Walking with Wally Eastwood
In the 1980s Wally Eastwood wrote an article entitled 'Who has walked along this track? And where does it end?' in which he asked the question - "Can you solve the riddle of the Manning Lookout Track, the entrance to which leaves the Main Road near the Glenquarry Cut Bridge approximately 4km south of Fitzroy Falls, and from there the track goes out in an ENE direction along the cliffline? It winds up and down, under a waterfall, across several wooden bridges (long since collapsed), drained here and there with culverts where the water is led underneath it through an arrangement whereby stone slabs were placed in a square box formation.
"Members of the Shoalhaven Bushwalking Club recently followed this track almost to Barrengarry Pass, but owing to the weather had to turn back as the track is badly overgrown, washed away in places, making it very difficult to follow. The edges have been bordered with stone and steps have been cut into the rock in the more difficult sections. Quite large stones have been placed in the depressions to build up the path which here and there leads out to some really spectacular look-outs.
"In one point the track led us down past the bottom of a waterfall about nine metres high, bordered by ferns of all descriptions with lianas hanging all around from the trees above. About the base of the falls grew some large trees with initials and dates carved into them, the oldest being 1937. I've been told that this track could lead up to Blakeman's Lookout, then via Faulks Pass to Belmore Falls. If you have any info as to when and by whom the track was constructed or recollections of having walked it, would you please contact Shoalhaven Bushwalkers, we would like to hear from you. Some walkers were: - Wally and Audrey Eastwood, Ursula Turner, Don Clucas and Ray Mathieson. Weather was cold with misty rain and visibility poor."
Dawn Evans remembers that "this trip was re-done in April 1988, from Manning Lookout, and every couple of years afterwards. Some very beautiful areas above the cliffline amongst the rainforest are to be seen, but are often missed on the return trip owing to lack of time. In the 1990s the track was cleared by persons unknown and today it easy to follow. This walk was done at least twice in 1997."
Wally also wrote a report on a walk to Quilty's Clearing in 1988. "On the weekend of March 13th and 14th fourteen Shoalhaven Bushwalkers spent an enjoyable two days walking from Newhaven Gap to Quilty's Pass, camping by the Endrick River. A short stroll away across the river was Quilty's Clearing - a large area cleared in the late 1800s by the Quilty brothers. They also constructed a pass to the top of Quilty's Mountain by blasting a track, to gain access to the swamps there to graze their cattle in times of drought (1895).
"On our way in we walked for some distance along the original Wool Road, built in 1841, passing the site of Nomchong's Sawmill, built in 1913 to cut beams for gold dredges. We also visited the ruins of the old Whitecat Sawmill, built in the 1920s, and Red Johnny's Cave. Although windy, the weather was fine, and good views of the mountains and valleys were obtained."