Nine 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!
Nine smiling walkers at the start and still managing a smile despite the rough terrain
Peeping out of the ferns
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.
Stanwell Creek and morning tea......we made it!
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
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.
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.
Is that where we came from!!!
Up the Bullock Track Maurice pointing out the original flagstones on the Bullock Track
Stanwell Park Beach from Mt Mitchell Viaduct from Mt Mitchell
Bald Hill in the background Seacliff Bridge and looking south to Coalcliff from the Coalcliff viewing platform
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.
Gymea Lily Doryanthes excelsa Hairpin Banksia Banksia spinulosa Flat at last!!!!!
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)