Remnants of a Rainforest

6 Jul
Robertson Nature Reserve

Robertson Nature Reserve

It was windy and cold today, however plenty of sunshine and beautiful clear air. We thought it would be wonderful to go up to the highlands on a day like today. To drive up Macquarie Pass was no problem. Here is what it says about this pass in the Wikipedia:

“Macquarie Pass is an eight-kilometre-long section of the Illawarra Highway passing through Macquarie Pass National Park. It was opened in 1898.[1]

Macquarie Pass links the Southern Highland town of Robertson to the coastal town of Albion Park, descending the Illawarra Escarpment via a very narrow bitumen roadway, which has several single-lane sections and is mostly two lanes with double “no overtaking” lines. It is in the Shellharbour local government area.

This section of roadway is very steep, and contains a large number of hairpin bends, resulting in buses and trucks needing to reverse on some of the bends. The pass is quite notorious for accidents due to its nature, and drivers and riders are required to be cautious.

After heavy rain, the Macquarie Pass can be closed due to flooding on the top half of the pass. Cars and motorcycle riders may opt to use Jamberoo Mountain Road between Robertson and Jamberoo, while trucks are advised to use Mount Ousley Road (Southern Freeway) and Picton Road as an alternative.

The road is very popular with motorcyclists on weekends and public holidays. The Shellharbour and Wingecarribee Councils and the NSW Roads and Traffic Authority have therefore published a safety brochure entitled ‘Motorcycling Macquarie Pass.'[2]”

We reached Robertson and decided we would first of all have an early lunch with one of the famous Robertson pies and a cup of tea. The pies were delicious as ever. We have frequented this PIE SHOP in Robertson for over fifty years. The pies there are really special. Peter had a pepper steak pie and I had a beef curry pie. A hot cup of tea with it was lovely.

In the Wikipedia it says that the road is very popular with motorcyclists on weekends and public holidays. And so it is. At the pie shop for instance scores of motorcyclists had just arrived for a well deserved break. The eating section of the shop got pretty crowded after a while for lots of other holiday makers with children on winter school holidays had also arrived. The shop did a roaring business with their pies.

Near the railway line and near what used to be Robertson station is the little bit of rainforest which we had not been visiting for decades. Today was the day. We got ourselves reacquainted with it. There is a round-track of only about 600 m. We walked along it and felt like being in another world.

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Earlier in the morning on the way to Macquarie Pass we stopped at the Marshall Mount Dance Hall. Our daughter Monika liked to go to their dances nearly forty years ago. Looking at the hall today Peter recalled how he drove to this hall on a Saturday night to pick up Monika and her friends after the dance had finished. We noticed today also a building next to this hall which used to be the Marshall Mount Public School.

We did a little detour through the country side where we noticed some ducks crossing the road. All in all we had a lovely day on this beautiful sunny winter day with gusts of wind that felt very cold.

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On this coral tree were already some flowers appearing. Does this mean spring is not far away any more?

On this coral tree were already some flowers appearing. Does this mean spring is not far away any more?

13 Responses to “Remnants of a Rainforest”

  1. likeitiz July 7, 2013 at 10:33 am #

    Nice, Aunty! But don’t the motorcyclists destroy vegetation? Or are there definite paths for them to take?

    • auntyuta July 7, 2013 at 3:25 pm #

      I haven’t heard that this is a problem, Mary-Ann. I think they stay on the road at all times.
      I got the following from Wikipedia:
      “Street motorcycles are motorcycles designed for being ridden on paved roads. They feature smooth tires with a light tread pattern and engines generally in the 125 cc (7.6 cu in) and over range. Most are capable of speeds up to 100 mph (160 km/h), and many of speeds in excess of 125 mph (201 km/h).”

    • berlioz1935 July 7, 2013 at 9:06 pm #

      The motor bikes we encountered are not going into the nature reserve at all. They can’t even enter if they wish.

  2. berlioz1935 July 7, 2013 at 9:05 pm #

    The Coral Trees blossom in winter only.

  3. auntyuta July 7, 2013 at 11:09 pm #

    That’s right, Berlioz. That means we have to wait a bit longer for spring!

  4. elizabeth2560 July 8, 2013 at 9:18 am #

    Love hearing about your Sunday drives (even if it was Saturday).
    My favourite type of outing ๐Ÿ™‚

    • auntyuta July 8, 2013 at 4:37 pm #

      We are pensioners, Elizabeth. But often we are quite busy during the week with appointments etc. Saturday/Sunday is usually the time when we can do some unrestricted planning. So on a pleasantly sunny day we enjoy driving to one of the beautiful places here in the Illawarra or in the Highlands. We always love visiting places where we’ve been before or even some new places. There are so many excellent spots in our area that it can happen that we get to some places only once in a blue moon! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. The Emu July 10, 2013 at 9:58 pm #

    Great story of your Maquarie Pass excursion Auntyuta, the pictures are beautiful clear and a delight to see, I have never been to the pass but it looks a little bit a rainforest setting.
    Regards
    Emu

    • auntyuta July 10, 2013 at 11:33 pm #

      Hi Emu. thanks for commenting. The Maquarie Pass is part of the Illawarra Highway whereas this remnant of a rainforest is part of the township of Robertson up in the highlands. We didn’t take any pictures of the pass itself, which belongs to Macquarie Pass National Park. The pass is very picturesque too. Maybe I should try to take a few pictures out of the car next time we drive up the pass.
      Cheers, Auntyuta.

      • berlioz1935 July 11, 2013 at 9:49 am #

        I think we should make a photo excursion especially with the Macquarie Pass in mind. It is 8 km in length and rises almost 1000 meter.

  6. auntyuta July 11, 2013 at 9:52 am #

    Lovely, Peter. I’m looking forward to this! ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. WordsFallFromMyEyes July 14, 2013 at 3:00 pm #

    You travel so much, amazingly. And such beauty.

    That old school built in 1897 reminded me of the school on Little House on the Prairie. Did you ever watch that? I was fascinated by those old times.

    Re the pie shop, for 50 years you’ve been there?? That says a LOT. Yum.

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