This beautiful video made by Bush Lemons film-maker extraordinaire, Prue, of our walk in Blackheath says it all really! Thanks Prue.
Sat, 31 Sept - The Oaks Bike Ride
Another lovely mountains day welcomed us on a fantastic mountain bike ride from Woodford to Glenbrook on the Oaks fire trail. Five lemons of mixed experience levels pushed their way along the undulating trail to the half way point.
From there the rocks flew and rubber burned as it was pretty much all down hill to the causeway
Sat, 22 - Sun, 23 September - Kedumba Valley Overnight
The Kedumba Valley does not get as many visitors as other mountains' valleys but it is just as beautiful as others. We started this walk at the locked gate at the end of Tableland Road, Wentworth Falls, and descended the Kedumba Valley trail until the juction of Sublime Trail, and then onto the Mt Solitary track.
|Blue Gums on the Kedumba River|
|Burnt area on the left, unburnt and green on the right|
The ascent up Kedumba Pass on Sunday morning took us 3 hours. The weather was sublime, the surroundings were lovely and the company perfect. Its so lovely to get out and camp overnight in the beautiful outdoors. Jocelyn
Saturday, 8 Sept - Narrowneck, Taros Ladders, Medlow Gap, Dunphys Campground
I love walking in the rain in the bush. It softens everything and brings out all the colours of the trees.
We didn't see any others on this walk, another advantage.
We started off at the locked gate on Narrowneck and walked the 10km to Clear Hill at the end. Unfortunately the usual spectacular views were obscured by mist and cloud.
Thanks to all those who embraced the weather and rose to this challenge. And particular thanks to Anne and Kay for the cars awaiting us at Dunphys! Don't let wet weather stop you from getting outdoors, you can have some of the best walking in it! Jocelyn
Sunday, 19 August - Hornsby to Mt Kuring-gai via Great North Walk
Saturday, 11 August - Popes Glen & Govetts Leap, Blackheath
11 Lemons walked from Echo Point through the Jamison Valley to the locked gate at the top of Kadumba Pass on Saturday. I set my alarm for 6.15am, knowing that all those feisty Sydney women would be already on the road by then!
I requested a silent walk through the gorgeous Leura Forest – such a wonderful place –birds, light, trees. When we reached the picnic tables the Lemon laughs and chat resumed and we headed off down to the old sewage treatment works where there is a clearing with beautiful views of the escarpment.
The walk across the Valley is on a very well formed fire trail. After crossing Leura Creek there is a walk up and over the valley end of sublime point before heading down to Jamison Creek. What a great little lunch spot – beach, sun and water – pretty good for a mountains bush walk in winter!
And look at those t-shirts and shorts!
Some attacked the hill and headed up at a fair old pace but they always found a nice place to stop so those at the back to catch up. Everyone was happy!
After 6 hrs of walking, talking, eating, resting and breathing in the beautiful views we reached the cars and all had a stretch!
I love walking with the Lemons – the way women look out for each other, chat and laugh – what could be better? Thanks to all those who came along and special thanks to Olga, Sue and Jocelyn for helping with the car swap.
Saturday, 28 July - Ruined Castle, Katoomba
15 Lemons enjoyed the beautiful July walking weather and headed to the Ruined Castle. Such a gorgeous walk down the stairs and through the rainforest. The track was busy so our morning tea spot was not in the most sensational spot.
After a short break we walked on to the second track leading to the top of the Ruined Castle. It was a scramble but everyone made it easily. Most of the Lemons then ventured up to the very top – taking in those magnificent views and taking selfies!
We stopped on the ridge for lunch before heading back. A few hearty Lemons took the long way back to their cars walking across the landslide and up Furber Stairs. The rest of us headed up the Golden Stairs and then went for coffee.
As we were going at a cracking pace I took very few photos so you'll just have to take my word for it. Oh, and I also got the distances wrong as it was 25km rather than 20km....ooops 😥
Thanks to those plucky and enthusiastic women who embraced the challenge and after 8 hours were triumphant at the top of the Golden Stairs. Your blood is worth bottling!! Jocelyn
Saturday, 14 July - Six Foot Track to Coxs River
Fourteen Bush Lemons were soon warmed up and enjoying what was a bit like a sunny summers day as we wandered down the track towards the river crossing at Bowetells Swing Bridge. Once we all crossed one by one it was a just a short walk around to the campsite for lunch.
On our arrival there was a big group of mountain bikers at the campsite so we crossed to a large grassy flat on the opposite side of the river for our picnic lunch.
During the day we were lucky to see a few kangaroos and lots of birds including a beautiful Grey Heron in flight near the river. There were also plenty of sheep and cattle grazing along the farm section. The scenery and general landscape was just beautiful and I am always amazed every time I get to experience it again.
