Walkers: Bruce, Lucy, Maria, Martin, Andres, Nina, Jian, Alice.
Leader: Bruce
Date: July 14, 2013

Although there was a possible forecast of cold weather or even snow earlier in the week, the day itself turned out to be a fine sunny day.

After meeting up with most people at Central Railway, with Andres and Martin meeting us at Mt Victoria Station, we set out from Mt Vic along the unavoidable road bash to the start of Lawson’s Long Alley. This is one of three early “roads” built in the 1815-1820’s to get down into Hartley Vale from Mt York. We set off down Lawson’s and along the way we could hear barking dogs and chainsaws, as this track passes close by some small farms. Along the way to Hartley Vale it bypasses the dirt road for some distance and becomes a true bush track. We saw some kangaroos along the way. On reaching Hartley Vale village we passed by the Comet Inn and did a short road bash to the picnic area at the start of the Cox’s Pass and Lockyer’s Pass.

After lunch we decided to return to Mt Vic via Mt York via the Cox’s pass instead of Lockyer’s pass, as it looked more interesting, although somewhat steeper. Cox’s Pass goes level for some distance, passing some small farms, until it encounters the start of the original Cox’s Road (1815) and starts to climb very quickly and steeply. (How did they ever get horses and carts up and down this when first constructed?). There are several relics of the convict construction to be seen along the way. Anyway we eventually reached the top and rested and enjoyed the great views of where we had come from. By now we were encountering the tourists who had come by car to Mt York. After a while after admiring the views, and noting the clouds starting to accumulate, we set off back to Mt Victoria village. For a while we used a track paralleling the road, but on reaching the point where Lockyer’s Pass starts, we couldn’t find the track and so did an annoying road bash for a km or two. On reaching the start of Lawson’s Long Alley, we the found a sight pointing along a track saying “To Mt York”! Unfortunately not well signposted at the other end. After a further road bash to the Railway, we left Andres to meet up with his friends, and Martin to drive back to Sydney taking Lucy, Nina and Alice with him. The remaining three (myself, Maria, Jian), settled in for the train trip home. At Lawson a sharp-eyed Maria spotted Martin’s car in the traffic, meaning that we had overtaken them in the train despite giving them a 15 minute start at Mt Vic! That’s mountains weekend traffic for you!

It was an enjoyable walk on a nice winter’s day in the Blue Mountains.

Bruce Stafford

Photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/brstafford/sets/72157634826001924/