Monday, December 30, 2013

Jervis Bay

Tuesday 3/12/2013

We went scenic driving today, visited Nowra and Booderee National Park in Jervis Bay, which much to my surprise isn't part of NSW but is a Commonwealth Territory. 
We drove around the area and had a look at Iluka Beach and Green Patch where you can camp, the water was the most beautiful green in close to shore and a bright blue out deep. 
Then to Scottish Rocks which were pretty ordinary and next it was Hole in the Wall which for some reason smelt really strongly of sulphur. 
Next stop was Murrey Beach where we walked to Governor's Headland where if we had of thought to bring swimmers and towel we could have done some snorkeling.
Had some lunch and then continued on to Cape St George Lighthouse ruins and lookout, which was all very interesting.
From there it was back to Nowra where I got a bit stressed navigating, worked it all out on the map, but it wasn't marked that have the street had been turned into a pedestrian Mall so we had to detour around it and try and find our way back to where we need to be, had to do a u-turn or 2 but eventually found our way to Hanging Rock lookout. From there it was across the bridge to North Nowra to look at The Grotto which once again we had trouble finding and when we eventually got to the right spot it was pretty shitty which matched both mine and Fred's moods so decided to head for home. Did stop off at the Cambewarra Lookout which is ½ way between Nowra and Kangaroo Valley and it was well worth the stop as the views were stunning and helped to put us both back into better moods.
The decision at the end of the day is we plan to return to Jervis Bay but having been to Nowra we don't have to come again.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Friday 29/11/2013
Left Goulburn today stopped at Marulan and did the lap of the main street looking at the old building and then had a nice coffee, back in the truck and on to Moss Vale. We were going to stop for a look around but as it was raining we didn't bother. Then had a slow drive down thru the Kangaroo Valley, was very steep with way to many tight S bends. We are camped at Bendeela Reserve, a really beautiful free camp with heaps and heaps of wombats. Drizzled with rain all day.
Saturday 30/11/2013
Had a rest day today, a walk around the camp area (about 5 kms) was the only energetic thing we did all day. The camp area is very full and busy tonight. We have a young couple camped beside us, the girl came from Batlow. She was a Quamby

Sunday 1/12/2013
Drove up to the Fitzroy Falls. 
Did the walks along both the East and West Rims.
Lots of Rocky Escarpments and 3 waterfalls plus a lovely ferny grotto. 
Was very pleasant but did have to share with heaps of people which is something we aren't used to we generally have the parks we visit to ourselves.

Then drove down to Kangaroo Valley for a very late lunch and a poke around the shops there,a look at the Hampton Bridge then home.

There are heaps of Wombat walking around tonight, even got to pat one that is very tame. There is one under the van scratching himself as I write this.


Monday, December 23, 2013

Bungonia National Park

Today we went to Bungonia National Park. We had a few different walks to choose from so decided to do the Yellow, White and Orange Walks as they seemed the most interesting and well within our capabilities.
 We did the Yellow walk first as it was the hardest, it went to the Jerrara Canyon Lookout. Part of the walk was steep up hill and rock scrambling along and over a creek til we arrived at the lookout which gave us a view down the Canyon which was steep and rocky. From there we drove to Jerrara and Adams Lookouts which were just short walks from the car park and both lookouts looked out over the canyon in different directions.
Time for some lunch and guess what today I remembered everything. It was then on to Bungonia Lookdown which looks down the canyon to Bungonia Creek and across the valley to a Limestone Mine which has been operating for over a 100 years.It seemed a bit bizarre to be looking at a mine in the middle of a national park.

From this carpark we did the White Walk to the Mt Ayre lookout which looks down to the Shoalhaven River, the walk goes all the way down to the river but was a steep climb recommended for experienced walkers and we like to walk but aren't that adventurous.

Next stop was Kerrileau Picnic Area where we did the Orange Walk which was a really easy amble to another lookout over the valley and from there it was back to Goulburn. Bungonia wasn't as dramatic as the other parks we have been to recently but was still excellent and well worth visiting.

Friday, December 20, 2013


--> Spent the day looking at Museums.

First stop was the Goulburn Historic Waterworks which is the only complete operational steam powered water supply in its original location in the southern hemisphere. It was supposed to be a self guided tour but as we were the only people there we got a conducted tour from the caretaker, who was a real character and very passionate about steam engines.

We got very good value formoney as the entrance fee was a gold coin donation.

Next we went to the Bradley Grange and Goulburn Brewery which is Australia's oldest industrial complex sadly its one of those places that advertising makes it sound better than it is, the bright spot is the entrance fee included a tasting of the ales and stout they brew, the stout was quite tasty.

