Jul-Nov 2021

Despite overnight rain and a forecast of further bad weather for Friday morning, seven walkers, including the leaders, decided to brave the elements and go to the track head. We met at the Resolute Picnic Area at West Head under overcast skies, a slight drizzle and patches of fog. At 8.30 am, still contemplating whether we should, or shouldn’t go ahead, the sun suddenly broke through, the drizzle stopped and the fog disappeared and we were rewarded with beautiful late spring weather for the rest of the day
2021 11 12 PlusWalk Hazel Briefing P1200473 1                                                                                                       Briefing before the first of our three track walks
The first of the three walks, the Koolewong Track, is a short walk to a lookout over Broken Bay, Lion Island, Box Head and all the way to Umina, Ettalong and Gosford in the distance. With sun and shadows from the clouds it was perfect for photography. We returned via the loop back to the cars for the short drive to the Flint and Steel Beach Track.
2021 11 12 PlusWalk Deidre KoolewongLookout 084401 4                                                               
2021 11 12 PlusWalk Hazel walkersatKoolewongLookout P1200484 1    2021 11 12 PlusWalk Deidre Angophoracostata 084522
                         Lookout at the end of the Koolewong Track                                           After the rain....stunning Angophora costata                        

This track is a steep climb from West Head Road down to the beach. Being a very popular walk the NPWS have, and still are, upgrading this walk, in part with sand stone steps and other improvements. Nevertheless it is a steep climb first down and then up again. We had morning tea on the beach among drift wood and a strange drift wood shelter erected by some enterprising people.
2021 11 12 PlusWalk Hazel FlintandSteelBeachfromthetrack P1200505  2021 11 12 PlusWalk Deidre Wigwam 094839  2021 11 12 PlusWalk Hazel ShellsonFlintandStreelBeach P1200503 2
       Flint and Steel Beach from the track           Having some fun in and around the driftwood shelter               Colourful shells
2021 11 12 PlusWalk Martin MorningTeaatFlintandSteelBeach                                                                                      Morning tea .....rain jackets discarded and enjoying the sunshine 
After climbing back to the cars we drove to the third walk, the Bairne Track. About 2.5 km into the track it splits, one track going to Soldiers Point and the other to the Bairne Lookout. We went to Soldiers Point first which provides filtered views through the trees over The Basin, Currawong Beach and Sinclair Point which shields Great Mackerel Beach from sight, all under blue skies and sunshine. Who would have thought?
2021 11 12 PlusWalk Hazel Currawong Beachfrom SPT P1200538 1   2021 11 12 PlusWalk Hazel Admiring the view from the SoldiersPointTrack P1200535 1                                                                             Currawong Beach                                                                               Admiring the view
2021 11 12 PlusWalk Hazel view over Coasters RetreatSoldiersPointTrack P1200528 1                                                                                                                        View over Coasters Retreat
                                                                          
On the way back to the intersection and onwards to the Bairne Lookout we encountered a rather large goanna sunning itself in the middle of the track. This lizard was not about to give way to seven bushwalkers but instead walked along with us as we tried to pass it. After a while it realised we were not going to sign it up to HVB and it left us by turning into the bush.
2021 11 12 PlusWalk Hazel Lace MonitorLeading the way on the Bairne Track P1200544  2021 11 12 PlusWalk Hazel Centipede with blue legsBairne Track P1200514
                                   Leading the way!                                                                           Blue legged centipede
The Bairne Lookout provided extensive views over Pittwater towards Clareville, Careel Bay, the Bilgola Plateau and over Scotland Island. We then proceeded for another few meters to or lunch spot on a rocky platform overlooking Morning Bay and Wood Point, well known from our Towlers Bay walks, and on past Scotland Island to Church Point and straight up McCarrs Creek.
2021 11 12 PlusWalk Deidre LunchoverlookingWoodysPoint 123036 2  2021 11 12 PlusWalk Hazel Lunch spot overlooking Morning BayandPittwater P1200574
After lunch we retraced our steps to our cars in now very sunny, hot and muggy weather. From there the majority retired to Terrey Hills for take away coffee in the park. As we finished coffee the wind started up and black clouds began to gather. Our window of beautiful sunny weather began to close. How lucky we were.
2021 11 12 PlusWalk Hazel Fringed or Violet LilyThysanotus tuberosusSoldiers Point Track P1200525     2021 11 12 PlusWalk Hazel P1200570                           
                          Fringed LilyThysanotus tuberosus                                 Trigger Plant Stylidium graminifolium                     

Kurt and Bert led Wendy C, Martin, Hazel, Deidre and Cleona. First Aid: Deidre

Words by Kurt

Photos by Hazel (1, 3, 5, 7, 9-13, 15-17), Deidre (2, 4, 6, 14), Martin (8)

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