A Day in the Nattai Valley.

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Re: A Day in the Nattai Valley.

Postby kathylee » Wed 18 Jul, 2018 9:59 pm

It has been over a year since my post. Just noticed that I had an inquiry for any information about Leon Dennis Ahearn. What would you like to know? He was my cousin
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Re: A Day in the Nattai Valley.

Postby kanangra » Fri 20 Jul, 2018 6:01 pm

What can you tell us about him?

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Re: A Day in the Nattai Valley.

Postby puredingo » Mon 03 Sep, 2018 7:54 pm

Well Kathylee, if it's going to be a year between replying then you better let us have it all!!

I'd be interested in anything you have to tell about him and his days in the valley.
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Re: A Day in the Nattai Valley.

Postby kanangra » Mon 03 Sep, 2018 9:23 pm

:lol: :lol: :lol:

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After the 2020 fires.

Postby michael_p » Fri 27 Mar, 2020 12:58 pm

Walked out to Ahearn Lookout to get an idea of how the fires affected the Nattai, it is bad but to be honest I thought it would have been a lot worse. Some parts are badly burnt whilst others were untouched. Easiest way to show what I mean is to post a few photos from the trip.

Obligatory photo of the sign just past the NP gate.
DSCN1765.resized.JPG

Approaching the Starlights turn off.
DSCN1768.resized.JPG

Burnt Starlights sign.
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The Ahearn Track turn off.
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View from Point Hill doesn't look too bad.
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Someone has made an attempt to tag the track (if you are having trouble spotting the track it is just to the right of center).
DSCN1782.resized.JPG

Slott Way turn off is a mess. At least the Ahearn track is a bit more obvious now.
DSCN1784.resized.JPG

Lots of burnt out forest around Troys Creek. This is typical of what I observed around the area.
DSCN1789.resized.JPG

This photo was taken from near Ahearns looking across the Nattai. There was some serious erosion happening on the burnt slope.
DSCN1793.resized.JPG

Cheers,
Michael.
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Re: A Day in the Nattai Valley.

Postby paul8 » Fri 27 Mar, 2020 1:44 pm

The southern slope of Russells Needle was badly burnt.
See photo #4 in this link:
https://onemanadreaming.blogspot.com/2020/03/russells-needle-nattai-nat-pk-nsw.html

However, from other photographs, some areas in the vicinity of Russells Needle was not touched ... strange :D
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Re: A Day in the Nattai Valley.

Postby johnw » Fri 27 Mar, 2020 1:52 pm

Thanks for the update Michael, yes it doesn't look as bad as I had imagined either. You can see that recovery is well underway.
I enjoyed the walk to Ahearn Lookout at the end of last June. Here is how the Nattai Valley and Troys Creek area looked then for comparison:
Image
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In Nature's keeping they are safe, but through the agency of man destruction is making rapid progress - John Muir c1912
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Re: A Day in the Nattai Valley.

Postby Walk_fat boy_walk » Sat 28 Mar, 2020 6:24 pm

paul8 wrote:The southern slope of Russells Needle was badly burnt.
See photo #4 in this link:
https://onemanadreaming.blogspot.com/2020/03/russells-needle-nattai-nat-pk-nsw.html

However, from other photographs, some areas in the vicinity of Russells Needle was not touched ... strange :D
Is it easier/quicker from the south? Walking along the ridge top would seemingly avoid the loose steeply sloping rocks and dirt you need to traverse when sidling the east side after climbing from the north?

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Re: A Day in the Nattai Valley.

Postby michael_p » Sat 28 Mar, 2020 7:13 pm

paul8 wrote:The southern slope of Russells Needle was badly burnt.
See photo #4 in this link:
https://onemanadreaming.blogspot.com/2020/03/russells-needle-nattai-nat-pk-nsw.html However, from other photographs, some areas in the vicinity of Russells Needle was not touched ... strange :D

I hope you publish a report for this on your website Paul8 as I would be very interested to see which route they took.

Walk_fat boy_walk wrote:Is it easier/quicker from the south? Walking along the ridge top would seemingly avoid the loose steeply sloping rocks and dirt you need to traverse when sidling the east side after climbing from the north?

It's possible to get to Russells Needle via the Mt Jellore track and Russells Needle Lookout Trail. The technical bit is getting from the Jellore Track to the Russells Needle Lookout Trail (apparently there is more than one way to do this). I've not done this myself so what I know is based on information from various sources. It's a long day walk and still includes some climbs but it's not like climbing up from the river. I've also read that it can been done as an overnight walk with camping down on the Nattai River and exiting via the Slott Way. The second edition topo map is handy.

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Re: A Day in the Nattai Valley.

Postby paul8 » Sun 29 Mar, 2020 12:59 am

https://drive.google.com/open?id=15OjkdXGiOfSxKx7jVcE4d_NLapCzDmQW

In the image in the above link:
Yellow lines:
- To the left: Private properties
- To the right: Jellore State Forest and Nattai National Park

Cyan arrows, top to bottom:
- Russells Needle
- Helipad
- Mt Jellore summit
- Junction of Black Spring Road and Soapy Flat Road at High Range

Red lines:
- Possible circuit route to Russells Needle via Mt Jellore
- Park car at bottom cyan arrow ... a 2WD can get there.
- Round trip should take about 10 to 11 hours
- Warning: You must get permission from private property owners !

