Saturday, October 28, 2017

Totem Pole, Wollemi National Park, NSW, Australia


The Totem Pole  is a stand-alone rock/earth pillar, about 6 meters high.

- Location:
       • In a remote area of the Wollemi National Park, NSW, Australia
       • 16.5 km (as the crow flies) east-south-east of the small village of Newnes
       • 50 meters from the south bank of Wolgan River
       • Grid Ref: 576 199
       • UTM: 56H  0257639  6319973
       • Coordinate: -33.23204 150.3991

- Somehow, the pillar is made of material strongly bound together and resistant to weather erosion ... but how what why and when?  It is also protected somewhat by a capstone on its top, but that doesn't explain its continued existence.

- The capstone itself looks like a loose hat. Why hasn't it been blown away already ?

- Standing on a steep slope, the Totem Pole is also gravity-defying. You really have to wonder why it hasn't toppled over already !

- Our party who visited the Totem Pole today: 3 mad masochists - Neilson, Jimmy and I

- Detailed trip report, including our GPS tracklog files:
Click on this link: http://mntviews.blogspot.com.au/2017/10/totem-pole-wollemi-nat-pk-nsw-australia.html

- Distance and time of the route we took from Newnes to the Totem Pole:
       • On firetrail: 17 km;  4 hrs 30 mins
       • On a disused road/track, some sections indistinct: 1.5 km;  40 mins
       • Scrub bashing: 6 km;  4 hrs
       • One-way total: 25 km;  9 hrs

- The return leg: It took us much longer, 11 hrs 40 minutes, slowed down by Neilson who developed leg & foot injuries.

- Total: 50 km;  21 hrs ... ALL IN ONE DAY !


Question

Is it worthwhile to walk 21 hrs just to see the Totem Pole ?
If you have to ask the question, you wouldn't understand the answer !

Actually 3 women also started the trip with us; but they quit much earlier.  Maybe they knew the answer  :-)


Some pictures - taken in 2017 October

Neilson and I at the south bank of Wolgan River with the Totem Pole half way up the slope
The above picture doesn't show it ... the slope around this part of the river bank is very steep.


Neilson has climbed up to near the base of the Totem Pole. From the pic, you can sort of get an idea of the steepness of the slope.


Jimmy beside the Totem Pole


Somehow, the pillar is made of material strongly bound together and resistant to erosion ... but how what why and when?  It is also protected somewhat by a capstone on its top, but that doesn't explain its continued existence. Standing on a steep slope, it is also gravity-defying. You really have to wonder why it hasn't toppled over already !

Just as well the Totem Pole is not easily accessible. Else all the climbing on the steep slope by visitors would cause enough soil erosion to soon send it tumbling down to the Wolgan River below.


Detailed trip report

A detailed trip report with our GPS tracklog files and more photos are in this link:
http://mntviews.blogspot.com.au/2017/10/totem-pole-wollemi-nat-pk-nsw-australia.html


Post Script

The Totem Pole is an example of a Hoodoo ... refer to this link in Wiki:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoodoo_(geology)

Please visit my main page at http://mntviews.blogspot.com/

2 comments:

  1. Amazing formation! Were there any other views within those 21 hours? I don't know if I could walk that far just to see the pole, however sometimes I am mad enough to walk hours in the mountains without seeing anything.

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    Replies
    1. You should be able to walk it in less than 21 hours. We were slowed on the return trip by a guy who was slightly injured.

      Most of the time we were walking along the Wolgan River which is quite pretty.

      Near where we start is the ruins of Newnes Oil Shale processing works ... Quite interesting.

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