SUBW Trip report – Mt Wondabyne, March 22 2009.

Party: Bruce Stafford, Iris Bleach, Amandine Denis, Stephanie Yeung, Sandra Lubitz.

After meeting the party form the 9.50am train we immediately set off up the hill to the ridge above Wondabyne Station and then set off along the fire trail towards the track junction to Myron Brook. At this point I reminded whoever may be in front to look out for snakes, and that if we were lucky we might see a python.

Sure enough, just a few minutes later we came across a 2 metre Diamond Python (/Morelia spilota/) sunning itself across the track. After stopping to take photos we detoured around its tail end (with it not moving at all except its head to watch us) and continued along our way. 40 minutes from the station we reached the track to Myron Brook and proceeded past a small hanging swamp and noted a few tiny carnivorous plants (red sundews). The track on this section is on a falling grade with extensive sections along rock platforms which are actually one huge slab of sandstone (the stone for the towers of St Mary’s Cathedral came from Wondabyne). These long sandstone platforms are a feature of this walk. At Myron Brook we took in the cool shade, and carried on over a short and at time muddy track to Kariong Falls and Pool. Here we noted the very clear water with fish and yabbies – but Kariong Brook water needs to be boiled before drinking; there’s a Scout camp located near its upper reaches!

After Kariong Pool the is short steep climb up the ridge toward the next fire trail/railway access road, and then a rather boring walk along it to the next track section, which traverses more extensive rock

platforms, this time with numerous little streams crossing them. On one of these we noted several neat rectangular grooves on the rock in a little stream; these were probably used by Aborigines to sharpen their hunting tools.

We also noted more carnivorous plants a bt larger than those earlier and a deeper crimson. There are also deep clear pools with tadpoles.

After a short break we continued on towards Mt Wondabye, our path being followed by scattered clouds which gave us shady relief from the sun on this open exposed section. Approaching the top we were cooled by a fairly stiff sea breeze which also helped.

We had lunch near the summit of Mt Wondabyne (251m) and then went up to the top to admire the view, which stretches from the Blue Mountains to many km out to sea, and Norah Head in the north.

After that we retraced our steps back to Kariong Brook and then to Wondabyne Station. I decided to forgo the alternative route that can be taken via the Woy Woy tunnel track then a bush bash, as it was still late summer and there was too much risk of someone stepping on a snake somewhat less friendly than a python.

We reached the station with 10 minutes to spare before the 4.30pm train, then the party departed after a long but good day of walking.

Bruce Stafford