea, (little salt spray?) and one cracked across road – think their brittleness and fire qualities may surprise. Some pilgrims were carrying out an ancient tradition by burning boots and items of clothing on the rocky extremity.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Tasmania, 1 week Mar 09

Three of us had a gorgeous week in Tassy from 7 - 15 March. The weather cleared on arrival and it just never faded for the week.

The itinerary was non - existent. We were to fit in with the weather and as it happened we could have gone anywhere and done anything.

We decided to visit Pine Valley, for us a 3 hour walk from Narcissus, and from there do day walks to the Acropolis and the Labyrinth. On arrival, via ferry, at Narcissus we met groups finishing the Overland track, this their last day was the only day in 5 days that they had seen anything. Due to a long weekend in Tasmania the Pine Valley was pretty full with about 20 odd camped up on the Labyrinth for the weekend. The hut at night time was full of people talking comparing notes on interesting walks and places.

Monday we climbed the Acropolis. There was some cloud around on the summits early but by the time we were on top, about 12.30, it was a beautiful fine day with the summit much to ourselves. We spent the time identifying out the peaks to the north and south. On the way back down we met a group of 4 young ladies on the way up and later 2 young gentlemen, who were carrying no emergency gear, still with a way to go. The round trip for the day was about 8 hours for us oldies.

Tuesday was to the Labyrinth. We intended going as far up Walled Mountain as we thought we had time for. By lunch time we had archived a reasonable height and from a clear rocky spot had wonderful views out over the South West. Frenchman’s Cap stood out with a dusting of snow left over from the previous weeks weather. After lunch we headed across towards the Pool of Memories admiring the many pools and reflections along the way.

My mate wanted to have a different walking experience for the next part of our Tassy experience so on Wednesday we headed towards Tasman Peninsula. We intended to head out to Cape Pillar for a overnighter but on meeting the Ranger at Fortescue Bay we were informed there was no water available out there and the they were importing water into the campground at the Bay. We headed across for an easy over nighter to Bivouac Bay with a pleasant afternoon walk along the cliff track towards Waterfall Bay.

Friday was back to the main camp and a walk out to Cape Hauy so Lance could entertain Bruce with stories of the days when he climbed the Totem Pole. Another gorgeous day sitting at the tip watching the marine and bird life along the coast.

Saturday was a return to Hobart with a stop at a small coastal village to survey a possible walk for future trips but the wether was changing with some cool winds and overcast skies and a little drizzle.

For us that was the end of another wonderful week in Tasmania with a week of perfect weather.

For some photos of the trip visit my Flickr site http://www.flickr.com/photos/25126139@N07/

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Sundown National Park

1 to 4 May 2009

The Itinerary
Friday 1 May
Drive to Sundown National Park, The Broadwater camping ground
Set up camp
Saturday 2 May
Hike up the Severn River to the junction with the Blue Gorge
Sunday 3 May
Hike up the Blue Gorge.
Climb out of the gorge, over the hill and along the fence to Ooline Creek
Follow Ooline Creek downstream to the Campsite
Monday 4 May
Descend Ooline Gorge through to Severn River
Return to The Broadwater
Late lunch at Vincenzo's, north of Stanthorp
Drive back to Brisbane

Rosemary organised the bush walk. The original plan was to go to Girraween, but there were not enough camping spots available. So Sundown was selected as the alternate destination. Ray had walked the area before and Rosemary had notes from the 1980s.

There were only six of us. The park is very dry and we had to refill our water bottles from nearly stagnant pools in the creeks. Ray was prepared with a filter - which was hard work to pump as it became clogged.

The only native animals we saw were a couple of kangaroos. But the were deer and mobs of goats, and a single fox.

On the first day the hike beside and in the Severn was warm, but the toughest part was treading over the river rocks. The cruelest part was the jumping pears. The needles of the jumping pears were sharp enough to penetrate gaters and brittle enough to break off and remain in the fleash when the rest of the pear was removed. We found pears every day we walked. When climbing or descending sometimes they were exacly where I wanted to put my hand , or foot, or bum.

