Wondabyne is short-platform train station along the Hawkesbusy River, on the Mullet Creek. Apparently, it’s also the only train station in Australia that has no road leading to or from it!
My daily commute by train winds down the beautiful Hawkesbury River, showcasing the calmness through the scratched window panes. I often wondered what it would be to get off at Wondabyne, sit on the wharf, in solitude, in what seems like wilderness in the middle of the busy-ness of life.
I had my opportunity last weekend, when I accompanied my friend Anthony & his son 10 year old son, Nicholas on a bushwalk from Wondabyne to Pindar Caves. You have to be on the last carriage of the 8-car trains, & inform the guard of your intention to get off at Wondabyne. Three blokes in shorts, with hats & sunscreen, & carrying a bag with bottles of water sticking out, on a Saturday – the guard waved us on as we approached her – she seemed to read our minds!
The first thing that you notice when you get off at Wondabye, immediately after the train pulls off, is the deafening noise of quiet. Well, nothing except the sounds of nature. You can hear the mullet jump out of the water, & hear the tweets of birds (as opposed to the Twitter of Twats). The water gently laps at the one boat tied to the wharf. There is no one besides the three of us, which suits us just fine!
The trail climbs steeply for about 200 metres, before leveling off & joining the Great North Walk. We stop & take a break – well, I needed it rather than either Anthony or Nicholas, both of them fit & seasoned walkers. After a sip of water, we continue on our way.
The trail is not maintained, so we had to elbow our way through at several places where the trail was overgrown. In some areas, we couldn’t even find the trail, & it took some expert tracking by Anthony to get back on. We reached Pindar’s cave just after noon, after over 4 hours of walking in pristine bush-land.
We saw some amazing wildlife on our way back – a 1.5 metre iguana basking in the sun, a brown snake, hundreds of birds & a zillion insects, not counting the one & only leech on Anthony’s leg during the entire day.
My knee has been giving me some grief over the last few weeks – age catching up I guess. I had some pain relief ointment in the bag, which came very handy. It wasn’t so bad on the return trip, getting better with each bit of exercise I’ve been giving it lately.
We missed the train by a few minutes at Wondabyne station, & the next train wasn’t until an hour later. We sat down again on the wharf, & then jumped into the river to cool off. A beautiful end to a beautiful day’s walk with two wonderful gentlemen. Can’t wait for the next bushwalk, coming soon. I’ll post some more pictures & a couple of videos soon.