TRIP: Red Rocks, 28-29 Jun 2008

PARTY: Annie Cote, Mariebelle Malo, Amarjeet Singh, Nat Thomson, Yvonne Toole, Ashley Burke

It was very cold when we rolled into Newnes late on Friday night but the infusion of stars above foretold that the weekend would be one of skies of brilliance.

On a frosty Saturday morning we warmed ourselves by the fire clutching cups of hot tea until the first rays of the winter sun reached our camp. Then we headed up a leafy creek, following a faint track whilst trying to avoid the cold damp fronds of the verdant understorey. Where the creek forked we climbed a ridge which took us into warm sunshine and thence onto a lookout rock from which splendid views back down the valley to Newnes were seen.

The route wound its way around pagodas and for lunch we climbed up high onto one of these sandstone monoliths for more panoramic views. We reached the Red Rocks, gaining more expansive views of the Capertee Valley and then turned south, working our way through an intricate web of pagodas, cliffs and defiles. The shadows lengthened and at the very civilized hour of about 4pm we found a spot among the trees that would serve very well as a camp site, and in all directions there were views towards cliffs through the trees. After setting up our tents most of us climbed up onto the highest pagoda we could find to enjoy the scenery in the evening light. Thus enthroned we watched as the sun settled and the Red Rocks lived up to their name. It was a perfect still evening, an idyllic way to end the day. We talked about the colour of the sky, mostly in terms of how close it was to that of Annie’s fleece, which was bright pink.

Then it was back to camp to get the fire going. A great variety of excellent food was produced, very impressive considering that for some this was their first trip into this area. There was wine and single malt scotch so a great evening was had.

Next morning the weather was once again perfect but Yvonne wasn’t feeling well. Unfortunately there was no doctor available to provide a professional diagnosis, which left it to laypeople like us to make our own surmises as to why Yvonne had such severe nausea and splitting headache. Our thoughts dwelled upon the combination of wine and single malt more than once but we were forced to rule these out due to the minimal quantities of each that she had consumed, and the fact that everyone else had the same and more besides. So we were left to speculate for the remainder of the day, but fortunately by around 9ish she was feeling well enough to make a go of it.

We continued south and all of us except for Yvonne headed up Mt Dawson which offered commanding 360 degree views of the entire area. Then we returned to where Yvonne was waiting and walked together along a meandering ridge that led away from the Red Rocks and back towards Newnes. After some time walking through open bush we reached our lunch spot which was a rock platform with yet another spectacular view down into a deep gorge that led down into Newnes. We lingered here in the sunshine, chatting away while the billy boiled and the jaffle iron sizzled. Then it was a short afternoon’s walk down into Newnes where we arrived by mid afternoon.

A very relaxing and enjoyable weekend in great company. Thanks to everyone who came.

I have put some photos here:

Ashley Burke
Mobile: 0414 633 315
Email: aburke at
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