On the second day we climbed up Blue Gorge. Ray lead the way. Ray and Gordon helped by hauling the others' packs where necessary. The gorge was cool which made the walk more pleasant. Some of the climbs were steep with loose rocks and jumping pears. And I learned what exposed felt like - exhilerating.

After climbing out of the gorge we climbed over fallen timber and through scrub to the top of the hill. Lunch on the bare rock of the summit was a welcome break. Then through the bush again and after some difficulty navigating through the scrub to pick up the track along the fence. Where we left the track we were again climbing over fallen timber on steep slopes. Eventually we found the Ooline and followed it down stream to a camp site.

The camp was rocky and I sought softer ground amongst the trees. About twenty bull ants inspected my tent when I was setting it up. But as they left peaceably I did not relocate.

On the last day, we followed the Ooline - a creek, a gorge and a creek again. The creek was reduced to a few pools with no flow, so when we descended the gorge we went where the water would have run. The toughest part was a chute where I had to be hauled twice by Ray and Gordon when I couldn't reach the next foot hold. And apart from that, our guides found a descent that was just challenging not impossible.

At each of the bush camps and with the ranger's permission we lit a fire. There was pleanty of dry timber available - enabling us to sit (and lie) around a fire on a cold evening. The moon was bright enough in the evening to conceal the full glory of the stars.

Vincenzo's was a great reward for a great walk. The apple pie with ice cream was very popular.

I love the afternoon drive from Vincenzo's to Brisbane. Driving through a landscape with wide skies and the sun set colouring the clouds with good company is very relaxing.

Three days later, at home, sitting at the table, a giant ant bit me on the toe - it was agony. I'm glad they didn't attack en mass in the bush.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

English Creek, Mt Glorious

This caterpillar is showing its sting.

It was just like the old days, a very competent group of walkers doing a walk that we had not done before. A walk where the group had to work as a team contributing to navigation and various route options.
A trip where various people took the lead, expressed the freedom of being in front , showing the way and leading the party through rainforest of Lawyer Vine and Wait-a-While.
While Lance wandered along behind. Chuckle, chuckle.

This was the England Ck. trip at Mt. Glorious.Fourteen people participated and we started walking from the gate just back from Maiala Park entrance. Ref. 766761 on the Brisbane Forest Park Map.
The weather was fine and at this point we are 650 metres above the Sandgate foreshore. We followed Joyners Ridge Road for about 15min.through some nice rainforest to Ref.760766. Here we bailed out of the road and dropped steeply down the gully to follow the creek south. Because the sides of the creek were very steep and the creek had plenty of water in it , we had to travel along the sides of the hill rather than in the creek. The leaders of which there was a few at this stage kept getting hung up in vines and wait-a-while as we slowly followed the banks of the creek steeply down hill.
After about an hour of walking, one of the party suffered a sore elbow and another of our more capable and intelligent walkers tried to dislodge a tree with her head. Needless to say she is no longer considered intelligent and the tree is still there.
Both walkers thought they could smell coffee brewing and returned to the start of our walk. Near the coffee shop. Thankyou David for accompanying them back to the safety of the cars and the coffee shop.
Then again if I had the choice of wading through wait-a-while and lawyer vines or sitting in a coffee shop with two beautiful women, I think you made the only logical decision.
Eventually we could make our way into the creek bed and we had morning tea at 10.35. Ref.756760
If you are checking these points on your map as I assume you are then you will find that spot on the little blue line just between the two brownie ones, in the space of Two hrs. we dropped 280 metres.
Gee it made a loud noise.
A little further down the creek it started to flatten out a bit and the creek bed wider which made walking much easier.It is a very pretty creek. If easier access was available it would turn into a popular walk. Quite a few little waterfalls and small swimming holes. One for early summer.
Lunch was a little late as we were trying to get to a waterfall and swimming hole we had been told about. But because Rosemary was staggering and down on her knees at this stage we decided to stop before we got there and before she died of starvation.We never did find the waterhole as described but given more time a photographer would have a field day in this creek. Lunch was taken at 12.45 at Ref.759746.
After a leisurely lunch, the troops started to drop hints by standing up and putting their packs on their backs. I gather they were trying to tell me something. Never the less off we went at a good steady pace and covered the distance down the creek much faster than I anticipated.
The plan was to leave the creek at a certain point and to follow a S.E.ridge up to the Mt. Nebo road and a car left at Westridge Lookout. Upon arriving at the what I calculated was the point in question, ten of the remaining eleven people showed complete faith in my navigation ability by insisting on checking the map themselves, the other GPS, and even checking further downstream just in case.It is very gratifying to know so many people have so much confidence in you.
We left the creek at 2.45 Ref.754739
Just to show how much confidence they had in me they asked me to lead the final leg of the walk
Into the lantana I plunged. Along the cleared track they followed.
Slowly we climbed upward in open forest, past the sleeping carpet snake till we got to the road and our transport. 270 mt higher and 11/4 hrs later. Ref.763734.

