Leader: Helena Smith
Royal NP: Heathcote to Heathcote
Monday 4 March 2019
An 80 leaders walk
Photos Ingrid Radford
Helena Smith, Ingrid Radford, Regina Haertsch, Mike Warren, Kumiko Suzuki, Euhna S Levinson, Lindsey Paget-Cooke
Meet at Heathcote, walk to head of navigation, up to Robertsons Knoll, along Uloola track with a short off-track side trip to the old Peach Tree trig and some aboriginal art carvings. Then down to Karloo pool for a swim and walk out to Heathcote station. Tree roots, rocky and slippery surfaces and a short climb out of Karloo pool. Map: Royal National Park
What a beautiful crystal-clear day we had to do this lovely circuit walk from Heathcote to Heathcote via Uloola Falls Track and Karloo Pool Track. Very enjoyable walk with a group of seven pleasant, fit and enthusiastic walkers. It was a relaxed pace to make the most of a great day and enjoy the Royal National park. The Royal National Park is 140 years old in April 2019, making it Australia’s oldest national park and the world’s second oldest.
Splendid lookout points over Hacking River, amazing stunning colours of Angophoras and iconic grass trees and Banksias, some scattering of wildflowers over the heathland, waterfalls, bush pools, and beautiful rock formations were seen.
After a nice morning tea at Kangaroo Creek, we went up the steel ladders and headed up to Robertson’s Knoll, named after the Premier at the time, Sir John Robertson, who conceived the idea of the national park and then implemented it. We then proceeded back onto the Uloola Falls track. Indigenous rock engravings were viewed on a flat rocky outcrop off the Uloola Track. We also went on a short off-track section to the Old Peach Tree trig.
Lunch was at Uloolo Falls. The main falls drop about 20m in 3 stages. We had lunch on the open sandstone top of the falls. It was very pleasant and as the day progressed it became very warm. But what a reward for the group to have a delightful swim in a special bush pool like Karloo Pool. It was enjoyed by all with lovely rock platforms to dry off on before our climb out to Heathcote station via Karloo Pool track.
As we continued along the track some bush friends kept us company. Joanna the goanna, who appeared to be playing a game of hide and seek with us, an echidna and of course cockatoos and kookaburras serenading us, as we walked along, and a spritely young brown snake who slithered off into the bush hastily, very alarmed by our company.
What a wonderful walk enjoyed by all, encompassing a large section of the Royal National Park. How fortunate we are to have such an intrinsically special park on the fringe of a large city such as Sydney, accessible by all.
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