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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)

is an extremely enjoyable experience. On the previous trip we used a lilo to 'swim' The Blockup. Instead of walking why not use a lilo for most of the trip? For the next summer I planned an easy lilo trip.

The Shoalhaven River twists and bends. East of Marulan, Canoe Flat and The Blockup were only 6 kilometres apart. I knew there was an old mining track down to The Blockup from the eastern side. Could we get up through the sandstone cliff above Canoe Flat? Maybe, and if it proved impossible we could always walk back to Badgerys Crossing where there was a track up to the south.

My plan was to start at Bungonia Caves, descend via Bungonia Gorge and Bungonia Creek to the Shoalhaven at Hermits Flat. Here we would inflate the lilos and float along the calm water of Louise Reach, gaining confidence before we shot the rapids and gravel races between Barbers Creek and Canoe Flat. Then a day was allowed for exploration of the scrubby spurs and cliffs, another day to walk across country to The Blockup, a whole day exploring The Blockup by lilo and a couple of days to return by river to Bungonia Creek. From here in the cool of very late afternoon, even with the added weight of a lilo, a couple of hours should bring us back to the cars just before dark.

As the middle section was unknown I wanted a small party so I was pleased with a group of three, all of whom I knew were strong swimmers and excellent bushwalkers. It was a delightful trip. We camped early every afternoon, had no problems with any of the rapids nor any major difficulty with the cross-country section. On the exploratory day we took less than two hours to climb from the sandy beach of Canoe Flat to the top of the cliffs. Having found the route, next day carrying packs we took slightly more than an hour for the climb and then walked through open forest until we found the small hut and nearby track junction that was the key point for our descent back to the river.

A longer trip - Long Point Lookout circular, 1979-80

This trip was slightly longer and had a larger group. Again Marulan Railway Station was the meeting place. This time there was an even shorter drive to the start of the walk at Long Nose Point Lookout, Tallong, which is almost immediately above the area where the river changes direction from south to east. It is the best place for observing the current state of the river from the comfort of your car. A well-graded track zigzags down to the junction of Barbers Creek and the Shoalhaven River. This junction is the end of a very long, wide, deep pool on the river shown on some maps as Lake Louise.