Jan-Jun 2019

Well there’s nothing like a few days of rain and then a warm sunny Friday to bring out the walkers!  With a mob of Hillviewers even a sheepdog couldn’t keep in check, the decision was made to split into two groups with John heading off with the first group (with Marilyn keeping an eye on the tailenders) and Ros following with the second group (and Bill S, bringing up the rear).
What looked like a doddle, as we headed off on the wide concrete path (watch those edges, Don Wo…), got a bit more serious as we wound down on a bush track to cross the flowing creek below the dam on mossy stepping stones.  Then a steep climb up the other side and we were on our way around the shores of Lake Parramatta on an undulating bush track through some good-quality bush with few weeds (despite the proximity of suburbia all around the lake).

2019 06 28 BBQ Don Wo waiting for the briefing                                                                                           Waiting for the briefing
2019 06 28 BBQ Drina 2. First creek crossing Small2019 06 28 BBQ Drina 3. Dam wall Small                                                                           First Creek Crossing                                                                                                                             Masonry Dam Wall
2019 06 28 BBQ Drina 10. Group B after crossing the creek Small2019 06 28 BBQ Drina 5. Downed tree sending out side branches Small2019 06 28 BBQ Drina 7. Under the overhang Small                                                            Group B after the crossing                                              Downed tree sending out side shoots                         Under the overhang John M and Don B             
2019 06 28 BBQ Drina 4. Reflections Small 2019 06 28 BBQ Don Wo L Parra reflections 2                                                                                                                                                            Reflections on Lake Parramatta
2019 06 28 BBQ Don Wo waiting walkers2019 06 28 BBQ Don Wo waiting for m tea                                Waiting for the walkers      and for the ANZAC biscuits
2019 06 28 BBQ Don Wo history for m tea2019 06 28 BBQ Don Wo ros bought some anzacs                                                   John G gives a talk on the history of the lake and Ros hands out the Anzacs

On a ‘headland’ promontory, the track crosses an old road formation, and a short stop there for a drink and an Anzac biscuit (thanks Ros) gave John an opportunity to talk a bit about the European history of Lake Parramatta.  This included:

The masonry arch dam holding Lake Parramatta, completed in 1856 to augment the domestic water supply for a growing Parramatta, has a great deal of historical significance attached to it, including: that it is the only masonry arch dam in Australia; it was only the 11th engineered dam wall in the world to be built since the time of the Romans; and in 1898, the dam wall height was raised 3.3m with a concrete arch built on the original masonry structure – at the time a world first!

  • Surveyors, of course, had a great deal to do with the dam’s construction. The Surveyor General, Sir Thomas Mitchell, selected the site for the dam;  Captain Percy Simpson, surveyor and engineer (who built the Devine’s Hill section of the Great North Road – very familiar to HVB walkers), designed and supervised the initial construction, followed by Edward Moriarty, consulting engineer and surveyor, who finalised the construction,
  • The old road was built around 1887 as a relief project for the unemployed. It connected North Rocks Road to the small headland, overlooking Lake Parramatta, thus providing a ‘pleasing view’ for picnics and the like (think Echo Point and the Hydro Majestic in the Blue Mountains, which were constructed around the same time with a similar aesthetic).

Then it was on to complete the circumnavigation of the lake and return to the picnic area for lunch, with many BBQ-ing.  It was all very convivial sitting in the sun chatting and eating, with a few (actually more than a few) ending up having coffee in the nearby café.

Portrait Gallery
2019 06 28 BBQ Don Wo celia clive2019 06 28 BBQ Don Wo bill ros2019 06 28 BBQ Don Wo claude rosemary                                                                                                  Bill S and Ros G            Clive and Celia                            Claude and Rosemary
2019 06 28 BBQ Don Wo Lyn2019 06 28 BBQ Don Wo lawrie                                                                     Lyn                              Lawrie
2019 06 28 BBQ Don Wo mary sue2019 06 28 BBQ Don Wo Linda Kurt2019 06 28 BBQ Don Wo Marylin Clive De Steve Elaine Marg Dawn Claude                                                                           Mary G and Sue B                                 Kurt and Linda                                                            A"mixed "group                                                                   2019 06 28 BBQ Don Wo don 2019 06 28 BBQ Don Wo john g                                                              Don Wo                 John G   
  2019 06 28 BBQ Don Wo steve  2019 06 28 BBQ Don Wo rosemary perhaps and Peter 2019 06 28 BBQ Don Wo Rosemary John Vreni            Rosemary and Vreni           Steve            Robyn Ma and Peter T                
2019 06 28 BBQ Don Wo De Elaine Dawn                                                                                                                   Deidre, Elaine E and Dawn
 2019 06 28 BBQ Don Wo coffee after 1 2019 06 28 BBQ Don Wo coffee after 2                      Coffee after   

 Walkers: John and Ros led Helen A, Ida, Nick B, Clive, Don B, Sue B, Elaine E, Lawrie, Mary, Aileen, Celia, Kas, Dawn, Robyn Ma, John M, Robyn Mi, Bert, Marilyn and Keith, Steve & Jan, Margaret & Claude, Elizabeth P, Barbara, Bill S, Kurt, Vreni, Nick S, Deidre, Rosemary & Kevin, Lyn, Drina, Peter T, Don Wo.

Photos: Drina (2,3,4,5,6,8), Don Wo (1,7,9-20,22-28), Lyn (21)

Words: John G



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