Sunday, May 19, 2013

Bundanoon Weekend (part 1) - Fairy Bower Falls

Bundanoon is a small town about 50k from Goulburn in New South Wales. It’s part of an area they call the ‘Southern Highlands’. In keeping with the Scottish theme in April the town becomes ‘Brigadoon’ and 10,000 people descend on the place and they organise a highland games. It must be good to see.

Amy had signed up a two day course at the excellent ‘Quest for Life’ centre and so the kids and I came along with her and entertained ourselves while she was at her course.

It’s a friendly small town, and after a time spent at the really nice playground we visited the fire station which had an ‘open day’ organised. Audrey and Eli loved climbing onto the fire engine and they even had miniature clothing for kids to wear. We would have stayed longer except that the fire engine alarm went and the guys showing us round had to zoom off to an emergency!

There’s a host of great bush walks not far the town centre and after our fun was ended at the fire station I decided to head to Fairy Bower Falls. It was described as a beautiful waterfall at the end of a medium/steep path.

Relatively unequipped (I had a banana and some water bottles) we parked in a car park and began our descent. Walking was easy at first – wooden steps with handrails, but soon became pretty treacherous. The path turned into a steep rocky path and we had to scramble down – me holding both Audrey and Eli’s hands (sometimes Eli’s hood), while trying to maintain my own balance at the same time.

Intermittently we would be passed by ‘proper’ walkers – with hiking poles , all weather gear, boots and backpacks. Audrey was dressed in her Barbie jacket and at this point I’d already eaten the banana.

We reached a midway point where we could have decided to go to a ‘lookout’ which would have given us a view of the falls, but Eli wanted to press on and complete the walk to the base of the falls. The second half of the walk was even more treacherous and I imagined news reports when they airlifted our broken bodies out of the forest with people saying ‘How irresponsible..what was he thinking?!’.

We met some people heading back who were amazed that a 4 and 5 year old (with unequipped and unprepared Dad) could make it so far but we did.

The falls are spectacularly beautiful (even though the surrounding ground is really wet) and we stood and admired them for a while before scrambling/climbing back. As we made the final steps back into the car park (we’d covered 3km in 2 hours) I could see the sun beginning to set behind the trees.

At the base of the falls

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