By Tristan Harley, CEO of Emu Trekkers.
Over the past month or so, Emu Trekkers has been deeply saddened and concerned by the impact the Australian bushfires are currently having on our environment and our communities. These fires have already resulted in tragic loss of life, immense destruction of our natural flora and fauna, and damage to our houses and infrastructure. With no significant rain forecast, it is still unclear what further impacts will arise.
We would like to thank all those who have been working tirelessly to help fight these fires. Witnessing the community rally together during these tough times is one of the few positives to emerge from these events. We would also like to send our love and support to all our volunteers, community partners, friends and family who live and work in these regions and have been affected by these fires.
At Emu Trekkers, we firmly believe that we need to take more decisive action to address climate change and mitigate its impacts. We are disappointed by the lack of leadership we have seen from our government on this issue, not just during these fires, but over the course of many years. For too long, the warnings of our scientists have gone unheeded. That Australia was recently ranked last in Climate Policy is a reflection of our failures as a community to respond to these urgent issues.
The World Heritage listed Blue Mountains are just two hours from Sydney and home to some of the best hiking in Australia. We guess there's a reason we run so many hikes there right?! Here is our pick of the best hikes in the area.
Curracarrong Falls. Image by Daniel Tran Photography.
When most people think of the top things to see in the Royal National Park near Sydney, they tend to think of the Figure 8 Pools or the Wedding Cake Rock. But one of the most underrated natural wonders in the Royal National Park along the Sydney Coast Track is Curracarrong Falls, a waterfall right next to Eagle Rock.
Most waterfalls are formed in the upper sections of a river in steep mountains, but what makes Curracarrong Falls so unique is that it empties out directly out into the Pacific Ocean. Think about it, where else in the world have you seen a waterfall that drops directly into the ocean?
Wikipedia suggests that there are only 30 areas with coastal waterfalls, also known as tide falls, like this in the world, making them incredibly rare. In Australia, the only other recorded coastal waterfall is in Waterfall Bay in Tasmania. The rest are scattered around the world in places like Mealt Falls in the Isle of Skye, or McWay Falls in California. But surely there must be more? After all, how much can we really trust Wikipedia :)
In a recent publication in the journal Geomorphology, two US scientists Patrick Limber and Patrick Barnard state that coastal waterfalls with constant flow are relatively uncommon and there is no broad explanation of how they develop and evolve.
They suggest these coastal waterfalls are caused by a unique interplay of marine and terrestrial processes. Essentially, the horizontal erosion of the landscape caused by the impact of ocean waves (which forms sea-cliffs) has occurred at a faster rate than the erosion/incision of the earth through rain water. For this to happen, you will generally need to be in a place where the sea-cliff is retreating rapidly and wave energy is high, while the flow of water is relatively small.
These stories are proudly written by the volunteers and friends of Emu Trekkers.