Reports and photos

Saturday, 21 March - Wattamolla to Marley Head (rtn)

Seven Lemons met at Wattamolla for an exploration of the Royal National Park (RNP) coastline.

The advertised walk was one way from Bundeena to Wattamolla. But those plans were foiled firstly by City Rail Trackwork, then the absence of replacement Rail Bus service. And then finally, the knock-out punch was delivered by the new bus service in the RNP halving its 2-hourly service to 4-hourly.

So we modified the route & had a fantastic day!  We met at the Wattamolla car Park. Then walked north to the summit of Marley Head. There were 2 small creek crossings: Coote Creek & then Wattamolla Creek.

Lots of the track is now on boardwalks to minimise erosion of the fragile coastal scrub:

The weather & views were spectacular. Here is a photo of Marley Beach (looking south from Marley Head):

The tracks lead across large white sandstone cliffs:

It was fantastic seeing so much seepage & pooling. A welcomed sight after our dry summer:

We ate morning tea on the south point of Marley Beach. But the seas were too big for a swim there.

We swam at Little Marley Beach, then ate lunch. 

There is a very special place along the track:

Sue G. (Photo credits: Ali, Andrea & Fran)

Sunday, 22 March - Faulconbridge Point & Grose River

The upper Grose Valley is still closed due to the fires, but not the lower Grose Valley, so it was lovely to get into it.  The fire trail gets you out to Faulconbridge Point quite quickly, where you will see we took our social distancing seriously (note the tape measure!).

We then descended down through some lush areas to the gorgeous Grose River, which had clearly been cleansed with the torrential rain a while ago.

Most of us threw our clothes off and jumped straight it.  It was sublime!!!  The Grose has to be one of the best rivers to swim in. 

Then it was time for the climb and ascent back up - the climbing using the ropes it always fun!  For some (ie. me) the ascent was harder than for other's (ie. everyone else), but quite quickly we were back up the top.

And then it was just the stride out back along the fire trail to the cars. There was a swim for some afterwards.  Thanks to those who came along, and to Angela, Isobel and Anne for the photos.  Jocelyn

Sat, 7 March - Sun, 8 March - Ingar overnight walk

Ingar was always a lovely area when you could drive there, but now only walkers or cyclists can access it, it is much more beautiful and serene.

It took around 2.5 hours to walk in, and after setting up our tents a few of us jumped into the water and swam over to the waterfall.  It was cold but so beautiful and crisp and clean.  We rigged up an engineering masterpiece to keep us dry as we sat around a picnic table for dinner.

It was a peaceful night and the rain set in overnight which made for a soggy pack up the next morning and after a leisurely breakfast we made our way back up the road.

Thanks so much for everyone who came along to spend some time in this most beautiful area, undaunted by the wet.  Jocelyn

Saturday, 22 November - Blackheath fire grounds

After attending a very wet Climate Action Rally in Blackheath 7 Lemons took a walk through some fire affected bush near Blackheath. We headed out on a ridge off Ridgewell Rd where we have four wildlife feeding stations. We topped these up as we went.

It is amazing to see the bush regenerating after the fires. This area was not burnt by one of those wild ferocious fires but mostly was a control burn for a containment line. We took our time and examined the many different types of regrowth. Many of the fresh grasses and shoots we saw are not edible for the macropods.

The fires leave behind amazing tree sculptures.

After picnicing in the dry of Jocelyn’s house 9 of us did another short walk through pristine bush to keep the spirits up. The mist cleared just long enough for us to get a glimpse of the green and lush Megalong Valley.

Thanks to all those who came along including out 2 visitors from England and especially to Jocelyn for driving and opening her warm cosy house to us for lunch. Anne
Saturday, 15 Feb - Spit to Manly

14 of us (plus 4 dogs) had a lovely time in beautiful weather on the Spit to Manly. We had swims, stops for morning tea and afternoon tea, and lunch near Manly.  Thanks to everyone who came along for this most lovely walk.  Jocelyn


Saturday, 18 January - Centennial Glen & Porters Pass, Blackheath

Centennial Glen Canyon
It was so wonderful to be walking in the wet again!  Instead of looking parched and brown the landscape had colour, particularly the trees painted with water.  There were lots of birds out including a large pack of Yellow Tailed Black Cockatoos.

This track is full of waterfalls, dripping escarpment, tree ferns, lushness, and the 10 Lemons and 4 dogs enjoyed it immensely.

We lunched under a dry overhang and then walked up Porters Pass before walking back to town via Fort Rock.  Thanks to all the women and dogs who came along to enjoy this beautiful and accessible area! Jocelyn

Sunday,  5 January 2020 - Palm Beach to Narrabeen

It was so good to have a big walk by the ocean!  Palm Beach is always lovely and we tried to decide which house we could afford to buy.  Our illusions were destroyed by the very long set of stairs and hills.  The views were sublime as we wandered along roads, bush tracks and beaches.

The route we walked was for Coastrek Sydney 2020, and you can just download their interactive map on your mobile to follow it.

We had stops for snacks and lunch, and tried to keep from getting wet feet from the waves on the beaches.  We finished at Narrabeen and a few of us had a blissful swim as a reward!  Thanks to everyone who came along on this adventurous jaunt.  Jocelyn

Saturday, 21 December - Kamay Botany Bay NP - Henry Head & Cape Banks circuit

Distance: 10km; Grade: M

The hardest thing about this walk was the heat. 34C forecasted for the city. But temperatures were not as severe near the ocean. There was smoke haze, but that was also minimised by the cooling on shore breeze.

Ten Lemons met at 8:30am in La Perouse. The plan was to walk anti-clockwise around the Henry Head & Cape Banks circuit. We set off across Congwong Beach & exited into bush. We then detoured down the Little Congwong Beach track. It ends at a pretty strip of sand, but this beach was populated by male nude bathers. So we headed back to the main track!

Walking up a hill, we enjoyed shade from remanent coastal scrub, & encountered our first military bunker on a crest. Feet tiring in the sandy track, we continued on to Endeavour Lighthouse on Henry Head. We investigated the WWII military bunkers here & watched skindivers below. Seas were calm, with the surge washing back & forth across the rock platform near the divers.

Continuing east we walked on a boardwalk. The plants here struggle against the strong coastal winds in very sandy soil. We were hot & sweaty when we arrived for morning tea & a dip at Cruwee Cove. On the positive side it was cool, wet & the cove was private. But it was low tide, so the channels were shallow between rocks, sea urchins & other scratching things. Fortunately, the only damage was 1 grazed elbow. 

Refreshed we headed up & around to Cape Banks

Cape Banks is the north head of Botany Bay. The headland is a large peninsula surrounded by Sydney’s trademark white sandstone cliffs.

It was easy to get down to sea level on the western side of Cape Banks. So we headed over to investigate the rusting hull of SS Minmi (wrecked in 1937. Read more at link).

Looking south we could see a container ship entering Botany Bay, & also Kurnell.
Climbing back up to the spine of Cape Banks:

We walked north along a graded road in scorching sun.

Very low scrub provided slithers of shade at the historic Coast Hospital Cemetery:

The cemetery contains headstones that date back to the early & mid 1880s. We doubled back to a sealed road & headed NW. And stopped for a final group photo in the shade of some towering Banksia trees with huge conical flower spikes:

There was more roadside walking before we again re-entered the bush (& shade) & walked back across Congwong Beach to our cars at La Perouse.
Thanks to all our Expedition Photographers: InesG, TraciA, NeridaP, WendyD, & TanyaC.
Sue G.

Saturday, 14 December - Paradise Pool, Linden

Paradise Pool is a unique and beautiful place.  5 Lemons participated in reasonable weather considering current conditions.
We had a lovely time, if you haven’t visited before we encourage you to do so.
The photos speak for themselves.  Thanks to all who came along! Erin

Saturday, 30 November - Mt Banks

This walk is all about the destination! The view from Banks Walls is spectacularly breathtaking, especially when leaning into the wind above a 500m drop to the Grass Valley below (I may be exaggerating, but only a little). 5 of us enjoyed a good leg stretch on the firetrail, stopping to admire the gorgeous white flannel flowers, red bottle brush, tiny beautiful blueberry ash flowers and many other botanical delights. We met a beautiful  Eastern Blue Tongue sunning itself in the middle of the track, and literally hundreds of tiny dragons scarpering away to avoid our heavy boots.

2 intrepid Lemons drove to Mt Banks the night before the walk and camped out under the stars. With no other campers and no clouds or lights, the star show was reportedly spectacular. 

Thanks to Susan for the photos, and to Slurps Cafe at Blackheath for the amazing coffee and dumplings after the walk. Sharron

Sunday, 1 December - Megalong Rd to Coxs River

Let's face it, this walk was all about getting to the river for a swim!  The Megalong Valley is so very dry now, and although the river height was down somewhat, it still has a goodly amount of water in it.

The water temperature was sublime and only 2 hours walk to get here.

We saw a large goanna coming back from having a drink from the river and I think I saw a white browed wood swallow which must have had its breeding plumage on - it was spectacular!  Thanks to those who came, Kay for some photos, and the Megalong Valley Tea Rooms for the wonderful Iced Coffees afterwards!  Jocelyn

Sunday, 23 November - 3 Sister & Leura Forest

Only 5 Bush Lemons took advantage of the perfect walking conditions to do the wonderful little Echo Point, Leura Forest, Giant Stairs circuit today. The mist was thick, thick and we started in glorious rain, so this usually very popular track was tourist free. Perfect!
Walking across the top we got to use our imaginations as the views were blank canvases.

As we headed down it was so good, given the recent heat wave, to walk in the cool with the sound of running water.

After a quick morning tea with our friendly currawong we had a silent walk through the beautiful Leura forest listening to the birds. After doing the giant stairs for the second time I now call them my favourite stairs out of the valley!

As we got closer to the top the mist closed in again and tourists appeared even though visibility was still poor - our timing was perfect.
Thanks to the BL who came along, it was fun.

Saturday, 16 November - Great North Walk, Cowan

After Friday night’s southerly blew some of the smoke haze out of Sydney city, 6 Lemons enjoyed perfect weather for this walk.  Departing from Cowan train station we took the Jerusalem Bay Track down into Ku-ring-gai NP. Forested & damp, the single track went eastward down to sea level. There was a long “Ah” as we gasped the first glimpse of the glinting water of Jerusalem Bay. Keeping the water on our right, we walked another couple of hundred metres before getting down to a lovely large slab of sandstone for a swim.

Words really can’t describe how beautiful these secluded bays of the Hawkesbury are. There is a timelessness seeping out of the bush & the still, calm water. Oyster shells around the waters’ edge needed to be avoided by bare feet. A midden reminded us that Aboriginal people had enjoyed the very same place many, many times. Yikes … our rock shelf was shrinking as the tide continued rising.

The single track continued around the bay, & then upwards over a series of ridges. Finally at the top, we commenced the 2nd half of the walk along a fire management trail. It is fairly exposed (ie not much shade). After a couple of km, we stopped for lunch under the trees overlooking the wide Hawkesbury River. Despite being high up & at least a mile from the river, there was a lovely cool breeze coming up to us as we ate.

We continued along the fire management trail, detouring into Brooklyn Dam, then descending finally into Brooklyn. The walk concluded with gelato & coffee at a welcoming café; a walk around Brooklyn Marina; & then waiting for the train whilst enjoying a stunning Hawkesbury River view from the Platform.

To give a balanced view, the negatives were: the 2nd half of the walk is a wide “management trail”; a quarter of the walk has noise pollution from the M1 motorway; the jet-ski; the tour-group jumping off a cliff into Jerusalem Bay.
But these really were tiny distractions to the camaraderie between the six of us, the idyllic swim, the bush in flower, sandstone & more sandstone! It was a wonderful day! Sue G.

Saturday, 9 November - Cowan to Brooklyn

Seven determined lemons headed for Berowra waters along a section of the great north walk. With a mix of ridge fire trails and steep descents we had our work cut out for us. The effort was well rewarded with wildflowers, a bit of botanising and a some spectacular views of the Hawkesbury river.

The weather was perfect and was the water temperature. ( note for next time... great swimming to be had). The ascent back up had us chris-crossing the valleys and ridges, each with changes in the wildflowers...even saw some pretty special orchids! 

We busted out at Berowra station where we said our goodbyes and had a hasty, well deserved ice Cream! Status for those who care: km= 15.06, 5.52 hrs, 4,845 KJ, 29,977 steps! AND we had fun! Vee

Saturday, 2 November - Erskine Creek to Pisgah Rock Track

What a beautiful walk!  We started the walk from the Pisgah Rock carpark, where it was short dirt road walk to the top of the Jack Evans Track.  It was a quite quick descent down to Erskine Creek where we had the first of many swims.

Walking along the creek was lovely and included some rock hopping, clambering, bush bashing and following some foot pads.

We lunched at the junction with Lincoln Creek and had a lovely last swim before we started our ascent up the Pisgah Rock Track, which includes a few scrambles up rocks!

Thank you to everyone who came along on a rather warm day for this great walk!  Many thanks to Olga, Fran and Pandora for their cars, and Anne and Angela for photos.  Jocelyn

Sunday, 27 October - 7 Bridges Walk

10 Lemons and 3 dogs tackled the 7 Bridges Walk in Sydney on a beautiful sunny day.

The 28km was broken up by regular bridges and villages along the way, and the good company kept us going!  Although the route is noisy and busy, there were some lovely bush pockets and great views.

Our team raised almost $2000 for the Cancer Council - Yay! Thank you to our walkers and to those who donated.  There's nothing like walking for a good cause.  Jocelyn

Saturday, 26 October - Ingar Picnic Area bike ride

On a morning of looming dark clouds, rolling thunder, sporadic precipitation and howling winds, 5 stoic lemons resolved their steel, put rubber to rock, and pedalled their way to Ingar campground.

Ok, the clouds, thunder and rain had abated by the time we were ready to push off, but mark my words, the wind remained!  Not long after our descent had begun it was time for an on trail lesson in repairing a flat tyre. Thank you Glenda.

Repairs complete, we forged ahead to the picnic area by the dam only to find the track was guarded by a fine specimen of black snake. Luckily it was camera shy and slithered away at our approach.

It’s a lovely picnic area with frogs “popping” loudly. There is an overnight camp here coming up in the calendar, keep an eye out for it.

Yabbies in the dam, spiders in the loo, lunch and chit chat done, back up the trail we flew.

The reduced pace of the climb out gave us the opportunity to appreciate the wide array of wildflowers in bloom.

As we finished the climb and came into the open heath, the wind blew so strong riders were pitched mercilessly from their velocipedes.

Unable to capture the actual incident, we did our best with a reenactment.... not an Oscar winning performance but thanks for giving it your all Kate.

Exertion complete, we made our way to a local cafe to enjoy coffee, cake and more good conversation. 

Thanks to everyone for not being discouraged by the early inclement conditions and coming along on this Bushlemons ride.

Saturday, 19 October - Maroubra to La Perouse

14 Lemons enjoyed spectacular spring weather last Saturday as we explored the least inhabited part of Sydney’s eastern beaches.

The walk commenced at Maroubra surf club. South Maroubra headland is home to the ANZAC Rifle Range. There is a track around the perimeter of the headland called Boora Point Walking Track. Unfortunately, on Saturdays [club shooting day] the only route past the rifle range is via the western walking track. Whilst this route is a lot shorter (1km), it took us upwards through eastern suburbs coastal scrub to a high point that gave us 360 degree views over the ocean & over to Botany Bay. A lot of this section of the walk is on a raised grid-type boardwalk to ensure that walkers don’t damage fragile vegetation & frog habitat. The seepage down the sandstone can pool underneath, etc. At the highest point, the boardwalk ends & the track leads across very large slabs of smooth, flat sandstone. It is gorgeous.

Along the eastern beaches, the scrub is very stunted & scratchy as it withstands the full, unrelenting blast of the salty winds & roots in sandy soils. Surprisingly, the Western Walking Track was opened as recently as February 2018 by Randwick Council. In doing so, public access of this area was allowed for the first time for 100 years.

We continued to walk down off the sandstone slabs, heading south east towards Malabar Beach.
We walked east along this Long Bay out & around its southern headland. Randwick Golf Club is located on this massive headland. We scouted around the very edge of the fairway. 

Golf ball hazards were forgotten as a whale was sighted out to sea. It wasn’t very far offshore - swimming southward to Antarctica. It was very exciting seeing a decisive spout of exhaled air. There was a light breeze & calm seas.

We cut down a narrow track towards Little Bay Beach, skirted the edge of the second golf course – The Coast Golf Course. The beach was already hot, with little breeze to cool us.

Onwards & up off the sand, around another large headland skirting more golfers teeing off. [St. Michael's Golf Club, 3rd]. Then eventually along a wider track towards the historic Coast Hospital Cemetery for morning tea & browsing the headstones.

Then onwards thru “Kamay Botany Bay National Park”. Past another very small pistol club (!) to Cape Banks. This is the most south, easterly point of this part of the coast. It is the north head of Botany Bay. The headland is up high on a sandstone platform surrounded by cliffs – windblown & stunning.

Throughout the walk there were at least 3 whale sightings. Perhaps the same pod, as we were also walking south. The 2 seal sightings were both false-alarms – skindivers close to the rock platform.  Rifles & pistols onshore, & spearfishermen in the waters of the National Park. The spearfishermen were searched by Fisheries officials as they walked up the track with us.

We continued westward thru bush & along cliffs tops skirting the eastern edge of the 4th golf club (NSW Golf Club), then down across the sand of Cruwee Cove. Back up thru the bush we arrived at the WWII bunkers littering Henry Head.

Now the track turns north west as we headed inside Botany Bay. Immediately, we could see a change in the vegetation. The scrub & trees were growing much higher & thicker inside the bay. Thankfully, the trees were now high enough to provide shade & shelter from the wind. There were also lots of Flannel Flowers blooming:

The walk crossed Congwong Bay’s beach & more beautiful orange sandstone slabs.

