Villiers (dianavilliers) wrote,


There are a couple of ways to the bottom of the valley - the hard way - these are 30 or so steps of a 1000-step staircase, and no I didn't climb the whole thing - or the easy way...

... a short and steep rail trip. The area used to be mined for coal, and this used to be the tracks on which the coal was brought up and out. Hikers in the valley, not wanting to find a way back up the cliffs would bludge a ride up on the coal trucks. The mine has long since been closed and the complex has been repurposed for the tourist trade with a cable car, a glass bottomed gondola, and about 3km of boardwalk at the bottom of the valley.
Both occupational safety and health regs and cheesyness in the form of the Indiana Jones theme music have been instituted.

The bottom of the valley was damp, steamy and rainforisty, probably as a result of the previous day's rain and in contrast to the dry eucalyptus scrub at the top of the cliffs. It reminded me a lot of the bush in NZ, but I have since spoken to others who have visited and they said they found it a lot drier than home.

That being said, it was particularly here that I really became aware that I really didn't know what was going on - what the trees and plants were, what bird made what noise and where I was likely to spot it, which trees were good for timber, what ate what, and just how the ecology fits together. I felt a little disconnected...

... but my eyes and my legs still work, and it's possible to learn. I wish I had a year or two here in which to do so.
Tags: australia, infrastructure, vegetation, wildlife
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