2019 05 10 PlusWalk Hazel Sign IMG 1593Nine walkers took the train south to Stanwell Park. The Wodi Wodi Track starts on the western side of the train station. Our relaxed train journey prepared us for our first steep climb. It was then downhill following the track as it rounds a steep rainforest gully before making a precipitous descent to ford Stanwell Creek. We took the descent very slowly with all walkers finding sitting to slide down was sometimes their best option!
2019 05 10 PlusWalk Drina Rough terrain2019 05 10 PlusWalk Deidre settingout DSCN6075                                                  2019 05 10 PlusWalk Drina Still smiling        Nine smiling walkers at the start and still managing a smile despite the rough terrain
2019 05 10 PlusWalk SueSslidingdown 161114 resized 1 22019 05 10 PlusWalk Drina Peering out of the ferns                                                Peeping out of the ferns
2019 05 10 PlusWalk Drina Lowering centre of gravity                                                             Lowering the centre of gravity                                                                                    When there's only one option......
Stanwell Creek provided a very welcome morning tea spot. Seven of the group made the 300 metres detour downstream for a view of the 65 metre high rail viaduct spanning Stanwell Creek. Don B gave an informative talk on the viaduct. Plans for the tall, double track, brick arch viaduct were ready in 1917 and work began the next year. It was a remarkable effort to complete this major structure in a little over two years. Brick arches were the automatic choice because steel was unavailable due to World War 1 and the State Brickworks at Homebush was in full production. It was still part of the “brick arch era” 1910-24. It has been estimated that the total number of bricks used in the massive tall piers, the tallest 110 feet high and the eight arches was around three million, enough to build about one hundred and fifty brick houses.
2019 05 10 PlusWalk SusanC morningtea P11002052019 05 10 PlusWalk Deidre Wemadeit DSCN6081                                                                                                    Stanwell Creek and morning tea......we made it!
2019 05 10 PlusWalk SueS DonBhistory 161402 resized 1 22019 05 10 PlusWalk SueS viaduct 161222 resized 1 2
             Up close and personal after a scramble down Stanwell Creek from under the 65m high viaduct and Don B giving us the history of the Stanwell Park viaduct
2019 05 10 PlusWalk Drina Morning tea spot swimming hole2019 05 10 PlusWalk Deidre StanwellCreek DSCN6086
                                                                                                                     Pretty Stanwell Creek and swimming hole
Returning to the track we climbed steeply out of the creek gully through a copse of cabbage tree palms then once again dropping steeply to cross a branch creek.
2019 05 10 PlusWalk SueS cabbagepalms 162512 resized2019 05 10 PlusWalk SueS deftlypickingourway 162601 2                                                                Deftly picking our way down to the second creek                                                    Through the cabbage palms Livistona australis
Yet another steep climb out of this gully until we reached the point where the track levelled out below the escarpment. Arriving at the Forest Walk Track sign we left the Wodi Wodi Track up the Bullock Track which is an historic route used by early European settlers. We reached the north facing bluff of Mt Mitchell and our lunch spot where we enjoyed stunning views of Stanwell Park, Bald Hill and the Royal NP.
2019 05 10 PlusWalk Drina Warning sign2019 05 10 PlusWalk Deidre sign DSCN6092
                                                                                                                Is that where we came from!!!  
2019 05 10 PlusWalk SueS Maurice 162758 22019 05 10 PlusWalk Drina Up Mt Mitchell
                                             Up the Bullock Track                                                                 Maurice pointing out the original flagstones on the Bullock Track                               
2019 05 10 PlusWalk Hazel Viaduct IMG 16552019 05 10 PlusWalk Hazel StanwellParkBeach IMG 1693
                                    Stanwell Park Beach from Mt Mitchell                                                                                                            Viaduct from Mt Mitchell
2019 05 10 PlusWalk Hazel north IMG 1720 2019 05 10 PlusWalk SueS SeacliffBridgefromMtMitchell 1644222019 05 10 PlusWalk Hazel south IMG 1724
                         Bald Hill in the background                                                          Seacliff Bridge and looking south to Coalcliff from the Coalcliff viewing platform
2019 05 10 PlusWalk SueS SPBeachfrom MtMitchell 164309 resized2019 05 10 PlysWalk SusanC holeinrock P1100228                                                                                Hole in the rock and view of Stanwell Park Beach through the hole in the rock
Leaving the views behind we retraced our steps down the Bullock Track rejoining and continuing along the Wodi Wodi Track crossing Lawrence Hargrave Drive to the new Grand Pacific Walk back to Stanwell Park station.
2019 05 10 PlusWalk SusanC gymealily P1100222 22019 05 10 PlusWalk SueS banksia 162905 resized2019 05 10 PlusWalk Drina Flat at last                        Gymea Lily Doryanthes excelsa          Hairpin Banksia Banksia spinulosa                                          Flat at last!!!!!                  
2019 05 10 PlusWalk SusanC GrandPacificWalkway 1100241
Whilst this very eroded track provided us with some challenges all walkers enjoyed the day and were very pleased to have walked the Wodi Wodi Track named after the Aboriginal people who lived along the Illawarra coastline. Wodi Wodi people, a sub-group of the Dharawal Nation and the original Aboriginal inhabitants of the region, who are believed to have come to the area 40,000 years ago. The general area around the Wodi Wodi trail is also home to precious Aboriginal history and remnants from a time now past.

Deidre and Sue S led seven walkers Don B, Susan and Maurice, Polly, Hazel, Bert and Drina.

First Aiders: Maurice and Drina and Tail End Charlie Don B. Thank you!

Words by Deidre

Photos by Hazel (1, 20-22, 24), Deidre's camera (by a friend) (2), Deidre (8, 12, 16), Drina (3-5, 7, 13, 17, 18, 29), Sue S (6, 10, 11,14, 15, 19, 23, 26, 28) Susan (9, 25, 27, 30)