Sirens of the Wollemi Wilderness – Trip #3

HUNTER MAIN RANGE – 23 October 2020
As we’d returned from Mt Coricudgy each day, we’d looked down at a magnificent “Bavarian” forest off the side of the road. It was untouched from the recent fires.  In my imagination I built a story where the forest was spared because it was the beginning of a run by the fire retardant bombers who were protecting the Wollemi Pines .  We didn’t have a clue where the Wollemi Pines were, and really didn’t want to find out but it sounded logical to me (and Lou).

So, on our drive out from Trip #2 we decided that we’d do a day walk down into the Bavarian Forest, it looked so beautiful.  We studied the map, chose a spur and a destination – a small amphitheater with what looked like a rainforest in it.  Lou made scrambled eggs for breakfast, then we packed a gourmet lunch to sit in the rainforest and enjoy the ambiance … Lou carried everything in, including gas and stove.

When we got to where we were going to park the car, the spur we’d chosen on the map was a couple of hundred meters away from the Bavarian Forest, and we’d end up in the wrong place if we walked through it. So, we headed down yet another burned out spur, but you could see rainforest in the distance in the valley.

There were a few drops to get around but in the main it was an excellent spur down to the creek and close to the bottom, the burned bush started to thin out.

And we miraculously dropped straight onto a grassy meadow (a field of little flowers shown in the banner), a few meters above the creek.

It was so enticing we made it our morning tea spot … with cups of tea and lemon/shortbread cookies – how good is that.

A small ramp gave us access to the creek, and whilst it wasn’t the Bavarian Forest, it was a lovely coachwood forest.

Stunning creek, easy walking on either side.

Beautiful Coachwood forest on either side of the creek.  We walked a few hundred meters down until we came to where the fire had impacted the creek, then turned around for an easy walk back.

Until there was a shriek from in front of me, Lou almost trod on this large (maybe 1.5m) Diamond python. I’ve finally found someone who’s as scared of snakes as me! Amazingly I was able to stand and look at this python, once I knew it was harmless I was ok, plus, he’d not be a fast mover, was quite happy to just sit there! (photo: Lou)

It was getting close to lunch time, so we decided to head out and have lunch back near the car in the “real” Bavarian Forest. It was very hot, so we wet our shirts in the creek and started the walk out,.  Half way up, our shirts were bone dry, it was hotter than we expected.

Back on the fire trail (it’s in the middle of that green grassy area which is on either side of the road). Large monkey vine here that’s fallen down from the canopy of the trees.

And this is the forest that we’d salivated over, how good would it have been to walk down through this if it had gone all the way to the creek.

Time for lunch, pasta with red capsicum pesto (yum), and resting in the shade, what a great end to the day, the only downside is that Lou had carried that wall the way down to the creek and back again!

Great day out … bonus – the car didn’t get stuck on the muddy track (was a bonus every day that we didn’t get stuck!). We didn’t see any Wollemi Pines, but I didn’t really want to find them anyway!  The weather forecast for the next week was awful, so we elected to drive to our homes on the Friday/Saturday to avoid the weather.

Thank you so much Lou for this amazing 8 days in the northern Wollemi area.  Pity it’s so far away (a 4.5 hour drive for each of us), but how lucky are we that the locked gate is no longer locked so we could go out to where we wanted to go.

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