Today’s first time on the program Medlow Bath to Katoomba walk proved to be very popular with twenty nine plus walkers deciding the early start and the forecast for rather chilly temperatures was going to be worth the effort. There was lots of chatter from the twenty three walkers who enjoyed a very relaxing train journey. Six walkers who had driven up joined the train at Katoomba. Arriving at Medlow Bath we crossed the railway line to Medlow Bath Park for our briefing. A very bleak park greeted us compared to the wonderful autumn colours and beautiful sunshine we experienced on the recce a few weeks earlier. The trees were bare.....winter had arrived!
2018 06 01 PlusWalk DonWo waiting for a cold start

2018 05 03 reccemedlowbathpark 222211 resized 42018 05 03 Sue reccemedlowbathpark 222038 resized 4


Crossing the Great Western Highway was a challenge and it wasn’t long before we were on our way to the Three Brothers for morning tea.  
2018 06 01 PlusWalk SueS On your marks walkers braving the Great Western highway from Medlow Bath Station 2                                                                                   On your marks!  Braving the Great Western Highway from Medlow Bath Station
2018 06 01 PlusWalk SueS Warm hats were the go at 6 deg C 22018 06 01 PlusWalk AnneR Lyndyonsecondbrother P1180581 Copy
                                                Is that Lyndy on top of second brother!                                                                                              Warm hats were the 'go' at 6 degrees C
2018 06 01 PlusWalk Wendy megalongvalleyfromlookoutatthreebrothers                                                                                                 Morning tea view of Megalong Valley below the Three Brothers                                                                       

We returned to Medlow Bath for the second part of our adventure joining the Great Blue Mountains Trail which is a shared walking/cycle track from Blackheath to Katoomba.  The trail is an initiative of the City of Blue Mountains and was opened in 2015. The Great Blue Mountains Trail is on the traditional land of the Darug and Gundungurra Nations.            
2018 06 01 PlusWalk Barbara onthewalkingcycletrackbetweenMBandPulpitHill P1190319 22018 06 01 PlusWalk SueS Regrouping on track from the Three Brothers 2                                        Regrouping on the track from the Three Brothers                                                               Great Blue Mountains Trail between Medlow Bath and Pulpit Hill

2018 06 01 PlusWalk Deidre MountainAsh DSCN57652018 06 01 PlusWalk SueS Leucopogon setiger along bike track 2                   
         Portuguese Heath Erica lusitanica  (an introduced weed) (Great Blue Mountains Trail)                                  Blue Mountain Ash Eucalyptus oreades (Pulpit Hill)
Reaching Pulpit Hill and the Explorers Tree we took a break.  On 31 May 1813, Blaxland, Lawson and Wentworth are said to have engraved their names into this tree on the side of Pulpit Hill.  The tree now long dead was caged in 1884 in an attempt to preserve the engravings.
2018 06 01 PlusWalk Deidre ExplorersTree DSCN5766Time to leave the Explorers Tree and on to the third part of our adventure to Norths and Therabulat Lookouts where we stopped for lunch.  Just over two hundred metres from the Explorers Tree we joined the Six Foot Track which we walked down for about five hundred metres until we came to a large metal gate and joined the Cliff Track. We soon came to Norths Lookout where there were wonderful views over Nellie's Glen and into the valley. Norths Lookout named for John Britty North (1831 - 1917). John Britty North is commonly referred to as “the father of Katoomba”. He figured prominently amongst the men who undertook the task of exploiting the area’s coal and oil shale resources in the 1880s and 1890s and built and operated the Katoomba coal mine on the site of the present Scenic Railway. He provided employment for many miners and for the butchers and bakers and candlestick makers of Katoomba.
2018 06 01 PlusWalk Barbara Northslookoutviewtonelliesglennandnarrowneckplateau P1232272 077 2                                                                                                     Norths Lookout view to Nellies Glen and Narrow Neck Plateau
2018 06 01 PlusWalk DonWo group with distant view 2  2018 06 01 PlusWalk Deidre ViewfromNorthLookoutDSCN5773
                                                                                                                         Distant views from Norths Lookout
2018 06 01 PlusWalk Barbara banksiaspinulosaonCliffTracktoExploeresTreetoKatoomba P1232272 065 22018 06 01 PlusWalk AnneR silverbanksia P1180584 Copy2018 06 01 PlusWalk SueS Hairpin Banksia Banksia spinulosa              Hairpin Banksia Banksia spinulosa on Cliff Track                         Silver Banksia Banksia marginata                       Walkers and Hairpin Banksia Banksia spinulosa       

