Tuesday, May 29, 2018

CAPERTREE VALLEY MTB AND CAMP - FERN TREE GULLY HIKE - 25 MAY 2018

24 MAY 2018

After another cold night, I moved on towards the Capertree Valley.

I followed the bird trail when I entered the Capertree Valley, stopping at a number of recommended places. The stops were nice but I didn't see any birds.









I drove to Glen Davis for a look around the town. It used to be huge during the Shale Oil days but it was now a mixed of a few houses. It had a free camping area with hot showers. I met one of the local caretakers who told me a lot about the place. Interesting place and character.







I drove on a short distance to the Coorongooba campground along the banks of the Capertree River in Wollemi National Park. For some reason, it seemed warmer here. I set up camp and had a mountain bike ride.







I followed a track that lead to a dead end on the river. I backtracked and found further up the hill the Capertree River Trail. It was a rough wide trail with lots of steep uphill and downhill. I didn't get to the end as I as a little weary from yesterday's ride.



I had an enjoyable afternoon sitting in the sun, walking around the campsite, watching the birds and kangaroos.

25 MAY 2018

I woke and continued my journey through the Capertree Valley.

I followed the bird trail again and once again the stops were pleasant but no birds. Haha.





Out of the Capertree Valley and a stop at Rylstone for a cappuccino and 2nd breakfast.

I was on my way home via Bylong Valley. I passed a sign that said Fern Tree Gully. I turned off, followed the narrow dirt road for 2 kilometres and arrived at a picnic area. There were two hikes on a signpost map. I took the longer one and had a great hike.



The track lead into a narrow and rocky canyon with tree roots lining the sides and an assort of ferns on the ground level. It was very quiet and so pretty. At the end of the canyon, steps lead to the top and two lookouts over the canyon.






A bit to eat and then it was time for the long road home.

NEWNES AND GLOW WORM TUNNEL MTB/HIKE - 23 MAY 2018

It was a very cold night.

I started with an early light breakfast before heading off on a mountain bike ride to The Glow Worm Tunnel.



The ride to the tunnel was a gradual ascent for about 11 kilometres. The track was previously a railway that ran from the Industrial Ruins to and beyond the Glow Worm Tunnel. An amazing feat of engineering. On about several occasions the track was severed by deep erosion. This involved a steep descent and ascent  into and out of a gully. The bike made it a little harder.




The Glow Worm Tunnel was excellent. In the middle of the tunnel it was absolute darkness and as my eyes adjusted to the gloom the glow worms began to appear over the tunnel wall and ceiling. A memorial sight!

The ride back was mainly downhill and was heaps of fun with speed and some track knowledge.






It was a long ride. I spent the afternoon taking it easy sitting in warm sunlight, eating good snack food while reading and watching the day progress.




Sunday, May 27, 2018

BLUE MOUNTAINS HIKE - LITHGOW - NEWNES MOUNTAIN BIKE - 22 MAY 2018

Last night was very cold and windy. The Cathedral Reserve Campsite was okay but the toilets were dirty.



I drove a short distance to the picnic area at the end of Waterfall Road, Mount Wilson for the start of the Waterfall Track.





The hike was very quiet with lots of large ferns and tree ferns. It was very green and shady. Unfortunately, there wasn't much water so the waterfall was falling. Still, it was a nice hike.



The next stop was Du Faurs Rocks Lookout.

I took a turn off The Avenue at Mount Wilson Fire Station along a dirt road. IT as a short drive and there were a number of parking places.







The lookout over the valley was pretty. I started along the sign posted track to Chinamans Hat and Pearsons Cave. An excellent hike along a rough track then down between the rocks and u-turning at the base and following the bottom of the huge cliffs. the cliffs over hanged the path by a long way. A bit eerie. The rock formations were great and there were good views. Not a boring hike.



I eventually started upwards and came to junction in the track. I followed the extra track to Pheasants Cave. This part of the hike was rougher involving some rock scrambling. Down and down I went into twilight of a pocket of rainforest. I reached the end and the ground was very soggy and slippery. A bit of a challenge to get around the cave (which was really an overhang).

Next stop was Wynnes Rocks Lookout. There was a nice view and it was very windy.


The next port of call was Lithgow. I had coffee at the Tinshed and then drove to the lookout at Hassans Wall.  The view as good but I came up here to check the mountain biking. The ride down looked fine but the grind back up the hill looked a little daunting so I passed on that one.

I filled up with petrol and drove to Newnes Campground. Such a great drive down a winding and steep road then along the valley floor surrounded by cliffs and then on to the dirt road to Wollemi NP.







After lunch and a rest, I had a mountain bike ride along the Wolgan River via the Ruins Industrial site and Petries Gully. It was an easy ride and it was great to use other muscles after so much hiking.







BLUE MOUNTAINS - BOTANIC GARDENS AND HIKES - 21 MAY 2018

A few days away in the van. The weather forecast was sunny days and cold nights. They weren't wrong :)

I left early and drove to the Blue Mountains Botanic Gardens at Mount Tomah.





This was heaps better than I thought it would be! The visitors centre was well organized and the deck at the back had great views over the gardens on a green mountainous backdrop. The paths meandered through different areas of the gardens. There were so many plants and trees. Many of the plants were in flower and there were a number of mountainous birds about, though they were a little shy.




My next stop was Mount Banks for a hike.








The hike started relatively close to the cliff edge and the track followed this line to the top. The track had some steep sections but generally it was fine. There were many view points over the cliffs from the start to half way. The views became more limited and the vegetation thicker all the way to the summit. There was a trig marker at the very top of the mountain surrounded by dense bush and trees. I met a young couple at the top. I decided to the longer track back. This track was okay but soon joined on the service road and was a bit ho-hum. It would have been better to retrace my steps. BUT the road did lead the Banks Walls and it looked like a reasonable mountain bike (another trip maybe).




A light lunch then a hike from Pierces Pass Picnic Area.

The dirt road down was narrow with a few parking spots at the picnic area ( the picnic area looked like it would be okay for an overnight stay - future reference). There were two hikes and I decided on the easier option of Rigby Hill.

It was a great hike with - a narrow track, thick bush, steep rock steps and good views over the Grose Valley and surrounding cliffs.










It was getting late so I drove to the Cathedral of Ferns campsite which was on Mount Irvine Road. The site was large and the cost free. There were toilets but they weren't too clean.




CAPERTREE VALLEY MTB AND CAMP - FERN TREE GULLY HIKE - 25 MAY 2018

24 MAY 2018 After another cold night, I moved on towards the Capertree Valley. I followed the bird trail when I entered the Capertree Va...