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Ettrema Creek

Danny Yee, Vic Gosbell, Andrew Molnar, Chris Cook - November 2000

Photos by Vic

On the Thursday night I had dinner with my gamelan group after rehearsal, then walked to Redfern to catch a train to the airport, where I met Chris Cook (who was flying in from Perth at 10.30pm). He drove us down to Vic's place in Wollongong, where we arrived after midnight and crashed.

Up at some ungodly hour the following morning, we made our way in Andrew's van down to Nowra, out to Sassafrass, and up the Quiera Clearing road, parking the car and setting off around 8.45am.

photo of Andrew
Andrew, coming down Myall Creek

The top part of Myall Creek is scungy - there's now a foot pad along it - then it becomes rockier, with big boulders that have to be clambered over, and then more open rock shelves. There's one point where Vic and Andrew used a rope for pack-hauling (Chris and I went down a different route). Then there are two waterfalls where one has to sidle to the left just above the falls to get around them (on an earlier trip we climbed much higher up, not realising there was a lower route).

Ettrema photo
Ettrema Creek

Having traversed the last waterfall Vic and Chris were a few hundred metres ahead of Andrew and me. When we reached the junction with Ettrema Creek, they were nowhere to be seen. Assuming they'd climbed up to the right somewhere (to find a saddle between Myall and Ettrema Creeks, which was actually above the last waterfall), I went back up Myall Creek to try to find them. Eventually giving up on that, we went back to the junction, figuring they had to find us there eventually - only to spot Vic, heading up Ettrema Creek! When we caught up with him, we discovered that he thought he was on Myall Creek and that they had gone on down Ettrema Creek, not realising they'd reached the junction. (Ettrema Creek is much bigger, wider, and more open, and I still have no idea how they missed it - apparently they thought it was an anabranch!)

Anyway, then it was maybe 7 kilometres of easy rock-hopping down Ettrema Creek to the foot of Transportation Spur, where we camped in sight of the fig tree that marks it.

camp photo
Andrew, Vic, and Danny
camp photo
Danny, Andrew, and Chris

The following day Andrew, who had hurt himself a little in a fall, stayed at the campsite, while Vic, Chris, and I went down Ettrema Creek to the Tullyangella Creek Junction (maybe 6km), coming back the same way. Hard on the feet, though I was lucky and didn't have any problems with blisters.

Wildlife. Sometimes on a walk one notices an unusual number of birds. There was so much birdsong around on this walk that one noticed when it stopped! We also saw maybe a dozen snakes - mostly black or red-bellied black snakes that scuttled under rocks immediately, but also a diamond python that just lay there on the river bed watching us warily, even when Chris walked within two metres of it.

On the final day we walked out via Transportation Spur, with some light rain as we pushed through the scrub on the tops back to the road. And nachos in Berry it was for dinner!

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