Young Mans Journey final installment
Thursday shower and breakfast at YMCA – 9.0 car called to go to Hastings Caves, 72 miles to south. Passed through fern trees and slopes of Mt. Wellington obtaining fine views of Derwent – mainly orchard country. Lunch at Hot Springs Chalet then to caves 12.30. Quite beautiful but not as extensive or variety of Jenolan. Devonshire tea on way back to Hobart by 5.0 Ross and I to Bootmaker to pick up boots, which had given up the ghost on our walk. Lady in shop had lived 12 years in Sydney. Back to YMCA to spruce up and write letters. Met some chaps who had just come in from the reserve – had ploughed through mud and slush and not seen anything for the rain and snow. 7.30 juicy steak at Reno Café before going to visit Mrs. Shepely at 8.30 Mr. Shepely, who is the Chief Engineer of the Hydro Electric Commission, was upstairs preparing an address for the Science Conference – he joined us for supper and we had a very interesting and enjoyable evening. (I would presume the connection was through Barry and the Uni)
Friday - 8.0 service car to Port Arthur. The service car was 10/- cheaper and more leisurely and weather fine. Ross and I left at Eaglehawk Neck and Barry continued with our gear to Port Arthur. After looking at Tessellated Pavement, Ross and I walked 2 1/2 miles to Tasman’s Arch. We arrived back at Eaglehawk Neck hot and hungry as no breakfast or lunch. Then commenced the 12 mile walk to Port Arthur. About 1 mile out hitched a ride with a young chap and his wife who turned out to be the Federal Member, so had quite an informative trip. At Port Arthur picked up our gear and went down to the tea rooms where they allowed us to leave our gear while we wandered. Port Arthur is a very beautiful place situated in a delightful setting of old English trees and sweeping bays into which the ruins seemed naturally to fit. Pitched our tent on one side of the bay and after a hearty tea turned in about 10.
Saturday Broke camp 10,45, weather excellent and left our gear again at tea rooms. Set off for coast 4 miles away and arrived exhausted. About 1 hour later inspected Remarkable Caves – a large sea formed cave. Back Port Arthur 1.30 and spent 1 hr photographing ruins, then back to Hobart. That evening went to see Melody Time – not much good
Sunday – Walk around docks. 10.15 train to National Park, following the Derwent Valley up through New Norfolk and Macquarie Plains. Being a fine day the rural scenery made a particularly entrancing sight with neat farms and orchards nestling in the brown folds of the hills. Reached NP 12.30 and had lunch. Walked up to the Russell Falls, which were truly magnificent and then up to the Horseshoe Falls. Pleasing feature was the naming of the various types of trees. 3.15 train back to city, arriving 5.20 In evening Beverly and Barry went to St. David’s Cathedral, Ross and I to St. Stephens at Sandy Bay.
Monday After breakfast sent our surplus gear on to Launceston by rail and after shopping and quick glance through museum, caught 11.15 bus to Lindisfarne, from where we walked about 1 ½ miles along road to Richmond Traffic not plentiful, but eventually got lift in car for the next 12 miles into Richmond. Had a drink and bought a few more provisions. Town is of rather historic interest and we spent a couple of hours inspecting the old CofE 1834, the prison and bridge 1824 and the RC church 1835.. Late lunch by roadside and at 4.0 set out for Sorell 8 miles away. At 5.30 PMG truck gave us a lift. From Sorell we immediately set our for Swansea, 70 miles away and lucky to pick up a truck going to Triabunna – 30 miles from Swansea. The trip was comfortable passing through forest of eucalyptus for most of the way. At Triabunna we made our camp by the side of the bay in a small pine grove and after a meal of sausages, potatoes, fried bread and BBJ plus Milo, we turned in at 11.0
Tuesday - Dull, light rain. Breakfast of porridge and bacon.. Left Triabunna 11.15, rain having stopped. Walked until 2.0 before we got a 5 mile lift on a gravel truck, which took us within 10 miles of Swansea, from where we travelled by car for the remaining distance. Swansea should be a very beautiful place if the weather was fine, being situated on a large deepwater bay. The shop at which we called for provisions happened to be run by the local church organist, who advised us to see the Rector, who would most probably let us stay in the church hall. We located him, received his sanction and had a very nice tea at a nearby guesthouse. Afterwards, together with 2 other guest we inspected the very beautiful and simple little church, which was laid down in 1831. Collected fresh milk and turned in 10pm.
