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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)

limestone boulders with vertical limestone cliffs above them. By scrambling over, through and around these boulders we forced our way into the main gorge, which had a sandy bottom with cliffs 300 metres high on both sides. At the far end was a muddy pool into which the creek disappeared, flowing under the sand and below the huge limestone boulders.

On the final day we swam, sunbaked and relaxed. Then in the cool of late afternoon we paddled the last two kilometres along Lake Louise down to Barbers Creek. Here our lilos were deflated and dried before we started the zigzag climb hack to our cars.

O'Allen Ford to Bungonia Gorge, 1980-81

Apart from the overland section, everyone had enjoyed the leisurely summer trip and suggested that it be repeated with improvements. So a couple of years later another trip was planned - a long, downhill (most of the way) excursion from O'Allen Ford to Bungonia Creek.

From Marulan a road heads south towards Nerriga. In the gold-rush days this road crossed the Shoalhaven River by pebbly ford. Now the ford has been replaced by a low-level bridge which is submerged when the river is in high flood. Sydney Water Board plans to build a dam about five kilometres above the ford. When required for Sydney or Woolongong, water will be allowed to flow down the river to Tallowa Dam and then pumped into the current supply system.

Some cars were left at the finishing point, Bungonia Lookdown, above Bungonia Gorge and then we drove to the river at O'Allen Ford for the start of our trip. For the first day there were some small rapids, lots of large sandy beaches and the river was just below the surrounding countryside. Camp for the night was a large beach alongside a very big, deep, wide pool.

Here the character of the river changes. It cuts its way deeply into the surrounding rock as it heads steeply downhill towards sea level. No longer are there sandy beaches or long deep pools that must be paddled if you want to move forward. You paddle furiously to maintain your desired direction while the river tries to wreck you on high rocks or scrape you alongside the rugged sides of the gorge. Sometimes it drops a metre or two as it heads downwards. If you are silly enough to he sitting on your lilo before this happens then you will not be on top of the lilo after the fall. Fortunately the sound of the water rushing over these drops is heard a considerable distance upstream, giving warning to the liloist to head for the bank, pick up lilo and pack, then walk until below