And, then up the stairs back to La Perouse. It was a fabulous adventure.
[Photo credits: Lissa S]. Sue

Saturday, 12 October - Mt Victoria Falls to Perrys Lookdown

Although the day was wet, we didn't really get much rain, but it did mean I had quite a few cancellations.  The bush was beautifully soaked and consequently looked lovely. 5 of us did this walk, with 2 walking down to the morning tea spot on the river and returning back up the same way.

At Victoria Falls Lookout

Top of Victoria Falls

How a tree treats a silly human sign
Bottom of Victoria Falls
The walk down via Victoria Falls zigzags nicely and is just beautiful and lush.  It takes around 90 mins to reach the Grose River in the valley.

From here you follow the track by the river all the way past the Pierces Pass turnoff, through the Little Blue Gum and then to the impressive Blue Gum Forest itself.  The bush has marvellous pockets of rainforest, ferns, vines that try and trip you up, and of course gorgeous trees and birds.

Olga & Kate recreating a scene from the lesbian shorts at last weekend's Queerscreen

The majestic Blue Gum Forest
We lunched in the Blue Gum and enjoyed the quiet and solitude and then started the long slog up Perrys Lookdown to the top.  It's always a good workout and the view reveals itself the higher up you go.

At the top - wet but happy!
Then it was onto a cafe to dry out and warm up.  I discovered that etiquette in a cafe means you cover the leech you have discovered on your hand to avoid small children screaming and grown men fainting, and dispose of it in an outside bush AFTER you have finished your coffee.

Coffee & cake rewards!
Thanks to those few brave souls who came along and enjoyed the challenge of wet nature.  A great walk. Jocelyn

Saturday, 28 September - Ruined Castle

On Saturday 11 luscious lemons loped along leisurely, laughing, loud and long.

What a magnificent spring day to be out walking in the gorgeous blue mountains. Everyone arrived on time - except for the walk leader who forgot to read her own email and had to be summonsed (as punishment she provided afternoon tea after the walk).

Our destination was the iconic Ruined Castle with its wonderful views, and stone architecture. We walked down the Golden Stairs and then on to the cool flat walk through rainforest and fernery. Birds were singing, wildflowers were blooming and lemons were chatting. We had a quick morning tea and then moved on to the scramble up the south east side of the castle. We all clambered up to the top and lunched on the large flat rock where we could take in the magnificent haze free views of the Jamison Valley.

 The walk back was uneventful and the climb up the stairs was well done by everyone.

This was a great walk we had: international visitors, first time walkers to the mountains, wildlife viewings including a snake, a Blac Rock Skink, but surprisingly no lyre birds (after I had promised them), plant recognition lessons and mountain climbing.

Thank you to the drivers - Olga, Vee and Lesley, photographers - Jocelyn, Lesley and Jeanette and thanks to everyone who came along in such good spirit. Anne

Saturday, 21 September - Six Foot Track in 1 Day

We started this 44km walk from Jenolan Caves at 5.30am.  It was lovely staying at Jenolan Caves House overnight as they have retained its olde world charm. We were serenaded by the dawn chorus as we left.

Only 3 of us undertook this walk as its a tad challenging to walk this distance with such ascents and descents in a day.  However, it is just downright cruel that one of the biggest ascent is right at the start.  We saw lots of birds and kangaroos along the way.

The water tank at Black Range Camp had been damaged, but luckily it wasn't too far to Alum Creek campground where we could pick up some more water.  The day had warmed up, but was still perfect for walking.

Just a bit further down this hill I tripped over my own big feet, skinned my knee and put my back out.  Owwwww!

After a quick bit of first aid we continued on for another quick break at Coxs River Campground.

Then it was onto the slog up towards Megalong Road.

At the 36km point on Megalong Road I departed to let Olga and Angela push on for the last 8km. They finished the 44km walk at 6pm. Way to go girls!!!!

Many thanks to Diane and Sharron for lifts and support on the Megalong Road and at the end.  Your blood is worth bottling! Jocelyn

Saturday, 14 September - 'Time to Fly' book launch

Thanks to everyone who attended Saturday's book launch.  It was a powerful event with few dry eyes.  Many thanks to all those who helped set up, pack up, provided the sumptuous food, Juls for taking the photos, the amazing Suze for her songs, Liz for organising the panel, Ursula, Lissa and Vicky for being on the panel and being so honest and open, Jude for speaking and doing the official launch, Anne for being Anne, Olga for almost selling out of the new BL buffs, all the authors who came, and all of you in the audience who came along for the rollercoaster of a ride.  If you don't have a book yet you can contact me to order one.  Jocelyn

Saturday, 14 September - Grand Canyon, Blackheath

The Grand Canyon is a very special place in the Blue Mountains and easy to access, and consequently has become a rather busy walk.  However, it doesn't take away from the unique beauty of the area.  13 of us did this walk in beautiful weather and it only took us around 3.5 hours.  The photos speak for themselves.  Thanks to all who came along! Jocelyn

Sunday, 8 September - Perrys Lookdown to Lockleys Pylon

6 of us disregarded the wind and descended down all the stairs into the Grose Valley from Perrys Lookdown and had morning tea on the beautiful Grose River.

Then it was the start of the ascent back out of the valley up to Du Faur Head. This track is quite reasonable as it gradually wends its way up a spur and then there is the last steep push up to the top.  We managed to find shelter from the wind for lunch whilst appreciating the views back into the valley.

As we continued walking past the bottom of Lockleys Pylon the wind was at its strongest and blew us around a bit.  

Soon after we arrived at Mt Hay Road where we had left cars for the return drive to Blackheath.

Thanks all for the fantastic walk, and particularly to Liz and Isobel for helping with the cars.  Jocelyn

Saturday, 31 August - Anderson Fire Trail

At 08:37 on a cool misty Saturday morning  5 Bush Lemons joined me to walk 23.34 kms along the Andersons Fire Trail. At the time of setting out the temperature was a very chilly 5 degrees so we were all well rugged up. Olga had brought along the new Bush Lemons Buffs and some of us made a quick purchase so that we could wear them to help keep out the winter chill. One of the photos shows us modelling the new buffs. 

We made good time on the track as we walked downhill towards Bedford Creek where we were to stop for morning tea. With 500 metres of descent over the 12.2km from the start to Bedford Creek we arrived at the morning tea stop at approximately 10:58.

After we finished morning tea we then continued on our way crossing Bedford Creek via some stepping stones. One walker in the group learnt a valuable lesson that just because a rock looks stable it doesn’t mean it is and if you step on said rock you will end up taking an unscheduled dip in the icy water. 

Once we crossed the creek we commenced a sharp ascent, climbing 250 metres over 1.5kms. We stopped at the top of the ascent to catch our breath before continuing along the undulating Fire Trail with a slight uphill to our lunch spot, which was 15.93 kms from our starting point.  Over lunch one of the walkers shared photos and videos of her family which we all enjoyed watching. 

As we were starting to get a little chilly sitting and chatting we decided to end the lunch stop and continue our walk. We traversed through lovely eucalyptus trees which were glistening from the recent rain. After another 7.41 kms of slight uphill walking we arrived at the finish point around 14:34. We then had a quick drive back to the starting point and then retired to a nearby cafe for coffee and sumptuous cake. One walked learnt that if you want your first choice of cake when there are only a few pieces left of said cake you need to place your order before others. Where cake is concerned sometimes it just pays to be pushy. 

Thanks to the 5 other women who joined me on this walk, I really had a fabulous time.

For those interested here’s a neat little topographic video of the walk. 

Oh and in case you were wondering the writing of the report in the above manner is a result of a challenge made by some of the walkers at morning tea. Sue A.

Saturday, 17 August - Centennial Glen & Porters Pass, Blackheath

This loop walk has it all.....views, waterfalls, historic tracks, a canyon....and it's dog friendly as it is on Council reserve.  10 Lemons and 5 dogs did this walk in gorgeous weather.  If you haven't visited this area before, then I encourage you to do so....the descent down through Centennial Glen and the gorge there is beautiful and cool.  Enjoy the photos. Jocelyn

Sunday, 11 August - Muogamarra Nature Reserve

 Six warm hearted souls donned layers and had a snow free walk to Peats Crater and Bight, Muogamarra Nature Reserve. Not being as chilly as expected the layers soon came off and we were met a bushscape of purple! Boronias, Eriostemon, Grevilea and a few Lobelia.  The vulnerable species of Tetratheca got a look in. There were bacon and eggs, Banksias, bracken and Bloodwoods. Then mangroves, melaleucas and much much more! 

It’s a beautiful little spot of seldom seen Sandstone flora, worth a visit. It’s open until end of September. There’s another walk in the area I want to do, so stay tuned!

Thanks for coming girls! Vee

Saturday, 3 August - Dingoes Playground, Wild Dog Mtns


What a most fantastic and beautiful walk this was!!!  11 of us started out from Dunphys Campground around 8.30am in sublime weather.  I was keen to get some kms natunder our belts so we scurried along the firetrail to Medlow Gap before stopping for morning tea in the sun.

Then it was onto the track which leads past Mt Mouin and then turning off towards the ascent up Blackhorse Gap. This was relatively easy with occasional scrambles.

The view was revealed up here, and we continued onto the lower cliffline of Mt Warrigal and the amazingly wonderful rock that we traversed around at length! This section of the track is wonderfully named the 'Wombat Parade'.

We finally reached the end of Mt Warrigal where the way down looked rather precipitous, but luckily Angela found the track which made it a tad slippy but much easier to get around to the next saddle and then the scramble up through a small tunnel to the top of Mt Merrimerrigal!

And then we were here at the Dingoes Playground!  A very atmospheric large rock platform surrounded by a ring of trees.

No dingoes, but one could imagine them frolicking here.  At least one of our walkers was overcome by the whole experience and seemed to become rather dingo-like herself.

We lunched back on the beautiful end of Mt Merrimerrigal with its great view, before starting back.  If you continued along the top of this ridgeline then you would reach Splendour Rock at the end of Mt Dingo in around another hour. 

We continued in the adventurous frame of mind, and decided to take a track which led off the saddle and we presumed must have been a shortcut to Mobbs Swamp. It was initially quite steep, but easier once in the valley and we indeed arrived at Mobbs Swamp and then had the slightly easier way back on this track to another break in Medlow Gap before arriving back at the cars in Dunphys Campground at 4.30pm.  A fantastic walk with wonderful company!!

Thanks to all those who came along for this challenging and adventurous walk, and thanks to Olga and Ange for their cars. How lucky are we to get to spend time in these beautiful areas! Jocelyn

Sunday, 28 July - Mt Banks

Four of us enjoyed a beautiful, sun drenched walk to Mt Banks on Sunday. There was no wind to speak of so we had a lovely time peering over the edges of sheer drops and listening the the cacophony of birds in the forest. This walk isn’t particularly long but there are so many beautiful places to stop and sit that it could easily take a day. We completed the walk as a circuit, climbing up the steps and footpad to the top, then coming back via a traverse through a pretty wooded area and the Banks Walls Fire Trail.

As always, there was great company, good conversation, many laughs and the bonus of good coffee (yes, they have almond milk) at the Blackheath General Store afterwards.  Sharron

Saturday, 27 July - Box Head

With fabulous weather and great company we all 11 of us enjoyed the walk to Box Head. We had our first stop at Lobster Beach where we gathered for the group photo.

Up the hill to Hawkes Head Dr with great views over the Ocean side to Barrenjoey Lighthouse, Lion Island and beyond. Down to Little Tallow where the foolhardy among us rolled around the edge of the ocean which had a heavy shore break and treacherous rips. Up again and along the ridge to Box Head which is the Northern side of the Deerubbin (Hawkesbury River) entrance to the sea. Here we had lunch watched by a soaring sea eagle.

Our journey home via a different route to see Aboriginal rock engravings and 4 quails. We descended back into the Bay by a mountain bike trail to finish at the hardys Bay club, where we had well earned refreshments. Great day, thanks to all who came and Belinda and Ines for the photos. Dee

Crowea saligna or Eriostomen
Epacris microphylia or Coral Heath and Epacris longiflora or Native Fuschia
Saturday, 20 July - Mt Ku-ring-gai to Berowra

 (photo credits to JanB & AngeJ)
This walk explores the valleys to the western side of the train tracks. It is part of the “Great North Walk” (250km from Sydney to Newcastle). Initially the walk goes down a steep, paved fire trail. Eventually the route becomes a single track as we walked down to Lyrebird Gully Creek. Much of the early part of the walk was accompanied by the sound of the water flowing.

Throughout the day, there was a lot of rock-hopping across the creek.

And we benefitted from some flat pads, hand-tooled into the sandstone boulders to make the route marginally safer thru the mossy rocks:

The Lyrebird caves are a series of notable sandstone overhangs on the eastern side of Lyrebird Gully.

Although much of the time we were walking along Lyrebird Gully Creek & Calna Creeks, the terrain was mostly very steep either side of the track.

We had a few sightings of individual Lyrbirds. And, 1 pair on the track.

Around the halfway-mark, the track opened out to a flat, wide, grassy area that was forested by casuarinas. We had morning tea here besides the Calna Creek Bridge at the Crosslands turn off.
The walk featured mangroves, huge middens, more moss, sandstone & towering trees as we wound our way along Berowra Creek & then upwards out of the valley to Berowra. As we gained height we had sensational views of the valley. Thanks to the 10 Lemons who came along!

Given the accessibility of this walk via the train, we didn’t encounter many other walkers until the afternoon. And, much of the walk appeared to be free of weeds. Sue G.

Sunday, 14 July - Dadder Cave, Glenbrook

What a cracker of a walk! We started from the Pisgah Rock carpark and started descending down some wonderful scrambles to the creek.

 Quite quickly we were at beautiful Erskine Creek where we had morning tea.

We discovered the Lincoln Creek campsite.

We then followed some faint tracks and bushbashed a couple of kms up the creek. It was amazingly beautiful bushland with such a diverse variety of trees, birds, waterholes and overhangs & caves everywhere!

Dadder Cave itself was smaller than I was expecting, but quite lovely.  There was a log book and lots of cooking equipment, seats etc.  You could have a lovely overnight camp here.

After lunch on the creek again we started on our way back which was just as much fun as our way here!

Thanks to all who came with an adventurous spirit, and thanks especially to Liz for her 4wd which fit us all in!  We loved this area so much that I'm already planning our next walk here for the next calendar!  Jocelyn

Saturday, 6 July 2019 - Blue Gum Swamp to Grose River

Four of us set off from Winmalee taking in the lovely Blue Gum Swamp which was lush and vibrant after the recent rain. After a steep climb to Grose Head South Lookout, we stopped for morning tea. The lookout was shrouded in mist so there was only glimpses of the valley below, but the Grose River was clearly audible. We picked our way along a ridge,  leaving some "words of wisdom" in a walkers' logbook at the Grose Head trig point, before a long descent to the Grose River, where we stopped for lunch and one of us was brave enough to have a quick dip! We then returned the way we came, getting back to the cars in record time, while still enjoying the spectacular views that were now visible as the mist had lifted. Thanks to all for a lovely walk! Ilsa

Sunday, 30 June 2019 - Devils Hole & Rennies Tunnel

6 Lemons enjoyed the crisp clear winter day to go exploring!

Meeting at the start of the 6ft track (Katoomba) we walked through the bush,
had a short road walk and then headed into the gorgeous Devil's Hole. It is
a spectacular pass and "the rock" stopped us in our tracks

Once through the pass we followed the base of the escarpment and enjoyed
morning tea at Waterfall Cave under a magnificent overhang and sandstone

It is easy to see why the Sydney Water ladders are no longer used - they are
missing the last 3 metres!  

From here we walked down to the firetrail after a short chain scramble.

We quickly found the very small entry to Rennie's Tunnel and after donning
head torches we headed in.

The passage is very small but soon opens up to standing height.

We then headed out to the Six Foot Track, found a sunny spot for lunch and
then headed up Nellies Glen and return to the cars.

Thanks to those who came and especially Jocelyn for her local knowledge - it
was a great little adventure. Happy winter walking - it is THE BEST! Anne

Sunday, 23 June - Kanangra Walls to Crafts Wall

View from Kanangra Walls which shows Crafts Wall up on the right
Kanangra Walls is around 2 hours drive from the upper mountains, but its worth it for the magnificent views.  It's even worth driving through snow to get here!

Walking up onto the plateau shows the beautiful views to the north, east and south!

We clambered down the pass and then onto the track whch leads along the ridge and up to the bottom of Crafts Wall.  This section of wall is pretty awesome.  We found the track that leads around to the south west corner and ascended up it to take in the 360 degree views.  Beautiful!

After lunch we returned the same way, enjoying the Black Cockatoos, rosellas, yellow robins and lots and lots of small honeyeaters.  It was somehow much easier going up the pass than the tentative clamber down!

We quickly visited Dance Floor Cave on the way out.

A sensational walk in a most spectacular area.  I'm hoping to put on a camping weekend at Kanangra Walls on our next calendar so everyone gets to enjoy this area and the variety of walks.  Thanks to Jude for her car and driving and to all for coming along. Jocelyn

How this tree dealt with a human's sign!
Saturday, 15 June - Burning Palms, Royal National Park

18 Lemons walked to Burning Palms (approx. 14km round trip).
The walk started at the Otford Look-Out’s car park. The track is easy to access from Otford train station.

It is an extremely varied walk. It is part of the Royal National Park’s coastal track. We went from hang-glider cliff-top down to the beach.

Initially we walk north along Garrawarra Ridge Trail. Near the Garrawarra Farm car park, we descend towards the north point of Burning Palms beach.

We join the Coast Track to walk north onto Burning Palms Beach for a picnic lunch & swim. Although the surf was cold initially, it was warm enough to stay in the ocean for leisurely body surf.

After lunch we continue back up to Otford LookOut via the Coast Track. Enjoying the fantastic coastal views (inc. Figure of Eight Pools).

From the beach & cliffs we could see the migrating humpback whales spouting.

