Reports and photos

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!
Jocelyn

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


Saturday, 12 Nov - Grose Valley, Junction Rock, Horse Track

On what started out looking like it would be a wet day, 5 Bush Lemons headed off from Evans Lookout to walk a loop back to Evans Lookout via Junction Rock and the Horse Track. Not long into the walk the sun came out and the bush glistened in the sun with the recent rainfall making everything seem so fresh and new looking. We followed the cliff top track stopping at Barrow Lookout to take in the view of the Grose Valley and the Horseshoe Falls. We then headed onto Govetts Leap where once again we admired the view looking at the Bridal Veil Falls and the valley below. Before long we were heading down Rodriguez Pass to our morning tea spot at the base of the Bridal Veil Falls where we cooled off by sitting in the spray of the falls.



It became apparent at the first creek crossing that the recent rains were going to make the creek crossings a little challenging. We continued on down to Junction Rock without getting our feet too wet on the creek crossings.


Following the creek we walked towards the Horse Tack turnoff where we found a beautiful spot to sit in the shade and eat our lunch. Four of us decided to have a “swim” and cool off in the creek while one other decided that taking her shoes off and wading in the water would be sufficient. After lunch we commenced the ascent up the Horse Track towards Evans Lookout.

We steadily made our way out of the Grose Valley to Evans Lookout and upon reaching the top all agreed that it was lovely to climb out of the Grose Valley without having to ascend what at times feels like never ending stair cases.



Thank you so much to the 4 other Bush Lemons who joined me on this walk. I had a fantastic time and really enjoyed your company. All in all it was a sensational day for walking. 

Happy hiking, Sue

4 Nov - 6 Nov - Dogs & Dykes Weekend, Berrima


We had 8 humans and 5 dogs join the inaugural Dogs and dykes weekend at Berrima.


Friday afternoon started with a walk up Gibbergunyah Reserve and a 3 hour hike through a mixture or dry forest, fern gullies an a lookout to Mount Gibraltar. This was just a taste of the weekend.






On Saturday, we all undertook the Boxvale track to visit a lovely lookout and an interesting hike along a disused train line that hauled coal out of the site. Highlight is a tunnel in the bush. 







Kaye, Christine, Sprocket and myself extended the walk to 40 foot falls for lunch


After the hike, we had a quick drive to Mount Gibraltar and saw lovely views of the district.



 
Saturday afternoon and evening was a lovely and relaxed affair with Dykes and Dogs bonding at camp and many new friendships were formed.

Then the absolute bonuses occurred on Sunday. Kaye, Christine and myself were fortunate enough to see Platypus in the river at Berrima. Wow, this was an absolute highlight for me.

 
Then ……. the absolute highlight of the weekend walking Tahmoor canyon. This walk never ceases to amaze me and did not disappoint. Sue and bear had enough as Bear was complaining about her enforced harness.

The canyon walk was a little difficult due to recent flood and changed track conditions but nevertheless wonderful. This is definitely a must do walk and the weather was perfect.




All in all it was a wonderful weekend.I totally loved organising it and absolutely enjoyed the new friends and dogs that I met.

Thank you for all the people and dogs that joined us and I will definitely put this on the calendar again. I look forward to this being a regular Bush Lemons event. Please mark it down as a new first for the wonderful Bush Lemons women.

Glenda

Sunday, 30 October - 7 Bridges Walk


10 Lemons and 1 dog took on the 28km 7 Bridges Walk in Sydney today which raises money for the Cancer Council.  It was lovely to be part of this event, to chat whilst walking through some well known and lesser known areas of Sydney.  As enjoyable as it all was, it was a relief to finish.  Congratulations to all the Lemons - you were fantastic!  Jocelyn




Saturday, 29 October - T3 Track Wollemi National Park


Ten of us had a wonderful walk down to the Colo River!  Its great that Mary is leading the walks in this most beautiful wilderness area and we all appreciated the spectacular views, the endless bush covered peaks, and the meandering river below us.  It took us around 2 hours to descend down the T3 and the track was in pretty reasonable condition.



The river was beautiful!!!  We played in it for a while, had spas in the rapids and drifted down and swam up.  What a glorious place to spend time on a warm day.



The walk up was fairly strenuous, but then we had breaks to look at the views, check out the flannel flowers or just get our breath.  2 hours later we were back at the cars and looking forward to coffee and cake at Bilpin.  Thanks so much to Mary for another wonderful walk in the Wollemi, and to Pandora, Chris and Mary for the carpooling.  Jocelyn


Sunday, 23 October - Macro Lems Lennox Bridge

Planking - Macro Lems style
9 of us enjoyed a gorgeous morning at Lennox Bridge this morning. It was one of those mornings that started with an “oh, is this all there is?” moment, and then the magic of the camera drew us in and the world of stone and water, light and shade, ferns and birds opened up to us.


For me one of the wonders of photography is how it heightens all the senses, simply through the act of slowing me down and stopping the chatter in my mind. Not many photos to show this time, as I took many portraits and didn’t want to put up shots of individual people.  Afterwards, some of us continued on to a delicious lunch at the Penrith Regional Gallery, with excellent coffee! Sharron

Water trails


Sunday, 23 October - Royal National Park

As the scheduled walk on the Coast Track in the Royal National Park was cancelled due to the forecasted heavy rain on Saturday, Jay instead led a walk in the Park on Sunday.  We are hopeful that Jay will reschedule the Coast Track walk sometime soon (no pressure Jay).








Saturday, 15 October - Faulconbridge Point and Grose River


On what turned out to be a spectacular day, 10 Bush Lemons set off from Faulconbridge to walk to along the ridge line to Faulconbridge Point. We stopped here to take in the views of the Grose River and the Grose Valley while we ate our morning tea.



Alas some of the walkers had to return to the cars before venturing to the river. Those remaining walkers then headed down to the river where after negotiating 2 descents which required us to use ropes we arrived by the river.


Some of us swam in the icy waters before having our lunch and relaxing by the bank. This is a beautiful spot which we reluctantly had to leave to head back up to the fire trail before the walk back to the cars. 




A big thanks to the wonderful women who came along and made this walk such an enjoyable and relaxing day. 

Hope to see you all again soon.  Happy walking.  Sue

Sat, 1 Oct to Mon, 3 Oct - Yerranderie

Yerranderie is fabulous.  This historic old, once bustling, town lies 100km west of Sydney, and it takes around 4 hours to drive there from the upper Blue Mountains.  We were 22 women in a convoy of 8 cars.  We stopped for coffee in Oberon and continued through the pine plantations until thankfully the plantations gave way to beautiful bush and gorgeous vistas. 

The camping area is in the middle of the remains of the village and is overlooked by the beautiful Mt Yerranderie.  There are 2 toilets and showers, and firewood is provided.  Camping fees are cheap and the caretaker was very friendly and helpful.  We did lots of walking around the area, visited the 'government village' with its restored buildings, the old graveyard, the nearby river, the museum, and of course did the walk up to the top of Mt Yerranderie - a highlight for many.  Val spent most of her time painting the old buildings, and even managed to get a commission and sell all her paintings!


The campsite from Mt Yerranderie


One of Val's beautiful paintings!
There were shared meals, singing around the campfire, watching the local kangaroos and goannas, much laughter, stories.  The weather was perfect and it was almost hot on Sunday.  We want to come back again and spend longer here next time so we can explore further and just enjoy this gem of a place!!  It's well worth a visit any time.  Thanks to all for their photos, and Glenda, Wendy, Lesley, Susan, Sue, Val, Lesley, Diann, Carol & Christine for their cars.  Enjoy the photos.  Jocelyn





Delaying leaving this lovely area!
 This says it all


View from Mt Yerranderie
 

On the way down from the Mountain
 





Sunday, 25 September - Macro Lems do Cockatoo Island

14 Lemons enjoyed a magic day on Cockatoo Island. Seagulls are nesting all over the upper part of the Island, and they were amazing to see what dedicated parents and egg incubators they are. Not a single bird was interested in a chip or a snack, instead focussing on screeching at us and protecting their babies. Things I learned about seagulls: they are incredibly protective of their young; they share parenting, swapping nest-sitting often so the other bird can forage for food; they typically have two eggs, ranging from cream speckled to dark brown speckled; many birds are missing feet; they have tongues (no lips) and incredibly loud voices; they will continue to care for a baby even after it’s been touched by humans (this discovered after a baby was released from being stuck in a fence); and although they are on the island at the same time, they lay eggs at different times so some of the babies are quite mature while others are still waiting to hatch. Sharron

Mid flight battle.  The bird at the bottom twisted up and around to attack the other as it flew over its head

Late afternoon yoga
 
One footed gull coming into land

Two cute
Huge feet
 Saturday, 24 September - Pierces Pass to Blue Gum Forest

It took us only 3 hours to reach the Blue Gum from the carpark at Pierces Pass.  You descend via a beautiful rainforest gully and then into open forest on the slopes.  This is definitely a great way to access the Blue Gum!





After the descent down Pierces Pass the track follows the Grose River along to initially the Little Blue Gum and then the Blue Gum itself.  The trees were magnificent, the birds prolific and lunch by the river was sublime. 