Wednesday - Fine morning, scattered cloud. Light breakfast in hall and on road 9.15. Picked up by young couple who took us to Coles Bay turnoff. Evidently on honeymoon as confetti in car. Picked up by another car, which happened to be parked at the turnoff.. He took us into Bicheno, a delightful little seaside resort. We climbed a nearby hill and excellent view downs the coast. Walked down to the shore where a blowhole was supposed to be blowing, but it wasn’t. A great fishing resort being alive with crayfish, barracuda, etc. From Bicheno tramped along the road for a few hours; without a sign of a lift and finally stopped at a little creek about l.30 for lunch. Waited for the bus, which took us to the top of Elephant Pass at St. Marys – a pretty little farming town on top of the plateau. We then walked about 10 miles down to the foot of the pass at the other side of St. Marys and camped by a stream, which offered excellent camping facilities in the way of grassy flats, wood and water. We had a real good meal of Potato Pie (by accident)damper, fried potatoes and onion and the good old cup of tea. Were so full we had to leave our pudding for breakfast and spent a delightful hour laying on our b backs on the grass and watching a roaring camp fire. Car is calling for us at 8.30 to take us to St. Helens.
Thursday –I woke at 5.0 made some tea and prepared breakfast then dragged Barry and Ross out of bed much to their annoyance. We ate up the apricots and blancmange. Picked up a truck, which took us 5 miles towards St. Helens. Had to wait about 20 minutes for the car which had promised us a lift the day before. St. Helens is quite a nice little town situated on a large bay and possessing a small aerodrome. We walked 3 miles out to the top of surrounding hills and picked up a utility about mid-day. First few miles rather uninteresting, before we got into foothills of mountain and passed through rich grazing land. Rising towards top of range we passed through forests of myrtle, sassafras and eucalyptus. Driver took us to within a few miles of Derby. Had lunch by roadside being periodically smothered by dust. On the outskirts of Derby found a swimming pool. It was free, a little cold but refreshing. Derby has a large open cut tin mine, which we took a look at from a distance. We walked about 2 miles and had tea, having to wait for about 2 – 3 hours before a truck came along and took us to Branxholm, another 3 miles. Here we bought some cake and milk and as it was full moon and were rather energetic, we pressed on regardless in the moonlight for another 5 miles, then lay down under a tree in a field. We expected a flow of traffic returning from the circus at Derby about 11, but if it did it did not waken us.
Friday - Woke at 5.45 crawling with caterpillars, and numerous bugs sand beetles. Good many trucks on road and picked up a new Chev 7.0 Had quite a good trip into Launceston, again climbing over a range of mountains outside Scottsdale. At YMCA given a shake down for 3/- Spent early afternoon washing clothes and then inspected some of Launceston’s parks and museum. That night spent ironing our clothes.
Saturday- Breakfast at YMCA – left gear at railway cloakroom and caught bus to Cataract Gorge. The Gorge has very steep sides and has a well made pathway cut into the cliff face leading to the first basin. Here we had lunch and Barry wanted to return to watch the Regatta (Barry belonged to a boat racing crew at Mosman) Ross and I continued up the Gorge to the second basin and inspected the Hydro Electric Power Station, which was working at full pressure owing to the damage at Taraba. On the way back it rained heavily. Caught up with Barry and caught the bus to Beauty Point, where we boarded the SSTaroona. Barry and I shared a room. Ross with another passenger. The sea was very calm so all had a pleasant trip.
Sunday - Up at 6.30 – overcast and raining. Taroona well inside Port Philip and reached wharf 8.0 – took over an hour to berth. We caught a bus into the city of Melbourne and booked into the Victoria Palace. Changed and went down to meet the girls who were arriving from Sydney 11.30 (that was myself (Margaret) Norma, Marion and Audrey – we were on our way to Tasmania for a Pioneer Tour) They were glad to get our of train. Despite the rather heavy rain we went and visited St. Patrick’s Cathedral – indeed a very beautiful building. In the evening we went around to our own cathedral and heard the Archbishop preach. After we had supper in the Tudor room of The Victoria.
Monday – After breakfast we went shopping. Barry and I went our to the CSIRO for lunch and saw Don Collis and Allen Wallis who are both doing work with Hot Wire Anemometry. At 3.0 we met with Margaret, Norma and Ross and friend Bert Andrews took us up to the Dandenong Ranges. A very pleasant drive and after Devonshire teas went downs to Frankston CEBS camp (Church of England Boys Society). It was an interstate camp so met some friends from Sydney. In the evening there was a boxing/wrestling match, so Barry and I had to put on an act. On the way back had supper and arrived back mimd-night.
