Diary for 2001 GO BUSH Safari Bush Christmas in the Border Ranges
Friday, 21 September
Sydney to Uralla
'Bush Christmas in the Border Ranges' had irresistable allure for at last two safarists from unseasonably chilly Victoria. Gill and Phil reached the designated meeting place in Eddy Avenue to find two others who looked suspiciously like GO BUSH Safaris aficionados - they turned out to be Penny and Jessica. Our Fearless Leader and George soon arrived in a brand spanking new Mercedes bus, and after collecting Karen and Linda in North Sydney we headed north on the Pacific Highway. If this was the pre-rush-hour traffic! ..... FL gradually discovered that our high-tech computer-controlled vehicle had a mind of its own, and would only start if a curious set of procedures was precisely adhered to in the Germanic fashion! Probably the latest in security devices...
We enjoyed morning tea at Raymond Terrace, in a pleasant park beside the broad expanses of the Hunter River - definitely broad to southerners used to the Yarra River! Soon after we escaped the traffic and headed along Buckett's Way (from 'buccans' = big rocks, aboriginal) which would take us close to the southern extreme of the CERRA World Heritage area, the focus of our safari. At Gloucester, our FL lunched us in fine style in the very attractive Great War Memorial Park with views to the Buckett Range.
A long steep climb to Carson's Pioneer Lookout introduced us to Thunderbolt's Way, linking Gloucester to Nowendoc. Thunderbolt, BTW, is the much more romantic alternative name of bushranger Fred Ward whose memorial we were to see at day's end at Uralla.
Along the way John explained the major problem of New England dieback, the result of plague proportions of the Christmas Beetle defoliating eucalypts. The plague results from the loss of understorey species such as wattles and hence of Sugar Gliders which eat the beetles.
Around 4pm we reached the Apsley Gorge and Falls area of the Oxley Wild Rivers N.P. A circuit walk along the rim of the gorge and a longer return walk on the opposite side of the river gave an excellent introduction to this spectacular area including the upper and lower falls.
After more fine fare in the form of a three course dinner, FL drove us at a fine clip to Dangar's Lagoon just before sunset - birds such as the Black-winged Stilt and Yellow Spoonbill were highlights.
We arrived at Uralla at the end of a great first day.
Sunday, 22 December
Uralla to Storm King Dam
No Further Entries
Sunday, 29 December
The Bundjalung knew it as “Wollumbin” — Fighting chief of the mountains.
Cook only saw it as a warning
Logan was challenged by it and was the first to ascend it as a feat.
Cunningham and countless others since have attempted and failed.
Now bare chested or barefoot young men seek macho endorsement for their efforts,
Grey headed men, puffing and sweating have their private missions to fulfill.
Empty handed women though seem to ascend with casual unconcern.
To the crimson crowned summit
Littered with gymeas, rosellas, callistemons and flame trees
Most climb in under 3 hours
But Wollumbin has been eroding away for 23 million years