How wonderful that this forest still exists in all its grandeur.  Thanks to the 6 women who came along on the walk today.  Jocelyn

Yellow Pea Flower

Friday, 2 Sept - Monday, 5 Sept - Myall Lakes

Myall Lakes is a beautiful area and we only saw a small area of it during our weekend here.  We managed to snare a nice private camping area in the Wells Campsite which fronted the lake.  There were campfires, walks to lookouts, rainforests and the nearby beach, photo opportunities, kayaking on the calm lake, and also when the gale winds whipped it up on the Saturday.  A lovely place that it would be nice to see more of.  Thanks to Anne for doing the recce and snaring our campsite, and to those who came along and shared food, tips, conversations over the fires.  Jocelyn



The calm on Friday
Then the wild weather on Saturday!

 




Saturday,13 August - Giant Staircase, Leura Forest


6 1/2 lemons enjoyed a wonderful winters day on this little "Prue Circuit" encompassing the Giant Staircase, Leura Forest and Fern Bower. Prue had pre ordered lyrebirds for us, but it was not until we were almost ascending out of the forest and were talking about sending in a complaint, that rustlings were heard and tails appeared.


We experimented with a "Silent Section" of the walk through the forest and women had different experiences of this ranging from "That was so hard. I could not wait for it to end" to "I noticed I heard a lot more bush sounds".


 
After a light snack we descended up Fern Bower to the sound of the waterfalls, resting to breath along the way and to take in this beautiful place. 

At the top of the stairs Prue was surprised to find her sister descending into the valley on a separate walk with friends!

 
Thank you to to those who came along. 

Oh yes the aforementioned "half" is Lesley and don't worry she's completely fine, she just had to leave for an appointment, half way through the walk.  Prue

Saturday, 6 August - Macro Lems at Hartley

14 Macro Lems enjoyed an amazingly cold photographic trip to Hartley Historic Site on Saturday, with 3 new photographers joining us and women travelling from as far away as Lake Macquarie. The site covers an area of 11.5ha, with 17 buildings set amongst pastures, old orchards and native vegetation.
 
The usual kangaroos were nowhere to be seen, replaced by carloads of tourists and a bunch of Girl Guides. None of whom were as tough as us - they left us to our own devices once the temperatures started to dive. The light was a bit flat and grey, but there was so much to see and so many places to wander that we all managed to capture some interesting shots. We warmed up with pizza at Alchemy Pizza in Hartley afterwards. Enjoy the pics, and keep an eye out for our next adventure in September.  Sharron
 




Saturday, 30 July - Govetts Leap to Pulpit Rock

Eleven of us had a beautiful walk in Blackheath on Sunday on a gorgeous sunny day from Govetts Leap Lookout to Pulpit Rock and return. Some of us had coffee at the Bakehouse on Wentworth cafe, then we set off, chatting away and stopping frequently at the many lookouts to take in the stunning views over the Grose Valley.



The track meandered through pretty bushland close to the cliff edge and was quite muddy, so keeping the boots clean was near impossible!
Although we couldn’t have asked for a more picture-perfect day, the wind was chilly, so we only had a brief lunch stop at Pulpit Rock, before we were back on our way again.



Thanks to Ines for the photos and to Margot and Vicki for helping out with transportation to the start of the walk. It was a lovely, sociable walk and great to catch up with new and not-so-new Lemons.  Ilsa



Saturday, 23 July - Wild Dog Mountain - Ironpot Mtn, Coxs River, Breakfast & Carlon Creeks

Seven of us had a great walk in the Wild Dogs on Saturday.  It was a tad windy on top of Ironpot Mountain, but once we descended down Ironmonger Spur we were protected.  The Coxs River was in full roar and even had rapids. 
Coxs River
Mother Earth watching over the valley (this photo has not been doctored!)
The trail then leads along Breakfast Creek with a ridiculous number of creek crossings.  Some of us gave up trying to spring from rock to rock and instead just waded across, boots and all.




This really is an incredibly beautiful area, so many haunting trees, green glades full of atmosphere, shafts of sunlight hitting stark boulders, and of course all that water.

Lunch and boot/ drying area


Thanks to Lesley for helping with cars, Isobel for most of the photos, and to those plucky lemons who took on the Wild Dog challenge and made it out to the end.  Jocelyn

Saturday, 9 July - Mt Solitary traverse

What a wonderful walk!  The rain stopped, the sun put in an appearance, not a breath of wind! 12 of us started out early from the top of the Golden Stairs to do this iconic mountains walk.  We had two significant happenings early on.....a male lyrebird performed its song and dance with his tail in full display over his head and held us enthralled.  It really is such a privilege to witness something as special as this.  The second happening was a bit more dramatic....whilst on the Federal Pass we heard a large crack overhead and suddenly two huge bits of tree feel down, right in front of where Isobel was standing.  It gave us all a fright, but luckily no one was hurt.  This shouldn't be a surprise when we walk past downed trees and branches everywhere in the bush of course, but I guess being in the bush can be a lottery of mostly wonderful experiences, with reminders that mother nature gets on with her job, and we are mere interlopers.


Two of our walkers left us to do the side trip to the Ruined Castle.  The rest of us had fun clambering up the Knife Edge of Mt Solitary and had morning tea near the top where the low cloud moved in.  We then started on the walk across the top, past occasional lookouts with white-outed views.




Lunch was had when we reached The Col - the eastern side of Mt Solitary.  This is a beautifully dominant rock outcrop where the log book is.  The low clouds had vanished and we had spectacular views down into the Kedumba Valley and beyond. 


After lunch we had the fun (or otherwise) of sliding and shimmying down the steep descend towards the Kedumba River.  This section of the walk can take some time because of the erosion, but it is one of my most favourite areas in the mountains because of the huge trees and diverse undergrowth, and the Kedumba River is always lovely.   We then pushed uphill to the firetrail and then had the last section of walking up through Kedumba Pass to the locked gate at the end of Tableland Road.  We did the traverse in 8.5 hours - a wonderful effort and achievement for all!
a little blue gum forest near the river
Many thanks to Madeline, Isobel, Lesley, Susan, Sue and Wendy for assistance with cars, Isobel for most of the photos,  and all for coming along to enjoy this most beautiful time in the bush.  (Wendy's recipe for her sublime cake will be put up on the facebook page!)  Jocelyn

Sunday, 26 June - Macro Lems Blackheath Weir

9 of us enjoyed a gorgeous (slightly chilly) morning taking photos at the Blackheath Weir today. There were remnants of snow still sitting in the hollows, and it felt a little surreal to walk in under a sunny sky. Although we concentrated on a small area, there was lots to photograph - some early wattle, reflections on ponds, tumbling waterfalls, brilliantly green bracken ferns and more. Enjoy the photos, and please come and join us on the next walk! Sharron




 

Saturday, 25 June - Gospers Ridge, Wollemi National Park

It was a lovely walk in the wilderness of the Wollemi National Park for 10 Lemons today.  Mary clearly knows this area very well and was able to point out many landmarks.  It was a chilly start for the walk, with the upper mountains car turning up with some snow still clinging to it.


The walk starts on the Gospers Ridge firetrail, off Mountain Lagoon Road, so it is easy walking through some lush forested areas.  We then left the firetrail for a lovely footrack which led us along to some beautiful lookouts over the Colo River.  We lunched on a spectacular rocky outcrop and dreamed about other walks and explorations in the area.





Thanks to everyone for coming along and to Mary for leading the walk.  The weather was just stunning after such a windy, wet and snowy week!  Jocelyn

Saturday, 11 June - GLBTQ walk Darwins Walk/Undercliff Walk

Around 29 of us did this GLBTQ walk as part of the Queens Birthday weekend activities.  It was around 29 because we started with 25, then 2 others joined us in the park and another 2 joined us along the track, then some left at the Conservation Hut, another joined us on the way back.....anyway, you get the idea. 




It was superb weather and the walk itself was only around 3hours, so a perfect warm up to the evening's disco at Blackheath where it was lovely to see so many Lemons boogying.  A number of us had a lovely lunch afterwards in Wentworth Falls.  Thank you to everyone who attended, and also to Katrina for the extra photos.  Jocelyn
It has been terrible to hear about the news of the massacre at the gay nightclub in Florida. 
Stay strong Lemons.




Sunday, 29 May - Nepean River Kayak

9 of us had a lovely time at the inaugural Nepean River kayak.  We had a headwind on our way up towards Nepean Gorge, so it took a bit longer than we thought it might.  Once we entered the start of the gorge the water was calmer and it was delightful kayaking through the bushland.  The 'Nepean Belle' Paddlesteamer passed by us on its way further up the gorge and came back down again whilst we were lunching. 

Practising how to steer kayaks


The river surface was glassy on our return trip, so it was just beautiful paddling back downstream. 

We had time constraints due to some of the kayaks being hired and therefore we didn't get as far up the gorge as we would have liked.  We will do this next time!

Thanks for those who came along for this lovely frolic in the Nepean. Jocelyn

 
 
Sunday, 22 May - Blue Gum Swamp, Winmalee

This loop walk is named after the beautiful large patch of Blue Gums that you walk under.

