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.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Hill End

Moved on from Mudgee to Hill End Historic Site, was an uneventful but very hilly drive.
We have chosen Glendora Camping Area to camp in as it has far fewer people in it than the one in town.
Our first stop was the information Centre for a map then we drove out to Beaufoy Merlins Lookout 

Then back to town, parked the truck and did the Bald Hill Walking Track

 which takes you up to the Bald Hill Mine

with information boards dotted along the track telling the story of the history of the area and the meanings of the ruins scattered around.

Unfortunately the mine only opens on the weekend so we had to be satisfied with peering in thru the gates.

After the walk we drove out to Kissing Point and Spilt Rock then back into town and 

  then out to Bald Hill Lookout which is on the opposite side of the town to Bald Hill Mine and then home.

Tuesday 5/11/2013

This morning we went up and had a look thru the Museum 

and then drove down and parked near the hotel and did the walk around the streets looking at the houses and reading all the information boards.

Back to the van for lunch then it was on to the cemetery for a look and  read of the headstones.
Next was the public fossicking area and Fred tried his hand at panning for gold. Needless to say he is still a poor pensioner.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Mudgee part 3

Friday 1/11/2013
Had a fabulous day today. First we drove to Munghorn Gap Nature Reserve and did the walk into Castle Rock, it was a nice easy 8km return walk thru open bush to an area of Sandstone Pagoda Formations

They were amazing, looked a lot like I imagine ruins in China might look like and the views from the top were spectacular.

-->From there we drove to the Hands on Rock an area of Aboriginal Art.

The site features examples silhouette painting mostly hands sadly time and exposure are taking a toll and the art work is very faint and hard to decipher.

Then it was onward and upward to The Drip and a late lunch before another walk. 

This time the walk was through a gorge and once again the rocks were spectacular, the track followed the edge of a river getting narrower as we went until we reached and area where the rocks joined together with a large rock overhang with water dripping down hence the name The Drip

It was full of lush ferns and was beautiful and cool, it reminded me a little of the sinkholes in Mt Gambier.

Fred in his wisdom suggested we take our shoes off and walk back thru the water instead of following the track and me in my stupidity agreed, it was fine for Fred he goes barefoot most of the time and has tough feet me on the other hand rarely go barefoot so have soft and tender feet. Needless to say by the time we got back to the truck I had very sore little tootsies.

We saw 2 Redbelly Black snakes while we were walking, first one was on the opposite side of the creek sunning itself but the 2nd one gave us a small scare Fred must have disturbed it as he walked past and it came slithering towards me, I stood stock still and it turned and crawled away from me but it did put the wind up us.
Worked out we walked 12 kms in total today.