Thursday, May 17, 2018

WOLLEMI NP - NEWNES - HIKES - 11 MAY 2018

10 MAY 2018

I drove from Dunn Swamp to Newnes after a morning kayak.

The drive was very pleasant along quiet country roads. I turned off onto the Wolgan Road and after awhile the road twisted and turned steeply down the cliff face to the base of the valley. There was a nice sign ' don't stop falling rocks'!

The Wolgan Valley is pretty flanked by sheer cliffs in many parts.

At the end of the road is the Newnes campground. It is huge with only two toilets. No worries there wasn't many people there. I pulled up and picked a spot just above the Wolgan River. Such a nice view of the river (not much water) and the cliffs surrounding the opposite side of the camp area.



After lunch, I walked the Industrial Ruins Track. It was an easy track being mainly on a disused railway trail. The start was on a turn off on the left crossing the Wolgan River. The highlights were: the river crossing, the ruins - coke ovens, old house remains, machinery, walls, buildings and the tranquility of the bush. The ruins are about hundred years old and it was amazing to see large trees had grown in the ruins of industry and homesteads.







There were a number of pretty campsites on this side of the river accessible for walk in camping or four-wheeled drive cars. I took a short cut through one site and followed a very obscured track and managed to come out in a shallow water section of the river just near my campsite. Bush skills are improving ha ha, maybe.



The hike could have been done easily by mountain bike either all the way or locked up at the entrance sign.

Back at camp, I prepared dinner and along came the visitors. The large deadish tree in front of me was swooped upon by heaps and heaps of magpies and currawongs. There was a frenzy of activity then all went quiet and they sat and watched me. I had deja vu of the kookaburra thieves. Beware brother, beware! I am glad to report there were no incidences. :)



11 MAY 2018

Another cold night and morning with some rain.

Eventually, I got out from under the doona, made a cup of tea and watched the kangaroos grazing around the campground in the misty morning.





It was cold so I rugged up and had a hike to Petries Gully and surroundings. I followed two tracks so I wasn't sure of where I was but I had a fun time walking the tracks and trail blazing. The highlights were: the homestead ruins of mainly fireplaces, the tracks when they became rough and narrow, a group of maple trees and their yellowed leaves covering the track and a trail blaze down a steep hill then a bush bash back to the track.










A great hike which was mountain bike doable.

Back at the camp, I packed and drove to Lithgow for a cappuccino in the Tinshed Cafe. It as cold outside so it was nice sitting near the open fireplace.

The drive back home was okay with little traffic most of the way.

Monday, May 14, 2018

WOLLEMI NP - DUNN SWAMP - KAYAKS AND HIKE - 10 MAY 2018

STAY

Ganguddy Campground in Wollembi National Park. Camping fees $6 per adult. firewood is provided and fires are permitted. there are toilets but no showers or drinking water.

Access via dirt Coricudgy Rd then turn left at the camping sign.

8 MAY 2018

I was off in the campervan for a few days of hiking and kayaking.

GLOWWORM TUNNEL NOT!

The start was adventurous but didn't work out too well ... I was heading to the Glow Worm Tunnel near Lithgow. My GPS showed the turn off as next to the closed ZigZag railway. The road was dirt and passable but there were some larger dips so I had to keep my speed down to 40 km/h ... a slow drive. There were lots of other dirt roads leading off here there and everywhere. After an hour, of driving, stopping, checking and some backtracking I reached a point where the road had deteriorated immensely and was not feasible to drive over in a van. There were no signs indicating anything about the tunnel so I had to drive back. Later, I found out that I was driving there the longest way over the worse road.

OLD RAILWAY STATION

Back on the highway, I put aside my dream of the glowworm tunnel and headed towards Dunn Swamp on the edge of Wollembi National Park.





On the way I passed an old railway station. I had to have a look. The structure of the building was sound but the interior as trashed. It seemed strange parking my van on the station platform and wandering over a place that was once bustling with activity.



DUNN SWAMP - WOLLEMBI NATIONAL PARK

I continued on to Dunn Swamp in Wollembi National Park.

Dunn Swamp has a dam at one end. It was constructed for the use of the Kandos Cement Works. The water has backed up along the Cudgegong River making an ideal place for kayaking.

I parked near the water way at Ganguddy campground and had lunch.

After lunch, I unloaded the kayak and paddled towards the weir. It was such a great paddle. the highlights were: an azure kingfisher (so pretty), paddling next to the cliffs and around the rocks, a deep narrow crevice which fitted the kayak and paddling around the buoys that marked the limit nearness to the weir.







I parked up in the section for vans, lit a fire and cooked dinner. There were a lot of birds hovering nearby while I was cooking. Then wham, a kookaburra swooped in and grabbed some lamb of my plate. I shooed it away then wham another dived in behind me. The bastards ha ha!







9 MAY 2018

It was a very cold night for sleeping.

Just after sunrise, I launched the kayak from Kookaburra Beach at the eastern end of the campground and paddled in an easterly direction.

