Walkabout in Wondabyne (Part III): Bunny in the Bush

Mullet Creek

Mullet Creek

In front of me was Mullet Creek in all of its shimmering, azure glory.  Behind me, a thicket of trees, shrubs, rocks, flora, and fauna in the Australian wilderness.  Or to put it another way: the bush.  This land has been whimsically romanticized by Blinky Bill has a fanciful home for Australia’s furry friends, a place where danger and uncertainty lurks about like in Picnic at Hanging Rock.  Or based on one of my favorite books, “Dot and the Kangaroo”, a place where the twain shall meet; a place where the beauty of and danger of Australia’s wilderness coexist.  On this day, however, I was not searching for any one of those titular characters.  I was merely searching for little peace and quiet in one of the most beautiful places that I have ever been to.  Still, it would be nice if Dot and her bipedal friend bounced by and said hello.  But then I remembered that the film adaptation of that book was shot around the Blue Mountains and not the Hawkesbury.  Ah, well.

Before my bushwalking could commence, I saw a lengthy freight train whiz by me.  The sound of the train’s many cars made such a racket; the rattling of those hoppers and flatbeds made the Wondabyne platform quiver a bit.  As I watched it chug into the distance towards Sydney, I could only hope that there’d be a train waiting for me on the way back.

"The morning freighter to Sydney is late!"

“The morning freighter to Sydney is late!”

Just north of the railway station by the water is a 70-acre tract of land owned by Gosford Quarries that contains a sandstone quarry.  Stone is cut from the quarry periodically for restoration works on Sydney city buildings that were originally constructed many years ago from Wondabyne sandstone.  In 2000, the quarry was brought back into operation to provide stone for the two spires of St Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney.  The spires now complete the construction of the cathedral which was started in 1868.  Wondabyne is a popular starting point for bushwalks into the surrounding Brisbane Water National Park.  Destinations include Pindar Cave, Kariong Brook and Wondabyne Trig-the latter offers extensive views of the surrounding area.  Walking trails also join the Great North Walk (which stretches from Sydney to Newcastle) for more extensive trips.

The Great North Walk is a walking track which runs from Sydney to Newcastle.  The main track is 160 miles (250 km) in length.  It runs between the Obelisk in Macquarie Place in Sydney to Queens Wharf Tower in Bicentennial Park in Newcastle and is well sign-posted.  There are many “side tracks” which conveniently link the track to populated areas along the length of the walk. The walk includes a huge variety of wildlife and scenery.

"Which way to Pindar Cave?"

“Which way to Pindar Cave?”

Along the Great North Walk is Brisbane Water National Park, which  is a protected national park that is located in the Central Coast region of New South Wales.  It  measures out to around 28,430-acres wide and is situated 29 miles (47 km) north of Sydney, 6.2 miles (10 km) west of Woy Woy, and 7.5 miles (12 km) southwest of Gosford.  This section of the Great North Walk was what I was venturing into.  A small sign at the foot of the trail near the station marked the start of my upwards sojourn.  With my first step came a rather loud clanging sound; it was my camcorder bag.  I had attached two Rabbitohs key chains to the bag, mostly so that when I carried it, it would jangle,thus reminding me that I hadn’t dropped it.  I quickly discarded one of my key chains in my backpack before continuing on.

In terms of ambiance, I could not have asked for a better day.  The path upwards was only a little steep.  I certainly wasn’t winded, but I did have to take a few big steps as if the path was littered with miniature boulders.  A cast-iron staircase gave me easy access up; the only man-made object around if you don’t count myself or the train station.  To be fair, it wasn’t like I was venturing up a mountain with a blindfold on.  The path was flat and had the look of a paved surface, minus the asphalt.  While it may not have had the thrill of stepping into the great unknown, it made me feel a whole lot better; no chance of getting lost!  Then again, I was in no mood to complain.

This small staircase gives hikers a little help up the path...

This small staircase gives hikers a little help up the path…

"Rabbitoh on a bushwalk!"

“Rabbitoh on a bushwalk!”

The Great North Walk

The Great North Walk

The sunlight kissed every leaf and branch high above me in an aura of coziness.  The only sounds of the bush I heard was the whistling of the wind,  the rustling of tree leaves, and the shuffling of my feet against the earth; I loved the sound of it.  I’m no “rugged outdoorsman” and I am certainly not Davy Crockett.  Still, it felt really good to get out of the city and get back to nature.  The feeling of being in near solitude in the midst of a natural tableau filled me with a sense of aliveness.  Everything here felt real, sans the staircase, but hey, minor details.  But what really made this hike special was how it combined one of my favorite places in Australia (the Hawkesbury) with one of my favorite settings (the Australian bush) in one!

TO BE CONTINUED…

Next Time: My hike continues back down the trail, and back onto the rail.  Also, I meet a rather friendly passenger with a love of both heavy metal and the Rabbitohs!  Need more proof that Bunnies fans are the coolest?!

About admin

I am a graduate of Stony Brook University, and I have a degree in History. I am an avid traveler, with an extensive knowledge of geography, a passion for photography, and a knowledge of animals too. I enjoy pop music of the 1980's, fine dining, movies, baseball, basketball, and rugby.
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2 Responses to Walkabout in Wondabyne (Part III): Bunny in the Bush

  1. Paul Condon says:

    Keep em coming Jared, good work again, as always

  2. Paul Condon says:

    Nice work Jared, keep em coming!

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