The 10 Lemons also tackled the steep climb up to Grose Lookout which has spectacular (when the valley isn't covered in smoke haze) views out into the Grose Valley and the Grose River.  We then descended back to the loop walk, took a side trip to the mysterious 'Grotto' and then finished back at the cars.




This walk can be done as a simple loop, or by adding in the climb you can turn it into something more challenging. Thanks to those who came along and accepted the challenge! Jocelyn

 
















Sunday, 15 May - Macro Lems at Euroka Clearing

5 of us enjoyed a slightly smokey wander around Euroka on Sunday. The smoke from the  burn-offs added a surreal quality to the bush and a bluish time to everything. Maybe that’s the real reason it’s called the Blue Mountains? We were incredibly lucky to stumble across a kookaburra bath house - a rock pool visited by four kookas who all took great delight in diving in and out, having a really good feather shake and then sitting on the bank or in nearby trees to dry off. They had a such a good time, throwing themselves into it with their usual gusto. We confined our walk to small dry creekbed with a couple of pools, some interesting insects and of course lots of birds. Although short, the walk gave us lots of opportunity to take some interesting shots. Afterwards we finished with lunch at the nursery Cafe - I can recommend the goats cheese tart! Sharron

Reflections in a rock pool

One clean kookaburra


Leaf-surfing wasp - just resting, it flew away shortly after the shot was taken

Gum nuts

Lemons trying to hide behind the foliage
Saturday, 14 May - Sassafrass & Martins Lookout loop

8 Lemons had a lovely walk through the Sassafras Gully and Martins Lookout area in unseasonly warm and sunny conditions.  What a beautiful area this is with its rainforest, craggy rock outcrops, creeks, and then views from Martins Lookout across to the Lost World Lookout.  There were few people about and the area was mostly hushed and pristine. 


 

 
Its obviously a lovely area to visit in the warmer months for swimming at Perch Ponds and in Glenbrook Creek, so we'll be back in summer!  Jocelyn

Sunday, 17 April - Wentworth Pass


On a cool and misty Sunday 5 Bush Lemons tackled the Wentworth Pass track at Wentworth Falls. After setting off along the Short-cut track it wasn’t long before we were at the stepping stones at the top of the Falls where we stopped for a photo opportunity before descending the Grand Staircase. As we descending we dropped below the cloud/mist and had a clear view of the Valley. We continued the descent before tackling Slacks stairs and then stopping at the base of the falls for mororing tea. We then walked along Wentworth Pass to Valley of the Waters and commenced the climb back out of the valley. We stopped under an overhang at the base of Empress Falls for lunch and then completed the ascent back to the starting point. Although it was cloudy and misty at times it was perfect walking weather. Thank you to the 4 women who joined me on the walk and made this such a great walk. Sue





Saturday, 16 April - Nature Trail, Wentworth Falls


Ten Lemons had a lovely walk along the Nature Track at Wentworth Falls today. The track begins with a deceptively flat walk through forested area before descending down through pretty rainforests and hanging swamps and past stunning lookouts. We enjoyed some beautiful creek crossings and lovely views out into the valley, and watched a group of women heading down Empress Canyon before heading up many steps to complete the loop. The Conservation Hut provided us with good coffee and excellent food as a reward for our hard work. We all had fun, and thanks to everyone for coming along. Sharron


 

 Sunday, 10 April - Wentworth Falls Lake

Wentworth Falls Lake is a lovely place to take a stroll with the dogs on a sunny and cool day.  It doesn't take very long and has a nice mix of tracks, road sections and lots of lake views.  Thanks to those who came along and stayed for coffee and snacks afterwards.  The dogs were very well behaved! Jocelyn


 
 
Saturday 9 Aril - Off Track Lemons - Bruce's Walk 


On Saturday 3 of us intrepid Lemons set off on an epic off track walk – Bruce’s Walk from Wenty to Minnie Haha Falls. The weather was fine the sun was beaming down and off into the unknown we stepped.
Leaving a car at our end point we sometimes doubted that we would ever make it back as we wrestled with thick, seemingly impenetrable bush. At times we had to resort to crawling through the thick undergrowth.


Water was scarce so we were delighted when we came upon a spring so we could drink our fill, refill our canisters and cool our frazzled and steaming brows!
We did steep descents to very scary creek crossings, only to face incredible steep ascents up sheer rock faces on the other side. This went on for creek after creek. The joy was hard to contain as we summited (what we thought was) our last climb.

I don’t want to sound too harsh as it really was a beautiful walk under magnificent representations of human ingenuity and engineering magnificence.
Ha ha late April Fool! It was a fabulous walk full of laughs, fun, and no thick bush! Don’t miss our next “off track” walk. Thanks Isobel and Prue. Anne
  
Saturday, 2 April - Macro Lems Echo Point to Leura Cascades



20 women came along to the Macro Lems walk on Saturday - that's a bit of a record! Anne knew a shortcut track that took us away from the tourist trail and straight into the bush, where we discovered two bowerbird bowers, bejewelled with lots of blue ornaments and decorations. Perfect, as one of the  challenges for today was to photograph an example of how the human world interacts with nature. We had a great walk, and finished up with coffee down at the Milk Bar at Echo Point. Thanks for everyone who came along, the generous women who helped with the car pool, and Rosemary who bought banana and raspberry bread for us all to share. I hope you enjoy the photos, and look forward to the next Macro adventure. Sharron

 
Bower Bird's Bower




 

 
Saturday, 2 April - Royal National Park bike ride
There were 18 women on the combined Bush Lemons & Sydney Spokes bike ride on Lady Carrington Drive through the Royal National Park.  This is a very easy 20km ride on mostly flat dirt track through the middle of the National Park and next to the Hacking River.  The lush rainforest sections, river views and birdlife were glorious, but I really enjoyed the coasting along and sometimes short and fast downhill sections.  I always forget how much fun riding a bike is....well that is until one comes to an uphill section (one struggled a tad). 


 We had a brief rest at the end of the track and then returned the same way.

The cafe at Audley is in a lovely location and food and drinks were very welcome.  I learned a few tips about mountain bikes versus hybrids, how to relax one's arms when riding, to ignore what my back tyre was doing and how to look behind you without riding off the path (one wasn't so  good at that).

Many thanks to Sue from Sydney Spokes and to all the Lemons and Spokes who attended.  I hope this will be the first of many more bike rides.

Jocelyn


Sunday, 20 March - Fortress Ridge & Darks Cave, Leura
 
11 women did this gorgeous walk in overcast but lovely conditions. 
 
Fortress Ridge is an easily accessible ridge from Mt Hay Road which provides stupendous views into the Grose Valley.  
  

A short distance from the end of Fortress Ridge is the unmarked track which leads down to Darks Cave.  The short descent includes some scrambles before you enter a delightful gully full of birds and a trickling creek.  The track follows the creek for a short distance before a clamber over some rocks lead us to the start of the cave. 


 We surmised that the cave would be quite well protected in all elements, and that coupled with its private location, access to the nearby views into the Grose Valley, fresh water supply and beautiful little pool, would have made it an irrestistable retreat for the Dark family during the depression and WWII. 


















We then scrambled back up to the top of Fortress Ridge to return to the cars.
Thanks to those women who were new to the group or who were returning after a bit of an absence.  You all did so well on the scrambles and it was a lovely walk!  Below is the beautiful poem by Eleanor Dark written about the cave which they called 'Jerrelkellimi'.
Next time we shall indeed boil our billy.
  



If you should in passing by
come on Jerrelkellimi
very welcome you would be
boil your billy, make your tea.

By the fireplace drink and eat,

dry your shoes and warm your feet.

But oh gentle stranger pray

these polite requests obey

Break no bottles, chop no trees,

tins in the fireplace if you please.

If you these requests fulfill

may good luck attend you still.

May you hear the lyrebird’s song

echo from Werringerong.

But if not, may all your packs

make blue bruises on your backs.

May you for your many sins,

bang your heads and bark your shins,

and at last in sorry plight

be chased by bunyips through the night.


Eleanor Dark

  
 Saturday, 20 February - Pulpit Rock, Blackheath















Six Lemons enjoyed a picturesque walk from Pulpit Rock to Blackheath on Saturday. We started with an exploration of the many levels of the lookout at Pulpit Rock, where the mist swirled around the women who braved "the cage" on the side of the rock. Most of this walk traverses the cliff tops over the Grose Valley, with plunging cliffs and glimpses of waterfalls and swimming holes far below. We visited the two beaches of Blackheath, marvelling at the tiny fish that manage to survive the Blackheath winters before heading back to town and lunch at the Victory Cafe. Thanks to Vivienne, Robyn and Donna for helping with the car swap. Sharron




Sunday, 14 February - Mt Victoria Falls to Perrys Lookdown

 8 women tackled this challenging walk in hot conditions.  The descent down next to Victoria Falls is lovely and ends at a camping area at Burra Korain at the junction of the Grose River and Victoria Creek.  From here the walk follows the Grose River and we had around 3 dips in the river along the way to keep cool - bliss!  The Grose River is lovely with many large boulders and swimming holes. 