Saturday, 7 July - Airplane Hills, Wentworth Falls
8 lovely Lemons came along for this exploratory walk. We started at Queen Elizabeth Drive and then onto the Ingar Picnic Area Road. After about 4km we turned off onto the Airplane Hills Fire Trail. Towards the end of this fire trail we came upon the cairn and some metal struts from the airplane that crashed here in 1940.
We sustained ourselves with lunch on a beautiful rock on the ridge that apparently the plane clipped as it crashed before we undertook a thorough search of the area....
And then we started to see more evidence everywhere.....
|Was this part of a fossilised propeller???|
|Could these scratches be from the plane hitting the rock???|
|Could this be the historic quill that the pilots used to write their last log entry????|
|Could this be part of a melted window and vital parts of the fuselage?|
|Ah....and then the real evidence! The remarkably well preserved bodies of the pilots!!!|
|After such an exhausting, but ultimately successful search we returned back to our cars in the increasingly freezing wind and cold.|
|But not before we visited the gorgeous grinding grooves|
Sunday, 1 July - Dark side of Blackheath
Saturday, 30 June - Narrowneck
As the last rays of sunlight bathed the trees and rocks in a golden glow, we soaked in the magnificent valley views.
We had an early dinner at the end of the plateau, with views to the Warragamba catchment. The 10km return trip in the dark by headlight flew by, and included glimpses of an unusual tangerine-coloured moon.
23 June - Lawsons Long Alley & Lockyers Road, Mt Victoria
This walk is a lovely 4 hour walk on Department of Lands property, so you can take your dogs. It's a variety of track, dirt road, valley and ridge walking, and with only one short ascent/descent. 6 Lemons and 4 dogs enjoyed this little walk, with lunch on top of the ridge with lovely views over the Hartley Valley. Jocelyn
16 June - Victoria Falls, Mt Victoria, to Perrys Lookdown, Blackheath
8 Lemons headed down into the Grose Valley today, away from the winds up top. It really was perfect walking weather, crisp and clear.
The descent down past Victoria Falls is just beautiful - like a Mt Wilson garden. Before long we arrived at the Grose River for morning tea.
Then we walked along the track which follows the river all the way through this part of the valley. Lots of escarpment views above and the beautiful valley and river. We stopped for lunch in the Little Blue Gum.
Then it was on to the Blue Gum Forest itself and its gorgeous stately strong trees. A magical place.
After breathing in the mesmerising forest, we then tackled the ascent up Perrys Lookdown. It certainly is the quickest way in/out of the valley and we were up at the top in around 80 minutes.
A beautiful, beautiful walk in one of the most awe-inspiring valleys. The cold and wind certainly kept others away and we only saw a couple of people. I am thinking of putting an 'easy' walk to the Blue Gum Forest in the next calendar for those who have never been down here before. It will include a slow pace and lots of stops as I'd like everyone to visit this most magical of places.
Thanks to those Lemons who came along and braved the cool conditions! Jocelyn
Larapinta Trail, Central Australia, May-June 2018
8 Lemons completed the mammoth 241km Larapinta Trail from Alice Springs to Mt Sonder a week ago. It was the culmination of much planning and training. Congratulations to Angela, Holly, Vee, Isobel, Lesley S, Felicity and Lesley O. We had 3 food drops, a couple of rest days, and all pulled together over 19 days.
|The Larapinta Lemons 8|
It's hard to describe the satisfaction of walking with everything you need on your back, the feeling of freedom when all you have to think about is where you are putting your feet and where you will be putting up your tent that night, and not worrying about getting dirty and sweaty.
|Birthday Waterhole camp|
|View from Counts Point|
|The first day - Euro Ridge|
|Campsite up high - Hermits Hideaway|
|Rest day at Ellery Creek|
|Mt Sonder summit|
Saturday, 9 June - Darwins Walk, Nature trail, Wentworth Falls
It was lovely to see the bush getting a good soaking, and we got a tad wet too.
But you can't keep a good lemon down, and we appreciated the views into the Jamison Valley and around the Nature Trail.
The fog even lifted so we could see the beautiful views. We finished with some road walking back to lunch at a Wentworth Falls cafe and then a visit to the Bent Art Exhibition....lovely.
Thanks to all who braved the soggy conditions! Jocelyn
Sat 2 June Castlehead Walk Katoomba
Sat 19 –Sun 20 May Berrima Camp and Walks
Tues 15 May – Midweek walk Under/Over Cliff walk Wentworth Falls
7 Lemons undertook this overnight walk, with an additional 4 Lemons coming along for the Saturday walk. The weather was pretty good and quite cool on Saturday with occasional mizzle.
