Walkers: Bruce, Heather, Anna, Jacqueline, Israel, Charles, Conrad, Derek, Elizabeth, Joel, Sam.
Leader: Bruce
Date: 25/5/2014

It was a rather overcast morning when we all met up at Berowra Station, and we took the train back to Mt Kuringai Station, the start of the walk. On the platform at Mt Kuringai there is a clear view of the Blue Mountains, so we tried to see if we could spot Ashley’s Navigation weekend group, but we couldn’t see them. After crossing a foot bridge over the M1 (ex F3) Freeway, we continued a short distance along Harwood Street until the start of the bush track. This track was almost dead straight and flat for almost 2km until it starts a fairly steep descent down to Cowan Creek. We did take a short branch track to a viewing spot above the Creek. Once descending to Cowan Creek, we decided to head in the direction of Apple Tree Bay to take a look, but it turned out to be rather disappointing. Apple Tree Bay consists of a car park full of 4WDs with motor cruisers in the bay. Nothing like the smell of marine diesel on a bushwalk! So we gave Apple Tree Bay a miss and returned back and started on the walk along the track which skirts Cowan Creek. Along the way are the remains of several Aboriginal middens, used to cook shellfish caught in the Creek. Also we noticed quite a few people who had come to the Creek to do some fishing.

By this time the sun had come out and we spent the rest of the walk in sunshine until after lunch.

We passed by several small inlets, all with cool shady creeks running into them – although not running very much due to the recent dry spell. Eventually we reached Lord’s Bay and had lunch in the shade, after making sure the creek inlet was leech-free (given that Cowan Creek is salt water it would be unusual to find them anyway). I did however spot a large bull ant heading towards us and persuaded it to go elsewhere. During lunch we had a chance to closely inspect the mud flats with their large population of little crabs. Some were grey like the mud, but others had bright red claws which they waved at their neighbours. After lunch we then continued along the path skirting Cowan Creek until we reached Waratah Bay where there is the remains of an old house-boat rusting away. Another inspection was made of the mud flats as well as the bird life (see photos). At Waratah Bay the track then followed Waratah Creek and it started to climb up through a shady forest. It reached a boulder crossing of Waratah Creek which I suspect would be “interesting” after heavy rain. From then on the track started to climb the considerable grade by a series of 8 zig-zags until it reached the top not far from Berowra. After collecting everyone together we continued on only to find that the Freeway bridge was only about 150 metres further on! We crossed the bridge and the railway and found a couple of Lilli Pilli trees laden with ripe berries and we tried some – sweet but also tart. We ended the walk at around 2.30pm – not quite 5 hours after we started. As some people catching the fast train back to the City had 25 minutes to wait, they headed off to the Berowra pie shop.

At Berowra Station everyone went their various ways.

It was a good walk -not too long and in the sort of estuarine terrain not that often visited on bushwalks.

Bruce Stafford

Photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/brstafford/sets/72157644519393248/