We were in the Blue Gum Forest shortly after 2pm and then tackled the ascent up Perrys Lookdown.  For some it took just under an hour, and for me it took 2 hours of slogging along up the steep climb. 


 Many thanks to Anne, Sharron and Lesley for assisting with cars and lifts.  And thanks to those women who came along to experience the beautiful Grose Valley and such a challenging walk!  Jocelyn

Sunday, 7 February - Mt York loop

16 women and 8 dogs had a lovely walk today at Mt York.  We descended via Lawsons Long Alley, through Hartley Vale, then back up by Lockyers Pass.  These tracks are on Departments of Lands property and therefore dogs are allowed. Part of the walk is in a rural area, but the return via the pass is through lovely bushland with views.  Everyone was very well behaved, even the humans!  Jocelyn




Sat, 6 February - Mt Piddington loop

 
8 Lemons had what turned out to be a slightly damp walk in the Mt Piddington area today.  This area is rich with caves, beautiful escarpment and rock outcrops, little used tracks and lookouts.  We started at Carlisle Street and visited Ross Cave and Pulpit Rock, then down to the bottom of the waterfall off Rienets Pass, Witches Glen, Hornes Point and Ferris Cave before we headed back to stiff hot drinks at a Mt Victoria cafe.
Unfortunately the low cloud and mizzle blocked the views, but it was lovely exploring such an interesting and historic area.  Thanks to those women who came along for the explore.  Jocelyn

 


Sat, 30 January - Bobbin Head Loop
 

16 of us had a lovely walk today in fairly humid and warm conditions.  The loop walk starts at the Sphinx War Memorial off Bobbin Head Road and it takes about 90 minutes to reach Bobbin Head.  We picnicked in the shade near the kiosk before we left via the Gibberagong Track which wends its way along Cockle Creek and inevitably we had to head up the ascent away from the creek.  We had a goanna lead our walk for a while, before she headed off to other adventures.  
 
 
The ascent was harder than some thought it would be, and the humidity made it a challenge.  We luckily arrived back at the cars before the storms moved in.
 
 
Its a good time to remind everyone about drinking electrolytes in summer to replace the sweat (or perspiration for those women who don't sweat), and to have plenty of nutritious snacks on hand.  Even if you feel the walk isn't going to be hard, its better to be prepared.  Also, wear clothing that will keep you cool.
 
Thanks to all those women who came along today, for those who gutsied it out, and for those who supported.  Jocelyn
 
Sun, 24 Jan - Macro Lems Kings Tableland Aboriginal Place

13 Lemons enjoyed a magical, misty visit to the Aboriginal Place at Kings Tableland on Sunday. The site is one of the most significant Aboriginal places in the Mountains, as it was the place of first contact between local people and the white explorers as they pressed inland.  
 
It was a very wet adventure, which gave us lots of opportunities to photograph bejewelled webs, drips, drops, puddles, misty mountain scenes and each other! We also spent time exploring the grinding grooves in the rock ledge, and the rock engravings underneath in a wonderful dry overhang. The atmosphere of their place is very special, and it will be good to go back when its dry and explore further.

 


 Enjoy the pics, and come along to our next photographic adventure on 27th February. Sharron


 
 9-10 January - Pittwater kayaking
 
12 lemons paddled the shores of Western Pittwater and camped overnight at the Basin and paddled back again the next day, 9.5km each way.  4 lemons did the day paddle to Portuguese Beach and back again to Bayview, 7km each way.  1 lemon walked into the Basin and met the kayakers there.


 
We were blessed with perfect weather conditions and only light winds!!!  




 
We paddled along the secluded bays stopped for a swim and lunch at Portuguese beach, where we saw a huge goanna. There were many gorgeous tame wallabies at the Basin, along with families enjoying themselves. The aboriginal rock carvings found along the Basin Trail are amazing.




 
We came back salt encrusted, elated we made the journey and navigated the coastline so well. The café was a treat at the end!

 
It was lovely to discover that  bushwalking on water is just as beautiful as bushwalking on land!

Thanks Lemons who made the trip so enjoyable and fun!!! Kate
 
Saturday, 2 January 2016 - Kedumba Pass
Well, there's always got to be one....
A spontaneous bushwalk is a great thing - you can get the best weather and walkers come with a hightened sense of novelty!  So it was with today's walk.....the weather was perfect, being that bit cooler, and yet still warm enough to enjoy a swim in the Kedumba River.  The Kedumba Pass Trail is relatively easy walking and the Kedumba Valley is still one of my most favourite places - full of wildlife and few humans. 
Gotta love new packs before they get abused!





 
Thanks to those 10 women for coming along for such a lovely walk! Jocelyn
 
Sat, 19 December - Macro Lems Sublime Point
 
On Saturday 12 Lemons enjoyed a lovely photographic ramble around Sublime Point. We had three challenges - to take a macro photo, another of the interaction of humans with the environment, and a third one showing the contrast between the closeness and the vastness of our surroundings.  It was lots of fun! On the way home, a few of us stopped in awe of Andrew the peacock as he made his way down a Leura street, then we headed off to the Bush Lemons Christmas Party. Thanks to everyone who came along, it was a real treat and I look forward to having more photographic adventures next year. Sharron   




 
Sat, 19 December - Devil's Hole loop
 
9 Lemons had a lovely walk in warm conditions down the Devil's Hole and return up Nellies Glen.  Entering the Devil's Hole was like stepping into nature's air conditioning - pure bliss.  This is an easy and beautiful access into the Megalong Valley. 
 
 
















We stopped for morning tea near the creek here and then continued on to where the track meets the Six Foot Track.  It was then a flattish walk along the dirt road for a while until we reached the bottom of Nellie's Glen.  We found a small waterhole where we could pour water over our heads to cool off, and then a short way on managed to access a beautiful waterfall where we stood under the pounding flow - a very refreshing experience coupled with a massage on the shoulders! 


Refreshed we continued up the stairs of Nellie's Glen and then onto the Cliff Track around to the start of our walk.  Thanks to those women who came along in the warm conditions for a walk in this beautiful area.  Jocelyn

 Sat, 12 Dec - Manly to Spit walk
 

On an overcast Saturday 19, yes 19 Bush Lemons and 2 small dogs, set off from the Spit Bridge to walk to Manly. It was a perfect day for walking and fairly quickly we had settled into a nice rhythm. The relatively flat terrain made for easy walking. We stopped along the way to enjoy the views and regroup before heading on finally having morning tea at Forty Baskets Beach where a few Lemons had a refreshing swim. We then headed onto Manly where lunches were purchased and then sat overlooking the ocean while we ate our lunch. A few Lemons had a swim in the ocean at Manly and as some were only walking one way we bid them farewell and commenced the walk back. This was a lovely walk and we saw some wildlife including, a lizard, an echidna and a bush turkey, there were also lots of wildflowers out. 

Thank you to all who came along on the walk and I hope to see you again out on the track.

Cheers, Sue



 
Friday, 4 Dec - Sun, 6 Dec - Dunns Swamp Camp

 Dunns Swamp has to be one of the most beautiful campsites.  It has everything....bushwalks, spectacular pagodas, a large waterway, great swimming and kayaking, campfires, views, a variety of campsites.  12 Lemons had a lovely weekend in perfect weather.  There is a huge amount of birdlife, wallabies and we even had a red belly black snake pass through our camp.  I'll let the photos tell the story.  Thanks to all those who came along!  Jocelyn













Saturday, 21 November - Transit of Venus

 Six Lemons enjoyed a really lovely walk on Saturday. We walked the Transit of Venus track at Woodford, and it was a real treat. The track links three waterfalls (Mabel, Edith and Hazel), each with its own character and small sandy beach. Perfect places to visit when the weather heats up. The hanging swamps along the way were fascinating, as were the gullies that seemed frozen in time. We were privileged to see a sacred kingfisher that posed beautifully for us - pity no-one had a zoom lens handy! This walk is quite short (only 3km all-up) and it’s beauty and diversity make it very special.


   We finished with lunch at The Parade cafe in Hazelbrook - a new gem on the opposite side of the railway to the highway. Thanks to Geena, Wendy and Marge for helping with cars, and Geena for the extra pics. Thanks also to the wonderful women who came along, you were fantastic company and I look forward to walking with you all again!  Sharron

 Saturday, 14 November - Macro Lems do Leura Cascades

Four Macro Lems had a fun time on Saturday, splashing through the puddles at Leura Cascades with our cameras. Talk about water in all it's forms - we were rained and dripped on, splashed and misted, saw waterfalls and cascades,  skipped through puddles and and generally got very wet! The Cascades were beautiful, especially with all the rain we've had. Lots of opportunities to practice using filters, tripods and different shutter speeds to play with different effects, photograph the magic misty landscape and attempt to capture pregnant drips on the tips of fern fronds before they fell to earth.