Pink arrows:
- An easier route to Russells Needle is park car at the bottom of the lower pink arrow ... needs an AWD/4WD.
- Then follow the pink arrows to Russells Needle
- Or take a longer route via Mt Jellore.
- Warning: You must get permission from private property owner ... but you can skirt around the boundary of the private property.

Michael_p:
When I have time, I'll write up a trip report :D
I'm always short to time. However with this coronavirus, I may have tons of time :D

Walk_fat boy_walk:
It is easier to walk to Russells Needle from the south via the pink arrows ... say 9 hours for a return trip.
More interesting too ... because the walk from the helipad to Russells Needle is like walking on the edge of a razorblade :D
See the photographs in:
https://onemanadreaming.blogspot.com/2020/03/russells-needle-nattai-nat-pk-nsw.html
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Re: A Day in the Nattai Valley.

Postby puredingo » Sun 29 Mar, 2020 4:38 pm

I did this just the other week, access from the slot way. You really don’t need a map all atm as it’s all heavily burned the whole walk, in fact you can see the needle for most of the river walk. Just mind you keep right and don’t veer up Rocky water holes creek.
I came back via Starlights in the interest of zero retrace. Good day out, long but fun.

PS...don’t go out without a map!
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What's that doing here.

Postby michael_p » Mon 13 Jul, 2020 3:04 pm

Well the Nattai is full of surprises.

Walking along Nattai Rd on Sunday I spotted what I thought was a strange looking wombat burrow. I left the road and walked the short distance to the "burrow". As I got closer I thought that's no burrow. It was hard to believe but we had stumbled onto what appears to be a root cellar.

How? Why? When? No idea.

If you are not familiar with a root cellar. It was a way to store food stuffs (like root vegetables) at stable temperatures for weeks to months depending on the food. This one was constructed using logs laid across the dual pits then topped with hessian cloth before a layer of clay was placed over the hessian. The walls were lined with clay so this was no slapped together construction. Also, this area is typical sandstone country so the clay may have been brought here from some distance away.
rootcellar1.JPG

There were several pieces of hessian still attached to the structure. The interesting thing about the following photo is the impression left on this block of clay by some hessian that was in contact with it. It could have been from a piece of hessian that was used as the door to the pits.
rootcellar2.JPG

We didn't have time to stop and investigate fully as thunderstorms were bearing down on us from the NW. We barely got back to the cars at Wattle Ridge before the storms hit. I will go back and investigate this area further in the future and see if I can find anything more.

Michael.
Last edited by michael_p on Tue 14 Jul, 2020 9:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A Day in the Nattai Valley.

Postby puredingo » Mon 13 Jul, 2020 9:47 pm

What a find Michael.

If I didn’t have your explanation I’d be nervous of mobsters coming back to with the soon to be occupants of the holes...
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Re: A Day in the Nattai Valley.

Postby GregG » Mon 13 Jul, 2020 11:27 pm

That's an interesting discovery Michael. May I ask, was there anything in the near vicinity that suggested that the cellar was part of a complex of farm buildings? Also how ""old" did it look? I know thats a dumb question but was the timber rotten or was any of the hessian still intact. It seems strange to have a root cellar out in the bush on its own, do you think it could have had some other purpose?
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Re: A Day in the Nattai Valley.

Postby michael_p » Tue 14 Jul, 2020 5:55 pm

puredingo wrote:What a find Michael.

If I didn’t have your explanation I’d be nervous of mobsters coming back to with the soon to be occupants of the holes...

Yeah, if you didn't know better it does look like a couple of bush graves. I hate to give you the bad news but I bet you have walked right past this spot many times over the years. It is surprisingly close to the road.
GregG wrote:May I ask, was there anything in the near vicinity that suggested that the cellar was part of a complex of farm buildings? Also how ""old" did it look? I know thats a dumb question but was the timber rotten or was any of the hessian still intact. It seems strange to have a root cellar out in the bush on its own, do you think it could have had some other purpose?

I really have no idea if there was anything nearby. We spotted it on the way to our destination and planned to stop on the way back. Our plan was ruined by some very serious thunderstorms heading our way so we high tailed it back to the cars.

I used the term root cellar because that's what it looked like to me and later research made me feel confident in calling it that. Also, I can't think of this being for any other purpose but suggestions/opinions are welcome.

The timber does appear to have rotted and collapsed into the pit. There is hessian stuck between the clay layer and the wood layer all the way around the pit and along the middle wall. I suspect that the only way to work out the age of the pit is to find some dating evidence in them or nearby. Below is a photo taken from the side of the middle wall. Unfortunately it didn't come out that well. You can make out along the middle wall the layer of wood then hessian then clay.
rootcellar3.JPG

I do plan on heading out for another look at this and see if I can find anything around the area.

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Re: A Day in the Nattai Valley.

Postby GregG » Tue 14 Jul, 2020 8:08 pm

Thanks for your lengthy reply Michael, it answers my queries. Also, it sounds like "mobster graves" can be "eliminated" haha. It's always interesting to come across relics of past times out in the bysh and I am always impressed by how early settlers and fossikers got into even the most remote places. I have never been walking out Natti way so don't know the local geography at all, I would be keen to hear any future updates, thanks for posting this item.
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