Sydney Park with Conservation Volunteers Australia

This is the blog of Mark Wordsworm, the travelling worm. I’m a 25-year-old bookmark and can proudly boast my own Hallmark serial number, 95 HBM 80-1. You’ll probably want to read all about me and my Travelling Companion (the TC).

Today’s travel notes

The TC, bless her cotton socks, occasionally gets a bee in her bonnet about conservation, and goes out pulling up weeds with a group of like-minded souls. Today we went to Sydney Park, in the inner city area of Sydney. We joined a group of 15 volunteers hosted by Conservation Volunteers Australia.

My impressions? Hard work, but the volunteers loved it. Many of them go out once a week or more to look after sites around Sydney.

The book I’m in

Hotel du Barry, by Lesley Truffle. A delightful romp through the streets of London, with more than a glimpse of the dark side of life.

Travel tip

Take a hat and plenty of water.

The photos

Me at the old brickwork kilns in Sydney Park:

Sydney Park

This row of kilns is near the corner of Sydney Park Road and King Street, near St Peters railway station:

Sydney Park kilns

The chimneys from the old brickworks are an imposing sight:

Sydney Park chimneys

Slopes and skylines are a characteristic of Sydney Park:

Sydney Park skylines

Down to the business of the day: bush conservation. These were the TC’s tools today:

Bush conservation tools

A handy tip from one of the seasoned volunteers: hang your bag on a branch, or you’re likely to find the ants have eaten your lunch:

Bush conservation in Sydney Park

The volunteers wore bright yellow vests:

Bush conservation outfit

The bright outfit makes people easier to spot when out in the bush:

Bush conservation in Sydney Park

The group’s task today was to pull up weeds. Conservation Volunteers Australia and the local council cleared this site a few months ago (it was a mess of grass and weeds), covered it with Sydney sandstone to provide a good base for native plants, then planted a number of bushes and ground cover. The aim is to restore the area with mid-height vegetation, to provide food and homes for small birds and other creatures.

The new plantings are growing well. Spot the conservationists:

Bush conservation in Sydney Park

But things are not all good. Meet the enemy! Fleabane is one of the non-native plants the group wants to eradicate. This one was a large specimen, about four feet high. The TC wrestled with it for quite a few minutes, employing mattock and brute strength to pull it out by the roots:

Fleabane

Another baddie bites the dust. Kikuyu grass. The TC found it very satisfying to pull these long strands of grass up from amongst the native bushes:

Kikuyu

And now for the goodies. This is a tea tree (Leptospermum):

Tea tree

More tea tree, intertwined with a pink-flowered something:

Tea tree

A colourful fly enjoying tea tree nectar:

Colourful fly enjoying tea tree nectar

This Dianella caerulea has bright blue flowers, and eventually blueish purple berries that are edible. The TC, bless her soul, delights in plucking them straight from the garden and popping them in her mouth:

Dianella caerulea

There was a lot of this yellow-flowered bush. The TC doesn’t know the name of it:

Yellow-flowered bush

A profusion of yellow:

Yellow-flowered bush

A hardy white flower, the name of which currently escapes the TC and me:

White daisy-like flower

A rare shot of the TC photographing some grass. Note the hat!

Grass flower

The TC isn’t sure if this is a fossilised leaf or just a pattern in the sandstone rock:

Fossilised leaf in sandstone?

That’s all for today, folks.

Wentworth Falls and Valley of the Waters, Leura

This is the blog of Mark Wordsworm, the travelling worm. I’m a 25-year-old bookmark and can proudly boast my own Hallmark serial number, 95 HBM 80-1. You’ll probably want to read all about me and my Travelling Companion (the TC).

Today’s travel notes

The TC recently spent a couple of days in Leura, a town in the Blue Mountains near Sydney. I was there too, but I spent my time cosily buried in a book. The TC, brave soul that she is, went on a four-hour hike from Leura to Wentworth Falls and back. The walk is 6 to 7 kilometres in distance, with a vertical drop and ascent of 200 metres.

My impressions? To judge by the TC’s glowing face and weary limbs, this was a walk and a half. She loved it, and had sore muscles for days afterwards.

The book I’m in

Jupiter War, by Neal Asher.

Travel tip

When walking in the Blue Mountains, take plenty of water and some food. Although your intention may be to stay out only a couple of hours, weather can change and mishaps can happen.

Recommended accommodation

Fairmont Resort, 1 Sublime Point Rd, Leura NSW 2780. Comfort, warmth, and friendliness.

The photos

Looking out over the Blue Mountains from the Fairmont Resort in Leura. This is where the four-hour walk started. Early in the morning, the valley is filled with mist:

Leura, Blue Mountains

On the way to Wentworth Falls, the path takes you up and down, through forest-filled glens, under overhanging rocks, along cliff faces:

Walk to Wentworth Falls

The views are stunning:

On the way to Wentworth Falls

At the top of Wentworth Falls, the ground just ends. The water falls over the edge:

At the top of Wentworth Falls

Wentworth Falls, seen from the bottom:

Wentworth Falls

To get down there, you can take the National Pass, a spectacular cliff-face path of metal and rock:

National Pass, Wentworth Falls

Cockatoos frolic around the falls:

Cockatoo at Wentworth Falls

On the loop back to Leura, the TC’s group walked through the Valley of the Waters. This is a gorgeous walk, with waterfalls and hanging gardens and spectacular views. This shot is taken from behind the curtain of water that drops off the cliffs:

Valley of the Waters, Blue Mountains

Here’s a short video taken from behind the same waterfall:

The Cascades are a silver shower of water on black rock:

The Cascades, Valley of the Waters

That’s all for today, folks.

A tad chilly at the Twelve Apostles, Victoria, Australia

This is the blog of Mark Wordsworm, the travelling worm. I’m a 25-year-old bookmark and can proudly boast my own Hallmark serial number, 95 HBM 80-1. You’ll probably want to read all about me and my Travelling Companion (the TC).

Today’s travel notes

Me and the TC just spent a day and a half in Melbourne, Victoria. On Saturday we drove from the big smoke down to the Twelve Apostles on Australia’s south coast. The drive takes around three hours. It’s well worth the trip, to see the Apostles themselves as well as the bush and coastal area down the bottom end of Australia.

My impressions? Bright, clear beauty.

The book I’m in

My Brilliant Friend, by Elena Ferrante. Teenage angst, beautifully written, with a hint of dreadfulness to come.

Travel tip

Take layers and layers of clothing to the bottom end of Australia. Even in spring, the cold can be bitter. Leave the brolly behind, unless it has gale-force certification.

The photos

Me at Twelve Apostles, Victoria:

A tad chilly at the Twelve Apostles, Victoria. Australia

The Apostles are these strange steeples of rock rising directly out of the waves:

A tad chilly at the Twelve Apostles, Victoria, Australia

The vegetation is pretty in a low-stated way. It’s early spring, with tones of silver and green:

A tad chilly at the Twelve Apostles, Victoria, Australia

You can walk down the cliff path at the Gibson Steps and stroll along the beach. This shot is taken with the Twelve Apostles out of sight behind the photographer:

A tad chilly at the Twelve Apostles, Victoria, Australia

Now for a last look at the Apostles before I go:

A tad chilly at the Twelve Apostles, Victoria, Australia

That’s all for today, folks.