On 27 th February, 20 OFF members and friends enjoyed a very pleasant walk along the lovely south coast from Scarborough to Thirroul. The walk which was capably led by Sharyn Cullis started out with coffee and finished in a hotel in Thirroul.
In between we walked about 8km along beaches, across headlands, had a swim and had great views of 38 sooty oystercatchers (an uncommon bird of rocky headlands). Sharyn’s local knowledge enhanced the experience.
Unfortunately, the high seas prevented us from exploring a rock platform, but overall it was a great day in beautiful surroundings and in pleasant company.
30 OFF members took part in one of easier outings of 2015. After a relatively early start in order to get to Hawkesbury River station by 10am, we boarded the boat for a very pleasant 3 hour cruise on the Hawkesbury River.
There was a good commentary and the participants were surprised at the number and extent of the many small settlements that are along the shoreline.
We dropped off mail at most stops except for one, where we met by a dog who gratefully accepted his regular ANZAC biscuit!
It was a very hot day but the cooling breeze on the water helped to keep us comfortable. After a nice lunch we arrived back at the wharf at 1pm in time to catch the train back to Central and then onto Oatley.
Whilst the day was not as active as some of our outings, it was a good opportunity to socialise and I think most people enjoyed the day.
Report By Leader: Graham Fry
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The walk from Rose Bay to Watsons Bay on 31 October was generally well reviewed and was given an overall four star rating. A total of 31 OFF members and friends took part ignoring threats by the weatherman of rain dispersed by thunderstorms. The weather was perfect for walking.
Features of the day included: a history of Rose Bay and Mr George Rose (1744-1818); seaplanes; Dumaresq Bay; the Hermitage Walk- the most extensive remnant bush on the south side of the harbour; Carrara (or Strickland) House; Greycliff House; lunch and a swim at Nielsen Park; Coolong Street otherwise known as Swank Street (many, many miles from Struggle Street); Vaucluse House park, Parsley Bay suspension bridge and the Watsons Bay Pub.
Some thought there was a step or two too many but most agreed that the world class views of Sydney Harbour were a rich compensation.
Field Report by Walk leader : Julian Sheen
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A combined Hurstville Council and OFF event was held in Oatley Park on 1st September to celebrate the first day of Spring, Wattle Day and the Society’s 60th anniversary. The weather was warm and sunny which enabled the 24 participants to really appreciate the park and its wildflowers. Alan Fairley led the walk around the Headland Track.
It was too late for our local wattles (they had long finished flowering), but a number of other flowers were in full bloom. Most conspicuous were the pea flowers, Daviesia corymbosa, Dillwynia retorta and Pultenaea daphnoides. Wedding Bush (Ricinocarpos) supplied patches of brilliant white. Members of the Proteaceae were also on show, including Pink Spider Flower, Green Spider Flower and Broad-leaf Drumsticks. Clusters of 5-petalled pink flowers of Philotheca scabra were noticeable in the understorey. Below the steps on the sheltered southern side of the headland, shade-loving plants dominated the slope. Here the most obvious flower was the white Leucopogon amplexicaulis, a species with a restricted distribution. Those participants who had not previously visited Oatley Park were impressed by its variety and wanted to return again.
Liz Cameron had baked a birthday cake and committee members Graham Fry, Shaun Keays-Byrne and Robin Dickson mingled with the group over morning tea and coffee.
A very pleasant day for all involved.
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The OFF outing of the 1st August was the second walk led by Sharyn Cullis this year to explore sections of Dharawal NP. Twenty-six members and friends enjoyed a very satisfying day which was divided into two sections. In the morning we walked to Maddens Creek, one of the sources of the Georges River, and explored the area which has a small waterfall.
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We then adjourned for lunch to Sublime Point which lived up to its name with sublime views of the south coast.
Some of our party left after lunch while an intrepid ten continued on the second part of the walk – a steep descent of the escarpment to Austinmer. While only a 1 km distance, it was a drop of 350 m and most had very wobbly knees at the bottom.
A former president of OFF took the easy option and had a lift waiting for him at the bottom while the rest of us tackled the climb back to the top.
After 1146 steps and a number of stops we eventually arrived and were very satisfied with our achievement, notwithstanding some tired legs and ankles.
A great day, thanks Sharyn.
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Hawkesbury River – walk from Cowan to Taffy’s Rock via Jerusalem Bay on 27th June
This walk started in the dark for some as they took the bus from Oatley Station to Central in time for the 7.45 train to Cowan. This was quite a pleasant, smooth trip with very picturesque views of mist in the valleys after Berowra.Six people were waiting at Cowan station having driven up, which made 12 walkers in total.
The walk crossed over to the eastern side of the station and over the freeway. Then it was into the bush and a steady downhill towards Jerusalem Bay but first we had a short detour to visit some Aboriginal carvings (luckily our leader, Adrian Buzo, knew where they were). The walk down to Jerusalem Bay followed a creek line and passed some wonderful rock overhangs and large gnarled trees. The view at Jerusalem Bay was beautiful and the water very clear. We encountered many walkers going in the opposite direction who seemed to be in training for the 100km Oxfam Walk which commences in Brooklyn and finishes in Balgowlah. The section we were walking is part of the Great North Walk.
A steep and rough ascent took us to a ridge where we turned off the main track onto a side track which we followed till we came to a great rest stop of tessellated rock. We then continued on to our lunch stop at Taffy’s Rock. Here we had stunning views to Lion Island and Cowan Creek.
Dorothy (Taffy) Townson liked to frequent a beautiful rock with wide vistas in a remote area of Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. After she died of snake bite while walking the Overland Track in 1948, her fellow bushwalkers erected a plaque in her memory on Taffy’s Rock.
Lunch was quick as we were needing to get back for the 4.47 train.We were blessed with fantastic weather and clear skies making for great views along many parts of the track. It was quite a challenging walk of 16km and took most of the day, starting at 9am and back by 4.30pm but well worth the effort.
Report by Vicki Bolling
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