 
We finished up with lunch at Leura Garage (yes, after all these years I've finally made it inside!), where we were joined by another Lemon eager to hear about our adventures. Thanks to the intrepid souls who made the trip - love your work!  Sharron

Saturday, 14 November - bike ride, Mt Victoria to Katoomba
 
Yesterday 3 Lemons had a fantastic ride through the mist from Mt Victoria to Katoomba. It didn’t actually rain so we had perfectly cool conditions for riding. The waratahs are outstanding this year due to fire and ample rain. Hanging Rock hid herself from view. The roar from the Grose River rose up to us on the breeze, misty swirls causing the near white-out invisibility. We had lunch in Blackheath before scooting along the cycleway to catch the 2:26 home. Thanks to the 2 intrepid women for sharing an invigorating ride. See you on a trail soon, Raewyn.
 

Lemons in the mist
 

 
Saturday, 7 November - Porters Pass/Centennial Glen loop

10 Lemons and 3 dogs had a lovely walk around this historic and beautiful area on the western side of Blackheath.  Who would have thought that after such a wet week we would have sunny skies!  Dogs are allowed in this area because it is council reserve rather than national park. 

The track can be a bit rough in places, and particularly after rain the rocks and stairs can be a bit slippery, but the rainforest sections, waterfalls, views of the escarpment and into the Megalong Valley are spectacular. We all enjoyed the explore and Glenda even rescued a rock climber who had sprained her ankle by strapping it up.  Thanks to those Lemons who had faith in the weather to join us for this lovely walk.  Jocelyn



Saturday, 31 October - Perrys Lookdown to Pierces Pass

7 of us had a lovely walk through the Grose Valley today.  The descent down Perrys Lookdown is steep with many stair, but it does get you down quickly.  The Blue Gum Forest is always beautiful and lovely to walk through.  We had morning tea on the river where we marvelled at a beautifully balanced rock cairn and a gorgeous teeny frog.



 We then walked the track that leads along the river and eventually comes to the Pierces Pass Track where we exited the valley.  Pierces Pass is really a beautiful walk with fantastic views back into the valley, spectacular escarpment, and a lush rainforest section.  If you are looking for the easiest way into the valley, then this track is a must.




 A beautiful part of the mountains.  Thanks to Sue and Anne for helping with the cars.
Jocelyn

Sunday, 25 October - 7 Bridges Walk Sydney

Today 13 of us joined the 7 Bridges Walk in Sydney which raises funds for the Cancer Council.  Not only is this a walk for a good cause, but its also a good walk of 27km!  The route took us around some of the lesser known areas and there were lots of water views, harbour views, the newly opened Barrangaroo area and amazingly huge houses.

 We have a few stops at the 'villages' along the way to top up fluids, eat, rest, recover and then kick on again.


The walk has a great positive atmosphere and there are many volunteers along the whole route.  We were finished by 4pm and it was most pleasurable to finally put our feet up and only have to walk to our cars.  Thanks to all those wonderful women who came along and made the walk such a pleasure!  Jocelyn
 
 
 Saturday, 17 October
- Off Track Lemons, Temple of Doom

10 Lemons set off on our first Gardens of Stone off track walk on Saturday. It is a beautiful part of the world, and as we discovered, perfectly named.After meeting in Lithgow for coffee we car-pooled out to Blackfellows Cave where we parked and went for the short walk to the 20 – 30 metre rock overhang that has some Aboriginal hand paintings.




We decided to walk rather than drive the 2km to the start of the walk on the fire trail. We then headed off track exploring the beautiful and magnificent rock pagodas of the Temple of Doom. What a magnificent relatively rarely visited place this is!
 
 
We had lunch on the escarpment overlooking the Wolgan Valley. We then beat our way back through the bush to the start and then returned on the road to the cars.

      
We had lunch on the escarpment overlooking the Wolgan Valley. We then beat our way back through the bush to the start and then returned on the road to the cars.
The iced coffees, chocolate muffins and “light” cheese cake were all very much appreciated.
Thanks to Sue and Chris for your cars and to all who came.
Anne

Saturday, 10 October - Macro Lems Walk, Rhododendron Gardens

Six Lemons had a beautiful photographic adventure at the Campbell Rhododendron Gardens in Blackheath on Saturday. The weather was perfect in the morning - sunny, but with shady trees to give us good light for photography. The gardens themselves were spectacular - a mix of beautifully flowering exotic plants with large areas pf native bush, a nonet-like lake and stone bridge, and flowers everywhere. After two hours of wandering and savouring, I think we were all suffering from beauty fatigue! The Lodge in the gardens is open for morning and afternoon tea during October ad November, so we recovered with scones and jam and cream on the verandah overlooking garden. 
The gardens are a perfect place for a wander, a picnic or an on-lead dog walk (yes, completely dog friendly) and I'd really recommend a visit - they are beautiful. Here are some photos to whet your appetite...
Sharron
 



 
Monday, 5 October - Sublime Point Trail, Kedumba Valley, Kedumba Pass

The Kedumba Valley has to be one of my most favourite places.  It has a mixture of beautiful bush, parkland like grassy areas, lots of birds, kangaroos, wallabies, brumbies, the ruins of the old homestead, the escarpment views, and the beautiul river.  The loop walk leads down from the end of Tableland Road to the river and then up the eastern side of Mt Solitary, then onto the shortcut track which leads over to the fire trail which ends at the river again.  The river is the perfect place to have lunch and a dip before the long ascent out of the valley.

Unfortunately Kaye fell onto her wrist and broke it about an hour into the walk. Of course we couldn't tell at the time what damage had been done, but it was bandaged, put in a triangular bandage and her and Di walked back out and she spent 8 hours at the emergency department of Katoomba Hospital where it was put in a caste.  Our heartfelt best wishes go to Kaye for a speedy recovery.
Jocelyn






Saturday, 26 September - Leura Forest Loop

On what started out as wet and cool seven Bush Lemons set off from Katoomba Falls kiosk to walk a loop via Leura Cascades and the Federal Pass back to the kiosk. The views from the Prince Henry Clifftop walk were not as spectacular as those on a clear day but nonetheless we did pause at a couple of the lookouts to marvel at the fog! We enjoyed ambling along in the mist and slight drizzle until we passed Echo Point and the rain stopped. We then continued along the Clifftop stopping under an overhang just above the Bridal Veil Falls for morning tea. After enjoying our snacks and warm drinks we headed off down to the Leura Forest and the lunch spot. After lunch we enjoyed the walk along the Federal Pass to the Furber Steps with all Sven of us climbing the Furber Steps. There was time for a coffee at the kiosk before heading home.
 
 
It was a fantastic walk which from all accounts was enjoyed by all. Thanks to those that donned their raincoats to join me on the walk!
Hope to see you again, Sue
 




Saturday, 12 - Sunday, 13 Sept - Six Foot Track overnight

There were lots of varieties in doing this walk - 5 of us started at Black Range Camp and walked to the end at Explorers Tree, 3 walked in to join us in camping overnight at Coxs River Campground, one started from Explorers Tree and walked in the opposite direction (we crossed paths on the Saturday and gave her the key to the car we had driven out), one walked in on Sunday morning and met us and did the return walk.  It was a gorgeous weekend of walking in spectacular weather.

The official handing over of the car key to Anne
 


The Six Foot Track is a 42km walk between Katoomba and Jenolan Caves and is mostly fire trail on the western end, and then track through attractive lush bush at the eastern end.  The Coxs River campsite is beautifully positioned next to Coxs River, with a lovely swimming hole that we took advantage of.  We saw an echidna, a few snakes, kangaroos, lizards, birds. 



The walk from the Coxs River was all uphill with lovely views.  We were back at the Explorers Tree in the mid afternoon.  A great walk with wonderful company in glorious weather.  Thanks to all those who joined us.  Jocelyn



Saturday, 5 September - Leura Cascades, Lindemans Pass to Copelands Pass





 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
There is something so gorgeous about Lindemans Pass.....it has to do with being little known and not maintained.  You feel you are in a rarely explored area that most walkers don't know.  We accessed the end of the Lindemans Track where it joins the bottom of Leura Cascades and then traversed it across numerous waterfalls, slippery rocks, beneath spectacular rocky outcrops and escarpment, through pockets of lush flora, and the beautiful little track continues to wend its way magically halfway between the cliff tops and the valley below....gorgeous!

It was a lovely walk with 8 Lemons who tackled the slippy rocks, climbing over downed trees, and scrambled up Copelands Pass at the end with aplomb and a sense of adventure.  The ropes were very handy in helping us get up those trickier sections.  We were even lucky enough to see a pair of owls (I haven't been able to identify what type they were as yet).  There were spectacular views as we climbed up the pass, and a sense of exhilaration as we finished at the top of Sublime Point.  A wonderful walk in our gorgeous mountains with great company!  Jocelyn

 

















Saturday, 29 August - GLBTQ Moonlight walk to Lockleys Pylon

10 of us walked out to Lockleys Pylon under a most beautiful full moon. Although there was a bit of wind initially, it became quite still...a perfect night for taking in the moon, the stars, the moonlit view into the Grose Valley...just beautiful.  We were back at the cars by 8.30pm, after meeting two other Lemons walking out to Lockleys.  A most lovely evening spent with a lovely group of gays and lesbians.  Jocelyn



Can anyone else see the woman gazing at the stars rather than rocks?
 

