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Chapter 1
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Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18



The Melbourne Bushies - Fifty years along the track (1940-90)
Chapter 8 - Adventures on a Lilo

Spencer George

A walk that I completed with the Coast and Mountain Walkers of New South Wales in 1968 was the starting point for what has become a feature of the Melbourne Bushwalkers' activities - long, summer lilo trips. From Sydney we caught a steam train to the small station of Tallong in the Central Highlands of New South Wales. Here our leader persuaded a local farmer to load us and our heavy packs onto the back of his truck and drive us the 9 kilometres to Badgerys Lookout, which is on top of huge sandstone cliffs. Directly below, twisting through a gorge, is the Shoalhaven River. You can easily pick out the deep pools and shallow crossing places. Directly opposite, the countryside stretches almost uninhabited for over a hundred kilometres.

We walked downhill all the way, following the river to Bomaderry Railway Station, which is the terminus of the South Coast Railway. The first couple of kilometres dropped 500 metres as we followed the rough track that leads from the lookout to Badgerys Crossing. Mr Badgery was a dairy farmer and used this track and river crossing to lead his cattle to the grasslands on the southern side. A deep pool below the crossing had a sloping sandy beach beside a grassy area with trees. Here we stopped for a late, but long lunch with swimming and sunbaking.

The sides of the Shoalhaven River are a mixture of pebbles, jagged cliffs, sandy beaches and prickly scrub. The depth of water varies from ankle-deep to well above head level. For an enjoyable walk along the river it is necessary to continually watch ahead, looking for cliffs on the current side and easier walking on the opposite bank. The start of shallow rapids just before or immediately after a large pool often provides a suitable crossing. Sometimes the river is crossed 10 times during an hour; at other times it is possible to stay on one bank for a couple of hours.

Our first camp that year was at Canoe Flat where Tallowal Creek joins