Home for lunch then up Rocky Hill to the Goulburn War Memorial and Museum. The Memorial is a tower that you climb up and have a 360 degree views of Goulburn. They also have a small Museum of War Artifacts and Memorabilia which was quite interesting and once again really friendly staff that were happy to share their knowledge with us, and once again entry was by gold coin donation.

Then it was home for Fred to watch the end of the cricket.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Wombeyan Caves

Thursday 21/11/2013
Got an early start this morning and drove to Taralga to the Showground and set the van up and then went out to Wombeyan Caves.
Did the Mares Forest and Limestone Canyon Walk with a little side detour to the Painted Cave,
its only a small self guided cave with lighting on a timer but it gives you plenty of time to look,
the cave goes thru to a ledge that looks down Limestone Canyon.
The canyon has steep rocky walls with a creek running thru it, then onto Fig Tree Cave which is also a self guided cave but you have to pay to go into this one.
This cave was so much better than Abercrombie that we visited last week, was well lighted with a recorded commentary as you walked thru and the limestone formations were beautiful.

We had hoped to do a guided tour but they have a minimum number of 4 before they will do a tour and Fred and I were the only ones there.
Went to have lunch and discovered I had outdone myself I didn't just forget something I forgot the whole Picnic Basket. Luckily the Kiosk sold basics like pies and snag rolls so were able to eat.
After lunch we did the Waterfall Walk which followed the Wombeyan Creek to the waterfall
and then around the hill to an abandoned Marble Quarry back to the car park. It was a hard walk and we were buggered when we got back.
Then it was back to Taralga to batten down the hatches before we got hit with a humdinger storm.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Kanangra-Boyd National Park

Thursday 14/11/2013
We had an eventful day today. We went To the Kanangra Boyd National Park to see the Kanangra Wall. This is something I have been waiting 12 years to see.
It was a nice drive from Bathurst to Oberon and then out to the Park.
The Walls were as stunning as I expected them to be, in case you haven't figured it out yet I love rocks and rugged escarpments.
We did 3 walks from the car park a 10 minute one to the 2 lookouts to see the wall and gorge and then a walk to the Kalang Falls which involved climbing 413 steps down to the foot of the falls.
The scenery was stunning then had to climb back up all those steps and then because we are gluttons for punishment we did the Plateau Walk which took us across to the top of the rockface that is the Kanangra Wall with a small detour to see a cave called Dance Cave. 
In the early days the Pioneers used to meet and hold dances in the cave. (all I can say is they were keen). This walk was really pretty as we walked across heath covered plateau to another lookout down the valley towards Sydney, again the views were fantastic, 
on the down side this walk also had steps, 443 in so 433 out. Our knees were screaming by the time we got back so were really glad to sit and have lunch minus the fruit which I forgot to pack. Fred recons he will buy the winning Lottery Ticket the day I remember to pack a complete lunch. I manage to forget something most days.
It was then back in the truck to head for home. After studying the map I says to Fred why don't we go back via the fire trail instead of going back out the way we came in, it takes us back to Oberon a different way. Well lets put it this way, we definitely know the Mazda works well in 4wheel drive and I have been given the sack as navigator. We had to ford creeks and go up and down extremely steep and narrow tracks, crawl up and down water diversions and crawl over large piles of boulders and I am pretty sure at times we didn't have all 4 wheels on the ground. I am so annoyed with myself as I forgot to take photos as were we driving.


Monday, November 18, 2013

Abercrombie Caves

Wednesday 13/11/2013

Went out to the Abercrombie Caves, got there at 10 and the office didn't open til 10.30 so walked part of the track to Grove Falls, the track followed the edge of the stream and was quite pleasant.
Got back and got our tickets and did the cave tour, was okay but not the most spectacular caves we have ever been to but I expected that as it was a self guided tour, but was still enjoyable.
From the caves we drove down to Tuena to check the condition of the section of dirt road we will have to travel with the van next week when we move on to Goulburn.
Called in for a look at Grove Falls on our way home but they were fairly ordinary, probably spectacular after rain.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Bathurst continued


Sunday 10/11/2013
Decided to go back into Newnes today and walk into the Glow Worm Tunnel. We were breaking the law as Wollemi National Park is closed because of the recent bush fires but after talking to locals yesterday who said there was really no reason not to as the fires had been on the other side of the mountain, and as today is overcast and threatening rain so no danger of fresh fires we took the risk.