Saturday, 21 August 2015 - Off Track Lemons at Asgard Swamp

On Saturday 7 women came on the first off track lemons walk. We walked out the easy track to Asgard Swamp (Mt Vic) and then followed the ridge off-track to Asgard Head, passing some great pagodas on the way.
 
 
View north Grose Valley

View east Grose Valley
What an amazing view of the Gross Valley north, south (over Victoria Falls) and east down the Grose Valley past Burra Korain Flat towards the Blue Gum. We enjoyed our morning tea taking in this most spectacular of BM views.
We then headed down to the Asgard Shale mine, some lemons venturing in with head torches and seeing a little bat.
 

 
We followed the track back to Pagoda Rock for lunch
 
 
Jocelyn took us to see the cave with the Aboriginal hand paintings before returning to the cars. 
 
 
This is a great place to do off track walking and there is much more to explore at another time.
Thanks to those who came along. Hope the photos encourage you to join us on the next one.
Anne
 
 
Saturday, 11 July - Martins Lookout to Lost World Lookout

14 Lemons had a great walk in gorgeous weather in Springwood.  We started near Martins Lookout and the descended down to Glenbrook Creek.  Then it was all uphill to some beautiful rocks for morning tea, and the push onto the top and Bunyan Lookout.  It was then around 20 minutes across the top to Lost World Lookout where we lunched whilst looking at the spectacular view. 



Gorgeous Lemons
This is an easily accessible walk in a beautiful area, and begs to be further explored.  Thanks to all those Lemons who came along to make it a very memorable and social walk.  Jocelyn

Zen Lemons!
Saturday, 4 July - Perrys Lookdown to Victoria Falls

On a chilly but sunny morning 4 rugged up Bush Lemons set off to walk from Perry's Lookdown to Mt Victoria Falls via the Blue Gum Forest.  It wasn't long into the descent of Perrys before we were stopping to take layers off. Once we had completed the very steep descent of Perrys and the walk through the majestic Blue Gum Forest we stopped for morning tea by the Grose River. What was to become the pattern for the day each time we stopped clothing was quickly put back on. After morning tea we followed the track beside the Grose River noting the many beautiful waterholes and the sheer cliffs to the junction with Victoria Creek. Here we sat on rocks beside the river and enjoyed our lunch before commencing the walk back up out of the valley via Victoria Falls. We detoured on the ascent to see views of the bottom of the falls, the top of the falls and the cascades. Thank you to Flynn, Ilsa and Christine for sharing a sensational walk on what was a perfect day for walking. Cheers Sue 
 



 Saturday, 13 June - Jamison Valley
 
7 lemons walked the 22km from Katoomba Falls to the locked gate at the end of Tableland Road, Wentworth Falls.  We walked along the Prince Henry Cliff track via Echo Point and then descended down through Fern Bower and Linda Falls.  This is a beautiful rainforest area and if you haven't done this walk, then you should.

We turned off onto the Sublime Point Trail which wends its way through the Jamison Valley.  As firetrails go, this is one of the nicest.  Huge tall trees, gorgeous undergrowth, towering cliffs above and lyrebirds calling.  There are quite a few ascents and descents, so its just a matter of putting your head down and plodding.  We lunched at Jamison Creek and the joined the Kedumba Valley trail - all uphill.  It was with much joy that we reached the cars we had left at the locked gate.  Beautiful and challenging walk and thank you to those who came along. Jocelyn

Saturday, 6 June - National Pass
 
The GLBTQ bushwalk we annually put on for the Queen's Birthday long weekend is always a very social time.  23 of us walked the National Pass loop from the Conservation Hut in gloriously perfect weather!  The shortcut track is an easy way to get over to the top of the falls, and we then descended down the precipitous Grand Staircase.  National Pass itself is easy walking on a beautiful track halfway down the cliff.  The walk up through Valley of the Waters is always spectacular and a less taxing route back up to the top.
 

 
The views on this walk are some of the best in the mountains, and ideally seen on a clear day, such as we had.  Most of us lunched back at Il Postino Café at Wentworth Falls which was the perfect end to a lovely day.  Thank you to all those who came along on the day! Jocelyn

 Saturday, 30 May - Grand Canyon Blackheath
 
Eleven Lemons enjoyed a very special walk through the Grand Canyon on Saturday. A lot of work has recently been completed on the stairs, creek crossings and bridges along the trail, improving accessibility for all walkers. We started the walk from Neates Glen, walking down through wooded bushland until we came to the banks of Greaves Creek. The creek was in full flow, beautiful to see and walk beside. We passed through a tiny rock cave (dark and spooky without headlights), walked behind a waterfall (fresh and icy) and had morning tea in a private spot beside the creek. Hidden from view, we marvelled at the people who hurried past, not aware that we were there. At the bottom of the Canyon, new stepping stones have been cleverly crafted to fit in with the natural rock formations, making rock-hopping along the creek bed easy and allowing us to focus on the beauty all around us. 
 


 
The Grand Canyon really is a magical place - it's amazing we managed to get through the walk without suffering from beauty fatigue!  Thank you to the women who came along, and those who helped with the car pool. Great to walk with you all!  Sharron
 
 
  
Fri, 22 May - Sun, 24 May - Mt Solitary & Kedumba Valley overnight
 
What a fantastic overnight walk this was!  We started off in the rain on Friday afternoon around 4pm and scaled Knife Edge on the western side of Mt Solitary in the dark.  We were setting up our tents near the spring at Chinaman's Cave around 7pm, had dinner and hot drinks and fell onto our sleeping mats around 9.30pm.  It was a very cold night, so thermals, insulated sleeping mats and beanies were the go.
 
 
 
It was quite unbelievable that the next morning was clear with a beautiful sunrise.  It was still very cold though and was sometime as we walked over Mt Solitary before we started shedding layers.  The descent down off the Col on the eastern side of Mt Solitary was fairly hairy with the eroded and steep track, and having heavy packs made us go very carefully.  We turned off onto the Kedumba Campground track which lead around to the firetrail and were at the campground in the beautiful valley by 1pm.  This valley is just heavenly, and the campground is flat, grassy and near the river, lots of kangaroos and wallabies.  Gorgeous! 
 
 

 
We relaxed here for the afternoon, and Diane popped in for a visit and then climbed all the way out again!  We sterilised water for the next day, set up tents, Flynn got the fire going and we had the luxury of leisure for a brief while. 
 
 
The night was cold again but we were all quite snug.  There was as lot of dew on the grass in the morning and we breakfasted and packed up in 2 hours and headed off for the long slog up Kedumba Pass.  The ascent took around 3 hours and we were then at the locked gate on Tableland Road, very happy campers!!
 
 
Thanks to Lesley, Sue and Flynn for rising to this challenge!  And also to Val for helping with car swap and lifts. There more people tentatively booked in for this walk but I think the wet weather start scared a few off.  It would be great to do this walk again in spring.  cheers, Jocelyn
 
Saturday, 16 May - Faulconbridge Pt and Grose River
 
On Saturday 16th May, 15 Bush Lemons set off to walk to Faulconbridge Point and the Grose River. This walk provided the opportunity for walkers to either undertake a medium 12km walk or a hard 17km walk. We all set off along the fire trail which extends along the ridge line from Faulconbridge to Faulconbridge Point. As this is a flattish and well maintained trail we set a lovely steady pace and before long we arrived at our morning tea spot – Faulconbridge Point. The views of the lower Grose Valley from this lookout are spectacular.
 
 
 
After taking our group photo we headed back towards the turnoff track which descends to the Grose River. At the turnoff 6 walkers left us to head back to the cars and a well-earned lunch in a well-known Springwood Watering Hole, while the other 9 headed down to a less well-known waterhole by the side of the Grose River for lunch.
 
 
 
 
After lunch we headed back up the hill and back the way we had come. It was lovely weather for walking and all who came along enjoyed themselves. Happy walking and hope to see you out on the track. Sue

Saturday, 25 April - Wild Dog Mtns (Tinpot Mtn, Coxs River, Tinpot Hill)
 
Well, what a walk.  I knew it was going to be a hard one because of being mostly off track, but with the added complication of a broken limb it really challenged us.
 


We started the walk along the gorgeous track from Dunphys Campground which wends it way up onto Tinpot Mountain and its spectacular views.  From here we could clearly see our return route back over Tinpot Hill.  We stopped briefly for morning tea before we launched off track down from Tinpot Mountain.  We mostly followed a spur down towards the river, and Anne kept us on target with gps readings and compass bearings.  The going was quite tough as it was rocky in parts, steep, and sometimes difficult to find a firm footing.  The lure of the river below kept us going and it was with relief that we reached the beautiful green grass next to a much swollen Coxs River.  We didn't relax here long as I was concerned about time, and how long it may take to get back up Tinpot Hill.
  

 
Walking alongside the river for a short way was absolutely beautiful and I couldn't help but notice the many ideal campsites.  The dramatic clouds that had been building around finally started spitting out rain, so we donned raincoats before deciding to start up a dirt road.  Although this wasn't going in quite the right direction, it was easier walking in the rain and gained us some quite height.  The rain didn't linger thankfully, but seeing the dramatically dark clouds highlighting the hills was spectacular.  We consequently heard that we were lucky to miss the huge hail storm in the mountains.
 

