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Dhurug National Park - Search for Cave Paintings. (11/12th September 2010)

Map:-

Mangrove; and Gunderman 1:25000

Party:-

Shane, Dug

Shane Dhurug NP.  Pic by Dug Introduction

During this years Navshield in July, one of the competitors told us that they had found an overhang with aboriginal paintings, while going up to a Checkpoint (68 I think). We had found a number of other sites in this park and I am keen to see this one.

Friday was forecast rain, so I wasn't upset when Shane suggested we drive down Saturday morning. Who likes packing up a wet tent? But it was great weather, it seems the new weather channel wants to dramatize everything, like the other channels.

Saturday and Sunday were ideal weather, mostly sunny with small fluffy clouds above in a blue blue sky, temps in the 20s and night only down to 10 or so.

Saturday

Parked at Mill Creek camping area and walked the side creek to check it out. A pleasant walk though creek bush on a rough foot pad. Then move over to the 11km track, to follow it north then east, to an obvious spur, to join the ridge system we wished to walk. Very cliffy at the start but easily negotiated, then mild slope. It did cross the 11 km track again on top of the ridge, but saved 3-4 km track walk. Still it is a nice track walk for those who haven't done it before. Waratah in September, Dhurug NP.  Pic by Dug

Ridges separated by creeks are a feature of this park and you can wander for miles twisting this way and that, without having to loose or gain much height. The ridge system is made up of a series of knolls with saddles between only about 30m the maximum height loss or gain. Navigation is easy until you lose your position, then it becomes much more difficult as there aren't too many distinguishing features to help out in locating yourself again.

Shane and I are targeting the stick structure over the hole atop the hollow rock, today. Then we plan to find the reported overhang with aboriginal painting, and eventually to camp in a tributary of Sugee Bag Creek. On the way back tomorrow we plan to view the extensive rock platform with many carvings chipped, by aboriginals using stone chisels, to make a ceremonial ground.

During the Navshield event held in July these ridges were moderately scrubby with lots of wild flowers. There are often foot pads because the area is popular with bushwalkers.

This time the ridges were still moderately scrubby with foot pads but Dug at stick structure over the cave entry.  Pic by Dug the scrub was ablaze with wild flowers, shrubs of yellow flowers in many different shades, shrubs of pink flowers of various exciting shades, shrubs of lilac flowers, shrubs of cream to white flowers, shrubs of crimson or crimson and black flowers. There were many individual flowers and ground orchids in between. On Sunday we did see one very early flowering waratah, beautiful crimson specimen.

As you can imagine it was a delight to walk this country on such a beautiful day. We took turns with the navigation and rout finding and walked directly up to the strange, very neat stick structure. It was still as we left it two months ago, probably hasn't had too many visitors since Navshield (none I would imagine:-). Shane didn't know what to make of it either. The two kerosene lanterns still in their wrappings were still there in the cave below the sticks. This rock overhang isn't very big, but has two entrances, one on top where the sticks are and one in the side. It would be a "comfy fit for a couple, but you would need to do some rockwork gardening for a level bed. As you can see the sticks are neatly cut and tied together with twine. No idea what for.

We then wandered on a 1/2km or so to the spur that used to hold check point 68. The spur has a couple of small cliff lines, these were easy to find our way through but there were no overhangs with paintings. Mmmmm looks like I recorded the wrong CP number, oh well, I'll try again some other time.

A simple matter to push through the scrub to the creek where we found water and a clear rock slab to boil the billy. Shane explored downstream a little and found a relatively clear flat spot. 16:00 hrs, that will do us. So we set up camp and got a good cooking fire going. Log to sit on, good clear water in the nearby stream, flat ground only a little gardening required, what more could you wish?

A pleasant evening preparing and eating dinner as we enjoyed the darkening bush about us. To low down to see the sunset but that seemed to be very colourful too. I was sleeping out so appreciated the clear starry night. All well, a great place to sleep and awaken. Brown snake prefers this path so we find another way.  Pic by Dug

Sunday morning we cast about walking up the spur back to the ridges but again no luck with the overhang and paintings. Then on back to the car along the ridge tops. Rocky outcrops, cliffs, careful navigation (only difficult to find yourself if you lost your place). Enough trees to provide shade where needed usually on the climbs out of saddles. Scrub not too thick foot pads every now and then, flowers every where you look, magic. Of course we take the time to sniff the flowers along the way, it's that kinda day.

At one place, found a very alert brown snake in possession of the foot pad track. One photo, then we left it to its territory and bush bashed around, of to one side.

Shane was most taken with the aboriginal rock engravings, and explored the whole rock platform. There are two deep carved out waterholes suitable to supply a good size coroboree. Shane added our names to the NPWS log book before we followed the track back to the 11km circuit and so on to the car.

Thank you, Shane. A great Walk, it is a pleasure to share this experience with you. Till next time. Copyright Dug Floyd, September 2010.

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Stick Arrangement.  Pic by Dug
Shane by the stick structure
Take time to sniff the flowers.  Pic by Dug
Shane Walking the creeks on the way in.
Waratah in September.  Pic by Dug
The lone Waratah in September, a magnificent flower.
Flowers in September.  Pic by Dug
A profusion of wild flowers, white, yellow, lilac, blue.
Grevillia in September.  Pic by Dug
Crimson Grevilleas on many ridges and some creeks.
Flowers in September. Pic by Dug
Shrubs of white flowers.
Flowers in September.  Pic by Dug
Shrubs of lilac colour flowers.
Flowers in September.  Pic by Dug
Different lilac coloured flowers, with some yellow.
Flowers in September. Pic by Dug
More lilac coloured flowers.
Shane Amongst the flowers.  Pic Dug
Shane amongst the flowers.