It was to be a early rise on Saturday the 2nd of June as I was leading a group on a car camping weekend 3hrs west of Sydney at Newnes Plateau situated in the Wolgan, which has been made famous from the township of Newnes and the Shale mining Industrial ruins that has shaped its past.
I met my group at 10am at the Newnes Hotel and shortly after took the short drive to the end of the road where it opens up to a rather large free camp site with Pit Toilets Only, Fantastic car camping with the views of the surrounding mountains of the Carpertee and Wolgan Valley.
We then packed our snacks and cameras for a tip to the Newnes Hotel and Industrial Ruins, the hotel is now a private house that has history and old relics of the working area back in the early 1900's. For us it also ended up being a "tea and coffee" break with Scotch Finger biscuits, which was on the menu at the hotel's Kiosk - There is accommodation on site which is cabin style, a fantastic weekend away for those that want a little more comfort.
We then crossed the river and turned left for a leisurely walk to the start of the 2.5km loop of the Industrial ruins.
The Shale Oil mining industry of newnes was started in the year of 1906 and produced low grade oil. The beautiful mountain scenery as its back drop and the pure isolation as you walk through the landscape you begin to realise the effort involved in producing and transporting the oil out to Lithgow and beyond. The ruins of today are all that remain of the Shanties and of the Oil Shale industry of Newnes. Operational costs and lower priced oil elsewhere eventually closed the works in 1932
Newnes was named after Sir George Newnes he was the chairman of the Commonwealth Oil Corporation and during the its busiest years it had a population of 800 in 1908. Eventually mining was moved to the more accessible Glen Davis which bought the start of its down fall.
We were lucky to see a huge wombat sniffing around the ruins and plenty of Kangaroos call the Wolgan valley Home. Late afternoon we headed back to camp for a awesome night around the campfire talking trash while playing guitar and singing camp fire songs.
The next day was spent doing a return walk of 24kms from the camp ground the Glow Worm Tunnel which albeit long was well worth it and the scenery was more varied than I expected as we did a loop through the Glow Worn Tunnel. Be sure to take a touch when exploring for Glow Worms though DO NOT shine the light directly at the Glow Worms, you will need to spend periods of time with the your torches off so your eyes adjust and then you will start to see these tiny colours of green / blue appear.
Yours In Adventure
"This Blog is of the Opinion of my own Personal Experiences and are not necessarily Fact.. and is written to the best of my knowledge, but there may be omissions, errors or mistakes. This blog is for entertainment and/or informational purposes only and shouldn’t be seen as any kind of advice."