 The weather was fantastically mild for mid winter. Stunning blue sky & ocean. Sue G

8 June 2019 - GLBTQ walk, Charles Darwin Walk

32 GLBTQ walkers did this lovely easy walk as part of the June long weekend activities.  It was overcast, but dry, and the views at the lookout at the end were sublime.  Some of us had lunch at Il Postino in the Wenty Falls village afterwards and of course enjoyed looking through the Bent Art exhibition.  Thanks to all for coming along and joining in!! Jocelyn

1 June 2019 - Mt Solitary, Jamison Valley

Mt Solitary is always a wonderful place to walk to and takes around 3 hours one way.  11 of us tackled this walk in the most perfect weather conditions.  We descended down the Golden Stairs to the Federal Pass and followed this beautiful track through the light rainforest area before it opened up into more dry forest.  The Federal Pass is a great place to hear and see Lyrebirds, and they didn't disappoint!

Morning tea was had at one of the recently constructed shelters, complete with water tanks and toilet.  Then it was on to the bottom of Korowal Knife Edge and the fun clamber up and up. There are lots of false tracks which lead to nowhere, so the aim is to keep to the top of the ridge.

We couldn't resist the pose on one of the larger rocks here where I asked everyone to access their inner model for the photo (you know.....the disinterested look, the fake gaze into the distance, the hint of a sneer - for some it came very naturally!).

The gorgeous models posing
After more scrambling we were on top of Mt Solitary and then we walked the extra kilometre to Chinamans Gully and around to Melville's Lookout for lunch which has a most spectacular view south.

The south side of Mt Solitary
And then it was time for the return journey back the same way.  As it was later in the afternoon the Lyrebirds were going off!  We had their beautiful calls echoing around us. The ascent up the Golden Stairs didn't take too long and then it was back to the comfort of the cars.  I love this walk!  Thanks to everyone who came along for this long but very rewarding walk.  Jocelyn

Sat, 25 May - Ironpot Ridge, Ironmonger Spur, Breakfast Creek, Wild Dog Mtns

Well you know its going to be an interesting day when our early morning start gets delayed by a major truck accident just outside Blackheath.  Luckily some of our walkers got through before the accident shut the highway, but some got stuck and unfortunately couldn't make it (and they were missed!).

We drove down to Dunphys Campground, and one of us had to block the cute pony who wanted to make a dash for the gate whilst we were driving thorugh.  The walk started with a bit of dirt road walking and then there was the big ascent up to Ironpot Mountain.  We saw a lovely wombat and several wallabies along the way. It was nice walking along the top of ridge for a while before we stopped for a quick morning tea at the axe grinding grooves.

Then it was the big descent down the spur to Coxs River.  Everything seemed a bit more slippery than normal, possibly due to the very dry conditions which seemed to have caused more erosion.

Sliding our way down
It was good to see that the Coxs River still had plenty of water in it, but I've certainly seen it with much more too.  We stopped here for 2nd morning tea.

Then we had the long walk up Breakfast Creek, which was not flowing but did have numerous pools of water.  This creek has to be one of the most loveliest, and it has a kind of ancient, peaceful and hidden quality about it which my photos don't do justice.

Lunch was had at a nice grassy clearing, before we turned onto the track heading up Carlons Creek and the slog back up the hill.

All up the walk was around 6.5 hours due to our increased pace because of the later start and also its easier walking up Breakfast Creek without so much water (but not as pleasant).

We celebrated getting back to the car with Angela doing a handstand, but to cap off the weird start to the day, my camera missed the actual handstand!

On our drive back out we came across the previous said pony who had obviously finally escaped two gates and was trotting most determinedly up the long hill.  We briefly discussed fitting him in the back seat, but instead we stopped off at the Tea Rooms to advise them and they were going to contact the owner. (I think the Lemons need their own cute pony (and perhaps a wombat too).

Thanks to the Lemons who made it, and commiserations to those who missed it.  Jocelyn

Kanangra to Katoomba, Fri 10 May - Mon 13 May

Lemons under a rainbow
What an absolutely mind-blowingly wonderful challenging walk this was!!  50km over 4 days of wilderness walking from Kanangra Walls to Katoomba over mountains, into valleys, back up mountains, and views, views, views.

Many thanks to Sue A. & Olga for driving the 8 walkers out to Kanangra Walls for the start (your gold stars are in the mail).  We started walking around 8.30am out on the Kanangra Walls plateau and it took a little while to locate the pass off and begin lowering our packs for the first tricky descent.

Looking towards the mountains we would be climbing!

Lowering packs down the pass
We had morning tea under Crafts Wall and had our first big climb of the day up Mt Berry, then it was climb after climb as we went up and down....Mt High & Mighty, Rip, Rack, Roar and Rumble.  The weather was very damp and it was windy and very cold so we stopped just before dark on a saddle just before Mt Cloudmaker.  We had early nights after warming drinks and dinners.

Looking back to Crafts & Kanangra Walls

After a wet and windy night we were up early and summited Mt Cloudmaker to cheers and the sun!

Then onto Dex Creek for breakfast and topping up our water supplies.....oh and for gorgeous chocolate cake for a walker's you do.

Then it was a more gentle ascent back onto the ridge before climbing Mt Moorilla Maloo, more ups and downs, and finally onto Mt Strongleg for lunch. The views, as always, were just sublime.  After Mt Strongleg there was a very steep and long descent down towards Kanangra Creek, near Coxs River.

Down, down down.......

There were some stumbles and tumbles on this rather precipitous descent and we were all very thankful to arrive on the banks of Kanangra Creek.  Instead of walking up to camp at the more popular campsite at the junction of Coxs River, we located a beautiful grassy campsite and quickly made it our own.

The most lovely Kanangra Creek

We had washes in the lovely creek area and then a nice gentle fire to dry out clothes etc and feast on our dehydrated dinners.

After a good night's sleep we reluctantly left our campsite and walked up dry sections of the creek to the junction with the Coxs River.

Gorgeous tree in Kanangra Creek
At this junction we walked a bit downstream to small rapids where we had to cross the river.

Then it was a very long ascent up Yellow Pup Ridge....up up up!  Thank goodness for the zigzag sections near the top!  From here it was an undulating track that went past the Mt Dingo and Splendour Rock turnoff before we arrived at Mobbs Swamp.  We had decided we would carry extra water on for a few kms rather than camp here, but unfortunately we couldn't locate water!!  (We were later advised that there was a small amount of water rather hidden at the other end of the little cave area).  Instead we walked on to Medlow Gap and made camp here whilst a few of us walked down to the headstream of Breakfast Creek and filled up our water containers for the group.  Medlow Gap has improved as a campsite as nature is reclaiming it more and more.

Another cool and sunny morning, and it was off on our last day to climb up to Mt Debert and then onto the bottom of the end of the Narrowneck peninsula.  Sophie decided to embrace Taro's Ladders and the rest of the clambered around the pass.  (Onya Sophie!!)

Give us a wave Sophie!

We scrambled up and over rocks and ladders till we reached Clear Hill at the end of Narrowneck and the beautiful views back the way we had come!

Then it was the mere 10km slog back on the firetrail to the locked gate on Narrowneck.  What an achievement!!!!!!

And we still look relatively fresh at the end!
Thanks so much to all those wonderful women who rose to this challenge, and particular thanks to Sophie and Anne who navigated the tracks and made sure we didn't go off on the wrong one.  We had a gps to check our position, track notes and maps.  It was just a brilliant walk in the real wilderness where we had to make decisions about where to get water, where to camp, which way to go.  It was hard, but the views and constant changing landscape kept us distracted.  Just wonderful!!!! Jocelyn

Saturday, 4 May - Narrowneck evening walk

We had a lovely walk on Narrowneck on Saturday! Six of us set out just on sunset, enjoying the beautiful end-of-day light and the pretty colours of an autumn sunset. The chill in the air reminded us all that winter is on the way. Imagine our excitement when one of our walkers told us about the tail end of Haley's Comet being visible in the sky that night. We were quite a sight, craning our necks and faces skywards. Never mind that it wasn't due until 2am, we're an optimistic bunch and were rewarded with one decent meteor and lots of little traces of light streaking across the sky.

After a warming cup of tea on the trail, we headed back to the cars and a welcome dinner at a Vietnamese restaurant on Katoomba. Thanks everyone, and to Sam for helping with the car pooling. Sharron

Narrowneck Bike Ride - Sun 28 April

On a brisk and slightly blustery morning 7 hardy lemons made tracks to enjoy the spectacular views offered by Narrowneck plateau.

The trail was a little rough and steep in sections,(it’s a shame photos never do gradients justice) but we all made it up and down safely in our own way in an upright fashion.

Luckily I had the camera on the sports setting!!

Not too much haze about, giving us a great view of Burragorang (part of the Sydney water catchment)

After a few happy snaps and snacks we mounted up for the return journey.

This type of ride was a new experience to some in the group and a big thumbs up to their determination and perseverance.
Thanks to all that made the trip up to the mountains to join the ride.

Special shout out to Joc for helping shuttle the bikes to the start of the ride and Denise at the end of the ride.

It was great to meet you all and share in this wheely great ride. 

Keep pedaling 

Asgard Swamp, Mt Victoria - Sat 27 April

5 of us enjoyed a very relaxed walk to Asgard Swamp in Mt Victoria on Saturday. The weather was perfect - just a hint of crispness in the air under a clear blue sky. This walk is quiet easy, with a gently sloping firetrail that meanders down to the Asgard Swamp area. The swamp itself is dry, with grasses and small bushes creating a meadow-like landscape.
After having a quick snack at the huge rock that overlooks the Swamp we headed off on an unplanned adventure to the end of a track with spectacular views over the gross valley. We were unexpectedly right on the edge of the escarpment, with a sheer drop to the valley floor below. A highlight was a glimpse of the “rock face” that gazes out over the valley.
The rock face that gazes out over the valley!

 The walk back was a good chance to stretch the legs. Petalura Cafe at Mt Victoria provided us with great coffee afterwards. Thanks to women who came along - lovely to walk with you all!  Sharron

Middle Head walk – April 21, 2019

18 Lemons came along for this walk. For more than half, it was their first Bush Lemons’ walk. Sydney’s stunning harbour was complemented by perfect walking weather. The walk can be best summarised by this first photograph “Harbour view”. (photo Karen S)


We all met a Circular Quay, then caught the ferry to Taronga Zoo. 98% of the ferry crowd went into the zoo. Yee ha! And we started our walk eastwards through Sydney Harbour National Park. The protects islands and foreshore around Sydney Harbour. It is predominantly a thin piece of bush. But in parts there are significantly large parts of bush protected. (photos SuzanneB)

Some Lemons swam in Clifton Gardens enclosed baths. Including hoisting up the ladders to repeatedly jump from the wharf. (photo KarenS)

All along the walk, there were view across to the southside of the harbour (eg Opera House & Watsons Bay). After we ascended up to Georges Head Lookout, we had panoramic views of north head, south head & middle head (photo SueG)

Photo Karen S

We ate a picnic lunch on top of the Middle Head sandstone cliffs … looking out to sea, watching ferries & yachts scoot around below us. (photo SuzanneB)

All recording devices were confiscated so that there is absolutely no evidence that any Bush Lemons availed themselves of refreshments at Frenchies café in the arts precinct of Middle Head.

Five Lemons left the walk by forking off down the path to Balmoral. The remaining 13 Lemons walked back to the ferry at Taronga Zoo.

It was a fabulous day out adventuring. The Taronga to Middle Head walk is astonishingly quiet for such an inner city location. And a lot of the walk was shaded & therefore cool. Thanks for everyone’s help on-the-day. Sue G.
Saturday, 13 April - Govetts Leap, Junction Rock, Evans Lookout loop

We all agreed that this has to be just one of the most beautiful walks you can ever do.  It has everything....views, waterfalls, swimming, rainforest.  The beauty along the way helps distract you from the challenge of the walk.

We started at Govetts Leap and quickly descended to the bottom of Bridal Veil Falls, via the spectacular track cut into the side of the cliff.  The track then more slowly descends down via the Rodriguez Pass track past many waterfalls and the beautiful rushing creek down to Junction Rock (the junction of Govetts Leap Brook and Govetts Creek).  We had breakfast here with a resident Brush Turkey and some walkers indulged in swims.

The track follows this creek for a little while before we begin the ascent back up towards the cliffline.  The birds were plentiful and gorgeous and we saw a few Golden Whistlers amongst others....bliss!  We took a slight unplanned diversion off the track, but it meant we discovered the immediately named 'Rebirthing Rock'!

Emerging from Rebirthing Rock!
We had lunch near where the track meets the end of the spectacular Grand Canyon, with so many more beautiful small rock pools, mossy rocks and just breathtakingly beautiful vistas.

My favourite set of stepping stones
Then walk from here up to Evans Lookout is just gorgeous.  We had a brief rest here before walking along the clifftops back to the cars at Govetts Leap.  What a most gorgeous walk in lovely company and perfect weather. The walk took just under 7 hours and if you haven't done this walk before then I strongly suggest you think about it! Thanks all those who came along. Jocelyn

The view from Govetts Leap

Sunday, 31 March - Blue Gum Forest

11 of us enjoyed sublime weather for the Blue Gum Forest walk today.  There was a real crispness to the air and the views into the Grose Valley were incredibly clear.  We took out time on the long desent down from Perrys Lookdown.

A few of us took weighted full packs as a bit of training and consequently we were able to take additional items which made for luxurious cups of tea and coffee with lunch!!

Some breezed up the ascent out of the valley and some took a bit longer, had regular stops and and admired the view on the way.  Thanks to everyone who came along to appreciate this beautiful walk and fantastic valley.  It was a great day!!

And extra thanks to Olga and Sam for their cars and Anne for going above and beyond in support of walkers. Jocelyn

Saturday, 23 March -  Little Beach to Putty Beach

10 Lemons had a wonderful walk along the coast track in beautiful Bouddi National Park, with glorious weather and perfect swimming conditions.

From Little Beach we walked steeply up to the Bombi Moor fire trail along the top, with occasional distant if sweeping views of the ocean, and then into the forest on single-track, up and down over and around headlands. Here we had enough stunning sea views to satisfy all and came down to the gorgeous and sparsely populated beach at Maitland Bay to enjoy our first and quite lengthy swim and morning tea.

When we could bring ourselves to leave the golden sands and clear blue water, we hiked up again over more headlands, along board walk and into the more touristed area towards Putty Beach (Killcare), where we had lunch and our second swim.

Here four lemons left us for the wonders of shopping centres with cafes and opportunities to ogle local lesbians, while the rest returned along the same track, marveling at the different views and vistas available when you simply turn round and walk the other way!

The consensus was this was a great walk, one to be repeated, with some saying it was their best walk in years! It will certainly go on the calendar again.  Cheers, Jem

Sunday, 17 March - Leura Falls, Lindemans Pass, Copelands Pass

Not surprisingly I had a number of cancellations for today's walk, given the extremely wet conditions, but 4 of us were silly brave enough to go ahead.  This really was a grand waterfalls walk as they were all in full glory and pounding!  We managed to keep our feet wet until our first creek which required a wade.

We were mostly protected under the tree canopy from any rain, but regardless we still got very wet, grubby, dirty, soaking, grotty etc etc. The ascent up Copelands Pass is challenging but fun!  Lots of scrambling, steep sections, drop offs, dodging of rocks, spectacular views out to the cloudy valleys, intimate moments with leeches and lyrebirds, and of course getting dirty and wet.

Thanks so much for Jan, Ines and Olga for coming along and rising to the challenge of this great walk! Jocelyn

Sunday, 10 March - Bantry Bay kayak

It was perfect kayaking weather - overcast, no wind, and lovely temperature.  We kayaked from The Spit up to historc Bantry Bay, with all its munitions buildings falling slowly into disrepair.

And discovered the end of Bantry Bay is rather gorgeous with beautiful mangrove trees and its hushed atmosphere.

We paddled around to Flat Rock Beach for morning tea which was a delightful little beach.

Then we slowly kayaked back towards The Spit, enjoying the wash from passing boats.  A lovely easy paddle. Jocelyn

Sprocket came along for the ride!

Saturday, 9 March - Terrace Falls

4 Lemons had a lovely meander around the Terrace Falls circuit at Hazelbrook on Saturday. This is a really pretty walk and has a little bit of everything that we love about the mountains - waterfalls, rainforest, huge gum trees, old mossy stairs, a little bit of up, a little bit of down....  we encountered lots of little lizards, a pair of lyrebirds and one very well fed leach that accompanied us to coffee at WikiLeaks Cafe in Hazelbrook (well worth going to - great coffee and the food looked amazing). Lovely company as always! Sharron

Saturday, 23 February - Ingar Picnic Area

Ingar Picnic Area used to be an over-used, noisy and dirty area when cars could access it, but now that the road is blocked to cars it is a rejuvenated, clean and serene campground and waterhole.  It's around 10km to walk to it on a dirt road off Tableland Road, Wentworth Falls.

There are lots of camping areas here and the Lemons may take advantage of it's new pristine state to camp here in the near future. 

Woody Pear tree fruit?
The walk back is somewhat uphill, but still easy.  Thanks to those who came along for this lovely walk is perfect weather (ie. it wasn't hot!).  Jocelyn

Saturday, 16 February - Narrabeen Lagoon

This 8km loop walk at Narrabeen is quite easy and lovely, but do watch out for all the bikes whizzing past!  This made it an exhausting and sometimes stressful walk.  Regardless we had a nice time and enjoyed having the dogs along, looking at the local birdlife, and the cafe afterwards!

Saturday, 9 February - Six Foot Track to Ford Crossing

Blissful weather, lovely nature and splendid company!  We initially descended down through beautiful Nellie's Glen and then the track flattens out and expands in the valley.

Lunch was had on beautiful Megalong Creek where Sue was the only brave one to swm.  We avoided the brief storm and then made our way back and slogged up through the ascent - the lovely rainforest and waterfalls distracting us well. 

Kate and Olga couldn't resist the chains!
Thanks to all those who came along for this most lovely walk. Jocelyn

Saturday, 2 February - Euroka Clearing & Nepean River

Nepean River
 13 of us had a lovely walk from the entrance to the National Park at Glenbrook.  It was occasionally drizzling, but mostly not, and the precipitation just leant more beauty to the bush - gorgeous colours came out of tree trunks, spiders webs became jewels and everything was washed and lush.

