26 October 2014, Quondong Falls Nightcap NP
Participants: Andrew O, Steve M, Mark W, Toby M, Paul C and Leader Shane.
The rendezvous was 9:00AM at the Rosebank Shop and then we were all off down Fox road to park outside the gate at the beginning of Baldwin Road and the Nightcap National Park. We then walked down Quirks fire trail and Condong Road to arrive at the top of Quondong falls and were pleasantly surprised to find that there was water flowing over the falls. The route was pointed out over the other side of the valley. We then retraced our steps to the gully where it was intended to exit. This was to check that the assistance rope was still there and intact. That being done we continued back toward the car to the entry point where we left the road and proceeded to the escarpment and the drop off point. Negotiating the initial decent we arrived at the base of the cliff line and then proceeded down the spur ridge line at quite a steep angle. Before long we arrived at the Quondong Creek we had managed to perfectly navigate the previous attempts passing my pink ribbons several times. A stinging tree claimed two victims during the decent and after a little bit of 'what works' we headed rock hopping up stream. Soon we glimpsed the cliffs high above us and as we approached the rocks became boulders and then we were at the falls. We all scrambled up to water sprayed rocks at the base of the falls and to the most pleasant cooling natural air conditioning. There was a blue grayfish amongst the rock that did not hang around. We had lunch and relaxed for an hour enjoying the scenery above and below. and at about 1:00 we decided to be on our way. The final ascent out of the gorge was simple and a little strenuous. From the base of the falls we traversed due south and then at the cliff line upward due west to arrive at the base of the assistance rope. All had no problems with the final scramble, and we were soon back at the cars at 1:50. All said that they had enjoyed the walk and scramble and would do it again. The walk had been 6.84km and the ascent/descent was 350m. There is hope that the visitors Toby and Paul will join the club and we shall go off the beaten track again soon. Shane
18 June 2014 Cockscombe ( Nivana Point), Border Ranges NP
Walkers: David R, Tina, Peter, Robyn, Ian, David F and Leader Shane.
We set off in 2 cars from Sheep Station Creek and drove the 15.6km to start the walk at 8:20AM. Contrary to what we were lead to believe there was ample off road parking available at the track's starting point GDA 104 611. The track started easily with numerous pink tapes marking the way. This soon deteriorated and it became obvious the track was seldom used with vines and tree falls barring our way regularly. By 10:30 we had reached what is referred to as the Tweed Trig. GDA 107 633. The Trig is actually the remnants of an old signpost. After a break for morning tea we headed off again following the GPS track rather than the pink tapes that had by that stage become infrequent. The track becoming less distinct the further that we proceeded, the pink tapes now were more often on the ground in the leaf litter having aged and finally given up to the elements. We followed along the escarpment for a while occasionally getting a glimpse of the Tweed Valley on our right. There had not been any really good lookouts. At 12:00 we reached GDA 112 631 and with some 1600m left to go and no possibility of reaching our goal and returning before dark we decided to turn back. Retracing our path to GDA 109 633 we had lunch. After lunch we headed off along the escarpment and doing so avoided the dogs leg to the Tweed Trig. After a relatively sort time we arrived back at the cars at 3:00, a little disappointed that we had not reached our goal. The decision to turn back had been a good one as there was only at most another one and a half hours of light left and that would have been insufficient to complete the final 1.67km and return. The walk would have been possible as a day walk mid summer with longer days and an early start, or as a 2 day pack walk. Shane