Nineteen members attended the camp; 16 stayed at Balcanoona and 3 at Arkaroola. Two cars got flat tyres on the way and one going home. Leadership on the walks was shared. Many Golden North Twins were enjoyed at Arkaroola on the completion of walks.
The weather was mostly sunny and windy with one unseasonal 29-degree day.
Highlights of the camp included;
- BBQ dinner on the first night,
- Slow combustion fire in the common room,
- Beautiful Italowie Gorge and rock pool,
- The 360 degree views from Mt Warren Hastings,
- Grindell’s Hut circuit lots of rock pools, spotted an emu with 2 chicks, the remnants of the Monarch mine and recounting the story of a 1918 murder at Grindlell’s hut. On the way back to the cars we passed the remnants of the old telegraph poles linking Balcanoona to Grindell’s hut outstation and abandoned mines, evidence of past mining history.
- The rest day; some went on the famous Arkaroola Ridgetop tour, others drove to Bunyip Chasm, and Lake Frome, while others relaxed around Balcanoona, enjoying the company of Lucy the resident Grey Kangaroo.
- Bararranna Gorge walk; hot and windy, 29 degrees! Starting at the Welcome Mine, following numerous rock pools, admiring the many clusters of Sturt Desert pea. It may have been hot but no one went swimming. Numerous geo-sites marked along the trail.
- Frome Lookout and Acacia Ridge; the steep climb up and bush bashing down to Arkaroola homestead, then up Acacia Ridge with views to Mt Painter, Siller’s Lookout and Arkaroola.
- The short climb up and down Griselda’s Hill on a windy day followed by a walk around the Mawson Spriggina Trail with its numerous geological formations including Sitting Bull which looks more like a sitting dog than a bull. After the walk, we celebrated the success of the camp with lunch at the Native Pine Restaurant.
We had very few wildlife sitings; a few wallabies, a couple of wedge-tailed eagles, some emus, flocks of zebra finches and a single bearded dragon.
It was an early season for wildflowers with lots of Sturt Desert Pea, Mula Mula, a variety of wattles, silver senna, and the weed rosy dock.
To summarise, our appointed camp Bard composed and presented the following poem at our final lunch;
‘It’s over, we’re leaving, it’s done
And surely, we’ve had a lot of fun
We’ve scaled high peaks
We’ve wandered through creeks
And not been burned by the sun
So sadly, we say our farewells
To some friends we have made in our cells (rooms)
Let’s raise our glasses and sip
Let’s shout out a ‘hip hip’’
Thank you for a fantastic camp!
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