18 June 2014: Cockscombe, 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
30 August 2014: Wanganui Gorge to Goonengerry Plateau,
Walkers: Mike H, Suzi R, Monika P, Marco B and Leader Shane
The rendezvous was 9:00AM at the Repentance Creek Hall and then we were all off to Snow's Gully where we parked outside of the gate. We started walking at 9:25 over the gate along the road for 30 minutes until we reached the dilapidated turnstiles that lead to an overgrown old path to Coopers Creek. We then followed the Creek on the west bank along the barely discernible path. Soon we reached an old sign that says '<WALKING TRACK>' another 250 metres and we reached the confluence of the creek coming in from the east leading from the second Goonengerry waterfall. We forded the Coopers here, it was raging from the 180 odd mms in the previous week, most managed to cross without too much wet clothing. We then headed east along this unnamed creek at first keeping to the north bank but occasionally, as the need arose, crossing to the south bank. We gained height slowly at first up to the escarpment where we encountered impassable lantana. Changing direction more to the north we proceeded more easily and we were soon rising the escarpment rapidly. The base of the falls came into view and we found a perfect spot for lunch on top of a flat boulder 20m below the base of the falls. After a short break it was about 12:15 and leaving our packs with Mike we headed off to climb to the top of the falls. It was decided before heading up that the turn around time would be 1:00PM back with Mike. Crossing the fast and steep stream was accomplished with relative ease and we were soon beneath the falls and walking around under the the overhanging boulders and experiencing the water spray as the wind gusted. With time pressing we were soon on the abseiling track leading to the top of the falls. The rest of the ascent was simple and reaching the top we wandered along the top and drew Mike's attention who was anxiously waiting 80 metres below. The decent back to Mike's position passed without incident and reunited at 1:00PM we headed back down scrambling over the boulders. The route taken on the return was initially more southerly and a little different than the ascent and was not necessarily an improvement. The Coopers ford was soon reached and the crossing was made by various means some opting to remove their boots while other just rock hopped across. One member even decided to swim across! Regrouping and recouping on the other side we headed back down the west bank along our earlier route arriving back at the cars at 3:30PM. The usual after the event was enjoyed and we parted feeling exhilarated by what had been a magnificent day.
Timing and rendezvous were perfect and should be repeated next time. All agreed as a grade 5. The day was a mere 3.8km with a 300m ascent. Hard to believe it took 6 hours. Thanks to the participants for a wonderful day. Shane
21 September 2014: Goonengerry Plateau,
Walkers: Mike H, Steve M, Mark W, Mark T, Jenny C, Kristen, Stephanie, Marian and Leader Shane
The rendezvous was 9:00AM at the Federal Shops and then we were all off down Old Mill and Garrong roads to park outside the gate inside the National Park. We started walking at 9:20 over the gate along the track in a south east direction and downhill to the escarpment and the first waterfall. The Wanganui gorge with the track from a previous walk lay before us. After a short stop we retraced our steps back to the top and continued along the escarpment. Arriving at the second waterfall we all clambered around the top peering over the edge at the boulders below then volunteers were taken to scramble down the cliff face to the base of the falls. As it happened the boys all went and the girls remained at the top in a nice spot next to the stream. Reaching the bottom of the falls was achieved and the general consensus was that it had been easy. As the water flow was low we were able to do a first and climb through the 'tunnel' and emerge on the other side of the falls for a much better look up at the falls. After about 10 minute of retracing we were reunited with the rest of the party and continued along the escarpment to the next waterfall. After a good look down into the gorge we headed off up hill again and headed for the lunch spot. Unfortunately the maintenance crews had done so much chopping and shredding that the tracks were completely unrecognisable. North Boundary road now looks like a road. We missed the exit to the cliff and orchids and finally settled for lunch in a dry creek bed under some palms. Lunch over we proceeded to the junction of North Boundary and Fairy Glenn which is at the eastern edge of the park. We then headed back North West along a very pretty track with changed vegetation and emerged on a large level rock plateau. After a couple of kms of walking we arrived back at the recently maintained road. Reaching the bridges before the final accent to the cars it was hard to believe that the shaded glades around the bridges could be so different since all the clearing. Back at the cars we headed to Federal Park for the after walk fest. Four new members were welcomed and signed up so it can't have been too bad a walk after all. The walk was 11.7kms with an ascent of 500m and had taken just under 5 hours. Thanks to the participants for a wonderful day. Shane
26 October 2014 : Quondong Falls,
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