The Drip Walking Track

The Drip Walking Track is another lovely bush walk just outside of Mudgee. Rangers of the National Park  have been through recently and maintained the tracks. It is a relatively easy walk, clean and a very picturesque area.

The walk is about 3kms return and takes about 1.5hr, or longer if your into photography. The track  follows the cliff face along the Goulburn River. Parts of the track lead you through ferns and past many rocky cliffs and ledges and massive boulders. The erosion of the rocks have created small cave like openings along the river. Eventually, the track will bring you to the base of a large sandstone cliff, The Drip. The cliff drips clear spring water down along the rock face pooling at the bottom, in amongst the many fallen boulders and smaller rocks. As a result of the continuous moisture, there are lovely bright green ferns and grass growing on the rock. It has a really nice ambience down in there.

Aboriginal Heritage

This area is about 200 million years old (or older).  I can’t help but imagine how the early aboriginal people could have lived here. It appears  relatively safe and protected, with plenty of food and clean water, and so pretty and clean. The temperature would have been extreme. It gets freezing cold there in winter and way too hot for my liking in summer. It’s lovely this time ( August) of the year.

River Bed Exposed

The river is Goulburn River. The river is very dry and the sand bed is exposed and easily walked along, therefore it allows for easy access to the other side of the river and rock formations.  One local said the river was the lowest he had seen it in 20 years. This area is going to need some rain before summer gets here, or its going to be a difficult summer for the people and the animals.

We came across Wombat burrows that are scattered throughout the valley floor, hidden next to fallen rocks and cliffs. Some of these  were quite big and deep in some areas. There were Wallaby’s that jump passed us as we disturbed them. There was plenty of bird life such as kookaburra’s and others I didn’t recognise.

The bush can be very quiet and isolated in parts, and therefore easy to get lost if you decide not to stick to the tracks. Sound echo’s easily along the river bed and against the sandstone cliffs.

Stinging Nettle

There was one irritant and that was the Stinging Nettle. It’s a little bush plant that looks harmless until you brush past it or touch it and then, it stings!!! big time!  Therefore ensure you have your long hiking pants on and good shoes and socks. That saved me heaps as I had to walk through them at times. If you have allergies, maybe you should pack an antihistamine, just in case.

I highly recommend this walk and score it 8/10.

 

Fern Tree Gully

I thought I’d share my last hiking experiences with you. Hubby and I went to a true country town of Australia called Mudgee. There we found some beautiful county hikes. One hike called  Fern Tree Gully Reserve was about 1 hour out of Mudgee. It was the typical Australian  bush with rocky outcrops and gullies. Very pretty and relaxing, only noise was the birdlife. The hike was for about 1.5hrs and was relatively easy. There were people of all age groups, old to young kids managing the terrain and slopes.

Picturesque

Fern Tree Gully is a profoundly picturesque rainforest. There are strolling tracks that bring you down into the cool, green fern tree studded valley floor. The walk then leads around the edge of the large rock walls and cliffs where you can get a great view of the valley. A circle walk takes you through a variety of plant groups from the Western Dry Sclerophyll (gum tree)  to rich rainforest in and around a  restricted gorge of sandstone rocks and cliffs.

These cliffs can be as old a 200 million years old or more. These areas certainly give me a sense of being connected to the early aboriginal people. I could easily imagine them standing on the cliffs, rocky ledges and hunting through the bush.

Wildlife

I saw a Lyre Bird and Scrub Turkey’s, Black Cockatoo’s and Wallabies. I’m sure that as the winter season ends and spring arrives thee would be plenty of snakes. This area looked good for brownies (Brown Snakes) and red bellies.

This would be one area to ensure that you did if fact wear long hiking pants and long sleeved shirts. I wore both and was glad I did, not for the snakes, but the branches scratching on my legs and arms. I wore hiking shoes and thick hiking socks and am glad I did, it just gave me a sense of safety whilst I was roaming the native bushland.

 

Definitely worth a hike if your ever out that way. My score is 8/10

 

Dumped rubbish or left litter

I’m going to talk about the continuous rubbish that is washed up onto our coastline, shores or left in our bushland.  On my regular hikes along the coastline and bush, and I am continuously being confronted with rubbish.  I live in a tourist area and it’s full of National Parks and a Marine Sanctuary. We have a regular whale migration that happens every year.  There are lots of people and marine life using the waterways and coastal areas.  So many people still continue to dump or leave their rubbish in the water, on the beach or in the bush? I don’t get it! Why can’t people put their rubbish in the bin or take it home with them?

I regularly get at least one shopping bag of rubbish each time I go for a walk. I’ve brought home 5 bags and a ball in one day. Today I brought home 2 bags of rubbish and a bike rim? I have found boat buoys, knives, large plastic frames, buckets and handbags, fishing line and ropes galore.  Only recently I found that some handyman or contractor must be doing renovations. They have dumped the full contents of a concrete wall with blue ceramic tiles and piles of wood into the bush? Can you believe it? really?

Plastic is the main culprit, lots and lots of plastic bottles, straws, balloons and string, bottles of all sorts, cigarette lights, thongs or flip flops, sunglasses.

Tourists

I remember when I hiked through Nepal, how polluted it was, it was shocking. I know that they had an earthquake and therefore their infrastructure and systems were down, that was understandable. But it was the rubbish in the National Parks and mountains that were inexcusable. My porter told me it was the lazy tourists who threw their empty water bottles and plastic packs into the bush and down over the edge of mountain trails. He felt as if the tourists didn’t respect the culture and land of his beautiful people.  Unfortunately I think this is true.

If you are a hiker or a tourist that goes to these areas, I would expect that you love the outdoors and respect the beauty of Mother Nature. So, take your rubbish home and leave the bush, beach, mountain, cave, rock or whatever has caught your interest alone and leave it in the best possible state you can. You don’t have the right to destroy nature, so don’t. If you can’t do that then stay at home!

My link to facebook coastal hiking gear

Whales,

I just have to tell everyone about the fantastic whale migration that was happening along the Eastern Coastline of Australia. Which we locals call the humpback highway, and it is just like that. Masses and masses of whales heading north, just like lanes of traffic on any highway after work,  all going in one direction.

I love walking and hiking along the coastline because it has been full of exciting experiences, spotting whales.

There are hundreds of them, breaching and tale flapping, rolling and playing in many many different pods. In Australia they travel from southern Antartica to sub-tropical water where they will mate and give birth. There are mainly humpback whales. Mothers travelling with calfs and will usually hug the coastline for protection from the sharks and the big males go further out to sea scouting, protecting the herd.  Spectacular to watch!

Here,  we have fantastic viewing areas and they can be seen so closely and you feel as if you want to jump into the water and touch them. Standing on these rocky outcrops puts you in the direct line of path of the whales.

I suggest going for a hike anywhere along the Eastern Australian Coastline at this time of year, as you are almost guaranteed to see whales. It’s defiantly worth the effort. So, get on your boots and thick windproof jacket, beanie and gloves and grab your camera and get out there.

I have been watching whales my whole life and I really enjoy watching them. Since I am a novice photographer I took down my camera, large long lens and tripod and sat myself up and waited for the herds to come in. Spectacular!! what a great way to spend a few hours. I loved it! People were gathering from everywhere to see the migration.

Check out my facebook page, coastal hiking gear  to see some pictures.

Cheers

Coastal Annie