Trek Wollondilly – an excerpt from the diary of Judith Hannan
Posted on: 03.11.2017
Day One: 7am on Friday morning and here we were standing at Warragamba Dam in the pouring rain. With me stood Cr Matt Gould, Cr Blair Briggs, Chris Stewart, Dr Neil Hannan, James Gould & Jacqui Briggs.
We set off for the first leg of the trek along the Eastern fence line from Warragamba to Werombi and for the first time in weeks the rains came, and boy did the sky open up. Typical.
As we started the hike down to the Dam wall we all knew this was going to be a weekend to remember. We saw the first of many native animals along the wall, where a large “Flathead” (actually an extremely large catfish) made an appearance. Later along the journey, lizards, echidna, Yerranderie’s resident wombat, wallabies, kangaroo and a multitude of birds graced our walk, highlighting the unspoilt escarpment that surrounds our Shire.
First stop: Werombi, where Chris Stewart said his goodbyes as he left for the office. Ally unpacked the family camper and set up the camp kitchen with hot tea, coffee, hot chocolate and freshly made cakes. We enjoyed some time to rest before we began our trek through the stunning bushlands to Oakdale Workers Club to set up camp for the night. Along the way we found Cr Mathew Deeth walking along the path.
As we arrived, a vista of camp trailers and swags greeted us and dinner was served by Mr Lee’s Chinese. Here we were joined by Angus Taylor MP for Hume. It was a great night as we all debriefed on the adventure so far.
Day Two: Clear skies greeted us as we gathered, ready for the next adventure. Today’s group of Trekkers included Cr Matt Gould, Cr Blair Briggs, Dr Neil Hannan, James Gould & Jacqui Briggs, Angus Taylor MP, Luke Johnson & Cr Mathew Deeth.
We tagged day two as a “rainforest” walk because this part of the trek was stunning, with so many native flowers and trees. Each step of the way we stopped to take photos, including one of an amazing rock formation. The swirls of orange, cream and brown of this rock took my breath away.
At Sheehy’s Creek Road we were joined by Cr Robert Khan, Dennis Ashton - Chairperson for the Yerranderie Committee, and officers from National Parks and Wildlife. Together we departed for Yerranderie and saw the picturesque Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area. This view along the way to Yerranderie reaffirmed my commitment to raising the profile of Wollondilly as a tourist destination.
Lunch was held in Yerranderie where we were greeted by Yerranderie’s resident goannas and wallabies. Australia’s native wildlife really put on a show for us today, as it is not often you get to have lunch with goannas and wallabies. Before leaving we took time to tour the historic mining village, walking over the old mine shafts and visiting the original mining cottages and co-op store.
After an afternoon immersed in Australian mining history, we gathered at Mowbray Park for a traditional camp fire feast, with a roast dinner slow cooked over the coals of a massive bonfire. Absolutely delicious!
Day 3: Another 7am start with a yummy cooked breakfast before hiking Hoddles Track to the stunning Eastwood Bluff. There was talk of trekking down the bluff to get to the other side but, as amazing as that would have been, we all chose the safer path and avoided the steep downhill trek.
Instead, we stopped for morning tea near the point of the Bluff as by this point we were all ready to put our feet up and nurse our sore muscles.
The last part involved a short drive to Thirlmere Lakes. During this last stretch of our journey, the Nattai National Park surrounded us with tall Eucalyptus trees. Everywhere we looked there were variations of grey, cream and brown Eucalypts. Our natural bush land is truly unique and mesmerizing.
Altogether we trekked over 60kms. Our support vehicles drove 313 kms and we made close to 100 meals across three campsites. So I cannot express the feeling I had at the end of the Trek.
The sense of accomplishment as we walked along Thirlmere Lakes to the finish line, and the awe of everything we had seen flashed through my mind. The beauty of Wollondilly is astounding and only made us all the more passionate about putting Wollondilly’s nature walks and historic heritage on the map for everyone to see.