I am unfit. There is no denying this when you are struggling to ascend a set of roughly-constructed bush stairs and you’re wheezing so loudly you’re scaring the local wildlife. Yes. That is me. Two sets of stairs in on a recent hike through Ellis Brook Reserve and I am starting to see stars and pass out. But, to be fair, I am a little bit anaemic at the moment and I was trying to keep up with girls half my age as they whizzed up the hill on their skinny little legs. I also did not warm up properly, nor was I actually expecting such a rough and steep climb. Preparation – apparently not my thing.
However, wheezing and near-death experiences aside, Ellis Brook Reserve is a very picturesque place to hike. The terrain is a little rough and not really suitable for a gentle Sunday stroll. My friend and I went with a new group and none of us had ever been before, so no one knew what to expect (you can read travel guides but unless you’re actually doing the walk yourself, it can be tricky to gauge how difficult it will be) but we all went at our own pace and everyone was very patient and considerate of the slower-climbing members (ie me – Miss Fat’n’Fainty).
The scenery was beautiful, with amazing views down through the valley. We snuck into the quarry, which is actually fenced off but some lovely soul had cut a hole in the wire so you could squeeze through. Ah, vandalism, sometimes you can be helpful! The colours in the rock and surrounding landscape were stunning, as were the bright blue flashes of the little native Splended Fairy Wren (wish I had been fast enough to get a photo – they are just gorgeous).
Unfortunately, having to watch where we were treading/climbing, for fear of tripping or breaking an ankle, meant we weren’t able to stop and take in the sights as much as I would have liked. But it was still lovely and made me feel good to be out in the fresh air and not being a slacker (ie staying home, rugged up in bed, on this cold and chilly morning). The group we hiked with were really friendly and chatty, and made the morning very pleasant indeed. Apparently, there are a number of trails you can follow and so maybe, next time, we will go on one of the longer ones, which may be less steep and treacherous. I am very clumsy and have terrible balance, so someone else may find it very easy to hike this particular trail and wonder what the heck I am talking about. I personally wouldn’t take dogs or kids on the trail we walked, but I did see some people bringing their pooches along with them.
All in all, a beautiful spot to get some exercise and take in the natural beauty of our gorgeous state, without having to drive a million miles from suburbia. Worth a look 🙂
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