|Everyone has been to the
lookouts. Many have been to the Blue Gum Forest, deep in the valley--
but few know the remote & hidden recesses of the labyrinth beyond.
Here, an hour or two from Sydney, is a very wild place.
The Grose has escaped development. There have been schemes for
roads, railways, dams, mines & forestry, but the bulldozers have
been kept out. Instead, the valley became the Cradle of Conservation
in New South Wales when it was reserved from sale in 1875-- an event
magnificently reinforced in 1931 when a group of bushwalkers were
moved to save the Blue Gum Forest from the axe.
This is the story of the whole Grose Wilderness, & of the Blue
Gum Forest in particular. It is the story of people who have visited
the wilderness: Aborigines, explorers, engineers, miners, track
builders, bushwalkers, canyoners, climbers...those who have loved it,
& those who have threatened it.
Andy Macqueen has been an enthusiastic bushwalker &
conservationist since the 1960's. He lives with his family in the Blue
Mountains, where he teaches people about the bush, & researches
& writes local history. He links his interest in the region to his
great-great grandfather Frederick D'Arcy, who was one of Major