TUESDAY 10 JULY KURRAJONG CAMP
It was another very cold night – felt like close to zero.
M was away early to drive to Walardi camp area, maybe 20kms away, and the nearby helicopter area. She had booked to do a 9.30am flight over the Bungles. It cost her $260 for half an hour. She was hoping to see from the air some of the areas she and John had explored over the past couple of days.
John did not want to do a flight, as he had done one when we were here in ’93. I prefer my feet on solid ground!
We rendezvoused with her at the Piccaninny car park at 11am.
M had enjoyed the flight and had seen the creek area we walked. The “rules” prevent the helicopters from going close in to the gorges, or too low.
In particular, she was impressed by the expanse of the Bungles, beyond the relatively small areas that the public can access.
Some of the gorges they flew over were little more than clefts in the rock.
We walked to Cathedral Gorge. That was the seventh and eighth time I’d walked that bit of track, in a few days! Wet feet again……..
There were more people in the Cathedral chamber than when I was here yesterday. However, the tour group ones did not stay long and then there were just a few of us left there to really take our time soaking up the atmosphere of the place.
It really was quite towering and majestic, and hushed. The name was quite appropriate.
Returned to the grey bedded Piccaninny Creek. Walked up it – again – for a little way before branching off on the Lookout Track. Followed this to the Lookout, which gave some distant views of clusters of domes, as well as glimpses of the plains beyond.
From the 21st century perspective, it seems amazing that this really unusual and special area was not really appreciated by Europeans for its potential, until the 1980’s. To the local graziers, it was just part of the countryside, until it was featured in a TV program in 1982. In 1987 – just six years before our first visit here – it was declared a National Park.
On the way back to the vehicles, we detoured to walk the Domes circuit (again).
Found a side track that I’d missed, yesterday. It led to an area where there was some aboriginal art – hands and the like, and a little pool that was like a mini Cathedral.
Back at camp again, discovered that our bag of rubbish – carefully hung up to be out of the reach of predators – had been raided by some of our feathered friends. I should have taken it with us in Truck.
For the rest of the day, downloaded photos onto my laptop. Lazed about.
We stirred ourselves to do a little bit of preliminary packing.
The week here had gone so quickly, but between us, had explored much of what there was for the general public to do here. I wondered whether, in the future, more sections and walk tracks would be opened up. Or whether there was enough to manage, as it was. Anyway, given the relatively short period that most visitors stayed for, there was enough to occupy them for a couple of days.
This would actually be a great place for grey nomads like us to volunteer to work, for a season, doing something like staffing the Visitor Centre. Imagine the places one could get to see on days off!