The water was shrouded with thick mist that was beginning to lift in places. It was eerie and pretty paddling with the mist swirling around the birds and reeds. The mist soon lifted as the sun began to quickly burn it off. The paddle gradually became narrow. At times, I was paddling through a narrow path of reeds. There was a large overhang etched into the cliff face that was large enough to engulf my kayak. A bit odd knowing there was a lot unstable rock above me.






I had breakfast at Kookaburra Beach and rested for awhile.

Later in the morning, I hiked the Pagoda and Weir trails. I walked the east track with glimpses of the river. After a short while there was a turn to the left which was the Pagoda Track. This track was heaps of fun as there was a lot of rock scrambling and once at the top there were great views and big drop offs. I wandered around the top, carefully picking my trail and remembering the way I was going. It wasn't like you could get lost back the paths meandered around and over the pagodas in a very random fashion.







I backtracked to the Weir Trail and followed it to ... yes the weir. It was a pleasant hike with steps in the steeper sections, views over the river, cliffs and a few side tracks. At the weir, The path was blocked to the wall but not to the base. I enjoyed the walk around the forbidden area of the base. Ha ha!






Back at the campground, I had lunch then spent the afternoon sitting on the river beach and reading in the warm sun.

At my campsite, I lit a fire, cooked dinner, watched out for thieving birds and then rugged up for another cold night.

10 MAY 2018

Yes, it was a cold night but not as bad as the previous night as I had rugged up more.









While the mists were still swirling over the water, I had another kayak. the highlights were: icy cold fingers, sunrise over the pagodas, water reflections on the cliff faces and water, a black duck diving under the water again and again and a bizarre cloud of refracted light colours ... so pretty.






Sunday, May 13, 2018

BRISBANE WATER NP - WARRAH TRACKS - 7 MAY 2018

Parking

There are eight parking spots at the end of Warrah Trig Road.

Staying

A Central Coast Council campsite is located at Patonga.

The Ride



A beautiful sunny day with a cool morning bite to the air.

I started at the end of Warrah Trig Road and rode down the road. Part of the way down the road, I met a fellow rider who had ridden up from Pearl Beach.

Towards the end of the road, I took a turn to the right and followed an obscured track and onto the tessellation platforms. A bouncy ride at times but it was open and fun and the view amazing.




Back to the dirt road and then another turn to the right just before Patonga Drive. This as a smooth short track through the trees and bushes that ends on Patonga Drive.

Following Patonga Drive for a short ride to a gate on the right. A peddle around the gate and onto a vague track that winds its way to another tessellation platform that is across the gully to the other tessellation platform. Once again an amazing view plus an open area to pedal where you feel like going.




I turned off the platform and turned left onto Patonga Drive. A short uphill later there was a large dirt parking area on the right which was the start of the Van Dahl trail. After wheeling the bike around the locked gate I followed the wide easy firetrail. As the trail veers more sharply to the right, there was a short side track to the left that has some nice views and smooth sandstone to ride over. Back to the main trail and after awhile it becomes steeper and more eroded.

Part of the way down the steep section was a turn to the right. This was the Sani Depot trail. This track as a wide fire trail but it has two really fun rough steep downhill sections and a long undulating rough section before turning up a steep hill.

Part of the way up the hill was turn to the left. This was the Neera Trail. This track becomes narrower as it progresses through lo trees over a rough ground of rocks and tree roots. Definitely, keeps your mind on the job. Haha. Eventually, it reaches a very steep rocky hill where the bike was carried to the top. At the top, the track runs a short distance to Patonga Drive.




On Patonga Drive , it was a low steep uphill ride to the right. Watch out for the cars or rather hopefully they are watching out for you (speed limit 80 k/h).

At the top of the incline, I turned right onto the dirt parking area for the start of the Van Dahl Trail and followed the trail until I came to the turn on the left. This was the Waratah Patch Trail. There are deep sections of soft sand on this trail. I followed the trail until reaching a wide tessellation platform. I played on this and then turned onto Patonga Drive to the right for a steep and fast downhill road ride

On the left, I turned onto a dirt road which was the Pearl Beach Patonga Trail. This as an easy graded road that lead more steeply downhill as I progressed. I continued and turned right onto the Doyle track that lead to the most awesome stunning views over the Hawkesbury River, Broken Bay and the surrounding areas. A great near end to a great ride.




I backtracked and turned left onto the Pearl Beach Patonga Trail. I peddled uphill and turned right onto the Pearl Beach Patonga Escape Trail and followed it till reaching Warrah Trig Road. I turned right at continued until returning to my van.

A fun ride with so much variety in tracks. there are other tracks to add to the ride and of course changing the direction of the ride would make for variation as well.

The add on to a happy ending was a swim at Pearl Beach.

WOLLEMI NP - NEWNES - HIKES - 11 MAY 2018

10 MAY 2018 I drove from Dunn Swamp to Newnes after a morning kayak. The drive was very pleasant along quiet country roads. I turned off...