Thanks must go to the various leaders of the party, women as well as men. Especially Greg who did most of the hard work. I know how much Greg dislikes vines and wait a while as it can be very tiring trying to force your way through the entanglements so we really appreciated his effort.
It really is a most enjoyable walk if we can elimate the first two hrs. of steep rainforest. As we now know it can be done easily in a day we can spend more time enjoying the creek bed.

Thank you all for your company, you are a great crowd. Special mention for Edwina, keep up the good work.

Love Lance.

[Posted on behalf of Lance - Kevin.]

Monday, April 13, 2009

Lance's Rambling - Binna Burra

Got along without ya before I met ya
Gonna get along without ya now.
Gonna find somebody twice as cute
Cause ya didnt love me anyhow.
You ran around with evry girl in town
And ya never cared if it got me down.
You had me worried always on my guard
But you laughed at me cause I tried so hard
Boom boom.Boom boom
Gonna get along without you now
Boom boom.Boom boom
Gonna get along without you now.
[Patience and Prudence in 1956, Skeeter Davis in 1964, and others]

Its absolutely amazing what two grown, seemingly intelligent people do to amuse themselves while walking in the rainforest, in the rain.
As Gene Kelly would say. Just singing in the rain, just singing in the rain.

The above song or a butchered , twisted version of the above was one of the gems of that fantastic new singing duo' Lance and Maria' which sounds like a lousy stage name.

Perhaps you would be more enthralled by Kevin '' The Bard'' Eastment quoting vast tracts of Shakespeare.

Its interesting how such a seemingly mundane trip can turn out to be so enjoyable, it was not only because of the conditions but the great company.
Now this was the Nixon Ck. walk at Binna Burra. We met at the information centre at 8.30 and the plan was to walk down the Forestry Rd ( Ah La Carte the Great Walk) towards Numinbah and Egg Rock and then drop into Nixon Ck and follow it up which entails rockhopping and a bit of scrub bashing.

After a yarn with the Ranger we changed our plans ( Leaders privilege) due to the amount of water in the creek making the rocks submerged and slippery, and the fact that I cannot do breaststroke uphill. ( More about that later) The weather forecast of showers for the day at Lamington can sometimes be a misnomer.

So we decided to do Shipstern Bluff via Lower Bellbird circuit.All of us had not done this track in racent decades and found it most enjoyable and ended up reaching Lower Ballunjui Falls for morning smoko.
There was only five in the party, Kevin, Ray Holloway, Maria Roe, myself and Rachael Christopherson who is a new member who has walked before but on her first trip with us. What must she think.
Hopefully Rachael will continue to walk with us as she is a gun walker and good company. In spite of what happened.
After leaving the falls,which were very spectacular as you could see the lower falls and way up the top of the escarpment, the upper falls barrelling down. By now the weather was closing in, there was cloud above and mist below. It was not actually raining but very heavy and continous condesation falling off the trees.
Rachaels attendance was appreciated as she was very competently attracting all the leeches.

