I’m sure I said no more “Traverses of Death”

WOLLEMI NATIONAL PARK – Part 2 – 19 May 2019
After our epic trip on Saturday, the Legendary Louise, Cool Tim and I all agreed that we wouldn’t risk another epic trip on Sunday.  So, I offered to take them to a special place that I’d been shown about a year ago.  Louise navigated us to the area, trying to avoid precipitous cliff-lines.  When we arrived, they certainly weren’t expecting the mini-adventure that we had.

We packed up camp and set off around 10am.  We were looking to see if there was some sort of track to/from the overhang.  If there was a footpad, it’s possible we were too high, as we wanted to just traverse to the area on the contour line that we were already on.

This rock formation was our target, lots of scrub, scree slopes and boulders to scramble over  to get there though.

I found this Lyre Bird’s nest just sitting on a boulder, they’re not usually this accessible (mostly they’re built up high on a rock ledge), a fox could easily have raided this nest.

As we were scrambling over endless boulders, I came across this Strangler Fig root, looks a bit like a Fisherman’s knot.

You would never expect to see this array of bird’s nest ferns in this part of the National Park, it’s so dry. (Photo: Tim)

More Bird’s Nests, Louise is blown away (can you tell?) – Photo: Tim

We had lunch on the rainforest side of the formation, just enjoying the tranquillity and ambiance.  Louise and Tim still didn’t know what was ahead, so I started the “reveal”, first stop a high point and then around to the other side of the rock formation.

Second point of interest The Slot – me entering. (Photo: Tim)

The rock has been cleaved in two, forming a big slot that goes right through the rock, from one side to the other.  Louise at the end of the slot – looking out into the patch of rainforest.

There’s a short tunnel section – almost a cave – that I persuaded Louise to crawl through.  Not sure she was all that keen, like most people, she didn’t think she’d fit.

We then went into the cavern. Over hundreds of years, the wind has eroded a great big cavity in the rock and rock wallabies have made it their home.  Rock wallaby scats and pee on all the rock.  I’d been into the cavity in the past, but the small rock climb to go through it to the outside (high on the rock), was way out of my comfort zone.  Tim assured me that he could get me up (and down) without me falling, so I gave it a go.

Louise on the climb up (plenty of foot and hand-holds, don’t know why I was so reluctant).

There’s a Traverse of Death to get to this lookout – it probably wasn’t that dodgy and was only 5 metres but quite narrow in places and with my exposure issues it was daunting.  I crawled part of the way on my hands and knees.  When I got to the lookout though, I was really happy that I made the effort.

Evidence that I made it to the rock lookout.  Crawled on my hands and knees to get out on the platform (much to Tim’s amusement), but I wasn’t going to stand up and risk tripping myself up! (Photo Tim)

While we were laying here enjoying the view, we spotted a rock wallaby down below (on a rock of all things!), Louise took a photo but you can barely see it so I didn’t include it.

We tried a new way down – was actually higher than it looked and the foot hold was down a long way (Tim: “just another 10cm, ok a little more” my legs just weren’t long enough).  Tim got both of us down though (well, there was never any doubt that Louise would manage – I was the one that needed help).

Exiting the cavern.

After we’d had enough of the rock formation, we set off down the hill back to the vehicles, arriving at around 3pm.  We then drove around to take a look at a potential route up to “Mystery” Creek, Louise’s next target.

It was a great weekend, lots of new stuff to see and heaps of trip planning for the future, so many trips to do, so little time.  Thanks for inviting me along Louise and Tim; thanks Tim for the Crème Brule (and all the lollies) and for carrying the ropes for us.  Best quote of the weekend from Tim, when we first met “gee, you’re really short, I thought you’d be taller, like 6 foot!”.

Thanks Louise for feeding me fabulous (read not dehydrated) food, and for your boundless enthusiasm. I want to be just like you when I grow up!

Before we set off on each day’s adventure, Louise took the “Death Photo” on her mobile phone. According to Louise, that way if anything happened to her (or us), whoever found the phone would be able to say “well, they look really happy, they were having a great time!” On the other hand they might say “what were they thinking taking a little old lady out into the wilderness? But she looks like she’s having fun! Although her eyes look like crap, she would have benefited from a visit to a plastic surgeon and a hairdresser.”

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