We initially walked down the access road and turned off on the walking track to Euroka Clearing, which is a nice campground with resident kangaroos.

We then located the track which lead us a short distance to where Euroka Creek joins the Nepean River.  The river was perfect and most of us went in for a wonderful long swim!!  Alas no photos because some things just need to stay with those who were on the walk.

We then headed back along the track and called in to have lunch at Blue Pool, which was more like Brown Pool with the previous rain, but still beautiful and atmospheric.

Blue Pool....looking more Brown Pool
After the long hill climb back to the cars we decided hot drinks at a Glenbrook cafe were in order.  Thanks to everyone who came along and enjoyed the beauty of this area, especially in the damp conditions!  Jocelyn

20 January - Walls Cave, Blackheath

7 Lemons enjoyed a short walk down to Walls Cave in Blackheath this morning. This is an easy walk and quiet pretty, although there are a lot of stairs.

Surprisingly, Blackheath turned on a misty day for us. Spider webs were bedecked with droplets and the bush had a beautiful, mysterious feel. Lots of black cockatoos were feasting on the hakeas, and the little birds were serenading as we passed. There are still a lot of wildflowers in bloom - mountain devils, little mauve fringed lilies (aka fringed violets), lots of tea tree, plus many tiny flowers. The creek is low but flowing well, with the debris and muddy bottom showing the impact of the storms we've had over the summer. We spent quite a bit of time enjoying the ambience of the cave itself, although it was disappointing to see the graffiti on some of the walls of what is a sacred Aboriginal site. We headed back to Blackheath to "Slurps" for coffee and lunch afterwards - they do a great Buddha Bowl!

A reminder that time is passing - normally on this walk we do a detour to a small hill that overlooks two dams that provide water to the upper Mountains. Today there was a sign at the start of the track, saying it was closed for expected back-burn activities in autumn 2019. I know the heat's been challenging for many, but get out there and enjoy summer - it will pass quickly enough. Sharron

10 January - Wentworth Falls Lake

Women, dogs, mist, ducks - the perfect BL midweek walk.

Saturday, 5 January - Deep Pass

Deep Pass is a beautiful area and 10 of us enjoyed our little explore of this area on a fairly warm day.  It takes just over an hour to drive to the carpark from Mt Victoria, and its only around 20 minutes walk down to the lovely campground (keep your eyes peeled on our next calendar for a camp here).

walking into the campground
We walked up Deep Pass itself which has lots of beautiful pagodas and the possibility of exploration is endless.

We then rewarded ourselves with the walk up lush Nayook Canyon to its absolutely gorgeous swimming of the best swimming holes we have visited!!

It appears that you can walk all the way through the canyon using occasional ropes, but it can be quite slippery so we mainly stuck to the cool area of the waterhole.

Thanks to everyone who came along for this adventure, and special thanks to Anne & Olga who helped with the ropes section and Diane for the carpooling. Jocelyn

Saturday, 1 December - Mt Vic Falls to Pierces Pass

What a glorious day to be out walking. 8 Lemons headed off from Victoria Falls car park and our first stop was taking in the magnificent view of the upper reaches of the Gross River.

We then walked through bush that had obviously welcomed the recent rains as it was lush and fresh and the gums were all tipped with new red leaves and wildflowers and little lizards were out in force.

This is a walk of quarters - descending to the valley, Victoria Creek, Gross Valley ascending Hungerford Track/Pearces Pass. For half the walk we followed water - Victoria Cascades were beautiful

but it was in the Gross River where we enjoyed, swimming, sitting, talking and laughing at morning tea and lunch.

Another good thing about walking through the upper grose is that we hardly saw any other people and had our lunch and morning tea spots to ourselves.

The last quarter is the up and out and it was pretty hot until we reached the rainforest section.

We passed wonderful flowers, the hugest caterpillar EVER (anyone know what it is?) and had the company of a gorgeous Golden Whistler through the beautiful cool rainforest.

We then all retired to Blackheath for a well earned cool (or hot) drink!

All in all a wonderful walk in the company of wonderful Lemons. Thanks to all who came along and especially to Jocelyn and Olga for helping with the early morning car swap.  Anne

Saturday, 24 November - Empire Pass

Four of us set off on a picturesque morning to enjoy the wonders of a pretty Mid Mountains walk. First stop was to skirt around a baby snake just before Lawson's "Echo Point", then on to marvel at Fairy Falls and Dantes Glen. We were joined by several curious birds along the way, and one we decided would be known as the Olive Throated Brown Lawson Pigeon. Frederica Falls was the perfect spot for lunch and a refreshing dip of the toes in the pool. Thanks to all for a lovely wander - Ilsa

Fri, 16 Nov - Sun, 18 Nov- Gungaddy (Dunns Swamp) camp

What a beautiful place Gungaddy is.  Its a surprise that this large waterway and pagodas are tucked away a short distance from the town of Rylstone

Around 16 Lemons attended and we snared a nice part of the campground, close to the water and with a lovely backdrop of pagodas.

We walked, kayaked, birdwatched, painted, read, relaxed, talked.....

And we had lovely animals and birds hang out near us....

yawning not laughing!

They're in looooove

We identified around 26 birds during the weekend.  Thank you to everyone who came along to experience this beautiful area.  Jocelyn

Saturday, 10 November - bike ride to Hanging Rock

I kid you not ladies, it was the perfect day to hit the trail.

Spring has sprung, the grasses grew, and past the Waratahs we all flew!

As we bounced our way to blackheath over the ballast one could not help but break into song... shame one had the voice of a strangled cat!

A quick wiz over the tar then it was back on the dirt and down a sweet little single track to the locked gate.

Free from the worry of any traffic we made our way along the fire trail.

And came to Baltzers lookout

We wheeled our bikes up the path to hanging rock for a stunning view of the Grose valley 

It was on the way back that we were reminded of the dangers of mountain bike riding and how important it is to keep your eyes on the path!

I’m alright thanks.

It was a truly perfect day with of course the mandatory ending at a local cafe.
Special mentions ... Holly for making the drive up and tackling the second bit of tricky single track and staying upright 👍.  Sue for not over heating her brakes on the downhills😁  Di for throwing it together at the last minute and meeting us at hanging rock👍 
Me for only making one bad dad joke and not singing to much.

Great ride ladies, look forward to the next one.

Cheers Olga

Thursday evening, 8 November

5 Lemons went on a beautiful Thursday evening walk tonight.. The weather was perfect, views spectacular, wildflowers everywhere and hardly a tourist to be seen. We started with a little down and up for a warm up and then followed the escarpment from Katoomba Falls to Echo Point. The outlook was far too good to walk back by the road so we returned along the track. A very nice walk.

I will be doing a mid-week evening walk every month until daylight savings finishes. It really is a great time of day to walk. Anne

Saturday, 3 November - Lindemans Pass


The descend down Gladstone Pass is always exciting....narrow ledges, slippery stone stairs, rock hopping, clambering over downed trees.

This gorgeous pass is full of lush rainforest and the atmosphere was heightened by a Wonga pigeon calling.  This pass then joins the Lindemans Pass track which is quite challenging as it wends its way around the bottom of the escarpment - its a bit like being in an Indiana Jones movie.  We continued on the track, up and down, occasionally slipping in the mud or on the eroded sections.

Tallowood Tree

Morning tea
We reached the cairn at the bottom of Copelands Pass and after some discussion decided that we really did want to have lunch on a rock near the top, so there was more clambering up this pass, a brief encounter with a small snake, and were rewarded with a breeze and a spectacular view....oh and a drone of all things!

We again descended back to Lindemans and thankfully the track is a bit better as we soldiered on towards the bottom of Gordon Falls and then around to the majestic falls at the bottom of Leura Cascades!  Boots came off and we treated or tootsies to a refreshing dip.

Shortly after here the track joins the popular tourist tracks back up towards Leura Cascades. 

Please note Sue's colourful Dirty Girl gaitors
What a relief it was to arrive at the Leura Cascades carpark!  A sit down and the discovery of one leech!  Thanks to those courageous Lemons who came along to get muddy, bloody and dirty.  A fantastic and joyful walk in a little visited area!  Jocelyn

Sun, 28 October - Martins Lookout to Lost World

This was a most lovely walk.  7 of us descended down to Glenbrook Creek from Martins Lookout and then clambered up the other side to Bunyan Lookout and then the extra walk around to Lost World Lookout.

The views were gorgeous and the company sublime. 

There were lots of lovely spring flowers out, but for some reason there were a number of dead Banksia trees which seemed quite odd unless they just don't handle the drought so well?  Thanks to those Lemons who came along for the ups and downs.  Jocelyn

Sat, 20 October - Mt Mouin, Wild Dog Mountains

Mt Mouin summit
It's so hard to know if the weather forecast is going to be accurate or not at the moment.  The forecast for this walk was for lots of rain with a severe thunder storm and consequently there were a number of Lemons cancelling.  However, the weather was perfect and we only had the storm come through with lightning speed in the last 5 minutes! 

morning tea at Medlow Gap

The walk along the fire trail to Medlow Gap is fairly straightforward, but then we started up the track which takes us about halfway up Mt Mouin. It was a slog. Then it was a matter of just gracefully picking the best route up through the bushes and rocks and trying not to slide backwards.

No, this was not part of the route we took....just a bit of fun

  But gee, the views from the top were worth it!

There were some lovely craggy outcrops where we had lunch and then we set out on the faint foot pad over the top of the ridge to Blackhorse Gap.

Spot the lizard
We were short on time, so I chose a spot to descend off the gap, knowing that we would come upon the Mobbs Swamp track.  Next time I want to walk up the track to the gap so I know where it comes out!  We followed our noses and yes in time came upon the Mobbs Swamp Track, and then it was the walk back from Medlow Gap.  The storm was spectacular in its quick ferocity, and on the drive back we came upon a tree hit by lightning!

I do want to investigate this area a bit more next time.....and walk along the top of the ridge to Mt Dingo & Splendor Rock as it was just lovely up there!

And some stats for the walk......75% of the walkers were from Sydney, 25% of the walkers opened 100% of the gates on the drive into the valley, 50% of the walkers ran out of water near the end, and 100% had a fantstic time.  Jocelyn

Sat, 6 October - Centennial Glen & Porters Pass, Blackheath

This beautiful video made by Bush Lemons film-maker extraordinaire, Prue, of our walk in Blackheath says it all really! Thanks Prue.

Sat, 31 Sept - The Oaks Bike Ride

Another lovely mountains day welcomed us on a fantastic mountain bike ride from Woodford to Glenbrook on the Oaks fire trail.  Five lemons of mixed experience levels pushed their way along the undulating trail to the half way point.

  From there the rocks flew and rubber burned as it was pretty much all down hill to the causeway

Sorry Clair, no photo for you, you were to darn quick!

8 kms of single track was tackled  by all. A special mention to Sue and Pandora for giving it a red hot  on the technical final 3 km, you two rock!!  Big thanks to all of us for not falling off! 🤣

Finishing on a brutal 800m ascent from the causeway back to Glenbrook, we popped a cherry on th cream by enjoying a well earned coffee or two.  Thanks girls, a cracker of a morning 😁Olga

Sat, 22 - Sun, 23 September - Kedumba Valley Overnight

The Kedumba Valley does not get as many visitors as other mountains' valleys but it is just as beautiful as others.  We started this walk at the locked gate at the end of Tableland Road, Wentworth Falls, and descended the Kedumba Valley trail until the juction of Sublime Trail, and then onto the Mt Solitary track.

Blue Gums on the Kedumba River
Upon reaching the Kedumba River we hit the area that had been backburnt in May.  The burnt area is quite extensive and extended up as far as we went before the Maxwells Track.  Even in all the blackened areas there was signs of new life....thank goodness.

Burnt area on the left, unburnt and green on the right
After reaching the firetrail that led back down to the Kedumba River, we left the burnt out area behind and were at the campground in the early afternoon.  There are lot of lovely birds and heaps of wallabies in the valley and the campground is gorgeous.

The ascent up Kedumba Pass on Sunday morning took us 3 hours.  The weather was sublime, the surroundings were lovely and the company perfect.  Its so lovely to get out and camp overnight in the beautiful outdoors.  Jocelyn

Saturday, 8 Sept - Narrowneck, Taros Ladders, Medlow Gap, Dunphys Campground

I love walking in the rain in the bush.  It softens everything and brings out all the colours of the trees.
We didn't see any others on this walk, another advantage.

We started off at the locked gate on Narrowneck and walked the 10km to Clear Hill at the end.  Unfortunately the usual spectacular views were obscured by mist and cloud.

After morning tea at the end we then started the ascent down Taros Ladders.  Because of the wet we all decided not to tackle Taros Ladders and instead did the alternate pass which, although a bit slippy, was beautiful with all the wet drapery of the trees.

We then continued to follow the main track over Mt Debert and then the long descent down to Medlow Gap where we had lunch in the fine mist.  The group decided not to tackle the ascent up Mt Mouin as, with having to do much of it off-track, it would have been very wet and soggy.  Instead we walked back along the Medlow Gap Fire Trail and then did the detour out to the end of Bellbird Ridge to the lookout.  The clouds had lifted here and we enjoyed the gorgeous view from the end!

We finished at Dunphys Campground at 4pm after what was an incredibly enjoyable and challenging walk.  One thing I learned along the way was that I am hopeless at maths as the walk was actually 28km rather than the advertised 20km!  I have to get myself a mapping program!!!! 

Thanks to all those who embraced the weather and rose to this challenge.  And particular thanks to Anne and Kay for the cars awaiting us at Dunphys!  Don't let wet weather stop you from getting outdoors, you can have some of the best walking in it!  Jocelyn

Sunday, 19 August - Hornsby to Mt Kuring-gai via Great North Walk

9 of us tackled the 21km walk from Hornsby Railway Station to Mt Kuring-gai Station via the Great North walk in beautiful weather conditions.  Its quite easy to follow this track, although there is some street walking early on to avoid the rifle range which seemed to be in heavy use on the day.

We crossed  Berowra Creek by the historic military bridge and had morning tea at Tunks Ridge Rest Area before pushing on to the descent down into Galston Gorge.

After the gorge the track follows the creek for some time before climbing up high for some fantastic views across the Berowra Valley.

The track then descends again to meander next to the creek with some glorious bush sections, campgrounds, lyrebirds, swimming holes and just lovely bushland.  After 16km we reached Crosslands Reserve for lunch and a rest!

The last 5km crossed Kalna Bridge and then onto a more lush track with gorgeous rocky sections and waterfalls before the final ascent up out of the end of the valley on the Benowie Walking Track which finishes just near Mt Kuring-Gai Station. 
Grab the Hornsby Topographic Map if you want to explore this area, as there is just so much to see and Berowra Creek runs through it all.  Thanks to all those who weren't affected by colds and flu and who managed to join us!  Jocelyn 

Saturday, 11 August - Popes Glen & Govetts Leap, Blackheath

5 of us enjoyed a very relaxed walk along Pope’s Glen and Govetts Leap at Blackheath on Saturday. Any of the walks that lead to (or through) the Gross Valley are great on a windy day, as they are protected from the westerley winds. Today was no exception. Even though it was cold we managed to enjoy the sunshine and hang out on “Boyd’s Beach”!, and had the track pretty much to ourselves until we got to Govetts Leap. Conversation was lively, ranging from the latest podcasts, potential places to stash bodies, real estate and if it really was really possible to live in a camper van. We stopped at the National Parks Office at Govetts Leap to enjoy the latest art show there (very cheeky paintings of birds) before wandering along the backstreets and along a hidden track back to town to have lunch and coffee at the Blackheath General Store. Sharron

Saturday, 4 August - Jamison Valley

11 Lemons walked from Echo Point through the Jamison Valley to the locked gate at the top of Kadumba Pass on Saturday. I set my alarm for 6.15am, knowing that all those feisty Sydney women would be already on the road by then!

Nearly frozen up the top, we quickly headed down the Giant Stairs (approx. 800 steps) and out of the wind.

I requested a silent walk through the gorgeous Leura Forest – such a wonderful place –birds, light, trees. When we reached the picnic tables the Lemon laughs and chat resumed and we headed off down to the old sewage treatment works where there is a clearing with beautiful views of the escarpment.

The walk across the Valley is on a very well formed fire trail. After crossing Leura Creek there is a walk up and over the valley end of sublime point before heading down to Jamison Creek. What a great little lunch spot – beach, sun and water – pretty good for a mountains bush walk in winter!

And look at those t-shirts and shorts!

As with most walks in the BM first there is the down then there is the up! I don’t mind this up as it has no steps and, although quite long, it is easy to get into a rhythm and enjoy the gorgeous forest.

Some attacked the hill and headed up at a fair old pace but they always found a nice place to stop so those at the back to catch up. Everyone was happy!

After 6 hrs of walking, talking, eating, resting and breathing in the beautiful views we reached the cars and all had a stretch!

I love walking with the Lemons – the way women look out for each other, chat and laugh – what could be better? Thanks to all those who came along and special thanks to Olga, Sue and Jocelyn for helping with the car swap.

Saturday, 28 July - Ruined Castle, Katoomba

15 Lemons enjoyed the beautiful July walking weather and headed to the Ruined Castle. Such a gorgeous walk down the stairs and through the rainforest. The track was busy so our morning tea spot was not in the most sensational spot.

 After a short break we walked on to the second track leading to the top of the Ruined Castle. It was a scramble but everyone made it easily. Most of the Lemons then ventured up to the very top – taking in those magnificent views and taking selfies!

In true Bush Lemons style there was heaps of help on offer, or I only lost one (what is the true story?)

We stopped on the ridge for lunch before heading back. A few hearty Lemons took the long way back to their cars walking across the landslide and up Furber Stairs. The rest of us headed up the Golden Stairs and then went for coffee.

