Making the most of the shutdown, the Batemans Bay Bushwalkers have been looking back over their old records and thought it would be fun to share with readers. The Club started in June 1985 and will this year be celebrating 35 years of walking. The Club’s second walk in June 1985 was to the summit of Mt Dromedary, then part of Bodalla State Forest. Mt Dromedary was officially handed over to Yuin ownership and management in 2006 and renamed Gulaga, now situated in the Gulaga National Park. The mountain was originally an active volcano, thought to be 3 km high. It has eroded over millions of years to 806 m high. The 11 km (return) Gulaga walk has something for everyone, for example - the tors are the remains of the hardest granite left behind after the mountain eroded to its current height and the rainforest tucked under the summit of the mountain, where the rare pinkwood tree grows and flowers in late February. The mountain was also the scene of frantic activity from the 1860s to the 1920s when alluvial gold was discovered and mined. Relics such as a stamper battery and foundations of a miner’s residence can be discovered amongst the dense bush. To the Yuin people, Gulaga is known as the Mother Mountain, and has always been a woman's place. It includes sacred sites where Aboriginal women would retreat for storytelling, ceremony and childbirth. The summit itself is disappointing because views are blocked by tall trees. However, there are views from several spots along the walk track. Although the mountain was not burned in the 2019/2020 bushfires, the Gulaga National Park is currently closed to visitors while NPWS conducts ground and aerial pest control programs as part of the bush fire recovery. The Batemans Bay Bushwalkers are looking forward to the day when they can walk to the summit of Gulaga again. For information about the Club and their reports on walks in the region, visit www.baybushwalkers.org.au Photos below span from 1985 to 2016.
1990 - Audrey Thompson at the base of a giant pinkwood tree
2016 - Walkers surrounded by trees blocking the view