Outings: Cox Scrub Conservation Park

Having stopped here briefly on our way back from our Mount Lofty Botanic gardens visit, our Thursday outing was to tackle the 8.5 km Emu Wren track around Cox Scrub Conservation Park. It was an early start as I was keen to photograph the winery at Currency Creek around sunrise. As a result, we started our hike at about 08:15, with the plan to be back home by lunchtime.

The winery at Currency Creek

With a feeling that we had been there before, the route started off as a long steady easy incline along a single file track through relatively low scrub. The leaflet we had picked up promised a variety of birdlife, but the predominant population was made of prolific numbers of New Holland Honey Eaters, with only a brief sighting of a black Cockatoo and others that flew too quickly to be identified.

After a brief stop for a cuppa and hot cross bun, we heard the ominous noise of a petrol engine, which, on rounding the next corner, turned out to be a park ranger pushing a rather large brush cutter. The minute he saw us he switched it off, allowing us to pass a few minutes chatting to him. He told us that he was spending the week trimming the sides of the narrow tracks, one of the many types of jobs he ends up working on. He was soon to be camping for a week at Deep Creek where he and other members of the team would be mending steps and generally maintaining the tracks with materials flown in by helicopter on account of serious access difficulties.

Moving on, we found ourselves on a wide 4 WD track at the back end of the Park. The walking surfaces so far had been reasonably solid, although comprising mainly of sand. However, this part introduced us to much softer sand that at times was reminiscent of walking along a beach. At this point, we started to turn onto the return leg of the loop which quickly took us back onto a narrow track.

The highlight on the way back was the quarry where the stone was pure white, dazzling us in the bright sunlight.

From there it was an easy descent until we reached the next 4 WD track. If we thought the previous one was like walking along a beach, this one was much worse. Although relativity flat, it was a very tiring end to a most enjoyable walk.

Inevitably, it took us longer than the estimated 3hr 15min (over 4 hours in fact) on account of our refreshment stop and the many halts looking for birds. We also reckoned it was longer that 8.5km, 10km would be closer to what our Fitbits measured.

This was a very enjoyable walk with varied track widths and surfaces, ever changing vegetation and inclines that were not too taxing.

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