Last Sunday was a day I should have stayed home…but it is always good to visit special people. I took grandson Tyler to visit his city cousins. But on the way we went for his first bushwalk at Kuringai Wildflower Garden. There were lots of steps and a small bush track to a park with swing and see-saw. Tyler finds it hard enough to negotiate steps at the best of times, so wet rocky steps were a challenge but he made it and on the way back we kept to the smooth path. It’s never too early to indoctrinate kids. Thursday was even better, my second bushwalk in one week! It has been three months since our last bushwalk which is far too long. Even better, it was a day off during the week after working on Saturday.
This walk is another from Robert Sloss’ book further up the Nattai River catchment. People zooming down the freeway have no idea of the magnificent bush and views that are just a few kilometres away. After some heavy rain this week, we could hear the creeks and river flowing on both sides. The track starts on a fire trail and goes up Mt Waratah, then turns to a foot track and goes down to Hidden Creek which flows into the Nattai River. Being springtime, we expected to see at least a couple of waratahs, the place is called Mt Waratah after all, but we must be too early. We will have to come again as they are really spectacular in bloom. Every high point offered great views, pity about the high voltage power line running right through the place. We could see other places where we have walked- Mt Flora and Ahearn’s lookout and where Starlight’s trail comes to the river.
Paula brought her dog Bronte as the walk is not in a National Park and we had to keep sight of her so she would not run off the edge, the drop off was pretty high. I had to keep remembering to look for the track markers and not just follow the dog, otherwise, I don’t know where we would end up. The walk was a bit over 8kms down to the creek and about 300 metres down from the top of the hill so we just took our time and had lunch down the bottom. The bush changed as we went down, passing through eucalypts, casuarina, wattle and banksia. The creek at the bottom was in a little gully where all the rocks were covered in moss and the trees that looked like beech and tree ferns. What a surprise. We certainly were not going to try and cross the creek after all the rain as it was flowing really fast. Maybe next time we can walk further down the river and make it an overnight walk. Judging by the regrowth along the river and our experience last time, we will have to get ourselves some machetes.