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Walk: Munmorah Great Extinction Event

MunmorahMap

To complement Anita Andrew's talk on Permian Triassic Mass Extinction, this walk features the geology that encapsulates the end-Permian great extinction event at 252 million years, also known as the Great Dying. This wiped out 96% of all marine species and 70% of terrestrial mammals plus the majority of insect families. There are myriads of sites devoted to it but Wikipedia's a good start.

This is a series of short walks on headlands, clifftops and through littoral rainforest. It isn't a continuous coast track so we'll park and walk to headlands starting with Snapper Point (1 on map) followed by Wybung Head (2) to view superb coastal scenery and the relevant geology. We'll then do a 3 km clifftop walk (3 to 4) through heathland and Themeda grassland, with cars at both ends, followed by a short loop through littoral rainforest (5). Finally we'll relax at beautiful Frazer Beach (6), have a snack and maybe swim.

Click here to register – limit of 20 people

Date: Sunday 18 March
Time: 9.45 for 10 am start
Length: about 5 km (relaxing 5 h)
Meet
: Snapper Point (parking is sometimes an issue as bays are somewhat informal – look out for John's blue Subaru)
Bring: lunch, snack, camera, binoculars, sunnies, sunblock, swimmers (if you'd like a swim), i.d. books on plants, birds etc
Weather issues: there won't be a cancellation unless the weather's really awful as it's easy to park and make short walks to clifftop viewpoints
Leader: John Martyn (0425 830 260)

Getting there

Follow the M1 north, 1.5 km past Warnervale Interchange turning onto the Doyalson motorway link road. Follow this for 15 km turning right onto Elizabeth Bay Drive at major traffic light intersection (big brown signpost to Munmorah SCA). After 1.9 km turn left at roundabout onto Birdie Beach Drive which leads to the southern park entrance (careful of the monster speed humps). After a short distance, turn left onto Blue Wren Drive then shortly after, right onto Campbell Drive. Follow for a further 5 km ending at Snapper Point. Allow about 1 h 30 min from Pearces Corner, bearing in mind the current M1 improvement roadworks – there's currently an 80 km speed limit for the 10 km from Ourimbah to the Doyalson interchange.

Highlights

  • Some of the most spectacular coastal scenery between Sydney and Newcastle
  • World class geology
  • Hugely varied flora ranging from coastal heathland to littoral rainforest, and probably lots of birds too

Last coal seam

The Vales Point coal (see the dark band in the photo below) is overlain by thin fossil soil and claystone breccia, then the white sandstone band was deposited as the 252 million year old end Permian extinction event began its major pulse; after that there was no more coal laid down in the Sydney Basin.

P1010007

Palms

Littoral rainforest at The Palms

BirdiePan

Sweeping view to Bird Island and Birdie Beach, with Lake Munmorah on the far right

FrazersPan

Frazers Beach: distant view from Wybung Head

Event Properties

Event Date 18-03-2018 9:45 am
Event End Date 18-03-2018 3:00 pm
Location
Snapper Point
Snapper Point, Frazer Park NSW 2259, Australia
Snapper Point
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