Saturday 27th September
I wasn’t too sure what to do today. It’s been a long busy week and with the addition of some very unconventional sleep partners, it is safe to say I am a little on the tired side. But time spent on this continent is rare so should not be wasted.
This evening I am meeting some of the guys from the office in Sydney for a few drinks and to watch, heaven forbid, a football match! Liverpool v Everton apparently. We will see how long I stay for that.
And so, having looked at the map last night, I chose Burragorang Valley as my destination for a drive out into the glorious countryside.
As with so many of the destinations that I have been to in the Blue Mountains National Park, the sheer scale and beauty only become visible at the last moment. This was very much the case at the Burragorang lookout.
You approach the lookout on tarmac roads through open countryside and it is only in the last mile or so do you become surrounded by the eucalyptus trees which give the region its blue haze and therefore name. As the road ends there is a car park and a short walk to the railings from which the view is truly magnificence. No words that I can write, or the photographs I have included here, can do justice to what you can see from this vantage point high up over the flooded valley and forests beyond.
As part of the water purification control regulations access to the entire valley is strictly controlled creating an almost total wilderness, an area from which all but the very lucky few are excluded.
The valley was flooded in the 1950’s in order to create a more secure water supply for Sydney. Although it had been planned almost since the first settlers drifted through the region, it was not until the great drought of 1934 – 1942, when Sydney very nearly suffered a total failure of its water supply, did the orders finally get put in place to dam the river and flood the valley.
The Warragamba Dam was completed in 1960 just in time to capture the near record floods of 1961. A re-evaluation of potential rainfall and flood risks was carried out between 1987 and 1989 which resulted in the dam being raised by 5 metres and an new auxiliary spillway constructed to the east bank.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this post my evening was spent in Sydney watching a football match! Actually the evening was great, first meeting the guys from the office at a bar in Darling Harbour we initially went to Cheers bar on George Street but it was so busy we moved onto the casino which also had a sports bar. A few drinks and lots of laughs, a great time was had. Final score 1 – 1. I left just before midnight which was very opportune as it allowed me to get the last train back to North Ryde.
Sunday – chores! Shopping, washing, recovering from the night before.