Sunday (July 19) was a beautiful sunny day, although still a little foggy as members of the Gloucester Environment Group set out on their first monthly walk since February.
Eleven of us met at the camping ground near the entrance to the Barrington Tops National Park on the Gloucester Tops Road before proceeding to our walk start at the ford across the Gloucester River near the Gloucester Falls.
At this point, we split into two groups, one group taking the beautiful Gloucester Falls track along the north side of the river, to view the falls and climb to the lookout, while the other crossed the river at the ford and took the Glowang track to Gloucester Gap.
With the river level being higher than usual due to recent rainfall, the walkers on the Glowang track needed to walk through knee high water to cross at the ford - although one or two people with excellent balance managed to hop across the rocks without wetting their feet.
Reaching the other side and replacing shoes and socks, the walkers set out through lovely rainforest with sections of blue-gum forest on an undulating track which eventually reached Gloucester Gap where they enjoyed excellent if somewhat limited views.
As the walk is an out-and-back one, several walkers with a lesser fitness level turned back before reaching the Gap. The track descended 400m over the final 1.5km of the walk and the thought of re-ascending this hill was rather daunting!
Sitting in the sunshine for lunch was a lovely experience but those who chose the shade quickly decided that sunshine was the better option as the temperature was only around 10 degrees, although in Gloucester that day it reached 20 degrees.
Five hours after crossing the ford, all the walkers were back re-crossing it to enjoy afternoon tea at the picnic ground before returning home.
Next month's walk will be on private property at Monkerai on Saturday August 15. The walk is a quite short, easy to moderate walk through the valley along an old fire trail. There is a mild slope with a 200m elevation gain up to a ridgeline which has nice views. The walk is up to 6kms return depending how far people want to walk along the ridgeline. There is a trig point at the top. An alternate walk for those that don't want to do hills is to keep walking through the bottom of the valley as far as they please.
This property is a newly developed permaculture far, and there will be an opportunity to have a look at the young food forest and swales for those who are interested.
Those interested should contact Tanya at email@example.com.