Mt Kaputar and Kwiambal NPs January 23 - 26 2023
  stretching the memory a bit. Its June, and I'm writing about January.

We've been under this bridge at least once on previous trips. Its ok as long as we stick to the middle!

  We are headed north. More or less the same path as south, with some variations.
  We are west of Wollemi National Park.
  And stop for the night at Ilford. Jaron Park is down a side street, away from the traffic. Next to the hall.

We decided not to revisit Capertee.

  A quick repair. This is the micro switch from or water pump. The pump was refusing to turn on. The switch is ok. The spring that releases the switch when pressure drops was sticking.

A bit of corrosion. I replaced the switch once we reached home.

  Next night we stopped just short of Tambar Springs. Followed an old road to camp.

Then on to Mt Kaputar. The range is obviously volcanic as we approach from the west.

  And get closer. This is just a projection from the main crater, but seems to guide us towards the park.
  Then after a long slow climb we can look down. On the tuff, and the surrounding plain.
  Climbing ever higher. Watching the vegetation change.
  We camped at Dawsons Spring. Lots of walking. This is one of the many loops. Walking to an edge to look east across the plain.
  And of course memory fails me after 6 months.

I know we didn't see the distinctive giant pink slugs that inhabit the area.

  Our path north involves crossing the northern part of the National Park.

Sawn rocks.

An example of columnar jointing.


  With some fallen examples its a bit like exploring an archeological site.

Images of fallen civilisations, overgrown and stained. Wondering why the columns supporting temples like the Acropolis, or even the veneer of Victorian era banks, were round, or fluted, rather than polygonal.

I guess the irregular polygons of columnar joints may have been an affront to the ordered minds of architects and builders. Nature is obviously more imaginative and creative than meagre humans.

I imagine the organisational skills required for "make each column individual but related" to be a tad more complex than "make all these round columns the same and evenly spaced".

  My belief was that columnar joints are always hexagonal. But this is not so. There can be anything between triangles and heptagons. Just that hexagons are most common.

The diameter of columns and angles between sides (thus number of sides) varies. Rather than the result of crystal growth, as I used to believe, they are the result of stresses built up as the rock cools with a mixture of conduction and convection.

The cross sectional area of the columns (diameter) is inversely proportional to the cooling rate - faster cooling smaller columns.

Also, faster cooling is more likely to produce pentagons, slower cooling hexagons.

An academic paper, a study of four Japanese sites and simulations with solutions, helped my understanding.

But isn't nature wonderful.

  A last look - it was a short walk from the car park - we are just passing through.
  Onward and northward. Kwiambal National Park.

We are a tad tired, and don't explore.

  Rather we vegged out at Kookibitta Campground. Short walks each way up and down the creek.

And then a rather long drag home as we found the Head road closed.

  As we searched for an alternate way across the border we were slowed somewhat.

A convoy of tractors. Some vintage. Some towing caravans.

All having fun.

For some reason Christmas this year was such we didn't want it to stop, but reality caught up with us. Home today.

Ravensbourne, Bunya Mountains and Auburn River National Parks June 6th - 11th 2023

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