I love walking with the Lemons and especially enjoy it when women take on a new/harder challenge with good spirit and then can delight in their achievement. Thanks to all those Lemons who came along. Anne
Sunday, 22 July - Wentworth Falls to Katoomba (Trek4Timor route)

It was a chilly start to Sunday's walk.  The boardwalk on Charles Darwin Walk was fairly icy and there were even beautiful icicles.

9 of us walked the 25km from Wentworth Falls to the top of the Golden Stairs in Katoomba.  This walk (part of the Trek for Timor route) is just spectacular and takes in some of the best views and waterfalls in the upper mountains.

As we were going at a cracking pace I took very few photos so you'll just have to take my word for it.  Oh, and I also got the distances wrong as it was 25km rather than 20km....ooops 😥

Thanks to those plucky and enthusiastic women who embraced the challenge and after 8 hours were triumphant at the top of the Golden Stairs.  Your blood is worth bottling!!  Jocelyn

Saturday, 14 July - Six Foot Track to Coxs River

It was a beautiful sunny day last Saturday. The paddocks were coated in frost in the morning and ice had even settled on the Megalong Creek as we drove past. 

Fourteen Bush Lemons were soon warmed  up and enjoying what was a bit like a sunny summers day as we wandered down the track towards the river crossing at Bowetells Swing Bridge. Once we all crossed one by one it was a just a short walk around to the campsite for lunch. 

On our arrival there was a big group of mountain bikers at the campsite so we crossed to a large grassy flat on the opposite side of the river for our picnic lunch.

Here we all sat around for a chat and a catch up with friends, some old and some new. One brave person was tough enough for a winters swim before we walked out again the same way.

During the day we were lucky to see a few kangaroos and lots of birds including a beautiful Grey Heron in flight near the river. There were also plenty of sheep and cattle grazing along the farm section. The scenery and general landscape was just beautiful and I am always amazed every time I get to experience it again. 

Thank you to everyone who came along for such a good walk. Hope to see you all again soon.  Lesley

Saturday, 7 July - Airplane Hills, Wentworth Falls

8 lovely Lemons came along for this exploratory walk.  We started at Queen Elizabeth Drive and then onto the Ingar Picnic Area Road. After about 4km we turned off onto the Airplane Hills Fire Trail. Towards the end of this fire trail we came upon the cairn and some metal struts from the airplane that crashed here in 1940.

We sustained ourselves with lunch on a beautiful rock on the ridge that apparently the plane clipped as it crashed before we undertook a thorough search of the area....

And then we started to see more evidence everywhere.....

Was this part of a fossilised propeller???
Could these scratches be from the plane hitting the rock???

Could this be the historic quill that the pilots used to write their last log entry????

Could this be part of a melted window and vital parts of the fuselage?

Ah....and then the real evidence!  The remarkably well preserved bodies of the pilots!!!

After such an exhausting, but ultimately successful search we returned back to our cars in the increasingly freezing wind and cold.

But not before we visited the gorgeous grinding grooves
 Thanks to the lemons who came along for this walk and arduous exploration.  Jocelyn

Sunday, 1 July - Dark side of Blackheath

10 women and 6 dogs had a lovely, relaxed walk around the western escarpment of Blackheath on Sunday.  This side of Blackheath is a real treat on a weekend - the tourists are all exploring the other side, leaving the maze of council and bush fire tracks free for the locals and their dogs. We began with a stroll across the oval of a local school, past the Blackheath Community Farm and on to our first stunning lookout over the Kanimbla Valley.

Down the hill to Fort Rock, where dogs and womens again enjoyed the views, before meandering along a track cleared for bushfire protection, again with those great views. We also passed an area of rainforest before heading around the local meditation centre to check out a hidden dam. Unfortunately, due to the dry conditions through April-June, the usually deep dam was very shallow. Back to the cars after that, and into Blackheath to enjoy coffee at the Victory. A lovely, relaxed morning - thanks to all for your company and good humour.  Sharron

Saturday, 30 June - Narrowneck

In cool and windy conditions on Saturday afternoon four hardy Bush Lemons embarked upon a brisk walk out along Narrowneck plateau in Katoomba to watch the sun set.

As the last rays of sunlight bathed the trees and rocks in a golden glow, we soaked in the magnificent valley views.

We had an early dinner at the end of the plateau, with views to the Warragamba catchment. The 10km return trip in the dark by headlight flew by, and included glimpses of an unusual tangerine-coloured moon. 

It wasn't long before we were warm and cosy back in the cars. Thanks to all for the great company on an exhilarating walk - Ilsa

23 June - Lawsons Long Alley & Lockyers Road, Mt Victoria

This walk is a lovely 4 hour walk on Department of Lands property, so you can take your dogs.  It's a variety of track, dirt road, valley and ridge walking, and with only one short ascent/descent.  6 Lemons and 4 dogs enjoyed this little walk, with lunch on top of the ridge with lovely views over the Hartley Valley.  Jocelyn

16 June - Victoria Falls, Mt Victoria, to Perrys Lookdown, Blackheath

8 Lemons headed down into the Grose Valley today, away from the winds up top. It really was perfect walking weather, crisp and clear. 

The descent down past Victoria Falls is just beautiful - like a Mt Wilson garden.  Before long we arrived at the Grose River for morning tea.

Then we walked along the track which follows the river all the way through this part of the valley.  Lots of escarpment views above and the beautiful valley and river. We stopped for lunch in the Little Blue Gum.

Then it was on to the Blue Gum Forest itself and its gorgeous stately strong trees.  A magical place.

After breathing in the mesmerising forest, we then tackled the ascent up Perrys Lookdown.  It certainly is the quickest way in/out of the valley and we were up at the top in around 80 minutes.

A beautiful, beautiful walk in one of the most awe-inspiring valleys.  The cold and wind certainly kept others away and we only saw a couple of people.  I am thinking of putting an 'easy' walk to the Blue Gum Forest in the next calendar for those who have never been down here before.  It will include a slow pace and lots of stops as I'd like everyone to visit this most magical of places.

Thanks to those Lemons who came along and braved the cool conditions!  Jocelyn

Larapinta Trail, Central Australia, May-June 2018

8 Lemons completed the mammoth 241km Larapinta Trail from Alice Springs to Mt Sonder a week ago.  It was the culmination of much planning and training. Congratulations to Angela, Holly, Vee, Isobel, Lesley S, Felicity and Lesley O.  We had 3 food drops, a couple of rest days, and all pulled together over 19 days. 
The Larapinta Lemons 8
Parts of the trail were gruelling, there were some hot days, some freezing nights, lots of bird spotting, rocks discovery, appreciating the ancient land we were walking through, and many, many laughs. 

Mt Sonder

It's hard to describe the satisfaction of walking with everything you need on your back, the feeling of freedom when all you have to think about is where you are putting your feet and where you will be putting up your tent that night, and not worrying about getting dirty and sweaty. 

Birthday Waterhole camp

View from Counts Point

The first day - Euro Ridge

Campsite up high - Hermits Hideaway

Spencer Gorge

Rest day at Ellery Creek

Mt Sonder summit

We had early starts, cheeky crows, freezing swims, delicious dehydrated meals and some treats in our food drop boxes, a couple of falls, some blisters, a head injury on a pointy branch, lots of discussions, chats with other walkers, and a huge amount of satisfaction and achievement when we reached the top of Mt Sonder on our last day to watch the sunset and then walk down in the dark.  What a blissful time.  It feels a bit surreal now, but I know that I wish I was back there already. 
Goodonya and thank you the Larapinta 8. 
The 2nd Larapinta group will be heading off on 22 July 2018.

Saturday, 9 June - Darwins Walk, Nature trail, Wentworth Falls

13 of us ventured out in the damp and foggy conditions for a lovely walk around Wentworth Falls tracks.  And then someone thought we needed to get into the colours of the rainbow....

It was lovely to see the bush getting a good soaking, and we got a tad wet too.

But you can't keep a good lemon down, and we appreciated the views into the Jamison Valley and around the Nature Trail.

The fog even lifted so we could see the beautiful views.  We finished with some road walking back to lunch at a Wentworth Falls cafe and then a visit to the Bent Art Exhibition....lovely.

Thanks to all who braved the soggy conditions!  Jocelyn

Sat 2 June Castlehead Walk Katoomba

Eight Lemons headed off on the gorgeous Castlehead walk which starts at the locked gate on Narrowneck and heads out to the rocky outcrop that looks straight up the ridge over the Ruined Castle to Mount Solitary. This walk although easy, is a showcase of all that is wonderful about walking in the Blue Mountains – magnificent views, an incredible variety of flora, pockets of forest thick with birds and to top it all off the excellent company of Lemons…. What could be better!

Special thanks to Wendi and Leanne for driving us to the start and back.

Sat 26 May Grand Canyon Walk Blackheath

Seven of us enjoyed a walk through the beautiful Grand Canyon on Saturday. It hasn't rained for some time in the mountains, so it was a pleasant surprise to see that the creek was still running and the hanging swaps and marshy areas were still damp. It was busy though! The recent upgrade of the track has made the area much more accessible.  I've never seen so many people on the walk before, and the usually peace and serenity of the Canyon was certainly challenged by having so many walking through at the same time. Despite the crowd we enjoyed it though, and it remains one of my favourite walks. If you're planning on doing it yourself, I'd recommend leaving it until the a Sunday afternoon when all the visitors have headed back to Sydney!  


Sat 19 –Sun 20 May Berrima Camp and Walks

Saturday saw 10 women and 2 dogs undertake the Tahmoor canyon hike. Perfect weather saw us through in under 5 hours. Picture above. Myself, Ann and Alison camped at Berrima and went on another lovely walk on Sunday. It was a great weekend and I met some lovely women. Thanks to all Glenda

Tues 15 May – Midweek walk Under/Over Cliff walk Wentworth Falls

7 Lemons made the most of the beautiful weather and strode out midweek on this walk. It is neither hard or long walk but the views from the many lookouts were magnificent today. Most of the smoke from the Mt Solitary fire had cleared…. Leaving just brown trees and my hope that the animals are OK
Wentworth Falls was more like Wentworth Dribble –we do need a good fall of rain.
We returned to the Conservation Hut for lunch with a family of magpies.
Thanks to all who came along and although I haven’t scheduled any in the next calendar I will keep them going. The next mid week walk will be Thursday 23 June and will be Porters Pass and Centennial Glen at Blackheath.
Sat, 28 - Sun, 29 April - overnight walk Coxs River and Breakfast Creek

7 Lemons undertook this overnight walk, with an additional 4 Lemons coming along for the Saturday walk.  The weather was pretty good and quite cool on Saturday with occasional mizzle.

We started walking on the Six Foot Track off Megalong Road and had morning tea on a nice grassy patch near the Coxs River campground.  The 4 day Lemons (nicknamed "Bush Lemons lite') turned back here for a leisurely stroll back out and the rest of us then commenced following the Coxs River.

It's quite a long walk along Coxs River, and the track (such as it is) is indistinct or crosses the river regularly.  It really is a beautiful river though, even with the water low.  We had lunch overlooking the river and a number of trout, and arrived at the junction of Breakfast Creek late afternoon.  We decided to camp here as there was good water and it was a lovely spot.

We heard and saw many birds, cows and wallabies, and were even lucky enough to have a Gang Gang roost overhead for the night.  We had a small fire which helped dry out our wet boots and retired to our tents quite early.  It was lovely going to sleep with the gurgling of the river!

After breakfast and packing up, we started the walk up Breakfast Creek which was disappointedly lacking in water.  Luckily there were some waterholes for wildlife further up the creek as we went.  This creek walk is always magical, even when lacking water.

We then turned onto the Carlons Creek track and the last slog up to Dunphys Campground where we had left cars.  A lovely, lovely walk and camp.  Thanks to those who came along...I hope Epsom Salts helped you all!  Jocelyn

Sat, 14 April - Bike Ride to Mt Hay

3 lemons hopped on their trusty steeds and headed out on a blustery day to find a recently graded track that has us mostly sheltered from the strong westerly

No raging river crossings or unexpected encounters with wildlife just beautiful land formations and spectacular views.  Some tyre grabbing sandy bear traps kept us on our toes but we made it out unscathed and rewarded our efforts with coffee and nibbles

Fab way to spend a morning with some fab gals. Olga

Sun, 15 April - Joint kayak with Nomads to Nowhere - Nepean Gorge

The Nepean Gorge is a lovely area and Sunday was the perfect kayaking day.  14 of us launched kayaks at Tench Reserve and paddled up past The Narrows and into the quiet of this area.  There were thankfully very few boats so we had it mostly to ourselves. We stopped for morning tea at the junction with Euroka Creek and then paddled on for lunch at Erskine Creek. 

This is a long kayak at 23km return, but it is so worth it.  A number of us also managed a swim at lunchtime.  There were lots of gorgeous birds and the peace and quiet was sublime.  Thanks to Kate and Nomads for the hire of their kayaks.  Lovely, lovely day.  Jocelyn

Sat 7 April - Ingar, Bedford Creek & Andersons Fire Trail loop, Wentworth Falls

Thirteen Lemons tackled this good 25km walk off Tableland Road.  This loop walk is a really good route for a workout.  Ingar Road has been closed to cars for a while, so you only have to watch out for the occasional mountain biker.  The initial 10km section is dirt road and a little boring, but then of course its flat walking so you can concentrate on the chat around you.  Luckily at the end of this section we descend down to Bedford Creek with its gorgeous huge trees and beautiful creek with a reasonable amount of water!

We had morning tea here in the shade and some of us indulged in cooling off in the creek.  We then had to tackle the ascent up the main hill on this loop walk, but we all managed it quickly.  Then it was onto the walk along Andersons Firetrail which was undulating, had occasional views and with a bit more shade it was much nicer to walk on.

Unfortunately a few women did get some blisters and there was much discussion about how to avoid these or what to do once you had them......wonder wool, blister bandaids, toe gels.....harder protective boots versus soft lighter boots etc.  The one thing that was decided is that we all have different feet and the best thing is to know your feet and what they need.  Good quality wicking socks are very important, as is keeping sand/dirt out of your boots, and making sure your boots fit well. 

We finished just before 4pm and were all happy to see the cars placed at the end (thanks Lesley, Lesley and Lesley for help with the cars - I kid you not).  This walk did break records in that 3 of our walkers became separated from the group within 500m of the start! Hhmmm...not the sort of record breaking that we want to encourage, but they were back with the group fairly quickly. 

Thanks to all the lovely women who joined us for this challenging walk.  A pleasure as always to be out in the bush with Lemons who embrace the experience and challenge! Jocelyn

Sun, 25 March - Blue Gum Swamp to Grose River, Winmalee

Twelve of us ventured forth from Winmalee in warm conditions on this epic full-day 23km walk to the Grose River.

Walking through the lush Bluegum Swamp we encountered a small stream across the track, flowing after the recent afternoon storms. Most of us took our boots off and enjoyed the cool water, while a few strode on through. Our first climb was the mighty Bees Nest Hill and on to the Grose Head South Lookout for morning tea where we admired the magnificent views and pondered the long descent to the river. 

By lunchtime some of us were enjoying a dip (and an impromptu water ballet display) in the Grose River which was a little muddy due to the rain, while the remainder of the group sought out the shade of a tree and a bite to eat.

We retraced our steps, and the long climb out from the river saw the group spread out. We completed the walk together at 5.15pm. Thanks to all who assisted. 
- Ilsa

Sat, 24 March - Pittwater kayak

7 of us had a lovely kayak on Pittwater. Some hired kayaks from Paddlecraft at Bayview, where we launched, and the rest of us had our own.  The weather was pretty perfect, although the wind came up a bit in the afternoon which meant choppy and fun conditions.

We stopped for morning tea at a lovely beach and then kayaked on to Porteguese Beach for lunch and swims. 

We saw Sea Eagles, a pair of Whistling Kites (I think), and of course goannas.  Thanks to all who came along for a lovely day!  Jocelyn

Sat, 17 - 18 March - Coxs River, Wild Dog Mtns/Megalong Valley

Seven Lemons, a Toyota and packs on a trailer, we headed to Dunphy's  for the overnight walk.
Morning tea was our first stop on Iron Pot Mountain. A great spot on a rock, high up with a view. 

Next the descent down Ironmonger Spur, down to Cox's River at Breakfast Creek.
We rested and swam and just stopped for a while. A good place with no pace for some quiet inner space. The weather was hot and the day was long, it was the start of the river walk, 12km long. 

River crossings, low flow, sandy beaches, rock hopping, winding bends, wet socks, a baby snake, red rocky landscapes tucked in with the bush. 

On we all walked to a really good spot. A great spot for lunch near a good river hole. 
After swimming and eating then reloading the packs we were off once again on the kangaroo tracks. 

At Cox's River campsite on the Six Foot Track we split into two groups for the last part back.
Four of us camped to test out our gear  while three walked on and out in the day.  It was just on sunset when we all sat down, tents up and all ready, it was time then to cook.  Conversation was great after a long hard day...  special worms were not seen down the composting loos.  A sleep in, then breakfast and a swim at the bridge. It was a slow walk out but we made it ok.

What a great effort from everyone over the weekend. A beautiful walk in a lovely area and a great challenge too. Thank you all for coming along.

Lesley O

Saturday, 10 March - Wollongambe River, Mt Wilson

This river, and the area surrounding it, are just sublime.  17 of us had a lovely walk and wade through part of the Wollongambe River.  Its quite easy to access the river, as its only a few kilometres from Mt Wilson, but you get a real sense of isolation and wilderness. 

The rock formations are gorgeous and the river is clear and fresh.....very fresh!  We waded for a kilometre with some scrambles, a few spills, and lots of fun! 

We then lunched on a 'beach' and a number of us swum up through the canyon - just gorgeous!!

Its all uphill from the river, but it doesn't take long.  If you haven't been to this area before then do consider it as its truly beautiful.  Thanks to all those who came, and Liz for additional photos. Jocelyn

Saturday, 3 March - Mardi Gras Parade!

Golly gosh!  Dykes on bikes!!

