Undaunted Buswalkers in the Mist

MOUNT WILSON – 31 December 2023
On the third night of our Canyoning Extravaganza, the predicted rain set in at Mount Wilson.  When we woke next morning, the campground was shrouded in mist with a steady drizzle.  Our planned departure of 8.30am was set back to 9.30am while we assessed our options.  Everything was wet, even the inside of our tents!

Our planned trip to an unpublished canyon was not appealing, the planned extension of the small canyon wouldn’t be pleasant.  Plus, the forecast ongoing rain wouldn’t allow for any of our wet gear to dry out and whilst the shelter was ok, it didn’t give us much room to move around.

So, as the co-ordinator I made the decision to cancel the canyon trip, do a short bushwalk and then decamp and relocate to my house on the Central Coast.  Plenty of room, everyone would have a comfy bed, we could all have a much needed shower, we could dry out the tents on my deck (all seven of them!), and we’d celebrate NYE in comfort.  As it turned out four days of canyoning/bushwalking had taken its toll and most of us were in bed by 9pm!

John G suggested that we do a half day walk up to Tesselate Hill.  I’d had this walk on my Wish List for some time, but never seemed to have the time to do it, so for me this was a great idea.

The core group, Jim C, Liz McC, Rob C, Nicole B and John Gray set off, leaving Kathy G and Steph behind to do some packing up.

John had done this walk back in the 90s (? I think), but Nicole took us in a different way, eliminating a lot of scrub bashing.

There was a pretty well-defined track, I’ve seen this trip on a lot of bushwalking club calendars, so it’s pretty popular.  It rained on and off, but we were undaunted.

The rain brings out the colour in a lot of native trees.

This one more pink than red.

John (who is obsessed with Aboriginal art these days) finds some very faint sharpening grooves on this rock platform.

I’m sure the views would be spectacular out over the Wollangambe River, but not today!

Eventually, we ascend Tesselate Hill and then descend to the tessellated rock platform.

Close up of the formations in the rock, each module is about 30 – 50cm across, fascinating. Jim said he’d find out how they were formed for us.

There were a number of small pools with sharpening groves beside them (maybe 1 or 2), but the only Aboriginal engravings we found was this one. Pretty well preserved.

The rock platform is slightly bigger than a football field, and much of the surface is covered with decomposed vegetation and bonsai-ed trees and low growing heath. I’m sure underneath the heath is more tessellation.

The team, soaked and ready to head back, Nicole, Liz, me, Jim & John (photo, Rob C).

Nice display of prostrate tea-tree – as you can see, it was hard keeping the moisture off the camera lens.

The walk was a great suggestion, thanks John, I’d highly recommend it, it’s dead easy, on a clear day the views would be stunning, and the rock platform is really interesting.  Would be good to take the time to look around for overhangs.  Thanks everyone for joining me on this mini-adventure!

We were back at the cars by noon and high-tailed it to the campground to pack up.  By 1pm we were all ready to go, John & Kathy back to Blaxland, Nicole heading for Wentworth Falls and the rest of us off to Pie in the Sky for lunch and then the Central Coast to hang out all out wet gear.  Bit sad not tobe able to canyon for the next 5 days, but I had some walks in mind to finish up the Extravaganza!

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3 Responses to Undaunted Buswalkers in the Mist

  1. Jim Crockett says:

    This type of Tessellated pavement consisting of polygonal structures on Sandstone pavement is of unknown origin. Those on the Hawkesbury Sandstone are prime examples so it is basically an Aussie thing. Good project for a budding geologist.
    There are 3 other types of Tessellated pavements formed in different rocks and by other processes. There is a good example at Eaglehawk Neck, Tasman Peninsula, Tasmania where it is the result salt crystals drying and tidal action eroding the rock surface.

  2. Adrienne says:

    Great photos.

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