We started walking on the Six Foot Track off Megalong Road and had morning tea on a nice grassy patch near the Coxs River campground. The 4 day Lemons (nicknamed "Bush Lemons lite') turned back here for a leisurely stroll back out and the rest of us then commenced following the Coxs River.
Sat, 14 April - Bike Ride to Mt Hay
3 lemons hopped on their trusty steeds and headed out on a blustery day to find a recently graded track that has us mostly sheltered from the strong westerly
No raging river crossings or unexpected encounters with wildlife just beautiful land formations and spectacular views. Some tyre grabbing sandy bear traps kept us on our toes but we made it out unscathed and rewarded our efforts with coffee and nibbles
Sun, 15 April - Joint kayak with Nomads to Nowhere - Nepean Gorge
The Nepean Gorge is a lovely area and Sunday was the perfect kayaking day. 14 of us launched kayaks at Tench Reserve and paddled up past The Narrows and into the quiet of this area. There were thankfully very few boats so we had it mostly to ourselves. We stopped for morning tea at the junction with Euroka Creek and then paddled on for lunch at Erskine Creek.
Sat 7 April - Ingar, Bedford Creek & Andersons Fire Trail loop, Wentworth Falls
Thirteen Lemons tackled this good 25km walk off Tableland Road. This loop walk is a really good route for a workout. Ingar Road has been closed to cars for a while, so you only have to watch out for the occasional mountain biker. The initial 10km section is dirt road and a little boring, but then of course its flat walking so you can concentrate on the chat around you. Luckily at the end of this section we descend down to Bedford Creek with its gorgeous huge trees and beautiful creek with a reasonable amount of water!
We had morning tea here in the shade and some of us indulged in cooling off in the creek. We then had to tackle the ascent up the main hill on this loop walk, but we all managed it quickly. Then it was onto the walk along Andersons Firetrail which was undulating, had occasional views and with a bit more shade it was much nicer to walk on.
Unfortunately a few women did get some blisters and there was much discussion about how to avoid these or what to do once you had them......wonder wool, blister bandaids, toe gels.....harder protective boots versus soft lighter boots etc. The one thing that was decided is that we all have different feet and the best thing is to know your feet and what they need. Good quality wicking socks are very important, as is keeping sand/dirt out of your boots, and making sure your boots fit well.
We finished just before 4pm and were all happy to see the cars placed at the end (thanks Lesley, Lesley and Lesley for help with the cars - I kid you not). This walk did break records in that 3 of our walkers became separated from the group within 500m of the start! Hhmmm...not the sort of record breaking that we want to encourage, but they were back with the group fairly quickly.
Thanks to all the lovely women who joined us for this challenging walk. A pleasure as always to be out in the bush with Lemons who embrace the experience and challenge! Jocelyn
Sun, 25 March - Blue Gum Swamp to Grose River, Winmalee
Twelve of us ventured forth from Winmalee in warm conditions on this epic full-day 23km walk to the Grose River.
Walking through the lush Bluegum Swamp we encountered a small stream across the track, flowing after the recent afternoon storms. Most of us took our boots off and enjoyed the cool water, while a few strode on through. Our first climb was the mighty Bees Nest Hill and on to the Grose Head South Lookout for morning tea where we admired the magnificent views and pondered the long descent to the river.
Sat, 24 March - Pittwater kayak
We saw Sea Eagles, a pair of Whistling Kites (I think), and of course goannas. Thanks to all who came along for a lovely day! Jocelyn
Sat, 17 - 18 March - Coxs River, Wild Dog Mtns/Megalong Valley
Seven Lemons, a Toyota and packs on a trailer, we headed to Dunphy's for the overnight walk.
River crossings, low flow, sandy beaches, rock hopping, winding bends, wet socks, a baby snake, red rocky landscapes tucked in with the bush.
At Cox's River campsite on the Six Foot Track we split into two groups for the last part back.
Four of us camped to test out our gear while three walked on and out in the day. It was just on sunset when we all sat down, tents up and all ready, it was time then to cook. Conversation was great after a long hard day... special worms were not seen down the composting loos. A sleep in, then breakfast and a swim at the bridge. It was a slow walk out but we made it ok.
What a great effort from everyone over the weekend. A beautiful walk in a lovely area and a great challenge too. Thank you all for coming along.
Saturday, 10 March - Wollongambe River, Mt Wilson
This river, and the area surrounding it, are just sublime. 17 of us had a lovely walk and wade through part of the Wollongambe River. Its quite easy to access the river, as its only a few kilometres from Mt Wilson, but you get a real sense of isolation and wilderness.
The rock formations are gorgeous and the river is clear and fresh.....very fresh! We waded for a kilometre with some scrambles, a few spills, and lots of fun!
We then lunched on a 'beach' and a number of us swum up through the canyon - just gorgeous!!
Its all uphill from the river, but it doesn't take long. If you haven't been to this area before then do consider it as its truly beautiful. Thanks to all those who came, and Liz for additional photos. Jocelyn
Saturday, 3 March - Mardi Gras Parade!
|Golly gosh! Dykes on bikes!!|
What a great time we had in the Team Sydney entry in the Mardi Gras parade. Team Sydney includes many GLBTQ sporting groups, a lot of whom were represented in this float. I thought the greatest challenge was learning the choreography, but it turned out to be doing the choreography AT SPEED! My goodness we went quickly and it became tricky doing the routine without taking anyone else out!
Good on those Lemons who joined us - we had a blast. Jocelyn
Saturday, 24 February - Mermaids Cave
|View of Mermaid Cave from the rocky ledge above|
|Some of the winding stone stairs|
|View of the cave from the ridge above|
|The forest from the bottom of the stairs|
|The forest in abstract|
|Can you spot 3 Lemons in this photo?|
|Beautiful trees on the ways back to the cars|
|Sue G, the official drawer of the raffle.|
Saturday, 17 Feb - Spit to Manly
This is always a beautiful walk. It starts by walking across The Spit and then onto the track that leads to Manly. You pass by the lovely Clontarf beach area and then the track wends its way around the cliff tops with gorgeous views of the harbour area. Those of us with dogs took the dog route option on roads, whilst the others continued around and through the national park. We re-grouped and stopped for a swim at Forty Baskets Beach.
Then it wasn't far to Manly where more swims were had and lunches consumed. They day was quite hot, so some Lemons left here and the dogs and the rest of us returned back the same way with another swim at a beach outside the national park.
What a lovely walk with a wonderful bunch of Lemons, and cute dogs. Thanks to everyone for coming along. It was just lovely to be walking next to the water for the majority of this walk, and even better to be in it! Jocelyn
Saturday, 3 February - Grose Valley, Govetts Leap to Pierces Pass
|Braeside/bridal veil falls|
|Angela and the brush turkey|
|Black Prince cicada|
Not longer after lunch we were hit by a rather quick storm which soaked us rather refreshingly. We crossed the river to start the ascent up Pierces Pass - the loveliest and easiest way out of the Grose Valley.
|Checking for pesky leeches|
We arrived at the top of Pierces Pass not long after 4pm. Thanks so much to Lesley, Olga, Sue, Diane, Wendi and Lesley for helping with cars. Another lovely walk in lovely company.
Friday, 26 - Sunday, 28 January 2018 - Jamison Valley Traverse
What a fantastic bloody ripper of a walk!!! 13 women started this 3 day walk from Katoomba, with 4 more joining us on Saturday. We started at the top of Furber Stairs and then followed the Federal Pass around to the newish shelters built past the Ruined Castle, where we could top up our water for overnight and the next day as the spring on top of Mt Solitary is dry. We were lucky enough to experience a pretty incredible storm overhead as we scrambled up the Knife Edge to the top where we were camping.
|Some of the clambering sections|
|Liz risking life & limb to photograph lightning|
|Our lovely camp|
|Discussing the pros and cons of our tents|
|An impressive sight|
|Hanging out the laundry|
On the precipitous descent down from the Col, a number of our group took a wrong turn and we became separated. Everyone had whistles and knew the signals to use but unfortunately we couldn't hear each other due to the trees and birds. Luckily everyone kept their heads and we were reunited, but it reminded us how important it is to keep the walker behind you in sight. Upon arrival at the Kedumba Valley campground we set up tents, plunged into the river, and then had afternoon tea with the new arrivals.
The campground here is one of my favourites, as it is never crowded, has lots of wallabies, kangaroos, birdlife and I've seen platypus in the gorgeous river here twice. The next morning the group reluctantly packed up and started our long walk for the day - 7 up to the end of Tableland Road, and 9 of us walking the Sublime Point Trail across the rest of Jamison Valley (a hike of 24km with a 1359 total elevation) as our last day.
|Leaving the valley|
Thanks so much to those women who came along for this great adventure. You all showed great determination, team work, good humour and were just a pleasure to spend time with. Thanks all! Jocelyn
Saturday, 20 January - Fortress Ridge & Darks Cave
10 Lemons ventured forth in hot conditions to view the beautiful view into the Grose Valley from the end of Fortress Ridge. It is a very easy walk out on this ridge and the views certainly repay you for the meagre effort required.
We then descended down the steep but short hill to the gully where Darks Cave is located. It was beautifully cool in this area - no wonder the Dark family used it as their 2nd home.
Thanks to everyone who came along to enjoy this short bushwalk. Jocelyn
Tuesday evening, 9 January - Grand Canyon, Blackheath
Saturday, 6 January - Gladstone & Lindemans Pass
11 Lemons tackled this great walk in challenging conditions. Gladstone Pass takes around an hour to descend from the Fairmont Resort, and is full of tricky scrambles, old rock ledges and stairs, eroded sections and LOTS of spider webs! It really is a beautiful, beautiful area where it feels like time stands still.
|filling up caps etc to cool off!|
Naturally some Lemons spent NYE in the bush. 11 of us walked out to Faulconbridge Point just on dark where we had dinner and shared treats on a perfect evening. This is such a spectacular natural lookout over the Grose Valley. As we had heaps of sparklers, we tried to spell LEMONS out with them......see our almost success below!
A few of the group walked back earlier and the rest of us celebrated the new year out on the track. We talked about the year past, our hopes for the new year, had a few drinks and ate more.
The interpretive dancing at midnight was the highlight for me.....there should be more of it.
Thanks so much for those who came along to spend such a fun time in such a special place. Jocelyn
Sunday, 17 December - Colo River, Wollemi National Park
The Colo River is so beautiful. It wends its way around the bends in a valley deep in the Wollemi National Park. And it's waters were perfect for us on this rather hot day.
We started off with a one hour fire trail walk, before we descended via the T3 track, which took another hour and a half to descend down to the river. The sandy banks were lovely to lunch on, and we spent a lot of time bobbing around in the river.
Then it was time to climb back up, and it was pretty hard going in the hot conditions. A storm was circling around and we did long for some rain, but alas...nothing! The flannel flowers were out in force, the views as we climbed higher were amazing, and the flora and fauna gorgeous. We saw a small snake which I haven't been able to identify yet, but I'm calling it the small black headed snake. This is such a special part of the world.
Thanks to those who came along to enjoy this special part of the Wollemi. A lovely way to finish off our walks this year. Jocelyn
Saturday, 16 December - Nature Trail
|Chatting on Edinburgh Castle Rock|
|Keeping her feet dry|
|Contemplating life at Lilian's Glen|
|Getting ready to dive in!|
|Christmas cheer along the track|
On Saturday 4 Bush Lemons set off in what was perfect weather to walk to Lockelys Pylon at Leura. The misty weather made walking along the at times exposed ridge line a pleasurable experience. The rain which had fallen the previous night made the wildflowers which were in abundance look so clean and fresh. I really was a magical experience to be out and about exploring. We sat and had our morning tea at Lockleys Pylon where we enjoyed the view and watching the ever changing cloud formations. After morning tea and as the sun started to break through the clouds we headed back to the car and then onto lunch at Lilys Pad cafe where we chatted while partaking of coffee and some of the delicious food on offer. We all really enjoyed the walk and thank you to Lesley O for taking the photos.
Sun, 3 December - Nepean Gorge kayak
Bush Lemons joined with Nomads to Nowhere in kayaking up the Nepean Gorge on Nepean River. We were incredibly lucky with the weather and even the wind was mostly favourable.
We passed through the Narrows and left the noise behind. Morning tea was at the small beach area where Euroka Creek joins the river.
We then continued our paddle down the river, passing by the high rocky hills on either side. There were lots of birds and the bush on either side of the river was lovely. There aren't many places to stop, so after a long paddle we were all very happy to see the rocky area where Erkine Creek meets the river - our lunch spot. Most of us had a lovely swim here and some even swung on a rope over the water.
The return paddle was a good test of endurance, and everyone rose to the challenge! Unfortunately as we got closer to the Narrows the jetskis and jetboats arrived and spoilt the quiet. I felt sorry for all the ducks and other water birds who constantly had to get out of the way. After the narrows the water became very choppy from the boat wake and there were a number of dickheads who shouldn't be in charge of boats. We regathered and crossed the river in a group before using the kayak ramp which made getting out much easier. Many thanks to Kate for leading the group and good on the women who came along for such a great challenge of 24km!! Jocelyn
Sat, 2 December - Royal National Park bike ride
We joined with the lovely lesbians from Sydney Spokes to ride Lady Carrington Drive in the Royal National Park. This track wends its way along the river and through lush vegetation. Its a relatively flat track but with a cheeky hill at the end.
Sat, 18 November - Devils Hole loop
Happy hiking, Sue
Sat, 28 October - Macro Lems visit Wombat Hollow
|Looking out fromWombat Rock|
|Looking into the Kanimbla Valley from Wombat Hollow|
|Our Wonderful hosts|
20-22 October - Six Foot Track
18 Lemons successfully tackled the 42km Six Foot Track! What a great bunch of women.
We were lucky enough to have 5 Lemons drive us out to firstly Black Range campsite so we could set up our tents (and miraculously the rain stopped whilst we did this), and then onto Jenolan Caves where after a quick bite to eat we began our walk in the drizzle. Our drivers were fantastic!
Its all uphill from Jenolan Caves, but this meant we had beautiful views back into the valley with Jenolan Caves house and the mist through the trees and valleys.
The rest of the track meandered along and crossed the Jenolan Caves Road to eventually finish back at Black Range campsite. It was a damp and cool night here and thermals and hot drinks were the go.
The next day we set off on the 20km walk to the Coxs River campground. Initially the track follows the dirt road along the top of the ridge, and it was blissful when the sun made an appearance and we were able to slowly start to dry off clothes and tents at morning tea. The long descent off the range made us thankful we weren't having to slog up the hill! The views were beautiful.
The track meandered through the valley where we saw an echidna, snakes, wallabies, kangaroos and loads of very vocal birds who all seemed so happy with the recent rain. We arrived at the campground just after 3pm. A lot of people were camped right down at the river, so we had the campsite virtually to ourselves!
This night was much milder and after kicking on until at least 8pm we watched stars or retired for the evening. The sunrise was beautiful. The next morning we crossed Bowtells Swing Bridge before starting the ascent out of the valley.
Wonderful Sharron and Kay met us at Megalong Road where they had brought in extra water for us, and took some items for walkers who wished to lighten their packs for the last section, and also took out 2 of the walkers. We then pushed on up the track towards beautiful Nellies Glen - what a most gorgeous walk up through the lushness of this area to finally finish our walk near the Explorers Tree at 2.30pm.
Many thanks to all those walkers who joined us for this terrific walk. You were a fantastic positive enthusiastic bunch and the cameraderie shared during the walk was lovely! Many thanks also to Sharron, Kay, Leta, Sue and Lisa who went above and beyond to transport us to the beginning of the walk and Sharron and Kay for providing further support at Megalong Road and to then meet us at the end of the walk!!
We are very lucky indeed to have this walk on our doorstep. This walk showcases some of the lovely valleys, views, wildlife and hills in the western area of our mountains and its a great challenge. Thank you to all who came along and rose to the challenge. Your blood is worth bottling. Jocelyn
Saturday, 14 October - Mt Piddington, Hornes Point, Ferris Cave
There is something truly magical about being in the bush in the wet. Everything softens and quietens.
Thanks to those who came along with various canines to enjoy the beauty of the Mt Piddington area. The rocky outcrops looming out of the mist were beautiful. We saw a sprinting lyrebird and a family of kangaroos as well.
If every you want to a lovely wander in the bush with your dog, then this area is perfect. Jocelyn
Saturday, 7 October - Wentworth Falls to Katoomba (Trek4Timor route)
12 of us had a great walk today, starting at Wilson Park in Wentworth Falls and 8 hours later finishing at the top of the Golden Stairs Katoomba. The views were sublime.
Thanks so much to those women who came along for this great challenging walk and who rose to the challenge. Many thanks to Lesley and Olga for helping with cars, and thanks to Lisa for popping in to join us for lunch. Jocelyn
Saturday, 30 September - Glow Worm Tunnel
Sat, 23 Sept - Macro Lems
15 - 17 Sept - Coorongooba Camping Weekend
We explored up Capertee River Trail, and also up another valley and discovered the abandoned mine.
The campground and surrounding bush was full of kangaroos, wombats, goanas, and a huge array of birds including corellas, willy wagtails, crows, cuckoos, cuckoo shrikes, red-browed fiinches, and the dawn chorus was huge.
|wombats had right of way|
We had an afternoon of games on Saturday afternoon including a marathon cricket match, soccer, and bat and balls.
Thanks to all those who came along to this beautiful campsite for a lovely weekend! Jocelyn
Saturday, 9 Sept - Evening walk on Mt Hay Road
|Intrepid night walkers|
|Yes, we did scare ourselves, just a little bit....|
|It was all just a little bit Blair Witch...|
Sunday 3 Sept - Sketching morning, Wind Eroded Cave & Anvil Rock, Blackheath
Saturday, 2 Sept - Birdwatching morning, Fairy Bower Mt Victoria
We also took the short detour up a ladder to the spectaular Coxs Cave.