Tuesday - Bade Melbourne farewell and set out along Hume Highway for Sydney. Quickly got a hitch on a semi-trailer as far as the turnoff for Shepparton. We were then stuck for several hours before we got a lift to Avenel, where after a while we got a lift in a little old Chev utility which burbled along at a terrific pace, landing us at Wangaratta 2 hours later. Here we had supper with the driver and slept under a bridge. The best part of the trip was in the evening and the countryside looked very beautiful with the sun casting long shadows.
Wednesday - On road early and caught utility as far as Albury, where we bought food for the day. Just tramping through the outskirts of town about 10.15 when picked up by an interstate semi loaded with cases of chocolates. This formed a nice flat top for us to sit on and have our breakfast of wheatbix and milk as we travelled. We were very comfortable being able to get up and walk around as we pleased. Around mid-day the heat became excessive, but later towards evening it was extremely pleasant. At 4.0 at Gundagai we picked up a young couple named Morrie and Pat, who were also heading for Canberra. Morrie is a lecturer in maths at Sydney University. We had our tea on the back of the truck, arriving in Yass at 7.30 . Here we left the truck and Morrie and Pat who were staying the night, and walked along to the Canberra turnoff. It was now 9.15 and no sign of trucks and about to go to bed when we saw the glow of headlights. Made a dive for the road and obtained a reasonably comfortable lift to Canberra, where we slept in the park.
Thursday – Awakened at 6.30 by local constabulary who expressed the hope that we had spent a comfortable night. They were decent fellows only asking us to leave before the locals started to move around. After a wash we caught a bus across to the Civic Centre where we had to wait an hour until the shops opened. Bought some wheatbix and condensed milk, which we ate in the YMCA shower room. Went for walk. 11.15 inspected Parliament t House . Then left Barry who had left a pair of shorts at our camping spot. Ross and I walked across to War Museum and spent 3 hours, but could have spent more. Back to Civic Centre to meet Barry and have tea. I thought I would like to return via the coast so left Barry and Ross and caught the bus across to Queanbeyan and then walked along the road to Captains Flat for about 2 miles, climbing to the top of the range from where Queanbeyan looked very beautiful with the low sun shining through patches of dust raised by moving vehicles. I picked up a utility, which took me l9 miles and left me in the middle of nowhere. I walked along the road a bit and camped in the grounds of an old church. There was a graveyard at the back so I slept in the front under some pines.
Tuesday – Fine cloudless – up at 5.15. Washed and on the road 5.45 as I wanted to get to road junction about 3 miles away as soon as possible. At 7.30 ate the rest of my oranges and I now only had some dehydrated vegetables left. I boiled up a stew when I reached the road junction. 9.0 the milkman picked me up and took me to Captains Flat, a large mining town. Here I got provisions and was told if I wanted to get to Braidwood from there I would probably have to walk. I commenced but luckily was picked up straight away and taken 10 miles, leaving only 23 miles to go. Had light lunch at 11 and then pressed on. Felt rather sick morally as well as physically for I was wild with myself for coming through Captains Flat instead of Bungendore. Reached Shoalhaven at 1.30 and spent an hour swimming. Fortunately there had been plenty of water in the creeks along the way, so I was a lot better off than I might have been. Continued on road and within 5 miles of Braidwood at 6.0 I was picked up. At Braidwood had a couple of cups of tea and set out on the road to Bateman’s Bay. I soon picked up a Forestry Commission truck, which took me 14 miles out. As it was now dark I looked around for a suitable spot to sleep, but another truck came along and took me to Bateman’s Bay, where I slept in the passengers compartment of the Vehicle Ferry plying across the Bay.
· Saturday. Woke at 5.15 and crawled out of my bag feeling stiff as a log. Waited on the south side and at 7.30 obtained a lift on a truck to Nowra. It was a good fast ride and brought back many pleasant memories as I noted landmarks from previous trips. Arrived Nowra 9.15am. I walked out to Kangaroo Valley turnoff and then a short distance along the road. I waited until 11.20 before being picked up by a new Chev utility, which took me to Moss Vale. It was indeed a beautiful trip over the 2 mountain ranges and through the sunken valley. Reached Moss Vale at 12.30 and being unsuccessful in picking up a lift I caught the bus to Mittagong, which brought me back into the Hume Highway. I was picked up by a truck loaded with cattle intestines, which smelt to high heaven. I managed to avoid the smell by sitting on a petrol drum behind the drivers cabin and facing into the wind and thus had a very good trip to Liverpool, arriving there at 4.10. From there I caught a train into Sydney.