What a great time we had in the Team Sydney entry in the Mardi Gras parade.  Team Sydney includes many GLBTQ sporting groups, a lot of whom were represented in this float.  I thought the greatest challenge was learning the choreography, but it turned out to be doing the choreography AT SPEED!  My goodness we went quickly and it became tricky doing the routine without taking anyone else out! 

Good on those Lemons who joined us - we had a blast.  Jocelyn

Saturday, 24 February - Mermaids Cave

View of Mermaid Cave from the rocky ledge above
On Saturday 12 of us had a lovely wander into Mermaid Cave at Blackheath. This is a tiny gem of a place, a remnant area of rainforest with huge mossy boulders and towering rock faces. It was drier than I’d anticipated, but there was still a lot to see. The entry is well disguised, with the bush opening suddenly to a set of steep stone steps that seem to descend though a crack in the earth to the valley floor below.    
Some of the winding stone stairs

View of the cave from the ridge above
A few Lemons took the opportunity to explore the ridgeline and rock shelves above the caves, while other wandering the valley floor taking many photographs of the mossy trees, boulders, stone steps and paths. We finished the trip with a visit to the Megalong Team Rooms, where we were joined by two extra Lemons for coffee and scones. A lovely day out with our cameras and great company!  Sharron

The forest from the bottom of the stairs

The forest in abstract

Can you spot 3 Lemons in this photo?

Beautiful trees on the ways back to the cars
Sunday, 18 Feb - Fair Day!

As usual, the weather for Fair Day was hot and sunny! It was lovely to have this event back in Victoria Park, and our stall was situated up the back so we were away from the hectic crowded paths a bit, and near Dykes on Bikes which was a nice distraction.  We had a very busy day and big thanks to all those Lemons who volunteered to set up, woman the stall, and pack up at the end. Talking to people all day is much more exhausting than walking all day!!  We sold lots of raffle tickets, signed up new Lemons, gave out information, caught up with friends, had lots of laughs, and regularly sent women out for cold drinks.

Sue G, the official drawer of the raffle.
The raffle was very successful so we have a new PLB and I was reimbursed the cost of paying for the stall ($330).  Thank you to all those Lemons who donated prizes, bought tickets, and also anonymously donated money & other items (you know who you are!!!!).  It was a lovely day and so wonderful to see all the Lemons dropping by and catching up with you all.  Jocelyn

Saturday, 17 Feb - Spit to Manly

This is always a beautiful walk.  It starts by walking across The Spit and then onto the track that leads to Manly.  You pass by the lovely Clontarf beach area and then the track wends its way around the cliff tops with gorgeous views of the harbour area.  Those of us with dogs took the dog route option on roads, whilst the others continued around and through the national park.  We re-grouped and stopped for a swim at Forty Baskets Beach.

Then it wasn't far to Manly where more swims were had and lunches consumed.  They day was quite hot, so some Lemons left here and the dogs and the rest of us returned back the same way with another swim at a beach outside the national park. 

What a lovely walk with a wonderful bunch of Lemons, and cute dogs.  Thanks to everyone for coming along.  It was just lovely to be walking next to the water for the majority of this walk, and even better to be in it!  Jocelyn

Saturday, 3 February - Grose Valley, Govetts Leap to Pierces Pass

Braeside/bridal veil falls
This gorgeous walk has it all and more.  Its a very lush walk, full of creeks, rivers, waterfalls, rainforest.  We were also lucky enough to see several Rufus Fantails, a brush turkey (perhaps he followed us from Leura Forest the previous weekend), cockatoos, water dragons. 

Angela and the brush turkey

Black Prince cicada
We had morning tea at Junction Rock, then passed through Acacia Flat and the beautiful Blue Gum Forest, and had lunch on the river.

Not longer after lunch we were hit by a rather quick storm which soaked us rather refreshingly.  We crossed the river to start the ascent up Pierces Pass - the loveliest and easiest way out of the Grose Valley.

Checking for pesky leeches

We arrived at the top of Pierces Pass not long after 4pm.  Thanks so much to Lesley, Olga, Sue, Diane, Wendi and Lesley for helping with cars.  Another lovely walk in lovely company.

Friday, 26 - Sunday, 28 January 2018 - Jamison Valley Traverse

What a fantastic bloody ripper of a walk!!! 13 women started this 3 day walk from Katoomba, with 4 more joining us on Saturday.  We started at the top of Furber Stairs and then followed the Federal Pass around to the newish shelters built past the Ruined Castle, where we could top up our water for overnight and the next day as the spring on top of Mt Solitary is dry.  We were lucky enough to experience a pretty incredible storm overhead as we scrambled up the Knife Edge to the top where we were camping.
Some of the clambering sections

Liz risking life & limb to photograph lightning

Our lovely camp

Discussing the pros and cons of our tents

The next morning we started the walk over the top of Mt Solitary to the Col on the eastern side.  Unfortunately Glenda had sprained her ankle on the walk up the previous day and it was looking impressively enlarged and bruised this morning.  She strapped the ankle and took anti-inflammatories and admirably managed to walk the rest of the way, her boot helping to keep the ankle protected.

An impressive sight

Hanging out the laundry

On the precipitous descent down from the Col, a number of our group took a wrong turn and we became separated.  Everyone had whistles and knew the signals to use but unfortunately we couldn't hear each other due to the trees and birds.  Luckily everyone kept their heads and we were reunited, but it reminded us how important it is to keep the walker behind you in sight.  Upon arrival at the Kedumba Valley campground we set up tents, plunged into the river, and then had afternoon tea with the new arrivals.

The campground here is one of my favourites, as it is never crowded, has lots of wallabies, kangaroos, birdlife and I've seen platypus in the gorgeous river here twice. The next morning the group reluctantly packed up and started our long walk for the day - 7 up to the end of Tableland Road, and 9 of us walking the Sublime Point Trail across the rest of Jamison Valley (a hike of 24km with a 1359 total elevation) as our last day.

What a great bunch of intrepid women!

Leaving the valley
After many, many ascents and descents, creek crossings, encounters with lyre birds and bush turkeys, we exhaustedly arrived at the bottom of the Giant Staircase.

Cooling off
True to the whole theme of the weekend we got caught in a storm near the top and got a tad drenched.  Olga sprinted ahead and managed to get us cold mineral waters from the tourist info shop at Echo Point just before it closed - LEGEND!  We were all very proud, relieved and estatic to have traversed the whole valley.

Thanks so much to those women who came along for this great adventure.  You all showed great determination, team work, good humour and were just a pleasure to spend time with.  Thanks all! Jocelyn

Saturday, 20 January - Fortress Ridge & Darks Cave

10 Lemons ventured forth in hot conditions to view the beautiful view into the Grose Valley from the end of Fortress Ridge.  It is a very easy walk out on this ridge and the views certainly repay you for the meagre effort required.

We then descended down the steep but short hill to the gully where Darks Cave is located. It was beautifully cool in this area - no wonder the Dark family used it as their 2nd home.

Thanks to everyone who came along to enjoy this short bushwalk. Jocelyn

Tuesday evening, 9 January - Grand Canyon, Blackheath

Four of us walked the gorgeous Grand Canyon tonight. It really is a beautiful walk. Starting at 5pm meant we only saw 2 other people and a number of water dragons so basically had the canyon to ourselves.

Listening to the wind in the canyon was amazing - it sounded very eerie and we all thought it would make a good soundtrack for a scary movie. We did get wet, however by the look of the streets at Blackheath we missed the worst of it! Great walk thanks to those that came and to Jocelyn for her pics.

Saturday, 6 January - Gladstone & Lindemans Pass

11 Lemons tackled this great walk in challenging conditions.  Gladstone Pass takes around an hour to descend from the Fairmont Resort, and is full of tricky scrambles, old rock ledges and stairs, eroded sections and LOTS of spider webs!  It really is a beautiful, beautiful area where it feels like time stands still.

The track then intersects with the Lindemans Pass track and we began the slog along this.  It was quite hot so we did stop numerous times and I was asked more than once when we would get to the waterfall!

filling up caps etc to cool off!
We did eventually reach the bottom of Gordon Falls and then Leura Falls itself, which was blissful to have a dip and sit in the cool, and also top up our water.

And to those of us who sweat (rather than glow) remember to have electrolytes in your water for these hot times!  Thanks to those who came along on the walk in this most beautiful and pristine area, and thanks to Lesley, Anne and Olga for helping with cars. Jocelyn

Sunday, 31 December - Faulconbridge Point NYE walk

Naturally some Lemons spent NYE in the bush.  11 of us walked out to Faulconbridge Point just on dark where we had dinner and shared treats on a perfect evening.  This is such a spectacular natural lookout over the Grose Valley.  As we had heaps of sparklers, we tried to spell LEMONS out with them......see our almost success below!

A few of the group walked back earlier and the rest of us celebrated the new year out on the track. We talked about the year past, our hopes for the new year, had a few drinks and ate more.

The interpretive dancing at midnight was the highlight for me.....there should be more of it.
Thanks so much for those who came along to spend such a fun time in such a special place.  Jocelyn

Sunday, 17 December - Colo River, Wollemi National Park

The Colo River is so beautiful.  It wends its way around the bends in a valley deep in the Wollemi National Park.  And it's waters were perfect for us on this rather hot day.

We started off with a one hour fire trail walk, before we descended via the T3 track, which took another hour and a half to descend down to the river.  The sandy banks were lovely to lunch on, and we spent a lot of time bobbing around in the river.

Then it was time to climb back up, and it was pretty hard going in the hot conditions.  A storm was circling around and we did long for some rain, but alas...nothing!  The flannel flowers were out in force, the views as we climbed higher were amazing, and the flora and fauna gorgeous.  We saw a small snake which I haven't been able to identify yet, but I'm calling it the small black headed snake. This is such a special part of the world. 

Thanks to those who came along to enjoy this special part of the Wollemi.  A lovely way to finish off our walks this year.  Jocelyn

Saturday, 16 December - Nature Trail

Chatting on Edinburgh Castle Rock
6 of us enjoyed a warm walk around the Nature Track at Wentworth Falls today. Many of the tracks around Wentworth Falls are closed following the tragic landslide earlier this month, so there weren't that many people around. The Nature Track is a pretty walk, with wildflowers along the track and some beautiful views of forests and hanging swamp. A highlight was crossing the creek at the delightful Lilian's Glen with its stepping stones and beautiful pools - a nice place to dally and "accidentally" slip into the water!

Keeping her feet dry

Contemplating life at Lilian's Glen
 There was also quite a bit of water in the canyon leading to Empress Falls, and we watched a few intrepid folk abseiling down the waterfall before heading back up to the Conservation Hut for cool drinks and lunch.

Getting ready to dive in!
Thanks to the women who came along, your easy conversation and support of each other made it another lovely day out with the Lemons. I'd also like to thank everyone who's come along on a walk this year. It's been a pleasure to be one of the Bush Lemons walk leaders, to hear your stories and get to know you. I'm looking forward to a great 2018 filled with photographic adventures and walks, and look forward to seeing you all on another adventure soon. Sharron
Christmas cheer along the track
Sat, 9 December - Lockleys Pylon

On Saturday 4 Bush Lemons set off in what was perfect weather to walk to Lockelys Pylon at Leura. The misty weather made walking along the at times exposed ridge line a pleasurable experience. The rain which had fallen the previous night made the wildflowers which were in abundance look so clean and fresh. I really was a magical experience to be out and about exploring. We sat and had our morning tea at Lockleys Pylon where we enjoyed the view and watching the ever changing cloud formations. After morning tea and as the sun started to break through the clouds we headed back to the car and then onto lunch at Lilys Pad cafe where we chatted while partaking of coffee and some of the delicious food on offer. We all really enjoyed the walk and thank you to Lesley O for taking the photos. 

I would also like to take this opportunity to wish all the Bush Lemons a wonderful Christmas and hope to see you out and about in 2018. Thank you to Jocelyn for another fabulous year of bush walking, kayaking and cycling.  Happy hiking, Sue

Sun, 3 December - Nepean Gorge kayak

Bush Lemons joined with Nomads to Nowhere in kayaking up the Nepean Gorge on Nepean River.  We were incredibly lucky with the weather and even the wind was mostly favourable.

We passed through the Narrows and left the noise behind.  Morning tea was at the small beach area where Euroka Creek joins the river.

We then continued our paddle down the river, passing by the high rocky hills on either side.  There were lots of birds and the bush on either side of the river was lovely.  There aren't many places to stop, so after a long paddle we were all very happy to see the rocky area where Erkine Creek meets the river - our lunch spot.  Most of us had a lovely swim here and some even swung on a rope over the water.

The return paddle was a good test of endurance, and everyone rose to the challenge!  Unfortunately as we got closer to the Narrows the jetskis and jetboats arrived and spoilt the quiet.  I felt sorry for all the ducks and other water birds who constantly had to get out of the way.  After the narrows the water became very choppy from the boat wake and there were a number of dickheads who shouldn't be in charge of boats.  We regathered and crossed the river in a group before using the kayak ramp which made getting out much easier.  Many thanks to Kate for leading the group and good on the women who came along for such a great challenge of 24km!!  Jocelyn

Sat, 2 December - Royal National Park bike ride

We joined with the lovely lesbians from Sydney Spokes to ride Lady Carrington Drive in the Royal National Park.  This track wends its way along the river and through lush vegetation.  Its a relatively flat track but with a cheeky hill at the end. 

We finished with drinks and food at the cafe at Audley.  Thanks to all those who came along!  Jocelyn

Sat, 18 November - Devils Hole loop 

Saturday 18th November, nothing would stop 13 hard core Bush Lemons from braving the weather to complete the Devils Hole and Nellies Glen Loop.

It poured with rain over night but there was only a slight drizzle this morning with a bit of sunlight shining through. We started off on the walk around the cliff track and down a section of road to the start of the Devils Hole track.
The Devils Hole track was really pretty with natural light streaming in and the wet plants looking bright and fresh in contrast with the shadows of the wet rock walls. There were plenty of wild flowers in full bloom and the typical mountain mist breezing its way over Narrow Neck and the Megalong Valley.

We managed to find a dry ledge for everyone to sit down on for morning tea and to experience the surroundings for a while before wandering down through the bush and on to meet the fire trail.

Just as we met the Six Foot Track and were about to start walking up Nellies Glen the rain started to pour down and everyone got soaked.
Luckily we were all well warmed up by this stage so we powered back up the hill to the cars. A few opportunistic leeches had a nice feed on various Lemons on their way up the hill. Overall everyone seemed in good spirits at the end of the walk.

Ten of us popped to Clean Slate Cafe in Katoomba after the walk for hot drinks and  great food before heading home.  Lesley
Sat, 11 November - Sassafras Gully 

Saturday 11th November was a sensational day for walking and 12 of us donned our walking gear, popped some food and drinks into our packs and headed off into the bush at Springwood to walk the Sassafras Gully. Starting with a brief walk along the road it wasn’t long before we hit the bush tracks and were heading down into the Gully following the Sassafras Creek. The little rain that had fallen earlier in the week left the bush looking fresh and green.

Descending into the Gully saw us cross creeks, walk under overhangs and through some beautiful bush and soon we found ourselves where the Glenbrook and Sassafras Creeks join, our morning tea spot. This is a beautiful spot to sit and enjoy the bush. A few of us couldn’t resist the somewhat cold water and went for a refreshing swim in the “pool”.
After the break we then continued our walk beside the Glenbrook Creek. Pausing along the way to enjoy the beauty of the bush. Once we reached Perch Ponds it was time to follow the Magdala Creek and start our ascent back to the starting point. We stopped at Martins Falls and with so little rain in recent times we were able to get our group photo with everyone standing on the top of the falls.
After the photo stop we continued on our way stopping at one of the many creek crossings to sit in the cool and enjoy our lunch. Once we had finished lunch we found ourselves once again walking under the tree canopy beside the creek back to the starting point to finish what was a really picturesque and extremely enjoyable walk. Thanks to all those that came along.
Happy hiking, Sue

Sat, 28 October - Macro Lems visit Wombat Hollow

Looking out fromWombat Rock
20 Macro Lemons enjoyed a fabulous morning out at Wombat Hollow this weekend. Barb and Catherine opened their beautiful property for us on Saturday, and treated us to home-made lemon and date scones with jam and cream before we started our adventure. Their gardens have been beautifully landscaped to surround and celebrate the native plants and rocks, creating a restful and inviting environment with lots of places to sit and enjoy the birds and spring flowers. A highlight was the walk out to Wombat Rock, with spectacular views over the Kanimbla Valley and the Mount Blackheath escarpment.

Gorgeous cactus
Local wildlife

Looking into the Kanimbla Valley from Wombat Hollow
Thank you so much Barb and Catherine - your generosity, hospitality and obvious joy in sharing your home with us was humbling. I think many new friendships were forged on this visit, and many of us look forward to returning. Sharron

Our Wonderful hosts

20-22 October - Six Foot Track

18 Lemons successfully tackled the 42km Six Foot Track!  What a great bunch of women.

We were lucky enough to have 5 Lemons drive us out to firstly Black Range campsite so we could set up our tents (and miraculously the rain stopped whilst we did this), and then onto Jenolan Caves where after a quick bite to eat we began our walk in the drizzle.  Our drivers were fantastic!

Its all uphill from Jenolan Caves, but this meant we had beautiful views back into the valley with Jenolan Caves house and the mist through the trees and valleys.

The rest of the track meandered along and crossed the Jenolan Caves Road to eventually finish back at Black Range campsite.  It was a damp and cool night here and thermals and hot drinks were the go.

The next day we set off on the 20km walk to the Coxs River campground.  Initially the track follows the dirt road along the top of the ridge, and it was blissful when the sun made an appearance and we were able to slowly start to dry off clothes and tents at morning tea.  The long descent off the range made us thankful we weren't having to slog up the hill!  The views were beautiful.

The track meandered through the valley where we saw an echidna, snakes, wallabies, kangaroos and loads of very vocal birds who all seemed so happy with the recent rain.  We arrived at the campground just after 3pm.  A lot of people were camped right down at the river, so we had the campsite virtually to ourselves!

