I’ve had this walk on my to do list for a while for two reasons: 1. It is a train station to train station walk so I can do it and leave the car with my wife, 2. There are four statues scattered around the reserve at the Gosford end that I’m interested in seeing and there is also a trig point a bit further along.
I used a new guide for this one, an app called “Sydney Hiking Trips” which shows many walks accessible by public transport.
From the station, the walk through Gosford was short and… well, let’s just say the quality of the locals out that day could have been better. I wasn’t left with a good impression of the town. I was glad to reach the entrance to Rumbalara Reserve.
There was a steep climb up a long flight of stairs past graffiti tarnished rocks. There was a nice lookout offering views across the water.
In a short time I reached the reserve at the top of the hill. I found my first statue, explorer Matthew Flinders, and it was wearing a face mask! Very 2020. The second statue in the area was meant to be Aviator Charles Kingsford Smith but only his plaque remained after vandals hit the area. I expect he took a flight off the cliff. A gentleman watching me from the reserve said, “You don’t seem anyone using an actual camera anymore.” I tucked my iPhone away. He was right of course, but I have recently been researching cameras with a good zoom so I can get better picture of birds and other wildlife from afar and I may take the plunge sooner or later.
I carried on. I realised I’d missed one of the statues. I must have walked straight by it though I suppose it could have been vandalised too. There were a couple of vantage points that offered views over Gosford that were nice. I came upon a young family and I offered to take a group photo for them. I then joined the Flannel Flower track and immediately discovered what a flannel flower looked like!
I was walking along a ridge line proper now and soon reached the next reserve where I took a break. A short while later I found the next statue! Edward John Eyre, an explorer holding a compass.
Shortly after that, I heard a strange rustling to my right. I look and found an enormous Echidna snuffling away. It froze in place, having noticed I was near. I snapped my pictures, thanked it for showing itself and moved on.
A woman and her young son, probably three or four years old, was sitting on the track drawing pictures in the dirt with sticks. The boy was quite chatty and told me about a goanna he had seen at the Great Barrier Bush (…Erina, his Mum informed me!). I told him about the Goanna that lives at Bobbin Head that visits all the picnic tables and I also told him about the echidna. He was impressed and he asked if he could walk with me! His Mum laughed. I told him I’d probably seen all the wildlife I’d see for the day and was going a long way.
The next part of the walk was pure ridgeline (no more statues) with a changing vegetation, characterised by many grass trees and ferns. The ferns were brown which I found odd given all the rain we had had recently. A little worrying really going on to bushfire season. I found Erina Trig, which I had forgotten was on the trail at that point. The disc structure was missing but a triangular marker had been installed in its place. I really could get into trig-bagging.
At the end of the ridge was a lookout with views to the ocean. I hadn’t expected that! There hadn’t been too many “wow” moments on this walk, so it was nice to be surprised.
The rest of this walk was along country roads and was pleasant enough. An old black dog came up and said hello. It was missing an eye but was so friendly and I just had to give it a pat. Gorgeous old thing.
I made it to the train station only five minutes before the hourly train arrived. Timed it well.
I was pleased with this walk as it wasn’t too long, offered some good exercise, and had a number of items to keep up the interest. The statue hunt, the trig point, the families, the surprise views and an echidna, all made for a worthwhile afternoon.