 
 We pressed upwards, sometimes on the dirt road, sometimes cutting over hills.  Both Anne and Sophie did a marvellous navigation job and kept us going exactly on target.  This route upwards was much easier (relatively speaking) than our downward route.  It was also incredibly beautiful with spectacular views back into the valley and across the Wild Dog Mountains.
 
We were about 4km from the end of our walk, in a fairly inaccessible part of the area, when Jen broke her ankle.  She actually heard it break as she fell, but we lived in hope that it was actually a branch snapping instead!  She was kept warm and comfortable as we assessed and re-assessed the situation.  It was good that everyone contributed their ideas and we talked things through.  We left her shoe on to try and contain the swelling..  She could not put any weight on her leg, but it was eventually decided that we would try and get her out, initially to where emergency services could access us. 
 

Anne took out a small group of Lemons and arranged with Fiona to get access to the locked gates to bring in a couple of our cars as far as they could come.  That left myself, Sue, Sophie, Lesley and Verica to help carry/support Jen out.  We took it in turns and even developed a new 'tripod' carrying system that we thought we could potentially patent.  Jen was incredibly stoical and let us womanhandle her eventually to a clearer route along a dirt road.  We kept changing around the way we were carrying Jen so no one got too exhausted and Jen got regular short breaks.
  
 
After what seemed quite some time, we reached the first of the locked gates on the road, and we gave a big cheer when we saw Fiona and Anne arriving at the same time with the two 4WDs just on dusk!  What a relief! Jen was driven to the Katoomba Hospital where xrays showed she had broken her Fibula and her lower leg was put in a cast.
 
I have great admiration for the way the Lemons rallied together in adversity.  Everyone was very selfless and worked well as a team.  Thank you so much to those who came on the walk and did everything they could to make sure we got Jen out as quickly and safely as possible.   
 
What we learned:
 
* An accident can happen anytime.
* Keep calm and make sure the injured person is warm and comfortable whilst you work out what to do.
* There are numerous ways to carry someone.
* Always carry a headlight with you even if you aren't expecting to be walking into dark (I always carry my standard headlight and an emergency lightweight one), and some warm/wet weather gear.
* Its always handy for the majority of Lemons to have phones with them (kept in a waterproof bag).
* Always walk with others!
* I always carry the Bush Lemons EPIRB for these types of emergencies.
* More Bush Lemons need 4WDs!
* Women can do anything....but I think we already knew that.
 
Jocelyn
 
Sun, 17 April - Navigation Day
 
Its takes a day like this to make me realise how little I know about reading topographic maps and compasses.  We did a couple of hours of theory before we headed outside and put our lessons into practise.  You can google lots of lessons and information on the web, and below is just a small snippet.  Thanks so much to Fiona for putting in the time and energy and good humour!

 
 


 
Sat, 18 April - Gear Day
 
Tents
There were many tents we put up to display: 

1p Macpac Microlight 1595g
1p MSR Zoid 1550g (+footprint 182g)
1p Elite 1250g
1p Mozzie netting 117g
2p Hubba Bubba 1947g
2p Vaude Hogan 1804g
2p Hallmark 2517g
2p Kelty Trail Logic 2180g


Sleeping mats
There were a range of sleeping mats, including thermarests and Expeds.

Sea to Summit Ultralight sleeping mat (regular – base level). This was very exciting to see as it is incredibly light.


Food/drink

There was much discussion around dehydrated and vacuum sealed food.

Can dehydrate bought or homemade dips (eg. hummous) for lunch. Oily foods (eg. pesto) don’t dehydrate so well.

Tupperware or bowls with lids good to rehydrate and then eat from.
Strawberries, mangoes, kiwifruit, oranges with peel left on dehydrate well.

Sporks break quite easily. Titanium utensils more hardy and lightweight.

Cheese – take a block of parmesan or goats cheese (hard cheese better). Take a cheese cloth and then keep it in a plastic bag.

Excaliber Dehydrater is the best, but quite expensive. It was suggested square machines better than round ones as quicker to dry and has drawers.


Stoves
MSR Whisperlite – can use multiple fuels (petrol, white gas). Is pumped to pressurize.
No throwaway cylinders.
Weight – 275kg
Time to boil 4.31m

Biolite – runs on small sticks (developed for use in regional areas/refugee camps)
Acts as a heater and can charge USB whilst boiling
Great ambiance because of flame. Good ethical choice, but it did take the longest to boil.
Weight – 1.039 kl
Time to boil 12m

Trangia
Comes with windshield, various sizes pots, uses metho (easily accessible anywhere)
Folds down into one pot.
Weight 385kg
Boil time 8.44m

Coleman Kovea
Has a wind shield which covers closely around the flame to enhance the heat
Weight 195kg
Boil time 4.14m

MRS Pocketrocket
Uses gas canister
Can be used with a large billy as it has good grip
If using a wind shield, don’t wrap it fully around – it needs air.
Weight 113kg
Boil time 2.11m

Jetboil
Uses gas canister. Automatic ignition.
Weight 484kg
Boil time 2.54

Gas canisters come in different sizes. (eg. 100g. 260g, 460g)
Larger sized canister usually works out cheaper.
Small 100kg canister boils 11 litres before it runs out


Backpacks
Berghaus Biofleece Light 50lt 1.6kg
Deuter 2.7kg
Ospray 65lt 2.3kg
Adventure Ridge 1.7kg
Ospray Aura 65lt 1.7kg
One Planet Shadow 56lt 1.6kg
Aarn Natural Exhilaration 30lt &
Expedition front packs 17lt 1.9kg


There were some items that didn't sell on the day:
Hallmark 2 person/3 season tent
Down sleeping bag
Thermarest mat
Backpack poncho - goes over large packs
Kathmandu large pack cover
Back-care foldup camping chair
If you are interested in any of these items please contact Val at ozscot88@gmail.com

There were many other discussions during the day, but it was hard for me to keep up with them all.

Thanks to all those who came along to show their gear, give hints and tips, and to eagerly learn! It was great to see so much enthusiasm and knowledge. Thanks so much to Anne for putting all this together and running the day!  Jocelyn

 
Sun, 12 April - Macro Lems do Lockleys Pylon
 
14 Macro Lems enjoyed our longest ever walk on Sunday - the weather was perfect - little wind and slight cloud cover - no rain. Lockley's Pylon is always a favourite with its magnificent views and the small delicate (and tough) beauties close by. We were a mix of keen photographers and walkers who liked to have a look around.

Special thanks to 4 wheel drivers (we needed you) - Jocelyn, Juls and Susan and to all those who came along.

Still a few days left to catch the exhibition at Blackheath - Wild and Free - but be quick as it comes down on Sunday 19th.

Happy clicking, Anne
 
 



 
 
Sat, 11 April - Bike ride Medlow Bath to Hanging Rock
 
Yesterday, 8 Lemons had a fantastic day on the 23 km cycle ride from Medlow Bath out to Hanging Rock in Blackheath and return. The weather held off to provide cool, dry, sunny conditions for us and the views from our lunch spot of the Grose Valley, the escarpment and the hanging rock itself were stunning. Coffee and conversation at Brown’s Siding Café was a lovely completion to our day. Thanks Joc for the great photos. And thanks to the intrepid women who made the day such fun! Raewyn.

 




 
Sat, 28 March - Six Foot Track to Swing Bridge
 
On what was a glorious Autumn day, 10 Bush Lemons walked from Megalong Cemetery to the Coxs River Campground along the 6ft track. The weather was perfect for walking and we set a nice pace as we headed to the Campground. We had morning tea in a beautiful glade where we chatted and enjoyed the rest. We then headed towards the Campground stopping at the Bowtells Swing Bridge where a few rose to the challenge and crossed the bridge. After arriving at the Campground we found the perfect lunch spot nearby. Some of us braved the chilly waters of the Coxs River and had a pre-lunch swim. After lunch we headed back along the track to the cars and a coffee at Blackheath.

It was a fantastic day to be out and about enjoying the sunshine. Thanks to all those who came along and I hope to see you again on another Bush Lemons walk.  Sue
 



 
Sat, 21 - Sun, 22 March, Overnight walk to Acacia Flat
 
Its interesting, and character-building, heading out into wet weather to do an overnight walk.  Consequently there was only 4 of us for the overnight walk to the Blue Gum via Govetts Leap and Junction Rock.  The clouds did lift sufficiently at the start so we could gaze upon the beautiful Grose Valley, but from there on there weren't many views! 
 
The descent down Rodriguez Pass to Junction Rock was beautiful and lush.   We arrived to a deserted Acacia Flat and snared out spot in one corner, checked out the river, and within an hour or two the campsite filled up!  It was good to see so many others out in the damp conditions, but also rather surprising.  We dined by the river and turned into our tents quite early.
 
Walking up Perrys Lookdown with a full pack is quite daunting, but we managed it in the respectable time of under two hours.  It was then another couple of hours of dirt road and track walking before we arrived back at Govetts Leap.  It was rather timely to see all the posters up in the Ladies toilet for the Macro Lems exhibition!  Thanks so much to Lesley, Kate and Sue for rising to this challenge and I hope you and your gear dries out soon!!
 





