First, my apologies for the lateness of this report. I had saved it in my drafts and had forgotten that it hadn’t been sent.
Also, I lost the complete list of names, so my apologies to those 4 names omitted!
Party: Bruce, Catherine, Claudia, Sveta, Samanta, Miriam, Anne,and 4 more.
We all met up at Wondabyne Station at about 10am and immediately set off up the steep track to the top of the ridge to the start of the fire trail. Skies looked a bit unfriendly but the rain held off. We then proceeded to the junction of the fire trail at the sidetrack to Myron Brook and Kariong Brook. There were many wildflowers in bloom including Banksias containing sweet nectar, which we sampled from a couple of flowers.
The track here traverses sections of massive rock formations which are actually complete very large unbroken rocks, a feature of the area. Then down a fairly steep grade to Myron Brook, then over a smaller rise to Kariong Brook. Because of the recent rain the falls at Kariong were flowing strongly.
Here we had a morning tea break, and that was when the light rain started to come down. We took shelter under the overhangs there until the rain let up, and then proceeded up the grade to the railway access road. At this point I had concerns about continuing on to Mt Wondabyne for luch as there would be no cover all all from the rain, and I decided to take the group in the other direction to Staples Lookout and have lunch there.
Fortunately the view from Staples Lookout extended over the sea, more than can be seen from Mt Wondabyne. (Had we been there the next day we would have seen waterspouts off the coast!).
At one point I was considering going from Staples Lookout to Koolewong, but after hearing and experiencing the high level of traffic on nearby Woy Woy Road, which we would have to parallel for 3-4 km, I decided that that would spoil the “bush” experience, and therefore resumed our walk to Mt Wondabyne.
Fortunately the rain looked like bypassing us for the time being as we walked to Mt Wondabyne.
Halfway along we came to watercourses containing tadpoles, and also grooves in the rock made by Aborigines sharpening their stone tools. We couldn’t spend much time admiring the view from the top of Mt Wondabyne, as we had to get beck to the station before darkness set in. It had also started to rain lightly again, and I also had to take into consideration that on Mt Wondabyne we were the highest objects for 50km if the weather turned into a thunderstorm!
We retracted our steps back to Kariong Brook with the light rain following us. After the Brook the rain ceased and we continued the climb back up to the fire trail. By this time it was almost sunset and we calculated that with steady walking we would get back to Wondabyne Station with just a few minutes to spare before the arrival of the train.
By the time we reached the end of the fire trail and the beginning of the steep descent down the ridge to the Station, it had become fairly dark, and fortunately a couple of the party had brought torches with them, and shone the way for the group as we felt our way along the path. As predicted we arrived at the station about 3 minutes before the train was due, and all (except me) gone aboard safely for the trip back to Sydney. As for myself, I had to wait an extra 20 minutes for my train heading north.
An interesting day despite the intermittent rain.
Links to Sveta’s photos: