Sunday, June 8, 2008

Victoria Falls

Fog and Sleet

The plan was- To go to Coolah Tops National Park. The reality was- It was too wet, too hit and miss, so instead I chose to walk down to the Victoria Falls.

Situated west of Blackheath, but in the same network of valleys as Blue Gum Forest, I was curious to see just how the landscape had recovered from the bush fires. Like Perry's Lookdown, it requires a drop into the systems of creeks and gullies that ultimately form the Grose Valley, and Grose River. I had hoped to improve on the bird list as well. But with heavy fog and rain, it was unlikely.

Early section of the track.

The drive to Mt Victoria is uneventful and pleasant. Once arriving the road to the falls is easily signposted and the average sedan would cover the 12k of dirt road with ease.
I was surprised to see quite a few other dedicated walkers and campers in the area. It was good to see other enjoying the mountains despite the weather. Parking the troopie, its a decent into the valley. Not as extreme as Perry's it is a pleasant mix of steps, rock overhangs and forests. The fire here must have been intense as much of the undergrowth has vanished, replaced by succulent new growth. In opening the canopy too, new growth is rapid, as native species compete with weeds that seemed abundant.

The rain and wind were reasonable and most birds seemed absent. Not that it mattered, my binoculars fogged up and my books got soggy in the process.So I pushed on. Within a short time I was at the falls.

Victoria Falls
They looked great! Rock pools were full and the sound of falling water and Bell Minors filled the forest floor. In the pools were HUGE Yabbies! For my OS friends these are similar to a lobster or many other crayfish, and are delicious eating for sure! Some are pale blue in colour, yet these were a brilliant red. Simply boil water with salt and drop them in head first. Sadly these ones are protected in the national park, so I had to content myself with a stale biscuit!.

Yabbies with white wine and a cheese and garlic sauce........
After taking several photos I headed pack towards the car where a hot cup of coffee was most welcome. It was a most enjoyable walk.

Billy Boiling.

Even though birds were quiet, I still spotted Pied Butcher Bird, Pee Wee, Bell Minor, White Headed Pigeon, Currawong, White Browed Tree Creeper, Yellow Rumped Thornbill, Galah, Rosella, Australian Magpie and Wood Duck.


  1. I forgot to mention that my boots and clothes are water logged! :o)

  2. Simon,
    You sound like a scientist yourself, or at least a naturalist.

    Very nice pics, and Australia is certainly loaded with beauty. And New Zealand is nearby. Looks like a most relaxing, engaging time- and that coffee would be good.

  3. Mate, I fancy that yabby recipe! I have to remember that as we approach mid-summer here, you are in the depths of winter.

  4. Yes, you guys are "upside down" over there. Or maybe it's us.

  5. If that's the depths of winter, I'll take it! (although I don't mind a little snow for tradition's sake around here)

  6. thanks Ted.. yes I agree. I am not a scientist just love the bush...

    I find walking most enjoyable.

    Maalie:- When you come over in December I will take the yabbie pot and we can catch them in the streams and rivers out side the national parks. They are delicious 100%

  7. Hheheee, my long weekend photographs were full of fog as well Simon and we were wet and cold the whole time. Walking to Falls is a good idea in weather like this though and the birds were still there ... just sheltered and mostly silent :) I'm glad you ate a stale biscuit HAHHAHAA :)

  8. A stale biscuit really is a bummer!
    I imagine you hiking back up again, going squeesh squeesh squeesh all the time. I had recently a similar experience. Those darn waterproof boots! :-)

  9. Well, I have to say by Scarpa boots are 20+ years old and I have always used Dubbin on them (A type of natural grease). They are very comfortable and water resistant.

    SAdly they are at their life end- the Vibram sole is almost worn smooth. I hope I can buy another pair made of leather- I do not liek the ones made of synthetics! :o)

    How was the glasier?

  10. the falls are lovely - I can almost hear the water pouring over the side!

  11. yes- its a favorite spot. The yabbies are a good indication that the water is pollution free

  12. I just like the beauty of water running over rocks - and the sound! The way you photgraphed it I can almost hear it falling.

  13. yes that is why I like to walk there!!... the souond and look...

  14. Wow - I just clicked on the "wrong" link and went to your professional website - very, very impressive - and I do believe you're even better looking "old" than young!

    Hopefully you'll get a laugh out of the blog post I'm putting up now seeing as you know the person I'm writing about!

  15. It's tempting to come over and join one of your trips, the locations look fantastic. It would be great with Maalie too.

    I met an Australian scientist in Cambridge last week, Prof Geoff Fincher, have you heard of him?

  16. Dear Simon,
    I discovered your blog some weeks ago (about the time when you posted a video with a snake in your garden ;).
    I am from Austria and I also love hiking and climbing in the mountains.
    But it is very exciting for me to see your trips in a landscape that is very different from our comparatively densely populated country. There is some wilderness also in Austria, BUT.... its different.

    I enjoyed your trip to the Victoria falls very much, the picture of the falls is simply gorgeous!
    I would not mind the bad weather too!
    I'm so sorry that I cannot come over and simply join you on your trips. You seem to make them in your neighbourhood?

    We live here in Vienna, and there are also many opportunities to ramble through the country, in the immediate vicinity of Vienna. There are many hiking trails, all of them well marked, and my husband and I, together with our dog, have started to walk a long distance trail leading from the east to the west of Austria, about 625 miles long. Not at once, but in day trips.
    This is also very beautiful, you do not meet many people on the trail, and you come to surprisingly beautiful places.
    BUT: if I want something really thrilling, I'll come and visit your blog! ;)
    Kind regards from Vienna,

  17. Ellee- of copurse you would be welcome. I know just how much you enjoy walking! :o)

    Maria- thank you for your kind words. Yes we live right on/in the national park, so I can simply hop on my bike or walk and be there. The Wollemi National Park is pure wilderness, When Maalie came here in 2006 he could not believe that most of the beaches down the coast were empty... just golden sand and blue sky.

    As for Austria, well I see from Merisis blog and Maalies that it is a very beautiful place, It seems you have the right combination of culture and art...

    How great. you too are wleocme to come over for a walk. We could get a whole group of bloggers. I know Maalie enjoyed it!


  18. Simon,
    thank you for your kind words! I look forward to joining the group of bloggers on your tours!
    Have a nice day - I'm in the office now and will join your new trip later!
    Regards, Maria