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Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
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)

the river and where there is a long pool about two metres deep with a sandy bank along one edge. High above the normal level of the river are a sandbank with a grassy top, plentiful supplies of sun-dried driftwood near by and casuarinas giving shade.

At this point the river enters the true gorge. Sandy beaches are less common, dense scrub often lines both river banks, casuarinas grow closely together, steep cliffs at water's edge become frequent. The sandstone walls above the river come closer together. The rate of progress slows. River crossings increase and sometimes it is necessary to climb up and over when there are cliffs on both sides.

After a day and a half of slow progress the valley widens again, signalling the entry of Kangaroo River, which is deeper, shorter and colder than the Shoalhaven. A delta where the two rivers joined, with a number of channels that varied from year to year, has now disappeared under the concrete wall of Tallowa Dam.

From here to the junction with Yalwal Creek the Shoalhaven meanders through wide, grassy river flats and the pools in the river are joined by shallow gravel races that are easy to cross. From Yalwal Creek to Burrier the southern bank is forested while the northern bank is dairy paddocks with lots of fences and smelly evidence of many cows. Our final camp was in the thick grass just below the pumping station that supplies water to Nowra.

Next morning our leader organised a ride on the back of the truck going to the milk depot so we had plenty of time to buy train tickets for our trip home along the ocean beaches of Kiama, Bombo, Austinmer and Stanwell Park.

Melbourne Bushwalkers' first trip to the Shoalhaven River

For the next four years I went on a summer trip such as the one described above with my friends from New South Wales. In 1972 it was suggested that I lead an MBW trip at Christmas in this area. It seemed a good idea but needed some changes: a trip from Tallong to Nowra is ideal for walkers living in Sydney, but is not so suitable when starting from Melbourne. I studied my maps.

The Shoalhaven River begins near Bendethera, northeast of Cooma, and heads more or less north for over 160 kilometres. It makes a dramatic change in direction near Marulan and heads generally east for the remainder of its journey to the Pacific Ocean. With a hit of a car shuffle from Marulan Railway Station we could start walking above Great