Except for one.

Now for those of you who do not know Maria. She is a beautiful young lady with a lovely figure in all the right places. She also hates leeches, will not touch them and has to get somebody to remove them. You would not say she was paranoid about them as that is a understatement.

So Maria has a leech on her.
I also should mention here that on her gorgeous figure she was wearing a low cut tank top.
Now this leech had discerning taste and may I say a good taste of Marias right----- ah----er----ummm--- how should I say this, upper anatomy.
Needless to say there was a fight amongst the fellas to assist but a battered and bruised Kevin won the fight and earnt the task of removing the said leech.
I fail to see why it took Kevin five minutes and two hands to remove a simple leech, but he was abreast of the situation and with the other fellas busting to help, he saved the day. Maria with a satisfied grin on her dial continued to lead us on our merry way.
As we waltzed along the rainforest track in the rain we had Kevin quoting Shakespeare from cover to cover and Maria and I singing that song that we could not remember the words to or the singer.
Also because of all the rain the fungus were out in force and even found a blue one which I immediately recognised as Mycena interrupta or Pixies parasol. Of course.
Onwards we galloped, or Maria did in any case. Ray stopped at Moonjooroora Lookout for lunch and a rest, looked quite a sight sitting in the rain with his umbrella up. And he calls himself a Bushwalker, would'nt happened in my day. The rest of us proceeded out to the end of Shipstern Bluff and Kooloonbano Lookout for our lunch. There was no rain there and amongst the rising tufts of mist we ate and looked at the valley below..
Now as most people know I like to con people and string them along a bit but I am not clever enough to come up with names like those lookouts, so ''National Parks''. I salute you..
While we were lunching the peace was broken by a loud scream. It even frightened the prisoners down at the Palen Creek prison farm.
You guessed it. A leech.
You guessed it. Maria.
Only this time it was around the back and much lower.I have never in all my years seen a pair of strides come down so fast. Kev to the rescue,two hands and another five minutes and sanity was restored with the same satisfied look.
1.30 Pack up and back we go into the wet, Maria out in front and the unfit trying to keep up. We decided, or should I say I decided to take the upper track that takes back to Binna Burra.So we zig zaged up ,and up and up.
Stupid me.
On the way back we met a mother and young daughter at the Lower Ballunjui Falls turnoff .The mother was quite cheerful but you have never seen such a disinterested, disillusioned, disgusted, disappointed and disconsolate look on such a pretty young face sitting in the rain, parka on and cup in hand.
One of those '' Why am I here'' looks. Those with kids will know what I mean. Even a lolly from Kev did not seem to help. Some how I don't think she will be future Bushwalker material.
Up the soggy track we plodded. Up the soggy track Maria pranced. Smart Arse.
Arrived at the cars on Five.
Excellent day, and goes to show a trip is what you make of it.
Thankyou all for your company.
Thankyou linesman. Thankyou ballboys.

Love Lance.

P.S . Poetic licence has been utilised in the telling of this ramble.

[Lance has not quite mastered how to publish a blog. So I have entered Lance's blog on his behalf.
Rest assured that the above is 100% Lance's ramble - Kevin.]

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Basket Swamp Creek

Rosemary Niehus, our trip leader, relaxing at one of her favourite places - Basket Swamp Creek.

Dragonflies covered in dew, wait for the sunrise at Basket Swamp.

7 - 8 March 2009

Basket Swamp is wonderful. There is very little development apart from some forest tracks.

The program was:
Day One: Get to Basket Swamp. and set up camp.

This was a challenge as I finished work at 5:30pm - it took till 11pm to get there, with a dinner break at Warwick Caltex. Slow driving was required in places to avoid kangaroos. Fortunately good company made the driving easy.

