Trip: Hatchers Hollow and Redcliff Creek, Kanangra Boyd NP, 23-25 April 2005
Party: Jo Boyd, James Bucknell, Melanie Gallagher, Simone Gava, Iain Goodrick, Trudy Lynch, Emilie Pacquin, Ashley Burke
Many in this group were new members, so this trip was an opportunity for us all to meet new people as well as to spend the weekend in first rate bushwalking country.
The company camped on Friday evening at the start of the uni rover trail, and our first encounter with the local wildlife was during the night, when a leech attached itself to the inside of Trudy's lip. But by morning the well fed leech was gone, and it was time to gather around the fire for breakfast.
We set off down the uni rover trail and at Lost Rock enjoyed our first views of the Kowmung gorge, with morning mist providing a distant backdrop to the panorama. We then proceeded on to Mt Savage and at Sombre Dome pulled up for lunch. Our lunch spot was atop steep bluffs and offered views of the Kowmung river being shouldered along its course by ridges of varying shades of green. Rust coloured ground visible on the north facing ridges gave the scene a semi arid look, which in this time of climate change is only to be expected.
After lunch our descent to the Kowmung was via a steep quartzite ridge that faced the sun so we were rather hot by the time we reached the bottom. Many of us seized the moment to take a refreshing dip in the Kowmung as a curtain of shadow became drawn across the large pool there. Then it was a short walk upstream to the acreage known as Hatchers Hollow. This expanse of open woodland, with its minimal ground cover and magnificent stands of timber offers superb camping. Here we established what would be our base camp for the next two nights. Iain, Jo and I went on a late afternoon excursion to check out a tight river bend and some surrounding bluffs. We returned to camp just before dark.
As the light faded we took up our positions by the fire and there was the occasional pop as corks departed the necks of bottles. A bright moon rose. We all enjoyed a relaxing evening.
Next morning all of us except James headed off up a ridge and into the headwaters of Redcliff Creek. James stayed behind and spent a relaxing day around camp. The rest of us reached the headwaters of Redcliff Creek via Redcliff Ridge by around 11:30 and began heading downstream. This was a beautiful creek with an open quartzite bed and a dense and pristine forest canopy. We made easy going and had lunch at the base of a 15 metre waterfall, although there was only enough water to provide a dribbling flow of water down the rock face. Soon after lunch we arrived at a much larger waterfall and a series of cascades that we skirted around. Then the creek flattened out and we entered more dimly lit rainforest. It was here that we identified our first Stinging Tree, fortunately not the hard way.
There was more Stinging Tree further downstream which we were careful to avoid, but the trees were of great interest to everyone, especially when accompanied by stories of their potent sting which can leave stung skin numb for months after contact with their large round leaves.
Back at the Kowmung we met James and all enjoyed another bracing drip in the river. We returned to Hatchers Hollow and any remaining corks were removed from bottles and discarded. They would no longer be needed as this was the last night. Tonight the moon was full and the whole of Hatchers Hollow was bathed in white half-light.
Monday's walk started with a spectacular climb up Despond
Ridge. Tremendous views of the Kowmung snaking its way through rugged country
below us were had from various vantage points. A long climb onto the
The trip concluded with a drink at the Hampton Half Way House, where we relaxed at the end of an excellent weekend with a great group of people.