This page is a record of my visits and will also include some track notes of walks in the area.
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Wollemi National Park is one of the largest in New South Wales, taking in about 500 000 hectares of wilderness country. Located in the park at a secret location are a number of sites where the rare Wollemi Pine grows. This tree was first discovered in 1994.
Dunns Swamp is found on the Cudgegong River, about 25km north of Rylstone, in the Wollemi National Park. The swamp area is caused by the Kandos Weir. The area is known for its pagoda rock formations.
The excellent walking trail leads through the pagodas and also along the waterway. There are good views to be had on the walk. There is also a small Aboriginal rock art site.
There are BBQs and toilets provided at Dunns Swamp. The camp area requires fees to be paid. Water should be boiled first before drinking if taken from the dam area. Swiming and canoeing is allowed in the waterway.
Newnes was an oil shale mining and processing centre developed in 1906. The township and complex continued until the early 1930s, when the base of operations was moved to nearby Glen Davis. Glen Davis then continued until 1952.
Access to Newnes is via the Great Western Highway and Mudgee Road from Lithgow (47km). There is a turn-off at Lisdale, which is 1km past the Wallerawang power station. Wolgan Gap is a spectacular part of this drive.
There are campsites available at Newnes, but there are no facilities provided. This is the Little Capertree Camp Area.
The Newnes Historic Ruins Track:
The Newnes Historic Ruins Track takes some 5 hours to complete, even though it is only about 5km long. The walk takes in the extensive ruins of the Newnes town and Shale Oil Mining Site.
The walk begins near the hotel site by crossing the Wolgan River at the ford and follows the route of the Wolgan Valley railway line. The walk soon arrives at the railway platform that was used until 1932. From here the trail goes for another 1.5km and then up a hill. From here the ruins can now be explored, including coke ovens, various buildings and retaining walls, etc.
The Newnes township itself is found around the hotel site, but is largely lost over the decades.
Railway and Glow Worm Tunnel Track:
The Glow Worm Tunnel track goes for 11km along the route of the original Wolgan Valley Railway. All that remains of the railway now are the ground works and a few ruins. A torch is required to walk through the Glow Worm Tunnel, as a creek now runs through it and has caused extensive erosion. To see the glow worms, turn the torch off for a short time.
The return walk is back the same way or via the Pagoda Track and Old Coach Road on the other side of the Glow Worm Tunnel.
Glen Davis Walk (Pipeline Track):
The Glen Davis walk follows the pipeline from Newnes over the mountain to Glen Davis.
The Widden Valley is accessed via a road from Baerami. There are some very good views along the road into the Widden Valley. The Baerami Creek oil shale remains are to be found at the end of this road (not that I found them).
Wheeny Creek is a car-camping area alongside Wheeny Creek. It is found in the Colo region of the park, off the Bells Line of Road and Comleroy Road.
There are a couple of other camping areas in the Colo region, including the Upper Colo Reserve.
COLO RIVER REGION:
The T3 Walking Track is accessed from Mountain Lagoon. This track is some 3km long and descends to the junction of the Colo River and Tootie Creek. This is a fantastic walk, but the walk out is fairly difficult, being straight up more-or-less. It is a walk with great views.
WOLLEMI HOLIDAY 2000:
Wollemi Holiday - Sunday January 9, 2000
On this journey I decided to drive to Singleton and then travel down the Putty Road. Down this road there is some brilliant scenery. Not long after Bulga there are some caves on the left - there is an entry fee.
Between Bulga and the Howes Valley there are a number of picnic sites that give limited access to wilderness areas. There is possible access via Duskey and Terry's Creeks. There are limited camping possibilities.
The Bob Tuners Track is a four hour return off the Putty Road.
At the Upper Colo Reserve - Hawkesbury Council Reserve there is a camping area with a $2.00 fee. This is an open area on the Colo River. The toilets were not very good.
The Wheeny Creek camp area is a large open area, with toilets, beside the Wheeny Creek. This is quite a good camp area. There wasn't much firewood. I saw many Blue Wrens here.
There is a two hour walk (return) along the creek here.
Monday January 10, 2000
Today I travelled to Mountain Lagoon and walked the T3 Walking track which rated as medium. It took 3 hours to complete the walk.
I then traveled through Bilpin and Warawaralong and then visited Waratah Gardens. Here I did the Gorge Walk, which is a 1 hour return.
I then travelled to Mount Tomah Botanic Gardens and then onto Mt Wilson to Du Falirs Rocks, Pheasants Cave, Cathedral of Ferns and Waterfall Creek.
Tuesday January 11, 2000
Today I visited Hartley Vale off the Great Western Highway and then Hartley. At Hartley there is an historic village with the Shamrock Inn, Couthouse, Catholic Church, Prebyterian Church, St John the Evangelist Church and cottages.
I then travelled to Lithgow and visited Hassan's Wall Lookout.
I also travelled through Wolgan Gap and onto historic Newnes. Here I walked to the Glow Worm Tunnel. While walking through the tunnel my torch broke and I was stranded in the tunnel. Thankfully a couple of girls came through and helped me get out and negotiate the track around the creek in the tunnel.
The area around Newnes is beautiful, with all the various Pagado. The walk I did here was the Pagado Trail, a five hour return trip.
At Newnes itself there is an historic site, with the ruins of the town and mine.
Wednesday January 12, 2000
Today I visited Pearson's Lookout and also visited Glen Davis, before heading to Dunn's Swamp. Here there are numerous pagoda formations, walking tracks and Aboriginal art.
Thursday January 13, 2000
Today I visited Fern Tree Gully and the lookout at Bylong Road.
From here I went for a drive into the Widden Valley, before heading home through Denman, Jerry's Plains and Singleton.
The links below are a selection of photos from the trip:
Gallery 1: Holiday 2000
Gallery 2: Holiday 2000 - Hartley Historic Site
Gallery 3: Holiday 2000 - Newnes Area
Gallery 4: Holiday 2000 - Dunn's Swamp
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