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Book Review

The Bushwalker Magazine, Volume 38, Issue 2 Autumn 2013Gardens of Stone - Book 3

This is book 3 in the rather large series of Guide Books planned by Michael and Brian. Glossy paper with good print and lots of very nice colour photos all through the book. It covers the general Gardens of Stone area, with trips up Donkey Mountain, all around the Carne Creek gorge, the Glow-worm tunnel area and a bit north of that, even up to Mt Cameron. Most of the walks are single-day walks, with a few overnight trips as well.

The format for the 'guide' part is a series of actual trip reports, rather than a set of route descriptions as found in most European guide books, so you get a lot of Michael's enthusiastic descriptions. At the end of each walk there is a list of times and GRs.

The section on Donkey Mountain is brilliant. The top of the mountain is an incredible sandstone pagoda place with hundreds of features and high resolution sketch maps for them. The features have all (mostly?) been named, many by Geoff Fox, who assisted the authors with this section. Access to Donkey Mountain is still OK, by arrangement with land owners and/or the Emirates Resort.

Also included in the book is a quite long section on the history of the area, with chapters covering aboriginal histoy, early white settlers (some of whom were rather bloody-minded), and a few comments about the modern politics surrounding the area as well. The latter mainly focus on the coal resources underground and the authors' opinions are quite clear: 'The political reality is that royalties from 'king coal' lurking hundreds of metres below the surface, fund the mendicant state of NSW distorting and dictating government's decisions to the detriment of our heritage.'


Published in:
The Bushwalker Magazine, Volume 38, Issue 2 Autumn 2013
Roger Caffin, Editor
Web Site:
The Bushwalker Magazine

Pagoda Rock Formations