Half an hour later we arrived at Therabulat Lookout and lunch!   When Blaxland, Lawson and Wentworth were at what they called Mt Blaxland, above Hartley they walked into the country of the Wiradjuri and Gundungurra, Therabulat and Wywandy. Some local names originate from the aboriginal ‘Therabulat’. According to Mr Cullen of ‘Cullenbenbong’, who listed Aboriginal place names for The Lithgow Mercury in November 1931, River Lett was a rhyming replacement for Tarrapalatt (Therabulat)                2018 06 01 PlusWalk Barbara Therabulatlookoutviewovernelliesglenand megalongvalley P1232272 086 2                                                                                            Therabulat Lookout view over Nellies Glen and Megalong Valley                    
2018 06 01 PlusWalk Wendy lunchattherabulatlookout                                                                        Lunch at Therabulat Lookout........bit of a squeeze but we didn't mind in the cold!
2018 06 01 PlusWalk Wendy viewofmegalongvalleyfromtherabulatlookout                                                                                                 More views of Megalong Valley from Therabulat Lookout
After lunch we continued along a bush track then some street walking to Narrow Neck Road along Narrow Neck Road and onto Bathurst Road into Katoomba.
2018 06 01 PlusWalk Wendy wherescoffee2018 06 01 PlusWalk HelenA bricabrac 141904


              Bric a Brac and collectables and .........where's coffee as the group passed Balmoral House (1876) Katoomba's oldest surviving guesthouse on Bathurst Road

And where was coffee?  Walkers dispersed in various directions to find a coffee shop where they could find reasonably quick service in order to catch the 3.20pm train back to Sydney.

Deidre and Sue S led 27 walkers: Helen A, Clive, Don B, Sue B, Wendy C, Rhondda, John D'C, John and Ros, Mary, Martin, Celia, Lyndy, Kas, Dawn, Bert, Claude and Margaret, Barbara, Guenter, Anne R, Kurt, Vreni, Lyn, Jill, Don Wo and a visitor.  A special thank you to our tail end charlie, Don B.

Words by Deidre

Photos by Don Wo (1, 15), Sue S (2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 18), Anne R (5, 17), Wendy C (7, 20, 21, 23), Barbara (9, 13, 16, 19), Deidre (11, 12, 14), Helen A (22)

Q & A
Question:  A question to Sue S was asked as to what the difference was between our familiar Sydney Bluegum, and the beautiful Blue Mountain Ash we saw both immature at the Three Brothers and mature near the Explorers Tree.
Answer:  The striking Mountain Ash Eucalyptus oreades, common to the Blue Mtns, grows to 30m, with bark hanging in long strips from branches.
In comparison, the Sydney Bluegum Eucalyptus saligna, grows to 30 -50m tall, straight and unbranched, with smooth grey bark, short basal stocking of rough bark, and relatively small crown.
2018 06 01 PlusWalk Sue Blue Mountains Ash Eucalyptus oreades 22018 06 01 PlusWalk SueS Young Mountain Ash at the Three Brothers 4
Young Blue Mountain Ash Eucalyptus oreades at the Three Brothers and Mature Blue Mountain Ash Eucalyptus oreades near Explorers Tree

Words and photos (Sue S)