Day Two: Hunt platypus (unsuccessfully, with a camera)
Drive along forest tracks to start point.
Walk to Wellington Rock. Enjoy the view.
Walk to Little Wellington Rock. Enjoy the view.
Follow ridge to saddle and ascend to a knob. Enjoy the view.
Descend (very, very) steep slope to Basket Swamp Creek
Follow the creek upstream - rock hopping - to camp site.
Set up camp.
Dinner and moonrise.

The forest track had humps to divert water off the track. These were high enough to scrape the bottom of 2-wheel drives and force the passengers to get out. Then there was the giant tree...

A few of us practiced our navigation skills along the ridge. But the toughest task was the descent to the creek. The swim at the base of the descent was cold but welcome.

Dinner was in the creek lying and sitting on warm rocks.
And then the Moon rose. Magic.

Day Three: Breakfast (with yoga)
Ascend creek and swim.
Ascend creek and swim.
Fetch cars.
Coffee at Vincenzo's (never to be missed)

The water falls were spectacular, and the rock hopping challenging.
Completing the trip was satisfying.

Basket Swamp Creek is a great place.

Back Creek Gorge - Abseil

The bushies arrive at the bottom of Back Creek Gorge.

On 21 February 2009, Ron Farmer took a group of enthusiastic YHA bushies to Canungra. Back Creek Gorge was just a short drive and a short walk away.
A little rain made the rocks slippery and we had to watch our step negotiating the creek.
The first descent was beside waterfall with a overhang.
The self-belay system used was very safe - I survived tipping upside down.
Lunch was in the creek and
Recent rain had changed conditions down stream so we turned upstream. It was a tough walk along the sides of the canyon.
The next descent was also at a waterfall and had an overhang - I didn't tip upside down this time.
I'm looking forward to the next abseil adventure.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Cougals

Following the border fence.
15 February 2009

We left our Mt Warning camp site and drove to the end of the Garden of Eden Road, meeting the Qld-NSW border.
With Carmen leading we trekked up the slope beside the border fence. The slope was covered in plants with sharp leaves. So Carmen relenquished the lead to me (Kevin). I was wearing mittens that proved useful in ripping the offending plants out of the way.
After a short rest at the top of the slope, Carmen lead us along open, well cleared fire break immediately beside the border. It was very humid. Our goal, The Cougals were clearly visible. Mt Warning on our left had a cloud blanket on its shoulder. Looking behind, we could see the sea, the sugar mill and the cane farms.
Entering the forest cover brought relief from the heat.
The track continued beside the border fence, becoming steeper and steeper. I used the barbed wire for rope occasionally, the mittens again coming in handy.
We passed a few places where the rabbits had felled trees across the fence in order to cross into Queensland.
We heard a loud crack as a tree or large branch fell in the forest.
Some of us made the last scramble up a steep, wet, rocky climb then ate lunch at the summit. And two of us recharged with lunch and a short rest before tackling the climb.
At the summit were views all around and a cane toad.

The descent down the rocky scramble had to be taken cautiously.

We diverted to inspect a cave by tourchlight. It was inhabited by many long legged crickets and at least one bat.

Descending the steep slope was taken quickly by some and slowly by others. One the way back Jill's boot threw its sole. Duct tape was the answer!

A tropical downpour at the final slope drenched the last of us to return. And made the dirt track out very slippery. Carmen's front wheel drive car needed a little assistance to gain traction up the slope.

A great day! Thanks Carmen.

Mt Warning - Wet, Wet, Wet

At the summit of Mt Warning.
14 February 2009.
The weather forecast was for lots of rain and many pulled out, but a few hardy souls were not deterred.
Even to reach the meeting point (camping ground at the foot of Mt Warning) required crossing a flooded creek. After gathering our thoughts for a couple of hours, waiting for the rain to ease, our leader Carmen called on us to begin. There were a couple of flooded creeks to cross by vehicle to the start of the track. Walking - The rain continued to fall and the track was flooded and many waterfalls cut across our way but we made it to the chain.
A slippery final ascent to, well - there was no view, but a fine sense of achievement.

