Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Diamond Head, NSW, Australia (exercise walk)


2015 August: Diamond Head headland walk in Crowdy Bay National Park, NSW northern coast, Australia

Prolog

Spending a few days relaxing at Port Macquarie ... hence doing a quick headland walk at Diamond Head on the NSW northern coast for exercise.

But a better walk is ...

If you intend to take a walk here, I strongly urge you to read my blog:
    http://mntviews.blogspot.com.au/2015/11/diamond-head-nsw-australia-2015-11.html
and do the walk described there instead. It will take you to explore some nooks and crannies of the headland.

Diamond Head

To reach Diamond Head, best is get to the town of Laurieton, then drive south.

There is a 114-meter high hill at the headland. A concrete cairn marks its summit, otherwise nothing much there, and no view due to the trees. However, 40 meters to the west of the summit, there is a marvellous 180 degree view of:
- Kylies Beach to the south
- The flat coastal area to the west
- And Dunbogan Beach to the north
(See Photo #6.)

Map

1:25,000 scale 9434-1S Laurieton

Below is the 1:25,000 scale map of Diamond Head.
- Diamond Head camping ground is the small light grey circle marked as "camping ground" near the top of the pic.
- Indian Head camping ground is at the south-eastern end of Indian Head Road.
- Kylie's Hut is the small turquoise dot about 400 meters south-west of Indian Head camping ground.

GPS tracklog file & Route

My GPX tracklog file can be downloaded from:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B877-h5SCJaSTVR1T3V4VHVuSkk/view?usp=sharing

Below is my route (brown colour) in the 1:25,000 map.
- Diamond Head camping ground is the small light grey circle marked as "camping ground" near the top of the pic.
- Indian Head camping ground is at the south-eastern end of Indian Head Road.
- Kylie's Hut is the small turquoise dot about 400 meters south-west of Indian Head camping ground.


In summary, my walk is:
- Start at Diamond Head camping ground.
- Walk in a clockwise direction to Diamond Head trig point on top of 114-meter high hill.
- Then to Indian Head camping ground.
- To Kylie's Hut.
- To a 45-meter high hill east of Kylie's Hut.
- Retrace steps back to Indian Head camping ground.
- Clockwise to Diamond Head camping ground.

Timeline & Distance

07:08  0.1 km  Start at Diamond Head camping ground
07:36  1.2 km  At lookout with view to Kylies Beach, North Brother Mountain and Dunbogan Beach

07:41  1.3 km  Leave lookout
07:42  1.3 km  At top of 114-meter high hill marked by a concrete cairn

07:44  1.3 km  Leave hill
08:05  2.6 km  At junction: to Indian Head camping ground or to Kylies Beach
08:07  3.0 km  At Indian Head camping ground
08:12  3.4 km  At Kylie's Hut

08:15  3.4 km  Leave Kylie's Hut
08:17  3.6 km  At what I think is a water tank
08:20  3.8 km  At top of a 45-meter high hill

08:22  3.8 km  Leave hill
08:25  4.0 km  At what I think is a water tank
08:27  4.2 km  At Kylie's Hut
08:29  4.6 km  At Indian Head camping ground

Try to find foot track through the hill to Diamond Head camping ground.
Can't find it.

08:32  4.7 km  Leave Indian Head camping ground
08:37  5.3 km  At junction of Indian Head Rd and firetrail to Diamond Head campground
09:01  6.8 km  At Diamond Head camping ground

==============================================

Total:  1 hrs 53 mins
           6.8 km  Distance is from Google Earth
           7.2 km  Distance is from Garmin GPS

Pictures

1)  Diamond Head camping ground


2)  Kangaroos at the camping ground


3)  Coastal heathland basking in the early morning sun


4)  The walking track is leading to the top of the 114-meter high hill at the centre of this pic.


5)  Closer to the hill


6)  40 meters prior to reaching the top of the hill is this marvellous panoramic view. (Click on the pic to enlarge it.)
- The 5 red arrows point to, from left to right:
    •  South Brother Mountain
    •  Middle Brother Mountain
    •  The clearing is Diamond Head camping ground
    •  North Brother Mountain
    •  Jolly Nose Hill
- The bay & beach on the left edge is Crowdy Bay & Kylies Beach.
- The beach on the right is Dunbogan Beach.
- The very narrow strip of water between Middle Brother & North Brother Mtns is Watson Taylors Lake.

Actually Watson Taylors Lake is not so narrow as depicted by the above pic. It only looks narrow from where I am standing.

