Sunday, January 11, 2009

Mt Hay Pt 2

Pleasant views.
In a previous post I mentioned the ride to Mt Hay. Once you get to the Mt Hay car park, bikes are not permitted beyond that point and there is a walking track to the top, so last Sunday I decided to return and walk to the top. Mt Hay, like Mt Banks and Mt Tomah etc is a volcanic plug and is therefore very typical in shape to the other mountains created this way.

Distant land slides

The walk is pleasant, with spectacular views, leading along the escarpments and cliff edges before heading down a saddle and then making its ascent to the top. The vegetation varies a great deal in a short distance. With exposed heath, stunted banksia trees, then larger trees growing in the more sheltered areas. The track is a mixture of grasses and loose rock and rock ledges.
Views into the Grose Valley
We observed Welcome Swallow, Yellow Tailed Cockatoos, Magpie Lark and Currawong. In a more sheltered area there was Basian Thrush and a new sighting a Tawny Crowned Honey Eater. Quite a distinctive bird and its always nice to see something new.

The walking track
Whilst hot, it was not too long before we were pushing onto the top of the mountain. Thick cut grass (and yes, it will cut you like a razor) and a fire weed infestation made the walking a little more difficult, whilst on the look out for the broad headed snake which is particular to the area.
Tawny  Crowned Honeyeater (not my  photo)
At the top is a large rock cairn. The view at the top is filtered but there are glimpses of the Sydney basin. After a drink and some sultanas it was time to return to the troopie. Again, it was nice to observe Mt Banks for the opposite side of the Grose Valley, to observe Blue Gum forest and look towards Mt Victoria from a different perspective.

The top!
This area for me ranks as one of the most beautiful in the world. The day coincided with the first visit by Charles Darwin to Australia. His comments were similar as he observed Wentworth falls and the Jamison Valley at Katoomba. A pleasant day was had by all.


  1. I have to say I was VERY excited to identify that Tawny Head honeyeater for sure!!

  2. It's great you have the time to get out and about a bit over summer simon... though it must be awfully hot some days! The views into Grose Valley were just spectacular. The mere mention of those snakes though has me doing the Kiwi kneejerk of being paranoid about snakes ;-)

  3. A fitting post considering it is the 150th anniversary of the publication of Darwin's Origin of Species. Many celebrations going on all over the world this year.

    I would have liked to have seen that Honeyeater.

  4. yes-its good to be respectful of them kiwi.

    Maalie- its a very nice bird indeed. quite striking with the dark patches.

    Stop press- i broke my right wrist yesterday. fell off a retaining wall whilst gardening. in fact returned just now from hospital after 6 hours wait.....

  5. Oh dear..... quite an oops Simon. You have something in common with our Prime Minister who fell down some stairs and broke his arm in two places!


  6. I find it atonishing that about the same time I sprained my wrist during a fall on the ice rink! Mate, maybe we suffer in sympathy!

  7. yes! frankly it is driving me nuts- its 40c here and the cast is hot and itchy.

    i knew gardening was a dangerous pastime

  8. Preeeetty ^_^

    omgosh, I'm still alive!! :O

  9. Simon,
    Those pics warm me up. Inside and out. Quite beautiful, and glad you can be there.

    I'm looking forward to the series NPR is to have on Darwin in February. I find his work and life rather fascinating.

    And I have Spring fever, over here, but that puts you toward Winter over there. But maybe you don't mind it as much as we mind our Winter here. The cold and snow is getting rather long for many of us. Pretty, but long. I think I'll like Spring more this year than ever.

  10. thanks again ted. we had a lovely cool change come through last night with rain-very welcome