Some of the birds we identified were male whipbird, striated thornbill, golden whistler, pardolote, spinebill, raven, treecreeper, yellow bowerbird, scrubwerens, and and then we saw a gorgeous male lyre bird with attendant fern wrens.
|Lyrebird with its attendant fern wren on the log|
Saturday, 26 August - Govetts Leap to Pulpit Rock, Blackheath
|Pulpit Rock from Govetts Leap|
|Rugged and beautiful|
|Smoke from backburning|
|Its a long way down!|
Saturday, 12 August - Sunday, 13 August - Splendour Rock, Wild Dog Mountains
|The view to die for|
|Fresh at the start|
|Stretches and checking of feet|
|Up the pass|
|On Splendour Rock|
The group decided to return on Sunday via the more challenging Black Horse Ridge and Breakfast Creek route, which meant a 400m descent to the creek and a long 300m ascent back up to Dunphys Campground. The lookout off the end of Black Horse Ridge had beautiful views and we could see the long route down to the creek before us. The descent seemed to take forever, and we were all very thankful to reach a grassy knoll for lunch.
|Beautiful Breakfast Creek - a welcome sight|
Saturday, 5 August - Katoomba Falls to Kedumba Pass via Jamison Valley
What a windy and cold morning it was, but once we descended down the Giant Staircase we were protected from the wind. We had morning tee at the site of the old sewerage treatment plant, which is now a beautifully restored and lush area, with a couple of nice spots for camping. It was then onto the fire trail which wends its way across the Jamison Valley, up and down a few hills and across a few creeks.
We lunched next to one of the creeks before our final push up Kedumba Pass. The whole walk too about 6.5 hours and it was was blissful to be out of the wind and in the sun.
Thanks to Lesley and Diane for helping organise the cars and all those who weren't put off by the windy conditions. Jocelyn
Sunday, 30 July - Gordon Falls to Golden Staircase via Federal Pass
What a gorgeous and uncharacteristically warm day to be out walking in the mountains! 14 of us enjoyed this lovely walk mostly on the Federal Pass. Leura Forest was the perfect place for morning tea and it was idyllically sheltered from the wind. Lots of white browed scrub wrens were out, and we also saw a few lyrebirds and heard many other birds such as tree creepers, whip birds and finches.
The track became busier as we approached Katoomba Falls and we were lucky enough to score two picnic tables here. After lunch we farewelled a few of our walkers at the Scenic Railway and the rest of us continued on the Federal Pass to clamber over the historic landslide and then around to the base of the Golden Stairs.
It didn't take very long before we were at the top and in the cars we had left here in the morning.
We adjourned to Lisa and Lesley's house for hot drinks and some sweet things. Thanks so much to Jem, Lesley, Diane and Ilsa who helped with the cars, and everyone who came along. Jocelyn
Saturday, 22 July - Wentworth Falls loop
Sunday, 16 July - Red Hands Cave, Glenbrook
|Beautiful forest near the cave|
|Grinding grooves in the creek|
As promised we spotted the black sheep, also a few kangaroos and the highlight today... a rare bird!
Saturday, 8 July - Hanging Rock Blackheath
Despite the blistering cold, the day was clear. The walk to Hanging Rock was along a lovely fire trail, not too many hills and clear enough to walk three or four abreast until nearing the end. All twelve Bush Lemons obediently followed their leader to the edge of the precipice, where some opted to remain while others ventured across the great divide to experience life on the edge of Hanging Rock. The few who managed to swallow their fear and take the leap across the gap were treated to a spectacular view of the valley and just far away enough to not hear the others yelling ‘stay back from the edge’.
Once we had regrouped, downed our morning tea and waved to Sydney, just visible through a gap in the mountains, we headed back to the cars and into Blackheath where some departed and others dived into a hearty lunch in front of a log fire at the Wattle Café. Sue
Saturday, 1 July - Mt Banks
We walked over the top of Mt Banks and then joined the firetrail which lead out to the top of Banks Wall and onto a lunch spot amongst the heath, looking down in the valley. What a perfect spot for lunch!
We then walked back to the Mt Bank picnic area where we had started. This is a great walk to do where you can see beautiful views without a huge amount of effort - you can just walk out to Banks Wall on the fire trail if you don't want to do the ascent up Mt Banks.
I made the walkers recreate a photo taken years before on another walk here (there were only a few grumbles) and we saw some beautiful sundews on the way back. Thanks to all those who came along to enjoy the later start and a gorgeous day! Jocelyn
Sunday, 5 June - Lockleys Pylon & Blue Gum Forest, Blue Gum Forest
What a beautiful day for a bushwalk! The walk out to Lockleys is easy and leads to the cliff edge over the Grose Valley. The track then descends off Du Faur Head and although fairly steep, zig zags nicely. We saw a beautiful Wedge Tailed Eagle soaring on thermal air here.
The descent took a bit over an hour and we arrived at the Grose River. The walk leader made a grave mistake by not trusting that the walkers could cross the river using the downed tree tunk and instead some of us got our feet wet. We then walked through the Blue Gum forest with its ancient trees soaring up into the sky.