We ate lunch at the summit. Then the descent - back down the chain, through the waterfalls down the log steps, down the concrete steps to the camp and hot showers.
Much later, the meals and drinks at Mt Warning Hotel were well appreciated.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Mt Bogong addition

The day before the Bogong summit photos it was too hot to trudge up to Cleve Cole Hut, ~700m above, so the afternoon was spent in and around Big River trying to stay cool in `37O C temps.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Love Creek Falls and the Cedar Tree

The base of the falls and bush walkers in the shade.

We assembled early at the Samford Patisserie, Sorted ourselves into fewer cars then drove to the end of Cedar Creek Road. Sue Ward lead us through this area that she's known since she was a girl. We worked our way up the creek rock hopping and crisscrossing. There were lots of opportunities to practice our rock scrambling skills.
The going was tough in places and we assisted each other up the steep slopes and past the slippery rocks. Two turned back to wait for the party to return.
Somewhere along the way Cedar Creek changed its name to Love Creek -I only found this out later after checking Google maps.
The water was crystal clear all the way. And lots of swimming holes - We tried at least five. Being hot and sweaty, the swimmers enjoyed the cold water. By the end only Gerry didn't swim, but he took a great photo or two - to be shown on club night.
Close to the falls the way became steep, smooth and wet. Some of us trusted to a rope anchored to rock - which proved to be very handy but not quite long enough.
After a short rest at the base of falls, some scrambled up an incline to the top. They reported great views. (No, I was not one of them.)
One the way back Sue diverted us up a tributary to lunch near a large Cedar Tree.
The trip back was very hot when we broke cover and walked under the sun. By now the locals had arrived at the swimming holes.
A coffee and cheese cake back the patisserie was well deserved.
Thanks Sue.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Mt Bogong

A very hot summer on Mt Bogong, Victoria. January, 2009.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Woohoo!!! Kevin's teaching me to blog.

Descending the Bundjalung Dunes

André descends the Bundjalung dunes at sunset.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Bundjalung National Park

Richard Mills lead a wonderful base camp to Bundjalung National Park near Woodburn, NSW over the Australia Day Weekend.

Camp sites had bush on 3 sides and a dirt road at the front. So access was easy and the sites were relatively private. Long drop toilets and electric bar-b-ques were available.

Campers brought their own water. And there were the NSW Park fees to pay $10 per person per night and $7 per car per day.

The wildlife came out at night: echidnas, bandicoots and carpet snakes were seen. The phosphorescence of Jerusalem Creek at night was wonderful to see.

Saturday was hot and humid. Swimming in Jerusalem Creek was cool relief.
The old bomb shelter proved to be useful as a cool pantry and a shady kitchen out of the wind.
Richard was informally naturalised in a touching ceremony where he was presented with a straw hat, and a flag apron, a pair of good thongs, a shirt and a wig. together with Lamington cake and ANZAC biscuits. [Aparently Australians don't need pants.]
Everyone climbed the tall dunes to catch the sunset before resuming "happy hour". The sky turned a wonderful orange after the sun had set.
The stars on Saturday night were great with the large and small Magellan Clouds easily seen with many metors and satellites.

Sunday was overcast but it was still a hot walk to Evans Head Bombing Range along the creek then back along the beach. As the tide came in the walkers took to the low cliffs to avoid a swim. Wind and rain on Sunday evening and night tested our tents, but did not stop "happy hour".

Monday was overcast with intermitant showers, so the bushies packed early and left for home.

I brought my son André on his first camping trip and he had such a wonderful time with the bushies that he wants to do it again. Thanks bushies.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Let the Blogging begin...

Hello Bushies,
Please use this space to share your bushwalking.