The walk into the tunnels is mostly easy walking with 2 steep sections and a couple of rock scrambles. The walk is really stunning after reaching the top of the hill the walk follows the old railway line that went into Newnes. 

On the left is the escarpment and on the right you look almost straight down the gully. Most of the track is dry and dusty with sparse tree coverage but every now and then you come across rich green grottos of luxuriant ferns where there are springs seeping out of the rock-face.

When you reach the tunnel there is a creek you walk beside. 

It was very lush and green and suddenly the entrance to the tunnel appears, 

as you walk into the tunnel it gets darker and darker (a torch is needed) you turn the torch off and glow worms are blinking all around your head. It doesn't matter how many times I see glow worms I am entranced and filled with wonder. 

Once through the tunnels you follow the remains of the old coach road that goes around the back side of the escarpment minus the deep gully til you pick up with the beginning of the track where you started from. While on the walk we got to see our first Lyre Birds in the wild and we saw not 1 but 5, so was just a tad excited also saw 3 Gang Gang Cockatoos.
Back in the car and down to Newnes, put the truck into 4wheel drive for the first time and drove through the creek and up to the remains of the Commonwealth Oil Shale Corporation that operated there from 1906 to the 1930's. 

There is a self guided tour around the remains with the usual storyboards but sadly most were in disrepair so didn't learn much.

Then had a very late lunch, Mother Nature was very kind to us and kept the rain to a light on and off drizzle until we had eaten. 
On the drive back out we stopped to watch a wombat feed for a little while before he decided he didn't want me taking his photo and waddled away

then in was onward to Bathurst via a scenic drive through Wallerawang, Portland and Sunny Corner.
Worked out we walked about 15kms today so bet my legs are going to be sore in the morning

Friday, November 15, 2013


Hi have decided for this post I am just going to use my diary as there are bits and pieces in each day and they won't make sense unless I put everything in, so hope I don't bore you too much

Wednesday 6/11/2013
Moved to Bathurst today, was another hilly drive. Couldn't camp at the showgrounds as it was full so we are at the Big 4 Panorama Van Park.

Thursday 7/11/2013
Up early this morning to have the truck at Mazda for its 1000km service.
Wandered around the streets, found a Doctor and Pathology for Fred's needle so appointments are all made, found a Bowls Club and booked in a game and then a nice coffee til it was time to pick the truck up. We got excellent service from Mazda, hope they are all like that.
Next stop was the Tourist Information Centre for info and maps. Then we went to drive around the Mt Panorama Circuit

but they are doing an upgrade on the road so were only able to drive ½ way up and then turn around and come back down but we were still able to get a feel for what it would be like driving around the esses and down the straight. 

Fred of course had to stop and chat with the workmen manning the road barriers which gave me a good chuckle, the stop -go bloke was a big giant of a man and Fred looked like a pygmy beside him. He was very nice and let us walk past the Barrier up to the Lookout to check out the view.

From there it was home to the van to read what we had gotten from the Info Centre and plan the rest of the week.

Friday 8/11/2013
Went into town for Fred to have his blood test but they wouldn't do it as he had fasted for too long.
While I was waiting for Fred to come from Pathology I saw a mother duck and her 8 baby ducklings crossing a busy street using the pedestrian crossing I was quite panicked and heading over to do something to rescue them but a couple who were closer than me stopped the traffic and herded them to safety.
When Fred joined me we went for a coffee and then went for a look through the Mineral and Fossil Museum, and much to my surprise I found it as interesting as Fred.
Then went and had a picnic lunch in the park Fred then went for a game of bowls and I went home and caught up on some chores and had a nice relax.
Didn't take a single photo today.

Saturday 9/11/2013
Fred went back into town and had his blood test, then we went across to Lithgow for a look around, drove out to Hassan's Wall Lookout, there were fantastic views out over the Hartley Valley and of course the rock formations were stunning

Next stop was Blast Furnace Park which are the remains of what was the first blast furnace built in Australia in the 1870's. 

There are story boards dotted around the various sections of ruins explaining what the ruins represent and a little of the history of the factories in the area.

Lunch was next which was a picnic in Queen Elizabeth Park.
We were going to the Glow Worm Tunnel but it was closed so decided to do the scenic drive down the Wolgan Valley instead and what a good choice it was. The drive in through the Gap is breathtaking, on one side there is a towering cliff face and the other side is straight down into a gully, I took photos but they just don't give a perspective of how stunning it is, 

once through the Gap the drive winds along beside a creek in a really pretty valley to Newnes which was once a town and now only has a old pub no longer licensed

and a national park camping area and from there you have to turn around and drive back out again and that was the end of a lovely day.