Lunch was had by the Grose River, before we started back up the ascent. It wasn't too bad and we just kept plodding until we were once again at Du Faur Head looking back into the valley, gorgeous in the afternoon sun. Thanks to all those who came along! Jocelyn
|Spot the bee with its head in the flowers|
Monday, 12 June - Porters Pass, Centennial Glen, Blackheath
11 of us had a lovely walk today, finally on a sunny day!! There's something just so beautiful about the bush after a week of rain. Everything looks so fresh and full of life. This walk takes around 3 hours and covers the lush Porters Pass, Centennial Glen and Walls Ledge. The views are sublime and so are the waterfalls, plants, birdlife, and its fun to watch the rock climbers in the Walls Ledge area. Thanks so much to all those who came along for a few hours in the sun! Jocelyn
Sunday, 21 May - Lawsons Long Alley & Lockyers Road, Mt Victoria
Saturday, 13 May - Walls Cave
|Walls Cave from the ridge - half way down the stairs|
|Lemons will find an excuse to dance no matter where you take them|
|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|
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|
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
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.
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|
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...
|And some reflective practice.....|
|and finishing with some contemplation of the flow of life|
|Oh...are you taking our picture?|
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.
We were cheered by the arrival at Dunphys Campground and the sight of our cars, and then we hightailed it to Megalong Tea Rooms for cold refreshments which were faaaaaaabulous!! The team rooms have recently changed hands and we can thoroughly recommend them!
Thanks to Jem, Chris and Lesley for putting the cars at Dunphys the afternoon before, and thanks to those plucky Lemons who did this great walk!
Saturday, 28 January - Kayaking from The Spit to Scotts Creek
After a few late cancellations, 6 of us kayaked on a perfect day. We did end up with a bit of a stiff head wind on our way back, but the good thing was it was high tide in Scotts Creek so we could kayak all the way through it until a low pedestrian bridge.
Middle Harbour was a usual busy waterway with lots of boats heading past, but this gave us a chance to bob over their wake. It perhaps took around 45 minutes to reach Sugarloaf Bay, and things immediately calmed. The bay itself is lovely with lots of gorgeous bush stretching down to the foreshore and an occasional tantalising set of stone stairs. The entry to Scotts Creek was easy to spot and we were then gliding past the gorgeous mangroves in a little sanctuary. The creek is quite long and its just gorgeously quiet with lots of Kookaburras and Kingfishers. One keen-eyed Lemon spotted a stingray and another a goanna, and there were lots of lizards and water dragons.
Upon leaving Scotts Creek we found an unusual handmade rectangular hole in a rock, with its stone door lying next to it. A smuggler's cave, a fisherman's cache? Who knows, but the area made for a perfect place to pull up kayaks for morning tea and a swim.
We tackled the busy waterway of middle harbour again and were treated to a great spectacle of racing yatchs near The Spit. It was just amazing to hear the boom of their sails filling with air as they performed amazing turns, and the speed with which they moved, and all rather close to us.
Thanks to the Lemons who came along to discover the beauty of Scotts Creek and Sugarloaf Bay. Jocelyn
Saturday, 21 January - Ida Falls, Lithgow
|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|
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.
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
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.
4 Nov - 6 Nov - Dogs & Dykes Weekend, Berrima
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.
All in all it was a wonderful weekend.I totally loved organising it and absolutely enjoyed the new friends and dogs that I met.
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|
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
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.
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!|
|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|
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.
Saturday, 6 August - Macro Lems at Hartley
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.
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.
|Mother Earth watching over the valley (this photo has not been doctored!)|
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|
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
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
|Reflections in a rock pool|
|One clean kookaburra|
Leaf-surfing wasp - just resting, it flew away shortly after the shot was taken
|Lemons trying to hide behind the foliage|
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.
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
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|
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.
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.
If you should in passing by
come on Jerrelkellimi
very welcome you would be
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
Enjoy the pics, and come along to our next photographic adventure on 27th February. Sharron
|Well, there's always got to be one....|
|Gotta love new packs before they get abused!|
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
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.
|Lemons in the mist|
Saturday, 25 April - Wild Dog Mtns (Tinpot Mtn, Coxs River, Tinpot Hill)
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.
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
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.
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.
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
Comes with windshield, various sizes pots, uses metho (easily accessible anywhere)
Folds down into one pot.
Boil time 8.44m
Has a wind shield which covers closely around the flame to enhance the heat
Boil time 4.14m
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.
Boil time 2.11m
Uses gas canister. Automatic ignition.
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
Berghaus Biofleece Light 50lt 1.6kg
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
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 email@example.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
|The numerous things you can do with a Bush Lemons bandanna!|