This night was much milder and after kicking on until at least 8pm we watched stars or retired for the evening.  The sunrise was beautiful. The next morning we crossed Bowtells Swing Bridge before starting the ascent out of the valley.

Wonderful Sharron and Kay met us at Megalong Road where they had brought in extra water for us, and took some items for walkers who wished to lighten their packs for the last section, and also took out 2 of the walkers.  We then pushed on up the track towards beautiful Nellies Glen - what a most gorgeous walk up through the lushness of this area to finally finish our walk near the Explorers Tree at 2.30pm.

Many thanks to all those walkers who joined us for this terrific walk.  You were a fantastic positive enthusiastic bunch and the cameraderie shared during the walk was lovely!  Many thanks also to Sharron, Kay, Leta, Sue and Lisa who went above and beyond to transport us to the beginning of the walk and Sharron and Kay for providing further support at Megalong Road and to then meet us at the end of the walk!! 

We are very lucky indeed to have this walk on our doorstep.  This walk showcases some of the lovely valleys, views, wildlife and hills in the western area of our mountains and its a great challenge.  Thank you to all who came along and rose to the challenge.  Your blood is worth bottling. Jocelyn

Saturday, 14 October - Mt Piddington, Hornes Point, Ferris Cave

There is something truly magical about being in the bush in the wet.  Everything softens and quietens.

Thanks to those who came along with various canines to enjoy the beauty of the Mt Piddington area.  The rocky outcrops looming out of the mist were beautiful.  We saw a sprinting lyrebird and a family of kangaroos as well. 

If every you want to a lovely wander in the bush with your dog, then this area is perfect. Jocelyn

Saturday, 7 October - Wentworth Falls to Katoomba (Trek4Timor route)

12 of us had a great walk today, starting at Wilson Park in Wentworth Falls and 8 hours later finishing at the top of  the Golden Stairs Katoomba.  The views were sublime.

Nature was constantly surprising

We passed many lovely waterfalls

and sometimes we did some weird things

and then had to occasionally recover

Thanks so much to those women who came along for this great challenging walk and who rose to the challenge.  Many thanks to Lesley and Olga for helping with cars, and thanks to Lisa for popping in to join us for lunch.  Jocelyn

Saturday, 30 September - Glow Worm Tunnel

On Saturday the 30th September 21 Bush Lemons put headlights into their packs and headed off from Newnes to explore the Glow Worm Tunnel. It was a perfect day for walking and with such a large number of walkers there was plenty of chatter along the trail.

We followed the old railway track up to the entrance of the tunnel where we paused to put our headlights on and for a photo opportunity. We then entered the old railway tunnel and once inside in the dark we turned the headlights off and remarkably we all stood quietly waiting for the glow worms to shine their little lights. There were many other walkers on the trail so getting to stand in the dark and quiet was a little challenging.

We then exited the tunnel and found a lovely grassy spot for our lunch where the chatter once again started up.
After lunch we then headed back down the hill to the cars where some of us ventured to the historic Newnes Pub for an ice cream before heading back home. It was fantastic to see so many lemons, out enjoying the day. Thank you all who came along on what was a really lovely walk.

Happy walking

Sat, 23 Sept - Macro Lems

13 of us had a hot, windy and thoroughly fantastic stroll along the Charles Darwin walk on Saturday. This is a fairly touristy walk in Wentworth Falls, but apart from a few families and a bus load of excited tourists who moved through quickly, we pretty much had it to ourselves. Our task was to photograph a flower, either a tree or water, and something that made our heart happy. It's always a little surreal to see women with cameras stalking through the undergrowth!

On our way different women (who shall remain anonymous) befriended a dog, a little water skink, and a variety of bees and bugs. Most of the flowers we saw were very small, and it was good practice for us to slow down and take our time to find them. After our walk we headed back to the village for coffee, this time stalking tables at a cafe big enough to take us all. Thanks to everyone who came along. It was a really friendly, warm and inclusive group and I’m looking forward to our next walk. Sharron

15 - 17 Sept - Coorongooba Camping Weekend

Coorongooba Campsite is wonderful.  Its not as well known as other nearby campsites such as Newnes or Dunns Swamp, and consequently a bit quieter.  Its in a gorgeous location underneath escarpments and next to Capertee River, with green grass and shady trees, and all only just over 2 hours from the upper Blue Mountains.

We explored up Capertee River Trail, and also up another valley and discovered the abandoned mine.

The campground and surrounding bush was full of kangaroos, wombats, goanas, and a huge array of birds including corellas, willy wagtails, crows, cuckoos, cuckoo shrikes, red-browed fiinches, and the dawn chorus was huge.

wombats had right of way

Sitting around the campfire each night was lovely, and very nice considering how cold the nights were.

We had an afternoon of games on Saturday afternoon including a marathon cricket match, soccer, and bat and balls.

 Thanks to all those who came along to this beautiful campsite for a lovely weekend!  Jocelyn

Saturday, 9 Sept - Evening walk on Mt Hay Road

Intrepid night walkers
Eight Lemons made it to our night walk on Saturday. With much excitement and chatter, we car pooled for 20 minutes out on Mt Hay Road, then embarked in twilight to walk towards Mt Hay. We saw little streaks of colour in the sky to mark the sunset, then walked by torchlight to the end of Mt Hay Road. From there we had a short bush-track walk to a rock platform where we settled in for some dinner and star gazing.

Yes, we did scare ourselves, just a little bit....
We learned some important things - Lindt chocolate makes everyone happy; hot chocolate and soup from a thermos have equal status as dinner foods, and none of us can tell Jupiter from Venus without a star-map. Good thing that one of the Lemons had a great star gazing app called "Star Walk";  a must for viewing the light sky. We were lucky to see two shooting stars on the way back. Alas, no critters - just a pair of shiny eyes watching us from the darkness... 

It was all just a little bit Blair Witch...
Thanks to Vee and Bron for volunteering their Foresters for the car pool - we really should consider doing an ad for Subaru. Sharron

Sunday 3 Sept - Sketching morning, Wind Eroded Cave & Anvil Rock, Blackheath

On Sunday 6 women armed with pencil cases and sketch pads arrived at Anvil Rock for the first Lemons Sketching event. A north westerly wind allowed for a dramatic scene and spectacular views.

We explored the Wind Eroded Cave with some start up exercises and then climbed up with much excitement and interest to get our bearings at the Anvil Rock lookout. 

These brave creative Lemons found space for ourselve to sit and explore some line and shading techniques, spending time quietly alone, with the occasional visit from a rock warbler! We practised and played and exploring the wonder of following lines, textures, tone in the landscape and transfering that onto paper, sharing our experiences and learning. What a joy and a great excuse to be out in the landscape with our sketch books. Isobel

Saturday, 2 Sept - Birdwatching morning, Fairy Bower Mt Victoria

The twitchers
Our first birdwatching walk was on the beautiful Coxs Cave Circuit from Fairy Bower to Mt Piddington.  9 of us so enjoyed quietly creeping through the bush, peering through our binoculars, looking up apps or birdbooks, listening to bird calls.  And then there was the excitement of us seeing and identifying a bird!!  I had forgotten how beautiful this short walk is, and moving through it quietly made it even more special.

We also took the short detour up a ladder to the spectaular Coxs Cave.

Some of the birds we identified were male whipbird, striated thornbill, golden whistler, pardolote, spinebill, raven, treecreeper, yellow bowerbird, scrubwerens, and and then we saw a gorgeous male lyre bird with attendant fern wrens. 
Lyrebird with its attendant fern wren on the log
Thanks to all the birding Lemons who came along for this lovely walk. Jocelyn

Saturday, 26 August - Govetts Leap to Pulpit Rock, Blackheath

Pulpit Rock from Govetts Leap
8 Lemons enjoyed a gloriously sunny walk from Govetts Leap to Pulpit Rock at Blackheath on Saturday. So nice to be out with out having to wear jackets! This is a lovely walk along the clifftops, with almost continuous views into the Grose Valley. From Pulpit Rock we gained a real appreciation of just how deep the valley is, and how sheer and magnificent the cliffs that surround it.

Rugged and beautiful
Smoke from backburning
We all had the little thrill of climbing down the stairs into the “cage” that hovers over the edge of the escarpment at Pulpit Rock, suspended in space above that terrifying drop.

Caged Lemons
Its a long way down!
Lunch afterwards was at the Blackheath General Stores, a lovely sale to stop fro good coffee and slow-cooked food. As always, the walkers were great company and a pleasure to walk with. Sharron

Saturday, 12 August - Sunday, 13 August - Splendour Rock, Wild Dog Mountains

The view to die for
Yep, another beautiful weekend of weather made for a blissful overnight walk to Splendour Rock, at the southern tip of Mt Dingo in the Wild Dog Mountains.  9 of us departed Dunphys Campground on Saturday morning, lugging fairly heavy backpacks of around 17 or 18kg.  Unfortunately because of the lack of recent rain there would be no water at Mobbs Swamp on our way through, so we had to take enough water for 2 days of walking as well as overnight.  The firetrail to Medlow Bath made for easy walking, and then we took the track towards Mobbs.

Fresh at the start

Mobbs Swamp was peaceful and beautiful with lots of birds, but no goannas this time.  It was one of our many stops along the way.

Stretches and checking of feet
From Mobbs Swamp it was around 90 minutes walk on and up to Mt Dingo.  Along the way there is a pass which is a mixture of fun with some small fear elements thrown in to keep things interesting.

Up the pass
Once up Mt Dingo we walked to the southern end to snare our campsite with a beautifully sheltered campfire.  There are always lots of camping pads around here.  Tents were erected and then we walked down to Splendour Rock to watch the sunset.  Ahhhhh.....bliss.  What a staggeringly beautiful view over the Wild Dogs towards Kanangra Walls.

On Splendour Rock

Then it was back to camp to get the fire going, get our thermals on and think about cheese & biscuits, then dinner.

It was a cold night, but we all survived to hunker around the fire again for breakfast and breaking camp.

The group decided to return on Sunday via the more challenging Black Horse Ridge and Breakfast Creek route, which meant a 400m descent to the creek and a long 300m ascent back up to Dunphys Campground.  The lookout off the end of Black Horse Ridge had beautiful views and we could see the long route down to the creek before us.  The descent seemed to take forever, and we were all very thankful to reach a grassy knoll for lunch. 

Beautiful Breakfast Creek - a welcome sight
Then began the long slog back up through the notorious stinging nettles of Carlons Creek before we arrived back at the cars at Dunphys Campground.  Then it was coffees and more at our favourite cafe, Megalong Valley Tea Rooms!!

Huge thanks to the lovely Lemons who came along or this challenging walk.  Being out in the beautiful valley surrounded by birds, bird calls, the wind, the moon and the glorious sun was just the best!  Oh and the company was pretty darned good to.  Jocelyn

Saturday, 5 August - Katoomba Falls to Kedumba Pass via Jamison Valley

What a windy and cold morning it was, but once we descended down the Giant Staircase we were protected from the wind.  We had morning tee at the site of the old sewerage treatment plant, which is now a beautifully restored and lush area, with a couple of nice spots for camping.  It was then onto the fire trail which wends its way across the Jamison Valley, up and down a few hills and across a few creeks.

We lunched next to one of the creeks before our final push up Kedumba Pass.  The whole walk too about 6.5 hours and it was was blissful to be out of the wind and in the sun. 

Thanks to Lesley and Diane for helping organise the cars and all those who weren't put off by the windy conditions.  Jocelyn

Sunday, 30 July - Gordon Falls to Golden Staircase via Federal Pass

What a gorgeous and uncharacteristically warm day to be out walking in the mountains!  14 of us enjoyed this lovely walk mostly on the Federal Pass.  Leura Forest was the perfect place for morning tea and it was idyllically sheltered from the wind.  Lots of white browed scrub wrens were out, and we also saw a few lyrebirds and heard many other birds such as tree creepers, whip birds and finches.

The track became busier as we approached Katoomba Falls and we were lucky enough to score two picnic tables here.  After lunch we farewelled a few of our walkers at the Scenic Railway and the rest of us continued on the Federal Pass to clamber over the historic landslide and then around to the base of the Golden Stairs. 

It didn't take very long before we were at the top and in the cars we had left here in the morning.

We adjourned to Lisa and Lesley's house for hot drinks and some sweet things.  Thanks so much to Jem, Lesley, Diane and Ilsa who helped with the cars, and everyone who came along.  Jocelyn

Saturday, 22 July - Wentworth Falls loop

On what was a very chilly morning 6 Bush Lemons set off on what was a leisurely and relaxing loop walk from the Conservation Hut at Wentworth Falls. We were amazed at the frost on the tree tops as we walked along the Nature Track. We followed the Nature Track to the Undercliff Track taking in the sweeping views of the Kedumba Valley from the many lookouts. The skies were clear and the views were spectacular. We were amazed to see a large quantity of ice on Wentworth Falls and many icicles hanging from the branches and overhangs. There was also the odd frozen mud puddle.

It was a truly sensational day and as a long time mountain dweller a first for me to see ice on Wentworth Falls. We finished the day off with hot drinks at the Conservation Hut.

Thanks to the other Lemons who came along and shared such a fantastic walk with me.
Happy hiking

Sunday, 16 July - Red Hands Cave, Glenbrook

4 Lemons enjoyed a leisurely and very beautiful walk to Red Hands Cave at Glenbrook on Sunday. It was a gorgeous morning for walking, with blue skies and a hint of warmth in the air. I’d forgotten how pretty this walk is, and how diverse.
Beautiful forest near the cave

We descended from the car park down to the creek and walked alongside it for quite a way through beautiful rainforest before popping out into a gently timbered forest of angophora and other gums. We were very lucky that one of the women on the walk had experience in plant identification and pointed out some really interesting plants and bush tucker along the way. Even luckier that we got to taste some!!!

We crossed a small creek along the way and found some fascinating grinding grooves of various sizes on the rock shelves near the water. Red Hand Cave is quite amazing, with so many images captured on the rocks. The hand sizes vary from tiny children’s prints to quite large hands, suggesting this was an area where families gathered.
Grinding grooves in the creek
Smal section of the rock art
Surprisingly, we finished up at a cafe for coffee! Thankyou to the women who came on the walk - great company, interesting conversation and a lovely day!  Sharron

Nature's mandala

Saturday, 15 July - 6 Foot Track to Coxs River

Once again 14 Bush Lemons had another adventurous walk today along a section of the Six Foot track to the Cox's River.  A few brave souls had a mid winter splash while the rest of us enjoyed a leisurely lunch on the rocks beside the river.

The swing bridge was a fun experience, more fun for some!

As promised we spotted the black sheep, also a few kangaroos and the highlight today... a rare bird!

Sacred Kingfisher
On the way home we stopped at the Megalong Valley Tea Rooms where we all had some well deserved treats before heading home. Lesley
Many thanks to Lesley for leading her inaugural walk!  She has set a high standard for walk leaders in many ways. Jocelyn

Saturday, 8 July - Hanging Rock Blackheath

Despite the blistering cold, the day was clear. The walk to Hanging Rock was along a lovely fire trail, not too many hills and clear enough to walk three or four abreast until nearing the end. All twelve Bush Lemons obediently followed their leader to the edge of the precipice, where some opted to remain while others ventured across the great divide to experience life on the edge of Hanging Rock. The few who managed to swallow their fear and take the leap across the gap were treated to a spectacular view of the valley and just far away enough to not hear the others yelling ‘stay back from the edge’.

Once we had regrouped, downed our morning tea and waved to Sydney, just visible through a gap in the mountains, we headed back to the cars and into Blackheath where some departed and others dived into a hearty lunch in front of a log fire at the Wattle Café. Sue

Saturday, 1 July - Mt Banks

There are so many wonderful things about walking in winter:  no leeches, snakes, flies or mosquitos and you just have to layer to regulate your temperature.  This walk epitomised all that!  12 of us enjoyed sublime weather and gorgeous views into the Grose Valley.  We were on the opposite side of the Grose from the walk the previous weekend, and this outlook meant we could see all the way up to the upper Grose Valley.

We walked over the top of Mt Banks and then joined the firetrail which lead out to the top of Banks Wall and onto a lunch spot amongst the heath, looking down in the valley.  What a perfect spot for lunch!

We then walked back to the Mt Bank picnic area where we had started.  This is a great walk to do where you can see beautiful views without a huge amount of effort - you can just walk out to Banks Wall on the fire trail if you don't want to do the ascent up Mt Banks.

I made the walkers recreate a photo taken years before on another walk here (there were only a few grumbles) and we saw some beautiful sundews on the way back.  Thanks to all those who came along to enjoy the later start and a gorgeous day! Jocelyn

Sunday, 5 June - Lockleys Pylon & Blue Gum Forest, Blue Gum Forest

What a beautiful day for a bushwalk!  The walk out to Lockleys is easy and leads to the cliff edge over the Grose Valley.  The track then descends off Du Faur Head and although fairly steep, zig zags nicely. We saw a beautiful Wedge Tailed Eagle soaring on thermal air here. 

The descent took a bit over an hour and we arrived at the Grose River.  The walk leader made a grave mistake by not trusting that the walkers could cross the river using the downed tree tunk and instead some of us got our feet wet.  We then walked through the Blue Gum forest with its ancient trees soaring up into the sky. 

Lunch was had by the Grose River, before we started back up the ascent.  It wasn't too bad and we just kept plodding until we were once again at Du Faur Head looking back into the valley, gorgeous in the afternoon sun.  Thanks to all those who came along!  Jocelyn

Spot the bee with its head in the flowers

Monday, 12 June - Porters Pass, Centennial Glen, Blackheath

11 of us had a lovely walk today, finally on a sunny day!!  There's something just so beautiful about the bush after a week of rain.  Everything looks so fresh and full of life.  This walk takes around 3 hours and covers the lush Porters Pass, Centennial Glen and Walls Ledge.  The views are sublime and so are the waterfalls, plants, birdlife, and its fun to watch the rock climbers in the Walls Ledge area.  Thanks so much to all those who came along for a few hours in the sun!  Jocelyn

Sunday, 21 May - Lawsons Long Alley & Lockyers Road, Mt Victoria

It was great that 9 women and 4 dogs were able to come on our spontaneous walk around Mt York.  It was a beautiful afternoon to walk - almost warm, and the afternoon light on the trees and escarpment was just beautiful.  It took us a bit over 3.5 hours to do the loop and we were serenaded by Lyre Birds and watched by kangaroos along the way.  Thanks to those who joined us!

