Party: Tim and Michelle Vollmer, Leah Charlson, Naser Ghobadzadeh, Colombina Schaeffer, Jana Fromm, Naomi Rellum, Yumi Hong, Terence Nhan, Murray Booth, Adrian Dries (and friends)
A steady stream tumbling over a waterfall into a large, deep pool which is skirted by a beautiful sandy beach and towered over by cliffs on one side.
From the first glimpse you get as the track breaks free of the bush onto a rocky outcrop above the water hole, it’s no surprise that the area is known as Paradise Pool, or more simply Paradise, to the locals.
With a forecast of beautiful clear blue skies, without the full heat of summer, it seemed a perfect day to spend a few hours enjoying the sunshine in our own little private escape.
We all arrived in Linden just before 10am — which was a tad miraculous given CityRail was providing the transport for half the group — cramming into the three cars to get down to the starting point of the walk at Caley’s Repulse.
I’d been introduced to this swimming hole about five years ago by some local friends, and on that occasion we’d been abused after using their traditional entry route through private property. I’d decided to have a look at the map and spotted an easy access route that would hopefully save us any of that trouble this time!
We were quickly up on the ridge top where we briefly followed a fire trail before a relatively new National Park’s sign appeared (it certainly wasn’t there when I last went through), indicating the start of the track without actually saying what was down there.
I’d advertised this trip as possibly the easiest I’d had ever run, and I was true to my word. The track was quite clear, there were only a couple small scrambly sections as we descended, and within about 25 minutes we were at our destination.
In fact we’d done it so quickly most people hadn’t even worked up a sweat, and most of the pool was still shaded.
After some relaxing on the beach and some snacks, people slowly slipped into their swimmers, first wading into the chilly water before we started climbing up above the waterfall to some of the spectacular water jumps that are possible into the pool.
Most of the group did at least one, if not several, first leaping off the waterfall itself before moving up to a rock ledge about a metre higher that actually offers the easiest and safest jump, even if it can seem terrifyingly high from the top.
We all enjoyed lunch on the beach, which was basking in sunshine by now (I have the sun burn to prove it!) before a few more swims, jumps and a buddha impersonation on the rock shelf under the waterfall.
We even found a few interesting volcanic rocks, which were examined by our resident geologist Terence.
I had to get back to Sydney for work later in the afternoon, so not long after 1.30pm we packed up and set off back up the track.
After a brief navigational blunder (I’m lucky Michelle had her eyes open or we’d have ended up in Woodford) we were climbing back up the track to the cars.
Back at the cars a local started chatting to us, and was telling us about some volcanic rock in the headwaters of the creek, which explained where our little specimens must have come from. It was good to know, as the closest volcanic activity I knew of was about 8kms away on the other side of the range.
We drove back to the station, where half the group departed for the train, while the rest of us cruised back onto the highway and headed for home.
It was a nice way to start a work day, and a pleasure to meet so many new faces from the club. Best of all, it was a reminder of just how magnificent this little Paradise on earth is. I’ll have to remember to visit more often!