Saturday, 27 July 2013

Haystack Mountain - Gibraltar Range National Park

Walk north. Leave Boundary Falls by the Gibraltar-Washpool World Heritage Walk. Enjoy the track while it lasts. On the way, detour to Duffer Falls and fill up with sweet granite-stripped water.  Continue on but walk silently. Watch for flame robins. Keep an eye out for a subtle footpad, right on track, at the top of a rise, on a bend.  Disappear into the scrub through hard bending banksia and heath. Head up. Weave footprints and foxtail rush. Create a path between granite boulders. Get scratched. Beware of eyepokers. Emerge from behind New England mallee and find the open space. You are now the needle on Haystack Mountain.

Monday, 15 July 2013

New England National Park - walking the cloud forest

We are off track; walking the New England escarpment to Darkie Point. Nests of light settle on the forest floor having broken through a closely woven canopy of Antarctic beech trees which tower above us. Then low cloud streams in. The light freezes mid air, forming thick golden shards that angle against our compass bearing. Ahead, the forest slopes towards the escarpment's cliff line. A prevailing wind drags mist out of the valley below and whips it  up the rock face. The air is so dense with moisture it is caught on leaves and branches and drips, drips, drips as if it were raining.

This is the cloud forest at work: the manifestation of a landscape shaped in such a way, located in such a place, as to draw in and create its own cycle of wild weather that keeps this cool temperate rainforest constantly supplied with water.