Monday, May 18, 2015

The Old Helensburgh Railway Tunnels

Heading to Helensburgh, exit off the M1 freeway to Helensburgh, turning onto the Old Princes Highway, at the roundabout take first exit onto Parkes Street and follow for approx 3.2 km then on turn right onto Old farm Rd. you can find parking is available at railway carpark close by. If catching the train get to Helensburgh railway station, the Tunnels are a few meters away. (map)

The original railway route to the south coast closed in 1915 and since has been abandoned.The tunnel is approx 80 meters in length with open gates at both ends. Entering the tunnel was an eerie feeling cold and dark, and due to the previous rain the ground was muddy with large puddles at the entrance. As we walked through the tunnel we noticed the graffiti covering the walls it was unfortunately as it spoilt the atmosphere of the tunnel.  Approaching the end there were gates opened and as the sun shone upon them it reminded me of an enchanted garden, over grown vines and weeds, it looked beautiful and very natural. taking our time to take a few more pictures here of the whole entrance area, small garden area, and out side the tunnel walls. this walk did not take long, but worth a look.

When looking out from tunnel,  down road a little is another tunnel called the metropolitan, this is signed and a information board of history about the railway track is also there. An old demolished platform was just recognizable and a cottage on the right of this tunnel. Unfortunately because of heavy rain this tunnel was also flooded and we could not enter, but reading up on this it has glow worms inside and a history of being haunted.

Belmore Falls

Belmore falls (Map) is located on the southern highlands, a short drive from Robertson and the World Famous Robertson Pie Shop and well worth time and effort to explore Belmore and its many waterfalls. All these tracks are not serviced by Parks and Wildlife and aren't easy walking , use extreme care if you choose to do theses walks.

Horse Shoe Falls

Driving along the Belmore Falls Road from Robertson once your in the bush and the dirt road starts , you'll drive past a turn to the left called Wallaby Hill Road, just past this turn on your right is a very small track a little over grown and rough but you can get a car in there and there is a small car park. We parked the car in the car park and started a trek down the track or old washed away road.

The trek it's self is about 1 kilometer 20 minute easy walk, at the bottom is a creek that can be crossed but at this point you need to make a left turn and follow the sound of the rushing water. I have heard these falls referred to as Horse Shoe falls due to it shape.

The Secret track to the bottom of Belmore Falls 
(warning this track is closed and very over grown with some landslides and fallen trees)

Once you finish there jump back into the car and make a right turn onto Belmore Falls Road and drive to the next turn on the left and drive to the small picnic area. You can park you car here and head off past both picnic tables there is a bit of a track to the fence. Once you reach the fence you will need to jump it and look for the steps off to the left which will soon lead you back to the right and the stone steps at the start of the track.

Once you find these steps its pretty easy to follow the track if you have good bush sense.We made it to the bottom in 30 minute, but we took our time and took some photos on the way down.

The sounds of rushing water killed the sounds of the surrounding rainforest as we look at this majestic waterfall in a different perspective. We took some photographs and just enjoyed the scenery for awhile before our trek back to the top to the car park at the picnic area, which took 45 minutes and again we stopped and took photos along the way.

The Unnamed Falls

 Back in the car and carry along the one way road , which has a few lookouts of the falls on the left. At the end of the road turn left and follow the road looking for a small car park on the right, park your car here and follow the track (be careful on this track its easy to get lost). You will come to a creek cross it and from here you can go left and follow the creek or take a track up the small hill and off to the left (I recommend this way).

This is a beautiful quiet place with a waterfall you can walk behind , we loved the peace and sounds of nature.

The Unnamed Falls 2

Once you on the road again you'll cross Barren Garry Creek causeway and keep following the road towards Wildes Meadow until you spot a small bridge. We parked the car and went down the creek to the left and followed it for around 1 km until we spotted the last waterfall of the day.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Winifred falls

Map - here

Entering the Royal National Park from Loftus, (Sydney) drive along Farnell Ave to Audley river crossing, the road merges into Sir Bertram Stevens Drive continue for 2.5km and turn left onto Warumbi Rd. Approx 400 meters along, keep an eye on a sign to your right, (Winnifred Falls Fire Trail) there is also a locked gate at entry of walk. Parking on side of road.

The beginning of the walk is a sign, on side of road which is well hidden by trees, the walk down states 1km (2km return). The track itself is a fire trail and easy to walk with some parts along the way steep and loose rocks, we had attempted this walk after a large rainfall so the track was muddy and slippery, but I'm sure on a dry day the track would be easy enough, but it is very steep in section.

Arriving at the bottom of trail are the falls, to the left of the sign we found a great place to get some pictures of the falls, but due to muddy areas it was limited to a few places,  there also is a trail leading to the water hole underneath the falls.
The water hole has easy access for a swim and the water was freezing but very refreshing, also a few clear areas to set up for a relaxing day or a picnic.

On the right side of the falls we walked up the river a short distance, where there were many small cascades of water,  and due to the heavy rain the river was flowing fast and there was a lot of water, also a walking track up along the waters edge. (not sure on how far this leads to but a clear track)

The track back up the hill was a little challenging again because of the wet surface, also steep in some areas, taking our time at a steady pace and stopping for a few short breaks it wasn't that bad and we returned back to the road.