Monday, December 3, 2012

Some People Never Learn: Another Wet Walk or Waterfall to Heathcote on the Bullawarring Track

After our semi-epic in the Budawangs, you might think I would be smarter than I was today heading off on a half day bushwalk after a night of rain with only an umbrella for rain protection. I could prevaricate and say that I thought the trail involved more fire trail walking than it did (fire trails are wide enough that you don't get slapped by wet bush every second, as opposed to typical Australian trails where you are doused with cold water at every step), but if I was honest I'd be more likely to admit that I breezily brushed off any concerns of wet bush as I didn't feel like both carrying and thrashing my nice new waterproof jacket.

In any case, temperatures today were 20 degrees warmer than on our Budawangs epic and while I got wet right through again, I didn't get cold, and, had I taken waterproof pants and jacket, wearing them would have rendered me just as wet from sweat. A change of clothes, however, would have been nice as, once I hit the water line road, I could have changed into dry clothes instead of staying in wet clothes until I got home.

In any case, this was a pleasant, rather typical hike through the Australian bush, handily accessible at either end via train. I took the train to Waterfall and walked south to north as I thought finding the trail head from the Scout camp at the Heathcote end might be difficult. From the end of Warabin Street, a trail (Bullawaring) leads downhill following Waterfall Gully and fords Heathcote Creek on a fire road. The signed trail leaves the fire road on the west side of the creek and follows Heathcote Creek roughly north, past a few (mostly) signed trail junctions to a final trail junction where you can gain the water pipe road in either 0.5 km or 1 km. As I was drenched by this point, I took the shorter route to the water pipe road which guaranteed me a final dousing as the trail was very bushy.

Once on the water pipe road, my clothes gradually dripped a little drier and I strode along crossing Battery Causeway where there are a couple of nice pools on Heathcote Creek. I had lunch at Mirang Pool where I hung my shirt to dry on a tree – no luck – and then walked the final kilometre to where the water pipe road takes a big dogleg and you reach the junction with “The Friendly Trail.” It's very pleasant walking along this section on the quiet road with views down to Heathcote Creek below and across to the small escarpment of Tamaroo Ridge. The Friendly Trail is, well, friendly, a really nice section of trail on a mix of natural and well placed sandstone steps through open gum forest full of tree ferns and coming out at a large Scout camp. From the Scout camp it is a short 1 km walk to the train station. It was a little chilly waiting for the train in my still damp clothes and I had to tighten up my pack waist strap to hold my shorts up as their increased weight was dragging them off my hips.

If this trip were to have a moral, it would be don't walk in the Aussie bush after a rain storm if you want to stay dry. If a dousing doesn't bother you, you could well have a very pleasant day walking, as I did, but, a pleasant day would be a great day with the addition of a dry change of clothes.

Pretty pools on Heathcote Creek

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