30.6.10

Staples Lookout to Girrakool after a good downpour

So I was back, on my way to Girrakool. This time I was chasing waterfalls. The sun was shining and I was hoping that there would be plenty of waterfalls.  The previous few days there had been an over hundred and thirty millimetres of rainfall. This was due a large low that picked up lots of moisture from unusually warm coastal waters. I was hoping not to get very wet feet, pick up any leeches and see lots of water. Let’s see how I go.

I parked my car at Staples Lookout which is just off Woy Woy Rd. Staples Lookout was named after Charles L Staples, who was councillor, presidents of many organisations such as the local surf club, land developer and even the local coroner. Here there is a good view across to Saratoga, Woy Woy and Umina.



I walked down Woy Woy Rd and crossed it a short distance away. I was then on the Thommos Trail. I soon met a man pushing his bike up the hill. He gave me advice on how to cross the creek below Kariong Brook. Kariong Brook was as far as I intended to go. But knowing other people were out here for the same reason, it inspired me to go all the way to Girrakool. Here I rang my mother to arrange transport back to my car. She warned me of leeches, landslides and impending doom. Not letting it get me down, I left the Thommos Trail and was on the Great North Walk heading down to the falls.

As I walked down the hill I heard the noise of a waterfall. This waterfall is off track. I tried to bush bash my way to it. I made about 20 metres in when I turned back due the bush being too thick and angry bull ants I disturbed. As I got closer the falls, the hairs started to stand up on the back of my neck. A bit like the first time I was on the top of Mt Panorama and heard the sound of V8's roaring up the mountain. Instead this time it was the sound of water roaring.

I made my way down stairs under a rock overhang and then it appeared. The waterfall of Kariong Brook. What a sight it was. A totally different waterfall to that I had seen the last time.
The track below it was cut by the creek. I waded across to a small bit of dry land, unzipped the lower legs of my pants off and took my socks & shoes off. I entered the cold cold water and got as close as I could to falls to take some photos.





Leaving my shoes off, I cross another part of the creek  where the track normally went. The water tried to push me off my feet, but I didn't let it. I dried off and put my gear back on. Up a hill and down a hill I arrived at Myron Brook. Upstream it was quite and peaceful like the last time I visited it. Downstream it was no longer a little trickle, but a raging creek, that made it harder to cross.


Heading up the hill to the Gosford Rifle Range service trail, I passed a number of little waterfalls. I also heard two larger falls that would have been a few hundred metres away. Mapless I decided not to try and find them. The track here was quite dry considering the amount of rain that had just fallen. 2.5 Km's later I arrived at the service trail.  Not far down the track there is a large rock platform with views down to Mooney Mooney Creek.





I walked along the service trail for the next 2.5 Km’s. I then came to a intersection, with the service trail going to the Rifle Range and the Great North Walk going to Girrakool. 

 

Along the sandy track, the only marks in the sand were that of small animals and my boots. The track then goes up Scopas Peak. Here there are good views of Mt Wondabyne and you can see the Baha'i Temple at Terry Hills in the far distance. Going down Scopas Peak I could hear another waterfall off in the bush. Without more walking through thick scrub it was off my waterfall list for the day. The track then crosses another large rock platform covered with lots of moss and lichen.



 

Off to the right you can see across to the Rifle Range complex. Further along there are views down to Mooney Mooney Creek. The track then goes up hill. Through the bush there are good views down to the new Mooney Mooney bridge.




 

Walking downhill the track is quite eroded in places, with parts of the track having small streams of water running down it. I soon came to a small tributary, with lots of water flowing. Then back up hill and down again. Here I joined the Girrakool loop track.





I walked down and had a quick look at Piles creek and then walked towards Girrakool. Soon arriving at Rat Gully. The water here was flowing strongly. There is a lookout here of the falls but they are obstructed by trees. So I went off track down a steep hill to get a closer look. 

 

 

The journey back to Girrakool was a wet, slippery and boggy one. I passed a young family. With one of them wearing only thongs! Arriving at Girrakool I did all of the tracks near the picnic area, adding about 2 kilometres to my walk. This included two more water falls.

 

 
 
I soon left the park and meet my lift back to the car. The walk was only going to be a short one; it turned out to be double the length that I planned. But it was well worth the extra steps taken. 


Walk date 4/6/10

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