The three Brothers Mountains are named after three aboriginal brothers. Two of them were slain and eaten by a witch. The youngest, returning from a visit to his parents, killed the witch and buried his brothers' bones on North and Middle Brother, then killed himself on South Brother.

The parents searching for their sons heard a voice telling them that each mountain held the spirit of one of their sons. And so the name of the "Three Brothers Mountains" was perpetuated.

This dreamtime story was retold by the old men of the Birpai Tribe when they met for a tribal initiation in the Kempsey area.

PS: It is easy to reach the top of  North Brother Mountain. Three months later I was there. Photos and an account of the trip are in my blog:
http://mntviews.blogspot.com.au/2015/11/north-brother-mountain-nsw-australia.html

It is also easy to reach the top of Middle Brother Mountain ... a road goes right through the summit. One day, I'll go there to have a look.

But the top of South Brother Mountain is a different matter. From maps, there is no track to the summit. Furthermore, the mountain seems to be surrounded on all sides by private properties. If anyone knows a public accessible route to go past the private properties, please let me know ... I like to climb it :-)

7)  Zooming to the right side of the above pic ~~~
North Brother Mountain and Dunbogan Beach


8)  This concrete cairn marks the summit of the 114-meter high hill at Diamond Head.


9)  I've passed over the hill, now looking back at it.


10)  Looking back at the hill


Now walking southward towards Kylies Beach

11)  Rugged and scenic Pacific coast line ~~~
Three months later, I went down there to explore. Photos and an account of the trip are in my blog:
http://mntviews.blogspot.com.au/2015/11/diamond-head-nsw-australia-2015-11.html


12)  Down there is a natural rock arch. Three months later, I climbed down to take some photos ... you can see them in my blog:
http://mntviews.blogspot.com.au/2015/11/diamond-head-nsw-australia-2015-11.html
The arch is interesting. You should go there to take a look too  :-)


13)  Rugged and scenic Pacific coast line ~~~
This is the same arch area as the previous pic, but from a different angle.


14)  Crowdy Bay & Kylies Beach come into view. The mountain on the right is South Brother Mountain.


15)  Approaching Kylies Beach


16)  Instead of descending down to Kylies Beach, I turn west and head towards Indian Head camping ground.


17)  This is Indian Head camping ground ... not a car in sight ... maybe because it is still winter.


18)  Now at Kylie's Hut, about 400 meters south-west of Indian Head camping ground
Kylie Tennant, author, spent 11 years in Laurieton as a school master's wife. Diamond Head inspired her to write the book "The Man and the Headland". The book tells her love for Diamond Head and of its wild and natural beauty.

She bought the land and built this hut.

In 1976, she donated the land to Crowdy Bay National Park.

19)  This place is 200 meters east of Kylie's Hut.  But what is it for?  Is it a water tank?


At where the previous photo was taken, follow a faint foot track east for another 200 meters and it leads to ...

20)  ... it leads to the top of a small hill - about 45 meters above sea level.  Peering through the scrubs is Kylies Beach.
I didn't bushbash down to the beach ... maybe next time when I'm here again.

Instead, I call it a day and return to the car.  So I retrace the steps back to Kylie's Hut, then back to Indian Head camping ground.

At Indian Head camping ground, there should be a foot track northward through the forest back to Diamond Head camping ground. I have a quick look around but can't find the track ...

21)  ... So I follow the Indian Head Road heading west.


22)  550 meters west of Indian Head camping ground, there is fire trail that branches off towards the north.  The southern section of the firetrail is eucalypt forest, like in this pic.


23)  The northern part of the firetrail is more open. A controlled burning on the north-east side of trail must have taken place recently.  (This photos is looking backwards.)


24)  Burnt out scrubs on the north-east side of the firetrail.


25)  Close to Diamond Head camping ground now ~~~
North Brother Mountain is the mountain in the photo, the same as the one in Photo #7.


Flowers encountered during the walk

26)  Does anyone know the name of this pink flower?


27)  Plenty of Actinotus helianthi (Flannel Flowers) around


28)  Does anyone know the name of this flower?


29)  Boronia


30)  Patersonia glabrata (Native Iris) ... thanks Ken


31)  Multi-coloured Banksia !


Well, that is a pleasant 2 hour exercise walk.  And amazingly, I didn't meet a single soul ... where is everyone !!!

Post Script

Three months later, I was here again to explore the nooks an crannies of the headland ... for example, the natural arch in photo #12. Photos and a write up on the trip are in my blog:
http://mntviews.blogspot.com.au/2015/11/diamond-head-nsw-australia-2015-11.html

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