Sunday, March 14, 2010
The walking track with its distinct gentle curve of a rail line.
A short 7km walk that takes us through a variety of terrain. Whilst not the most spectacular, it nevertheless had a number of very interesting features and surprises.
The track is clearly defined and is situated along the Victoria Falls road. The track was a former rail/tram line that was used to pull the shale oil from the mines that dotted the cliff line. Shale oil was mined here in the late 1800's. In fact many of the walking track in the mountains are as a result of mining activity.
Dave crossing the creek
I did this walk a number of years ago and took a wrong turn missing a couple of great features- the mine itself and a coking oven. Another interesting feature was the pagoda, set next to the swamp it makes and ideal place to camp. On this walk we saw masked lapwing, grey fantail, red robin, Lyre bird and currawong. The bird life was a bit dissapointing, but it is autumn and the day was cloudy. We also spotted a large bird of preys nest, set in the cliff face.
The walk has a gentle rise and fall, and its only as you approach the mine and oven that care must be taken. I am always disapointed when National Parks do not maintain tracks. Steel spikes protruded out of the ground where steps once had been, potential hazards to make you trip or worse still to cut your leg on.
The mine shaft
Lunch at the mine and a drink before the climb back out was in order and we vowed that we would come back and explore the mine and the surrounds.