Saturday, 13 May - Walls Cave

Walls Cave from the ridge - half way down the stairs
9 of us enjoyed a lovely morning walk down to Walls Cave at Blackheath on Saturday. I managed to conveniently forget just how many stairs were involved in getting down the the Cave, and luckily all the women on the walk were up for it and very good humoured! For me the best bit about the walk is exploring along Greaves Creek and the looking into the little canyon that beckons with the promise of a swim in its crystal clear waters - if only it weren’t Water Board land and sub-zero water temperature! The area is one of great significance to the local Aboriginal people, with excavations in the cave floor revealing a fireplace dating back 20,000 years.

Lemons will find an excuse to dance no matter where you take them
We were tantalised by glimpses of a lyrebird beside the creek and an enormous orange crayfish in the gorge, and entertained by Eastern Spinebills and a “white-throated tree creeper” (very imaginatively bird-naming by one of our group) on our way back up the stairs.

Stepping stones along Greaves Creek

Tantalising glimpses into the gorge

Lunch was enjoyed on the rear deck of the Gardner’s Inn at Blackheath, along with the odd Guinness and a glass of cider. Thanks to everyone who came along - next time I promise to count the stairs first! Sharron

The good humoured bunch
Saturday, 6 May - Mt Solitary Traverse

11 Lemons had a super walk across the Jamison Valley and over the top of Mt Solitary.  The walk took just under 9 hours and everyone did splendidly!  The weather was perfect and we even finished before there was a bit of a light shower. 

We usually do the traverse west to east, so crossing the Kedumba River and tackling the long climb up to the Col earlier on meant we were a bit fresher and it was great to get that under our belts. 

The walk over the top of Mt Solitary seeemed to take quite a long time so it was great to see the top of the Knife Edge come into view.  Its always fun to do this scramble, whether its up or down, and we all frolicked down it and had to occasionally make way for a number of walkers coming up to camp overnight.

We then had a nice flatish walk back along the Federal Pass before the short but steep ascent up the Golden Stairs to finish just before dusk. 

The topic of whether we can leave food scraps in the bush came up, and I need to say that Bush Lemons abide by the standard bushwalking code of 'leave only footsteps, take only photos' and therefore anything we take into the bush we bring out, and we do not take anything out of the bush.

And nothing like a little madness
Thanks to Isobel, Jem, Chris and Lesley for the carswaps!!

Sunday, 30 April - Coast Track, Royal National Park

Seven extremely good looking women came on the walk and it was fantastic. Up bright and early with dawn and coffee on the train to Otford, perfect weather, walked on all the rock shelves, ice creams at the Garie Beach kiosk, skinny dip at Little Marley beach, pink skies on the walk in to the 6pm ferry. Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous. Jay
A big farewell to Jay and Louise!!! Jocelyn

Saturday, 29 April - Rodriguez Pass Track, Grose Valley

You know it was a sublime walk when the hardest thing about doing the report is finding enough superlatives.  We decided that this walk has to be one of the most beautiful in the mountains.  You follow beautiful creeks and waterfalls the whole way and the views never stop.

The walk starts at Evans Lookout and then descends down through glorious rainforest to where it leaves the end of the Grand Canyon and starts on the Rodriguez Pass track past Beauchamp Falls and into the Grose Valley. 

We found an amazing morning tea spot on Greaves Creek where the Lesleys swam in the cool water.  Upon reaching Junction Rock the track turns back towards the escarpment and the slow plod towards the bottom of Govetts Leap Falls.  All the way along there are birds, gorgeous flora, waterholes, waterfalls, amazing sounds of gurgling and crashing water, and that never-ending view up to the amazing cliffs......sigh.

As you gaze up to the top of the cliffs you really do wonder how they put the track in up to Govetts Leap, and although it looks daunting it doesn't take that long before you are up and (unfortunately) mixing it with the tourists gazing back into the valley. 

Then its a 3km wander back along the clifftop track to Evans Lookout - a perfect way to finish an amazingly beautiful walk with a bunch of lovely women.  How lucky are we?!  Jocelyn

Sunday, 23 April - Katoomba to Blackheath return bike ride

After a few cancellations, 5 of us rode from the Explorers Tree at Katoomba to Blackheath and back.  The weather was perfect and we were finished before midday.  We undertook that time honoured cycling pastime of sitting in a cafe and sipping on coffees at Blackheath before our return cycle - feeling very virtuous.  The cycling track has a few good hills but is mostly easy.  Thanks to those who came along for this lovely outings.  Jocelyn

Saturday, 22 April - Macro Lems at Mt Wilson

Our visit to Mt Wilson today was beautiful. Eight of us crunched through the fallen leaves and dappled light, admiring the changing colours and slightest hint of cooler air. We also dodged approximately 13,429 tourists. In fact, our challenge for today was to take at least one photograph that did NOT feature a tourist! At the moment the oaks, chestnuts and plane trees have turned golden and brown, and the maples are just coming into all their red and russet glory.  At this time of year the landscape changes daily, and nature is at her showy best. I hope you’re all getting out there and enjoying it.  Sharron

Sunday, 9 April - Berowra Waters, Calabash Point, Crosslands Kayak

I’m guessing that all of the 17 Lemons, Nomads to Nowhere or Women in the Bush members who kayaked on Berowra waters last Sunday are still having memories of the beautiful sunlight through the water.

It was a spectacular, calm morning as we got ready to set off from Berowra Waters Marina. “I’ve never been in a kayak with pedals” was the common whisper around, but those of us who were newbies got the hang of it pretty quickly as we paddled north to Calabash Point and into sheltered waters by the mangroves.

We turned and headed south past steep bushland with impressive rock outcrops, a huge sea eagle flying over us and up into the trees. Morning tea was welcome and we tied our kayaks together, stood in the shallows and enjoyed Kate’s excellent home-baked chocolate chip cookies.

The waters remained calm on our way to the Crosslands reserve lunch spot but the wind was picking up from behind. Luckily, our paddle back to the Marina was less than hour because we went so fast (even into a headwind) with Isobel taking line honours. Well done everyone! Thanks to Kate for leading the kayak! Madeline
Saturday, 1 April - Asgard Swamp, Mt Victoria

Thirteen of us enjoyed a gorgeous walk out to Asgard Swamp and beyond on Sunday. Finally the rain broke, leaving us with the kiss of the sun on our skin, the bluest of skies and some fun creek crossings.

The walk to Asgard Swamp is along a firetrail, quite eroded in places but easy to navigate. The swamp itself is a wide, shallow watercourse, filled with reeds and grasses and frog-song. Pagoda Rock provides a perfect vantage point for enjoying the view, and the opportunity for a bit of tree hugging.

We decided to push on a little further to see the view from Asgard Head, before heading back to lunch at the Gardner’s Inn at Blackheath.
 I felt very honoured to lead a walk with quite a few new Bush Lemons. Its such a great feeling to see a group of women who have never met each other come together, really enjoy each other’s company, and have a great time walking together in the bush. May there be more of it! Sharron

Sunday, 2 April - Centennial Glen & Porters Pass

On Sunday six women and seven dogs ventured out along on the Southern side of Blackheath to Centennial Glen and along the Porters Pass track. It was a fine hearty walk with the puppies mostly leading the way.

Once past the rock climbers we benefited from the newly laid track  and all the beautiful gullies and crevices before making our way back up out of the valley to expansive views. Was a delightful treat of a walk. 

The tracks where quite wet in places from previous down pours of rain so we bravely traversed potential slippery rocks and gushing water falls. Our fury friends were mightily gung ho and we did our best to keep up with them all.

Thanks to everyone for a really lovely walk. Isobel

Saturday, 11 March - Lindemans Pass

We had a spectacular walk along Lindemans Pass in beautiful weather!  We started at the Fairmont Resort and turned onto the Gladstone Lookout track and then descended down to the start of the Lindeman Pass.  Sections of the track are overgrown, very indistinct, full of obstacles and just plain hard, but on the upside is being able to walk for 7 hours and not see another soul, wonder at the spectacular views and waterfalls, birdlife and fungi!

To my excitement (sad I know) we saw a beautiful rufous fantail, several lyrebirds, a very plump Bronzewing, and of course lots of other more common birds.  Jem discovered the little known and lesser seen Gladstone Mine entrance, and we all discovered many, many leeches.

But did we let the leeches bother us?  NO?!!!  Well perhaps a little bit....

The Pass finishes at the bottom of Lila Falls, and we then soldiered up all the stairs to Leura Cascades.  A fantastic walk with a great bunch of women! Jocelyn

Jem dwarfed at the bottom of Leura Cascades
Saturday, 25 February - Wollangambe River, Mt Wilson

No, the weather wasn't dry and sunny, but that didn't matter on this walk and wade in this beautiful area. 

Most people walk down to do the canyon, but we take another track which descends down to the river about 1km upstream.  Here we exchanged our shoes for tevas or crocs and started walking down the river.  This gave us such a lovely view of the surrounding rock pagodas, gorgeous colours in the trees and rocks, prolific birdlife, and also was just plain fun.

We then arrived at the start of the canyon, so dumped our packs and stripped off (a bit) for a swim down a section of the canyon.  Alas my phone didn't accompany me down the canyon so I couldn't take any photos, but it is just sublime. 

We then lunched before we crossed the creek to the exit point and walked back up out of this most beautiful area.

This remote area is quite accessible and everyone should visit it.  I think its even more beautiful in the wet.  We would love to float down the whole of the canyon sometime, so if anyone has recently done this and knows where the exit point is, please let me know. 

Thanks to the plucky souls who came long for this gorgeous walk!  Jocelyn

Saturday, 19 February - Macro Lems at Fords Crossing

A little bit of Zen to start the day...

followed by a little bushland meditation...
7 of us had a very peaceful and reflective walk on Saturday. We visited Fords Crossing in the Megalong Valley, where the creek crosses Megalong Road on its way down to join the Cox’s River. After a big storm the previous day I had expected the creek to be much more mighty, but its gentle flow and quiet meandering was a sweet surprise. This location is a favourite swimming spot with Blackheathens, and there’s a nice camping group next to the road. We finished with lunch at the Megalong Tea Rooms, a Bush Lemons favourite.

And some reflective practice.....

and finishing with some contemplation of the flow of life
Oh...are you taking our picture?
Speaking of camping… keep the last weekend of March free for the combined Bush Lemons / Macro Lems camping weekend at Dunn’s Swamp! More details to follow soon…. Sharron
Saturday, 4 February - Narrowneck, Taros Ladders, Medlow Gap, Dunphys Campground

14 of us tackled this great walk down into the Wild Dogs on a rather warm day.  Walking out on Narrowneck is always a pleasure as it has beautiful views, but then came to the highlight being the descent off the end.  Half of the group descended by the ladders....well spikes in the rock to be precise...and the rest of us slid down the pass. 

It then took us around an hour to walk up over Mt Debert and then continue down the track to Medlow Gap.

The walk from here is on the Medlow Gap fire trail which thankfully had lots of shade.  When we reached a creek about halfway along there was much flinging off of clothes and flinging water everywhere. 

 Thank goodness for that creek!  The rest of the walk had us dreaming of cold drinks and ice creams, lying down wherever possible and sitting or reclining against any gate.

 We were cheered by the arrival at Dunphys Campground and the sight of our cars, and then we hightailed it to Megalong Tea Rooms for cold refreshments which were faaaaaaabulous!!  The team rooms have recently changed hands and we can thoroughly recommend them!

Thanks to Jem, Chris and Lesley for putting the cars at Dunphys the afternoon before, and thanks to those plucky Lemons who did this great walk!

Saturday, 28 January - Kayaking from The Spit to Scotts Creek

After a few late cancellations, 6 of us kayaked on a perfect day.  We did end up with a bit of a stiff head wind on our way back, but the good thing was it was high tide in Scotts Creek so we could kayak all the way through it until a low pedestrian bridge.

Middle Harbour was a usual busy waterway with lots of boats heading past, but this gave us a chance to bob over their wake.  It perhaps took around 45 minutes to reach Sugarloaf Bay, and things immediately calmed.  The bay itself is lovely with lots of gorgeous bush stretching down to the foreshore and an occasional tantalising set of stone stairs.  The entry to Scotts Creek was easy to spot and we were then gliding past the gorgeous mangroves in a little sanctuary.  The creek is quite long and its just gorgeously quiet with lots of Kookaburras and Kingfishers.  One keen-eyed Lemon spotted a stingray and another a goanna, and there were lots of lizards and water dragons.

Upon leaving Scotts Creek we found an unusual handmade rectangular hole in a rock, with its stone door lying next to it. A smuggler's cave, a fisherman's cache?  Who knows, but the area made for a perfect place to pull up kayaks for morning tea and a swim.

We tackled the busy waterway of middle harbour again and were treated to a great spectacle of racing yatchs near The Spit.  It was just amazing to hear the boom of their sails filling with air as they performed amazing turns, and the speed with which they moved, and all rather close to us.

Thanks to the Lemons who came along to discover the beauty of Scotts Creek and Sugarloaf Bay.  Jocelyn

Saturday, 21 January - Ida Falls, Lithgow

Friendly Lemons
7 of us had a great walk to Ida Falls at Lithgow on Saturday. This was a first for the Lemons and although its a relatively short walk it really is quite beautiful. We drove the back way to Lithgow via Brown’s Gap, where the resident emus on one of the farms had us a bit enthralled before we headed over the pass and into town. Our walk began with a on one side of a culvet (a very ordinary name for such a grand sandstone structure) under the railway line, which led us from suburban Lithgow into a whole new world of green ferns and swaying grasses.

The fretted areas were beautiful and lush

The ferns looked like they came from the dinosaur era

It really did feel like we’d passed through some kind of time portal, with the relics of an old house and a long abandoned car to reinforce the feeling.

Rusted metal laying by the track, looking molten in the midday heat

Intrepid explorers

Abandoned car
The walk itself winds along beside Farmer’s Creek, passing through beautiful wooded areas and ferny glens before coming into the amphitheatre of the falls itself. Although not a huge waterfall, Ida Falls is very pretty, only marred by the graffiti on some of the surrounding rock ledges. We returned on the same track with many sunning lizards and rosellas to keep us company, before heading to "Salud" at the Lithgow Tin Shed for coffee. Sharron

The top of Ida Falls

The bottom of Ida Falls

Saturday, 14 January - Kedumba Valley

12 Lemons ventured down to the Kedumba Valley via the Kedumba Pass.  This is located on Tableland Road, Wentworth Falls.  The pass is a nice wide firetrail which descends down past lovely sandstone overhangs with spectacular views, sections of rainforest and then opens up into the valley.
We checked out the old slab hut and then walked on past the campground and ruins of the homestead, to the Kedumba River. 

Many swims and paddles were had before we started back up to the top.

This valley is beautiful and we were lucky enough to see wallabies and brumbies.

Its quite a long walk back up and the trick is to take your time and just plod.  Due to the warm conditions some tried various headwear to keep cool!  We had a few challenges and on the way back up, but as usual the Lemons banded together to ensure all arrived safely back at our cars.  Thanks to those Lemons who came along and enjoyed the visit to this beautiful valley and some scintillating conversation!  Jocelyn

Saturday, 7 January - Spit to Manly

18 Lemons had a lovely walk from the Spit to Manly today.  Although this walk always has lots of walkers on it, the views are gorgeous and the swimming divine.  We lunched at Manly, where 8 Lemons left, and the 10 remaining Lemons returned to the Spit with another swim thrown in. 

Thanks to all the Lemons who came along for such a lovely day.  Jocelyn

Saturday, 3 Dec - Patonga Kayak

15 Lemons attended our kayaking trip down Patonga Creek, near Gosford.  This is a fairly easy kayak as you can't get lost and there aren't any large craft going past to create waves, just the occasional fisher or oyster farmer. 

It takes around an hour to get to the upper reaches of the creek where it narrows down, and you drift between the encroaching vegetation pressing close and the birds tweeting from the tops of the trees.  We stopped for a bite to eat in a clearing where obviously someone had previously camped, and then paddled back to our starting point.

I've referred to kayaking as 'bushwalking on water' and I really think it is.  Its a great way of feeling at one with the water and exploring some of our beautiful waterways, and the warmer months is a great time to indulge.

Many thanks to Kate and Chris who guided our group, and huge thanks to Kate for her generous supply of her kayaks.  Jocelyn

Sunday, 20 Nov - Lawson Waterfall Circuit

On Sunday 8 of us enjoyed a gorgeous walk around the 4 waterfalls in Lawson. The recent rain made it
even more special than normal, with all the waterfalls sparkling and the hanging swamps looking fresh and vibrant.

This is the perfect walk if you want to keep cool in summer - lots of chances to paddle and get wet, nice places to sit for a picnic, and it’s dog-friendly. Hope you enjoy the photos! Sharron

Saturday, 19 November - Mobbs Swamp

9 of us had a long challenging walk today in the Wild Dog Mountains.  Its a beautiful place with wallabies, goannas, a brown snake, and lots and lots of birds. 

We arrived at Mobbs Swap shortly after 11am.  Mobbs Swamp is a camping area used by walkers going on to Splendor Rock.  There is often a small trickling creek which can be used to refill waters bottles, but it wasn't running this day. 

Because of our quick pace to this point, we decided to take on the extra challenge of walking out towards Knights Deck.  This unmarked track runs off the main track to Mobbs, and stretches around 4km to this lookout.  Unfortunately we didn't quite make it to the end because we were running short on time, but got a good sense of the area.

We replenished our spirits in a creek across the fire trail, and were then back at the cars shortly before 5pm.  Good on those who attended and took on this 30km+ walk!!  Jocelyn

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