Gloucester Environment Group climb the cliff face at Woko

Gloucester Environment Group climb the cliff face at Woko

The forecast of rain didn't deter five hardy walkers from the idea of climbing up to the cliff face at Woko National Park and fortunately the drizzle held off till we were nearly back in the picnic area after the walk.

The path has been somewhat affected by recent weather encouraging weeds and lots of baby stinging trees to grow madly, as well as some obstacles falling down across the track and the creek beds being scoured out by heavy rain which make walking slightly more difficult.

There have also been a few big trees come down which have left big holes in the canopy to be refilled over time.

There is a huge group of elkhorn ferns growing on a tall rock which, years ago, was luxuriant with long fronds but this time, probably due to suffering in the drought, it consisted of small ferns just starting to regrow around the base of the group on top of the rock - nature is very resilient.

The Cliff Face Walk is a 4.5 kilometre loop, beginning with a steep climb up the rocky terrain to the bottom of the cliff above the Little Manning River.

We passed a fantastic ancient strangler fig, which over the years had grown over a big rock - it looked like an enormous bonsai creation.

Also we were fascinated by attractive twisted orange seed cases which were scattered under several large trees which none of us could identify.

There was a small waterfall trickling down the cliff face which encouraged the growth of many plants which like damp places, including a pretty native lobelia ground cover.

Birds were fairly quiet at that time of day except for a very large flock of crimson rosellas which were feeding in the trees.

We descended from the cliff face to the picnic/camping area by a well-defined path, which is much smoother than the rocky way we climbed up.

Although it had started sprinkling, we were able to eat lunch under a shelter and to look through plant books to identify the unknown trees we'd noticed. They turned out to be snow-woods, fairly uncommon trees growing in dry rainforests from NSW into Queensland.

By 12.30pm the rain got a bit heavier and the wind a bit cooler so we decided it was time to head for home after a very pleasant morning walk.

The next walk will be on July 31 on the property of Sandy and Sue Higgins at 3436 Curricabark Road. It is an hour's drive from Gloucester on a rough road but not a problem for ordinary cars, as long as you drive carefully.

Meeting at the usual Billabong Park parking area 8.45am for 9am departure.

Contact Joost Werz for more details on 6558 2198 or joost.werz@bigpond.com.