 
Sunday, 15 March - Mt Piddington
 
What a great day! No rain, no wind, no mist, and 7 Lemons on a walking track - what could be better than that? We met up in Mount Victoria village and carpooled to the start of the walk at Fairy Bower picnic area. This is a pretty spot, unfortunately badly impacted by some poor drainage from the highway that has turned a grassy flat into a boggy swamp. Once we'd gotten our boots dirty, we headed down through a pretty fern-filled area, following the track beside a tinkling stream. Our first stop was beside a large rock bearing a mysterious carving of a woman. Her history is lost, but she seems to be wearing a dancing dress and high heels, her arms held out as she twirls. We continued on down the eroded track, crossing a perfect troll-bridge,  and pausing to enjoy spectacular views of Mt Blackheath and the Kanimbla Valley. Then, on to the base of the ladder to Cox's Cave. Two intrepid Lemons scrambled up and had a good look around the cave, which features a small vestibule area and a much larger cave over looking the valley. From there it was up and up and up again for morning tea at Mt Piddington. We made our way back via The Grotto, a pretty area with a small waterfall and crystal clear water. Our wildlife count for the day was small but deadly - two little brown snakes, one a baby that slithered off quickly, the second a teenager that very grudgingly gave up it's sunny spot on the track so we could pass. We finished up with lunch at the Petaleura Cafe, and a quick peak in some of the collectables shops. Thanks Vivienne for assisting with the car pool, and to everyone who came along - a pleasure to walk with you all!   Sharron
 



 
Saturday, 7 March - Snorkelling
 
At 10am eight intrepid snorkellers stood surveying the huge waves crashing to shore..... along with all the stirred up leaf litter and seaweed... But did that deter us?? No way!! Well ok.... We had a quick snorkel, saw nothing but the muck and then raced for the showers. But hey, we bonded!! 

So we went for a gorgeous stroll along the coastline instead and bonded further over some great coffee and lunch. We will return!! It can only get better. The snorkelling shots are a bit lacking .. But the cafe was good!!!

And if you haven't seen All About E pop along on Wednesday night 11th in Sydney for the second screening of this fab film written produced and directed by our own local gals.  Helen
 
 
Sunday, 15 February - Kayaking at The Spit
 
Six of us went kayaking from the Spit on Sunday in ideal conditions.  It was warm, there was some cloud cover, and the water was generally calm. We explored around the Balmoral Bay and then headed onto the other side of The Spit for some further exploring.  It was lovely to cut through the water like butter on one hand, and then to be launching over waves from boats or the swell on another - both are very nice!  We finished with lunch on the grass under the trees and talked about how nice it would be to do a twilight kayak with cheese and wine!  Thanks to the lovely women who came along.  Jocelyn
 




 
Saturday 14 February - Macro Lems
 
12 Macro Lems had a fantastic morning taking pics on a beautiful Saturday. We certainly proved that you don't have to look to hard to find wonderful things to take photos of.

On this walk MLs were given 3 half hour challenges - the first was to stay in a very small space, 2nd was to select a tree and the 3rd was water or ferns. The wide selection of pics attests to what they found!

We then retired to my house for a cuppa and to enjoy Sharron's macaroons. All agreed it was a great exercise.

No ML walk in March as we will have the "Wild and Free" exhibition at Blackheath NP Heritage Centre with a closing on Sunday 29th. Will send out more detail soon. Hope to see you there. Anne







 
 
Saturday, 7 February - Narrowneck - Medlow Gap
  
11 of us had a fantastic walk out along Narrowneck in sublime weather....sunny with an occasional hint of breeze just when it was needed.  4 plucky walkers descended Taros Ladders whilst the rest of us went via the pass.  We lunched at Medlow Gap and then walked along the beautiful fire trail to Dunphys Campground where we had 3 cars in readiness for the return journey.  This really is a gorgeous walk with spectacular views from Narrowneck and so much variety of landscape. 
 
Huge thanks to Anne, Raewyn and Sue for helping with getting the cars to Dunphys, and Wendy and Glenda for driving us to the start of the walk out on Narrowneck.  We also had beautiful models for our new Bush Lemons bandannas.  Jocelyn
The numerous things you can do with a Bush Lemons bandanna!



 
Saturday, 24 January - Minni Ha Ha Falls
 
17 Lemons enjoyed a beautiful morning walk to Minihaha Falls today. It was such a nice thing to have the sun shining, and the thought of a swim at the waterhole was enough to get us started. The first part of the track runs parallel to the creek, with a couple of nice wading spots and little sandy beaches on the way to the falls. 
There are still lots of wildflowers around, with tiny little star-like flannel flowers, bright yellow everlasting daisies, spikey mountain devils, and a once-seen-but-never-found-again donkey orchid.  
Just before the descent is a fenced lookout, which gives enticing glimpses of the valley and creek below. We descended down a couple of metal stairways and across some fallen boulders to a lovely deep rockpool right at the base of the falls. This is a great swimming spot, deep and cool with nice rock ledges for lolling around - we took full advantage!
We finished the day with a leisurely lunch at The Gingerbread House in Katoomba. Great to discover they had gluten-free bread, making some hungry Lemons very happy. It's not written on the menu so if you're looking for it, you'll have to ask.

Thank you to everyone who came along today. It was great to see some new Lemons walking with the group for the first time, plus the women who travelled up from Sydney. Thanks to Rosemary, Kay, Juls and Pamela, and Leanne and Linda for helping out with carpooling - couldn't have done it without you!  Sharron
 




 
Sunday, 18 January - Palm Beach to Dee Why
 
After a few cancellations only 4 of us ended up doing this walk, which was a great stretch of the legs along the coast!  We followed the Coastrek route, which includes many beaches and stretches of sand, stairs and ascents/descents over headlands and some path and road walking.  It was quite warm, so we were very thankful every time a coastal breeze hit us.  The views along here are incredibly spectacular and near the end we could look back and see how many headlands we have clambered over.  Thanks to those plucky Lemons who came along.  It was great!  Jocelyn
 



 
Saturday, 17 January - Macro Lems at Mt Tomah Gardens
 
11 Macro Lems spent a gorgeous morning at Mt Tomah Botanical Gardens on Saturday. The weather was sunny (finally for ML) even if a tad windy. The gardens were not in full bloom but there was still plenty to keep us clicking away for a couple of hours.  We then retired to the shade of a lovely large conifer, unfurled the picnic rugs, put on the kettle and enjoyed a picnic lunch together.
I
 totally forgot to take a group photo. Thanks to all who came and see you out on the trail of the minutiae in February

We have our next exhibition - Wild and Free - for the whole of March at the Blackheath NP gallery (same as last time).  Anne










 

Sunday, 11 January - Hanging Rock
 
The scheduled walk to the Wollangambe River was cancelled due to the rain today and instead 6 of us did the walk along Ridgewell Road to Hanging Rock.  The fire trail is undulating and its easy walking to the end where the view into the Grose Valley is spectacular....well it is unless there is a whiteout!  We did catch glimpses of Hanging Rock when the mist cleared a little bit and saw some pretty insects.  The rain didn't dampen our spirits though and it was great to get out into the elements regardless of the weather.  Thanks to Anne for the photos.  Jocelyn
 





 
Sunday, 4 January - Lindemans Pass
 
5 Lemons did this impromptu walk along Lindemans Pass, from the Fairmont Resort all the way to Leura Cascades.  It took around 6.5 hours and was a challenging walk due to the tough terrain in this remote area.  It is a fantastic track though, and now has tape marking the route so is easier to follow.  Initially it is rainforest and then become dry forest with endless views, beautiful rocky overhangs, waterfalls and continually changing bushland.  Thanks for the plucky lemons who joined me for this walk - their 'I survived the whole of Lindemans Pass' badges are in the mail.  Enjoy the photos which don't really do the walk justice.  Jocelyn
  
 
 
 

 
 
 
Saturday, 20 December - Mt Solitary to Kedumba Valley
 
10 Lemons had a great challenging last walk for the year. The We left the locked gate on Tableland Road just after 8.30am and descended down to the Kedumba River, then up towards the eastern side of Mt Solitary. 
 
  
 
 
 5 Lemons continued the climb to the Col at the top, whilst the rest of us lay back in the shade at the track intersection and contemplated life.  After the successful Summit Team returned we then tackled the horse track which leads over to the fire trail which connected us to the Kedumba Valley camp ground.  The track was initially indistinct and then became a wider and easy to follow track.  The fire trail was hot as it led to the river, and consequently we all plunged in the river sans clothes!
 

 
 After lunch we then commenced the long ascent up the Kedumba Valley Pass.  There was lots of wildlife which included a black snake swimming on a dam, many wallabies and kangaroos (including a very large male who wasn't keen on giving way on the track) and 5 brumbies!!  How lovely! 
 


 
We arrived back at the locked gate just after 5pm. A fantastic long and hard last walk, and I tips me lid to all those wonderful women who rose to the challenge and threw themselves in the walk (and the river).  Thanks, Jocelyn






No comments: