Playtime in the Wungong / Byford Regional Park.

Trip Leader:    Pat O’Dowd

When:             Sunday 10th August 2014

Location:       Wungong Regional Park

Participants:   Brett Anderson, Stuart & Marjorie Day, Steven Delides & Candice Kocken,  Kim Graieg, Garry Izzard, John & Ann Kelly, Richard King, Dave & Sue Morrison, Pat O’Dowd & Donna Elmslie, Craig Perry, Steve Pike.

We arrived on the dot of 8am and were the last as usual. Pat gave the assembled masses a concise briefing and after welcoming guest Cristian and his family to the trip, we set out promptly at 8:15
By 8:30 we had entered the reserve, taking smooth tracks in and enjoying the pretty yellow gorse amongst the bush. We arrived at the ‘Airfield’  shortly afterwards and aired down tyres. 
Following the perimeter road took us up a steep and rutted climb which proved no object. 
We attempted to take a trail down the hillside but Richard King found the way blocked by a large tree.   Without a chainsaw, there was no option but to turn back and have a morning break at the Airfield.      Radio chatter was still minimal, due I suspect to the shock of such an early start on a Sunday morning!
After the break we set back out at 10:30am, taking the steep descent and onto the zig-zags, where a prominent rock nearly claimed it’s first scalp. Thankfully our crossmember is lower than our sump, or was, at least…. At the base of the valley the recent rains had left some sections water logged, leading to an entertaining 30cm deep water crossing. 
Again, our route across the valley was blocked, this time by a mud hole and a large ledge which only a few of the group were equipped to negotiate. We later saw an unauthorised visitor to the reserve hang his Ute on the ledge by front and back bumpers. Our alternative route took us left up the valley side with a steep and rutted climb ending in some fine views of the valleys with flowers in bloom.
By 11:30 we had taken the right turn to the flat land of the old farmhouse site. 
A leisurely lunch enjoying the sun, wild lemons and butterflies followed.
After lunch, our final ‘blocked path’ was the gate to Wungong Dam. Richards keys did not fit, so sadly we had to make one last turn back to retrace our route and exit the park onto the Highway after airing up. We took the opportunity to thank Pat and Richard for an excellent and slickly organised day out. 
Byford reserve was looking beautiful once the sun shone, though clearly we are not the only people with 4×4’s who can access it!
Jon and Kath Standen

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