The logging railway was operated in the forest between 1890 and 1944. Up until 1914 bullock teams would drag the timber to the railway lines where draught horses would then pull the carriages 30 km to Mayers Point. Steam locomotives were introduced to the line in 1914. The timber which was logged was used in the construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Melbourne Dock’s and for the Second World War effort. Some of the sleeper supplies were used in the construction of the Transcontinental Rail line across the Nullabor Plain and some were sent to Hong Kong and China.
Address: Wang Wauk Forest way Wootan. Take Squires road turnoff at Wootton and travel west for 4.5 km where you will find Sams camp and the start of this walk.
Distance: If the entire track were passable this would be a 6km one way walk. As it is, the second half of the walking track which would lead to the trestle bridge is impassable due to neglect. You can still walk out to what is left of the bridge via the roads or even drive, though by all reports it is nothing more then a few logs in a stream now.
This picture was actually taken before reaching Sam’s camp, crossing a low cement bridge over this creepy swamp like creek.
This is possibly one of the most rainforestey rainforests that i have ever been in. It looked like something out of a fairy tale.
Massive trees shadowed a wet forest floor, covered in ferns and the other plants typical to an Australian rainforest environment.
The wooden bridges were not much of a match for the wet environment. They were slippery and in various degrees of falling disrepair.
The place was so eary and beautiful though, that it did give me pause to wonder why I had not seen a single person. Not on the drive in and not in the forest itself. Even the more out of the way walks I would run into the odd person here and there on an Autumn weekday morning.
Looking down at my feet I discovered to my horror, probably what most people would expect in a rainforest in summer… Leeches.. and quite a few of them. Maybe a dozen of them had attached themselves to my pants and shoes. Buffy was quite confused by the loud and frenzied screaming, crying and foot stamping..
The screaming become a little more frenzied when I found one that had actually made its way up on to my ankle and attached itself.
So yeah… take salt.. thick socks.. tuck your pants into your socks and spray yourself and your mutt with some extra strength Deet insect repellent. Once I had stopped and sprayed myself I did not have another one touch me. I did see the creepy little things sticking their heads up and sniffing at me and Buffy as we passed by though… and uh.. we passed by rather quickly after that.
So uh yeah.. there was not a lot of pictures taken as I hurried to get out of the forest.
We did come across some of the remnants of the train tracks that had been used here through until the 40’s. On occasion you can even feel that the sleepers are still laid underneath the track you are walking on. Because this track was once used by horses and bullocks to haul timber the entire thing is at a very kind grade. Leeches and slippery bridges aside it should be a very easy walk. About 3km to the end of this section and then a return walk of the same or a shorter walk back along the road.
About 20 metres before the track ends and meets back to the road this was in the way though. It took quite a lot of climbing and ducking to get past the dozen or so trees that had fallen completely across the path. If it was not for the leeches behind me I might have turned back at this point. As it was I made a much larger effort to get past it so I did not have to go back in and through the leech infested forest.
Just past the fallen trees were the steps to get me out. Once out I somehow took a wrong turn and ended up lost in the forest for a couple of hours.. So try not to do that. Also side note.. I had read that leeches do not attack dogs. This is nonsense.. Poor Buffy came out with blood all over her poor paws. I think it bothered me more then her though. A lot of blood but creepy as they are, leeches are really harmless.